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The Zundel Case discussed in a broadcast on Dissident Voices

Aug 15, 2005

Kevin Alfred Strom, who broadcasts the highly popular Dissident Voices program every week, did an excellent two-hour update interview, titled Strike at the Root: Part I


American Dissident Voices broadcast for the week of July 24 - July 30, 2005
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TODAY WE have as our guest the historian, writer, speaker, and activist extraordinaire Mark Weber, Director of the Institute for Historical Review. Welcome to ADV, Mark.


MW: Thank you very much, Kevin. It�s a pleasure to be here again

KAS: There are quite a number of things I'd like to discuss with you, Mark � your recent speech in New York, your recent interviews with news services, your upcoming protests against the Jewish supremacists at the Simon Wiesenthal Center � but first, let�s get your perspective on the recent developments in the case of Ernst Zündel, the German-American artist and writer who has been subjected to a decades-long persecution because of his views on German history, Jewish power, and the history of World War II. I understand that after two years of incarceration on phony pretexts, Mr. Zündel has finally been charged in Germany.

MW: That�s right. He was held for two years in solitary confinement in Canada as a so-called �threat to national security.� This was a pretext, as even the leading daily newspaper in Canada acknowledged. After being found to be a �threat to national security� he was deported to Germany on March 1st of this year, and he�s been held ever since in what�s called �investigative custody.�

That�s a common practice in Germany and on the continent in lieu of bail, which isn�t quite as common in Europe as it is here. One good thing about this development is that the conditions under which he has been held in Germany�s Mannheim prison are much better than the conditions under which he was held in Canada. We�ve talked previously on this show about some of the harsh, draconian circumstances of his Canadian imprisonment, but in Germany his conditions have been better. Just a few days ago � and this has been reported fairly widely � he was finally formally charged, and I spent part of today trying to find out the specific charges. I was told only that he has been charged under the notorious Paragraph 130 of the German criminal code, which makes it a crime to deny the Holocaust as a form of so-called �popular incitement.� That�s the term, Volksverhetzung, which is used in this section of the German criminal code.

KAS: Well, what does that mean � �popular incitement?� Does that mean to get people excited about the fact that perhaps some of the Holocaust stories are not true?

MW: It�s considered �incitement� even to say truthful things about the Holocaust � or the Holocaust story � that go against the official version. I cannot emphasize strongly enough that this is a blatant, grotesque violation of the principle of free speech � a principle that the Western world, the United States, and even Germany claim to uphold. The Holocaust story is the only chapter of official history that it is considered a crime to deny.

Ernst Zündel is an outspoken international figure in this battle because of the tremendous legal fight in which he engaged in Canada during the 1980s in two very widely publicized trials. Actually, for the last several years, before he was arrested two and a half years ago in Tennessee, he was living pretty quietly in the United States and had given up his operations in Canada, but against his intentions he�s once again been thrust into the international spotlight.

KAS: I understand there are 14 charges that have been laid against him. Is that correct?

MW: That�s right. I�ve heard there are 14 counts, but I�m unsure of what the specifics are. In the preliminary indictment under which he was held before he was formally charged, the most ominous of these counts is that he �denied the Holocaust� on the Zundelsite, an Internet Web site that is actually run by his wife. The ominous and dangerous aspect of this indictment is that he�s being charged for an expression of opinion that�s legal in the country where it was expressed � that is, in the United States.

I urge those listening to this interview to consult the Zundelsite to see what�s there. You can find it by checking out zundelsite.org or going to the IHR site, ihr.org, and going to the links page. The Zundelsite is an American Web site that�s maintained by his wife, not by Ernst Zündel himself. The Canadian and German courts have contested this fact; they claim that he runs it, but I know for a fact that that�s not true. In fact, one of the strongest indications that this claim is not true is that for two years Ernst Zündel has been unable to operate any kind of Web site.

KAS: If she�s committing this �crime,� they would charge her if they could. They can�t charge her, though, because she�s an American citizen, correct?

MW: No, it�s not because she�s an American citizen. That�s yet another aspect of this case that�s very worrisome. If she were to go to Germany, she could be charged. Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany whether the person is a German citizen or not. Hans Schmidt was incarcerated for a time in Germany on similar charges even though he�s a naturalized U. S. citizen.

KAS: So, if I �deny the Holocaust� through some statement I make today, for example, here in the United States, I could be subject to pr