The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Zündel Affair

Manuel Prutschi


The Cause

Zündel utilized at least two postal drops: in Verdun, Quebec, and in Buffalo, New York. He relied on the latter particularly during the year when his postal privileges were suspended in Canada. His principal centre of operation, however, which served as headquarters, office and residence, was his house on Carlton Street, on the edge of downtown Toronto. An old, somewhat neglected, Victorian structure, it listed four different occupants on the front shingle: Samisdat Publications; Cariton Galleries; Idea Centre; Zündel Studios. They were, of course, one and the same.

Other organizations could have been listed as well, e.g., "Western Unity Movement" and "Concerned Parents of German Descent" and, in 1981, "The German-Jewish Historical Commission." Zündel, in a classic image inversion, named his principal publishing organ "Samisdat" - the term used by Soviet dissidents to describe their underground publications. "Idea Centre" no doubt referred to his firm, "Great Ideas Advertising." What great ideas emanated from this Canadian Carlton underground?

The central idea is simple enough: the Holocaust never took place, being a monumental fabrication by Jews or Zionists (two terms used interchangeably) to extract reparation money from Germany for themselves and for the state of Israel. The German people constitute the principal group victimized by this Jewish scam. Not only is the Holocaust described as a "legend," but its alleged victims, as well as those engaged in a so-called remembrance, are characterized as "holocaust racketeers."[35] The Holocaust, Zündel asserts, is

a gigantic hoax which cynically and diabolically aims at blackmailing the German people all over the world.... There were no "six million holocaust victims." There was no Nazi genocide programme. There were no gas chambers for "exterminating" Jews or anybody else. The Second World War caused tremendous suffcring on all sides - German and Jew, Axis and Allied. None were the victors; all were the victims. But I repeat THERE WAS NO JEWISH HOLOCAUST.[36]

This claim is elaborated elsewhere: "My conclusion... is that no such extermination programme ever existed and that it is wartime hate propaganda masquerading as history."[37] Zündel is thus among the proponents of historical revisionism, or Holocaust denial - the new antisemitism of the late twentieth century. Integral to this allegation is the view that World War II was basically a conflict between two peoples, the Germans and the Jews, each with its own constellation of allies. In one of his flyers, this notion is explicit: "We do not deny that many Jews and their allies suffered and even died in World War II, nor do we omit to mention the fact that many millions of Germans and their allies suffered and died in that conflict.[38]

The apposition of Germans and Jews is, of course, misleading. "Germans" really stand in this context for Nazi Germany, a powerful, technologically advanced, fully armed, modern state, whereas the Jews in the Nazi era constituted an unarmed, defenseless, civilian population in a number of states where their status and security was more or less uncertain. Yet, in one sense, the apposition is not misleading; it reflects the brutal fact that, between 1939 and 1945, Nazi German did indeed fight two wars, World War II and a special war against the Jews. Zündel and other deniers regard the Jews as having "started the Hatemongering which led directly to World War II," and as having "declared a 'holy war' against Germany" in late March of 1933.[39]

Ironically, this charge was inspired by an old headline in the London Daily Express, "Judea declares war on Germany";[40] the latter, however, referred to Jewish reactions outside of Germany to Nazi-inspired Jew-baiting after Hitler's accession to power in 1933, i.e., demonstrations and calls for the boycott of German goods. According to Zündel, therefore, the Jews brought the war on themselves: this theme is recurrent. Thus, the Jews are blamed for Kristallnacht in November 1938: "Mysterious people wearing SS uniforms suddenly appeared out of nowhere, set fire to the synagogues and just as suddenly and mysteriously vanished. The same tactics as the Zionists used against Germany as partisans, maquis and as members of the Jewish Brigade: false uniforms, false documents, etc."[41]

One truth is absolute as far as the propagandist is concerned: whatever happened to the Jews in the Nazi era, the Third Reich was not responsible: "in the Hitler period thousands of Jews emigrated to Palestine with the knowledge and assistance of the German authorities in co-operation with the Zionists... [T]he German breakdown brought with it the breakdown of Jewish emigration."[42] In other words, all was well under Hitler; matters only took a turn for the worse when the Nazi order collapsed. After the war, as nature's ingrates, the Jews were consumed by a bloodthirsty passion for vengeance against Germans. "I must kill a German in cold blood and I must rape a German girl" are the words Zündel puts into Jewish mouths.[43]

It was the Jews, he suggests in one of his newsletters, who tried to assassinate Konrad Adenauer in 1952.[44] Indeed, as well as concocting the Holocaust, the Jews, at once capitalists, communists and Freemasons, have been busy manipulating world events and the media for their own ends. Working directly, or through agents, they direct hate propaganda against the Islamic nations and eastern Europeans, as well as the Germans and the Japanese. "Zionists never stop at words. Their words of hate always precede their hateful deeds."[45]

