July 10th, 2008

Central Council warns against dilution of Holocaust denial ban

Berlin – The Central Council of Jews in Germany has harshly criticized statements by Wolfgang Hoffmann-Riem, a former Federal Constitutional Court justice, concerning persecution of Holocaust denial. In an interview to the newspaper Tagesspiegel , Stephan J. Kramer, Secretary General of the Central Council, called Hoffman-Riem's statements "irresponsible, coming from such a distinguished expert on jurisprudence". Kramer said that in a time of noticeably growing far-right extremism, the attempt to dilute the ban was "a dangerous signal" and that Hoffmann-Riem had played into the hands of revisionists rather than helped the cause of freedom of opinion.

"If I were a lawmaker I would not criminalize Holocaust denial," said Hoffmann-Riem at an event at the Berlin Social Science Research Centre. According to a report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , he also expressed scepticism about the ban on the use of symbols of anti-constitutional organisations. (10.07.2008)