German Holocaust Denial Case Proceeds as EU Moves on a Ban

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German prosecutors in Mannheim demanded a five-year jail sentence Friday for one of the most high-profile figures in the Holocaust denial movement, Ernst Zündel, in closing arguments at his trial. As one of the most famous Holocaust deniers goes on trial in Germany, the EU takes steps to criminalize denying the Shoah.

Zündel, a 67-year-old German citizen, stands accused of inciting racial hatred for disputing the historical fact that Nazi Germany systematically slaughtered six million European Jews during World War II.

German authorities say Zündel operated a website from Canada on which he expressed anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi views and presented "revisionist" history. He left Germany for Canada at the age of 19 but was deported in March 2005 on a German arrest warrant.

Denying the Holocaust is a crime in Germany and if convicted, Zündel faces up to five years in jail.

The trial began almost a year ago but has run into several legal hurdles. It follows a high-profile case in which controversial British historian David Irving spent 13 months in jail in Austria for questioning the Holocaust before being released last month.

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