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Free Ernst Zundel:
An Interview with Mark Weber

American Dissident Voices broadcast
February 22, 2003
Kevin Alfred Strom


Kevin Alfred Strom: Welcome to American Dissident Voices. Today we welcome to our microphones for the third time the director of the Institute for Historical Review, Mr. Mark Weber. Welcome, Mark.
MW: Good evening, Kevin.
KAS: Eight years ago I interviewed Ernst Zundel on this radio program. Mr. Zundel was living in Canada at that time; he had just survived a firebombing of his home, an obvious attempt on his life, one of several documented assassination attempts. Ernst Zundel has been involved in publishing, broadcasting, and in legal battles over many years in an effort to get past the wartime propaganda and speak the truth about his people, the German people -- particularly the Germans of the World War II generation.
In recent years he's continued that fight from the United States, depending on the First Amendment to guarantee him the right to speak freely. But a few days ago, on February 5, 2003, that all changed. Can you tell us what happened, Mark?
MW: Ernst Zundel was arrested in his home in east Tennessee. For a little more than two years, he's been living there with his wife, Ingrid Rimland. He was arrested by three agents of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and two local law enforcement agents, and taken away to the local county jail. And then, yesterday, he was deported from there, and taken up to the Canadian border. He's now being held at a federal -- I.N.S. -- detention center near Buffalo, New York, in Batavia, close to the Canadian border.
And there's a big three-way or four-way international tug of war about what's going to happen to this man. There was a lot of fear for a time that he would be deported to Germany. He's a German citizen. He's tried to get Canadian citizenship, but he was rejected. He was born in Germany, and there was fear that he would be deported to Germany.
Fortunately, that didn't happen -- because, in Germany, as many of your listeners know, there are harsh laws that are very restrictive of freedom of speech. Anyone who, as they say, "denies the holocaust," which Ernst Zundel is accused of doing, can be thrown in jail for five years. And it's happened, in Germany and in other countries in Europe that have passed these laws.
But Ernst Zundel is instead, apparently, going to be deported to Canada. He lived in Canada as a permanent resident, or "landed immigrant" they call it up there, for 42 years. He still has some rights there.
He's made headlines all over the world for his battle, as he sees it, to redeem and defend the honor of his people. And this is an immense struggle that he's fought: a very expensive one and a very involved one. He's fought it all the way to the Supreme Court in Canada. And it's cost him much violence. There have been several attempts on his life and attempts to destroy his home in Toronto.
Finally, he decided to move to the United States, after marrying Ingrid Rimland, who for years has operated the Zundelsite Web site. The immense irony of it, in a way, is that the final legal battle he was fighting in Canada was over that Web site. I testified in a hearing before a so-called "Human Rights Tribunal" -- it's a really Orwellian-named thing -- in which the content of that Web site, even though it wasn't headquartered in Canada, was considered to be "spreading hate" against Jews. And all of Canada's major Jewish groups were involved in trying to get Ernst Zundel silenced and put in jail.
Ernst Zundel is best known for two big legal trials he was involved in, the so-called Holocaust Trials in Toronto. These occurred in 1985 and 1988 and there were a great number of witnesses on both sides.
KAS: What were they trying to do in those trials?
MW: The charge under which he was brought to trial was "spreading false news." It's an odd, bizarre, law that goes back to Old English law, and it's even been abolished in England. But he was tried there [in Canada] -- a Jewish woman brought the original charges against him -- and he was convicted.
But he decided -- and made a tremendous effort -- to put the "holocaust" on trial in these two great legal battles. There were a number of prominent witnesses, including David Irving. Fred Leuchter testified in the trial, he is an American gas chamber expert who, at Ernst Zundel's commission, went to Poland to the sites of the so-called "extermination camps," Auschwitz, Majdanek, and so forth, and concluded, based on his expert knowledge of this subject (he was universally recognized as the American expert on gas chamber technology because he's been a consultant to American states in executions) -- he concluded that the purported way in which Jews were killed in gas chambers could not have taken place as portrayed.
Even though at the first trial he was convicted, on appeal, a mistrial was declared. The judge, it was found, had been biased, and had given false or improper instructions to the jury. He went to trial again in 1988. He was found guilty. But then it went to the Supreme Court. And the Supreme Court of Canada threw out the conviction because the law under which he had been tried all those years was declared to be unconstitutional. It was an unconstitutional law.
