German to be tried for Holocaust denial in Polish court

An entrance gate at the German Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oświęcim, Poland. The sign over the gate reads in German "work makes one free". (AP Photo/Michael Sohn,file)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

A district court in Oświęcim, the city in which the Auschwitz concentration camp was located, will try a German national, Gotllieb G., who has been charged with the denial of actions perpetrated by those working at the Nazi German concentration camp.

According to state prosecutors, Gottlieb G. visited the Auschwitz Museum on July 23, 2019, with a group of German speakers. During their guided visit, he questioned the systemic character of German Nazi crimes involving the extermination of Jews. He negated the Third Reich having decided on a “final solution,” the number of Jews murdered at Auschwitz, and the existence of gas chambers and crematories in the concentration camp. 

According to prosecutors, his comments caused outrage and the guide asked the museum’s management to take action. Faced with that situation, the German departed from the museum and left Poland on the same day, but prosecutors managed to identify him as a retired history and political science teacher from Bavaria. 

When Polish prosecutors interrogated Gottlieb G. in March of this year, he denied the allegations. He stated that he was interested in World War II and therefore asked the guide about sources regarding the history of the concentration camp and did not directly question the crimes committed there. He also argued that as a history teacher, he had taken his students to visit concentration camps in Germany and asked guides in those locations similar questions without any negative reactions. 

If he is found guilty, Gottlieb G. could face a fine or a prison sentence of up to three years. The verdict will be made public. 

The court will hear the case Sep. 1-2 .

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