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Lady Michele Renouf: I Risked 5 Years in Prison—and Won First-Ever Acquittal in German “WWII Heresy” Prosecution

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On November 5th German prosecutors and a district court judge in Dresden suddenly ended their 32-month criminal case against Lady Michèle Renouf just days before the trial was to begin. Lady Renouf was charged with “incitement” under the §130 Volksverhetzung law, which has been used for the wholesale imprisonment of German dissidents, including scientists, authors and even the lawyers who defend them.

What speech crime was she charged with? Expressing grief, sympathy, and repentance for the crimes her (British) government committed against German civilians during World War II, including the firebombing of Dresden. Lady Renouf’s impromptu remarks during the 2018 anniversary commemoration of the Dresden Holocaust were heartfelt and utterly reasonable. Yet the German government wanted to imprison her for, as she says in this interview, “stating the bleeding obvious.”

I am providing a lightly edited transcript of this interview for two reasons: First, I want to provide full and easy access to Lady Renouf’s ideas as my way of pushing back against censorship. Second, this interview was marred by audio glitches, so listeners who find them annoying can just read the transcript.


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