This page gives background and details about the charges brought against Prof. Sucharit Bhakdi in connection with two public statements he made in April and September of 2021.
Last updated May 8, 2023.
Disclaimer: The following includes the facts in case of Prof. Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi to the best of our understanding and knowledge.
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1. Brief Background
Prof. Sucharit Bhakdi has been charged by the lower court in Plön, Germany, with the following:
- having incited hatred against a religious group and attacked the human dignity of others by insulting and maliciously disparaging that religious group, while acting in concert in a manner likely to disturb the public peace; and
- having publicly trivialized an act committed under the rule of National Socialism of the kind described in Section 6 (1) of the International Criminal Code in a manner likely to disturb public peace.
The two charges stem from statements made during two separate occasions, the first on an unknown date in April 2021 and the second on September 24, 2021. Prof. Bhakdi’s statements were made in German, and the original texts of all other transactions which are listed below are in German as well. What follows are excerpts in English translation.
1.1. Statements made in April 2021
The contentious statements were made in a video interview which Prof. Bhakdi gave in his home in Martensrade, Germany, to Mr. Kai Stuht. The interview was published on several platforms via Kai Stuht throughout early July 2021 (specified on the timeline). The interview is titled “Vaccination! Hell on earth! Professor Bhakdi.” The following statements made by Prof. Bhakdi from this interview are specifically addressed in the indictment and appear to be the subject of the first criminal charge:
… what hit you guys. Faster than lightning. And if you are so indolent and you don’t rise up and say ‘no, you are not doing this with us,’ then you are done for. And then you wouldn’t have the possibility to flee. Israel, the Israelis can no longer flee. The country is closed. That’s what will happen here. And I was once asked by an American what I have to say about Israel, I said, for me the Israelis, this people that I admired more than any other people in the world, I was an admirer of Jews, yes, you know I’m a music lover, art lover. The greatest spirits were the Jews. I’m sorry to tell you this, yes. I’m sorry, I’m a Buddhist …
Yes, I admired them. I am, you have seen my record collection, I went after these Jewish musicians to get a signature from them. Isaacson, David Oistrach, yes, I travelled hundreds of kilometres to hear them and to get their autograph. I adored them. And now they’re doing this. They, the people who fled from this land, from this land where arch evil was, and have found their land. Have turned their own country into something even worse than Germany was. So unbelievable. And then I told the Americans, that’s the bad thing about the Jews. They learn well. There is no people who learns better than they do. But they have learned evil now. And implemented it. And that’s why Israel is now “living hell”. And I told the Americans, “and if you’re not careful, America will be living hell too, and I’m telling you now, your country will be turned into living hell if you don’t rise up soon.”
1.2. Statements made during a campaign event on Sept. 24, 2021
Prof. Bhakdi spoke at a campaign event on Rathausplatz in Kiel at 5 p.m. to around 7 p.m., and approximately 200 people attended. The following excerpt from Prof. Bhakdi’s speech at the campaign event is mentioned in the indictment and appears to be the subject of the second criminal charge:
It is clear to all in the know that with the formal approval of the vaccines, the first milestone of the agenda has been reached and the race is on to achieve the ultimate goal. This final goal is the creation of the new reality and involves nothing less than the second holocaust. The abolition of humanity in its current manifestation.
About one third of the population knows why these crises were constructively invented and lied about. The targets lay dormant for decades inside the earth. Now they are bursting forth like dancing devils and the tsunami is rolling towards us. The downfall can hardly be stopped because the rest of society is completely oblivious to the danger. It wants no part of the master plan. It is perfectly contrived. How frightening. Already the world’s elite have managed to inject over 1 billion doses of the genetically adept substance into humans who are unaware. After all, it is my own hobby that is being abused for an incredibly evil purpose. All I know is that if we fail there is only one tiny remaining chance to escape impending doom. We must try to reach those who are still responsive. It is clear to all those who know that with the formal approval of the vaccines, the first milestone of the agenda has been reached and the race is on to achieve the end goal. This end goal is the creation of the new reality and involves nothing less than the second holocaust. The abolition of humanity in its present form. The mass media are spreading fear and panic.
