An interview with one of Germany’s most notorious neo-Nazis has landed Vanity Fair magazine in a heap of trouble.
Arno Lustiger, a Jewish historian and Holocaust survivor, has started proceedings to sue the magazine’s German edition for publishing an interview with Horst Mahler, the former left-wing extremist who transformed into one of Germany’s most rabid neo-Nazi public figures. The interview appeared in the Nov. 1 print and online editions.
Filed Nov. 7 and released to the public on Nov. 21, the suit notes that Mahler denied and belittled the Holocaust, which is illegal in Germany.
Attorney Uwe Lehmann-Brauns told the JTA on Nov. 21 that he was awaiting confirmation from Berlin’s state prosecutor that the suit had been formally entered. Vanity Fair as yet has offered no response.
In the interview, conducted by journalist and former vice president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Michel Friedman, Mahler said that “Hitler was the liberator of the German people. He is demonized as the liberator of Satan.”
The publisher had said he ran the interview to make Germans aware of the poisonous ideas in their midst, but Lustiger’s attorneys said the motivation was immaterial.