Gerald Fredrick Töben


Gerald Fredrick Töben
Töben standing in front of the Birkenau entrance

Gerald Fredrick Töben (born 1944) is a German-born Australian citizen and founder and former director of the Adelaide Institute. He is the author of numerous works on education, political science and history, although he is best known for his Holocaust denial.[1][2][3][4][5] Töben claims he cannot deny that which never happened. He calls himself a "Holocaust questioner," and has been accused of antisemitism.[6]

Töben was tried for "offending the memory of the dead" in Germany in 1999, for his Holocaust-denial activity there, for which he served seven months in prison. The matter was appealed and the appeal court sent the matter back for a re-trial, which is still being prepared by Judge Meinerzhagen at Mannheim, the judge who in 2005 sentenced Ernst Zündel to five years prison.[7] In April 2009, Töben was found guilty of contempt of court for breaching a court order to refrain from publishing material which"questions the 6 million deaths, existence of homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz, "vilifies Jewish people".[8] He appealed against the sentence, but on 13 August 2009 The Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia rejected his appeal, and he started his 3 month jail sentence, one week in maximum security-punishment block - at Yatala Labour Prison, then Cadel Training Centre, which is a low security prison farm.[9] After his release on 12 November 2009 he began writing a book which the Director of Adelaide Institute, Mr Peter Hartung, launched on 7 August 2010, titled 'ARBEIT MACHT FREI: impertinent incarceration'.[10]

Contents

Biography

Gerald Fredrick Töben studied philosophy at Heidelberg/Stuttgart/Tübingen universities, and completed a Doctor of Philosophy degree under Prof Max Bense at the University of Stuttgart in 1977. He subsequently taught at various secondary schools and tertiary colleges in New Zealand, Germany, Rhodesia and Nigeria. In 1984 he was involved in a decade-long litigation case with the Victorian Department of Education and won[citation needed]. From 1983 to 1993 he was Director of Toben International Pty. Ltd. Import-Export. In 1994 he established the privately run Adelaide Institute.[citation needed]. On 13 May 2009 he relinquished the Directorship of Adelaide Institute to Mr Peter Hartung.

In 1999 he was imprisoned for nine months at Mannheim Prison for breaching Germany's Holocaust Law, Section 130, that prohibits anyone from "defaming the dead".[11] Töben and his associates at the Adelaide Institute have denied "being Holocaust deniers" in interviews conducted by Australian media, claiming they cannot deny that which never happened.[12]

In 2002, a judge of the Federal Court of Australia found that Töben's website "vilified Jewish people", and ordered Töben to remove offensive material from his site.Töben wiped the site and began again. The court did not enforce an order made earlier by a commissioner of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission that he "issue a written apology to the president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry".[citation needed]

In 2005 in an interview with Iranian state television he indicated that it was his belief that "Israel is founded on the Holocaust lie."[13] In 2006 Töben attended the International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust in Iran.[14]

2008 extradition attempt

In 2008, the German federal authorities attempted unsuccessfully to extradite Töben from the United Kingdom under a European Arrest Warrant for allegedly publishing "antisemitic and / or revisionist" material on his website, which he writes from his home in Australia, and is a crime that does not exist in Britain. The European Arrest Warrant had three boxes ticked: racism, xenophobia and cybercrime, which did not fulfill British legal requirements and so the EAW was judged to be deficient .[15] On 1 October 2008, Töben was detained at Heathrow Airport while flying from the United States to Dubai.[14] In Westminster Magistrates' Court the next day, he objected to the terms of the warrant, claiming that he was protected by the terms of the Schengen agreement and said that his political and historical views had motivated the German authorities' decision to issue the warrant. He instructed Kevin Lowry-Mullins to represent him in the Extradition proceedings issued by the German Government.

The arrest warrant was dismissed by Westminster Magistrates' Court on 29 October 2008, with the judge stating that the details it contained were "sparse". According to Ben Watson, Töben's Barrister instructed by extradition solicitor Kevin Lowry-Mullins, the court was unable to decide whether the warrant was valid because it did not specify whether any part of the crime took part in the United Kingdom and there was not sufficient information about the nature of Töben's alleged crime.[16] The warrant spoke of "worldwide internet publications" but for it to be valid, it would have been necessary for the German authorities to have shown that the offence not only took place in Germany but that it did not take place in the United Kingdom.[17] Töben was offered bail, pending an appeal by the German prosecuting authorities to the High Court. Strict conditions were set, including limitations on Töben's communication and travel and he was able to raise the £100,000 surety required - 3 individuals offered to post bail, but an Executive Order released him from prison.[18]

The German authorities later withdrew their appeal, after the Crown Prosecution Service advised them that in the light of further information they had provided about the location of the alleged offence, it would not have been possible to satisfy the courts that the offence was extraditable. This is because under common law it is not an offence to express an opinion, as is the case in countries where Holocaust denial is criminalized.[19] The German authorities later stated their intention to attempt to extradite Töben from other jurisdictions in the future.[20]

The case caused some controversy in the United Kingdom, with the Liberal Democrats' home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne expressing concerns that the extradition would amount to an infringement on the freedom of speech.[21]

Views on the Holocaust

Töben rejects what he calls the "official conspiracy theory" that Germans systematically exterminated European Jewry. Töben has stated that he considers the Holocaust to be a lie[13] ostensibly perpetuated by "the Holocaust Racketeers, the corpse peddlers and the Shoah Business Merchants";[22] he has further asserted that "the current U.S. government is influenced by world Zionist considerations to retain the survival of the European colonial, apartheid, Zionist, racist entity of Israel."[23]

