Notorious neo-Nazi Ernst Zundel dies in Germany

Ernst Zundel, a notorious neo-Nazi activist and Holocaust denier, died at 78.

Ernst Zundel, a neo-Nazi activist who rose to notoriety over decades of public neo-Nazi activity in Canada and the US before being deported back to his native Germany on Holocaust denial charges, has died. He was 78.

Marina Lahmann, a spokeswoman for the community of Bad Wildbad in Baden-Wuerttemberg, where Zundel lived, told The Associated Press on Monday that Zundel died over the weekend. She had no further information, saying the paperwork had not yet been processed.

“We can only confirm at the moment that he died,” she said.

Media in Canada quoted a statement from his wife, Ingrid Zundel, saying that he died of a heart attack at his home on Sunday. His wife, who lives in the United States, told CTV news she had spoken to her husband “just hours before he passed on and he was as optimistic and upbeat as ever.”

Born in Germany in 1939, Zundel emigrated to Canada in 1958 — allegedly to avoid German military service — and lived in Toronto and Montreal until 2001.

‘The Hitler We Loved and Why’

He achieved international notoriety for his neo-Nazi beliefs and writings, including “The Hitler We Loved and Why,” and operated Samisdat Publishers, a leading distributor of Nazi and Nazi-era propaganda. He also provided regular content for an eponymous far-right website.

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Canadian officials rejected his attempts to obtain citizenship in 1966 and 1994.

After leaving Canada, he moved to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, where he married fellow extremist Ingrid Rimland.

But in 2003 he was deported back to Canada for alleged immigration violations. Upon arrival in Toronto, he was arrested and held in detention until a judge ruled in 2005 that his activities posed a threat to national and international security.

Canadian federal court Justice Pierre Blais “found Zundel to be a hatemonger who posed a threat to national security because of his close association with white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups that resorted to violence to press their causes,” the Globe and Mail reported.

Zundel was deported to Germany, where he was being sought for Holocaust denial.

Denial of the Holocaust is illegal in Germany. Because Zundel’s Holocaust-denying website was available in Germany, he was considered to have been spreading his message to Germans.

‘Patriarch of the White Supremacist Movement’

According to a national security certificate released by the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service in 2003, Zundel was “considered one of the most notorious distributors of hate material in the world.” The document referred to him as a patriarch of the white supremacist movement in Canada, the Globe and Mail added.

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Zundel, who portrayed himself as a peaceful campaigner being denied the right to free speech, was convicted in Mannheim in 2007 of 14 counts of inciting hatred for engaging in years of anti-Semitic activities and sentenced to five years in prison.

Outside the prison, he refused to comment on his beliefs about the Holocaust, saying only, “it’s kind of a sad situation, there’s a lot to say,” before adding, “I’ll certainly be careful not to offend anyone and their draconian laws.”

“Zundel was an unrepentant anti-Semite and defender of the evil Nazi regime, denying the Holocaust while at the same time fomenting hatred towards Jews,” Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, told the Globe and Mail. “Zundel serves as a reminder of why civil society must remain vigilant in its battle with the purveyors of hate.”

By: AP and World Israel News