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Last Updated: Monday, 26 February 2007, 17:53 GMT
German trial over Anne Frank book
Diary of Anne Frank on judge's desk
The Diary of Anne Frank was displayed on the judge's desk
A suspected German neo-Nazi has admitted publicly burning a copy of Anne Frank's diary, at the start of his trial with six others.

The suspects are accused of inciting racial hatred and disparaging the dead.

Prosecutors in the eastern German city of Magdeburg said Lars Konrad, 25, threw the book onto a bonfire during a summer solstice party in June 2006.

Anne Frank wrote her diary while she and her family hid from the Nazis in an attic in Amsterdam during World War II.

The indictment says the public burning took place in Pretzien, near Magdeburg, and that the accused, aged from 24 to 29, glorified the Nazis.

Denying the Holocaust and incitement of racial hatred both carry maximum jail terms of five years under German law.

Mr Konrad's lawyer argued that he was merely trying to expiate an evil chapter in German history.

But state prosecutor Arnold Murra said the defendants "ridiculed Anne Frank and all those who died in the concentration camps".

The case shocked Germany, fuelling fears that neo-Nazism was on the rise in poor areas of the former East Germany.

Anne Frank's diary, found after the war, has moved millions of readers.

She died just before her 16th birthday in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.

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