Zündel's Office-Home Damaged in Arson Attack Zionist Group Claims Responsibility

Published: 1995-05-01
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A criminal arson attack on Sunday morning, May 7, badly damaged the headquarters and home in Toronto of German-Canadian publicist Ernst Zündel.

"It was set on fire, and it's possible an accelerant was used," a Toronto police officer said. Authorities estimate damage at approximately $400,000 to the building and the contents inside, including most of a large library. In addition, three tenants in an adjoining building, which suffered an estimated $200,000 in damage, were made homeless by the attack.

Most of Zündel's building survived the fire, which was set from the outside. His recording studio and equipment, as well as office computers, most of the office archives, and a large stock of audio and video tapes survived the attack. "My Holocaust documentation and my file systems are, apart from water damage, safe," he says.

From his two-story home-office near the Toronto city center, the German-born civil rights activist publishes and distributes Third Reich literature and cassette tapes as well as Holocaust revisionist books and booklets, and newsletters in both German and English.

Zündel's house was damaged in a pipe bomb attack in 1984, and has been the target of several protest demonstrations. In recent years it has been attacked by mobs organized by the "Anti-Racist Action" and other local leftist organizations.

At the time of the attack, Zündel was away in western Canada to meet with his attorney, Douglas Christie, to discuss possible legal measures against those who recently had been intimidating and harassing him. Jerry Neumann, a Zündel colleague, was in the building at the time of the attack. He was not injured.

Police had no immediate suspects, although a time-lapse surveillance video camera recorded a lone man in a white canvas hat as he approached the house, poured liquid from a red gas can, and struck a match. A neighbor has also provided police with a good description of the criminal.

"A shadowy offshoot of the Jewish Defence League has claimed responsibility" for the arson attack, the Toronto Sun reported (May 9). "A man claiming to be with the 'Jewish Armed Resistance Movement' contacted" the newspaper to say that the group was responsible. The call was traced to "Kahane Chai," a radical Zionist organization based in New York, the Sun reported.

Toronto JDL leader Meir Halevi denied any involvement with the attack.

A few days later, though, on the afternoon of May 12, Halevi and several other persons tried to break in to Zündel's fire-and water-damaged house. With him were Irv Rubin, leader of the Jewish Defense League of Los Angeles, and two "Anti-Racist Action" members.

Two Zündel colleagues photographed and identified the attackers. After a police chase, with Ernst Zündel riding in one of the police cars, the attackers were apprehended. They were released after questioning. (The Jewish Defense League has been identified by the FBI as a criminal and terrorist organization. For more about this, see The Zionist Terror Network, a 20-page illustrated booklet available from the IHR for $5.25, postpaid.)

Canada's media deserves a large share of responsibility for the criminal attack, Zündel says, because for years it has promoted a climate of hate by slandering and misrepresenting him and his work. He also puts some blame on some law enforcement agencies and a segment of Canada's "Human Rights industry" both of which have shown a consistent lack of even-handedness.

Zündel vows to remain in the building, and has announced plans to repair the damage. "I have been beaten, bombed, spat at... but Ernst Zündel will not be run out of town," he says. With some improvisation, he and his colleagues are carrying on work at almost the normal pace. "My work is legal and legitimate, and enjoys constitutional protection under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms," he says.

In two drawn-out trials in Toronto in 1985 and 1988, Zündel defended himself against a charge of "spreading false news" because he had published a reprint edition of a British booklet that contests the Holocaust extermination story. In August 1992 Canada's Supreme Court threw out the case on the grounds that the law under which Zündel had been charged was unconstitutional, thus acquitting him.

During both trials, "Zündelhaus" served as the hectic center of a well-organized legal defense campaign, and as living quarters for members of Zündel's volunteer team.

For more about the trials, see Did Six Million Really Die?, a 572-page large-format work compiled by Barbara Kulaszka (reviewed in the March-April 1995 Journal, and available from the IHR), and The Holocaust on Trial, a 544-page book by Robert Lenski (also available from the IHR) [check www.ihr.org for current availabilities and prices; ed.].

Additional information about this document

Author(s) Mark Weber
Title Zündel's Office-Home Damaged in Arson Attack Zionist Group Claims Responsibility
Sources The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 15, no. 3 (May/June 1995), p. 38
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Dates published: 1995-05-01, first posted on CODOH: Dec. 19, 2012, 6 p.m., last revision: n/a
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