Dr. Michel Friedman, a French-German lawyer and publicist, and former vice-president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, has been being criticized for interviewing a neo-Nazi leader for the German edition of the lifestyle magazine Vanity Fair.
Michel Friedman had intended to question extreme right Horst Mahler about his days as a founder of the far-left terror group (Red Army Fraction) RAF some 30 years ago. However Horst Mahler, who has undergone a political transformation since then, contributed mostly far-right rantings, including denial of the Holocaust.
After the interview, Michel Friedman sued Horst Mahler for his comments, which are illegal in Germany. However the interview should never have happened in the first place, said the secretary-general of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Stephan Kramer. He told the Der Tagesspiegel newspaper that the interview was “unspeakable and completely without justification.”
Vanity Fair editor Ulf Poschardt said he wanted to confront Germans with the reality of an ideology that recent opinion polls showed that too many of them secretly approved of. He called Michel Friedman “courageous.” Criticism of Michel Friedman is coming from across the political spectrum, including leading members of the Social Democratic, Christian Democratic and Left parties.
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