Ernst Zundel | Southern Poverty Law Center

German-born Ernst Zundel came to prominence in the world of Holocaust denial, or what he prefers to call historical “revisionism,” in the 1980s, when his Samisdat Publishing company began distributing propaganda like a “Did 6 Million Really Die?” pamphlet and Zundel’s own book, The Hitler We Loved and Why. By then a non-citizen resident of Canada (he moved there in 1958), Zundel’s repeated attempts at gaining citizenship in Canada were denied as he was decried by both the Canadian and German governments for his incitement of racial hatred. After several Canadian court battles over the contents of the material he distributed, he was deported in 2005 back to Germany, where he was later tried and convicted for Holocaust denial and inciting racial hatred. He was released in 2010, after serving five years.

In His Own Words “Wherever we look, we White people find ourselves besieged by peoples of other races who compete aggressively against us for jobs, food, housing, education and above all, power! The Jews are particularly adept at seizing or insinuating themselves into strategic positions in our society where they wield power far beyond the extent of their numbers.” “Our New Emblem,” White Power Report, January 1977

“Hitler was well loved and loved in return, but this relationship between the Leader and his people was not the gushy, sickly sweet effusion of an obese Jewish mother for her pimply, draft-dodging son. This was Aryan love. Strong, steady and uplifting.” The Hitler We Loved and Why, co-authored under a pseudonym with Eric Thomson

“[I]diots, morons and imbeciles [were not] possible [under Hitler] … simply because such sorry specimens were not allowed to reproduce. Hitler, the artist and designer, designed a society for loving human beings, not plastic dummies.” Quoted in the Toronto [Canada] Sun, May 23, 2003

Criminal History In 1985, Ernst Zundel was convicted in Canada of “knowingly publishing false news” in connection with his pro-Nazi propaganda. The conviction was later overturned due to procedural errors. In 1987, Zundel was retried and again convicted in Canada. He served almost two years in prison before the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the law against publishing false news was unconstitutional.

In 2007, after being deported by the United States back to Canada and then by Canada back to his native Germany, Zundel was convicted in Germany of 14 counts of inciting racial hatred and defaming the memory of the dead. He was sentenced to the maximum of five years in prison.d

Background Ernst Zundel was born in Germany and moved to Canada in 1958. In the late 1970s, he began running Samisdat Publishing, one of the largest distributors of neo-Nazi and Holocaust denial literature in the world. He worked in Canada as a commercial artist and photographer, writing numerous tracts of neo-Nazi and Holocaust denial propaganda under the alias of Christof Friedrich, his two middle names. But in 1978, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation revealed that Friedrich was actually Zundel.

After that, Zundel ran his Samisdat Publishing under his own name and distributed not only his own works, but those of other well-known Holocaust deniers. They included Richard Harwood, author of Auschwitz, Dachau, Buchenwald: The Greatest Fraud in History, and Austin App, who wrote A Straight Look at the Third Reich and The Six Million Swindle. Zundel himself also wrote for White Power Report and Liberty Bell, two neo-Nazi publications run by George Dietz.

Zundel established the German-Jewish Historical Commission, which promoted denial of the Holocaust, and Concerned Parents of German Descent, which distributed anti-Semitic propaganda to ethnic Germans. Zundel’s interests didn’t end with neo-Nazism and Holocaust denial he also believed that UFOs were a Nazi secret weapon and published material to that effect. Zundel expanded Samisdat’s offerings to include artistic depictions of “Nazi Secret Weapons” (UFOs included), along with audiotapes ranging from Hitler’s speeches to “Music of the Third Reich.” Samisdat’s distribution was worldwide, although his focus was on the U.S., Canadian, and West German markets. Distribution of Nazi and neo-Nazi propaganda was illegal in West Germany (and still is in unified Germany), and in the early 1980s the government announced that it had seized some 200 illegal items coming into West Germany from Samisdat Publications in Toronto.

Zundel’s hate activities attracted the Canadian government’s interest, and its subsequent investigation of Zundel led to the suspension of his mailing privileges in 1981 (he then began using a Niagara Falls, N.Y., post office box). Authorities claimed that his mailings incited hatred a crime in Canada but in 1983 reinstated his postal privileges. In 1985, however, Zundel was charged criminally by Canadian authorities for violating a law against “knowingly publishing false news,” by publishing “Did Six Million Really Die?” (not written by Zundel) and Zundel’s own The West, War, and Islam. The prosecution used Holocaust survivors and historians in its case. On his side, Zundel had Holocaust deniers like Sweden’s Ditlieb Felderer, France’s Robert Faurisson and Canada’s James Keegstra testifying, even though each had been convicted for denial in their home countries. Zundel was convicted on Feb. 26, 1985, of publishing false news about the Holocaust, and was sentenced to 15 months in jail and three years of probation.

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Ernst Zundel | Southern Poverty Law Center

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