TORONTO (Jan. 16)
A County Court judge in Toronto has ruled that Jews and Freemasons cannot be excluded from the Jury in the trial of a publisher charged with spreading false information about the Holocaust and the existence of an international Jewish conspiracy.
Ernst Zundel, 46, has been charged under a little-used section of Canada’s Criminal Code with two counts of knowingly publishing false news that caused or was likely to cause damage to social or racial tolerance. If convicted, he faces up to two years in jail.
Two pamphlets form the basis of the charge. “Did Six Million Really Die?,” published and distributed by Zundel to over 40 countries, including West Germany, alleges that “not a fraction of six million Jews could have been exterminated. It also claims that the term “Final Solution” meant only the emigration of the Jews.
The other pamphlet, “The West, War, and Islam,” alleges there is a conspiracy of international Zionists, bankers, Freemasons and Communists who are “responsible for endangering world peace.”
JUDGE DISALLOWS SOME QUESTIONS
In his ruling last week against a pre-trial motion by defense lawyer Doug Christie, Judge Hugh Locke said he saw no reason to “disenfranchise a substantial segment of our society from their rights and duties to sit on the jury.”
He also refused to allow any question relating to the jury condidates’ views on German stereotypes or the extermination of Jews during World War II. Nor would Locke permit jurors to be questioned about whether their relatives, friends or employers are Jews or Freemasons or whether they can keep open minds about the existence of gas chambers.
Christie, a lawyer from Victoria, British Columbia, received his license to practice in the province of Ontario, where the trial is taking place, only two months ago.
He previously represented Jim Keegstra, a former school teacher in Eckville, Alberta, at a preliminary hearing to decide whether Keegstra should be tried on charges of wilfully promoting hatred against Jews in his classroom teachings. Keegstra will stand trial in April. Meanwhile, he has been fired from his teaching job and lost his bid for reelection as Mayor of Eckville.
As the Zundel trial got underway in a heavily-policed courtroom, the 8-man 2-women jury heard Amold Friedman, 56, a survivor of Birkenau, describe how Flames and smoke spewed out of crematoria smokestacks after trucks and trains carrying prisoners were unloaded.
“The elderly, mothers, children, the young, those not fit to work headed in that direction,” he said, “but they did not come back. The odor was the odor of buring flesh; the flames changed color from yellow to red. Sometimes the Flames would shoot up to 14 feet above the smokestacks,” he told a stunned and silent court.
Under cross-examination by Christie, Friedman admitted that he did not see people actually gassed or cremated. He saw people going in the direction of the crematoria and never returning, he said.