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A young German man admitted burning “The Diary of Anne Frank” at a summer solstice party in 2006. Lars Konrad, 24, said he did it to symbolically free himself from the cloud of the evil Nazi period. Konrad’s statement — considered absurd by prosecutors and media alike — was delivered by his lawyer Monday in a court in Magdeburg, Germany on the first day of his trial on charges of incitement to hate and degrading the memory of the dead. A conviction could land him and his six co-defendents, ages 24-29, in jail for up to five years. The court said the defendants — reportedly members of a far-right group — lit a bonfire with torches during a party in the village of Pretzien, and sworn fealty to “German youth and German blood.” They then threw “foreign matter” into the fire, including an American flag and a paperback copy of the famous diary. Some 80 people reportedly observed the incident, but few are expected to testify. Andreas Holtz, a local Protestant minister, told the Berlin daily Tageszeitung that “nobody wants to be a witness.”

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