Institute for Historical Review

Institute for Historical Review

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The 'False News' Trial of Ernst Zündel -- 1988

Hans Schroeder

[Hans Schroeder was the fifteenth witness called by the defence. He testified on Wednesday, April 6, 1988.]

Hans Schroeder had known Zündel for about 14 years; Zündel was a family friend whom Schroeder had usually seen more than once a week. He had seen him less frequently in the past five and a half years since moving out of Toronto. (27-7460, 7461, 7465)

Schroeder testified that he and Zündel agreed that the Holocaust never happened. They had discussed the subject of the treatment of the Jews during World War II many times. Schroeder testified that Zündel's major interest was the history of the Second World War, the circumstances leading up to it and its aftermath. Schroeder had seen Zündel's library and supplied him with books. (27-7461, 7463)

The treatment of the Jews was a focal point of Zündel's interest. Schroeder testified Zündel tried to examine the subject from various sides; he took evidence from various sources and examined what different people had to say about it. Zündel had an elaborate correspondence with practically every country in the world. His approach to the topic was one of serious investigation. In Shroeder's opinion, Zündel's primary motive was the desire to bring out the truth of what really happened during the Second World War. (27- 7464, 7466)

Schroeder had read the booklet Did Six Million Really Die?, but had never discussed it in any great detail with Zündel. Zündel believed in the thesis of the booklet in general; the thesis being that 6 million Jews were not exterminated by the German authorities. Prior to 1980 Zündel's expressed opinion was that 6 million Jews could never have been eliminated. Schroeder had not changed his opinions on the subject and he had observed no change in Zündel's opinion on the subject. (27 7464 to 7467)

Schroeder himself had provided Zündel with information which supported the thesis of the booklet. He had read books by Jewish authors that stated that 6 million were exterminated and pointed out discrepancies and impossibilities in these books. In conversations with Zündel from 1974 to 1980, they had examined most of the major Jewish authors on the subject. (27-7466, 7467)

On cross-examination, Schroeder testified that he came to meet Zündel in 1974 after being referred to him by a German publishing house, the Verlag Schütz. Schroeder had written to the firm requesting permission to translate some books into the English language, namely, Crimes Against the German People and From Versailles to Nuremberg. These books espoused views of history which he accepted. (27-7468) The publishing firm notified Schroeder that the owner of the firm was coming to Toronto and instructed Schroeder to get in touch with Zündel. Zündel was not an agent of the publishing firm but acted as a go-between because of his personal acquaintance with the owner. Schroeder thought the publishing firm referred him to Zündel most likely because Zündel had been in contact with Verlag Schütz himself, obtaining their books and possibly having correspondence with some of the writers. (27-7469 to 7471)

Schroeder contacted Zündel and told him why he wanted to meet with the representative of the German publishing firm. At that time he learned that both he and Zündel shared the same view of history. Schroeder had supported Zündel since that first meeting. (27-7471)

Asked if public attention had been attracted to Zündel because he publicly denied the Holocaust, Schroeder testified that he thought this had been exaggerated and that Zündel tried to speak out on the subject of the Holocaust. He agreed this had given Zündel public attention. (27- 7469)

He agreed that Zündel had an extensive library and that he could check the contents of anything he published by use of his own library. (27-7472)

Schroeder had read books by German authors on the Holocaust, but stated there were not too many such authors. He was not prepared to list the books he had read by German authors without thinking about what he had read over the years. (27 7472, 7473) He was not familiar with the book Nationalsozialistische Massentötungen durch Giftgas (National Socialist Mass Killings Through Poison Gas) or the book's three authors. (27-7478)

Asked if he wanted to admit that the mainstream of thinking in Germany did not deny the Holocaust, Schroeder stated that in Germany it was forbidden not to believe in the Holocaust. He had very little contact with Germany over the past thirty-five years and could not say what the average German or academic German thought. (27-7473)

Schroeder was not familiar with an organization called the German-Jewish Historical Commission. Schroeder was asked if he knew Zündel was the founder and spokesman of the organization. Schroeder replied that he knew Zündel tried to establish contact with members of the Jewish community in Canada and tried to establish a society in that sense, but could not say what its name was. (27-7474)

Asked if he was familiar with Concerned Parents of German Descent, Schroeder testified that he was familiar with the organization and knew that it was founded by Zündel, who was also its chief spokesman. (27-7475)

Schroeder knew Zündel had a worldwide correspondence because he was a stamp collector and was always on the lookout for stamps. He did not know who Zündel corresponded with, however, nor had he tried to read the correspondence. (27-7475)

Schroeder thought Did Six Million Really Die? was published by Zündel sometime in the late 1970s, possibly the beginning of the 1980s. He could not give an exact date. The first pamphlet he bought himself came from England. Zündel at one time offered copies of it to Schroeder for distribution, and this could not have been before the late 1970s or early 1980s. (27- 7476)

He believed Zündel was involved in the publication of UFO's: Nazi Secret Weapon? and knew that Zündel's middle names were Christof Friedrich. His understanding, however, was that the book was originally written in the German language by a Mr. Mattern from Chile. Schroeder had never read The Hitler We Loved and Why. (27-7479, 7480)

On re-examination, Schroeder testified that he had never heard Zündel speak differently on the Holocaust in public than he did privately. He spoke the same way. (27-7480)

Asked his means of ascertaining the date of publication of Did Six Million Really Die?, Schroeder testified that he had a general feeling it must have been during that period of time but he had no definite knowledge of a year. (27-7480)

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