April 2021: Prof. Bhakdi gives a video interview (eventually titled “Vaccination! Hell on earth! Professor Bhakdi”) in his home in […], Germany, to Mr. Kai Stuht, in which he makes statements that are the source of the criminal charge (1) incitement of the masses.
May 2021: Prof. Bhakdi’s interview with Kai Stuht titled “Vaccination! Hell on earth! Professor Bhakdi” is released in excerpts. (It is unknown where and by whom it was released.)
From July 3, 2021 to present: The interview “Vaccination! Hell on earth! Professor Bhakdi” is freely available via the Kla.TV’s Odysee channel to all Internet users.
July 7 and 8, 2021: The full interview titled “Vaccination! Hell on earth! Professor Bhakdi” is published on the internet in video format on PeerTube, Odysee and Mr. Stuht’s website.
July 9, 2021: The interview titled “Vaccination! Hell on earth! Professor Bhakdi” is published on Kai Stuht’s Telegram channel
From July 9, 2021 to December 14, 2021: The interview “Vaccination! Hell on earth! Professor Bhakdi” is freely available to all Internet users on the Telegram platform via the Kai Stuht Telegram channel and received 37,900 views.
July 13, 2021: A shorter version of the interview “Vaccination! Hell on earth! Professor Bhakdi” is published to Twitter, which contains the statement quoted in Section 1.1. The video can be accessed at archive.org.
July 14, 2021: Dr. Elio Adler, chairman of the civil society association Die Wertinitiative e.V, files a criminal complaint for incitement of the masses against Prof. Bhakdi via the online portal of the Berlin Police at 11:13 a.m. Mr. Adler cites the interview titled “Vaccination! Hell on earth! Professor Bhakdi,” published via Kai Stuht’s website claiming that it contains anti-semitic content. It is mentioned in the police documents that the interview is no longer available at the website. However, Dr. Adler indicates that a summarized version of the interview is available on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnsarBerlin/status/1415052707065380867.
July 14, 2021: Mr. Klaus Baumann files a criminal complaint against Prof. Bhakdi via the online portal of the State Criminal Police Office Lower Saxony at 4:45 p.m. Mr. Baumann references a Twitter post which contains a video excerpt of Prof. Bhakdi from an interview titled, “Vaccination! Hell on earth! Professor Bhakdi.” An acknowledgement of receipt of the report states that the State Criminal Police Office Lower Saxony have been assigned to process the complaint. The text of the complaint is as follows:
Prof. Bhakdi gave an interview to KenFM *editor’s note: this is incorrect – the interview was given to Kai Stuht* excerpts of which are available as a video in the following tweet:https://twitter.com/AnsarBerlin/status/1415052707065380867
[account suspended as of May 2023]. He speaks there about Israel and the Jews. Claiming, “The people who fled, from this land—from this land where arch evil was and have found their land; have turned their own land into Something worse than Germany was.” he described the vaccinations in Israel as worse than the Holocaust, thereby trivializing the Holocaust, which is a punishable incitement of the masses. His sentences thereafter also underline this context, where he blathers about “they have now learned evil and implemented it” and “Israel as a living hell.”
July 14, 2021: Mr. Sigmount Königsberg, Commissioner Against Antisemitism of the Jewish Community Berlin, files a criminal complaint against Prof. Bhakdi to the Commissioner against Anti-Semitism at the Office of the State General Prosecutor. The complaint is filed via an email addressed to Mr. Hartmann Hild at 10:46 am. The text of the complaint is as follows:
I hereby file a criminal complaint and criminal charges against Prof. Dr. med. Sucharit Bhakdi—Adress unknown; the association he is president of, Physicians and Scientists for Health, Freedom and Democracy“ [Mediziner und Wissenschaftler fur Gesundheit, Freiheit und Demokratie e.V] lists the following address [as its own] in the imprint: c/o Wittgasse 9, 94032 Passau—for incitement of the masses as can be seen in this video segment:https://twitter.com/AnsarBerlin/status1415052707065380867
[account suspended as of May 2023] that is part of this video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXmdefs3ct.
