An elderly German woman has been sent to prison for 10 months for denying the existence of the Nazi Holocaust. Media outlets around the world have taken to calling her the “Nazi grandma.”
According to the International Business Times, 87-year-old Ursula Haverbeck was sentenced by a Hamburg state court for her blatant Holocaust denial. The controversy over her beliefs came as a result of a television interview that Haverbeck gave in April, in which the “Nazi grandma” spoke about the trial of former SS guard Oskar Groening. The 94-year-old man was sentenced to four years in prison for contributing to the mass killings that took place at the Auschwitz camp.
During her interview, Ursula Haverbeck claimed that Auschwitz wasn’t actually a Nazi death camp.
“The Holocaust is the biggest and longer lasting lie in history,” said Ursula Haverbeck.
Despite her harmless appearance, the so-called “Nazi grandma” had previous connections to far-right extremist groups and a history of inciting hatred. According to Fox News, Ursula Haverbeck was already well known as the “Neo Nazi Grandma,” having been a chairperson for a training camp that was shut down in 2008 for spreading Nazi propaganda.
And when Ursula Haverbeck was taken to trial for her Holocaust denial, the woman refused to back down from her position. The “Nazi grandma” proudly confirmed her previous statements regarding Auschwitz, saying, “Yes, I said that indeed.”
She further claimed there was no historical evidence that the Nazis committed genocide against the Jews. She then told Judge Bjoern Joensson to try and prove her wrong.
“It is pointless holding a debate with someone who can’t accept any facts,” the judge replied. “Neither do I have to prove to you that the world is round.”
Joensson found Ursula Haverbeck guilty of Holocaust denial, describing her as a “lost cause.” According to the Agence France-Presse, the judge also told the “Nazi grandma” that a woman of her age shouldn’t be wasting her time and energy perpetuating the hateful ideologies of the Nazi regime.
“It is deplorable that this woman, who is still so active given her age, uses her energy to spread such hair-raising nonsense.”
She was sentenced to 10 months in prison, but Ursula Haverbeck has already said that she plans to appeal the sentence.
Perhaps the strangest thing about Haverbeck’s Holocaust denial is the fact that Oskar Groening, who she defended in the original interview, admitted guilt to the atrocities committed during the Holocaust. Groening confessed to being an accomplice to the murder of more than 300,000 Jewish-Hungarian prisoners, who were gassed at the notorious death camp in 1944. He reportedly gave a long and descriptive testimony describing the horrors of the Auschwitz camp, which Ursula Haverbeck flat-out denied.
After the now-infamous “Nazi grandma” received her sentence, she left the courtroom to a swell of applause from a large group of people who were happy with the verdict. A number of activists had shown up at the trial specifically to ensure that the vast majority of people in attendance were not Nazi sympathizers or Holocaust deniers. However, Ursula Haverbeck does have a group of supporters who gathered and chanted “Let us in,” from outside the courtroom.
Once the trial was over, Ursula Haverbeck said to the Tageszeitung newspaper that her supporters will not accept the sentence she was given.
What do you think about the so-called “Nazi grandma?” Should Ursula Haverbeck go to prison for her Holocaust denial? Or do you believe her non-belief should not be a crime, no matter how misguided?
[Photo courtesy of Facebook]