Zundel to be released from German prison
Far-right activist Ernst Zundel will soon be released from prison after serving his five-year sentence for denying the Holocaust, a German prosecutor said Wednesday.
Mannheim prosecutor Andreas Grossmann said Zundel, 70, will be released March 1 after receiving credit for time served before his 2007 trial.
Zundel, author of The Hitler We Loved and Why, was deported from Canada in 2005. He was convicted in February 2007 of 14 counts of inciting hatred for years of anti-Semitic activities, including contributing to a website devoted to denying the Holocaust — a crime in Germany.
Prosecutors were able to bring charges in Germany because the website was accessible there. Zundel and his supporters had argued he was exercising his right to free speech.
Zundel is a German citizen so can go wherever he wants in the country after his release, Grossmann said, adding that he has relatives in the Stuttgart area.
Grossmann said he understood, however, that Zundel, who has also lived in Tennessee, is banned by the United States and Canada from returning to those countries.
Zundel's wife, Ingrid Zundel, told The Associated Press in an email that he was not technically barred from North America but that they "expect huge diplomatic barriers to keep him inside Germany, where freedom of speech simply doesn't exist."
Born in Germany in 1939, Zundel moved to Canada in 1958 and lived in Toronto and Montreal until 2001.
Canadian officials twice rejected his attempts to obtain Canadian citizenship, and he moved to Pigeon Forge, Tenn., until being deported to Canada in 2003 for alleged immigration violations.
In February 2005, a Canadian judge ruled Zundel's activities were not only a threat to national security but to "the international community of nations" as well, clearing the way for his deportation to Germany.
Since his arrest, Ingrid Zundel, who has remained in the U.S., said she has been running his website, so she cannot risk being present when her husband is released.
"I would be risking immediate arrest if I stepped on German soil," she said.
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