The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Citizenship Battle
Jewish Western Bulletin
April 12, 1996

© Copyright Jewish Western Bulletin, April 12, 1996

Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel
gears up for May 6 Canadian citizenship hearing.

Roberta Staley, Staff Reporter

Ernst Zundel is getting a breather in his battle for Canadian citizenship. Mr. Zundel will reappear May 6 at a Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) hearing into whether he is a threat to Canadian security and should be deported.

"If this SIRC committee were to find I'm the ogre that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service makes me out to be, (I'll) be out of the country," Mr. Zundel said by telephone from his Toronto home.

Mr. Zundel recently lost a Federal Court battle to have a stay of proceedings of the SIRC hearing. The committee is reviewing a finding by CSIS that Mr. Zundel is not eligible for Canadian citizenship because he is a threat to the security of Canada. He has been convicted in his native Germany for Holocaust-denial writings.

The SIRC hearing ran for 2.5 days starting March 25, but was put over until May due to scheduling problems, said Mr. Zundel. A SIRC official in Ottawa refused comment on the case.

Once the hearing is wrapped up, SIRC officials will release their recommendations to Canada's Department of Citizenship and Immigration which could launch deportation proceedings against Mr. Zundel, who is a landed immigrant.

On another front, Mr. Zundel boasts victory.

Toronto's Sabina Citron's defamation suit against Mr. Zundel for conspiracy to spread hatred in a public place against an identifiable group was dismissed March 15 in Ontario provincial court for "lack of evidence."

The suit was based upon Mr. Zundel's 1994 publication Power and a show by CBC TV's investigative news program, The Fifth Estate. Mrs. Citron, who could not be reached for comment, has pledged to launch a civil action suit against Mr. Zundel.

The Holocaust-denier's actions are also being felt on the West Coast. Victoria lawyer Gary Botting is crying oful after learning Ernst Zundel is using an 11-year-old videotaped interview with him to promote his cause.

"He's using my words and my statements to lay a groundwork of credibility for his neo-Nazi program," Botting, 53, said in a telephone interview from Victoria after a March 29 media conference disavowing links to Mr. Zundel.

[Photo of Ernst Zundel, captioned "Ernst Zundel faces possible legal action from Victoria lawyer Gary Botting, who disavows links to the Holocaust denier.]

Mr. Botting's statements were recorded during the time he appeared as an expert witness on censorship during Mr. Zundel's 1985 trial for violating Canada's hate laws. The former journalist and English instructor's testimony related to Mr. Zundel's publication Did Six Million People Really Die?

Mr. Botting said he supported the publication of Mr. Zundel's booklet, a position he still upholds. "I thought he had the right to do so. I stand by whatever I said there, but I see in retrospect that Mr. Zundel had an agenda that nobody could have guessed, and now is a force to be reckoned with as the most preeminent neo-Nazi in all the world."

Although Mr. Zundel was convicted, the Supreme Court of Canada later overturned the decision, saying the Criminal Code's "false news" prohibition violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Mr. Botting said he'll take legal action if the video, part of Mr. Zundel's The Voice of Freedom video collection, continues to be promoted.

Mr. Zundel said he's willing to discuss Mr. Botting's concerns. "If necessary I'll put a disclaimer in the video," Mr. Zundel said.

Mr. Botting says he's neither anti-Semitic nor a Holocaust denier. However, Sol Littman, Canadian spokesman for the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, disagrees. Mr. Littman points to Mr. Botting's association with Douglas Christie, the Victoria-based lawyer for such Holocaust revisionists as Jim Keegstra, Mr. Zundel and David Irving. Mr. Botting articled with Doug Christie after completing his law degree, Mr. Littman said.

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