Dedicated to Ernst Zündel - Prisoner of Conscience
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|News Archive||Printer Version||April 14, 2006|
Update on the Zundel Holocaust Heresy Trial - and some reflections on historical sea changes
A letter to his long-time French friend, Yvonne
4. April 06
I have not written for a while, because of all the legal jockeying [in] Sylvia Stolz's case re "behaviour inimical to the conduct of the proceedings."
This morning the mail brought news from the court office that now that my lady lawyer, Sylvia Stolz, has been removed by court order - the case will continue at high speed. The next dates are :
Wednesday 26 April, 13.30 pm
I advise all who intend to participate as spectators or potential witnesses to call the Court office:
Landgericht Mannheim Telephone : 0621 - 292-2668 Fax : 0621 - 292-1314
You have to ask how my case, file Nr. 6 KLs 503 Js 4/96, is proceeding - when and where it will be heard. There usually are long line-ups - many have waited for hours and could not gain admission. Once they do make it, they are treated like airline passengers and are not admitted if they have brought their handy along, even turned off ! Inside the courtroom, there are lots of uniformed and plain-cloth security personnel in evidence. Therefore, keep all this in mind before deciding to make a long trip, as some have done from Canada, the USA, even Latin America, England, France, Italy and other places.
Keep in mind this is a censored letter, and I am walking through a minefield of legal territory and forbidden topics since I am totally unfamiliar with these people's rules and regulations. It seems that laws and rules, when it comes to Ernst Zündel, are as "flexible" and "open to interpretation", regardless to what country's jails and prisons I may be subjected to, what legal systems prevail, or wherever I am at the moment.
Thus, I leave behind confused lawyers, speechless and incredulous reporters, and a public not knowing what they should think or can believe about me, my thoughts, actions, or my life's work. And who can blame them? It's difficult even for me who, after all, is riding this tiger!
Maybe once these proceedings have come to the conclusion my enemies have striven so hard and worked so diligently for to achieve - when Shylock has received his pound of flesh, to speak with Shakespeare - maybe then we can all relax and get on with our lives?
In the meantime, the "other world"- meaning those who either are or have chosen to remain blissfully ignorant of what went on in Europe's most traumatic and bloody history - are buffeted by the ravages of a rampant, cannibalistic capitalism running amok, with jobs and pensions threatened, insecurity every time they leave their homes or apartments, alienation from their own countries, societies, from their neighbours, often estranged from their husbands or wives and their children or grandchildren - alienation everywhere!
Yvonne, I am not just talking about revisionistically inclined people. I see, hear, and feel it even with prison officials, priests, social workers, and inmates from wife beaters to bank robbers, thieves, conmen and murderers! It is the "Zeitgeist", the spirit of our times.
Just at a time when the media reports that the whole world is "wired together" and loudly proclaims the "global village", the real truth is that we are the most isolated and alienated, compartmentalized, and manipulated by remote control via spin-doctors in every sphere of our lives. The European peasant, the American frontiersman, even the Neanderthal caveman was more connected in reality to his clan, tribe, class or neighbours than the modern city dweller in the teeming anthills of New York, Toronto, Los Angeles, Berlin or Paris is to his millions of city-dwellers!
How often did I have to wait in front of a supporter's apartment or house while my friend disarmed his alarm-system connected to the local police station or proceeded to unlock [the door] with sophisticated triple locks or secret codes known only to him. The more everybody talks about freedom, security and the gentler society of Human Rights - the less it exists in fact.
That's what my experiences of the last three years have taught me when I, too, was caught up in what North-Americans call simply "the Rat Race" : to see more clearly than ever before. Lucky is the [man] who has a wife, children, or siblings who care for him, who support him and are there for him when the vagaries of life hit him and when without such love and support he would simply go under. A friend in need is a friend indeed!
Since this is a censored letter, and according to the arcane rules of this country I cannot discuss the actual trial proceedings, you have to inform yourself via the usual circles of what is going on and what the perimeter are that are still open for my defense.
Naturally - at moments like these one looks for historical parallels or similarities in the lives and fates of other people. There are, for instance, strange similarities between my career and Gandhi's in his early years - not the Gandhi we popularly hear about, but the actual Gandhi, the Human Rights activist at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century and later in Durban, South Africa, where he was the best known defender of the rights of his beleaguered fellow Indians. There are all kinds of court transcripts, newspaper articles, records of leaflets, speeches, demonstrations, which Gandhi either was directly involved in or actually organised and led. The similarities therefore are often quite startling.
Even more surprising are Gandhi's life and his career after he left South-Africa and became politically active in India. It is interesting also to compare Gandhi's persecution in India by the British occupation-vassal regime, and what laws and regulations were invoked against Gandhi and his disciples, especially Nehru. They. Likewise, were considered "agitators" and jailed. Their trials - Gandhi was a lawyer, I believe - made them household words amongst the Indians who could read. His and Nehru's fame spread, after the British-Indian colonial regime accused Gandhi, and Nehru and his friends, of being a threat to "state or national security", even though Gandhi, too, was a well-known advocate of political non-violence. The rest is known to history.
While Gandhi and Nehru sat in their cells, the outside did not stand still. The Indians organised their self-liberation, dethroned the old system, corrupt and beholden to the British military occupiers as it was, Nehru went on to become leader of a FREE India and ran India till his death, being succeeded by his daughter and other relatives, almost like through a post-liberation dynasty.
There are many other parallels in other people's lives, some not well-known or only known in their countries of origin. In Germany the case of Martin Luther, his trials and tribulations, his nailing his 95 thesis points to the church door, his persecution, having a Papal bull issued against him, and his odd "protective kidnapping" and [subsequent] isolation in the Wartburg, where he accomplished the greatest feat of his life, the translation of the Bible into High German, thereby giving the Germans one unifying language, which in the end shaped German history far more for centuries to come than any short term impact his translation of the Bible had with German believers. Thus his persecution and unfair treatment resulted in consequences far beyond his own time and place in German or European history.
There are other cases. Take Karl Marx, for example, and Engels - hounded for their ideas in Germany, constantly in trouble with the authorities of their day, plagued by censors, police interrogations, [being forced to flee] to France and on to England - where Marx found a far more congenial society, more tolerant of new ideas, and where he wrote his famous works ! Did the German persecutors and censors of Marx succeed in suppressing his ideas ? Yes - temporarily ! They came to haunt the Germans for 150 years thereafter, with a vengeance ! It would have been easier to "dialogue"- i.e., deal with Marx's ideas in 1848 peacefully, rather than having to put down Communist revolutionaries in almost every country in Europe after W.W.I. and having to deal with the Soviet monster spawned by his ideas, which [led to] WWII and to the Cold War, lasting another 50 years after !
Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky - all were hounded for their pamphlets, speeches, had their meetings forbidden, were banished to Silesia, deported, fled into exile - did it stop the spread of their ideas? The list is near endless - Kenyatta, Castro, Che Guevara, Nasser. Most post-colonial political activists-turned-leaders of their countries tell an eloquent story - including the story of Nelson Mandela's incredible [life]. From "security threat", convicted "advocate of terrorism" and 28 years imprisonment he went from prison cell to Prime Minister/leader of South-Africa within a year or two.
I can't talk about others because this is a censored letter.
History teaches important lessons !