Two Neo-Nazis And A Bartender Convicted Of Murder
WUPPERTAL, Germany (AP) _ Two neo-Nazi skinheads and a bartender were convicted of murder and sentenced to prison Monday for kicking and burning to death a man the bartender said was probably Jewish.
The Nov. 13, 1992, attack at a bar in this industrial west German city heightened concern in Germany’s small Jewish population. Neo-Nazis have targeted Holocaust memorials and Jewish cemeteries as well as resident foreigners and refugees.
The court convicted skinheads Andreas Wember, 27, and Michael Senf, 20, as well as bar owner Marian Jan Glensk, 32, of murdering a 53-year-old jobless butcher identified only as Karl-Hans R.
In its verdict, the court said Wember and Senf got into a drinking match with the victim at Glensk’s bar. Heated words were exchanged, with the barkeeper saying - wrongly - the stranger was probably a Jew.
Wember and Senf then pushed the stranger off his stool, kicked him unconscious with their jackboots, poured schnapps on him and set him on fire, the court said.
Glensk cheered the two on, hollering ″Auschwitz must reopen″ and ″Jews must burn.″
The two skinheads then took Glensk’s car and drove the victim into the Netherlands, where they dumped his body. The man died of internal injuries during the drive.
All three were convicted of murder by the Wuppertal state court. Wember was sentenced to 14 years in prison, Glensk to 10, and Senf to eight. At the time of the attack, Wember was a member of the Nationalistic Front, a neo-Nazi group now banned.
Chief Judge Rolf Watty said the three had ″decided to let their victim die″ rather than take him to a hospital.
″This deed was certainly not just a barroom brawl, but an explosion sparked by radical-right thoughts,″ said Watty.
When the trial began Jan. 20, prosecutors said the two skinheads assaulted the man because they suspected he was Jewish.
But Watty said the attack was more likely a reflection of the two neo- Nazis’ general intolerance.
The judge said that because of Germany’s guilt for the Holocaust, the country must keep an especially watchful eye on modern-day fascists.
Though the court failed to sentence Wember and Glensk to the life term that is the maximum for adults convicted of murder, the sentences were tough for the German justice system, accused of being too lenient with right-wing radicals.
Neo-Nazi violence has killed at least 30 people since Germany’s reunification in 1990.