Canadian-born Monika Schaefer, 59, of Jasper, Alberta, is now on trial in Germany along with her 63-year-old German-Canadian brother, Alfred, who now lives near Munich. They are charged under German laws against “inciting hatred”.
Both have been charged relating to Youtube videos and other anti-Semitic actions including denying the Holocaust, and saying there were no death camps or gas chambers only work camps.
Monika Schaefer, who lists herself as a violin teacher, had previously run as a candidate for the federal Green Party of Canada during 2006, 2008, and 2011. She did not win and was rejected by the party when they learned of her views and a 2016 video in which she said that the Holocaust was a “pernicious lie”. That video has since been removed by Youtube as having been deemed offensive.
Monika was arrested on January 3 and while visiting relatives in Germany and attending the trial of another person charged with Holocaust denial. Schaefer has remained jailed since then awaiting trial.
Her brother was later arrested after a June online video was seen by the judge in which Alfred appeared at a neo-nazi rally calling for extermination of Jews and giving the Nazi salute.
The trial began last week, with a shocking debut as Alfred entered the court and gave the Nazi salute on three occasions according to a witness.
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The trial continues this week and is expected to conclude in mid-August. Under German law, penalties for such denial and inciting hatred can range from a fine to a sentence of up to three years.