Monday, March 07
Paul Fromm reports
Another Globe Smear: Fromm the Next Zündel?
Dear Free Speech Supporter:
Actually, to mimic the Globe smear-meister Christopher Shulgan, I should say, ‘Dear Neo-Nazi, White Supremacist, Supremacist, wife beating, child molesting friend.” Did I leave out any terms of abuse.? Our webmaster Marc Lemire made a trenchant comment about this article.
“Typical crap and slime from the Groan and Wail …‘supremacist, nazi, supremacist’ “
In my interviews with Christopher Shulgan – he called me again and again this week – I stressed that no one, I mean no one, I know calls himself a “neo-Nazi” or a “White supremacist.” I reminded him that proper journalistic practice is to let a person self-identify. I told him that I’m a populist. I want referenda to determine major public issues – like immigration and same-sex marriage. I’m an immigration reformer and a supporter of free speech.
But Shulgan the smear-meister had a script already worked out. So, I become a supremacist. I don’t want to lord it over any group. I just want my country back and the invasion and ethnic cleansing of Europeans in Canada to stop. “Supremacist?” That more accurately would fit George Bush who seeks to impose American/Israeli policies on hapless lands like Iraq. We don’t seek to impose our ways on anyone.
Even simple facts elude the eager smearer. Yes, Toronto is getting swamped with immigrants, but the figure is 125,000 or so per year, not 250,000! I told him that.
I explained to the chattering Shulgan that immigration reformers – not White Supremacists! – saw Ernst Zundel as primarily a historical revisionist and a German patriot. In other words, his first issue was not their first issue. Although the Canadian government and former CSIS boss Pierre Blais insist Mr. Zundel was a “guru” to the right, I explained that, while he was widely respected, many young people ignored his counsel to avoid violence and dismissed his views on artistic taste and music.
The one good thing about this article is that the picture showed me with the Red Ensign, OUR flag, the flag of the true Canada.
CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR FREE EXPRESSION
Will he be the next Zundel?
With Canada's best-known supremacist deported, former teacher Paul Fromm is working to revive the far-right movement, observers tell CHRISTOPHER SHULGAN
BY CHRISTOPHER SHULGAN
SATURDAY, MARCH 5, 2005 UPDATED AT 10:53 AM EST
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
Paul Fromm has this to say about how this week's deportation of white supremacist Ernst Zundel will affect anti-Semitic and racist groups in Toronto: "It won't.
"At all. For years, he hasn't been an active leader."
Anti-racism groups may be relishing their victory over Mr. Zundel, who was deported to his native Germany on Tuesday, but Mr. Fromm says most white-supremacist groups didn't consider Mr. Zundel one of their own. "He was thought to be out of touch," he says. "He didn't like the T-shirts or the short hair, for example.
"His cause has, however, united a lot of people. Ultimately, the experience has made us stronger."
In the Toronto area, observers from both watchdogs and members of far-right groups say Mr. Fromm, a 56-year-old former schoolteacher and Zundel associate who lives in Rexdale, is attempting to rally groups on the extreme right using Mr. Zundel as a martyr.
"Fromm is the one who has put himself out there most directly as supporting Zundel," says Anita Bromberg, in-house legal counsel for B'nai Brith Canada, the Jewish interest group. "He looks as though he's waiting in the wings."
With Mr. Zundel in detention in Germany, Mr. Fromm has become the organizing force uniting much of the city's white-supremacist movement, co-ordinating "free Zundel" protests and rallies to promote the causes of the groups he runs: the Canada First Immigration Reform Committee; the Canadian Association for Free Expression; and Citizens for Foreign Aid Reform, which promote issues typically dear to supremacists, including protecting European heritage and strict immigration controls to keep ethnic minorities out.
The Immigration Reform Committee, for example, is involved in an ongoing effort throughout the Toronto area to disseminate leaflets that demand immigration policy change, causally linking the city's traffic gridlock with the 250,000 newcomers it says are allowed into the country.
A soft-spoken man who says he isn't a neo-Nazi and doesn't advocate violence, Mr. Fromm regularly holds meetings to bolster support for his causes. They happen in hotel meeting rooms, he says, often at the Ramada Inn near Highway 427 and Burnhamthorpe Road.
He expects to hold the next meeting, which he says typically attract about 75 people, in late March, but he declined to specify a date or location. "It'd be great to be able to post, in public, that information," Mr. Fromm says. "But there are groups, like the Toronto Police, who will contact the hotel managers and convince them to cancel the meetings, saying we're neo-Nazis and that there will be violence."
