Ernst Zündel / Ingrid Rimland
Another longtime "revisionist," Ernst Zündel has been the leading
Holocaust-denial propagandist in Canada for more than two decades. In
the early 1970s, Zündel penned pro-Nazi materials under the name Christof
Friedrich, including the book The Hitler We Loved and Why. In the
late 1970s, ads for his Samisdat Publishers Ltd. in George Dietz's neo-Nazi
Liberty Bell magazine (based in West Virginia) offered Holocaust-denial
books for sale, and Zündel wrote articles for Liberty Bell and
another Dietz publication, White Power Report. In the early 1980s,
the German government named Zündel as one of the world's largest distributors
of neo-Nazi material.
Mid-1995 marked the debut of the Zündelsite. Though Zündel, a
German citizen, lives in Canada, the site has been hosted by an Internet
Service Provider in California. Zündel has denied that he operates the
Zündelsite. Rather, he claims, the site is run by his "webmaster,"
Dr. Ingrid Rimland of California. Currently, the site is called "Ingrid
Rimland's Zündelsite" and declares, "the Zündelsite, located
in the USA, is owned and operated by Dr. Ingrid A. Rimland, an American
citizen."34 Regardless of who actually maintains the Zündelsite,
its agenda is clearly that of its namesake.
From its first appearance on the Internet, the Zündelsite made
its Holocaust denial agenda unambiguous, challenging assertions that there
"was a Fuhrer order for the genocidal killings of Jews, Gypsies and
others"; disputing the fact that gas chambers were "designed
for the express purpose of targeting groups of human beings," and
refusing to believe that "the numbers of victims claimed to have
been killed are anywhere near the number of people who actually died in
concentration camps of whatever cause." The site rejects claims that
"World War II was fought by the Germans to kill off the Jews as a
group," arguing that these are "deliberately planned, systematic"
deceptions "amounting to financial, political, emotional and spiritual
Early editions of the Zündelsite provided readers with Zündel's
writings on "revisionism," including the text of his newsletters,
book reviews and editorials.36 The site today focuses mostly
on other sources of Holocaust denial propaganda, though it continues to
sell audio and video tapes featuring Zündel.
The Zündel site contains an archive of daily "ZGram" E-mail
messages sent by Ingrid Rimland to the site's supporters; almost a thousand
messages are archived, dating back to early 1996. A passionate admirer
of Zündel, Rimland shares his views on the Holocaust, seeing it as an
extortion "racket" run by Jews for the purpose of financing
Israel and humiliating Germany and Germans.
Both Zündel and Rimland lived through the defeat of the Nazis, and both
lament it. Rimland holds high hopes that Holocaust "revisionism"
will help revive the image of Hitler as a man who made Germany "the
most progressive and advanced Nation of its time."37 In
her view, teaching the facts of the Holocaust is emblematic of a systematic
assault against people of German descent. "Holocaust teaching,"
she writes, "is...child abuse. It is adult abuse. It is ethnic abuse.
I want to go on record that it is soul-abuse."38 Additionally,
unlike many other Holocaust deniers, who go to great lengths to deny the
anti-Jewish sentiment that fuels their views, Rimland has openly voiced
her approval for anti-Semitism, calling it "a responsible and, indeed,
unavoidable response to relentless provocation against the gentile culture
and tradition conflicting with a Jewish culture and tradition."39
In recent "ZGram" messages, Rimland promoted her privately
published fictional trilogy of novels, Lebensraum, available for
sale at the Zündelsite. Michael McMillen, a friend of Rimland's
whom she portrays as a "mainstream editorial writer," describes
her purpose when he writes in reference to Holocaust denial: "If
a movement is to gain popular recognition...it must be embodied in art."40
In spite of McMillen's claims that "the anti-Judaism expressed by
some characters" in Rimland's books does not reflect the author's
feelings about Jews, Rimland's anti-Semitism clearly infects her books.
The heroes of Lebensraum, like Rimland herself, are Ukrainians
of German descent who "fight to preserve their own race" and
look to Hitler as "their liberator and protector from Communist terror."
Like Rimland, her characters trace evil and suffering to a Jewish conspiracy;
they consider the Second World War a "fratricidal" conflict
where "brother killed brother for alien interests," namely,
those of "international Jewry."41
The Zündelsite also reprints a book originally published by Zündel's
Samisdat press: the infamous "Leuchter Report." Despite the
fact that he has publicly acknowledged his lack of scientific credentials,
Fred Leuchter claimed to have taken scientific "samples" from
death camp gas chambers that prove they could not have been used to exterminate
people. Notwithstanding the discredited nature of Leuchter's work, deniers
like Zündel still pass his report off as fact, and the IHR continues to
market it as "essential revisionist reading." Also posted at
the Zündel site is the fallacious "Rudolf Report," by German
"scientist" Germar Rudolf, which defends Leuchter's work. Rudolf
also claims to have taken "samples" from masonry in gas chambers
and found no trace of poison gas.
Another Web site that presents "proof" that mass gassings did
not occur at Nazi death camps is Air Photo Evidence, created by
Canadian John Ball. Ball's site is unique in that, unlike most Holocaust-denial
sites, it utilizes the Web's audiovisual capabilities. Based on aerial
photos of Auschwitz, Treblinka, Belzec, and Majdanek, Ball declares it
"irrational to believe mass murders could have been conducted for
even one day in the visible corners" of these "busy work camps."
To convince readers of his position, he presents extensive photographs,
diagrams, and video clips of such camps accompanied by an audible, spoken
narration. The distortion of visual evidence has long been a tactic of