Bibliography

  • (1986). When the innocent awake. Edenhope, Vic. Peace Books. 217p ISBN 0-9588234-1-3.
  • (1986). The plight of Australian education: ailments and remedies. Norwood, S. Aust. Peace Books. 33p ISBN 0-9588234-0-5.
  • (1986). Student attitude, expectation and performance at the State College of Education. Edenhope, Vic. Peace Books. 71p ISBN 0-9588234-3-X.
  • (1986). Peirce's fallibilism and Popper's falsification theory. Edenhope, Vic. Peace Books. 128p ISBN 0-9588234-2-1.
  • (1995). Political correctness in our schools Norwood, S. Aust. Peace Books. 74p ISBN 0-646-26799-X.
  • (1995). Political correctness is no joke!: the Leuchter case. Norwood, S. Aust. Peace Books. 27p ISBN 0-646-24194-X.
  • (1998). The Boston-Curry Party: on the sacked, plundered and smoking Australian educational battlefield at Goroke. Norwood, S. Aust. Peace Books. 343p ISBN 0-9585466-0-6.
  • (2001). Where truth is no defence, I want to break free. Norwood, S. Aust. Peace Books. 518p ISBN 0-9585466-1-4.
  • (2003). Fight or Flight: The Personal Face of Revisionism. Norwood, S. Aust. Peace Books. 669p ISBN 0-9585466-2-2.
  • (2007). Forty days in Teheran : a special report. Norwood, S. Aust. The Barnes Review/Peace Books. 116p ISBN 978-0-9585466-9-0.
  • (2009). "50 Days in Gaol: Dr Fredrick Töben's Global Battle for Free Speech". The Barnes Review/PEACE Books.94p ISBN 9780958546673, also ISBN 9780981808505.
  • (2010). "ARBEIT MACHT FREI: impertinent incarceration". PEACE Books. 468p ISBN 9780958546669.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ MP backing for 'Holocaust denier'. BBC, 4 October 2008.
  2. ^ Töben is also known as Dr Fredrick Töben in the British news media:
  3. ^ Enough to make you gag, but... By Terry Lane. 22 September 2002.
  4. ^ The freedom to be offensive. By Janet Albrechtsen. The Australian, 20 April 2009
  5. ^ Holocaust denier sentenced to three months. UPI, 14 May 2009.
  6. ^ Colin Freeman. Anti-Semites head for Iran to query Holocaust, The Daily Telegraph, 11 December 2006
  7. ^ German Hate Law: No Denying It. By Steve Kettmann. Wired, 12.15.00.
  8. ^ Written apology over holocaust denial. ABC, 28 April 2009
  9. ^ "toben jailed as appeal fails". ABC News. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/08/13/2655297.htm?section=justin. Retrieved 2009-08-13publish date=2009-08-13. 
  10. ^ "Materialism that sustains Western democracies is exhausting itself: Fredrick Toben". Arabnews.com. 13 August 2010. http://arabnews.com/world/article101141.ece. Retrieved 22 August 2010. 
  11. ^ Shears, Richard "Holocaust denier at centre of British legal row is jailed for three months in Australia" MailOnline 13 August 2009 [1]
  12. ^ Mike Sexton, Australian historian faces German jail over Holocaust views, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 20 April 1999
  13. ^ a b Holocaust Denial in Iran and anti-semitic discourse in the Muslim world. Jahanbegloo, Ramin (2007) In: Muslim-Jewish dialogue in a 21st Century world. Centre for Minority Studies, History Department, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, pp. 129-130. ISBN 978-1-905846-12-2
  14. ^ a b David Brown. Historian held at Heathrow over Holocaust denial, The Times, 2 October 2008. p.17
  15. ^ "Dr Fredrick Toben's arrest should alarm us all". London: Daily Telegraph. 5 October 2008. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2008/10/05/dl0502.xml. Retrieved 2008-11-20. 
  16. ^ Rozenberg, Joshua (12 October 2008). "Töben’s arrest ‘fatally flawed’, says lawyer". London: The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/lawreports/joshuarozenberg/3175523/Tobens-arrest-fatally-flawed-says-lawyer.html. Retrieved 2008-11-24. 
  17. ^ Rozenberg, Joshua (5 October 2008). "Man accused of denying the Holocaust may escape extradition from Britain". London: The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/lawreports/joshuarozenberg/3132331/Man-accused-of-denying-the-Holocaust-may-escape-extradition-from-Britain.html. Retrieved 2008-11-24. 
  18. ^ "Extradition win for revisionist Frederick Töben". Herald Sun. 31 October 2008. http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24578173-5012749,00.html. Retrieved 2008-11-03. [dead link]
  19. ^ "Holocaust denier wins extradition fight". The Jewish Chronicle. 21 November 2008. http://www.thejc.com/node/8493. Retrieved 2008-11-24. 
  20. ^ "Germany to pursue Holocaust denier's arrest". The Associated Press. 24 October 2008. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5io4Yp9wnD1DM1cJ8OaHutNGbBqGQD94LFDP00. 
  21. ^ "Chris Huhne: Holocaust denial and a case that shows flaws in the EU". The Independent. 24 October 2008. http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/chris-huhne-holocaust-denial-and-a-case-that-shows-flaws-in-the-eu-971404.html. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  22. ^ USA/Canada: The Crucifixion of Ernst Zündel, Adelaide Institute, Newsletter 186, March 2003
  23. ^ Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial in the Iranian Media, Special dispatch No. 855, Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) 28 January 2005

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