Archive/File: orgs/canadian/canadian-jewish-congress/marches-to-modems/mtm-002-03 Last-Modified: 1997/03/30 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 damn." 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 pending. 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 contempt. 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 year. 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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