Ernst Zundel

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Ernst Zundel (1992)

Ernst Christof Friedrich Zündel ( anglicized Ernest Zundel , pseudonyms Christof Friedrich , Mattern Friedrich ; born April 24, 1939 in Calmbach ; † August 5, 2017 ibid.) Was a German author and publicist of historical revisionist writings and a Holocaust denier .


Zündel completed an apprenticeship as a graphic designer and emigrated to Canada at the age of 19 to avoid being called up for military service. In the 1960s he became a supporter of the Canadian National Socialist Adrien Arcand . In the 1970s, Zündel met various international Holocaust deniers, including Thies Christophersen , whose publication The Auschwitz Lie he translated into English and distributed.

In 1976, Zündel founded the Samizdat publishing house in Toronto . With the help of donations he distributed numerous holocaust-denying writings and published the "Germania-Rundbrief" at irregular intervals. In the 1980s, Ernst Zündel distinguished himself primarily with the production of video films with which he carried out propaganda . Among other things, the video film Ein Deutscher und ein Jude investigate Auschwitz , which was indexed in Germany , was made, in which Zündel roams through the Auschwitz I concentration camp with David Cole , a young man of Jewish descent, and explains to the viewer which parts of the historical representation of the Holocaust in his view cannot be correct. In the video film The Consequences of the Auschwitz Lie for Ernst Zündel , shot after a trial against him in Canada and also indexed in Germany , he had himself portrayed and used the opportunity to spread Holocaust-denying allegations.

From 1990, Zündel rented airtime from a US shortwave station and spread his Holocaust-denying and anti-Semitic views worldwide in German. During this time, one of the leading neo-Nazi activists at the time, Bela Ewald Althans, served him as a liaison in Germany.

Several lawsuits have been brought against Zündel in Canada for his holocaust-denying activities. In the 1988 Toronto trial, JG Burg , David Irving and Fred A. Leuchter appeared as witnesses for him . Leuchter, who traveled to Auschwitz and Majdanek on this occasion to carry out examinations in various gas chambers there, was unable to strengthen Zündel's position in the process and had to admit that he was wrongly using the professional title of engineer in Canada.

In 1991 the district court in Munich sentenced him to a fine of 12,600 DM for denying the mass murders of Jews during National Socialism. His lawyer was Jürgen Rieger .

Since 1994, Zündel had its own website that denied the Holocaust. After the Canadian Commission on Human Rights banned its website from operating on Canadian servers, it was later registered in the United States . His emblem on the website corresponded in color and structure to the swastika flag : Instead of the cross, a stylized Z was embedded in the white circle .

In 1995 there was an arson attack on Zündel's Toronto residence, which caused damage of $ 400,000. A group called the Jewish Armed Resistance Movement claimed responsibility for the attack. According to the Canadian newspaper Toronto Sun , the group had contacts with the Jewish Defense League (JDL) and with Kahane Chai . Meir Weinstein , the leader of the JDL in Toronto, denied involvement in the attack, but was caught trying to break into Zündel five days later, together with the American JDL leader Irv Rubin , and was therefore arrested by the police.

On February 5, 2003, Zündel was arrested in the United States for violating American immigration regulations and deported to Canada on February 19, 2003, although his residency permit in Canada had expired. He tried to get refugee status in Canada to avoid extradition to Germany. The Mannheim public prosecutor's office had had an arrest warrant against him since 2003 on suspicion of sedition.

Extradition, Detention and Trial

On February 24, 2005, the Canadian judiciary approved the extradition of Zündel to Germany and ordered his deportation . This was justified by the fact that Zündel posed a threat to the national security of Canada. In his decision, the judge described Zündel as a hypocritical racist who tried to create a pacifist image in order to spread his extremist and anti-Semitic views. The process of the deportation of Zündel was not without controversy in Canada, since a " Security Certificate " procedure, which is otherwise only intended for terrorists , was used, in which neither the accused nor his defense counsel could even see the evidence presented against him. On March 1, 2005 he was flown to Frankfurt am Main , arrested there and transferred to the Mannheim correctional facility for pre-trial detention.

On July 19, 2005, the Mannheim public prosecutor brought charges against him before the regional court for systematically denying the National Socialist genocide of the Jews through the dissemination of publications and Internet offers, as well as incitement to hatred in 14 cases through anti-Semitic agitation.