And this is a point I make over and over: Every citizen of Canada should be grateful to Ernst Zundel for having won a victory for their legal rights. His battle made all Canadians a little bit freer by eliminating an arbitrary, out-of-date law that was used to silence people. And it was a great vindication, because the Supreme Court of Canada upheld and made many of the same arguments that Ernst Zundel and his attorney had been making over and over in both trials.
KAS: So the trial did not turn out anything like the way his persecutors wanted it to turn out.
MW: That's right.
KAS: The Jewish establishment, or the "Holocaust Lobby," must have been very disappointed in the outcome.
MW: They were especially disappointed, not only because the Supreme Court eventually overthrew it, but in the first trial especially, there was tremendous media coverage and the contradictions, even absurdities, of many of the prosecution witnesses was brought out.
For example, Rudolph Vrba was a well-known survivor of Auschwitz, who claimed to have seen gassings of people. But in the 1985 trial in Toronto, for the first time he was questioned very closely under oath, by Doug Christie, Ernst Zundel's attorney, with advice and with help from Robert Faurisson, the French revisionist scholar. And Rudolph Vrba collapsed, basically. He admitted that many of the claims that he had been making, in a bestselling book about his experiences, were false. And he resorted, finally, to saying, well, it's "poetic license," it's an exaggeration -- basically, it's a lie.
Another witness, Raul Hilberg, who is the author of a well-known standard work on the "holocaust" question, was also forced to concede things, too, that were very astonishing. And these were reported in the newspapers very widely at the time. Now the second trial did not receive the same media coverage in Canada, but it did still receive some. And in the second trial, Fred Leuchter was one of the most outstanding witnesses. Even David Irving testified in that trial. I testified for five days in the trial.
The Canadian Jewish groups, and the American Jewish groups, were furious at the result, and have done everything in their power to silence this man.
KAS: So, even after the Holocaust Trial 1 and Holocaust Trial 2 had concluded, and Zundel had been vindicated, they were still after him to close down the Web site. Is that correct?
MW: Right. One of the supreme ironies involving the "Human Rights Tribunal" was that they were declaring that a booklet called Did Six Million Really Die?, which was posted on the Zundelsite, was the first and foremost example of "hatred." The irony is that this was the same booklet that was the object of dispute in the two major trials -- and the Canadian Supreme Court affirmed the legality and the lawfulness of publishing and distributing precisely that booklet.
So, as it were, through the back door, these Canadian Jewish groups tried to get Ernst Zundel silenced, put in jail, or fined, for publishing on the Internet what the Canadian Supreme Court said was legal in printed and published form! It's absurd!
KAS: In addition to this, he was getting violence and threats of violence at his home in Canada. Can you fill us in on that a little bit?
MW: He was the victim of numerous physical attacks by Jewish terrorists. There were, I think, at least three attempts on his life, including an arson attack. This was a devastating attack on his home and residence, the so-called Zundelhaus, on Carlton Street, not far from downtown Toronto.
KAS: Now Mr. Zundel is married to a German-American lady of some repute as a novelist, lecturer, and historical writer herself.
MW: That's right. Ingrid Rimland is a noted, even distinguished, author in her own right. She wrote a novel some years ago called The Wanderers. She's a naturalized American citizen. And one of the most bizarre, peculiar aspects of this recent arrest, which I still don't quite know the answer to, is how it's possible for the husband of an American citizen to be deported. Normally, that's not done.
And Ernst Zundel has violated no law in the United States or in Canada. I know -- and many others can testify -- that he's scrupulous in obeying laws. But supposedly, having missed some procedural matter, some hearing, this is again a little unclear, he's being banned from the United States for twenty years! And this even though he's married to an American citizen!
Now this is so unusual, this is so unique, that it gives every appearance of being a targeted action by U.S. authorities against a man for his political views.
KAS: Now, Dr. Rimland -- Mrs. Zundel -- is devoting every waking hour, I presume, to her husband's battle for freedom.
MW: Right.
KAS: She has empowered you to be the public voice in this case. Is that correct?
MW: She's asked me to do it, because she is pretty distraught, pretty upset about all of this. And she says she's lost weight, and it's been very distressing, because it's her husband.
KAS: I can imagine.
