The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

No Citizenship for Zundel
Victoria Times-Colonist
February, 1994

© Copyright Victoria Times-Colonist

Many Canadians were incensed in 1991 when a senior Iraqi diplomat, Mohamed Al-Mashat, was granted immigrant status in Canada just two months after this country had been at war with Iraq.

Many more Canadians will be furious if Toronto publisher and Nazi-apologist Ernst Zundel is successful in his second bid for Canadian citizenship.

It's galling enough that, for more than 30 years, this individual has been able to turn Canada into one of the world's major exporters of vile, racist propaganda and revisionist tripe, all surrounding the claim that the Holocaust was an elaborate hoax.

Granting him full Canadian citizenship, with all the rights, privileges and obligations that status confers, would be a monstrous affront to Canada's reputation as a tolerant, enlightened society.

"What terrible crime have I committed," asks Zundel. The short answer to that question - none - has been delivered twice by Canada's legal system.

Zundel was tried and convicted twice for violating the Criminal Code by spreading "false news" in a pamphlet which questioned whether the Nazis killed six million Jews. He successfully appealed both times.

But Zundel is living proof that in a democracy, truly despicable behavior can be practiced safely within the bounds of legality. Under the guise of defending "free speech," he attempts to deny one of the greatest evils in the history of humankind, claiming that the horror stories of the Holocaust were a fraudulent scheme by Zionists to extract reparations from post-war Germany.

He has posed as a martyr in our courts - in 1985, he presented an abscene spectacle as he trudged to court for sentencing carrying a heavy wooden cross - and he has boasted that the resulting publicity for his warped views was worth millions of dollars.

In short, he is utterly unworthy of Canadian citizenship. An official of the federal Citizenship and Immigration department told a Toronto newspaper that the government "is going to try very hard" to deny Zundel's application," but it is "flawless."

If the latter statement is correct, it shows the inadequacies in Canada's criteria for citizenship.

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