July 14, 2021: Chief State Prosecutor of Berlin Mr. Hartmann Hild notifies State Prosecutor Johannes Ploog of Mr. Sigmount Königsberg’s complaint against Prof. Bhakdi via email at 11:17 am.
July 26, 2021: State Prosecutor Berlin issues directive, in reference to complaint filed by S. Königsberg on July 14, 2021, stating: “It is requested to take up the investigation, to secure and evaluate the video in question and, if possible, to name the accused in more detail, in particular to find out his residential address.” This is a directive for the relevant police department to begin an investigation.
August 25, 2021: The group “We for Humanity,” an association of Holocaust survivors, their relatives and friends, write an open letter comparing the vaccination campaign to the Holocaust. This letter is addressed to the health regulators of the EU, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. The document is submitted into the evidence of the court in Plön on May 31, 2022.
September 24, 2021: Prof. Bhakdi holds a campaign event on Rathausplatz in Kiel at 5 p.m. to approximately 7 p.m., in which he makes statements that are the source of the second criminal charge of “trivialization or belittlement of the Holocaust” (see Section 1.2).
September 26, 2021: Prof. Bhakdi runs as a candidate for the Basic Democratic Party of Germany in the 20th German Bundestag.
November 1, 2021: Kiel regional court prosecutor’s office issues an internal memo stating the decision to close the proceedings for lack of merit.
November 1, 2021: Prosecutor at the state court in Kiel, Lorenz Frahm, notifies the complainant Mr. Sigmount Königsberg from Berlin that the public prosecutor’s office discontinued the preliminary proceedings against Prof. Bhakdi (case no. 590 Js 53609/21), “in accordance with § 170 section 2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (StPO), as the investigations carried out have shown that there is an impediment to these proceedings.” Additionally, it reads, “the statements in question do not yet exceed the threshold of a criminal offense prosecutable under § 130 of the Criminal Code.”
Regarding the admissibility of the criminal complaint, see also the statement by Prof. Bhakdi’s previous lawyer Sascha Böttner.
November 11, 2021: Kiel State Court Prosecutor Frahm sent corresponding notifications to the complainant Dr. Elio Adler.
November 12, 2021: Kiel State Court Prosecutor Frahm had sent corresponding notifications to the complainant Klaus Baumann. This notification additionally states that “The proceedings under case number 590 Js 53609/21 have been closed pursuant to Section 170 (1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure for lack of sufficient suspicion.”
November 19, 2021: The Kiel Public Prosecutor’s Office issues a long-form justification for the decision to stay the proceedings. Apparently, the letter was sent to chief state prosecutor [“Generalstaatsanwalt”] of the province. The order requests “to add the case 590 Js 55639/21 as an accessory file into the present proceedings.”
November 19, 2021: Dr. Elio Adler notifies State Prosecutor Frahm that he will file an appeal against the decision to close the case and that a detailed statement of justification will follow.
November 24, 2021: Mr. Sigmount Königsberg files a complaint against the dismissal of the proceedings by the Public Prosecutor’s Office at the Regional Court of Kiel against Prof. Bhakdi to the Chief State Prosecutor’s Office Schleswig with two pages of justification.
November 24, 2021: The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office of the province of Schleswig-Holstein notifies Dr. Elio Adler of its decision to reopen the investigation of the Kiel public prosecutor’s office and that it has taken over the case against Prof. Bhakdi pursuant to § 145 section 1 of the German Judicature Act (GVG [Gerichtsverfassungsgesetz]).
November 24, 2021: The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office notifies Mr. Sigmount Königsberg of its decision to reopen the investigation of the Kiel public prosecutor’s office and taken over the case against Prof. Bhakdi pursuant to § 145 section 1 of the German Judicature Act (GVG).