MW: Also, she is so close to the matter, she felt that I could give a little more background or perspective to it all than perhaps she could. But anyway, I am doing this because she asked me to.
KAS: Is publicity helpful at this stage?
MW: Yes it is. There's been some coverage in the local newspaper in Tennessee; there have also been some articles in the Canadian press. But the more press about this the better. The more media coverage the better. Because it is really an unfair and unjust persecution of this man.
As all your listeners know, there are millions of illegal aliens living here in the United States. For the United States to single out Ernst Zundel is outrageous. The only groups which have a big interest in deporting Ernst Zundel are the Jewish groups. And they've been very vociferous in their demands that Ernst Zundel be kicked out of the United States.
KAS: Well, he had trouble getting citizenship in Canada, did he not? And Canada is famous for having a very lax immigration and naturalization policy. Was it due to Jewish pressure that he could not obtain Canadian citizenship?
MW: There were no real valid reasons given. His citizenship request was rejected, even though, as I said, he has no criminal record in Canada. He's been, actually, a very productive citizen.
Before he became involved in this campaign, he built a very good career as a graphic artist. He's a very talented artist, and his artwork appeared widely and commercially in Canada, including once on the front cover of Maclean's magazine, the equivalent of Newsweek or Time, the leading news magazine in that country. He's a man who, I think, would be successful in almost any endeavor, any field that he had decided to go into.
But even though he has a clean record as far as the law is concerned in Canada, even though he's been a successful man, a man who has been no charge on the public system in that country, his citizenship was rejected. And, as I say, all the Canadian Jewish organizations, and American Jewish organizations, were rabid and vociferous in demanding that he not be given citizenship, that he be silenced, that any pretext be found to shut this man up.
KAS: So finally, I believe in the year 2000, he decided to become a naturalized American. He was married to an American citizen. He was living completely legally in Tennessee. He had followed through with all the necessary permits and paperwork. What happened? What was the pretext for this arrest?
MW: It's claimed that he missed a hearing. Now, anyone who knows Ernst Zundel knows that this is a man who is extremely careful about dotting the "i"s and crossing the "t"s of laws and regulations.
We're also told that his implicit visa or permission to stay in the United States had expired. But we don't really know yet quite what the actual reason is. Those are the reasons we're given. But they don't stand up, they don't make sense.
In any case, it seems that the authorities have seized upon a pretext to nab him, grab him, and throw him out of the country.
KAS: Initial reports suggest that the order for the arrest came from "a very high level." What do you know about that?
MW: Well, I don't really know about that. But when heard of the arrest of Ernst Zundel I immediately thought of an American Dissident Voices broadcast just a few weeks ago about the activities of a Mr. Chertoff in the Justice Department, who has been taking measures to silence Americans whom he doesn't like. Now, I can't prove any connection -- but there do seem to be increasing activities by American authorities to find pretexts to silence people. We just don't know the whole story yet.
But it's a very ominous thing, especially during the time that we're living in right now. Your listeners may know that the Bush administration is already drafting a new so-called "Patriot Act 2" law, which will give the Attorney General sweeping powers to arrest and hold people indefinitely as so called "supporters of terrorism" on very, very flimsy grounds. These are ominous developments for all Americans.
And the Ernst Zundel arrest seems to be completely consistent with this effort by the U.S. government in its so-called "War Against Terrorism" to stamp down dissent of any kind.
KAS: Indeed these are ominous signs.
MW: One of my fears is that, as the attention of the world is drawn to the impending war against Iraq, measures like the arrest of Ernst Zundel will not get the attention that they normally would. Just as with the brutal treatment of the Palestinians -- which is now just incredible. The Palestinians are now living in a kind of quasi-ghetto or concentration camp. It's just unbelievable the repression that they're subjected to. But this is getting a lot less attention and has elicited a lot less outrage right now, because I think that the attention of most of the world is turned toward the prospect of a devastating war in Iraq that may cause the deaths of enormous numbers of people.
KAS: Here we have almost an open border policy in the United States. Millions of illegal aliens are here. More are pouring into this country every day. They're openly flouting the law and taking over huge sections of the United States. They get away with it. The politicians offer them amnesty. And yet an artist, a writer, a lifelong pacifist -- Ernst Zundel -- dares to speak some criticisms of the Jewish lobby, and he's hounded like a felon.
