Monday, December 17
Athens.- A Greek court sentenced a neo-Nazi author of an anti-Semitic book to a 14-month suspended sentence, in the first case of its kind in Greece. Constantine Plevris was found guilty of inciting hatred and racial violence with his book "The Jews -- The Whole Truth".
In his 1,400 page book, Plevris glorifies Hitler and calls for the extermination of the Jews. He declares himself “a Nazi, a fascist, a racist, an anti-democrat, an anti-Semite. Jews are mortal enemies and deserve the firing squad."
“Hitler is only criticized for not clearing Europe of the Jews. “Afterwards, history of humankind will accuse him (Hitler) of having done nothing to rid Europe of the Jews, though he could,” the author writes.
He adds: ”They rightly preserve the camp (Auschwitz) at a good condition, because nobody knows what might happen in the future.”
"We thank the Greek justice system for its dignity and for demonstrating that we truly live in a democratic society," president of the Central Jewish Council of Greece, Moisis Constantinis, said after the trial.
Moses Costantinis testified in court that after the book was published, attacks against Jewish sites increased.
Benjamin Albalas, head of the Jewish Community of Athens, said before the court that the book "incites violence and encourages people to kill us."
Defense lawyers said their clients were being persecuted for freely expressing their views.
The Jewish community saw the trial as a key test of the Greek authorities' determination to deal with anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece issued the following press release:
“Regarding the decision of the Athens Court of Appeal for Indictable Offences to find against K. Plevris, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses its contentment with the decision of the Court as it effectively condemns modern-day racism and Nazism in any form. This decision is an instrumental parameter in the on-going, unceasing battle being waged by society and humanity against barbarity and racism, anti-Semitism and fascism”.
Mr. Plevris, who plans to appeal, claimed that if he was convicted, it would merely show that the judges had been "bought by the Jews."
On trial together with Plevris, the publisher, the editor and a journalist of the extreme-right weekly newspaper “Elefteros Kosmos” were found not guilty.
Elefteros Kosmos (Free World) is a marginal extreme right wing weekly with no more than 800 copies in circulation. Plevris is also appearing on a small TV station “Extra.”
Once the book was published in May 2006, the Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) immediately filled a suite against it under the anti-discrimination law. But a district attorney later dropped the charge of discrimination and instead charged the book with a lesser offence of disseminating false facts.
The anti-Nazi Organization of Greece and the Greek Jewish umbrella organization Central Jewish Board of Greece (CJBG) filled a suit to oblige the district attorney to accept the charge of discrimination.
The trial had a rocky start when district attorney L. Lazarakos moved to have the GHM and the CJBG removed from the trial claiming that no individual Jew was in any immediate danger and that two organizations had no legal claim or standing. The three judges accepted Lazarakos's argument.
The district attorney also surprised the court when he called the book "a scientific research" and asked for the acquittal of all defendants. But the court decided with a 2-1 decision to convict Plevris.
It was the first trial in Greece on the recently introduced incitement charges, under the 1979 anti-discrimination law.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Greek author gets 14 months in prison for book denying Holohoax, criticizing Hitler for not ridding Europe of Jewry