US neo-Nazi jailed for four years - World - News - The Independent

US neo-Nazi jailed for four years

Spitting defiance at the German judiciary, the American neo-Nazi leader Gary Lauck marched out of a Hamburg courtroom yesterday to begin a four- year prison sentence for exporting racist propaganda.

"The struggle goes on," he shouted in German as he was led away. "Neither the National Socialists nor the Communists dared to kidnap an American citizen," he screamed.

Those were the first meaningful words he uttered during the three-month trial, contesting to the end the German court's jurisdiction over his activities. Lauck, 43, had built a neo-Nazi publishing empire at his home town of Lincoln, Nebraska, sheltered from prosecution by the US constitution.

A man who cultivated a fake German accent and adopted Hitler's hair style and moustache, Lauck has led the National Socialist German Workers' Party - Overseas Organisation, for more than a decade, and distributes the NS-Battle Cry newsletter, as well as other Nazi propaganda material banned in Germany.

He was arrested on an international warrant from Germany when he attended a convention of neo-Nazis in Denmark in March 1995. In September last year he was extradited to Germany on the basis of a little-used Danish law that bans racist statements. Whilst Lauck himself remained silent during the trial, his lawyer tried to argue that the man dubbed by the US press as the "farm-belt Fuhrer" had committed no crime under his own country's laws.

"I am a Nazi, but this isn't about my views, it's about the constitution," Lauck told the Dallas Morning Post last week. "Here I am, a newspaper publisher, and I was kidnapped abroad and taken to a third country and thrown in jail for something that is totally legal in the United States."

But the German authorities traced much of the flood of Nazi propaganda to Lauck's home base, and the court accepted that Lauck had been personally involved in smuggling the literature into Germany.

"Lauck turned many young people against democracy," said the prosecutor, Bernd Mauruschat, in his closing argument. The prosecution said that, for two decades, Lauck has been German extremists' main supplier of brochures, Nazi and neo-Nazi stickers, arm-bands, banners and signs. Many of the Nazi seminal works were also translated into other languages, feeding the new extremist movements that have risen out of the ashes of Communism in Eastern Europe.

Despite his obsessive interests in the Third Reich, Lauck had no German background, though he tried to adopt a German persona. He had read Hitler's Mein Kampf (My Struggle) at the age of 13, and spent his teenage years forging a neo-Nazi movement in the US.

Since his arrest, the flood of Nazi propaganda reaching Germany has turned into a trickle, and is expected to dry up while he is serving his sentence. Having spent 15 months under arrest, his prison term expires in just over two-and-a-half years, by which time the German authorities hope the audience for his kind of enlightenment will have shrunk to insignificance.

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Energy Markets Analyst

£400000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy Markets An...

Junior Web Analyst – West Sussex – Up to £35k DOE

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Nursery Manager

£22000 - £23000 per annum: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recrui...

Web Analyst – Permanent – Up to £40k - London

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week