Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Meditation on a photo of Ernst Zundel after he emerged from prison

by Michael Hoffman 


A critic has made a negative remark about the photograph of Auschwitz gas chamber skeptic Ernst Zundel (above, on the right), and his attorney, Dr. Herbert Schaller, taken on March 1, moments after Zundel emerged from Mannheim prison for the first time in five years.

We believe it is a beautiful photo, a truly heart warming picture. It is evidence, by way of a photograph, that Ernst will not bow to adversity, he will not whine, he will not show pain, but rather, in his smiling countenance one sees the joy of life. This is a testimony to his spirit, after seven years' incarceration, including two in solitary confinement in Canada. Let us also not forget that as a child he survived the Allied firebombing holocaust against his hometown of Pforzheim; consequently, on top of it all, he is a holocaust survivor. I have seen a similar serenity and nobility in Japanese survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki holocausts.

This is a stunning contrast to the behavior and attitudes of many (though not all) of those poster soul-survivors of the Auschwitz slave labor camp, who, more than sixty years later, still pose with long faces, perpetually moaning, groaning, wailing, hectoring, spewing hatred and pointing fingers of accusation, while churning out a deluge of newspaper and magazine articles, books, novels, television shows and films constituting a new level of institutionalized vengeance, which has been weaved into the very fabric of the post-Christian West.

I say post-Christian, but we are even heedless of William Shakespeare. Surely Portia's famous speech to Shylock in "The Merchant of Venice" (Act 4, scene 1), is now discredited by the mandarins of mediocrity. Yet, in Portia's words we have our culture's most eloquent reply to the perpetual Purim cry for vengeance under the rubric of justice. Here Shakespeare, as usual, put his finger on the heart of the matter: the vast chasm separating Judaism from the ante-Auschwitz West is their enshrinement of revenge and our obligation to mercy.

Zundel's merciless persecutors have learned nothing from history. In their hubris, in their certainty that they will prevail and control and edit the future, they believe they can demonize, imprison and torment prisoners of conscience with impunity. The Romans imagined this about the early Christians, the French Catholics about the Huguenot, the German Lutherans about the Anabaptists, the New England Puritans about the Quakers, the Anglicans about their recusant Catholic countrymen, and the Soviets about the Eastern Orthodox. Yet, in each case history teaches that in time, the severely oppressed dissidents emerged stronger than ever.

This too is the destiny of World War II revisionists, though today, in the midst of intense persecution and witch-hunting, it is a future difficult for many to envision. In this sense, Ernst Zundel, even at age 70, is not a man of the past, but of the future.

©2010 All Rights Reserved

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13 comments:

C.F.Menz said...

Like you almost do, but now more and better, you surpasses your self!
Magnific! On the blank!

Denny said...

Thank you Michael for very eloquently saying what's in a good many hearts. It's great to have Zundel a free man once more.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that picture. Mr. Zundel looks great, as does his lawyer. To think I could have met Ernst when in Toronto in 1990.
Alfred Bonke
Vancouver,Canada

Anthony said...

Beautifully expressed thoughts about a very brave man. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Ernst, you are an instrumental piece of gods work of truth and freedom for us all. Thank you. We the world need youjecesdts

Anonymous said...

Indeed! It is a beautiful picture. The families should frame it on the wall, for sure.

He is bloody but unbowed.

The Holy Spirit has been / is with Zundel and all those Noble Warriors that fight for us, for Humanity, for keeping our God-Given Rights. It's not only keeping the "window open" for the West, and NOT only for us, re. the questioning, the REVISING the jew "holocaust" but for the rest of Europe, and the Rights of Man, in Comunist China and islamic countries.

Thank you, Zundel, and you, who are Noble in Spirit,

Blessings,

A Latina

Pam said...

This story is bigger than many know -- the United States deportated Zundel for political reasons. Maybe Zundel could sue for that, just to make them think twice about doing that again to the next guy. Whenever you allow restrictions on freedom of speech, even small ones, eventually the legal precedent is used to justify banning all sorts of speech. Usually that road ends with making criticism of the government illegal. Never give in to the erosion of free speech!

“I do not think that the state ought to have the right to determine historical truth, and to punish people who deviate from it. I’m not willing to give the state that right... But I’m saying if you believe in freedom of speech, you believe in freedom of speech for views you don’t like. I mean, Goebbels was in favor of freedom of speech for views he liked, right? So was Stalin. If you’re in favor of freedom of speech, that means you’re in favor of freedom of speech PRECISELY for views you despise. Otherwise you’re not in favor of freedom of speech. There’s two positions you can have on freedom of speech. Now, you can decide which position you want.”
-Noam Chomsky, audio quote from movie “Manufacturing Consent”

Anonymous said...

God bless Ernst. He is a great and fearless historian. Truth will triumph. Germany, Canada and USA are Zombie ZOGS.

Anonymous said...

Freedom of speach is important. We can't let fascist tyrants rewrite history and abuse it for centuries to come.

Anonymous said...

Ernst looks happy as ever. I had the privilege of speaking with this wonderful man on the phone some years ago. It was an honor to have at least had the privilege of praying for him during this great persecution. Thank You Michael for keeping us informed.

J

Anonymous said...

Mr Hoffman,
I saw this picture shortly after Ernst was released. Your beautiful assessment was exactly what I felt in my heart.
Thank you.

revisionistic... said...

These comments and the 'meditation' that provoked them makes me barf.

Jett said...

Wouldn't that have been "post-Auschwitz"? Ante-Auschwitz (as written) doesn't make (as good) sense.

By the way, revisionistic's sharing of his digestive difficulties (above) rather mar the thread, wouldn't you say?