The first trial, found on 8 November 2005 and ended with a scandal before it came to the reading of the indictment: The presiding judge withdrew the public defender Sylvia Stolz 's mandate, as they may even sedition made it illegal because of their submissions in the written defense have. Furthermore, Horst Mahler , who was named as the “assistant”, was excluded from the proceedings because he was banned from working and his participation in the process was therefore punishable. The defense responded against the judge with a request for bias , which failed on November 15, 2005, as did the defense's request to exclude the public from the trial.

The trial was suspended until a new public defender was found. The arrest warrant for Zündel remained in place. The second start of the process took place on February 9, 2006. Stolz had now been able to return to Zündel's team as a defender. This consisted, among other things, of the two lawyers already convicted of sedition, Jürgen Rieger and Ludwig Bock, as well as Herbert Schaller , who took part in the 2006 Holocaust denial conference in Iran . On March 31, 2006, the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court excluded Zündel's defense attorney, Sylvia Stolz, from the proceedings because she abused her defense duties, sabotaged the proceedings through “non-procedural behavior” and, despite the chairman's prohibition of speaking, made statements with “partially criminal National Socialist content”; the exclusion was later confirmed by the Federal Court of Justice . Criminal law experts described the exclusion as a novelty in German legal history. On January 14, 2008, Stolz was sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment by the Mannheim District Court for sedition ; In addition, a five-year professional ban was pronounced against her.

In their announced on 15 February 2007 verdict, the chamber approved the proposal of the prosecutor and sentenced Zundel for sedition , insulting and denigrating the memory of the dead to five years in prison. Zündel's defense lawyers had demanded acquittal. His lawyers appealed against the judgment revision , which on 12 September 2007 by the Federal Court (AZ .: 1 con 337/07) was discarded. The defense then announced that they would file a constitutional complaint. On March 1, 2010, Zündel was released after serving his sentence in the Mannheim JVA. Since his release from prison, he has increasingly appeared at right-wing extremist and revisionist events.

On August 5, 2017, his wife announced his death. He died of a heart attack in his place of birth. After the wife's death on October 12, 2017, the contents of the Zündel website were deleted and replaced by a condolence text.


Web links

The Zundelsite (website of Ernst Zündel) is not linked in the German Wikipedia for legal reasons.

Individual evidence

  1. Federal Gazette No. 120 of June 30, 1994
  2. Federal Gazette No. 41 of February 28, 1995
  3. Klaus-Peter Klingelschmitt: Zündel now also before German court . In: taz . No. 7814 , November 8, 2005, p. 7 ( [accessed on September 18, 2019]).
  4. Torge Löding: Canada delivers neo-Nazi Zündel to Germany. In: March 1, 2005, accessed March 22, 2019 .
  5. a b c d Shermer, Michael. Why People Believe Weird Things . 1997, page 185
  6. Bock, Ludwig. In: Amadeu Antonio Foundation, May 3, 2008, accessed August 7, 2017 .
  7. BGH, decision of May 24, 2006, Az. 2 ARs 199/06 = NJW 2006, p. 2421.
  8. Mannheimer Morgen : Zündel trial writes legal history ( Memento from February 14, 2009 in the Internet Archive ), (only fully accessible to subscribers)
  9. Südwestrundfunk : Zündel lawyer must have been imprisoned for three and a half years , January 14, 2008
  10. Five years in prison for Holocaust denier Zündel. In: February 16, 2007. Retrieved November 12, 2017 .
  11. ^ District Court Mannheim: Judgment announced in the Zündel proceedings ( memento of February 15, 2009 in the Internet Archive ), February 15, 2007
  12. a b BGH confirms Zündel judgment . In: taz . September 18, 2007, p. 7 ( [accessed on November 2, 2019]).
  13. ^ Discharge - Holocaust denier Zündel again at large. (No longer available online.) In: March 1, 2010, archived from the original on February 8, 2011 ; accessed on May 13, 2019 .
  14. ^ Rüdiger Löster: German and Greek Nazis hand in hand in the tradition of the NSDAP. In: November 11, 2012, accessed March 15, 2018 .
  15. Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel dead at age 78. CTV , August 6, 2017, accessed on August 7, 2017 .