Latest letters from Ernst Zundel - Prisoner of Conscience
June 17, 2006
This is for your project – since you are a “soccer dad, and your children are active soccer players, you may find some of the enclosed observations of interest. The “unexpected” side effects of soccer in Germany, with the World Cup being hosted here is truly something to behold. It is a nostalgic time for me, for this is the first time I have been in my homeland in fifty-two years and my nation is hosting the World Cup, I am seeing signs of life, pride, and joy that I haven’t seen among my kin in many years – and it has everything to do with this soccer phenomenon.
The first and last time I was involved in anything like this was when I was fifteen years old and the legendary Fritz Walter of Kaiserlautern was the German team’s captain – which beat Hungary in 1954, we Germans refer to this victory as “Wunder von Bern,” or the Miracle of Bern, which by the way recently became the title a best selling book and box office smash. At the time I can distinctly remember how a collective sigh of relief of exhaled by 80 million Germans in the east and west, and millions of Germans in Austria, Switzerland, and overseas in Canada, America, Argentina, the joy was palpable.
As I am writing this line, I can remember how the victory affected me, my school chums, siblings – we were elated, transformed actually, by that game, I can remember that game as if it were played yesterday! It was if a very heavy weight were lifted from the collective shoulders of the worlds Germans.
It is difficult for a victor nation like America to relate to Germans and how this psychically devastating feeling we have embraced, related to our capitulation and the lies fabricated by the victors. In a small sense Americans know this feeling as it relates to Vietnam, it was an unpopular war, the entire population wasn’t behind it, feelings of guilt were imposed upon service members, upon the supporters of the war, and even upon dissenters, who embraced these feelings of guilt, as if to do so would somehow atone for their nations sins, real and imagined. The 1980s and Reagan’s efforts to remove this stain upon America’s honor worked well – the First Gulf War too, helped eliminate America’s “Vietnam Syndrome.” The same thing has never happened in Germany, except perhaps from small victories, i.e. the “Miracle of Bern,” for example. Thus Germans continue to live with this absolutely debilitating sense of manufactured guilt – the President of Iran described it well in his interview with Der Spiegel.
The “Miracle of Bern,” definitely started the Germans on the road to recovery – and the current World Cup seems to have initiated something that cannot be entirely suppressed, the emergence on national pride among the German people! Germans schoolboys, war veterans, victims of allied rapes, and wars widows watched as these “knights in shining armor,” stood up for the German people, as our politicians wouldn’t, they stormed across the soccer fields of Europe, until victory was finally won! As I sit here today, and reminisce, I can see the parallels between then and now – I can see the similarities in the response of the German people between 1954 and 2006 – the reawakening of the spirit. To show you how disconnected the government of Konrad Adenauer was with this “spirit,” let me tell you how Gerhard Shcroeder, the Minister of the Interior, and Konrad Adenauer, the leader of Germany were absent from the game, the best they could muster was a telegram congratulating the team, after the game was over. Imagine that; imagine the missed photo opportunities, unbelievable. This is not a mistake modern German politicians are about to make again, Merkel was there recently cheering, sitting next to the Polish Prime Minister, as were many other politicians – today the German “leadership,” cannot afford to miss such an event, it could very well affect them politically. As I write this letter, Argentina has just massacred Serbia, normally a formidable team, by 6-0. Mexico will be next against the Ivory Coast.
Believe it or not there is an American dimension to all of this, a revisionist element. Franz Beckenbauer, known to the Germans as “der Kaiser,’ or the Emperor or Caesar, once played soccer in Germany, and was known as one of the greatest, he was also once a team captain. He led the team from victory to victory. He became disillusioned with Germany eventually and moved to the United States where he played soccer for many years and then was invited back to Germany where he then coached the German team. Enter Jurgen Klinsmann! That’s an extreme “shorthand” version of what happened, because I am only allowed five pages in this letter. So there is the first American connection via Franz Beckenbauer who continues to love America – undoubtedly it was Beckenbauer who introduced Klinsmann to the “American way.” Why do I say this?
