An Austrian court convicted three neo-Nazis on Thursday of glorifying Nazism over the Internet, sentencing them to as many as nine years in prison. Neo-Nazi leader Gottfried Kuessel was sentenced [AP report] to nine years in prison for creating the Alpen-Donau website, which promotes Nazism. Kuessel spent time in prison during the 1990s for his attempt to create a new type of Nazi party. The Austrian court gave Kuessel's two accomplices, Felix Binder and Wilhelm Anderl, a lesser sentence. Binder will spend seven years and prison while Anderl faces four-and-a-half years in. Although the website is no longer active, Austria spent a long time trying to shut down the website because it was launched through a US server. Due to US free speech laws, Austria encountered obstruction when it tried to shut down the website. In Austria it is against the law to glorify Nazism.
Germany recently reopened investigations [JURIST report] and began prosecuting Nazis for war crimes. In November German prosecutors charged [JURIST report] 91-year-old former member of the Nazi Waffen SS [USHMM backgrounder] Siert Bruins with the murder of a Dutch resistance fighter in 1944. The Dortmund prosecutor accused Bruins of executing captured Dutch Nazi-opposition fighter Aldert Klaas Dijkema in September 1944 outside the town of Appingedam. Bruins and an accomplice, who since died, were accused of taking Dijkema, a prisoner at the time, to an isolated location and then shooting him four times. The suspects reported at the time that Dijkema had been trying to escape when they shot him. Bruins already served time in the 1980s for the murders of two Dutch Jews during the war. In March John Demjanjuk, a former guard at a Nazi death camp who had been convicted in Germany of helping to murder thousands during the Holocaust, died while awaiting his appeal [JURIST reports].