German Police Break Up neo-Nazi Rally Attended by Convicted Holocaust Denier

About 200 people participated in the Dresden event

A person holds a flag reading "No Nazis" as they protest against the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany Party (AfD) in Dresden, Germany, February 13, 2018.

Police in the eastern German city of Dresden on Saturday dispersed a rally of neo-Nazis that was attended by convicted Holocaust denier Gerhard Ittner. 

About 200 participants were present at the rally, which was stopped as police said at least one speech was seditious in nature. When the demonstrators sang the first verse of a Nazi-era song, police turned off the loudspeakers.

Several hundred others, meanwhile, launched a counterprotest.

Ittner was not allowed to speak at the rally because he is still facing a case of alleged sedition. The neo-Nazi was in 2015 sentenced to prison for distributing pamphlets denying the Holocaust between 2011 and 2012. 

Ittner caused nationwide protests in 2003 when he organized a right-wing gathering near the former Nazi party rallying grounds in Nuremberg.

Dresden marks the World War II bombing on February 13 and 14, 1945, each year. The Allied bombing devastated the city within a couple of days, killing up to 25,000 civilians.

Every year around this time, there are rallies by neo-Nazis, who claim the death toll from the bombings was far higher and use the anniversary to deny Germany's responsibility for the atrocities of the war. There are also counter demonstrations by leftist groups.