Zundel Claims Propaganda Led To “False” Notion Of Holocaust
TORONTO (AP) _ Comic books, school history classes and the musical ″The Sound of Music″ have contributed to giving people ″false″ notions about the Nazis, said publisher Ernst Zundel, who is on trial for publicly claiming that the Holocaust never took place.
Zundel, a 46-year-old native of Germany with landed immigrant status in Canada, is charged with knowingly publishing false information likely to cause social or racial intolerance. Two of his publications claim that the accounts of 6 million Jews having been murdered by the Nazis are a ″hoax″ and a Zionist conspiracy to extract reparations from Germany.
Zundel, testifying in his own defense Tuesday, said Canadian children were ″brainwashed″ by anti-Nazi comic books as late as the 1960s and others received the same message in novels and history classes.
The musical ″The Sound of Music″ also depicted Nazis only as ruthless people who chased after innocents and robbed them of their freedom, Zundel said.
He said conflicting versions of the Nazi government’s policy and German soldiers’ behavior led him to research and conclusions different from accepted reports.
One of the booklets published and distributed by Zundel is, ″Did Six Million Really Die?″ It was written by Richard Harwood of the University of London.
Zundel - who faces a maximum two-year prison sentence if convicted - said the booklet is an offset reproduction of one published in the United States, but includes a foreword and back-page comments by him.
Zundel said 99 percent of the booklet’s contents coincide with information he gathered from other published sources and personal interviews. About 25 books he said he has read and other documents related to the Holocaust were introduced as evidence by the defense.
Zundel’s 24-year-old son, Pierre, testified earlier that the family had been harassed because of what he said were his father’s efforts to determine the facts about the Holocaust.
He also told the District Court that he was given a one-sided view of the Holocaust in a philosophy class at a Roman Catholic high school in Toronto.
The elder Zundel said he was taught a distorted view of history in school while the Allies occupied Germany and prescribed the curricula. His parents gave him a different version of events, especially after his father returned from an Allied prison camp in 1948, he said.
Zundel came to Canada in 1958, and he said he met other German-Canadians who also were confused about ″conflicting″ reports of the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews.