Wilhelm Stäglich

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Wilhelm Stäglich (11 November 1916 – 5 April 2006) was a World War II army officer,[1] later a financial judge in Hamburg,[2] and a prominent Holocaust denier.

In 1974 a disciplinary hearing was enacted against Stäglich, then a financial judge,[1] owing to his membership of the far-right NPD party and his incessant publications in far-right magazines; the result was a forced early retirement[3] with a reduced pension for five years.

In 1979 the Tübingen-based Grabert published Stäglich's book Der Auschwitz-Mythos - Legende oder Wirklichkeit[1] (The Auschwitz Myth - Legend or Reality), in which he denied the existence of gas chambers in the Nazi concentration camps and death camps, and claimed that all documents relating to the Holocaust were forgeries. As early as 1980 this book was seized nationwide[3] on the order of the state court of Stuttgart,[4] and in 1982 it was placed on a list of materials that may not be distributed to young readers, following a decision by Germany's Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons. The decision to confiscate the book was upheld by the Federal Court of Justice in 1983. Following this, the University of Göttingen enacted proceedings against Stäglich in order to formally disaccredit the doctoral degree he had earned there in 1951.[1][5]

Eckhard Jesse, a German political scientist and authority on radical politics, has defended the publication of the book The Auschwitz Myth. Stäglich, he says, was stripped of his doctoral title because it was deemed to be undeserved, following a law dating from 1939. Jesse: "Even those who see his work as anti-Semitic – and here comes the warning – must question these decisions for two reasons. Firstly it is patronising to the public, who are assumed to lack judgement, hardly evidence of liberality; second, the far-right sees the decision as an affirmation, and outsiders might also believe, that there 'must be something' to Stäglich's arguments. You get the impression an example is being made [of Stäglich]."[6]

Stäglich appeared together with Jürgen Rieger as a speaker at a far-right event commemorating the Holocaust denier Thies Christophersen, who died in 1997.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Stephen E. Atkins (2009). "German Holocaust Deniers". Holocaust Denial as an International Movement. ABC-CLIO. p. 108. ISBN 9780313345388.  Preview at Google Books.
  2. ^ Sybille Steinbacher (2004). Auschwitz (in German). C.H.Beck. p. 120. ISBN 9783406508332.  Preview at Google Books.
  3. ^ a b Lucian Hölscher, Tillmann Bendikowski, Thomas Mittmann and Gunnar Sandkühler (2008). Political Correctness: der sprachpolitische Streit um die nationalsozialistischen Verbrechen (in German). Wallstein. p. 45. ISBN 9783835303447.  Preview at Google Books.
  4. ^ Mit Eifer und Freude im KZ Der Spiegel, 26 January 1981. Retrieved 11 September 2010. (German)
  5. ^ Ralf Forsbach (2006). Die Medizinische Fakultät der Universität Bonn im "Dritten Reich" (in German). Oldenbourg. p. 420. ISBN 9783486579895.  Preview at Google Books.
  6. ^ Eckhard Jesse (2008). Demokratie in Deutschland: Diagnosen und Analysen (in German). Böhlau. pp. 90–91. ISBN 9783412201579.  Preview at Google Books.
    Original quotation: "Dem Autor ist 1983 von der Universität Göttingen aufgrund eines Gesetzes von 1939 wegen Unwürdigkeit der Doktortitel aberkannt worden. Auch wer dessen Arbeit als antisemitisch ansieht – hier ist das Monitum angebracht –, muss aus zwei Gründen diese Entscheidungen Bedenken anmelden. Erstens ist Bevormundung des Bürgers, dem fehlendes Urteilsvermögen unterstellt wird, kein Beleg für Liberalität; zweitens sieht sich der Rechtsextremismus bestätigt, und Außenstehende könnten glauben, an des Thesen Stäglichs sei „doch etwas dran“. Man hat den Eindruck, ein Exempel solle statuiert werden."

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