BONN (Nov. 14)
A jailed neo-Nazi leader has admitted that he erred when he wrote a preface to a book claiming the Holocaust never occurred. “Today I do know that in Auschwitz a large number of Jews were killed only because they were Jewish” Manfred Roeder said in a written statement to a Frankfurt court.
Roeder, 53, a former lawyer, was sentenced last June to 13 years’ imprisonment for heading a rightwing terrorist group and incitement against Jews. He was arrested in 1981 when he returned to Frankfurt from an El Fatah camp near Beirut where he had arranged a military training program for young German neo-Nazis.
The charges against him at his trial were bolstered by his having written the preface to a book titled “The Auschwitz Lies,” by Thies Christophersens in 1973. It sold some 25,000 copies. Christophersens is now wanted by the police on an arrest warrant issued for him.
Frankfurt prosecutor Volkmar Schneider appeared skeptical of Roeder’s recantation. “Maybe he is showing something like insight,” the attorney said. But another possibility is that he wants to convince the courts to free him after he serves two-thirds of his sentence. “He will surely lose the support of his followers” Schneider observed.