One of the most notorious Holocaust deniers, Ernest Zundel recently lost his appeal in a Toronto court against deportation to Germany, where he was born.
German prosecuters immediately arrested and jailed Zundel upon his arrival in Germany. He had been sentenced to five years in prison for incitement and insulting and denigrating the memory of the dead.
The prosecuters had charged Zundel with sending hate material and anti-semitic and Holocaust revisionist over the Internet from both the United States and Canada.
During his stay in Canada, Zundel earned a reputation as one of the world’s foremost Holocaust deniers. In 2000 he moved to the United States, but was deported back to Canada in 2003 on a legal technicality. He was held in a Toronto detenction center until his recent deportation to Germany. So who is Ernest Zundel and why is he so dangerous?
Ernest Zundel was born in Germany in 1939 and lived there until 1958 when he emigrated to Canada. From 1958-2001 he resided in Canada. In 2001 he moved to Tennesse and lived there until he was deported back to Canada by U.S authorities in 2003. From 2003 to his recent deportation to Germany he was held in a Toronto detention center.
So what has Ernest Zundel done that has incurred the wrath of three powerful nations? He has had the audacity to question the accepted views of the Holocaust. And therein lies the problem. In Germany and many other countries simply questioning the holocaust is a crime. Basically Ernest Zundel is being persecuted for a belief.
It does not really matter to me if Zundel is right or wrong. His controversial investigations into the Holocaust are certainly interesting, but are ultimately unimportant. What really is important is the freedom to believe or say whatever one wants.
Some people believe Global Warming is a joke; other folks believe astrology is a science. They may be right, they may be wrong. Neither belief should be a crime. How can you legally hold someone responsible for an incorrect belief?
No other subject enrages Thought Police more than the subject of Holocaust Revision or Denial. Almost every other historical topic is open to debate. However influential groups with their own private agendas have made the Holocaust off limits. People should be encouraged to investigate the pros and cons of the Holocaust.
Upon first sight, Holocaust denial may seem preposterious. How, might you ask, can anyone deny what is supposed to be the most documented period in world history? Or maybe a much more fascinating question would be, WHY would anyone desire to deny the Holocaust? What motivations could behind such a stance? What is here to be gained through denial?
How should we respond to the Holocaust deniers? Should they simply be ingnored? Or should they be met head on? These and other important questions need to be addressed.
Many people, when they first encounter Holocaust denial or Revisionist arguments find themselves bewildered. Some of the Deniers arguments might seem to make some sense. But you wonder; How is this possible? After all the whole world believes the Holocaust story.
What really puzzles me is the reactions of the Holocaust Thought Police when they find their taboos are broken and the subject of Holocaust Revision or Deniel is given a public forum.
First they express outrage that such offensive and dangerous ideas are even being allowed to be expressed publicly. They generally avoid answering ar debating these ideas, claiming that to do so only gives the Deniers a forum or an air of legitimacy. Then they make vicious personal attacks against the Revisionist heretics, even resorting to labeling them as racist or anti-semitic.
They accuse the Revisionists of being hate-filled people whose only purpose is to promote Nazism or similar ideas.
Truthfully, many Holocaust Deniers do have an agenda of spreading the Nazi ideology. But,if Ernest Zundel is wrong–and certainly most of the world would support that idea–what better way is there to expose Zundel as a fool than by letting him hang himself with his own words? Why is it necessary to prosecute him for believing something that few people really want or care to hear?
Until recently, I had never heard of Ernest Zundel despite his long legal battles with the Canadian government. Over the years he has been put on trial twice before for the same “crime.” The list of his enemies is very long.
I am not denying the Holocaust here, I simply believe the subject should be openly and freely debated. The way the Holocaust is remembered today does a disservice to all of the other genocides of the 20th century. Anyone who disagrees with this is free to disregard my views and certainly should be free to do so.
However, such is not the case today. Simply travel to a country that has laws prohibiting a dissenting opinion on the Holocaust and you will find yourself in the same cell with Zundel. What is even more startling is the fact that he is being prosecuted because his website had the potential to reach German citizens. Does it frighten you that your own text, written and stored in an entirely different country online can be used against you in a foreign court. It should scare you!
It is a sad state of affairs that Germany is prosecuting one of its citizens for daring to think differently. Is this any better than what the former Nazis did in the past? The persecution of Ernest Zundel for his beliefs, right or wrong, only makes me think there is something to hide. Perhaps you may think otherwise, and that is your right in a supposidly free society.
The Story of Zundel
Who is Ernst Zundel, and Why is He in Jail?
Canada’s Number One Thought Criminal
Notes From Inside the Canadian Gulag
Complacent Canadians Forfiet Their Freedom