I love the feisty, aggressive nature of Zundel's team. I also note that the courtroom is filled with Zundel supporters.
Looks like more trouble is brewing for The Big Lie.
KANGAROO COURT SEEKS TO UPHOLD HISTORICAL HOAX
Show trial opens for Holocaust® dissenter
NSNS Thursday, 9 February 2006
MANNHEIM, Germany — The German-born author of the book
The Hitler We Loved and Why went on trial in Germany Thursday
for denying the so-called Holocaust and was applauded by
supporters in court.
Lawyers supporting Ernst Zündel, 66, attacked the judge as
biased and poured scorn on the government-funded, mock legal
team imposed on the defense. The court ruled earlier that the
lawyers Zündel had selected would not receive state fees.
Zündel, who has spent most of his life in the United States and
Canada, ran a revisionist website and distributed books by mail
exposing The Holocaust® myth. He is charged with incitement
to "ethnic hatred," "criminal libel" and "disparaging the dead."
The first trial of Zündel last November had to be abandoned after
the court in the southwestern town of Mannheim ruled that his
lawyer in defending him against charges was herself breaching the
law by "denying The Holocaust."
Truth No Defense
German judges have declared that Zündel is not allowed to base a
defense on the issue of truth or his claim that The Holocaust® is
a postwar invention. As a result, there are three legal teams in
court: the prosecution, the state-imposed "defense," and Zündel's
There was a heavy police presence as the kangaroo proceedings
began. As Zündel, who has been in German custody since he
was summarily expelled from Canada in March 2005, was led in,
supporters in the public gallery erupted into applause.
When presiding Judge Ulrich Meinerzhagen threatened to expel them
from the courtroom, defense attorney Jürgen Rieger shot back:
"If you don't think your nerves are up to it, you should take yourself
off the case."
The court stalled on an objection against the judge for bias, saying
that it would be dealt with later. Other motions by Zündel delayed
the arraignment for several hours. The court rejected a demand by
Zündel's legal team that the state's mock defense team sit elsewhere
Free Not to Say Certain Things
Although freedom of the press and of _expression is enshrined in the
German constitution, that does not mean that the citizens of that
country—or others—are immune from arrest and prosecution for
exercising the very same so-called freedom.
On the one hand, Article 5 of Germany's Basic Law—created
in 1949 under foreign military occupation—clearly states:
"Everyone has the right to freely express and disseminate their
opinions orally, in writing or visually and to obtain information from
generally accessible sources without hindrance. Freedom of the
press and freedom of reporting through audiovisual media shall be
guaranteed. There shall be no censorship."
But the very next paragraph puts Orwellian limits on the same
freedom and outlaws all critical examination of blood-libel
German law therefore constrains press freedom, said Udo Branahl,
a professor of media law at the University of Dortmund.
"The penal law code says Holocaust denial is a punishable offense,"
he said. "That ban limits press freedom and overrides the right to
free _expression in the mass media."
Accusations of Hypocrisy
Germany is not the only European country to make "Holocaust denial
a crime. France, Italy and Austria have similar statutes on the books.
This calls into question the commitment of Western regimes to
human rights and so-called democracy.
European leaders who, in the name of freedom of speech, have
defended the printing of cartoons so offensive to the Muslims, now
find themselves facing accusations of hypocrisy in their suppression
of peaceful dissent and the discussion of certain controversial ideas.
Highlighting this contradiction, the largest newspaper in Iran is
holding a contest for the best cartoons on "The Holocaust." At the same time, Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has called for a conference to examine definitively Jewish claims of casualties during the Second World War.
The Iranian president has also upset Western leaders by calling
attention to the persecution and imprisonment by Western
governments of thousands of dissidents, such as Ernst Zündel.
Zündel emigrated from Germany to Canada in 1958 and later sought
asylum in the United States. At the instigation of Jewish pressure
groups, he was deported back to Canada in 2003 for alleged
The German government has been trying for years to stop Zündel's
revisionist activities in print and on the Internet. As a German
national, he can be prosecuted in his homeland for alleged crimes—
including "Holocaust denial" committed on foreign soil.
Zündel faces a up to five years in jail if convicted. He has been in
prison since his deportation from the United States to Canada earlier last year.