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2.3 Ernst Zundel

by Bernie M. Farber

(Because of the central role Zundel plays within a number of
international hate networks, we have included a brief but
detailed look at his life and activities, excerpted from
Alan Davies' Antisemitism in Canada: History And
Interpretation . The chapter, The Zundel Affair, written by
Manuel Prutschi, can be found in Appendix A .)

Ernst Zundel oversees his international multi-media
propaganda operation from a crowded perch in a three story
Victorian house in Toronto's Cabbagetown. The Carleton St.
fortified bunker is strung with security devices, and
painted in the Red White and Black of his beloved
fatherland, Germany.

His home has been a regular meeting place for a veritable
Who's Who of the white racist and Nazi world. From British
author David Irving, to Mississauga's Paul Fromm, from
Germany's Bela Ewald Althans to Toronto's Wolfgang Droege -
they have all worked or paid their respects at "Zundelhaus".

Droege's public work with Zundel goes back to the early 80's
during the German-born publisher's first "False News" trial.
And in March 1991, Droege attended a Nazi conference in
Munich, Germany, sponsored by Zundel. The rally was broken
up by German police who arrested Zundel and charged him with
defaming the memory of the dead.

One month later Zundel attended a Hitler's Birthday bash
organized by the Heritage Front and gave the keynote speech,
advising the many skinheads in the audience to grow their
hair, clean up their act, and not get caught up in playing
"Hollywood Nazis".

But Zundel is perhaps most widely known for two convictions
under Canada's "false news law" that arose from his
distribution of a pamphlet denying the Holocaust. Those
convictions, however did not stand.

Despite the Ontario Court of Appeal-affirming Zundel' s
second conviction and upholding the "false new law" as being
constitutional, on August 31, 1992, in a 4 - 3 decision the
Supreme Court of Canada declared the "false news law"
unconstitutional. It was the decision of the majority of the
Court that the limit to free speech contained within the
section was too broad and therefore could not be justified
under section 1 of the Charter (see Appendix C).

While ostensibly this handed Zundel a significant victory,
the court's decision clearly dealt only with issues of
constitutional law. The court did not in any way dispute the
facts vis-a-vis Zundel being a Holocaust denier.

The Supreme Court's decision appears to have given Zundel,
at least in his own mind, a green light to put his Holocaust
denial machinery into full gear. As a result Zundel's
printing presses began to run in overdrive. By 1993 German
authorities were telling Metropolitan Toronto Police and
others that Ernst Zundel was considered to be one of the six
most important distributors of Holocaust denial material to
Germany. According to anti-Nazi magazines such as
Searchlight, much of Zundel's Holocaust denial material can
be found at neo-Nazi rallies in Germany and are read by
German skinheads and other neo-Nazi "wannabees."

Zundel was the key organizer of a neo-Nazi rally in Munich,
Germany in March 1991. While the German police had canceled
the event, law-enforcement officials arrested Zundel and
charged him with " inciting racial hatred" and "defiling the
memory of the dead" (which is in effect Germany's anti-
Holocaust denial law).

A number of months later Zundel was convicted of inciting
racial hatred based on his distribution of a video entitled
The Auschwitz Lie which in effect denies the Holocaust. He
was fined 12, 600 Deutsche marks ($10,800 Canadian) and
removed from Germany.

A number of Zundel associates have been convicted under
German hate legislation.

For example Fred Leuchter, a man who fraudulently claimed to
be an engineer and carried out a supposed study of the gas
chambers in Auschwitz, eventually concluding that they
couldn't have existed, was apprehended in Germany on charges
of inciting racial hatred and defiling the dead. Ernst
Zundel assisted Leuchter in gathering enough money so that
he might secure bail.

In Munich Germany, a young neo-Nazi by the name of Bela
Ewald Althans was the one chosen by Zundel to carry out his
work. Althans visited with Zundel on a number of occasions
in Toronto and was the subject of two rather stark
documentaries on the world-wide neo-Nazi movement. Both, one
produced by CBC's The Fifth Estate and the other by German
film maker Winfried Bonengal (Profession Neo-Nazi) portrayed
Althans as an unrepentant Hitler lover and the new look
German neo-Nazi. In July 1995 Althans was sentenced to 3 1/2
years in a German prison for "inciting racial hatred" and
"denying the Holocaust." It was his appearance in the
documentary Profession Neo-Nazi which provided the evidence
to convict him.

