An arrest warrant for an 89-year-old woman, who failed to show up to begin her two-year prison sentence for “inciting the German people to holocaust denial,” was issued by German authorities on Monday.
Dubbed the “Nazi Grandma” by German media, prolific Holocaust denier Ursula Haverbeck was sentenced to two years behind bars in August 2017 after losing her appeal to reverse a 10-month sentence she received earlier that year. She was initially charged with sedition and incitement after publishing several articles denying the Holocaust in a right-wing newspaper, Stimme des Reiches (Voices of the Reich).
Haverbeck was supposed to start her prison sentence on Wednesday in the town of Bielefeld.
Local media reported that Haverbeck’s home in central Germany appeared to be empty, with uncollected mail piling up at the front door. Haverbeck has been prosecuted numerous times for her unorthodox beliefs, including that notorious concentration camp Auschwitz was a labor camp that had no gas chambers.
Despite being previously convicted of violating Germany’s strict laws against Holocaust denial, the octogenarian has yet to serve time in prison. Her late husband, Werner Georg Haverbeck, was an active member of the Nazi party, and the couple later founded a right-wing education center called Collegium Humanum. The center was banned in 2008.
During the trial of former SS sergeant Oskar Groening, who was convicted in 2015 of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 Jews at Auschwitz, Haverbeck described the Holocaust as “the biggest and most sustainable lie in history.” The statement later landed her in court.
The International Auschwitz Committee said on Sunday that it hopes Haverbeck will soon be apprehended and sent to prison.
“One can only hope that the judiciary and police are urgently looking for her,” said Christoph Heubner, the executive vice-president of the International Auschwitz Committee, as cited by DW.
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FILE PHOTO: Ursula Haverbeck © Paul Zinken / Reuters