The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/p/prutschi.manuel/zundel-affair/za-04

Subject: The Zundel Affair: A Report by Manuel Prutschi (4/11)


While enjoying these plaudits, however, he continued and intensified
his neo-Nazi activities, especially his literary endeavors. Nor was
he loath to employ his artistic talents for the cause. In 1976, a
series of multi-coloured, multi-lingual leaflets appeared, calling
for the release of Rudolf Hess from prison. They bore a Verdun,
Quebec, postal box number and were attributed to something called the
Western Unity Movement. The quality of the art suggested the work of
a professional. As no Western Unity Movement existed in Verdun or
elsewhere, the leaflets were soon traced back to Zundel, who had
simply rented a Verdun postal box as a drop for his propaganda
campaign. In 1977, he demonstrated his originality by producing some
tracts claiming that UFOs (unidentified flying objects) were Hitler's
secret weapon: a weapon still in use and being refined in secret
bases in the Antarctic and below the earth's surface.

A flyer advertising these extraterrestrial claims described them
(rightly) as "a radical departure from all previous UFO literature in
the English-speaking world."[27] The claims reported in the tracts,
it seems, "were researched in many languages on four continents, and
present a continuing story dating back to the middle of the 1930s,
when the first Nazi saucers were planned, right up to the present
day."[28] Zundel penned this material under his quasi-pseudonym of
Christof Friedrich. With characteristic puffery, his flyer described
himself, i.e., Friedrich, as "the multilingual-globetrotting author"
who was "in great demand as a lecturer and panelist on UFO and
psychic matters."[29]

Zundel did not limit his literary efforts to the outer edges of
neo-Nazi research; he also made substantial contributions to the more
traditional themes of antisemitism and white supremacy under the same
nom de plume. Thus, in a 1976 issue of The Liberty Bell entitled
"Four Books That Shook the World," he presented a two-page synopsis
of antisemitic articles from the 1920s that had first appeared in
Henry Ford's "Dearborn Independent". In the January 1970 edition of
"White Power Report," another product of White Power Publications, he
published an article entitled "Our New Emblem - The Best of Both
Worlds." This particular edition also described the activities of Don
Andrews and the small fascist organization that styled itself the
Western Guard (Andrews, a Balkan-born, Canada-raised antisemite and
white supremacist, was at the forefront of neo-Nazi agitation in
Toronto in the mid-1970s).

Obviously, Zundel had maintained his association with the various
Toronto neo Nazi groups, as well as with John Ross Taylor, the
neo-Nazi elder statesman in Canada. He was also present at a public
meeting of Ron Gostick's Canadian League of Rights in the Royal York
Hotel in Toronto in December 1977. During this time, Zundel began to
acquire a personal following, with meetings in his home attended by
guests in the dozens. Known neo-Nazis who gravitated to him included
Walter (or Wolfgang) Droege, an associate of Andrews, as well as
David Astle and Jack Prins, former associates of John Beattie. In
late 1977, Zundel organized his own group, "Omega," in association
with the Hungarian Geza Matrai, the man who had "jumped" Premier
Kosygin of the Soviet Union in 1971. This group absorbed Droege as
well as Armand Syksna. To distribute his neo-Nazi materials and
handbills, however, Zundel usually recruited hangers-on from the
entourages of Don Andrews and John Ross Taylor.

This Jekyll-and-Hyde existence was not without its personal toll. In
1975, his wife left him, fearful of death threats, as Zundel
explained in an interview in The Globe and Mail.[30] Since his own
profile was relatively low at the time, it is more likely that his
wife simply tired of his obsessions, and of the somewhat unsavoury
company that he kept. On the whole, Zundel managed to keep his dual
identity intact. There were occasional lapses, as, for example, when
Jewish businessmen dealing with him in a professional capacity
received hate propaganda by mistake, rather than the material under

One client, on entering Zundel's shop in mid-1976, found "a huge
rock-iron swastika on the wall, surrounded by portraits of Hitler and
other Nazis."[31] Still, these incidents were exceptions, and few
outsiders knew of his neo-Nazi persona. Hence, it was possible in
1976 for Hanoch Borda to write a rather straight story in The Toronto
Star daily feature "Whatever Became of...?" about the anti-Communist,
ethnic candidate in the Liberal party leadership race in 1968.[32]
Noting that "Ernest Zundel" had now dropped the "e" from his first
and last names, Borda did not realize that his subject had simply
returned to the original German spelling. The article raised the
possibility that Zundel might seek political office again: "I am
still young!"

The screening of the television miniseries "Holocaust" in April 1978
provided Zundel with a new opportunity for publicity and notoriety.
Under the cover of his newly launched front organization, "Concerned
Parents of German Descent," he picketed the screening of the series
and denounced its serialization in the press. The revelation, in Mark
Bonokoski's column in the Toronto Sun (1978), of Zundel's outright
neo-Nazism hardly deterred the self- appointed champion of German
national honour at all.

A few months later, in October 1978, together with his followers, he
staged a series of pickets in Toronto, Hamilton and Oshawa against
the film The Boys From Brazil. The protagonist in this film is Joseph
Mengele, the "Angel of Death" of Auschwitz, responsible for sending
hundreds of thousands to the crematoria, and infamous for his brutal
medical experiments. Mengele is portrayed as attempting to revive
Nazism through a variety of means, including the cloning of Adolf

In objecting to the film, Zundel declared: "It is unfortunate that
German people are either depicted as bungling Colonel Klinks with a
monocle or killers."[33] Subsequently, in January of 1979, he
organized a series of poorly attended demonstrations before the
Israeli Consulate, the West German Consulate and other German
agencies and businesses to protest the screening of the "Holocaust"
series in Germany. In his flyer, Zundel referred to East Germany,
West Germany and Austria as "the three German puppet States," and the
government of West Germany as the "West German Occupation
Regime."[34] Significantly, the flyer bore the name of Ernst Christof
Friedrich Zundel: at last, he had decided to cast off his double life
and devote himself openly to the cause.


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