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by Steven Plaut


Ernst Zundel is a German-born Nazi, Holocaust denier, and anti-Semite. He makes his living by selling Nazi military paraphernalia. He moved to Canada from Germany when he was 19. In 1978, a Canadian Broadcasting Company journalist revealed that -- using his middle names -- Christof Friedrich, Zundel had become Canada's leading pro-Nazi and Holocaust-denial propagandist. Once exposed, Zundel continued his efforts under his conventional name.

The principal outlet for Zundel's early activities was his Toronto-based company, Samisdat Publishers, Ltd., which produced Zundel originals (like The Hitler We Loved and Why) and Holocaust-denial "classics" (including The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, by Arthur Butz; A Straight Look at the Third Reich and The Six Million Swindle, by Austin App; and Auschwitz, Dachau, Buchenwald: The Greatest Fraud in History, by Richard Harwood). He also produces books and articles with other anti-Jewish libels. He is also a white supremacist. For his full bio visit the Anti-Defamation League; some of the material below is taken from that site.

"Ernst Zundel epitomizes and sanctions the worst form of Holocaust denial," contends Bernie Farber, a spokesman for the Canadian Jewish Congress.

Zundel was arrested numerous times in Canada, is today wanted for criminal activity in Germany and currently lives in Tennessee. He is fixated on UFOs, believing them to be Nazi secret weapons based somewhere in Antarctica.

In 1985, Zundel was charged under Section 177 of the Criminal Code of Canada for "knowingly publishing false news." Among those testifying for the prosecution at the trial were Holocaust survivors, a history professor and even a banker -- since Zundel had claimed that an international conspiracy existed among Freemasons, Communists, international financiers and Zionists. Speaking for the defense were such leading Holocaust deniers as Sweden's Ditlieb Felderer, France's Robert Faurisson (a close associate of Noam Chomsky, the professor of Cambodian genocide) and Canada's James Keegstra, all of whom have been convicted in their own countries under hate crimes laws for their Holocaust-denial activities. To win, prosecutors had the distasteful task of "proving" that the Holocaust had occurred and the difficult task of proving that Zundel had knowingly lied when he wrote that it had not. Zundel was convicted on February 26, 1985, of publishing false news about the Holocaust. He was sentenced to fifteen months in jail, and three years probation, during which he was prohibited from publishing on the subject.

Zundel did not serve his sentence. In January 1987, the Ontario Court of Appeals overturned the 1985 conviction, citing procedural errors during the trial. In June 1987, a new trial was granted. Also testifying for Zundel was David Irving, the convicted British Holocaust denier. On November 13, 1988, Zundel was convicted and sentenced to a nine-month jail term. When an appeals court upheld the conviction, Zundel reported to Toronto's Don Jail on February 5, 1990, wearing a striped "concentration camp" costume labeled "Political Prisoner Ernst Zundel." After spending a week in jail, he was released on $10,000 bail pending an appeal to Canada's Supreme Court. On August 27, 1992, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down as unconstitutional the law banning the spread of false news. In February 2001, after being denied Canadian citizenship, Zundel left Canada for the United States.

In August 1996, the Canadian Human Rights Commission opened yet another chapter in Zundel's saga with the law. At issue was an Internet site that bore Zundel's name -- the so-called "Zundelsite" -- which, since mid-1995, had served as an electronic library of Holocaust-denial texts and which incited hatred against Jews. The Canadian Human Rights Commission ordered that the site be shut down, but because it was operating from a computer server inside the United States, the Canadian order was not enforceable. At the trial, evidence was presented that Zundel and his wife personally control this web site.

On February 5, 2003, officials from the US Immigration and Naturalization Service arrested Ernst Zundel at his home in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, for alleged immigration violations. He was deported to Canada and has been in jail ever since. Mr. Zundel is confined to a Toronto detention center because the government is holding him on a national security certificate -- the controversial and draconian procedure usually reserved for terrorist suspects.

The Zundelsite continues to operate as the main vehicle for spreading Zundel's Nazi doctrines. Zundel's wife also continues to send her daily "Z-Grams," which are less devoted to Holocaust denial and more to fulmination against "Jewish power," anti-Semitic and anti-Israel conspiracy theories, and attacks on the US government and the War on Terror.

There is one other interesting fact you should know about the Zundelsite. It carries at least two articles published by Neve Gordon, the leftist extremist lecturer in political science at Ben Gurion University, best known for his pronouncements that Israel is a fascist, terrorist, apartheid state. One of these Zundelsite pieces is Gordon's article praising Norman Finkelstein, who himself is almost universally seen as a neo-Nazi, Holocaust denier, fraud and anti-Semite. The book by Finkelstein reviewed in Gordon's article was compared by the New York Times to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Note how Gordon compares Finkelstein ethically to the Prophets of the Bible (last sentences of the review). The other Zundelsite publication of a Gordon article is here.

Gordon's articles have been published and cited with favor in many other anti-Semitic and anti-Israel printed and online newspapers and magazines, ranging from Al-Ahram, to the Radio Islam web site, to David Irving's web site. Gordon is also a regular columnist for Counterpunch, an extremist and anti-Israel web magazine (it has published articles favoring Israel's liquidation) owned and edited by Alexander Cockburn, who has been very widely denounced (including by the liberal New Republic magazine) as an open anti-Semite.

The publication of Gordon's articles on Zundelsite also comes against the background of growing criticism of the activities of far-leftist extremists at Israeli universities and especially at his own university, Ben-Gurion in Beersheba. Israel's Minister of Education recently announced she was boycotting Ben-Gurion University because of the political activities there of a radical sociologist faculty member, who had published articles declaring that Israel was practicing genocide against Palestinians.

The press in Israel claims there is growing anger against Ben-Gurion University among Jews around the world and that some have announced they are withholding financial support for the university as long as the faculty extremists operate under university auspices. Even Israel's recently-released nuclear spy and traitor, Mordecai Vanunu, had begun his activities while a member of a communist student cell at Ben-Gurion University.

The same Neve Gordon whose articles are published by Zundelsite and Counterpunch has also filed a malicious SLAPP suit against me, already being widely compared to the libel suit filed by David Irving against Deborah Lipstadt. (c.f. the December 17, 2003 blog ed by Richard Lakisher.) You see, I criticized Gordon's political opinions and his public political activities (such as his joining the "human shields" who illegally entered Ramallah to interfere with the Israeli army's siege against Yasser Arafat's offices, while Arafat was hiding the murderers of an Israeli cabinet minister in those same offices), and especially because I criticized his praising Norman Finkelstein in the article cited above. SLAPP, for the uninitiated, stands for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation; it is a harassment suit designed to suppress free speech of one's critics. There are severe penalties against those who file them frivolously in many parts of the United States.

Free speech in Israel is indeed under attack -- by the extremist Left.

Steven Plaut is an American-trained economist, a professor of business administration at Haifa University and author of "The Scout." He frequently comments - both seriously and satirically - on Israeli politics and the left wing academic community. His website address is

This article appeared on the Intellectual Conservative website June 16, 2004 and is archived at

[Editor's Note: Information on how to support Dr. Plaut's legal defense can be found in Whatever Happened To Freedom Of Speech In Israel?]


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