Bock, Ludwig

Ludwig Bock (born 1942) is a German defense lawyer. During the West-German Majdanek Trial (1975-1981), he defended Hildegard Lächert, a former inmate supervisor at the Ravensbrück and Majdanek camps. While preparing the case for his client, Bock rightfully received access to the files of the prosecution, where he found the names and residential addresses of numerous witnesses, most of them in Poland and Israel. Bock subsequently visited many of these witnesses and recorded interviews with them about the case, without revealing that he was a defense lawyer.

During the trial, he juxtaposed the contents of his interviews with the statements the same witnesses made while in the witness stand. He demonstrated that these witness statements, which had been inconsistent and contradictory when he interviewed them years before the trial, in the meantime had been brought into mutual accord, and had been purged of their most unbelievable elements.

It turned out that the German Central Office for the Investigation of National-Socialist Crimes (Zentrale Stelle), following their general procedure, had submitted case-file binders to all witnesses containing already established “facts” about the case and about each defendant. Evidently, the judicial offices in the jurisdictions where the witnesses resided had collaborated with the German prosecutors to subsequently streamline and homogenize each witness’s statement ahead of the trial.

When Bock revealed these systematic witness manipulations, there was a public outcry demanding that Bock be disciplined. Disciplinary steps were indeed initiated, but ultimately did not result in any penalty. However, the two nations where most witnesses resided, Poland and Israel, banned Bock for life from entering their countries again. (For sources, see Rudolf 2019, p. 106.)

In 1997, while defending Holocaust skeptic Günter Deckert in Germany (accused of “denying the Holocaust”), Bock filed a motion to hear several top officials of Germany’s government as evidence that “primary massive political interests stand in the way of a breakthrough of the truth in connection with the Holocaust.” Bock was subsequently prosecuted for this motion and sentenced to a fine for “inciting the masses.” The case was confirmed by the German Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof, decision 6 KLs 503 Js 69/97.)

A second, similar case against German defense lawyer Jürgen Rieger, who filed a motion in 1996 to introduce forensic evidence challenging the orthodox Auschwitz narrative, initially ended with an acquittal. However, the German Supreme Court reversed that decision and, following the Bock precedent, demanded a guilty verdict for Rieger as well. (Bundesgerichtshof, decision 5 StR 485/01.) During the retrial, Rieger was found guilty and fined for “inciting the masses.”

These two trials against defense lawyers created case law in Germany declaring it illegal to file motions for the introduction of evidence which challenge the orthodox Holocaust narrative. Ever since, it has been illegal for Holocaust skeptics to defend themselves in German courts of law.

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