Jurgen Klinsmann was once one of Germany’s top scorers and was so talented that he played for some of the world’s best teams in Europe. He was Soccer Player of the year in Germany, after scoring 47 goals in 108 games – so Klinsmann is a power to be reckoned with in soccer – believe me. He’s also a Swabian like yours truly, a baker by trade, who learned the trade under his father in a family owned bakery. This being the case only makes his story that much more interesting, for in spite of being loved, lionized in fact in Germany, he chose to move to the United States in 1997 by saying, “I don’t think I fit any longer into things in Germany.” Curt, he’s the Babe Ruth of soccer here in Deutschland, can you imagine babe Ruth having said the same about America? Klinsmann then packs his suitcase and moves to America – as simple as that. There he lives happily with his wife Debbie, at the beach in Malibu and opens a sports related business with two other men, the Harvard trained communications experts Mick Hoban and Warren Mersereau. The name of their consulting company is “Soccer Solutions.” Despite no living in Germany, Klinsmann remains a powerful force behind the scenes – and Franz Beckenbauer keeps tabs on his former star. For those who follow German soccer and know it intimately, it is known that there are several “schools” of thought related to the sport; two of note, are the “functionalists,” and the “Intentionalists.” Of course, there is also “Soccer Orthodoxy,” and the expected folk that challenge the shibboleths of said orthodoxy. Klinsmann is one of those that question the orthodoxy of German soccer – in short he is the “New man.” Things were in the doldrums in German soccer till finally a few calls went out to Klinsmann – I won’t say they asked him to return because the Fatherland needed him, but the offers were convincing enough to get Jurgen Klinsmann to return home to become the trainer for the German national soccer team.
The traditionalists and the orthodox continue to level snide remarks against Klinsmann’s approach to the game, referring to him as this “Swabian-American, this California beach comber,” “American commuter,” etc… What has so upset the traditionalists and the orthodox are the new methods introduced by Klinsmann as far as training their national team, he hired a Phoenix Arizona fitness trainer named Mark Verstegen and has brought in planeloads of equipment from America, till the German training camp looks like Gold’s Gym. He introduced pride back into the game, convincing his players to shout and cheer one another, making the team look like a wild eyed “religious cult,” according to Rolling Stone magazine – you can imagine how German arch-conservatives and traditionalists view this type of training – outrage was the result!
No matter – Klinsmann welds together his team, injuries plague some of his best players; the goalkeeper question haunts him, to keep the older and trusted Kalm or choose the younger Lehmann, to drop some of the older experienced players or to keep them. In the end Klinsmann goes with youth over the tried and tested older well-known players – to field one of the youngest teams in the history of German soccer. He keeps a tight reign on crew, little news gets out, but clearly Klinsmann hammers away at American style “team spirit,” and has his team shout out loud, “wir sind ein team,” we are a team in English. He has them holler words like “speed,” or “power,” and apparently advocates certain types of “psychological warfare,” on the soccer field like having his team practice “posturing” in such a way as to intimidate the opposing team. The British press is always looking out for signs of German self assertion in politics and sports, the largest papers in England headline articles about how Klinsmann’s team practices “the kampf,” and when Klinsi, as the German people lovingly refer to him chooses the younger Lehman over the elder Kalm, German papers question his choices. Despite all of this Klinsmann’s reputation remains intact among those that matter, the German people, and they love him and his will to win. Sentiments such as those Klinsmann instills in his players are only allowed on the soccer field in Germany – but lo and behold Klinsi has brought it to the German people too – there the national team stands in the middle of the field singing the German national anthem with gusto and the German people follow their lead, waving flags, jumping up and down, a hundred thousand people in the stands, and millions upon millions across the world watching the match on television, the youth mostly, kids born when I was dealing with my court cases in far off Canada….. To be continued.
June 17, 2006 [Second letter].
Continuation of the soccer topic…..
Klinsi’s team was trounced months ago by the Italians in a pre-championship game. The Germans put in a lackluster performance a few times since. In the first game that mattered however, they pulled out the win despite having made several errors early in the game. What surprised me while I sat in my cell watching the game was the enthusiasm of the mainly young German soccer fans, both male and female, I was astonished to see the number of German flags waving inside the stadium, the painted faces, all those wearing the German national colors, black, red and gold! I have never seen such an exuberant German response to anything – then came the reaction of the German team, and their Swabian-American trainer, they began to score! There was an almost orgasmic release of applause as the German team began rolling over their opposition in much the same way as Rommel’s tanks. It was an amazing performance to watch. Klinsi, a normally reserved German and not a man of many words, suddenly was seen jumping up and down, hugging his team’s captain, a smile on his face, overjoyed and happy.
Klinsmann made some shrewd replacement decisions during the game – fielding one of the youngest newcomers, a fellow named Lalnn, who had been injured, but who came through for the team by scoring a goal, along with another goal by another youngster! At that point there was no holding back – they had their baptism of fire, and passed it with flying colors. Then came the obligatory press conference with the goal scorers and, of course, their captain. The German press is known for its poisonous put downs of anything patriotic, especially statements coming from well-known soccer players, and the German players were immediately chastised for their patriotic singing of the national anthem. Then, unexpectedly, one of the most amazing things I have ever seen took place, right before my very eyes, the 22 year old goal scorer Lalnn said that he was “proud to be a German,” and “proud to be part of the German national team.” He then said the team was hoping to win the Cup for Germany and how overjoyed the players were to the German people's positive response as manifested by their applause and participation. He said that he felt that “patriotic expressions were not only right,” but were “in order too.” His statements may have proven to be the “kick off,” because after he made them, his teammates echoed his sentiments, making statements like, “it’s time that we stop dumping on the positive qualities of Germans,” or our “useful and productive German characteristics of toughness, top fitness and endurance, and our ‘Iron Will,’ training schedule!” I nearly fell over when one of the players said that!