November 29, 2021: The Office of the Attorney General issues a press release which “states that the Office of the Attorney General requested the files from the Kiel Public Prosecutor’s Office on November 19, 2021, based on a complaint from a complainant. Additioally, the press release states the Attorney General then decided to take over the proceedings in view of the importance of consistently prosecuting anti-Semitic crimes.”
December 1, 2021: The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office notifies Mr. Klaus Baumann of its decision to reopen the investigation of the Kiel public prosecutor’s office and taken over the case against Prof. Bhakdi pursuant to § 145 section 1 of the German Judicature Act (GVG). The letter is signed by the Chief Public Prosecutor Füssinger.
December 1, 2021: Chief State Prosecutor of Schleswig-Holstein, Silke Füssinger, sends a letter to the regional criminal police in Kiel requesting further investigations, in particular, what media or who disseminated the video and how it continues to be disseminated and if they, too, aided and abetted incitement to hatred. The letter states that the accused, Prof. Bhakdi and Kai Stuht, are granted the right to be heard.
December 14, 2021: The District Criminal Inspection Kiel, Inspection Unit 2, compiles a list of media and accounts which shared the video in question on various social media platforms at the request of the State Chief Prosecutor’s Office.
January 3, 2022: Mr. Sebastian Willing files a complaint via email to the prosecutor’s office at the Kiel Regional Court at 8:14 p.m. Mr. Willing alleges that Prof. Bhakdi committed the crime of belittling/trivializing the Holocaust by comparing the COVID-19 vaccination campaign to the Holocaust during a speech at a campaign event in Kiel on September 24, 2021 and urges them to investigate. Mr. Willing cites a twitter post containing a video excerpt of the speech. The text of the complaint is as follows:
Dear Sir or Madam,
According to § 160 I of the Code of Criminal Procedure, please take note with this email that Mr Sucharit Bhakdi has very probably committed a punishable offence against § 130 Ill of the Criminal Code.
Mr Bhakdi publicly commented on the Holocaust as follows:
“With the approval of the vaccines the first milestone of the agenda has been achieved and the race is on to achieve the ultimate goal. This ultimate goal is the creation of the new reality and involves nothing other than the second Holocaust.”
By putting the vaccination—which is demonstrably harmless—against the Corona virus on par with the Holocaust, he is belittling the genocide of the National Socialists in the 3rd Reich and thus fulfilling the constituent elements of § 130 III StGB [StGB = Criminal Code].
The original statement can be found here:https://twitter.com/humbughund/status/1478061571339341831
and in the attachment to this email. Since you have now become aware of the offence that has been committed, I ask you to commence an investigation.
I myself am not further connected with the matter and only want Mr. Bhakdi to be held accountable for his statement. Therefore, I request you to take this information as a cause for investigation, but not include my name in the file.
January 27, 2022: Silke Füssinger, of the State Prosecutor’s Office Schleswig-Holstein, requests the regional criminal police to further investigate the allegations made by complainant Mr. Willing. In particular, Prosecutor Füssinger requests that the video be officially retrieved and secured and that the circumstances of Prof. Bhakdi’s statements are to be clarified (when, where, size of audience). Prof. Bhakdi is to be heard. The allegations are Volksverhetzung and Belittlement of the Holocaust. “Investigation against Sucharit Bhakdi for incitement of the masses—formerly 590 Js 723/22 State Prosecutor’s Office Kiel, now 005 OJs 1/22 General Public Prosecutor’s Office Schleswig-Holstein.”
February 2, 2022: The state police (via official Torsten Neubert) notify Prof. Bhakdi’s then-attorney Sascha Böttner, informing him of new allegations in the case made by Mr. Willing. The police ask Mr. Böttner if he is prepared to defend Prof. Bhakdi against these allegations as well. The letter also requests power of attorney. Prof. Bhakdi is not informed of the allegations at this time.
