Ursula Haverbeck
Ursula HaverbeckReuters

A German court decided on Wednesday that a notorious 91-year-old neo-Nazi serving a two-year sentence for Holocaust denial should not be released early, The Associated Press reported.

Ursula Haverbeck, known as the “Nazi grandma”, was convicted of incitement by a court in the northern town of Verden in 2017 and started serving her sentence last year.

Haverbeck has repeatedly asserted that the Auschwitz death camp was just a work camp. She has been convicted several times but long avoided prison due to lengthy appeals. Germany's highest court threw out her case against the Verden conviction in August of 2018.

It is common in Germany for people to be released after serving two-thirds of their sentence. Germanys’ dpa news agency reported, however, that the state court in Bielefeld, where she is in prison, said Wednesday it has decided not to release Haverbeck in January. It did not provide reasons for the decision.

German law makes it illegal to deny the genocide committed by Adolf Hitler’s regime, which in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in occupied Poland alone claimed some 1.1 million lives, mostly of European Jews.

Holocaust denial and other forms of incitement to hatred against segments of the population carry up to five years in prison in Germany, while the use of Nazi symbols such as swastikas is also banned.