Zündel, Ernst

Ernst Zündel was born on April 24, 1939, in a small town in the Black Forest region of southwestern Germany. He emigrated to Canada at the age of 19, where he soon married and became the father of two sons. His career as a graphic artist was successful, with his work appearing, for example, on the front cover of Canada’s national news magazine, Maclean’s.

Setting aside his thriving career, he dedicated himself to the great task, as he saw it, of redeeming the sullied reputation of his fellow Germans. Through his Samisdat publishing house he distributed worldwide a prodigious quantity of books, booklets, leaflets, newsletters, and audio and video cassettes. Simon Wiesenthal, the well-known “Nazi hunter,” called Zündel the world’s number one distributor of allegedly dangerous literature and cassettes.

Zündel is perhaps best known for his central role in the “Holocaust Trials” of 1985 and 1988. He was brought to court in Toronto on a charge of “publishing false news,” and specifically for publishing a reprint edition of a booklet entitled Did Six Million Really Die?

Zündel’s two lengthy trials – the 1985 trial lasted two months, and the 1988 trial lasted four months – have been the closest thing anywhere to full scale debates on the Holocaust issue. For the first time ever, “Holocaust survivors” and Holocaust historians were closely and critically questioned under oath about their claims and views.

To wage the legal battle that was forced upon him, he brought together an impressive international team of revisionist scholars, legal specialists, researchers, and many others. From numerous libraries and archives in North America and Europe, this group assembled at “Zündelhaus” one of the most impressive collections of evidence anywhere on this chapter of history.

Among those who testified on Zündel’s behalf in the trials were Robert Faurisson, David Irving, Mark Weber, William Lindsey, Udo Walendy, and Bradley Smith. As a result of the two trials, an enormous quantity of compelling evidence refuting the familiar Holocaust extermination story was presented to the court and thereby was made part of the permanent public record. Perhaps the most important of this evidence was the historic testimony of American gas chamber expert Fred Leuchter about his on-site forensic examination of the alleged extermination gas chambers in Poland.

Zündel was found guilty in the 1985 trial, but the verdict was set aside by the provincial appeals court. It ruled that the judge in that trial had, among other things, given improper instructions to the jury, and had improperly excluded defense evidence. In May 1988, at the conclusion of the second Zündel trial, the jury declared him guilty. A few days later, he was sentenced to nine months imprisonment.

On appeal, Canada’s Supreme Court threw out the conviction, declaring on August 27, 1992, that the archaic “false news” law under which he had been convicted was a violation of the country’s Charter of Rights. This was not only a personal vindication by Canada’s highest court; Ernst Zündel secured an important victory for the rights of all Canadians.

Zündel’s next great legal battle was fought out before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in Toronto on charges, instigated by Jewish groups, of promoting “hatred or contempt” against Jews through the “Zündelsite” Internet web site (www.Zündelsite.org), operated by Ingrid Rimland from the United States. In this legal action, as the Tribunal’s presiding Commissioner declared, the truth or validity of the supposedly “hateful” items was not a consideration. (Ultimately the Tribunal declared the “Zündelsite” to be unlawful, but because the site is based in the US, the ruling is unenforceable.)

During the 42 years he lived in Canada, Ernst Zündel was never convicted of a crime. He was, however, repeatedly a victim of violence and hate. He survived three assassination attempts, including by arson and pipe bomb. He’s also endured years of legal harassment and repeated jailings.

After more than four decades in Canada, including a failed effort to acquire Canadian citizenship, he moved to the United States, where in January 2000 he married Ingrid Rimland.

His wife, a gifted writer and noted author in her own right, was born in an ethnic German Mennonite community in Ukraine. As a child she and her family were victims of Soviet rule and the ravages of World War II. After the war she lived for a time in Paraguay and Canada, and then for years in California. Ingrid Rimland holds a doctoral degree in education, and is a naturalized US citizen.

On February 5, 2003, Ernst Zündel was arrested at their quiet home in the mountain region of eastern Tennessee. He was seized because he had missed an interview date with US immigration authorities, even though he had entered the US legally, was married to an American citizen, had no criminal record, and was acting diligently, and in full accord with the law, to secure status as a permanent legal resident.

After being held for two weeks, he was deported to Canada. For two years – from mid-February 2003 to March 1, 2005 – he was held in solitary confinement in the Toronto West Detention Centre, on the pretext that he is a threat to national security.

His arrest and detention generated wide media attention. A few Canadian newspapers, including Toronto’s prestigious Globe and Mail, and several independent analysts, acknowledged the injustice of his incarceration on an empty pretext.

Among those who protested Zündel’s unjust treatment was Bill Dunphy, a veteran investigative journalist and editor for the daily Hamilton Spectator. He spent six years probing Canada’s “white supremacist” movement, and got to know Zündel personally.

The Canadian Association for Free Expression (CAFE), a free speech advocacy group, fought for Zündel’s release. “Mr. Zündel is quite literally a political prisoner,” said CAFE director Paul Fromm, who also served as Zündel’s legal representative in his detention hearings. “He is being held in solitary confinement solely for the non-violent expression of his political views.”

