The holocaust on trial The case of Ernst Zundel PDF ·


The holocaust on trial The case of Ernst Zundel Holocaust revisionism the uestioning of a systematic German policy to exterminate Europe's Jews mainly by poison gas was until very recently dismissed publicly in some uarters as the euivalent to the flat earth theory That is no longer the case as the exterminationists have at last been forced to marshall technical evidence of their own to counter the increasing visibility and influence of the revisionist position Something resembling a true debate or dialogue on the issue may finally be in the offing Should this come to pass it will be largely because of the enormous pressure generated internationally by the revisionists through the 1985 and 1988 trials of Toronto publisher Ernst Zundel The first Zundel trial was carefully covered by the Canadian media but the second trial suffered a virtual media blackout Yes it was this latter trial which heard the stunning testimony of men like Fred Leuchter the world's foremost authority on execution by gassing and other means and Ivan Lagace an expert on cremation These men and many other expert witnesses called by the revisionist defense team cast grave new doubts on the veracity of all traditional accounts of the Holocaust This book tells the story of Zundel's second trial an event that raises disturbing uestions about our understanding of what is perhaps the most emotionally charged chapter of history and about the proper limits of free speech in a democratic society This book is a condensation of the Second Holocaust Trial that played in Canada in 1988 It is a popularized version of trial proceedings and court documents written for easy mainstream reading highlighting a crucial highly complicated legal battle for freedom of speech and assembly Although the book was published before the highest court of Canada threw out the False News Law as unconstitutional the reader gets the flavor of this battle that hasn't ended yet because the forces that opposed Ernst Zündel from the start are gearing up to move in stronger Hate Law statutes to prevent him from having his say World wide his supporters are watching this battle Below is the author's introduction to this important volume pertaining to the trial in 1988 Just about everyone has heard that Adolf Hitler's National Socialist regime exterminated six million Jews during the Second World War What is not well known is that for some years now a small but persistent group of people who call themselves revisionists has been disputing the seemingly indisputable They insist that the Holocaust the systematic extermination of six million Jews most of them in gas chambers is a myth These people don't get much media attention and when they do are usually dismissed as cranks or anti Semites Canada's best known and most flamboyant revisionist is a gregarious and determined immigrant from Germany's Black Forest region named Ernst Zündel For publishing a slim booklet entitled Did Six Million Really Die? he was twice put on trial and convicted on a charge of spreading false news Regardless of what one might think of Zündel and his views much of the evidence presented by his witnesses and defense team in the Toronto Holocaust trial of 1988 cannot be dismissed out of hand The purpose of this book is to give it the fair hearing it deserves This book tells the story of Zündel's 1988 trial an event that raises disturbing uestions about our understanding of what is perhaps the most emotionally charged chapter of history and about the proper limits of free speech in a democratic society It is important to understand that those who reject the Holocaust story do not dispute that large numbers of Jews were deported to concentration camps and ghettos and that many Jews were killed during the Second World War Every serious revisionist acknowledges that Europe's Jews suffered a catastrophe during the Hitler years They were ruthlessly uprooted taken from their homes and herded into horribly overcrowded ghettos and miserable concentration camps where many of them perished Their property and their rights were taken away While conceding all of this the men and women who testified on Zündel's behalf gave their reasons for rejecting the idea that there was a German program to exterminate Europe's Jews and for disbelieving the stories about mass killings in gas chambers For example America's leading expert on gas chambers a Boston engineer named Fred Leuchter testified on April 20 and 21 1988 about his detailed on site investigation of the gassing facilities at Auschwitz Birkenau Auschwitz II and Maidanek Lublin supposedly three of Hitler's most notorious extermination centers Leuchter told the court that the alleged gas chambers at these camps could not possibly have been used to kill people Leuchter and a second witness Ivan Lagace also stated that the crematoria at Auschwitz Birkenau and Maidanek could never have been used to dispose of anything like the number of bodies alleged in the standard Holocaust literature Lagace operates the state of the art crematoria used by Calgary Canada Professor Robert Faurisson the leading French revisionist historian wrote of Leuchter's meticulous testimony I am convinced that during those two days I was an eyewitness to the death of the gas chamber myth And