Former German soldier sentenced for anti-Semitic graffiti


TORONTO (JTA) — An 83-year-old native of Germany has been sentenced to six months in jail for scrawling anti-Semitic graffiti in a Canadian city in Ontario.

"This may be the last opportunity for a Canadian court to look into the eyes of a German military (subject) and state clearly to him what all Canadians think of this type of act that led to the death of six million Jews," Judge Norman Douglas said Monday before sentencing Max Mahr on charges of willful promotion of hatred against an identifiable group.

Mahr was arrested and charged last September in connection with hateful remarks against Jews found in various locations in the city of Guelph, located an hour southwest of Toronto. He pleaded guilty in March.

The court was told about 19 instances of graffiti that urged the killing of Jews.

Mahr also was sentenced to two years probation and 40 hours of community service. He served as a German soldier during World War II.

"As I see the case, the crime wasn’t committed 65 years ago," Douglas said. "Mr. Mahr has brought this poisonous hatred into the 21st century."

The Canadian Jewish Congress issued a statement in support of the sentence, whose "unequivocal message speaks volumes about the importance of protecting minority communities in this country."

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