“Terrible mistake”: the ashes of the German neo-Nazi buried in the plot of a Jewish scholar

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“Terrible mistake”: the ashes of the German neo-Nazi buried in the plot of a Jewish scholar


Church leadership at a cemetery outside Berlin said they had made a “terrible mistake” in allowing the ashes of a prominent Holocaust denier to be buried in the grave of a musicologist in Berlin. Jewish origin.

Henry Hafenmayer, a 48-year-old neo-Nazi activist, was laid to rest at Stahnsdorf South-Western cemetery in Brandenburg last Friday in a ceremony attended by notorious right-wing extremists, including Horst Mahler, the founding member of Baader -Meinhof group that became neo-Nazi.

Prior to his illness-related death in August, Hafenmayer had achieved martyrdom in right-wing extremist circles in Germany after being sentenced to prison for a series of anti-Semitic letters to public institutions which called the Holocaust a “lie.” “.

Photographs from the funeral show Hafenmayer’s urn was buried at a burial site in front of a gravestone of Jewish scholar Max Friedländer, a singer and music teacher of Prussian descent who died of a stroke in Berlin in 1934.

During the burial, Friedländer’s gravestone was covered with a black cloth and a sign with the name of Hafenmayer and a quote from John 8:32: “And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. . “

The Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg and Upper Lusatia of Silesia, which manages the 200-hectare cemetery, said the burial plot has been recovered for further burials and Friedländer’s cremated remains have been removed, as c This is common practice with graves whose leases are not renewed after a “rest period” of 10 to 20 years.

However, Friedländer’s tombstone has remained standing since it was declared a listed monument.

The cemetery management said it had rejected an initial request by the neo-Nazi’s lawyer for a more central burial ground, fearing that the Stahnsdorf Southwest cemetery would become a rallying point for right-wing extremists.

A follow-up request to bury Hafenmayer at the site of Friedländer’s former grave had been granted on the basis that every human being has “the right to a final resting place”, and because the cemetery register mentioned the musician. and the scholar as being a Protestant at the time of his death.

Nonetheless, the church admitted that it had misjudged the situation and was considering moving the urn containing the neo-Nazis’ ashes to other land.

“The burial of a denialist at the grave of Max Friedländer is a terrible mistake and an astonishing course in the light of our history,” said Christian Stäblein, bishop of the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg and Upper Lusatia. Silesia. “We must immediately consider whether we can reverse this process. “

Berlin anti-Semitism officer Samuel Salzborn filed a criminal complaint with the Justice Ministry on Tuesday. “It is obvious that right-wing extremists have deliberately chosen a Jewish grave in order to disturb eternal peace by burying a Holocaust denier. “

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