Christian Dettmar, the Weimar judge who ruled school mask mandates unconstitutional, is convicted of judicial impropriety and given a two-year suspended prison sentence
On 8 April 2021, the Weimar family judge Christian Dettmar ruled that mask mandates and other Covid hygiene measures were contrary to the well-being of children, and for this reason unconstitutional and legally invalid. He ordered that almost all hygiene measures at two Weimar schools be lifted, making headlines across Germany. The Thüringen Ministry of Education appealed immediately, and a higher court in Jena quickly reversed his ruling. Thereafter, the state prosecutor in Erfurt opened a criminal investigation against him. By the end of the month, the police had raided his office, his car and his apartment. He was ultimately charged with the crime of Rechtsbeugung, a distortion or a bending of the law; this Wednesday, he was convicted by the Erfurt Regional Court. His judges sentenced him to two years of imprisonment – less than the three years the prosecution had sought – and suspended the sentence in favour of probation. His lawyers have already appealed.
Especially in Anglosphere alt-Covid circles, Dettmar’s conviction has provoked outrage. In Germany, too, Dettmar has many committed supporters; near-constant demonstrations accompanied his trial, and a rotating group of protestors filled the courtroom, at times heckling his judges. Almost alone in a German judiciary that eagerly collaborated with the openly unconstitutional Covid regime, Dettmar is understandably a hero, and although he will never see prison, he’ll pay a substantial price for his attempt to spare Weimar students from mask mandates nonetheless. The conviction entails the loss of his judicial office and therefore of his substantial pension, which is a serious blow for any 60 year-old civil servant approaching retirement.
The German press reported eagerly on Dettmar’s original ruling, the police raids on his home, and his charges, but their interest in the trial and prosecution of this unique case has been rather more limited. Nobody wants to talk about the insane Covid measures imposed on schoolchildren anymore. I will confess that I’ve been reluctant to write about Dettmar, too, but for other reasons. As much as I’d like to pen a diatribe against the arbitrary Covid hygiene dictatorship and the complicity of the German judiciary, I find his case more ambiguous than many sympathetic writers have allowed.