Sun, Feb 27, 2005 - Page 7 News List

Canada to deport a Nazi sympathizer

PROSECUTION OR PERSECUTION?After being held in a Toronto jail for two years to determine if he's a threat, a court ruled to deport Ernst Zundel back to Germany

AP , TORONTO

Jewish activists hailed a court ruling that allows Canada to deport German Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel to face prosecution at home.

Zundel, author of The Hitler We Loved and Why, has been held in a Toronto jail for two years while authorities determined whether he posed a security risk to Canadian society.

Federal Court Justice Pierre Blais said Friday that Zundel's activities were not only a threat to national security, "but also a threat to the international community of nations."

Zundel, a leading proponent of white supremacy, claims the Holocaust never happened.

In his 63-page decision released in Ottawa on Thursday, Blais called Zundel a racist hypocrite and said his Toronto home was a "revolving door" for some of the world's most notorious white supremacists who have promoted violence and hatred against Jews and minorities.

"It is time for Zundel's plane to take off. This should mark a closure to the tireless efforts of many to bring Zundel to justice," said Frank Dimant, executive vice president of B'nai Brith of Canada.

B'nai Brith and other Jewish organizations in Canada and the US have for decades followed Zundel's activities and intervened in the legal proceedings against him.

"The impact of Zundel's removal from Canada is significant," said Len Rudner, national director of community relations for the Canadian Jewish Congress.

`An indictment of hatred'

"It's an indictment of hatred, an indictment of violence."

Zundel faces prosecution in Germany for his neo-Nazi and Holocaust-denying activities.

Since the late 1970s he has operated Samisdat Publishing, one of the leading distributors of Nazi propaganda and since 1995 has been a key content provider for a Web site dedicated to Holocaust denial, according to the the Anti-Defamation League.

German authorities told the Canadian Press on Friday that Zundel would be picked up and arrested as soon as he arrived back in his homeland.

Zundel's lawyer Peter Lindsay said in statement that Zundel would not appeal and expected to be deported as early as next Tuesday.

"Probably no one cares because Mr. Ernst Zundel is notorious and reviled," Lindsay said.

"The powerful and the popular do not need to rely on the fairness of our legal system. The marginalized and the reviled do. Our system has failed Mr. Zundel," he added.

`A dangerous precedent'

Zundel spokesman Mark Weber said Zundel was being persecuted for his personal beliefs.

"The government case is based on pretext, innuendo," Weber said by phone.

"The judge cites no concrete basis that he is a threat to national security. He merely points out that Zundel met with people who, arguably, might be a threat to national security. That's not a crime. It's a dangerous precedent and it's a dangerous blow against freedom for Canadians."

Born in Germany in 1939, Zundel emigrated to Canada in 1958 and lived in Toronto and Montreal until 2001.

Canadian officials rejected his attempts to obtain Canadian citizenship in 1966 and 1994. He moved to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, until he was deported back to Canada in 2003 for alleged immigration violations.

Zundel claimed in court that he is a peaceful man who has no criminal record or charges against him in Canada. Lindsay, his attorney, challenged the constitutionality of the security certificate review process, saying it violates his client's right to free speech and association.

This story has been viewed 4374 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top