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The Schmooze

Holocaust-Denying Radio Host Gets His Job Back

A German radio host who allegedly made Holocaust-denying remarks and also made light of 9/11 has been reinstated to his position after having been temporarily suspended.

Ken Jebsen, the host of the “Jugendwelle” program on Radio Fritz, which is based in Potsdam just outside Berlin, had written in an email to a listener that “Hitler’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels implemented the public relations plan of the Holocaust, and the Americans provided fuel for the entire Nazi bombing campaign,” according to a report in the Jerusalem Post. In a separate comment, he said that the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York was a “warm demolition.”

The radio host’s words came to light when the listener sent the reportedly crude, rambling email he received from Jebsen to Henryk M. Broder, a journalist at Die Welt who is considered an expert on modern anti-Semitism. Broder told Bild newspaper on Friday, “This is clear anti-Semitism.”

Representatives of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Berlin Jewish community have expressed outrage that Jebsen has been reinstated as host of the music show, which has a large youthful audience. It is unclear whether any legal steps have been taken, or will be taken, against Jebsen, but some feel that his words meet the criteria for hate crimes under German law.

In contrast, a spokesman for Radio Fritz’s parent company, Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg, told the Post that, although it “regrets the formulation” of Jebsen’s remarks, it does not believe that they are anti-Semitic. It therefore finds no reason not to bring him back as host of “Jugendwelle.”

On November 6, Jebsen spoke up himself on the matter, posting a message on YouTube (which has had over 29,000 views already) titled “I — An Anti-Semite?” In it, he can be heard denying the charge and emphasizing that he is a democrat and humanist.

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