He acts as a mentor to younger members of far-right extremist groups, such as the Canadian Heritage Alliance's Melissa Guille in Waterloo and London's Jason Ouwendyk of the Northern Alliance, and says meetings for other supremacist causes happen several times a month in Toronto. According to white-pride Internet message board http://www.stormfront.org, for example, about 60 people gathered last month in Toronto for performances by two skinhead bands.
Mr. Fromm was fired from his job as a teacher in the Peel school system in 1997 for associating with neo-Nazi and white-supremacist groups. Last summer, he attended a rally for American white supremacist David Duke, who had recently been freed from jail in connection with charges he defrauded his supporters. In January, Mr. Fromm represented himself in hearings before the Ontario College of Teachers in proceedings to decide whether he should lose his teaching licence. No decision has been reached.
While Mr. Fromm may aspire to gain the influence among extremist groups that Mr. Zundel had in the nineties, others say he has nowhere near the profile. "I don't think anyone can assume [Mr. Zundel's] mantle," says Mark Weber, a California-based Holocaust revisionist who acts as a spokesman for the Zundel website, and who has testified at trials on his behalf. "Ernst is one of a kind. I don't see anyone with Zundel's level of articulateness, his activism, his boldness or charisma."
Watchdogs agree, though they describe Mr. Zundel's reputation in different terms. "I don't know whether I'd characterize his attributes as charisma or boldness," says Len Rudner, a spokesman for the Canadian Jewish Congress. "You might say no one has his ego or his need for shameless self-promotion. One of the things that came through very clearly in [the deportation decision] was the sheer number of contacts Zundel had with people here and internationally.
"Does anyone else in Canada have that range of international contacts? I don't think so. He worked assiduously for decades through his publishing company and websites to develop this network," Mr. Rudner says.
Facing immigration issues in Canada, Mr. Zundel fled Canada in 2000 and married his American webmaster, Ingrid Rimland. The pair lived quietly in rural Tennessee until two years ago when U.S. immigration officials sent him back to Canada, where he was imprisoned pending a review of his immigration status.
In the almost five years since he fled to Tennessee, Mr. Zundel's influence faded. Even in his pet field of Holocaust denial, his prominence was usurped by an American right-wing publisher named Germar Rudolf. Most of the extremist movements formerly associated with Mr. Zundel have either dispersed or keep to themselves, working mostly on the Internet.
The most widely known leaders of Toronto's nineties boomlet in white supremacism have for the most part either faded from public view, or converted. The best-known group, the once-notorious Heritage Front, dissolved after founder Wolfgang Droege was imprisoned in 1994 in connection with an attack on anti-racist skinheads. George Burdi, the onetime lead singer of the skinhead punk band RaHoWa -- the name stood for Racial Holy War -- now plays in a band with several black members, and has produced a documentary renouncing his past.
But Mr. Fromm says he hopes to channel the reaction to Mr. Zundel's deportation into a reinvigoration of the far-right movement, and that has anti-racists concerned.
"There is an active movement out there now," Ms. Bromberg says. "It's largely a Web presence, and Zundel's cause is what brought them together.
Holocaust denier's day in court has chilling implications
By Michael Ollove
Sun Book Editor, Originally published March 6, 2005
History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving
By Deborah E. Lipstadt. Ecco, 346 pages. $25.95.
I have not been inclined to take Holocaust deniers seriously. I've tended to consign them to the category of crackpots, anti-Semites and extremists - revolting, certainly, but, I thought, so fringe as to be barely tethered to this Earth. Better, I told myself, to focus my worrying on those who seemed to represent a more imminent threat.
Nowadays, I'm not so sure. Reality seems to be losing its luster. Not long before the November election, 40 percent of Americans still believed Saddam Hussein had a hand in the 9/11 attacks. Even more surprising, creationists have elbowed their way back into public life. Reborn as techno-hip "Intelligent Designers," they are needling public schools into granting equivalency between notions of evidence and belief. Is the Age of Reason something to be nostalgic about?
The current subversion of fact by ideology makes History on Trial, historian Deborah Lipstadt's account of her legal torment during the late 1990's at the hands of the notorious Holocaust denier David Irving, especially resonant. Whether the Holocaust occurred would not strike most civilized people as worthy of reasonable conversation, let alone something that would occupy a British court at the dawn of the 21st century.
