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Germany powerless to investigate hate emails

November 10, 2000 

German police say they are powerless to investigate a barrage of anti-Semitic emails sent via the US.

More than 17,000 identical messages were sent to the email address of a group of Jewish students on Tuesday, threatening to repeat the Holocaust. The assault paralysed the server of German ISP Strato for two hours.

The sender(s), using the name, said the murder of "6 million more" Jews would start on Thursday. (Yesterday was the anniversary of the 1938 Nazi attack on the Jews called "Kristallnacht", or Night of Broken Glass.)

According to KNPQwest, which helps run services for Strato, the emails were sent via a server in the US - but it is not known where they originated.

Police in Baden-Wuerttemberg, the state in Germany where the student group is based, say they cannot investigate the matter. US-originating Internet material falls outside German laws which make neo-Nazi activities illegal.

Linda Harrison, TheRegister

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