Editor’s Note: Ernst Zündel is one of my all time favorite heroes. If you do not know who he is, please check out this brief article where Ernst explains how he got involved in the Holocaust revisionist movement. I just recently discovered that he not only was concerned about Holocaust truth, but he also was a German patriot, and was deeply concerned about what happened to Germany towards the end of the war and immediately after. Check out the Ernst Zündel archive at one of my favorite websites, archive.org. There are 325 files, including a 34 part series on the GERMAN Holocaust! Ernst recently died in 2017, but his work in spreading the truth lives on.
My name is Ernst Zündel. I am a Holocaust Revisionist. I dare to think and express forbidden thoughts.
More to the point, I want to know: “Did Six Million Really Die?”
Five words. One little question mark.
I am the cause of the first-time-ever censorship ban on the Net. I need not repeat details here. The German act of censorship – first CompuServe, then Telekom – brought forth a reaction the likes of which happens to dissidents only in Hollywood movies.
And all because of one small sentence followed by a question mark? I’m asking it again: “Did Six Million Really Die?”
Not many people ask the questions I have asked for a good part of my life – questions pertaining to the Holocaust. I didn’t until I was well into my twenties.
One day I decided I should.
I was like everybody else in my own postwar years in Germany. I was disgusted with my father’s generation whom I believed to have been monsters. Like practically all people on our planet, I used to believe in the standard, widely accepted notion that the government of National Socialist Germany, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, had attempted to kill the Jews by an act of state-decreed genocide. I was ashamed to be a German and turned to Canada.
In the 1960’s, newly married to a French-Canadian woman and with a young family to support, I experienced my first doubts about some details of the Holocaust story. Further study, mostly at night, convinced me that many segments of the story were highly exaggerated, and the number of Jewish losses were wildly inflated.
As time went on, my soul was burning with one question: “Did Six Million Really Die?”
Soon I spoke and wrote about my doubts about some aspects of the Holocaust at public gatherings and private meetings to attentive audiences. I produced some fliers, handbills, posters and stickers. I did some radio interviews.
Then fate would have it that I published one small booklet someone else had written – a publication that had been an underground bestseller in 12 languages and had been sold in 18 countries. Its title was: “Did Six Million Really Die?”
It posed some pointed questions. I felt safe publishing it, since nowhere had this publication caused offense.
Not so in Canada.
A woman called Sabina Citron, who headed the Holocaust Remembrance Association of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, decided that she was offended. She laid a private criminal complaint under Canada’s ancient “False News” Law against me in November of 1983. This was a law used seven centuries ago against the British peasants who had offended kings by chanting limericks.
Next thing I knew, the government of Canada took over and started prosecuting me. The media was vociferous. The mob was mobilized. I was beaten and spat at on the way to court. My house was bombed in the middle of the night. I was convicted by two juries and lost some of my appeals. I went to prison more than once. My thriving graphic arts business was soon ruined. My marriage broke under the stress and ended in divorce. I was banned from traveling to the United States because I was before the courts of Canada.
Between trials and appeals the judges imposed what the “Globe and Mail” of Toronto called “. . . the most sweeping judicial gag order ever imposed on a Canadian resident,” thus depriving me of my freedom of speech for almost nine years. The German government refused to issue me a passport or travel document for over 6 years, forcing me into a form of Gulag existence without barbed wire. My bank accounts were seized. Huge early morning raids were taking place all over Germany against my supporters there.
Yet still, my soul was burning with the question: “Did Six Million Really Die?”
I was a German. Like any other human being on this earth, I loved my people and my country. I loved them more as I matured politically. Why was I not allowed to question my own people’s history? Just who was writing the script of what I should or should not ask?
On August 27, 1992, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the ancient “False News” statute, under which I had been dragged through the courts for nine years and which cost me most of my fortune and the tax payers of Canada some $6 million, was unconstitutional.
