German prosecutors on Tuesday charged the former lawyer for far-right activist Ernst Zundel with incitement, accusing her of denying the Holocaust and ending one of her legal filings with “Heil Hitler.”
Sylvia Stolz represented Zundel in his first trial, which collapsed after Stolz was banned on grounds she was trying to sabotage the proceedings.
Zundel’s second trial at the Mannheim state court ended last month with his conviction for incitement for denying the Holocaust. Zundel, 67, who was deported from Canada in 2005 and also once lived in Tennessee, was sentenced to the maximum five years in prison.
Mannheim prosecutors said in a statement that Stolz herself has now been charged with incitement, attempting to thwart a prosecution and using symbols of a banned organization.
During Zundel’s trial, Stolz repeatedly disputed the Nazis’ mass murder of Jews, called for hatred of the Jewish population and ended a legal document with the words “Heil Hitler,” the statement said. The document was freely accessible on the Internet, it added.
Stolz does not deny making the statements or writing “Heil Hitler” on the document. However, she told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that while she anticipated she might be charged, it was part of her fight against what she considers an illegitimate government built upon the postwar allied occupation of Germany.
“We are under foreign occupation, and this foreign occupation has portrayed Adolf Hitler as a devil for 60 years, but that is not true,” she said. “But the real truth can only be told when someone attempts to break this taboo.
Stolz is also accused of trying to “force an end to the proceedings” with constant interventions and “provocations” that disturbed the conduct of the trial.
The presiding judge halted Zundel’s trial last March to ask for Stolz’s removal after she denounced the court as a “tool of foreign domination” and described the Jews as an “enemy people” in earlier sessions.
In April, she was carried out of the court room, shouting “Resistance! The German people are rising up,” after defying an order for her removal.
Prosecutors said they are seeking a ban on Stolz working as a lawyer.
“This foreign occupation seems threatened and insulted,” Stolz said. “So telling the truth is prosecuted for slander and the people who speak the truth are silenced, whether they’re attorneys, doctors, engineers or any other profession.”