Cemetery Lets Neo-Nazi's Ashes Be Buried at Stone of Jewish Scholar

Mourners covered marker during ceremony and placed an iron cross on the new grave
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2021 7:10 PM CDT
Neo-Nazi's Ashes Buried in Plot of Jewish Scholar
German extreme right political activist Horst Mahler, shown in 2017, attended the funeral on Friday.   (Balazs Mohai/MTI via AP)

At a ceremony attended by right-wing extremists near Berlin on Friday, the ashes of a neo-Nazi were buried at the gravesite of a leading Jewish music scholar. Max Friedländer’s gravestone was covered by a black cloth during the burial, and by a sign with Henry Hafenmayer’s name on it, the Guardian reports. The Stahnsdorf cemetery is managed by a Protestant church, which called the burial a "terrible mistake and a staggering course of events in view of our history." The bishop said, "We have to immediately look into whether we can revert this process."

Friedländer's plot was available for burials because his cremated remains had been removed because the lease had not been renewed. As a listed monument, however, the gravestone remains. The church said it accepted the burial request because "everyone has a right for a final resting place." It now says it wants to move quickly to rebury the remains of the Holocaust denier "in order to no longer disturb the dignified memory of Max Friedlaender," per the Local. The scholar died of a stroke in Berlin in 1934.

But Berlin’s antisemitism officer is not satisfied. Samuel Salzborn filed a criminal complaint at the justice department on Tuesday. "It is obvious that right-wing extremists deliberately chose a Jewish grave in order to disturb the eternal peace through interment of a Holocaust denier," he said. The dozens of mourners Friday included a notorious Holocaust denier, Horst Mahler, who has been convicted of incitement. Police watching the ceremony arrested a far-right fugitive, German reports said. A Nazi-era iron cross symbol was placed on Hafenmayer's grave. (More Neo-Nazi stories.)

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