SYDNEY, Australia (Nov. 14)
Australian Jewish leaders have welcomed the conviction of an Australian Holocaust denier who was sentenced to 10 months in prison in Germany.
But they expressed concern that Frederick Toben, 55, who was found guilty Nov. 10 of incitement, slander and insulting the memory of the dead for spreading his ideas on pamphlets, was not convicted for his Internet activities as well.
Since 1994, Toben has published a newsletter that contains articles portraying an alleged Jewish conspiracy to promote the view that the Holocaust occurred. The newsletter also reprints articles by Holocaust deniers in Europe and North America.
In May 1996, Toben launched his Web site, which reprinted material from his newsletter.
Shortly after his site was established, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry lodged a formal complaint under anti-racism legislation.
While the legal investigation in Australia was completed with a public hearing into Toben’s activities in November 1998, no judgment has yet been delivered, although JTA has been informed that this is imminent.
In April Toben traveled to Germany, where he was arrested and charged with Holocaust denial.
The prosecutor in the case, Hans Klein, has indicated that he will appeal the decision and seek a longer sentence because of Toben’s activities on the Internet.