"Revisionism" to the World
Ingrid Rimland is an
example of an extremist who has achieved notoriety solely through
the Internet. Rimland, who lives in Carlsbad, California, is the
webmaster of what everyone thought was Ernst
Zündel's Zündelsite but which has recently been renamed Ingrid
Rimland's Zündelsite. This claim of ownership is part of Rimland's
campaign to help Zündel fight the charge that, as the site owner
and operator, he has violated Canadian hate crimes laws. Whatever
her role in its development and management, there is no doubt that
she plays an important role in the Zündelsite's operation. Describing
herself "a stylist, first and last an Aryan writer cognizant of
words. . .," and lecturer with a "flourishing" speaking
career, Ingrid Rimland has, since early 1996, been actively promoting
Holocaust denial on the World Wide Web. She writes a daily column,
a stream of neo-Nazi
cheerleading and anti-Semitic
invective called "Z-Grams," proclaiming Holocaust "revisionism to
"Next time you call me a Nazi — you will
do so with genuine respect!"
-- Ingrid Rimland
An eager acolyte and fervent
admirer of Ernst Zündel,
Rimland shares and peddles his "revised" version of history. Rimland
and Zündel also share a common childhood experience: they lived
through the total defeat of the Nazis -- he in Germany, she in the
Ukraine -- a defeat both lament. Today, they both express profound
admiration for Hitler and National Socialism.
Born in 1936 in the Ukraine,
Rimland, in a brief autobiography published on her personal Web
site, describes her family as "German-descent Mennonite wheat farmers...
who had been persecuted in [Stalin's] Soviet Union..." Her personal
experiences make their way into her novels as in a work-in-progress
she has described on her Web site. Titled "Lebensraum," it will
be a multi-part epic about the loss of ethnic identity. In it she
plans to show that World War II was fought "for the benefit of a
shadowy power" that used a "relentlessly liberal media" to convince
Americans that the war had been "unleashed by Germany to hurt and
decimate the Jews." In the work, she says she will portray Hitler's
Germany as offering "the hope that rescue and delivery [would] be
sent to [the ethnic Germans living in Russia]." The story of Hitler's
invasion of Russia will be presented as an initially "spectacular
success" that was transformed into "an almost apocalyptic rush into
terror, defeat and disaster."
Given the obvious sympathies
of her family, it is no wonder that they left the Soviet Union in
1943 with the retreating German army. But finding Germany "a devastated
wasteland," her family moved on "to the rain forests of Paraguay"
where she later married and had children.
In the 1960s she was on the
move again, migrating to Canada in 1960 and then, in 1967, to the
United States. There she went to college, and personally interested
in the education of special-needs children, eventually earned an
Ed.D. Since coming to the United States, Rimland has written three
books, two of which are based, in part, on her personal experiences.
One of these, The Wanderers, is an account of the Mennonite
"exodus out of the Ukraine in 1943."
Rimland's personal Web pages
advertise her writing and speaking, indicating that her areas of
emphasis are Special Education, Migrant Education, Literature and
One page has a list of her speaking
engagements. It includes a number of major universities including
Stanford and the University of Wisconsin, numerous workshops sponsored
by the National Education Association, various organizations such
as the American Association of University Women, Federated Women's
Club, the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs. And though her Web site media
page shows that she has been a guest on several of Ernst Zündel's
radio program, she doesn't identify Zündel or give any but the most
oblique indication of his or her views about Hitler and the Holocaust.
"Holocaust teaching. . .is
the rape of the mind of America's children. . . intellectual,
emotional and spiritual rape of the mind."
-- Ingrid Rimland
While she is cautious on
a site that can be used as a professional reference, experience
and education have not diminished her sense of injury, persecution
and victimization. Rimland has an unshakable belief in the righteousness
of her cause despite its long, ignoble history. She proudly claims
the label "Nazi" and while doing so cynically appropriates a symbol
of resistance to the very race-based hatred she embraces:
I have thought about this
a lot — and I will tell you here and now that, in the not-too-distant
future I will, like Rosa Parks, get up from the back of the bus,
stare down my opposition and say to the rest of the world:
'Next time you call me
a Nazi — you will do so with genuine respect!' What's more, I
know precisely how. Will it be all that difficult! I don't think
She rises in high dudgeon
to denounce those who attack her views as gross distortions of history
willfully constructed to further her anti-Semitism and neo-Nazi
views. Her enemies are "Holohoaxers" or "Holohuggers" who try to
destroy the ethnic pride of Aryans:
We [of German descent]
have been decimated horribly. . . And now we must rebuild. . . .
We have been deceived in the most vicious, cruel way, about most
anything pertaining to [World War II]. We have been lied to and
lied to and lied to — and that includes what National Socialism
was really all about. It was NOT about a witch hunt to kill every
Jew in sight.
The Holocaust, in her view,
is emblematic of this assault. "Holocaust teaching" she writes,
"is. . . child abuse. It is adult abuse. It is ethnic
I want to go on record that
it is soul-abuse." It is the "rape of the mind of America's children. . .
intellectual, emotional and spiritual rape of the mind."
Rimland knows who is responsible for this "distortion" of history: it
is ZOG, the "Zionist Occupation Government."
Rimland knows who is responsible
for this "distortion" of history: it is ZOG, the "Zionist Occupation
Government." She does acknowledge, presumably to fend off the charge
that she is an anti-Semite, that not all Jews are part of ZOG. But
she insists that "many influential Jews are, and when writers like
myself use this term, not only are these Jews addressed, but also. . .
their nest-fouling toadies, lackeys and yes-men who come out of
the Aryan ranks."
Rimland's goal is identical
to that of other Holocaust deniers; destroy the memory of the Holocaust
and it might just be possible, by relativizing the rest of the history,
to reconstruct the mythic Hitler who, in an article reprinted by
Rimland, is described as "the most notable figure of the 20th century,
[the man] who directed the miraculous transformation of a broken
[Germany] into the most progressive and advanced Nation of its time."
I would like to see a respectful
attitude developed about the Hitler times and what Hitler REALLY
tried to do.
It seems to me that we
are willing to believe most anything bad about what 'the Jews'
have said and done but here in America we are not willing to say:
'the demonization of Hitler was, and is, systematic, vicious,
unrelenting, and thoroughly unfair and it is of Jewish origin.'
Each day Rimland pushes material
such as this out onto the Internet, expressing confidence that she
and her fellow anti-Semitic, pro-Nazi Holocaust deniers are having
a terrific impact on the prevailing view of history.
Rimland's impact on Internet
users as a group cannot be really determined. She claims a significant
amount of activity on the Zündelsite but there is no established
auditing procedures for validating such claims and one must consider
the source. What is clear is that she now plays a role in the world
of Holocaust denial. About a year ago, she inadvertently printed
the names of the subscribers to her electronic mailing list. Some
of those on the list are the stalwarts of the denier crowd — Greg
Raven, of the Institute for Historical
Review, Bradley Smith,
Arthur Butz, author of The Hoax of the Twentieth Century.
Some are known racists and anti-Semites such as Don Black and Louis
Beam. Others, less well-known, are people whose E-mail addresses
frequently show up in the various extremist areas of the Internet.
Regardless of who really
runs the Zündelsite, it seems clear that Ingrid Rimland has joined
with Ernst Zündel to help
shape the rhetoric of Holocaust denial on the Internet and to create
a sense of solidarity among the widely dispersed cyberspace extremists.
Next: David Irving