Holo­caust-de­nier Zun­del dead at 78

North Bay Nugget - - OPINION -

Ber­LIN — ernst Zun­del, a “pa­tri­arch” of the white su­prem­a­cist move­ment who served jail time in ger­many for holo­caust de­nial af­ter be­ing de­ported from Canada, has died.

Zun­del’s wife, Ingrid Zun­del, said her hus­band died satur­day at his home in Black For­est ger­many, where he was born.

ger­man of­fi­cials later con­firmed his death.

Zun­del, who was 78, was ex­tra­dited in Canada in 2005 af­ter ear­lier be­ing de­ported from the united states for al­leged im­mi­gra­tion vi­o­la­tions.

a Cana­dian judge ruled that Zun­del’s ac­tiv­i­ties were a threat to na­tional se­cu­rity as well as ”the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity of na­tions,” clear­ing the way for his de­por­ta­tion to ger­many later that year.

he was jailed the day he ar­rived in ger­many, and was later con­victed on 14 counts of in­cit­ing ha­tred for years of anti-semitic ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing con­tribut­ing to a web­site de­voted to deny­ing the holo­caust — a crime in that coun­try. he was served with the max­i­mum sen­tence — five years be­hind bars, with credit for time served.

he was re­leased from prison in 2010.

Ingrid Zun­del said she be­lieved her hus­band died from a heart at­tack, but said she wasn’t sure of many of the de­tails. she said his sis­ter had found him un­con­scious and called for an am­bu­lance.

“I spoke to ernst just hours be­fore, and he was op­ti­mistic and up­beat as ever. There was no in­di­ca­tion that any­thing was wrong,” Zun­del wrote in the email.

Zun­del had lived in both Toronto and Mon­treal for years af­ter em­i­grat­ing in 1958. he was re­jected twice for Cana­dian cit­i­zen­ship and moved to Pi­geon Forge, Tenn., but was sent back to Canada in 2003.

he came to public at­ten­tion in the 1980s with sev­eral pub­li­ca­tions in­clud­ing The Hitler We Loved.

Two at­tempts at pros­e­cu­tion in Canada ul­ti­mately foundered when the supreme Court of Canada struck down the coun­try’s laws against spread­ing false news as a vi­o­la­tion of free speech.

The tri­als cat­a­pulted the per­ma­nent res­i­dent into the public spot­light and Zun­del be­came a fa­mil­iar fig­ure with his ret­inue of fol­low­ers in Toronto.

Zun­del con­tin­ued pub­lish­ing his be­liefs on­line, on a web­site that re­mained up at the time of his death.

he and his sup­port­ers had ar­gued he was ex­er­cis­ing his right to free speech. he was the sub­ject of nu­mer­ous threats and his home was once fire­bombed.

Fed­eral Court Jus­tice Pierre Blais in 2005 found Zun­del to be a hate­mon­ger who posed a threat to na­tional se­cu­rity be­cause of his close as­so­ci­a­tion with white su­prem­a­cist and neo-Nazi groups that re­sorted to vi­o­lence to press their causes.

a na­tional se­cu­rity cer­tifi­cate re­leased by the Cana­dian se­cu­rity and In­tel­li­gence ser­vice in 2003 said Zun­del was then “con­sid­ered one of the most no­to­ri­ous dis­trib­u­tors of hate ma­te­rial in the world,” and re­ferred to him as a pa­tri­arch of the white su­prem­a­cist move­ment in Canada.

“Zun­del was an un­re­pen­tant anti-semite and de­fender of the evil Nazi regime, deny­ing the holo­caust while at the same time fo­ment­ing ha­tred to­wards Jews,” said shi­mon Kof­fler Fo­gel, Ceo of the Cen­tre for Is­rael and Jewish af­fairs. “Zun­del serves as a re­minder of why civil so­ci­ety must re­main vig­i­lant in its bat­tle with the pur­vey­ors of hate.”

he added that Zun­del’s death will bring an “es­pe­cially per­ni­cious saga” to a close.

upon his con­vic­tion in ger­many in 2007, Bernie Far­ber, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the Cana­dian Jewish Congress, called Zun­del “one of the most renowned hate­mon­gers.”

“That will be his fi­nal epi­taph,” he said.

Michael Probst/The Cana­dian Press

Ger­man right wing ex­trem­ist Ernst Zun­del sits in a court in Mannheim, south­ern Ger­many, in 2005 at the be­gin­ning of a trial to face charges in­clud­ing in­cite­ment li­bel and dis­parag­ing the dead. Ger­man au­thor­i­ties have con­firmed that far-right ac­tivist Zun­del, who was de­ported from Canada and served jail time in Ger­many for deny­ing the Holo­caust ever hap­pened, has died.

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