Young Lalnn piped in again, “Well, what do you think, do we have to defend our 4-2 victory?” Finally, the quiet Swabian-American trainer took his turn and started quietly, slowly explaining his strategy and his philosophy, which was to play an aggressive and forward oriented game, to score goals but also to please the crowd. To have fun while playing – for the players and fans – if that meant allowing a couple goals, so be it. Klinsi said one has to allow a few goals; it’s the nature of the game, just as long as the German team was ahead by a couple goals in the end, that’s what really mattered.
I thought I heard echoes of the German military doctrine imbued by Clauswitz in his speech – albeit a battlefield to soccer field translation. Yes said Klinsi, the flag waving and applause was highly desirable, it inspired the team, and had a great deal to do with their victory. As a result of this, suddenly the German people had their long suppressed “Patriotism Debate,” unleashed as a result of this “Americanized,” German from Malibu, with his comparison of the spirit shown by the German crowds to the celebration in America of the Fourth of July, Independence Day! That set the tone – from that magic moment on the media’s poison pens and self-deprecators have been on the defensive. Talk shows and polls clearly reveal German patriotism awakening. Even a few politicians have come forward and hesitantly offered a few platitudes.
Then, the next game rolled around and the Klinsi team revealed that it had learned its lessons from the last game. They played one of the most exciting and skillful games I have ever seen played. I wasn’t alone thinking this, even the Kaiser Franz Beckenbauer was all smiles, and everybody’s mood was positive and upbeat. The T-shirt slogans shown on television became more bold – national spirit was everywhere! Am convinced that the longer Klinsi’s team can hang in there the firmer this Renaissance of joy will be. This process began back in 1954, with the “Miracle of Bern,” could it be completed by another miracle in Berlin in 2006, I certainly hope so. There are many superb teams playing in this series, but with each game this young German team is growing together, becoming more cohesive, improving its performance and learning from past mistakes. Winning is important, we have a saying in German, “Der Weg ist das Ziel,” or the “path is the victory.” Already there is a major change in a new generation of Germans, no longer held down by the weight of the past, guilt free, unabashedly proud of their heritage, this is for me a touching experience, because when I fought my trials and was asked by so many why I took on what appeared to be a lost cause, I told them, in 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1988, that I did it for the wartime generation whose voice was stifled by censorship and that I did it for Germans yet unborn.
Here I sit in prison overjoyed as I watch this new generation exploring with an almost religious fervor the nearly snuffed out feelings associated with joy and patriotism! “Un-cramped” is the word television commentators are using to describe this phenomenon. There is little doubt that this generation will succumb so easily to the manipulation and psychological intimidation their parents and grandparents did. The genie is out of the bottle - Klinsmann and his team put the “patriotism,” topic at center stage. Imagine that, a man that became disillusioned with his fatherland, coming back to Germany more than a decade later and kicking in the door so to speak, and starting a debate on one of the most sensitive topics [almost] in this country, the love of one’s country.
Klinsmann’s experience in America convinced him of certain ideas, and one of those ideas is that it is okay to love one’s country, to express this love, and to criticize those who would seek to suppress it. If this team wins the World Cup - I think Germany will be transformed – it may well prove to be a watershed event, and I’ll be here, watching from the sidelines, cheering my nation on, prisons are after all, leaky containers of the spirit!
Ernst as always.
July 3, 2006 [Celebrating July 4th in spirit in my cell again this fourth year of my POW time].
I got your David Horowitz letter and report on the show – thanks for that – it’s important to keep the case before the public. Please give Mike Piper and Christopher Bollyn my thanks as well.
Regarding Horowitz – all too typical. I met and interviewed Stokely Carmicheal in 1966 when he came to the University of Sir George Williams, where I was then assistant editor of the University’s Mature student newspaper, it was during the “Free Speech Movements,” heyday at Berkeley, which had swung over to Canada during that era. Curt, that man was no fool; believe me, he knew exactly that his group was being exploited! His dislike of them [Remember this letter is censored] was visible and visceral – I can attest to that. I was present at some of those “no holds barred,” encounters, he knew they were the invisible power behind the Civil Rights movement and he also knew they many were responsible for bringing his people to North America during the slave era.
