A Jasper, Alta., woman, infamous for denying the existence of the Holocaust, has been arrested in Germany, according to B’nai Brith Canada.
Monika Schaefer was arrested in Munich earlier this month, B’nai Brith Canada, said in a statement Thursday.
The Canadian-based Jewish rights advocacy group said it is awaiting further details on why Schaefer was arrested. It praised German authorities.
B’nai Brith officials said the group had filed complaints against Schaefer with German officials because of her “anti-Semitic incitement.”
Holocaust denial is a criminal offence in Germany. Under Germany’s Incitement to Hatred laws, those found guilty of denying the Holocaust could face a maximum of five years in prison.
“German officials should be commended for taking action against Holocaust denial,” said Michael Mostyn, chief executive officer of B’nai Brith Canada, in a statement.
“We will continue to work, even across borders, to ensure that racism and bigotry find no haven in Canada.”
CBC News has spoken with Munich police but has been unable to corroborate reports of Schaefer’s arrest, or what charges may be involved.
Schaefer was reportedly arrested during a recess in the trial of Sylvia Stolz, a lawyer on trial for Holocaust denial, according to a post on the right wing German blog deutsches-Maedchen.com.
The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center said it confirmed through the Bavarian State Police that Schaefer had been arrested on charges related to Holocaust denial.
The Toronto-based, non-profit human rights organization, which is committed to countering racism and anti-Semitism, commended German police for the arrest.
“Holocaust denial and revisionism continue to prevail across social media platforms in Canada and across the globe,” Avi Benlolo, chief executive of the centre, said in an emailed statement.
“Such perversion of the truth must be confronted through the use of the deterrent tools available under the law, as well as through education.”
Schaefer gained notoriety in July 2016 after publishing a video on YouTube in which she described the Holocaust as the “biggest and most pernicious and persistent lie in all of history.”
Throughout the video, she expresses her firm belief that six million Jews did not die at the hands of Nazi Germany, and she refers to the Holocaust as “the six-million lie.”
Schaefer was the Green Party candidate in the Alberta riding of Yellowhead in the 2006, 2008 and 2011 federal elections, but was ousted from the party during the ensuing controversy over the video.
At least one hate speech complaint was filed against her with the Alberta and Canadian human rights commissions.
On her Facebook page, Schaefer, who was born in Canada of German heritage, describes herself as a self-employed violin instructor.