The case was prompted by the 1993 publication of Lipstadt's first book, a scholarly study of Holocaust denial. In it, Lipstadt, a professor at Emory University, asserted that Irving's pronouncements about the Holocaust (he said it didn't happen) and Hitler (if it did happen Der Fuhrer knew nothing about it), were built on willful distortions, crass manipulations of evidence, and anti-Semitism. Nothing unusual there for a Holocaust denier. But, Lipstadt observed in that book, because Irving had also written some well-regarded histories of World War II, he was accorded a measure of credibility, which, in her view, made Irving the most dangerous Holocaust denier of all.
Irving took umbrage (although it is not clear why, given his long outspokenness on the subject), and he sued Lipstadt for defamation in his native Great Britain. History on Trial is Lipstadt's chronicle of her long ordeal to defend herself against this bizarre, preening, repugnant character.
At first blush, Irving's suit struck many, including Lipstadt, as preposterous. By then, Irving was already a notorious figure who once spouted to an audience that "more women died in the back seat of Edward Kennedy's car at Chappaquiddick than ever died in a gas chamber at Auschwitz," who dismissed the Holocaust as a Hollywood legend, who taunted survivors with an obscene acronym and accused them of cashing in.
Yet, not only did Irving's case progress, but in a reflexive even-handedness, some media reports sized it up as battle between differing views of history. Certain scholars (among them, the esteemed military historian Sir John Keegan) even criticized Lipstadt, complaining she was trying to prevent Irving from merely expressing a contrary, if outlandish version of history (ignoring that it was Irving who had dragged Lipstadt into court, not vice versa).
But the case was not about historic interpretation at all; it ultimately concerned standards of historic research - and the cynical abuses thereof. Irving was no historian; he was a charlatan, a deceiver, a liar who used the veneer of scholarship to propagate his anti-Semitic ideology.
The bulk of History is given over to Lipstadt's rendering of the three-month trial in 2000. Not surprisingly, she is a sympathetic, mostly appealing heroine, even if she demonstrates the self-righteousness that lawsuits inevitably accentuate in their participants.
Despite Lipstadt's understandable apprehension about what was at risk (even though many sympathizers stepped forward to fill a defense fund on her behalf), the showdown is hardly the tension-filled drama that the first third of her book promises. It's not just that Irving, who insisted on representing himself, is a clownish presence in the courtroom, emerging neither as a heavyweight of legal argument or a compelling inquisitor. In truth, once the trial begins, Lipstadt's legal team and its impressive historian witnesses slice through his claims like thoroughbreds through the fog.
The perverse fascination in History lies in seeing the tricks of the contortionist revealed, the lengths to which a pernicious man will go to subvert truth. Using faulty translations and dubious testimony (including those from the Nazi perpetrators), minimizing evidence contrary to his purposes and misstating facts and dates (even after learning of their fallacy), Irving stooped to any means to refute the existence of the Holocaust and to distance poor, misunderstood Adolph Hitler from it.
How much succor scoundrels like Irving have given to ever-strengthening neo-Nazi movements (with whom he freely associated, both here and in Europe) and to extremists in the Muslim world, can only be imagined and feared. The outcome of the trial was a matter of surpassing concern (not least of all to Holocaust survivors, understandably anxious about that coming day when they will no longer be here to bear witness). But no matter what the result, History offers less cause for optimism than its plucky author may have intended. The case preoccupied and diverted Lipstadt for nearly six years at a cost of well over $1 million, all to establish what might have been considered evident in the first place. One can't help fretting about what happens when lesser truths come under assault.
Copyright © 2005, The Baltimore Sun
7 March 2005
Permit me to cut through the guff that Michael Ollove presents here by throwing out a challenge to your readers, which Professor Robert Faurisson is waiting to be fulfilled:
"Show me or draw me a Nazi gas chamber! Stop giving me words.
Stop showing me a building, a door, a wall or, sometimes, only hair or shoes.
I need a full picture of one of those fantastic chemical slaughterhouses.
I need a physical representation of the extraordinary weapon of an
unprecedented crime. If you dare to say that what tourists are shown
in some camps is, or was, such a gas chamber, come on and say it."
Then reflect upon this:
- anyone who perpetuates the 'Holocaust' story perpetuates hatred of Germans -
Laws prevent anyone from challenging the orthodox version of the Holocaust, as just deported Ernst Zündel from Canada to Germany can attest. Zündel is in a German prison and faces at least five years’ incarceration.
Why must truth legally be protected?
Dr Fredrick Töben
A Letter from Vladimir Stwora who says Canadian justice is worse than what he
experienced under the Communists. He also says Ernst Zündel has won the battle
because Justice Blaise couldn't find anything on Zündel because Ernst is without
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