If you want to learn more about the case, including links to some important documents created during my case (asylum application, motions filed, court decisions, etc.), you might want to consult the essay with the title “Scientists Don’t Get Political Asylum.”
A Lawyer’s Take
I am an attorney who is writing about the surprising troubles brought down upon a young German scholar named Germar Rudolf. If I did not know Mr. Rudolf and had not seen the documents, I would not belief that such calamities could occur in America.
Germar’s troubles started in 1991, as he was working on his doctoral thesis at the prestigious Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, Germany.
Because Germar was interested in history and because he had an advanced degree in Chemistry, he was asked to prepare a forensic expert report by the defense team of Otto Ernst Remer. Remer was a defendant on trial for “Holocaust denial.” At this point, I need to explain a German penal law that might seem amazing to Americans: Section 130 (3). This law makes expressing doubt about any crimes of the Nazis a felony punishable by up to 5 years in jail. As a comparison, distributing pornography to someone under 18 years of age is only punishable by imprisonment of not more than one year or a fine under German criminal code Sec. 184.
Some German scholars claim that parts of their history books are incorrect, contain Soviet propaganda, and should not be believed. Otto Remer held similar views. To make matters worse, Remer had been in the German army during World War II and was proud of his service.
Rudolf was asked to study many documents, take samples, have them analyzed, and write a report about his findings, with only his expenses paid. Among other things, Germar tested some of the buildings at the notorious Auschwitz Camp for cyanide residues, which are chemical traces of the infamous Zyklon B. He put his findings in an expert report, which was later offered as evidence by Remer’s defense team. Unfortunately for Germar, Remer also included his own interpretation of the results in a preface and an epilogue to the Report. The German Court was furious, and Germar was associated with Remer in the eyes of the German Media and the Court. A 14 months criminal sentence followed with more criminal charges threatened for Germar’s ongoing forensic research activities.
At that point Germar fled Germany, and after some years in hiding in England he decided to seek political asylum in the United States. For awhile he was left alone, met and married a young American woman, had a child with her, and on the basis of his marriage applied for permanent legal residence in the U.S.
But Germar Rudolf is a scientist and thinks like a scientist. While in the United States he continued defending both his scientific work and his right to state what he felt was accurate science. It is important to note that Germar Rudolf was a totally upstanding citizen. He did nothing that was a crime in most of the world and definitely nothing wrong or illegal in the USA.
Then on October 19, 2005, while Rudolf’s asylum case was still pending, he and his wife were order to show up at the local office of the U.S. Immigration Services for an interview, during which the validity of their marriage was to be determined. They passed that interview successfully: their marriage had been certified as genuine and valid. But then all hell broke loose. Here is how Germar describes what happened next:
At around 11 am, after our marriage interview has been over for a while and we are waiting for the result to be announced, the door opens, the lady who has conducted the marriage interview comes out, and she gives us our certificate and congratulates us.
Then all of a sudden two other guys come up from behind her, push her to the side and tell me that I am under arrest (no handcuffs at that point yet). I have no clue what their names are. Maybe they tell me who they are, but I go into tunnel vision mode that very second (flight or fight). Only one of them “processes” me, that is, he interrogates me in the presence of my lawyer. I am asked whether I have ever received a request to attend an interview at the INS office in May of this year (2005). I say I could not remember any such request at all, and my lawyer insists that we most certainly have never received any such request. The guy states that my not having shown up for this interview appointment is the reason for my arrest. He next asks me to hand over my wallet and all my valuables to my lawyer, and then he confiscates my (expired) German passport.
My lawyer manages to talk him into checking with his superiors whether this arrest is really correct. But before checking, that guy leads me to some other room to take a passport photo of me and my finger prints. When I ask him what the alleged interview appointment back in May was all about, he answers that it was about making a passport photo and getting my fingerprints. I respond that this would hardly justify my arrest and deportation, since I gave my fingerprints already at the very beginning of my asylum proceedings in 2001 and because I have to send in an updated passport photo every year, the last one just about the time of that alleged interview. He then claims that this was for a different office and that they need a set here in Chicago as well. Then the guy leads me back to my lawyer, and together we go back into the waiting room. The official then withdraws and leaves us alone. For an hour he talks (or tries to) with somebody in Washington. During that hour I could just walk out of the building and leave for good, but that would be the end of my being able to ever get back into the States, I fear, so I decide, with my seven months old daughter on my arm, to stay and confront whatever was coming my way (if she weren’t in my life, I would flee right now).
After that hour the guy comes back and basically says that he has received orders from Washington to arrest me and hold me in custody. So I am led into one of their holding cells (6 by 6 ft perhaps, with a window). I am then given one of their jumpsuits and asked to wear that instead of my private clothes, which I have to hand in. Shortly thereafter I can talk briefly with my lawyer on the other side of that window – over a phone – re. the next steps (for instance, getting a general power of attorney for my wife). It is now about noon or 1 pm or so. I remain in that cell until around 3 or 4 pm or so, when I am led to some other part of the building where they have assembled a bunch of people, illegal immigrants, I figure, mostly Hispanics. I am handcuffed and leg-shackled onto a chain with the other guys and led to a van which drives us to Kenosha County jail across the border in Wisconsin. (We actually have a stopover at some other holding facility in Western Chicago to pick up some more guys.)
On arrival in Kenosha we get out – chained together as we are – and have to line up at a wall inside the building, were some guards check our identities. Some of the prisoners must be regular customers there, as the prison guards know them well and is joking with them about this renewed encounter. Although I am not exactly in the mood to laugh, I still have to smile. Shortly thereafter we are unchained and locked into a holding cell awaiting our “reception.” The registration process takes hours. Around 8 pm it is finally my turn. I have to get out of the INS jumpsuit, don their prison clothes instead, and put on a wristband with a tiny photo of mine, my registration ID and the reason for my being there. It stated in plain words: “non-criminal.” Then I am finally dispatched into one of their large prison halls (44 beds), together with mostly 50% Blacks, the rest divided half and half between Whites and Hispanics. I stay there – the only non-criminal inmate – until Nov. 14. (Actually, the last week I get transferred to a different, less overcrowded part of the prison.)
Early in the morning of Nov. 14, 2005, it all goes in reverse: They drive me to some INS processing center, hand me my private clothes back, and keep me waiting in a holding cell for several hours. Finally two officers in civilian clothes pick me up, handcuff me and drive me in a police car to the rear entry of Chicago’s O’Hare international airport. The two officers lead me up the stairs of the gangway, and before entering the plane have the mercy to take off the handcuffs. Then we enter the plane, while one officer leads the way, the other covers my back. They make the journey to Germany with me and make sure that I get handed over to two police officers waiting for me at the end of the gangway at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany.
While in deportation detention, Rudolf’s lawyer tried to avert his deportation by complaining to the U.S. Supreme Court that Rudolf had a constitutional right to due process: the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution grants that right to everyone present in the U.S., not just its citizens. Yet deporting Rudolf before his asylum case had been heard in court and before his motion to obtain permanent legal residence had been adjudicated would violate this right. However, the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to intervene. Hence, on November 14, 2005, Rudolf was deported to Germany. There on arrival, he was arrested by police authorities and transferred first to a prison in Rottenburg, then to one in Stuttgart in Baden-Württemberg. On March 15, 2007, the Mannheim District Court sentenced Rudolf to two years and six months in prison for his scholarly research results published while in the U.S. – where they are perfectly legal. The German court claimed that these results disparage the dead and libel the living.
Andrew Allen, December 2010