Things went wrong in a cemetery southwest of the German capital Berlin, which is run by a Protestant church. 48-year-old neo-Nazi Henry Hafenmayer was buried there last Friday, writes The Guardian. It happened exactly where the Jewish singer and music scientist Max Friedländer, who died in Berlin in 1934, was laid to rest.
Friedländer’s grave had already been emptied, which is usual after a few decades. His gravestone was still there because it was a monument. There was room for new graves, but according to the church, a neo-Nazi should never have been buried.
Hafenmayer described the Holocaust as a “lie” and was sentenced to prison, making him a celebrity in German far-right circles. Neo-Nazis attended his funeral last week and Friedländer’s gravestone was covered in black cloth.
Right to the last rest
Hafenmayer’s relatives initially asked for a more central place in the cemetery, but the church did not accept this for fear that it would become a gathering place for right-wing extremists.
Because everyone is entitled to one last home, they’ve been given the new location, but according to the church, that should never have happened. “This is an astounding turn of events in light of our history,” the church said in a statement.
An anti-Semitic movement in Berlin has already lodged a complaint about the situation. “It is evident that right-wing extremists have deliberately chosen a Jewish grave to disrupt eternal peace through the burial of a Holocaust denier.”
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