Fred Leuchter Arrested in Germany

ThoughtCrime: 10/28/93
Published: 1993-10-28

"Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death."
George Orwell

Fred A. Leuchter, Jr., the American execution hardware specialist who insists that claims of wartime mass gassings at Auschwitz are not true, was arrested in Cologne, Germany, on October 28, half an hour before his scheduled appearance on a television show.

Leuchter was arrested without an arrest warrant or formal charges. He was then taken to Mannheim, leaving his wife, Carolyn, behind in Cologne. Neither speaks German.

Only the next day was Leuchter formally charged. Cited in the criminal charge were statements he had made during a speech at a meeting in Germany in November 1991, in which he spoke about his 1988 on-site forensic examination of the alleged execution gas chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Majdanek. These facilities were not used, and could not have been used, to kill people as alleged, said Leuchter.

Leuchter had been scheduled to appear on the show "Schreinemakers Live" of the private television network SAT-1. He was invited to appear as an execution expert, the show's host, Margarethe Schreinemakers, confirmed. Schreinemakers said she had no idea that Leuchter was wanted by the police, and was flabbergasted when they "stormed" her Cologne studio short minutes before airtime. "I do not support this thoughtless act of censorship, which now makes Leuchter a dubious heroic figure," she commented.

Confirming the political motive of the arrest, a police official declared that "it was decided on the political level that a television appearance by Leuchter would harm Germany's image in foreign countries."

Leuchter was formally charged by the Mannheim prosecuting attorney's office with "incitement to hatred," and "defamation of the memory of the dead." If convicted, Leuchter could face a sentence of up to five years imprisonment. Bail has been denied Leuchter, and eight days after his arrest he was still being held under "investigative custody" in a Mannheim jail cell.

Adapted from : The Journal of Historical Review Vol. XIII No. 6, Nov./ Dec. 1993. (Institute for Historical Review PO Box 2739, Newport Beach, CA 92659, and K├Âlnische Rundschau, Oct. 30, 1993.

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Author(s): CODOH News
Title: Fred Leuchter Arrested in Germany, ThoughtCrime: 10/28/93
Sources: The Journal of Historical Review Vol. XIII No. 6, Nov./ Dec. 1993
Published: 1993-10-28
First posted on CODOH: June 29, 1996, 7 p.m.
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