Here's To You, Ernst Zundel
A Lonely Voice of Courage
At the beginning of this month, the historical revisionist and publisher Ernst Zundel was released from prison in Mannheim, Germany, after seven years incarceration. Two of these were spent in solitary confinement in Canada after Zundel was seized at his home in Tennessee and deported under a trumped-up charge of violating an immigration regulation, after which he was subjected to a medieval-witch-style of court hearing in which neither he nor his attorney were allowed to know who his accusers were or the nature of the evidence against him. Although the law under which he was convicted has since been thrown out by the Canadian Supreme Court as unconstitutuonal, it didn't prevent his further deportation to Germany and certain imprisonment under the absurd grounds that material posted on his U.S. web site could be accessed there, where expression of its content is illegal. By the same cuckoo logic, an American bookstore owner could face extradition because of a banned book taken home by a German tourist.
Zundel's crime? Daring to question certain aspects of the official version of World War 2 history that a number of countries in today's European gulag have made it a criminal offense not to believe. Under any civilized system of law, an individual accused of murder has the right to be heard and to present evidence in his defense. But when an entire nation is accused of murder on a mass scale, claims that are wildly fantastic, mutually contradictory, and defy common sense and often physical possibility are allowed to stand unchallenged, truth is openly declared to be irrelevant, no evidence for defense is admitted, and even defense attorneys for the accused can be charged and imprisoned as being guilty of the same offense. Need it be said that truth does not need this kind of protection?
Michael Hoffman pays an eloquent tribute to Ernst Zundel's integrity and courage here. It reads in part:
Zundel's merciless persecutors have learned nothing from history. In their hubris, in their certainty that they will prevail and control and edit the future, they believe they can demonize, imprison and torment prisoners of conscience with impunity. The Romans imagined this about the early Christians, the French Catholics about the Huguenot, the German Lutherans about the Anabaptists, the New England Puritans about the Quakers, the Anglicans about their recusant Catholic countrymen, and the Soviets about the Eastern Orthodox. Yet, in each case history teaches that in time, the severely oppressed dissidents emerged stronger than ever.
This too is the destiny of World War II revisionists, though today, in the midst of intense persecution and witch-hunting, it is a future difficult for many to envision. In this sense, Ernst Zundel, even at age 70, is not a man of the past, but of the future.
See here for an outline of Zundel's work and background, written shortly after his original arrest.