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 Posted Sunday, April 11, 1999

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April 10, 1999

Historian arrested for disputing Holocaust

Barbie Dutter in Sydney, Andrew Gimson in Berlin

A CONTROVERSIAL Australian historian who disputes the facts of the Holocaust has been arrested in Germany and charged with defaming the memory of the dead.

The public prosecutor's office in Mannheim announced yesterday that it had begun preliminary proceedings against Fredrick Toben, who was held overnight at Mannheim Prison. "The accused is charged with spreading in print and on the Internet anti-semitic and neo-Nazi material written by himself," a spokesman said. "Among other things, the murder by the national-socialist dictatorship of millions of Jews in concentration camps is disputed."

David Brockschmidt, a member of the Adelaide Institute of which Toben is director, claimed yesterday that Toben had been the victim of a trap set by the German authorities. He said the arrest took place on Thursday while Toben was outlining his research into whether the Holocaust took place to a German government prosecutor in Mannheim.

Toben had arranged to speak to the prosecutor after spending two months conducting research in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and the Ukraine, Mr Brockschmidt said. But an undercover police officer was present during the conversation and arrested Toben on the grounds that he had "defamed the memory of the dead".

The charge was also thought to relate to Toben's controversial views about the Holocaust expressed on the Adelaide Institute's Internet site and through its newsletters. "The Germans must have been waiting for him, it was a trap, he was set up," Mr Brockschmidt said and accused Germany of breaching free speech rights.

[Previous story] [David Irving broadcasts to Australia about the arrest] 999&pg=/et/99/4/10/whol10.html

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