In Germany, outrage has arisen after the funeral of a notorious neo-Nazi. Henry Hafenmayer (48) was buried on the site of a former Jewish singer and music scientist. The Berlin anti-Semitism officer has reported this painful event.
Hafenmayer was buried last Friday in Stahnsdorf cemetery near Berlin. The funeral was attended by several right-wing extremists and a number of members of the left-wing extremist terror group RAF (Rote Armee Faction), which was responsible for attacks at the end of the last century that killed as many as 34.
Hafenmayer rose to fame among right-wing extremists before his death after he was convicted of writing anti-Semitic letters that he sent to public institutions. In the writings, he denied, among other things, the holocaust and called the systematic extermination of Jews ‘a lie’.
Last week, this man was buried on the spot where the Jewish singer and music scientist Max Friedländer used to be. His final resting place was recently evacuated, as is customary when someone died quite some time ago. Friedländer’s tombstone was still there because the tombstone is a monument.
During the funeral, a black cloth was placed on the Friedländer stone, along with a sign bearing Hafenmayer’s name and the scripture: “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” There were also funeral wreaths with symbols from the Nazi era, such as iron crosses.
Gathering place for extremists
The neo-Nazis previously requested a more centrally located grave for the late Hafenmayer. This request was refused by the Evangelical Church, which manages the cemetery. The church community was afraid that the resting place of the neo-Nazi would become a gathering place for right-wing extremists in this way.
The request to bury Hafenmayer where Friedländer lay was granted because, according to the church, everyone “is entitled to a final resting place”. The cemetery register stated that the deceased Friedländer was a Protestant rather than Jewish. Because of this, it was assumed that the neo-Nazi could be buried in this place.
The Church has since acknowledged that they misjudged the situation. Bishop Christian Stäblein is not happy about the miss: “The burial of a Holocaust denier at the grave of Max Friedländer is a terrible mistake and a staggering turn of events in our history”. He immediately wants to see how and whether this can be reversed.
Berlin’s anti-Semitism officer, Samuel Salzborn, has already reported the situation. It is clear, he says, that this is a deliberate action. “With the funeral of a Holocaust denier, the right-wing extremists have deliberately chosen to disrupt the eternal peace of a Jewish grave.” According to Salzborn, the situation calls for a criminal investigation.