Dedicated to Ernst Zündel - Prisoner of Conscience

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News Archive    Printer Version January 16, 2006   

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A Zundel letter from the German Gulag

A Zündel Letter from the German Gulag

This letter was written to Yvonne, sister of Dr. Robert Faurisson of France, both long-time intimate friends of Ernst's who understand certain topics without having to have them spelled out.

For a more general audience, it needs to be explained that when Ernst writes of forbidden topics, he is of course referring to topics pertaining to the Holocaust - a word he is apparently not allowed to mention critically in � democratic � Germany!

The � footnote in history � comment refers to a comment by French nationalist leader Le Pen, who found himself in very hot political water a few years ago for this disparaging description of the Holocaust.

Here is Ernst's letter, as always edited and slightly shortened by me to sharpen readability:

Ernst Zündel
JVA Mannheim
Herzogenriedstr. 111
68169 MANNHEIM, Germany

6 Jan. 2006

As to letters - one Christmas letter, which came just a few days before Christmas, was confiscated. I do not know its content - it was signed R.F. During the second week of Christmas, 31 letters or pieces of mail were received at the prison in one day! I was given 11 pieces, most of which were greeting cards. Only two were what I call substantial letters, one from my brother and one from Ingrid, my brave wife - the rest were just two, three words, a few sentences at most, Christmas greetings, New Year's wishes. All enclosures of any mentally stimulating or interesting nature are rigorously withheld from me. That tells me more about the German mind-set than could a thousand treatises about the state of human freedom in my pitiful homeland!

Here is my answer, emphatically stated: Whatever else you do, do not come to Germany, not under any illusion of safe conduct! This entity, and its population, has had 60 years to free itself from its mental shackles. [The Germans] are not in this situation for lack of knowing what the facts are - they are, to one degree or another, willfully blind out of cowardice, not out of ignorance of the facts! More truth will not make me, or them, more free - it will only make them more afraid, increasing their cowardice exponentially! Fear and cowardice have their own rules. Fearful people are in a labyrinth of terror, usually of their own making!

The Americans have a very deep, meaningful saying: "The coward dies a thousand deaths - the brave man only once."! I have often wondered about my own people, out of whose [midst] I was born. Why this fear? How can one explain the heroism of these people in war - and their abject and continued cowardice when confronting the facts of their own history?

I have no degree in psychology, I have no files here and no medical books to prove my theory, but I am sure that there must be a medical condition called "Schuld-und-S�hne Complex". [Transl. : A craving for guilt and redemption.] Like any such affliction - like gambling addiction, alcoholism, drug dependency - the patient first has to admit that he has a problem - if he does not, all therapies will fail. No amount of sacrifice [on my part] for decades, almost a half century, has generated a ground-swell of meaningful self-liberation - I am afraid that to expect any change in this situation would be a cruel self-delusion.

How do I know? How can I be so sure? That's easy to answer. I was afflicted by the same condition. I also know how difficult it is to heal oneself through auto-detoxification or self-deprogramming. I remember what terrible withdrawal symptoms I had to cope with - and, yes, I had numerous relapses along the way. And I was young - my �Weltbild�, my picture of the world and history, was not yet very deeply engrained, as it would be with others who by now have had 61 years of this incessant bombardment with only one version of an event, to which ever fewer remaining eyewitnesses exist. Our witnesses, that is!

I want you to understand that I will not discuss the topics that will activate a Pavlovian response because I want you to receive this letter. All letters are highly scrutinized, analyzed and mined; all are combed for things I may express, which then will be used in court against me. But one thing is really already clear - a spin-off side effect to my persecution has started, unforeseen by my pursuers! It surprises even me in its scope - and especially in its intensity. That is far more important and far more fundamental, and that spin-off side effect is [the scrutiny of] the legitimacy of the system - never mind the legitimacy of the process [in my court case] being employed!

Internationally, very few people outside a very, very narrow specialty in international law, paid much attention to the �footnote of history� as J. M. Le Pen would say, of just how this entity came into being, who were its fathers, mothers. (We know the midwives?) This �footnote in history� is one of the founding myths [of post-war Germany] which is now suddenly being examined - in the full light of the publicity of [my court] proceedings. It's almost like future doctors sitting in an amphit theater watching a forensic pathologist or a professor of anatomy dissect a corpse or cadaver - this time a state - to see what its background and political history are! And that process was very rarely discussed or examined by a larger public - now it is!

That's the last thing these forces [in the background] would have liked to take place - for it is an issue which is fraught with a comet's tail of judicial, legal, political and diplomatic implications. Compared to that problem, the other issue is peripheral. It really has been settled in 1988 [with the Leuchter Report].

So I am looking forward with interest as to how this "wild card" in the game will be dealt with. This surprise spin-off result is a bit like a steel ball in one of the old American arcade pin ball machines. Once the lever is pulled, the ball becomes unpredictable as to where it will hit, what bells and lights it will set off, as it winds itself through that confined [court room] where the action will take place!

Suddenly, what [used to be] an obscure topic of a few specialists in international law and international affairs becomes the subject of heated discussions on websites the world over. Tens of millions of visitors to websites like, and others are awash in a debate everybody thought had been settled a long, long time ago!

This debate is [our] victory! And my role in all this is to be quietly sitting in the eye of the hurricane and watch in amazement as the fireworks go off all around me!

Amazing development!

That's a short overview of what's up! My own fate is of peripheral interest only to Ingrid, me, and my friends. There are few variables possible, because [the outcome] is really only a matter of routine performance to a foregone conclusion. But since I had no illusions, only the naive and the uninformed will be surprised. I am not, and will not be!

That brings me to the comments coming out of Iran in the last few weeks and months. I was utterly stunned, but not by what was allegedly said. What surprised me far more was the absolutely, out of all proportions to the content, reaction in the Western world. Nowhere else!

Please note - nowhere that I am aware of did anybody say anything, much less do anything, to rein in their friend or ally, Iran. Putin's Russia, a big arms supplier and trading partner, did not say a peep! China, which has signed an enormously big oil exploration resources agreement with Iran, worth between 35 to $50 billion, said nothing, not a word of criticism. Neither did India, Pakistan, any Arab (Moslem) country, Africa, or Latin America.

I think the deafening silence from around the world from the most populous states and regions to the Iranian leader's outburst spoke very loudly. In politics it is very often not as important what the facts of any issue are - far more important is the perception of the facts!

"In politics", Charles de Gaulle was fond in saying, "Nations know no friends - only interests."

The erosion of the old world order is accelerating. New power centers, new super-powers with vast populations are forming. They could not care less about a �footnote to history�, a mere blip on the radar screen of their ambitions! Oil is an interest of great importance. So are markets for arms and industrial goods. Of what worth, real worth, or strategic value are the temper tantrums of a spoiled beggar client state on a small sliver of rocks and dust in that area of the world?

I was, and am, like the biblical Samson!

Please write to Ernst Zündel, let him know that he is not alone:

Ernst Zündel 
Justizvollzugsanstalt Mannheim 
Herzogenrieder Strasse 111 
D 68169 Mannheim 

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