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20th Anniversary of the Great Holocaust Trial

by Michael A. Hoffman II

Copyright 2005 by

January 7, 2005 marks the 20th anniversary of what came to be known throughout the world as "The Great Holocaust Trial" thanks chiefly to the drive, determination, courage and vision of one man, Ernst Zundel, supported by those he inspired.

In 1985 Zundel was a German immigrant residing in Toronto, Canada where he had built a highly successful advertising and graphic arts business based in a rambling Victorian mansion in the bohemian "Cabbagetown" section of metropolitan Toronto.

Zundel viewed the "Six million" story as a form of mental genocide against the German people; ostensibly a noble tale of the epoch struggle for human rights that in actuality was a form of devious hate propaganda, leveling every conceivable blood libel at the Germans and branding them with the Mark of Cain. Having survived the Allied firebombing of his native city of Pforzheim as a child, Zundel was well familiar with the war crimes of the hypocritical Allies and he made it his life's work to clear the name of his own people.

For this commendable enterprise, Zundel had his mailing privileges revoked by the Canadian government in 1983, forcing him to open a post office box in Buffalo, New York and send a messenger to commute hundreds of miles just to receive mail. In 1985 he was charged under an archaic "False News" provision of an old Edwardian municipal code, for having published the pamphlet "Did Six Million Really Die?" He faced two years in prison if convicted.

In reponse Zundel put the so-called "Holocaust" itself on trial, hiring a little-known maverick lawyer from British Columbia, Douglas Christie, to argue his case before Judge Hugh Locke. Seated next to Christie was the learned revisionist historian Prof. Robert Faurisson of France, who guided Christie's withering cross-examination of a long train of "saintly 'Holocaust' survivors" offered by the "Crown."

Zundel's defense was initially regarded by the press and public as preposterous. "How can anyone deny the 'Holocaust?" was the incredulous response to the news that Zundel would vigorously defend himself and the free speech rights of all Canadians. The trial was expected to be a quick and ignominious rout of Zundel and his motley crew.

How wrong the odds-makers were! For the first time in history the holy "survivors" finally had to submit their "testimony" to scrutiny, to the rules of evidence and cross-examination, something that has never happened before or since. Seated in the press gallery, I watched as my colleagues of the fourth estate grew ever more surprised and shocked at the amazing admissions Christie and Faurisson elicited from the "eyewitnesses" to the gas chambers. TV reporters like Claud Adams and journalists from the Toronto Star and Globe and Mail produced footage and headlines that turned Canada upside down.

Canadian readers and viewers learned that there was no scientific evidence for homicidal gas chambers, that homicidal gassings (as opposed to the German use of Zyklon B as a life-saving prophylactic against the deadly typhus louse), were a rumor that the inmates heard but never actually witnessed for themselves--these were statements obtained by Mr. Christie from the prosecution's own vaunted Auschwitz eyewitnesses!

In March of 1985 Zundel was convicted by a cowardly jury that had followed the prejudicial advisories of a bent judge; but the conviction was reversed on appeal and Zundel went to trial again in 1988, eventually winning a Supreme Court decision for free speech in Canada.

The 1988 trial is more well known in revisionist circles. Zundel was famous by then and the appearance of Fred "Dr. Death" Leuchter, the designer of the US Prison system's execution apparatus, as an expert defense witness who tested purported execution "gas chambers" on-site in Auschwitz, Poland and determined they had never been used to kill anyone, created an international sensation.

Still, for this reporter, the 1985 trial has the greatest significance. Having been badly burned the first time around (Dr. Raul Hilberg, the preeminent historian of the Six Million admitted on the witness stand in the first trial that there was no scientific evidence for gassings--"I'm at a loss" he said when asked to produce evidence), the Judaic establishment kept all their infallible "Holocaust" saints and martyrs away from the second trial. Yet it is upon the word of these supposedly unimpeachable "eyewitnesses" that the tale hangs and it was in the first trial that they were hanged by their own lies and misprision. It was poetic justice that this was done in the full glare of the publicity they had marshaled in the expectation of witnessing Zundel's disgrace.

20 years ago today I left Ithaca, New York for Toronto, arriving on a snowy Sunday evening at Zundelhaus, a place teeming with hope and buzzing with activity. There I met many elderly veterans of the German military, some of them driven almost insane with grief and agony in the face of the unconscionable--and heretofore largely unchallenged--group libel that had been heaped upon the German people in the wake of World War Two. Every man and every woman among them was a noble person and they looked to Ernst to lift the Jew-killer stigma from off their weary and aged shoulders, and in particular from the souls of their children and grandchildren.

On January 7, 1985, this writer was privileged to walk directly behind Zundel and Christie, through a gauntlet of JDL terrorists and into the courthouse where I would report the trial for eight weeks, first in the pages of the Washington D.C. newspaper "Spotlight," and later in a book published by the Institute for Historical Review, "The Great Holocaust Trial" (now out of print).

It is difficult to fathom that twenty years later Ernst Zundel is completing his twenty-third month of solitary confinement in Guantanamo north, a Canadian jail in Rexdale, on a star chamber charge of being a "terrorist," with key "evidence" against him presented in secret, without the defendant or his lawyers present or privy to any of it.

The pacifist who entered Canada because it had no conscription law, the activist who was repeatedly denounced as a reactionary and a wimp by neo-Nazi and Aryan extremists because he opposed armed resistance of any kind, now rots in a tiny cell without so much as a pillow, a pen or a desk, purely for reasons of Talmudic revenge of the most primitive and tribal nature.

This is what the "war on terror" is all about: the recrudescence of the prerogatives of dictatorship for the sake of eliminating all those who dissent, as was done to Cicero after he protested the destruction of the Roman Republic and the tyrants who replaced it with an empire, for which his hands and head were nailed to the Senate podium. Our modern day Ceasars however, have no such candor. They nail men like Zundel in secrecy and darkness and call it human rights and fighting terror.

But the Great Holocaust Trial was not fought in vain and if there is a history of human rights worth writing, Ernst Zundel will be on page one of any authentic compendium. History teaches that you can't kill ideas with prisons and gulags and that as long as men like Zundel continue to keep their faith in the power of the truth, others will come forward to raise the banner. This is how our rights were gained in the first place and will be secured in the future.

On January 7 light a candle, literally or in your heart, for all the men and women throughout the centuries who have given their lives for freedom, among whom we number the unforgettable Mr. Zundel.

Ernst Zundel was keelhauled to Germany by the government of Canada after a star chamber proceeding. He was immediately arrested upon arrival in Germany. His "crime"? He has the "wrong" opinions! I hope the Arabs and Muslims are watching this case and learning that, when it comes to Judaism and Zionism, there is no genuine free speech or democracy in the West. It is all hypocrisy. Condoleeza Rice and George Bush are happy to see Zundel go to prison for his opinions and beliefs, yet they presume to lecture China and Iran about "freedom." Don't believe these liars and fakers for a minute!

Write to: Ernst Zundel , JVA - Mannheim, D-68169 Mannheim, Herzogenried Strasse, 111 Germany

"The Great Holocaust Trial" a 65 minute documentary film about the 1985 trial, edited by Michael Hoffman from more than 100 hours of TV news coverage, is available on VHS Video

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Copyright 2005 by Michael A. Hoffman II