US neo-Nazi jailed for four years
Friday 23 August 1996
"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.
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 The most powerful passports in the world
Nepal earthquake in pictures: Photos show devastation caused by 7.8 magnitude earthquake
Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
Nepal earthquake: The race is on to help thousands trapped under rubble around Kathmandu, while remote villages face a long wait for help
Royal baby: Live updates as superbug closes ward at St Mary's Hospital where Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth
Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...