BRUSSELS — A Belgian ex-MP convicted for Holocaust denial was ordered by a Brussels court on Wednesday to visit former Nazi concentration camps and write about the experience as part of his sentence.
Controversial politician Laurent Louis was given a suspended six-month jail term and a $21,570 fine in 2015 for minimizing the slaughter of millions of Jews during World War II on his blog.
An appeals court upheld his conviction on Wednesday but suspended the sentence for five years on condition that Louis visits five Nazi death camps, including Auschwitz in Poland and Dachau in Germany.
After each visit he is required to “submit a text of at least 50 lines about what he saw in the camps and the feelings he experienced,” to judicial authorities monitoring his sentence, the Belga news agency said.
Louis, who served as a lawmaker from 2010 to 2014, also has to publish the texts on his Facebook page within a month of the visits.
His lawyer Sebastien Courtoy told AFP that Louis was “sincerely sorry” for what he had done and that they had come up with the idea of the visits.
The 37-year-old, who has now stepped down from politics, apologized on Facebook to “all those who might have been hurt by what I said.”
“It only remains for me to go and do these reports from the death camps. The court has probably recognized my talents as a writer,” he wrote.
“More seriously, I will follow the court’s ruling and go and repent each year in a death camp. As well as being very informative and moving on the human level, it will also be an opportunity to denounce current genocides.”
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.