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Holocaust denier faces German court

Internet material provokes raft of charges

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German Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel - whose website (extreme political views and NSFW) pretty well claims outright that the Nazi extermination of the Jews didn't happen - is on trial in Germany on charges relating to 14 pieces of printed and internet written material which use "pseudo-scientific methods to try and rewrite the accepted history of the Nazi Holocaust".

He also faces charges of incitement, libel and "disparaging the dead", the BBC reports. Denying the Holocaust is a crime in Germany, and Zündel was previously fined €6,400 on a 1991 trip to Germany from Canada where he had sought refuge in 1958.

Zündel has a long history of fighting for his right to express his views. In 1998, a Canadian court found him guilty of "knowingly publishing false news" in a leaflet entitled Did Six Million Really Die? - a verdict later overturned by the Supreme Court on the grounds that the "false news" law "violated freedom of expression".

Zündel never became a Candian citizen, and moved to the US in 2001 only to be dispatched back north of the border for reportedly violating immigration laws.

Germany managed to get an international arrest warrant for the outspoken white supremacist in 2003, but had to wait three years until a Candian judge declared him a "security threat" and deported him to his native land.

The judge in Mannheim - speaking today before a public gallery packed with Zündel sympathisers - told the defendant he faced charges relating to "spreading biased views through his website" and "denying the Holocaust after claiming that the death camps were merely a Jewish plot to extort money from post-war Germany".

Zündel's wife, Ingrid Rimland, called the charges against her husband "politically tainted". Rimland is a fellow white supremacist whose administers Zundelsite and claims to be "pioneering a True World Order" through "her concept Lebensraum!", although historical scholars may reckon Adolf Hitler got the jump on her with that particular bright idea.

For the record, and to give a flavour of Zündel's line of attack, it's worth looking at his main revisionist argument which states:

There is no proof that the Holocaust, as depicted by the Holocaust Promotion Lobby and the highly politicized Hollywood industry, actually occurred.

Elsewhere on the website, there's an analysis of events during the liberation of Dachau concentration camp in 1945, during which, Zündel claims, US troops massacred Axis troops who just happened to have innocently wandered into the camp:

The German guards murdered at Dachau by the Americans in their mafia-style, St. Valentine's Day Massacre machine-gunning were previously wounded and exhausted veterans from the Eastern Front. These ethnic Germans and Hungarian army soldiers in German uniforms had fought communism with deeds, not words, and had been transferred to Dachau only days before their murder at the hands of the Americans, so whatever one might accuse the Germans of doing at Dachau, these murdered men had no part in it!

More recently, there's a "Zundel letter to his wife, ethnic novelist Ingrid Rimland, on the eve of the Third Great Holocaust Trial starting on Tuesday, November 8, in Mannheim - this time on European soil." It reads in part:

The battle is on - even the Zundels have rights!

So, my brave wife, we are making history together! That's nice!

This judgment is important for other imprisoned idealists / human rights activists - people who struggle for their human and civil rights in Germany and beyond! So, Ingrid, it looks like your husband is back at home! And as I promised you, and predicted from prison in Toronto, the content of the struggle has not changed - only the geographical location has expanded to the European front, for we will continue our actions in Canada and America.

Zündel must hope he does not suffer a heavy legal defeat on the European front. If convicted of all the charges against him, he faces five years' jail. ®

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