best selling British historian David Irving called Leuchter's technical report on his investigation a shattering document which hardened his growing conviction that portions of the orthodox Holocaust story are open to grave doubt Some students of the two Zündel trials are interested in their implications for freedom of speech This became a lively issue in Canada in 1970 when the Parliament ignoring warnings from many leading editors and publishers enacted a new section of the Criminal Code which makes it an indictable offense to promote hatred against any identifiable groupIdentifiable groups as it turned out do not include such allegedly secure groups as whites Christians Anglo Saxons and Germans The result which was foreseen by heads wiser than those prevailing in Ottawa has been the creation of two classes of Canadian citizens with widely differing rights This development resembles what was brought about by Affirmative Action or racial uota rulings by American courts Actually Zündel was never prosecuted under the group hatred act though other Canadians have been Those interested in putting him out of business resorted instead to an obscure and anachronistic section of the Criminal Code which states Everyone who willfully publishes a statement tale or news that he knows is false and that causes or is likely to cause injury or mischief to a public interest is guilty of an indictable offense and is liable to imprisonment for two years The false news which Zündel was charged with publishing was a 28 page revisionist booklet called Did Six Million Really Die? by an Englishman Richard Verrall under the pen name of Richard E Harwood It first appeared in Britain in 1974 and subseuently enjoyed a large underground circulation and numerous translations Zündel's Canadian edition added four pages of introductory and concluding remarks by himself The Harwood pamphlet is an early and hastily written revisionist work containing a number of fairly obvious mistakes To Sabina Citron an activist with the Canadian Holocaust Remembrance Association bringing a private complaint against it as false news it seemed like the surest means of prevailing against Zündel Bringing charges under the group hatred act reuires the consent of the provincial attorney general which was not forthcoming uite possibly because Harwood contains nothing hateful The origin of the false news law is an old English crime called De Scandalis Magnatum which first appeared in the statute books in 1275 and wasn't abolished by English law makers until 1888 In the thirteenth century the great nobles felt they were being slandered by peasants who went around reciting scurrilous ballads and rhymes Although this was the only outlet the common man had to protest his fate the nobility viewed it as intolerable When Canada's existing Criminal Code was enacted in 1892 the crime of false news somehow slipped into the law books Prosecution under this holdover from feudal times have been extremely rare In 1907 a merchant in Alberta of American origin was indicted for claiming in an advertisement that Canada was unfriendly to his former countrymen That was obviously a wicked lie the jury reasoned and convicted him In 1951 and 1970 prosecution under Section 177 then Section 166 resulted in acuittals Citron brought her private complaint against Zündel on November 18 1983 The province of Ontario under constant prodding by Jewish groups later took over the case What followed in early 1985 was widely called the Great Holocaust Trial Though Zündel was convicted and sentenced to 15 months in prison he proclaimed a victory of sorts which the Canadian media grudgingly conceded His 22 defense witnesses including half a dozen leading revisionists succeeded in bringing scholarly criticism of the Holocaust to a daily audience of millions Canada's reporters and their editors and publishers bound by traditional standards of fairness and legal restrictions on coverage of a trial in progress described the revisionist testimony each day with relative even handedness When the trial finally ended Canadian Jews erupted with volleys of scathing abuse for the nation's news media They had it was said given a parade of kooks from around the world a serious hearing they did not deserveThe full implications of this orchestrated denunciation which uickly blossomed into media haranguing conferences and workshops did not become obvious until January 1987 when a five judge panel of the Ontario Court of Appeal The Supreme Court of Ontario citing errors of law committed during the first Zündel trial overturned his conviction After the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the panel's decision a retrial was ordered by Ontario Attorney General Ian Scott At this point most of Canada's major Jewish organizations began reminding the media of their alleged sins in the 1985 trial They demanded that the kooks and hate mongers not be given a second hearing Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and their descendants would not be able to bear the trauma of seeing headlines that uestioned some of their testimony and travails The second Zündel trial in early 1988 received substantially less publicity than the first Jewish sensitivities were permitted to count for than the right of other citizens to be informed The censors prevailed