The International Campaign for Real History
Ordinary Britons write to the German Embassy Expressing Disquiet about Germany's Imprisonment of Schoolteacher Günter Deckert for expressing wrong Opinions

German embassy's further arrogant explanations

Günter Deckert

Günter Deckert

A number of our friends has independently written to the German embassy demanding an explanation of the continued imprisonment of people for their beliefs.

Botschaft der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany

London, 10.12.1998

Mr Milton Ellis
15 Sqwar Heulwen
Oldford Estate

Dear Mr Ellis,

Thank you for your letter of 25th November 1998. I would first like to apologise that you have had to wait so long for an answer. The reason for this was that I had to forward the letter to the competent authorities in Germany and await their comments before I could answer.

Now that I have received an answer from Germany, I would like to reply to your letter as follows.

Under §29 (3) of Germany's Criminal Detention Act, a prisoner's correspondence may be kept under surveillance both for the rehabilitation reasons and for reasons relating to the security and order of the institution. Such a procedure is not in confiict with the basic right of privacy of correspondence, posts and telecommunications under Article 10 (2) of the Basic Law, the right to privacy in respect of post can be restricted only on the basis of an Act of Parliament. The Criminal Detention Act is one such Act.

As the prisoner Günter Deckert continues to adhere to his extreme right-wing views and attempts to continue corresponding activities from his place of detention, the surveillance of Mr. Deckert's correspondence is justified under §29 (3) of the Criminal Detention Act.

Owing to its quality and in particular its nature, surveillance of the correspondence has to be generally the responsibility of an administrative grade officer, for whom an executive-grade officer may deputise.

After inspection, letters will normally be delivered to Mr. Deckert or (in the case of outgoing mail) sent to the addressees. Incoming and outgoing mail is retained only if there is a reason for this under §31 of the Criminal Detention Act. Such a reason applies if, among others, the purpose of the detention or the security or order of the institution would be endangered. The purpose of detention under § 1 of the Criminal Detention Act includes the social rehabilitation of the offender, which in the case of Mr. Deckert means trying to ensure that he no longer commits criminal offences such as public incitement to racial hatred (expressing approval, denying the historicity or playing down the importance of the ethnic murder committed under the National Socialist regime, either publicly or in an assembly, in a manner calculated to disturb public peace).

Normally prisoners are not allowed to receive enclosures or other written material with letters. Receipt of such material is in each case subject to prior authorisation. If such authorisation has not been obtained, the enclosures can be, and are, added to the prisoner's other stored possessions or, at the prison's request, returned to sender or forwarded to a third party.

These restrictions apply because in the case of the prisoner Günter Deckert the detailed surveillance and outgoing letters, would be very time-consuming and make too great demands on staff capacity, and is therefore not practical.

The above also applies to written material in English.

I hope this is of use to you.

Yours sincerely,

Rainer Dobbelstein
(Head of the Legal & Consular Department)

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