'Nazi Grandmother' Jailed for 10 Months for Holocaust Denial

Auschwitz concentration camp
The former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz in Oswiecim, Poland, April 16. A prominent Holocaust denier has been imprisoned for claiming it was a labor camp. Reuters/Lukasz Krajewski/Agencja Gazeta

A German court sentenced a prominent Holocaust denier to 10 months in prison on Thursday after she described the Holocaust as "the greatest and most sustainable lie in history," German newspaper Die Welt reported.

Ursula Haverback, who is 87 years old and has been dubbed "Nazi grandma" in Germany, made the comment when she appeared on the German investigative news program Panorama in April. Haverback has previously been convicted four times for denying the mass extermination of the Jews in World War II.

According to the German Criminal Code, it is illegal to deny and trivialize Nazi crimes. Haverbeck, a well known far-right extremist in Germany, appeared in a Hamburg court on Thursday because of the comments she made earlier this year, AFP reported. She admitted to making the comment, confidently telling the court, "Yes, I said that indeed."

Issuing Haverbeck's sentence, ruling magistrate Bjoern Joensson said: "It is deplorable that this woman, who still so active given her age, uses her energy to spread such hair-raising nonsense."

Haverbeck challenged the court to prove the existence of Auschwitz, the Third Reich's largest concentration camp. According to Die Welt, she insisted that the camp in Poland, at which more than one million Jews died, was actually a labor camp. The Nazi regime also murdered 75,000 non-Jewish people from Poland, 18,000 Gypsies, also known as Roma, and 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war there.

Six million Jews, mainly European, died in Nazi-run concentration camps between 1933 and 1945, before the Soviet Union and the Allied Forces liberated the camps at the end of World War II. The Nazis transported victims by train into the camps through countries including, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, the Netherlands, Belgium and Yugoslavia.