Zundel's ongoing activity in the Holocaust denial front does
not only centre on the production of Holocaust denial
material but the provision of funds and resources to those
outside of Canada (primarily Germany) that will push his
message forward. In an interview with CBC's The Fifth Estate
recorded in February 1993, Zundel confirms his ongoing work
with the German neo-Nazi movement.. Claims Zundel:

     "I have supported young groups in Germany, yes
     absolutely I have organized speaking tours for what I
     call Ernst Zundel's foreign legion; the intellectual
     foreign legions - information campaigns".

German authorities and others insist that through this kind
of support and distribution of materials Zundel has built
upon the publicity he gained in his two Canadian trials to
become viewed as a martyr for the neo-Nazi movement. It's a
movement which, in the early 90's, saw numerous racially
motivated assaults, arson, and murders. In the same CBC's
Fifth Estate program, Zundel suggested the number of racist
attacks in Germany was a fabrication. And when faced with
the charge that his propaganda activities were planting "the
seeds of Hate, and now the harvest is being reaped," Zundel
responded by saying:

     ".... I also have the right to export these ideas to
     Germany, I am a gift to this world. If people don't
     want to agree with it or not, I frankly don't give a

In Canada, Zundel's legal entanglements are complex..

A variety of groups, both Jewish and non-Jewish, have
pressed the police and the Attorney General's Office for
action regarding Zundel's activities. And Metro Toronto
police continue to closely monitor those activities, but to
date, this has not resulted in any formal legal action on a
criminal charge of promoting hatred.

Sabina Citron, formerly the president of the Canadian
Holocaust Remembrance Association and the woman who
originally brought the "false news" charges against Zundel,
did lay a private complaint against Zundel in mid 1995 for
Defamatory Libel and Conspiracy to promote hatred. The Crown
did not assume responsibility for the charge and when
brought before the courts the matter was dropped for lack of
evidence. Meanwhile, both Citron and Zundel are in the midst
of a civil procedure suing and counter suing each other for
defamation of character and libel.

Possibly fearing the chance of criminal charges which may
eventually lead to the potential for a deportation back to
Germany if successful, Ernst Zundel applied for Canadian
citizenship in late 1993. Following an investigation by CSIS
(Canadian Security Intelligence Service) it reached the
conclusion that Zundel should not be granted citizenship on
the basis that he is a security threat to Canada . Zundel
seized upon this opportunity to challenge the CSIS finding
and appealed to SIRC (Security Intelligence Review
Committee) the watchdog which oversees CSIS activities.

The appeal began in March 1996 and had an opportunity to
hear only one witness called by the federal government,
Bernie M. Farber, the National Director of Community
Relations for Canadian Jewish Congress. The SIRC hearings
are held in camera and are subject to the Official Secrets
Act. Nonetheless, in the middle of Mr. Farber' s cross-
examination by Zundel counsel Doug Christie, a decision was
made by the Zundel defense team to challenge SIRC's right to
hear Zundel's appeal. According to Zundel, SIRC, as
evidenced by their Dec. 1994 report to the Solicitor General
of Canada, The Heritage Front Affair. was biased against him
and would be unable to render a proper decision. The matter
was sent for judicial review to the Federal Court of Canada
which agreed with Zundel's position and stayed the
proceedings. The federal government has decided to appeal
this decision and at the time of writing the hearing is

However, this did not mark the full extent of Zundel's legal
woes. Late last year the Canadian Human Rights Commission
informed Zundel they were beginning an investigation of his
Internet activities in response to complaints they violated
the Canadian human rights law.

It was the position of the Toronto Mayor's Committee on
Community and Race Relations that it had reasonable grounds
for believing that Ernst Zundel was posting messages through
the Internet and his world-wide web site known as
"Zundelsite", which were in direct contravention of section
13(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA). Section 13
(1) states that it is contrary to the Canadian Human Rights
Act to discriminate against persons or groups of persons on
the grounds of race, religion, national or ethnic origin or
sexual orientation by telephonically disseminating messages
which are likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or

Zundel's web site which had been operating since the fall of
1995 provides texts of various Holocaust denial pamphlets
and articles including the pernicious Did Six Million Really
Die? the original document which Zundel published and made
him subject to charges in the 1980's

A federal Human Rights tribunal has been called to examine
these allegations and is expected to convene later this

In the meantime Zundel continues to be, in his own words,
the "guru" of national socialism in this country. He has in
this role become the mentor for a new phalanx of young neo-
Nazi toughs and has spurred some of them to become leaders
in their own right. In fact, one of the new young recruits
to the neo-Nazi movement and an individual who would play a
key role in the recruitment of young people from the metro
Toronto area into the neo-Nazi ranks studied assiduously
under the tutelage of Ernst Zundel: George Burdi.

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