I thought that surely now I had the right to ask: “Did Six Million Really Die?”
I asked. It hurt to ask – but I asked.
The public vilification in the media increased. Official persecution through arbitrary searches, seizures of books, mail etc., pointedly thorough customs and immigration inspections at the border, and police investigations by three different police forces and Canada’s spy agency, CSIS, followed.
I protested publicly and privately to every level of government. Writers organizations and Amnesty International turned deaf ears to my pleas. I appealed to the various human rights agencies and international bodies. No one helped. No one cared.
Politicians, columnists, and broadcasters agitated the public against me to the point when on May 7, 1995 an arsonist set my house on fire and nearly succeeded in burning it down. I have been told by tipsters he was paid $200 to do so.
Over 5,000 rare books, manuscripts, files and business records were destroyed by fire and water damage. Had I been home, I would have been killed.
One week later a powerful parcel bomb was sent to me which, had I opened it, would have killed me and my staff.
It was becoming ever more clear to me that Canada, supposedly a fine democracy, did not allow my question.
Because of the persecution I experienced for expressing my unorthodox viewpoint on history, I decided with the help of some American friends to set up a world-wide web page in the USA, the last bastion of free speech. I quietly set about constructing my web page.
At first, I was more or less left alone and ignored.
Only when Nizkor, a Holocaust Promotion web site, challenged me to refute a lengthy, 170+ page, double-spaced document in rebuttal to one of my posts on the Zundelsite and I prepared to do so by heaving some documents onto my site, did it become clear that I was upsetting powerful interests the world over.
A ban by the German censors on my server was imposed. 1,500 web sites were inaccessible in Germany because of five small words, still followed by a question mark. Did Six Million Really Die?
But then the incredible happened! Under vicious political siege, my web site was cloning itself!
For an entire week, from Patagonia to the Northern Polar Regions, from China to the Cape of Good Hope, the click of the mouse was the roar of the lion that roared: “Hands off the Internet!”
A friend said that he felt the planet lurch.
Censorship busters materialized from nowhere and sprang up like mushrooms after rain. University students, computer buffs, Internet veterans and columnists all leaped to my defense. The phones kept ringing off the hooks. The fax machines went crazy. The mailman groaned under the load of conventional mail, and so much e-mail arrived that we were overwhelmed. Total strangers, who under normal circumstances would have never heard of me, much less supported me, spontaneously copied or mirrored my web site and e-mailed large portions of text files all over the world.
At the height of the controversy, at least 13 identified mirror web sites existed in the USA and, we were told, at least one in Australia.
An outcast had become an incast.
That miracle in cyberspace will be forever cyber-history. It was magnificent!
I am on record saying that freedom does not come for free. I of all people know that questions do not come for free. Doubting the Holocaust is against the law in Germany. In Europe, there are “hate laws,” and the Holocaust is entrenched dogma before which people genuflect.
There are 1300 state prosecutors all over Germany. I am undoubtedly registered as a “thought criminal” in every one of them and thus will be arrested, tried and convicted of thought crimes, should I ever step on German soil again. My 90-year-old mother passed away, and I was not allowed to see her to her grave.
The same fate – arrest, conviction and imprisonment for thought crimes – could befall the idealistic American Censorship Busters who gave my thoughts refuge when my web site was under attack. Most did not even like me, but they knew from healthy instinct that something had sprung for their jugular vein, and that it was time to stand tall and be counted. For a week, they were men who acted like men. They do not know this yet, but they, too, were committing “thought crimes”. All over Germany.
It is a chilling thing to have to tell those idealistic censorship busters that this one day of bedrock principle in cyberspace could cost them up to five years in a German prison. It is known to have happened before.
What price freedom? What price America?
This article was originally published here: https://ernstzundel.wordpress.com/ an excellent website that I have put in this website’s links page.
You should also check out the Ernst Zundel archive of over 300 videos, most of course are now banned on Youtube.