As Satanic assassins and murderers, they are responsible for mass tortures, deportations, murders, and all imaginable kinds of calamities - indeed, as one commentator has put it, "for evils that could be generated only by the four horsemen of the Apocalypse or by a full regiment of apocalyptic cavalry."[46] According to Zündel, they have well nigh achieved the destruction of the West and represent a constant danger to world peace. In one of his publications, "Samisdat Battletips," he writes that, at times, Jewish deeds do compel Germans "to use fighting methods that are not exactly according to the rules of German chivalry, honesty and fairness."[47]

While "Jew" and "Zionist" are used interchangeably, "Zionist" is usually preferred for at least two reasons: (1) It can be more easily employed to denote something evil, e.g., as the "liars-for-hire," "pogrom-propagandists," - and "Zion-nazis," whereas the term "Jew" includes Jewish groups. such as the hasidic Neturei Karta, as well as certain individuals, such as Alfred Lilienthal and Richard Arens. who are useful because they oppose the State of Israel on principle;[48] (2) "Zionist" is also preferable because the Canadian anti-hate law specifically limits the types of groups protected from victimization.[49] Zündel writes: "Zionism is a political movement, not a racial movement.... [T]herefore any criticism of Zionist policy cannot be 'racism'."[50] As, moreover, "no Zionist is 'a member of an identifiable group' under the Criminal Code, anymore than Liberals or Conservatives, can such criticism constitute "hate" under the Criminal Code?"[51]

This awareness of the ambiguities of the law is evident elsewhere as well. "The so-called 'Holocaust' is a historical topic, not a 'race' or 'religion' and the condemnation of the one implies in no way a condemnation of the others." Moreover, his plea continues, "dissent is not 'hate' and disagreement is not 'genocide', nor are my intentions 'hateful' or 'murderous'."[53]

In a circular making a sales pitch for books and cassette tapes, he disassociates himself and one of his organizations expressly from part of the content: "although these items do not always reflect the viewpoints of the members or officers of Concerned Parents of German Descent, they have been selected for their generally informative and topical content."[54]

The proposition that no mass murder of Jews ever took place implies that there were no war criminals. It follows, therefore that such persons found after the war must be defended against judicial action at all costs. The case of Albert Rauca is a good illustration. Rauca was accused of the murder of over 11,000 Lithuanian Jews in the ghetto of Kovno. In late 1982. he was extradited from Canada to West Germany, but died before standing trial. To Zündel, he was an innocent man persecuted by the media: "TRIAL BY MEDIA - MURDER BY MEDIA" is how Rauca's plight was described. The case of John Demjanjuk, an American citizen accused of having been "Ivan the Terrible," a sadistic and murderous guard at Treblinka, is another illustration. In late 1985, Demjanjuk's extradition to Israel to face trial was ordered.

To Zündel, Demjanjuk is merely another innocent victim of a Jewish smear. His SS uniform was a fake, and his identification card as an SS concentration camp guard was "crudely forged, Soviet KGB-supplied."[55] Past political inaction regarding suspected Nazi war criminals is exploited to hinder any future action. "In Canada, almost a dozen Solicitor Generals and nearly half as many Prime Ministers treated Zionist agitation about war crimes with the extreme caution the issue deserves. Were these men all derelict in their duties or were all these Canadians secret Nazi sympathizers?"[56]

The extradition of Rauca under Solicitor General Robert Kaplan - a Jew - is ascribed to "Zionist pressure" in order "to turn his ministry into branch office for Simon Wiesenthal."[57] In Zündel's view, these alleged offenders are innocent, elderly persons, often anti-Communist, who only wish to live out their lives peacefully in the country of their adoption. "Individuals who have resided in Canada for 36 years without having run afoul of the law, many of them contributing valuable knowledge of Communism's inner workings and evil designs to Canada's defense, are now to be dragged out of retirement and old people's homes."[58] Such sacrificial lambs to a Jewish-instigated "war crimes hysteria" should be protected by responsible Canadians.

Zündel's other favourite passion is the glorification of the Third Reich. "We stand fast, true to our past and to our people," he proclaims to his German-language audience.[59] Which past he means is not in doubt. "The generation of our fathers had their Horst Wessel and Leo Schlageter! They sacrificed their life for our people. Can we do less?"[60] Wessel, a pimp and thug who died in a beer-cellar brawl, was immortalized in the Nazi hymn, "The Horst Wessel song"; Schlageter was no better.



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