February 9, 2022: Mr. Joshua Vogel, of LIDA-SH, (see: https://www.report-antisemitism.de/lida-sh/) sends an email with the subject line “First network meeting with LIDA-SH” to Chief State Prosecutor Füssinger thanking her for “the productive exchange yesterday.” The email includes three links:
- the video recording of Prof. Bhakdi’s speech on September 24, 2021 on https://twitter.com/Tzerberus1/status/1441790013268660230 and https://twitter.com/Tzerberus1/status/1441790180277428230,
- the letter from which the passages were taken from can be viewed at https://transition-news.org/stoppt-den-covid-holocaust-offener-brief-konzentrationslager-uberlebender,
- the video on the Youtube platform https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abhDm0OBODt8 [no longer available as of May 2023].
According to its website, LIDA-SH, “LIDA-SH is the independent reporting center for anti-Semitism in Schleswig-Holstein.”
February 14, 2022: Chief State Prosecutor Füssinger sends email to the state police via Torsten Neubert, in which she references a telephone discussion between him and her. In the email, she forwarded the previous email sent to her by Mr. Joshua Vogel, of LIDA-SH, on February 9, 2022, which includes the three links with excerpts from Prof. Bhakdi’s speech from Sept. 24, 2021, in Kiel (see entry above).
April 8, 2022: Lawyer Sascha Böttner issues a request to the Office of the Prosecutor General Schleswig-Holstein to dismiss the complaints filed by Dr. Elio Adler and Mr. Sigmount Königsberg against the suspension notices issued by the state prosecutor’s office Kiel on November 1, 2021 and November 11, 2021, file reference 590 Js 53609/21/ case no. 005 OJs 9/21 (which refers to the interview, cf. Section 1.1).
May 1, 2022: State Prosecutor’s Office issues a “directive” stating the decision by the prosecutor to bring charges against Prof. Bhakdi. The two proceedings (005 OJs 1/22 – speech and 005 OJs 9/21 – interview) are to be combined into one charge/case. (The proceedings against Kai Stuht are separate, and the authorities do not know where he is at this time.)
May 1, 2022: Prosecutor Füssinger requests a full copy of Prof. Bhakdi’s interview titled “Vaccination! Hell on earth!” with Kai Stuht from the police. The prosecutor asks for the police to review if Prof. Bhakdi’s statements that are the subject of the proceedings are freely available on the internet (even in excerpts).
May 1, 2022: The prosecutor’s office declares the investigation (005 OJs 9/21) complete.
May 1, 2022: The Attorney General’s Office Schleswig-Holstein, County Court of Plön, issues an indictment against Prof. Bhakdi. Case no. OJs 9/21.
May 9, 2022: Prof. Bhakdi issues letter to Office of Prosecutor General that lawyer Wilfried Schmitz has his power of attorney and is his lawyer.
May 10, 2022: Lawyer Sascha Böttner tells the chief prosecutor’s office/office of the prosecutor general that he no longer represents Prof. Bhakdi.
May 25, 2022: Defense lawyer Wilfried Schmitz issues the first memorandum of defense to the Plön Local Court. Schmitz requests the case be dismissed citing the Kiel Regional Court’s decision not to try the case. Schmitz asserts that “according to the case law of the BVerfG [federal constitutional court], a punishment for incitement of the people in general can only be considered if any other interpretation of the respective statement than the incriminated one can be excluded, that therefore the speech of the defendant of 24.9.2021 is to be appreciated in its entirety” in his document.
May 29, 2022: Prof. Bhakdi issues letter of attorney to lawyer Martin Schwab. Lawyer Martin Schwab is the lead lawyer on the case.
May 31, 2022: Defense lawyer Martin Schwab (Rechtsanwalt) issues a letter to the Plön Local Court in which he declares he has taken over the defense of Prof. Bhakdi (alongside Schmitz) and the mandating of other lawyers by Prof. Bhakdi remains unaffected by this. In the letter, Schwab, requests that the case be dismissed. Schwab’s document also states that the quotations torn from the context, which the indictment excerpts from the speech given on Sept. 24, 2021, do not meet the requirements outlined in Schmitz’ May 25, 2022 document. He references the supporting letters from the Jewish community, and he argues forcefully against the accusation of antisemitism.