Editors challenged by angry letters and phone calls to explain their negligence fell back on the stock argument that the Zündel case was news only the first time around The record clearly shows otherwise The revisionist testimony in the second trial much of it by new witnesses was even unsettling than that offered in the first Further the editors' own past comments regarding the extraordinary pressure to which they had been subjected could not be retracted Those who believe in selective freedom of speech had it both ways Zündel was prosecuted at their instigation yet the general press was nearly silent and only the Canadian Jewish News covered the story in detail Only Jews were able to avoid being kept in the dark So much for the concern for traumatized Jewish survivors Reconvicted and resentenced Zündel proclaimed another victory Though censorship kept many Canadians from hearing about the often stunning testimony on his behalf the transcript of the trial remained as a permanent public record After the trial Fred Leuchter made two simple observations which suggest that Zündel had reason to celebrate A major argument against Zündel's prosecution had been the uestion of how anyone could presume to know that he published the Harwood pamphlet knowing it to be false Is it possible for anyone judge or jury to look inside a man's mind? The forensic investigation of Auschwitz Birkenau and Maidenek made with a five person team utilizing the appropriate physical chemical and biological knowledge was undertaken entirely at Zündel's instigation and expense Had Zündel actually doubted his own claim that the gas chamber story is mistaken would he have dreamed of hiring America's foremost authority on gas chambers a man firmly convinced of the standard Holocaust story when he began to test the reality of the gassings? Leuchter marveled at Zündel's sincerity and self assurance in hiring him and at the bad faith of a judge and jury who to the end refused to concede Zündel's motives Leuchter's second point was his reply to a revisionist who had asked him Can't the other side hire its 'own' engineer to study the alleged gassing sites and make an opposite set of declarations under oath? Leuchter's reply was instantaneous Any engineer who would do such a thing would be committing professional suicide The laws of physics and chemistry are not suspended for Germans not even Nazi Germans This point has been made before by revisionists among whom engineers are prominent in refuting such fables as Elie Wiesel's geysers of blood appearing over Jewish mass graves It was made by Leuchter with regard to the gas chambers Nature is of a piece and the gassing stories simply don't fit Canada today is a nation at a crossroads Powerful elites have decreed that a lengthening list of books magazines and pamphlets dealing with a widening range of political religious and historical topics must be made inaccessible to ordinary citizens This censorship comes at a time when the nation faces unprecedented decisions concerning its political economic and cultural future One decision confronting Canadians is whether or not the Holocaust should pay a central role in their public life As in the United States Holocaust study ceremony and worship are on a phenomenal upswing with semi official liturgies actively promoted by government agencies and private corporations alike In his book Propaganda the French social philosopher Jacues Ellud warned of the contaminating impact which action can have on knowledge and beliefAction makes propaganda's effect irreversible He who acts in obedience to propaganda can never go back He is now obliged to believe in that propaganda because of his past action He is obliged to receive from it his justification and authority without which his action will seem to him absurd or unjust which would be intolerable He is obliged to continue to adhere in the direction indicated by propaganda for actions demand actionsThoughtful revisionists have asked Can a governor or mayor or chief executive officer who has wept in public about the gassings on nine occasions ever go back on his belief? Ellul would be doubtful Activity he said carried to a certain point makes belief superfluous Canada today is a land where most expressions of Holocaust revisionism have been banned The censors are unwilling to meet the dissidents in appropriate forums on anything like even ground Rather than addressing the problems raised by the Leuchters and the Lagaces the Faurissons and Irvings they have forced revisionism into a costly legal battle for survival Toronto publisher Ernst Zündel has been and remains the focus of this extraordinary Canadian fight which may be a harbinger for the United States One thing is certain However the lawyers and judges may decide the Zündel case and the case of revisionism the engineers technicians and allied historians will feel free to withhold support and to convene a court of their own Review by historian Mark Weber of the Institute for Historical Review also The Great Holocaust Trial The Landmark Battle for the Right to Doubt the West's Most Sacred Relic on the trial the Record Straight

  • 544 pages
  • The holocaust on trial The case of Ernst Zundel
  • Robert Lenski
  • 19 February 2014
  • 9780962322006

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