The allegation that Zündel might be a threat to national security “is mischievous nonsense,” said Fromm. “Zündel has been politically active in Canada for 40 years. He’s a public figure. His writings and speeches are available on-line. He’s been investigated for years by the police. He’s an open book. Zündel has never advocated or practiced violence, nor have his followers,” Fromm added. “He’s a pacifist and a publisher.”

On March 1, 2005, Zündel was deported to Germany, just as Jewish groups had been demanding. He was formally charged with inciting “hatred” by having written or distributed texts that “approve, deny or play down” genocidal actions carried out by Germany’s wartime regime, and which “denigrate the memory of the [Jewish] dead.”

Zündel’s 16 months trial concluded on February 15, 2007, when a court in Mannheim sentenced him to five years imprisonment for the crime of “popular incitement” under Germany’s notorious “Holocaust denial” statute. The 14 specific violations cited by the court included postings on the US-based “Zündelsite” website. The court thus upheld claims by German authorities to punish individuals for writings that are legal in the country where they are published. Jewish groups quickly, and predictably, expressed approval of the verdict.

Zündel was held in Mannheim prison for precisely five years When he was released on Monday morning, March 1, 2010, friends and well-wishers were waiting outside the prison entrance to greet him. He currently lives quietly in his parental home in Swabia, separated from his U.S. wife.



"Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death." George Orwell The headquarters home of Ernst Zündel, the German-born Canadian resident who has for several years directed a world-wide revisionist campaign from Toronto, was severely damaged by fire after an unknown assailant doused the building with gasoline at five a.m. …

A graduate student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Lewis McCarthy, was among those who chose to protect freedom of speech on the internet by fighting the censorship levied against the web site of Ernst Zündel. Officials at U Mass requested that McCarthy remove the materials that he posted …

When the Bill of Rights was attached to the United States Constitution by those men responsible for founding the American Government, the ideals of freedom of conscience and political liberty were institutionalized for the citizenry in a way hardly imagined by any other people in history. Among those rights, none …

Despite the May 11 conviction of Revisionist activist and publisher Ernst Zündel in Toronto for "knowingly and injuriously spreading a false report," the second trial of Ernst Zündel was a Pyrrhic victory for Holocaust Exterrninationists. As in Zündel’s 1985 trial, Revisionist scholars and researchers presented a mass of new evidence …

As reported in The Revisionist No. 2/2003 (pp. 183-196), Ernst Zündel was arrested and deported from the U.S. to Canada in February 2002 for allegedly overstaying his visitor visa waiver. In Canada, he is being held in a maximum security prison under inhuman circumstances and being subjected to Kafkaesque secret …

On August 27, Canada's Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional the law under which German-Canadian publisher Ernst Zündel was convicted for publishing a Revisionist booklet about the Holocaust. In a four-three decision, the judges ruled that the "false news" law under which he was convicted violates the freedom-of-speech provisions of …

Concluding the tenth chapter of his novel Moravagine, the French poet, Blaise Cendrars, describes the social ferment that pervaded Tsarist Russia on the eve of revolution: "Everything was thrown out of kilter: institutions, family traditions, the notion of honor. A frantic loosening of all ties, which was mistaken for mysticism, …

Without any doubt, Ernst Zündel certainly deserves the title of being the most courageous, active, resourceful, pugnacious and also the most effective "Holocaust" Revisionist that ever existed. One may or may not agree with his views and may or may not endorse his methods. But this judgment is unavoidable for …

"Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death." George Orwell Members of the Jewish Defense League (JDL) screamed obscenities while attacking Ernst Zündel, who questions whether six million Jews were killed by the Nazis, outside Toronto's downtown County Courthouse this morning. Zündel, a 46-year-old Toronto man charged with spreading …

The Holocaust on Trial: The Case of Ernst Zündel, by Robert Lenski. Decatur, Ala.: The Reporter Press, 1990. Paperback. 544 pages. Photographs. Index. ISBN: 0-9623220-0-8. (Available from the IHR for $ 29.00, plus $ 2.00 postage and handling. [check with www.ihr.org for current availability and price; ed.]) Anyone with an …

by Michael A. Hoffman II, Independent History and Research, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 2010. 182pp. Sometimes it is easy for us to forget that, in the quite recent past, Holocaust revisionism was a thriving movement that exacted some pretty impressive concessions from mainstream historians. The 1970s and 80s witnessed the rise …

On Wednesday, the final day in this round of Revisionist publisher Ernst Zündel’s detention hearing before Mr. Justice Pierre Blais, Donald MacIntosh, the Crown Attorney, talked out the clock, ensuring that Mr. Zündel will remain in prison for another 13 weeks until the hearings resume for three days on December …

"Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death." George Orwell Revisionist activist, publisher and author Ernst Zündel was convicted of 14 counts of incitement for Holocaust "denial" and sentenced to five years imprisonment in Germany. The charges stem from his running a small publishing house, Samisdat Publishers and his alleged …

Professor Ward Churchill, a product of the academic left, whose area of expertise is social activism on behalf of American Indian rights, committed a thought crime following the 9/11 Islamist attack on New York City and the Pentagon. He wrote that the victims (the victims!) of the World Trade Towers …

