Holocaust revisionist held at Heathrow

Australian wanted in Germany for website that disputes historical facts
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The Independent Online

A holocaust revisionist will appear before a British court on Friday after being arrested at the request of the German authorities.

Gerald Fredrick Töben was detained at Heathrow yesterday by officers from Scotland Yard's extradition unit as he stepped off a plane from America. Last night, he was remanded in custody at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court to reappear on Friday.

The 64-year-old Australian is wanted in Germany, accused of publishing material on the internet "of an anti-Semitic and/or revisionist nature deliberately contrary to historical truth", that denies, approves of or plays down the "mass murder of Jews planned and implemented by the Nationalist Socialist party". He was detained yesterday under an EU arrest warrant issued by the German authorities, which accuses him of committing the offence in their country, his native land and others.

The former teacher, who was born in northern Germany in 1944 but emigrated to Australia as a 10-year-old, set up the Adelaide Institute in 1994, an internet site that questions the "story, legend, myth" behind the Holocaust. It also doubts whether HIV causes Aids.

While he denies being anti-Semitic or calling the Holocaust a lie, Dr Töben, a doctor of philosophy, has previously insisted killings took place on a much smaller scale. In 2006, he met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and dismissed as "mere puffery" evidence of the Nazis' mass killings of Jews.

In 1999, his fellow revisionists declared him a "martyr" after he was sentenced to 10 months in prison for breaching Germany's holocaust law. The Mannheim court cleared him of the more serious charge of incitement to racial hatred because the material was written outside Germany. In 2000, Germany's Supreme Court made foreigners liable for internet crimes.

In 2002, a judge in the Federal Court of Australia found that his website "vilified Jewish people" and ordered him to remove offensive material from it. However, it did not enforce an earlier order made by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission that the site be closed down and that he issue a written apology to the Executive Council of the Australian Jewry.

On the website, Dr Töben lists the "victims imprisoned for refusing to believe in the Holocaust". He adds: "If you wish to doubt the Holocaust-Shoah narrative, be prepared for sacrifice, marriage and family break-up, loss of career, and to go to prison. This is because Revisionists are... dismantling a massive multibillion dollar industry that the Holocaust-Shoah enforcers are defending, as well as the survival of Zionist-racist Israel.