Well-known German environmentalist and anti-abortionist Lutheran Pastor Dr. Johannes Lerle, 55, has been sentenced by an Erlangen court to one year in prison for alleged "racial incitement."
The charge stems from his "public denial or minimizing of National Socialist atrocities in a manner designed to disturb the peace."
Asked in an interview with the Roman Catholic publication Kreuz(Cross) if he was a "Holocaust denier," Lerle said that such a question belongs in the realm of religion. He pointed out that while one could deny the Holy Trinity, the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection of Christ, the so-called Holocaust had become a state-mandated article of faith in which questioning of the manufacture of bars of soap and lampshades out of human tissue by the National Socialists had become a punishable offense.
“I did not live during the Hitler time,” he said. “But I learned the lie in the school that during the National Socialist regime, soap from people’s bones and lamp shades from people skin were manufactured. I am a witness that we were deceived over Hitler’s crimes. And as the proverb goes: “Who lies once, one does not believe, even if he speaks then the truth.”