On Tuesday, the Leuven Criminal Court sentenced Georges B. (77) to a year in prison for violations of the Negationism and Anti-Racism Law. The elderly man received the maximum sentence for decorating his home in Keerbergen with visible Nazi symbols.
Georges B. had decorated his house with all kinds of Nazi symbols, such as homemade swastikas and flags. In trees and on his mailbox he had pamphlets with anti-Semitic messages. They were clearly visible from the public road. The man brought the Hitler salute in his front yard.
After a complaint from the Interfederal Equal Opportunities Center Unia, the man was summoned for violation of the negationism law of March 23, 1995, in particular the approval of the Nazi regime during World War II. A second charge was an infringement of the anti-racism law of July 30, 1981, which should curb incitement to hatred and violence.
In an extensive and very well-reasoned judgment, the court found both charges to be proven. “The approval of the genocide has been demonstrated by the criminal investigation,” said the judge. Several elements show that the defendant glorifies Nazi ideology, in particular through the placement of symbols and the inscriptions on his home. He grew up in a Nazi-minded family, which made it easy for Hitler’s ideas to find his way to him. “
The judge referred to a statement by B .: “In his eyes, Jews are the shame of the world.” The findings of the social inquiry ordered in December last year were also discussed in the judgment. “He tried to convince the justice assistant that with his extreme attitude he did no harm to anyone. The negative way in which he sought attention contrasts sharply with the immense suffering caused by the genocide. From a social point of view, we must stop the defendant. ”
The court followed the prosecution’s claim and issued the maximum sentence of one year in prison. It is an effective prison sentence, despite the advanced age of B. and his blank criminal record. The man was also fined 800 euros. He was always present at previous hearings, but did not show up on Tuesday. He hadn’t taken a lawyer and defended himself.
Unia, which had brought civil action, received damages of 500 euros and obtained the obligation to restore the house to its original state. All decorations such as pictures, mentions and symbols on and around the house must be removed. A sign with the inscription ‘The Eagle’s Nest’, a red flag with a black swastika and a statue with a swastika were forfeited.