By Vic Rosenthal
Some time ago I wrote about Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel (see The Church of Antisemitisim). Last night I had the opportunity to meet his wife.
Ingrid Rimland Zündel is of German Mennonite extraction; so it wasn’t surprising that she has been in our valley — home to many Mennonites — more than once. Last night she spoke at a local Mennonite church.
I went with some trepidation, imagining the place packed with skinheads and Jew-hating survivalists from the mountains. I invited retired newsman Murray Farber (known on the streets of New York as “fearless Farber” some 60-odd years ago) to accompany me. Both Murray and I had family members in Europe murdered by the Nazis.
I needn’t have worried. The only skinheads present were involuntary ones, older church members. There was a total of 13 people in the audience, including Murray and me. One of the reasons for this became clear in the parking lot, where we met the pastor of the church handing out flyers saying that the event was not sponsored by the church, and that the content did not reflect its (or his) views. He told us that he had done his best to discourage members from attending. One of the members of the congregation, an immigration lawyer who had represented Ernst Zündel when he was deported from the US, had been very persistent in promoting the event.
Mrs. Zündel appeared to be a pleasant woman in her sixties, and spoke about her husband’s difficulties with the authorities in Canada, the US, and Germany. He was persecuted unfairly and terribly, she said, because of his tireless work to spread the truth. This is not allowed because the Holocaust “myth” is a huge “cash cow”, used to extort reparations from Germany and sympathy for Jews and Israel in the US. It is a fraud and a hoax, she said.
“There is an enormous amount of money flowing to Israel because of the Holocaust; that’s why the US, Canada, and Germany spent so much money prosecuting my husband”, she explained.
She insisted that nobody was gassed at Auschwitz — Zyklon B was only used for delousing. Of course the Germans were very angry at the Jews (!), and many of them were shot because they were “collaborating with the enemy and sabotaging us”. Anyway, bullets were cheaper than gas. But only 278,000 died in Auschwitz, mostly from disease. “There was never a Fuehrer order” to kill the Jews. “It was not in Hitler’s interest” for PR reasons to have a genocide.
As she spoke and warmed to her subject, she stopped seeming like a pleasant woman to me. I began to feel the chill of the 1940’s, when my parents and grandparents gathered around the radio, listening to the news reports from Europe and wondering about their siblings and cousins (none of whom, we later determined, survived the war). I began to feel the presence of something very old and very bad.
Americans need to wake up, said Mrs. Zündel, before they lose their freedom as Ernst has. The Palestinians understand “this criminal racket” but most of the rest of the world is “brainwashed”. The judicial system has been “co-opted”. We have been lied to about the Kennedy assassinations, 9/11, Vince Foster, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Holocaust. “The truth can free the world if it comes out”.
“There will be no peace in the US until this weapon [the Holocaust] can be taken away from what is plaguing this country”. She didn’t specify exactly “what is plaguing this country”, but she didn’t need to at this point.
Murray asked her about the evidence presented at the Nuremberg trials. “Nuremberg was a tool that allowed Israel to be created”. What about the testimony of Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss? “He made his confessions under torture”. What about the Wannasee conference? “All lies”.
The local lawyer who had organized the event spoke a bit afterwards. He said that one of the problems he had in getting attention paid to Ernst Zündel’s allegedly illegal treatment by the US authorities was that “immigration lawyers are predominately Jewish”, so they wouldn’t take the issue seriously. He added that there is a “high level of control of a certain segment of the community over the media”, which prevents the truth from being known.
Murray and I didn’t stay for the refreshments after the talk.