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Protest with posters around trial of Jewish grave destruction

The trial of two men from Gangelt and Selfkant who vandalised and defaced Jewish graves in Geilenkirchen is now in full swing after much delay. The cemetery was visited this week. In the surroundings, posters were hung up to protest against the charge: the duo are not accused of anti-Semitism, but 'only' of disturbing the peace and damaging property.

GEILENKIRCHEN/SELFKANT - And that is against the grain of the Memorial Initiative and former Bundestag member Christa Nickels. They were to be found on the forecourt of the cemetery in Geilenkirchen on Tuesday, despite the fact that the judge had prohibited the presence of outsiders during the visit. On the route between the court and the cemetery, they had hung self-printed posters on lampposts and trees, pointing out the anti-Semitic background to the crime. The public prosecutor's office charges the two suspects only with disturbing the peace, damaging property and resisting the police.

The men, from Gangelt (born 1998) and Selfkant (1986), allegedly toppled 47 tombstones in the Jewish cemetery in the early morning of 30 December 2019. Other tombstones were daubed. Damage: 13,000 euros. A neighbour heard a noise and called the police. The court case started in September last year. The second hearing could not take place due to the absence of a lawyer. Because in Germany a case must be continued within three weeks, everything had to start all over again in December. Only then a judge was ill. After more postponements, the case could finally be heard in May.

So far it emerged that the man from Selfkant had Googled search terms like 'I hate Jews' and 'kill Jews'. He also searched for the anti-Semitic computer game KZ Manager, in which the player assumes the role of concentration camp commander. Under a pseudonym, he glorified National Socialism on Facebook and advertised the regional neo-Nazi group Syndikat 52. In 2017, the suspect already promoted a march in Berlin in honour of Rudolf Hess, former deputy to Adolf Hitler.

Now that the crime scene visit has taken place and the last witness has been heard, the case is approaching its denouement. On 14 June is the last day of court, with the pleas, the penalty and the last word of the defendants.

Source: Nick Bruls. The Limburger 2-6-2022