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March 01, 1985 - Image 37

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-03-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Friday, March 1, 1985

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

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Roosevelt's Failure

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Continued from Page 2

to their conquerors to be liber-
ated from Hitler's dictatorial
rule.
Their chief complaint was
not that their Fuhrer had im-
posed on them a mindless
tyranny and on Nazi-
conquered Europe a savage
barbarism, or even that he had
started a murderous war of
naked conquest, but that he
had lost it and that it had left
their land utterly ruined and
occupied by foreign troops.
As for the "new beginning"
that Mr. Schoenbaum dis-
cerns, the Germans, at least in
their talks with me, had no idea
where or how to begin or with
what purpose. Since there had
been little serious opposition
to the Nazi regime, there was
nothing German to build on —
no ideas, no organizations, no
leaders, no followers. The Al-
lies, in deciding quickly to re-
store Germany, made the "new
beginning" for them.
I am for reconciliation with
the Germans, with whom we,
like the French, British and
Russians, fought two world
wars in my lifetime. But I do
not understand why the
President, who will be in
Europe on the 40th anniver-
sary of V-E Day, will not, re-
portedly for fear of offending
the Germans, join in celebrat-
ing the Allied victory in
Europe, which saved the world
from Hitler, nor visit the
Dachau concentration camp.
Why deny, ignore or forget his-
tory? If we do, to paraphrase
Santayana, we may have to re-
live it.
Presidential decisions are sel-
dom altered. Perhaps this is an
occasion for the White House to
concede that President Reagan
can, indeed, contribute a great
deal toward rekindling sad
memories — the intention being
to prevent repetition of the un-
forgettable horrors. President
Reagan please take note!

Backward Steps:
Deny Holocaust,
Glorify Nazism

From all areas of the civilized
world the horrifying memories of
the Nazi brutalities continue to
add condemnation for those who
committed the crimes and vilifi-
cation for those who were silent.
Yet there appear on the scene
the occasional inheritors of the
venom who would even deny that
the sins were perpetrated.
They are few, yet they have got-
ten a platform, hearings in courts,
space in the published and spoken
media.
This was the experience in the
trial of the spreaders of the Nazi
poison in the Toronto courts.
There is cause for sadness in the
current experiences that civil
libertarians provide defense for
the spreaders of hate in the name
of free speech and a free press, as
well as a free judiciary. An intro-
duction to those conflicting situa-
tions is contained in the report by
Douglas Martin in the New York
Times on the Ontario trial against

a vile anti-Semite. Martin indi-
cated both conditions, stating:
Toronto — Each day the
scene is the same. A van rolls
up to the courthouse, men in
hardhats and business suits
emerge and television cameras
faithfully record all.
The leader of the group is
easy to spot: he usually wears a
different colored hardhat from
the rest, and always a bullet-
proof vest.
He is Ernst Zundel, 46 years
old, one of the world's leading
distributors of anti-Semitic lit-
erature, author of The Hitler We
Loved and Why, and center of an
increasingly stormy debate
over civil liberties in Canada.
A native of Germany who
has lived in Canada for 28
years, Mr. Zundel is accused of
knowingly publishing two
pieces of false news
detrimental to the public
interest, specifically news
likely to incite intolerance.
In one, he asserted that a

There is cause for
sadness in the
current experiences
that civil libertarians
provide defense for
the spreaders of hate
in the name of free
speech.

conspiracy of Zionists, Com-
munists and Freemasons was
plotting to create a world gov-
ernment. In the other, an in-
creasingly common theme of
the ultrarightists, he suggested
that the killing of six million
Jews by the Nazis during
World War II was a fabrica-
tion.
"This is the future of anti-
Semitism," Alan Shefman, the
Canadian national director of
the League for Human Rights
of B'nai B'rith, said of the de-
nial of the Nazi horror.
But even some of those bit-
terly antagonistic to Mr. Zun-
del's beliefs express doubts
about the wisdom of govern-
ments or courts condemning
and censoring ideas of any
sort. Many point out that in the
United States the First
Amendment would prohibit
such a prosecution.
"I worry about the practice
of using the law to charge
people who are sprea_ding
hate, because that same law
can be used against other
people too," said Jacques
Kornberg, a University of To-
ronto expert on Nazi crimes.
The case has thus pitted
Canada's crackdown on pur-
veyors of hate against the
country's nascent but growing
civil liberties legislation and
consciousness. The country's
Charter of Rights and Free-
doms, similar to the American
Bill of Rights in form and con-
tent, is only two years old.
"I think it was unwise from

square one to prosecute this
kind of thing," said Alan
Borovoy, general counsel of
the Canadian Civil Liberties
Association.
In Germany, whence came the
horror that spells Holocaust,
there is fortunately another atti-
tude which would reject the free-
dom to spread hatred and to re-
vive the Hitlerite barbarities.
Here is a Reuters report from
Bonn which indicates a readiness
in important official quarters to
make it a crime to spread the Nazi
ideology:
The West German Justice
Minister, Hans Engelhard,
urged Parliament today (Feb.
13) to make it a crime to deny
that millions of Jews were put
to death by the Nazis.
"It cannot be right; indeed it
is incomprehensible and
shameful that the mass exter-
mination of Jews during the
Nazi period can be denied with
impunity," he said in a state-
ment.
Mr. Engelhard's statement
followed a ruling by a Lower
Saxony appeals court acquit-
ting a man charged with defa-
mation for distributing leaflets
disputing that the mass kil-
lings took place.
The judge ruled that al-
though the man had been
found guilty by a lower court
of inciting racial hatred, there
was no plaintiff against him.
Defamation is punishable by
up to one year's imprisonment
or a fine, but only if a plaintiff
comes forward.
Are the crackpots gaining
ground? Is the civil libertarian
ideal serving as a tool for hatred?
An editorial in USA Today under
the title "Nazi Crimes Still Must
Be Prosecuted" is an invitation to
libertarians not to permit the new
propagandists, few as they may
be, to crush their determination to
expose the crimes as an aim to
prevent their repetition. The USA
Today editorial follows:
The clock ticks away the
years, and many of even the
worst moments of history are
forgotten. Yet nothing — noth-
ing — can erase the memory of
the Nazi Holocaust against the
Jews, the attempt to extermi-
nate an entire race of people
during World War II.

While time will not dim
memories of the murders of six
million Jews, prosecutors are
racing against a biological
clock as age and death claim
the last remaining Nazi war
criminals.
Hundreds have been
brought to justice in the 40
years since the death camps
were liberated, but thousands
more, including some of the
vilest monsters in human his-
tory, remain at large.
As the clock ticks, Nazi hun-
ters today are trying to find
and capture Dr. Josef
Mengele, a physician and cap-
tain in Hitler's SS, who sent as
many as 400,000 Jews to their
deaths in the ovens of Au-
schwitz. Now 73, Mengele is be-

Continued on next page

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