I tackled another Horowitz many years ago – he became quite popular for writing about Big Pharma and vaccinations. Of course he focused on the German I.G. Farben and Bayer corporations. [Ernst undoubtedly means Leonard Horowitz – a leading disinformation agent and Jewish Supremacist propagandist] His book was pathological in its expressed hatred of all things German – you would have loved that encounter – wow. Even now, I am proud of myself for tackling that evil man, at a Health Fair, in Ontario no less. By the way, I heard from my American lady lawyer, she said that Professor Robert hare had recently published another book entitled, Snakes in Suits, in which he details the psychopaths [read sociopath] role in modern corporate culture. If you or anyone you know comes across a book review, please send it to me incorporated in a letter, because as you know, that is the only way the censors will allow me to receive such information; in the text of the letter itself. I certainly haven’t lost interest in this topic – as you know I have been writing about it for years.
I consider the psychopathology topic, along with the role of nutrition as probably two of the most important issues faced by humanity today. I sincerely pity all of those human bipeds that haven’t a grasp of these topics for they are truly like a pilot flying without maps – flying blindly through their lives. Curt, I really couldn’t care less what others think about my harping away at these topics – ignorance of these issues may be bliss, but it is also quite deadly. Anyone unaware of these issues will pay a very, very steep price in the not too distant future; they’ll be blindsided by emerging conditions, as will their children, and their children’s children.
Take for example your father, he was blindsided by the “snakes in suits,” at Enron, as were millions of other Americans. Others have fallen for the scams of the Michael Milkens, and Ivan Boeskys; each generation is fleeced by people such as these. Western man has in fact lost his instincts – he is unable to discern the criminality or vile natures of these people. We once had these survival instincts, they protected us from roaming bears wolves and the like, but today we have become soft and have lost these important attributes. The loss of these instincts is widespread – it is so obvious, all one need do is look at the election results, voter turnout, the fact that the people fall for the lies of politicians.
Here in Germany the press is full of reports of how the Supreme Court allegedly slapped down the aspiration s of George Bush, even though the courts ruling was less than unambiguous, but as we say here in Germany, one shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds one. Still it means slowly but surely the old America of Jefferson and Madison is stirring up Constitutional checks and balances – and these issues are stirring in the hearts of at least some Americans. Maybe this has had a “trickle down” effect on some of the courts in America, Britain and Canada.
Forget Germany, this place is a “special case,” especially when it comes to understanding true LIBERTY, the way Jefferson and Madison understood it. The Germans cannot fathom concepts such as these, in the same way that a man that has never had “birth pangs,” could understand the pain of labor. When I explain to Germans the impact of free speech as protected by the First Amendment on Americans and how it enables Americans to say, write and express any idea that they’d like, I am met with blank stares. They usually think I am exaggerating – they simply cannot grasp the concept that one should be able to think, write, and speak about any topic they’d like to.
Meanwhile – back to the ranch and to the reality of my cell in Mannheim Germany.
I am getting an abject lesson in the way the German legal process operates. The system is really an odd collection of small and large legal compromises, cobbled together over the centuries, all the way back to Roman and pre-Roman laws out of which Anglo-Saxon law evolved, which the Saxons and Angles, originally from Schleswig-Holstein, took over to England, when they decided to move there some 1000 to 1500 years ago. So the Germans have a composite or patchwork of sorts, but they haven’t seemed able to evolve legally in the same way others have.
One example is how in North America there are verbatim court transcripts available to the defense and history after the fact that the German system has eliminated. German civil law still allows for them, but they have been done away with in criminal cases, which as you can imagine makes it extraordinarily difficult to mount a decent defense. The only thing allowed today are “condensed notes,” written primarily by the judge. Curt, it is almost unbelievable to me that in the Twenty First Century, in a nation that allegedly imbues a modern democracy, that things like this take place in one of the most advanced nations in the heart of Europe. No Curriculum Vitaes are presented to the defense, by the prosecution as far as witnesses they intend to call. Thus one of the most important tools available to a defense in Anglo-Saxon proceedings is absent here. The defense is forced to accept more or less the word of the prosecution as far as the qualifications of expert witnesses, thus there is really no qualifying of witnesses, an extremely important part of court proceedings in North America. This of course skews the entire course of the case in favor of the prosecution, which represents the state. Judges here do much more independent investigations than do their western counterparts, but they are far more politicized here than in North America too, which means that the prosecution is even more favored. There is really no cross-examination here either, at least not like one sees in Anglo-Saxon law, the defense is literally hamstrung and at a decided disadvantage.
I am glad that I had the opportunity to live in Canada and America and fought my cases there, because what takes place here and is called Justice is an embarrassment to me personally in more ways than one [This is a censored letter].
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