June 13, 2022: Lawyer Schmitz sends letter to the Plön local court, transmitting an online article titled “is Professor Bhakdi a Volksverhetzer?” in support of his previous document (memorandum of defense) filed on May 25, 2022, to dismiss the case.
Unknown date: Lawyer Tobias Weissenborn is brought onto the case to replace Wilfried Schmitz.
October 4, 2022: Judge Dr. Grundmann notifies Lawyer Martin Schwab in a letter (received on Oct. 12, 2022) that he has opened the main proceedings for the charges brought against Prof. Bhakdi by the Schleswig-Holstein Public Prosecutor’s Office dated May 1, 2022. The letter does not address the objections raised by Schmitz and Schwab.
October 7, 2022: Prof. Bhakdi receives a letter from the Plön Local Court notifying him that the case will be heard on March 24, 2023.
December 2022: Lawyer Sven Lausen of Hamburg joins the legal team. As of May 2021, the legal team consists of three attorneys including Martin Schwab as the lead attorney, Sven Lausen and Tobias Weissenborn.
April 17, 2023: There is correspondence between the Schleswig-Holstein Attorney General’s Office and the Kiel District Criminal Investigation Department. A letter from the Schleswig-Holstein Attorney General’s Office to the Kiel District Criminal Investigation Department reads as follows:
“In the aforementioned criminal proceedings, it is to be assumed, based on the statements of the defense, that the speech of the defendant on September 24, 2021, at the Rathausplatz in Kiel is not yet completely on file as video or audio documentation. The three videos of the event on September 24, 2021, which according to the police note of February 14, 2022, have been saved via the Internet, may not completely cover the speech of the defendant that is the subject of the proceedings. Therefore, at the instigation of the Plön District Court, I request that an attempt be made to secure a complete recording of the speech.”
This letter was signed by Senior Public Prosecutor Füssinger.
May 2, 2023: the Plön Local Court forwarded to lawyer Schwab a letter from the Schleswig-Holstein Public Prosecutor’s Office, which in turn contained the forwarding of a letter from the Kiel District Criminal Investigation Department dated April 17, 2023. This letter in turn contains a CD-ROM with a video recording of the Kiel speech of the defendant, Prof. Bhakdi, from Sept. 24, 2021.
May 18, 2023: Lawyer Martin Schwab issues letter to the Plön Local Court requesting that Judge Dr. Grundmann be recused from the case due to prejudice. He describes the irregular circumstances under which the charges were brought against Prof. Bhakdi regarding the events which took place on and around April 17, 2023 and May 2, 2023. In particular, he points out that the charges were brought, and the hearing scheduled, even before the court had acquired and evaluated the crucial evidence in its entirety.
May 19, 2023: Lawyer Tobias Weissenborn issues a request for access to the remainder of the case file. If the file is not received by Monday May 22, 2023, he requests that the hearing scheduled for May 23 be cancelled.
May 23, 2023: Prof. Bhakdi’s court hearing to take place at 9:00 am at Amtsgericht Plön, Germany.
May 23, 2023: A one day hearing is held at Amtsgericht Plön. Judge Malte Grundmann finds Prof. Bhakdi not guilty on both charges.
May 25, 2023: Prosecutor Füssinger appeals the not guilty verdict. There are 2 types of appeals that can be applied in this case.
Following a verdict, the dissatisfied party may file an appeal to either enforce another court hearing in which the discovery of evidence is repeated, this kind of appeal is called “Berufung” in German OR the dissatisfied party may file an appeal to determine if the law was properly applied, this kind of appeal is called “Revision” in German. Regarding the latter, the facts on which the judgement is based are not called into question.
At this time, there is no written judgement in the Prof. Bhakdi case, and as long as there is no written judgement, the party who files an appeal may only decide which type of appeal to pursue until the written judgement is available to both the prosecution and defense. Prosecutor Füssinger has filed an appeal and will decide which appeal to pursue based on the written judgement.