A judge in Germany has been handed a suspended jail sentence of two years in prison as a result of his opposition to school mask mandates in the country. (EPA-EFE/CLEMENS BILAN)


German judge handed suspended jail sentence over school mask-mandate opposition


A judge in Germany has been handed a suspended two-year jail sentence as a result of his opposition to school COVID-mask mandates in the country.

Family court judge Christian Klaus Siegfried Dettmar was suspended from his position in 2021 after ruling that a mask mandate over the COVID outbreak that was in place in two local schools was illegal.

The judge’s ruling was quickly overturned at the time, with it being found that his family court did not have the competency to rule on the situation.

Dettmar’s offices were subsequently raided by police, with a criminal case being lodged against the judge for “disregarding judicial independence for irrelevant reasons”.

According to the district court in Erfurt, Dettmar’s initial ruling was illegitimately biased, with it deciding that the family court judge had justified his ruling using sources overwhelmingly critical of COVID lockdown measures.

While prosecutors sought for Dettmar to be handed three years in prison without parole, the court ruled such a sentence to be excessive due to how much German society was divided by the rules at the time.

Dettmar has repeatedly claimed the allegations against him were unfounded, adding that he was simply taking into account the “everyday life” of schoolchildren affected by the mask mandates.

“To this day I don’t know why I’m sitting here,” he said. “I saw danger ahead. The expert opinions I use come from experienced university professors.”

Numerous supporters reportedly cheered Dettmar as he left the district court, with some said to have hugged him amid shouts of “freedom”.

Since finally dropping its COVID lockdown rules earlier in 2023, Germany has been dealing with the legacy impact of the regulations, which were often some of the most draconian in Europe.

Researchers and German Government officials appear to be in agreement that children have borne the brunt of the long-term damage, with as many as one in four fourth-graders in the country now unable to read properly after repeated school closures.

In addition, around three in four children under the age of 18 have been left with some form of psychological issue post-lockdown, government officials have said, with the country’s health minister Karl Lauterbach now saying that Germany’s decision to shut schools for so long was probably a mistake.