MW: Yes. You know, there are two contradictory trends going on in the United States. The same government that wants to "crack down" and ensure so-called security against so-called terrorism is the same government that permits millions of illegal aliens to live here. It's almost schizophrenic. It's crazy. Supposedly, since September 11th, some 700,000 additional illegal aliens have come into the United States. At the same time, the American government is supposedly "cracking down" on security in this country. The end result of all of this is that it's only able to crack down on obvious and basically harmless targets like Ernst Zundel. People who are really dedicated terrorists can easily slip through all of this precisely because our laws in so many other areas are so lax.
KAS: I understand that B'nai Brith Canada has issued a statement urging Canada not to take Ernst Zundel back. Is there some sort of deeper game being played here?
MW: It's obvious. Both B'nai Brith Canada, which is their counterpart of the ADL in this country, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, another powerful Jewish Zionist organization both in the United States and Canada, are both demanding that the Canadian government not accept Ernst Zundel. It's obvious that the only really important, vociferous, dedicated enemies of Ernst Zundel are the Jewish groups. No one else, really, regards Ernst Zundel as any kind of danger.
To me, the outrage of it is that Ernst Zundel is asking for freedom of speech. The organizations arrayed against him are all dedicated, staunch apologists for a regime, namely Israel, that by all standards is violating international law: killing people, invading other countries. If standards are applied in any kind of consistent way, it struck me as I was testifying, that the lawyers of those organizations, and those organizations themselves, should be in the dock -- not Ernst Zundel.
KAS: Indeed. It's a supreme irony: When Ariel Sharon comes to the United States, he's feted like a hero.
MW: I've said it many times: If the United States applied to Israel the standards it applies to Serbia or Iraq or other countries, U.S. bombers would be preparing to bomb Tel Aviv, and not Baghdad.
KAS: Do you think there is any plan -- or any chance -- that Ernst Zundel will be forced to go to Germany?
MW: Apparently there seems to be no immediate prospect of that. When I spoke to him the other day, he seemed fairly certain that the next step is that he'll be deported to Canada. But looming behind all of this is the great danger that he'll be deported to Europe and thrown in jail.
Just the other week, an 82-year-old man in Switzerland was forced to start a 13-month prison sentence: Gaston Amaudruz. He's an 82-year-old fellow. He publishes a little newsletter; and for so-called "denying the holocaust," he's now serving 13 months in a Swiss prison. Another man, Jean Plantin, has also been sentenced to imprisonment for his defiance of these same kinds of laws in France. And similar laws exist in Germany, in Austria, in the Netherlands, in Belgium, and in other countries. They're palpably unjust laws because they are selective laws: They apply only to one chapter of history, the so-called "denying" of the so-called Jewish "holocaust." No other chapter of history is treated in this way.
KAS: Is there anything that our listeners can do, any sort of pressure that we can exert, to prevent this horrible miscarriage of justice?
MW: They can spread the word, by notifying their newspapers, their Congressmen, and other people. They can get information about all this both from the Web site of the Institute for Historical Review, which is or from the Zundelsite -- which is linked to our site, by the way -- which has an immense amount of information as well.
Again, as Ingrid Rimland says: always be firm but polite. Don't be vindictive, don't use crude language. You can also talk to the immigration authorities, the I.N.S. Ingrid Rimland, in her recent daily messages, has provided lists of media and other outlets she is urging people to contact. But the main thing for information on all this is to check the IHR site and the Zundelsite.
Robert Faurisson wrote in 1988 about Ernst Zundel, just before the verdict was handed down in that trial, and I quote:
Zundel may once again go to prison for his research and beliefs, or be threatened with deportation. All this is possible. Anything may happen when there is an intellectual crisis and a realignment of historical concepts on such a dimension. Revisionism is the great intellectual adventure of the end of this century. Whatever happens, Ernst Zundel is already the victor.
And that's very true. The great victory is that Ernst Zundel put on the public record -- and made the world much more aware than it ever was before -- of the shoddy, fragile, and bogus nature of much of what is called the "holocaust" story. And he fortified -- immensely -- the international community of those people who have spent tremendous amounts of time and energy to look at this in a dissident way.
KAS: Thank you very much, Mark Weber. I urge all of our listeners to contact you via your Web site and keep updated on this situation -- and to do everything you can to help free Ernst Zundel.
MW: Thanks a lot, Kevin, and all the best to you.


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