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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/p/prutschi.manuel/zundel-affair/za-01

Subject: The Zundel Affair: A Report by Manuel Prutschi (1/11)
Followup-To: alt.revisionism

The following is Manuel Prutschi's _Introduction_ to his 1992 article, 
"The Zundel Affair." 

The article is being provided, in 11 parts, in the newsgroups
alt.revisionism and No additional parts
will be published in other newsgroups. Those of you who are 
interested in Mr. Zundel's career who cannot access the two 
newsgroups noted may obtain the entire article, in one piece, as
zundel-affair/the-zundel-affair [wrapped for readability], or

in HTML format, on the Nizkor web. A link to both versions has
been provided on our "What's New?" page...

Archive/File: people/p/prutschi.manuel/zundel-affair/za-01
Last-Modified: 1996/04/23

[Typos are Nizkor's.]

                           The Zundel Affair
                            Manuel Prutschi


On November 18, 1983, Mrs. Sabina Citron of the Canadian Holocaust
Remembrance Association went before a justice of the peace to swear
out charges against Ernst Zundel under the "false news" section of
Canada's Criminal Code.[1] This section makes it a crime to produce
and disseminate wilfully material which is false, known to be false,
and damaging to a public interest. The action began as a private
complaint; however, the Crown took the case over in January 1984. 

By the time of the preliminary hearing in June, the indictment involved
two separate charges: (1) the publication of a four-page letter
entitled "The West, War and Islam" advancing the notion of a
conspiracy by Zionists, bankers, communists and Freemasons to control
the world; (2) the publication of a 30-page pamphlet entitled "Did
Six Million Really Die?" stigmatizing the Holocaust as a "colossal
piece of fiction and the most successful of deceptions."[2] The Crown
also specified the affected public interest as that of social and
racial tolerance.

Ernst Zundel was already familiar to the Jewish community as a
hatemonger. Moreover, government officials, both federal and
provincial, had become aware of him and had explored various legal
avenues long before criminal charges were actually laid. The Canadian
Holocaust Remembrance Association had played a significant role in
the imposition of an interim mail ban on November 13, 1981, a
prohibitory order that was repealed almost a year later.[3] 

Mrs. Citron's group, as well as other Jewish organizations, had also
pressed the attorney general of Ontario, Roy McMurtry, to prosecute
Zundel under Canada's 1970 anti-hate law, which makes it a crime to
advocate genocide or wilfully to promote hatred against an
identifiable group as defined by race, colour, ethnicity or
religion.[4] McMurtry was sensitive to Jewish concerns, but hesitated
in pressing charges because he feared that some of the provisions in
the Criminal Code might allow Zundel to escape with an acquittal.

Mrs. Citron, impatient with the lack of action, decided to lay a
private charge under the "false news" section, which did not require
the consent of the attorney general. Although he had the power to
stay this charge, McMurtry chose instead to take control of the case.
To have stayed the charge would have been tantamount to granting
Zundel a second triumph, after his initial victory in the postal-ban
hearing. A private prosecution would have been highly unusual in
Canada and would have shown a less than forceful attitude toward the
merchants of hate. Furthermore, there were "reasonable grounds" for
proceeding, and these were sufficient.

Mrs. Citron, in effect, had forced the hand of the attorney general.
A Holocaust survivor herself, she regarded individuals such as Zundel
as responsible for her own personal tragedy. Almost certainly, the
object of her attention understood why she was bound by past
obligations to "slay the Nazi dragon on Carlton Street."[5] Zundel
was far from perturbed at the legal action initiated against him. He
had expected it and, indeed, eagerly anticipated it. In fast, it is
possible that he printed the Holocaust denial pamphlet "Did Six
Million Really Die?" as a deliberate toss of the gauntlet. He
promised to fight the case all the way to the Supreme Court.[6]

[Continued in alt.revisionism and]

                              Work Cited

Prutschi, Manuel. "The Zundel Affair," in Davies, Alan, Ed.
Antisemitism in Canada: History & Interpretation. Waterloo, Ontario:
Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1992, pp. 249-277. Courtesy
Canadian Jewish Congress.

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