Sylvia Stolz’s Appeal Trial before the Bavarian
Disciplinary Court for Attorneys
Written by Markus Haverkamp
Truth no defence
Today (16 November 2010) was the first day of Sylvia Stolz’s trial to appeal the five-year provisional disbarment that was imposed on her in 2008.
The trial began at 10:40am in closed session.
Sylvia [affectionately known to political dissidents as “The German Joan of Arc”] was defended by Ludwig Bock, who also defended Horst Mahler.
The Appeal Senate consisted of three attorneys plus two judges of the OBERLANDESGERICHT (Higher Regional Court), with Attorney Franz Lutz presiding.
The GENERALSTAATSANWALTSCHAFT (Chief Prosecutor's Office) was represented by one man and one woman, each around fifty years old.
After Bock submitted a motion to conduct the trial in public, eight spectators (including Sylvia’s mother) were allowed to observe the proceedings.
To begin, Bock submitted a motion to postpone proceedings until Sylvia’s release from prison in April 2011.
Sylvia explained that as long as she remains in prison, she is unable to prepare for trial, since she does not have the necessary access to documents.
Then Lutz questioned her very rudely as to what attempts she had made in the past year to obtain access to these documents.
At first she seemed taken aback by his bullying and unable to give a clear answer.
However, she soon recovered and was able to engage in a lengthy tug-of-war with him.
In the end, it appeared that she was somewhat intimidated by Lutz’s harsh manner; that she was not entirely sure that she had had adequate access; and that she had not made a determined enough effort to obtain it.
Then came the prosecutor’s comments, which were even more hostile and acrimonious than Attorney Lutz’s.
He announced that Sylvia had no need of documents pertaining to the Zündel trial and that she was attempting to unnecessarily prolong the proceedings.
Then the Senate retired for over half an hour to consider Bock’s motion, which they denied.
The next item was a statement of Sylvia’s personal data.
This proceeded briskly as they did not pry unnecessarily into her life history [which seems rather uneventful except for her patriotic dedication to Germany.]
After that, the Senate read the verdict imposing disbarment.
The verdict stated that Sylvia had misused her defense of Ernst Zündel to promote her own political views.
Furthermore, according to the verdict, she had committed the crime of HOLOCAUSTLEUGNUNG (Denying “Holocaust”), had attempted to intimidate lay judges, had depicted the Court as the “forward command post of enemies of the Reich,” etc., etc.
After the rather awkward reading of the verdict Sylvia was allowed to begin her EINLASSUNG (opening presentation.)
For over an hour she read from her brief, which primarily made the point that the “Holocaust” is not in face “manifestly obvious.”
She was careful to do this without placing herself in further jeopardy, by quoting extensively from the works of historians Fritjof Meyer and Ernst Nolte.
After some time, members of the Senate began asking whether this was relevant to her disbarment, and the presiding attorney asked how much more time she needed for her statement.
When Sylvia replied that she still had a great deal to present, he announced a short lunch break and proceedings resumed at 3:00 pm.
During the next two hours she described in detail the course of the Zündel trial and the nature of her defense of Ernst Zündel.
This was undoubtedly relevant, and the presiding attorney as well as his female assistant listened attentively.
The other members of the court paid attention for the most part but apparently could not help nodding off occasionally.
Unfortunately, Stolz’s presentation as dry as well as it was lengthy.
When she announced that she had reached the halfway point in her presentation, court was adjourned until 10 O’clock Thursday, 2 December.
In conclusion, I should mention that Sylvia appears quite healthy.
[There was concern for her health after her first few weeks of incarceration, when she lost considerable weight and appeared stressed and haggard.]
Judging by her present appearance, she seems to be holding up well.
We spectators are not allowed to take notes during this trial, I am recounting this brief protocol is recounted from memory and it might contain some minor errors.
Munich, 16th November 2010