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A 93-year-old German woman has been jailed for the second time in four years for spouting Holocaust denial – just days after she was released from her previous sentence.
In May 2018, Ursula Haverbeck hit headlines after going on the run to escape a two-and-a-half-year jail sentence for Holocaust denial.
Nicknamed ‘Nazi Grandma’, her stunt sparked a five-day manhunt, after which she was finally caught.
Haverbeck is now set to spend another year in jail for the same crime, after the Regional Court of Berlin handed her a one-year prison sentence on 1 April.
The 93-year-old's latest sentence comes in light of two prior convictions in 2017 and late 2020.
Back in 2017, she was sentenced to six months in jail for denying a Holocaust event at the Lichtenrade branch of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
Then, at the end of 2020, she was handed a one-year prison sentence for denying the Holocaust during an interview, which was published online.
The Regional Court of Berlin upheld both cases, but decided that a total punishment of one year in prison was appropriate, despite her lawyer pushing for full acquittal.
According to court reports, Haverback failed to show any contrition during her trial so her sentence could not be suspended.
However, the sentence is not yet final, meaning she can take it to the Berlin Court of Appeals if she chooses to.
Haverbeck was only just released from her previous sentence at a prison in Bielefeld when she found herself facing jail again.
She is a widow and hails from the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Nevertheless, she has a history of run-ins with the law, having been convicted for the first time in 2004, for which she received a fine.
Haverbeck has repeatedly claimed that Auschwitz concentration camp was not an extermination centre and that no mass murder took place there.
Her damaging claims are in stark contrast to historians’ estimates that the Nazis murdered at least 1.1 million people at Auschwitz-Birkenau alone.
Germany is one of 16 European countries with laws against Holocaust denial. The only nation with such laws outside the Old Continent is Israel.
The Holocaust saw the systematic murder of some six million Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators across German-occupied Europe between 1941 and 1945.
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