Ernst Zündel addresses the 13th IHR Conference, May 28, 2000. Now into its fifth year, a little-known legal dispute in Canada with important international implications for Internet freedom of speech, is quietly being fought out before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in downtown Toronto. Responding to Jewish complaints, the Canadian …

(Following are excerpts from stories reported in the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, and the Toronto Sun when this story first broke.) Toronto Star (27 August): Toronto publisher Ernst Zundel's conviction for spreading false news about the deaths of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust was struck down today …

The murderous treatment of European Jews during the Second World War has become almost legendary in its depiction as a unique and singularly important example of bigoted inhumanity, carried to barbarous extremes. No other experience from among the overwhelming number of historic cases of mass brutality has ever achieved such …

In recent times three major figures of the Holocaust revisionist movement, Ernst Zündel, Germar Rudolf, and David Irving, were arrested and are going to be put on trial for denying the Holocaust. Zündel and Rudolf in Germany, and Irving in Austria. Germany and Austria both have harsh laws that proscribe …

The Great Holocaust Trial. Expanded, Third Commemorative Edition, by Michael A. Hoffman II. New York: Wiswell Ruffin House, 1995. Softcover. 144 pages. Notes. Bibliography. $12.95. ISBN 0-929903-05-6. This volume can be purchased from: "Remarks", PO Box 234, Aurora, NY 13026-0234, USA for $20.00. The Great Holocaust Trial is the sort …

Show a Jew a silver lining, it's been said, and he'll show you a cloud. Indeed, a case could be made that we Jews thrive on seeing ourselves as victims – the result of centuries of persecution and anti-Semitism – even though, objectively, in the 20th-century America we have become …

The murderous treatment of European Jews during the Second World War has become almost legendary in its depiction as a unique and singularly important example of bigoted inhumanity, carried to barbarous extremes. No other experience from among the overwhelming number of historic cases of mass brutality has ever achieved such …

Last May 7th, at about 5:00 a.m. of a Sunday morning, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of VE celebrations worldwide, a terrorist firebombed the home and headquarters of Toronto publisher and Holocaust revisionist, Ernst Zündel. Zündel himself was away in Vancouver at the time, consulting with his attorney, …

How could anyone admire a man that publicly admits admiration for Adolf Hitler, that openly acknowledges himself to be a "Holocaust skeptic," and who never apologizes for his political incorrectness and nonconformist views? Who could possibly approve of a man who has put his personal freedom and indeed life on …

Ernst Zuendel is doing it on radio, TV, the Internet and by toll-free telephone. If you find he’s making naughty comments, don’t worry. He’s being thoroughly monitored. Freedom Radio: KXEL. Waterloo, IA. 1540 AM. Monday through Thursday, 10pm Central Time. Satellite TV At these Co-Ordinates: Galaxy C-4—Transponder 11 (C-Band) Downlink …

On June 11 the Canadian government's Security Intelligence Review Committee announced it was postponing indefinitely hearings on whether Ernst Zuendel represented a danger to the Canadian state. This followed by one day a brilliant argument by Zuendel's superb attorney, Doug Christie (ably assisted by Barbara Kulaszka) in an "apprehension of …

CODOH’s Website has just gotten a whole lot bigger. We are cruising into the New Year carrying Ernst Zuendel’s Internet site—“piggyback” as it were—on the World Wide Web. Why? Not because authorities in Canada have closed down the Zuendelsite—after all, it operates out of the United States of America. Not …

The previous issue of SR reported on the current legal ordeals of Robert Faurisson and Ernst Zuendel. There are these further developments: In Paris, the justices of France's Supreme Court of Appeals have responded to Professor Faurisson's petition that they consider whether the Loi Gayssot, which decrees that challenging the …

More on the last days of Thies Christophersen, who died in February (SR41). He died in a home for the elderly of kidney cancer at the age of 79, shortly following his release by German authorities, who had arrested him in January. The former agronomist and puncturer of what he …

Ernst Zuendel’s hearing before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal opened on May 28th, and closed the next day. As reported in SR #39 (January 1997), the misnamed tribunal is attempting to close down the US-based Zuendel Website by holding Ernst responsible under Canadian law pertaining to hate (!) messages over …

It looks as if the eternally embattled Ernst Zuendel has scored a partial victory by eliminating the Canadian Human Rights Commission as a co-prosecutor in the Canadian “human rights” hearing to deprive him of free speech via his American-based Website. Meanwhile, an even bigger bombshell, if you’ll pardon the expression, …

The ongoing Canadian witchhunt against the foremost exponent of Holocaust revisionism north of the border, Ernst Zuendel, turned even uglier as the numerous state and Jewish agencies ranged against him stooped to having Zuendel’s estranged wife, Irene, testify against him at hearings designed to muzzle Ernst and the U.S.-based, independently …

Ernst Zündel won another, big round against his persecutors in Canada on April 14. The misnamed Canadian Human Rights Tribunal agreed to adjourn indefinitely its hearings aimed at closing down the Zündel Website in the U.S. (actually controlled and operated by Dr. Ingrid Rimland) by holding Zündel responsible for its …