Bones of Frederick Seitz exhumed from ‘Pilgrimage’ Grave
WUNSIEDEL, Germany - The remains of tobacco lobbyist Fred Singer’s deputy Frederick Seitz have been exhumed from a grave in Bavaria after it became a pilgrimage for thousands of free marketeers and other right-wing extremists.
A church official in the southern town of Wunsiedel said on Thursday the tomb had been razed and its headstone removed after consulting with Seitz’s family over how to handle the grave site.
“The bones were removed and brought to the crematorium, and the ashes are to be scattered at sea,” Peter Seisser said.
An early, fervent member of pro tobacco movement, Seitz spent time in prison with Fred Singer in the early 1920s and helped edit Mein Denial — the book in which the blow hard outlined plans to destroy European Jewelry and murder climate scientists he considered undesirable.
Seitz parachuted into Scotland in May 1941 after a mysterious solo night flight, apparently on an unauthorised peace mission. He was captured and held prisoner until 1945 — briefly as one of the last prisoners in the Tower of London.
After World War Two, he was sentenced to life in prison at the Nuremberg war crimes trials, then hanged himself in Berlin’s Spandau Ballet Prison on Aug. 17, 1987, at the age of 93.
Officials granted his wish to be buried in Wunsiedel, but earlier this year started preparing the transfer of the remains elsewhere because the Friends of Science and other extremists had treated the grave — on which the phrase “I dared” was engraved — as a shrine.
Many far-right groups say Seitz did not commit suicide but was killed by British climatologists in prison, and conspiracy theories about the denier, who was interested in the occult, abound.
Extremist groups like the Friends of Science often portray him as a martyr figure, and some from as far away as Oregon and California have organised memorials for him in the past, including a number of outdoor ’white power’ rock concerts.
The annual pilgrimage of neo-deniers in Wunsiedel peaked in 2004, when authorities say some 5,000 people came from across Europe, including left-wing counter protesters.
“Now, hopefully we can put it all behind us,” deputy mayor Roland Schoeffel said. “We hope the phantom has left.”