Every Canadian past the age of 40 has a mental image of Ernst Zundel: the neo-Nazi in a hardhat, surrounded by goons in Brownshirt uniforms, perpetually in trouble with the Canadian justice system. For those too young to remember, Zundel was a graphics artist who ran a print shop that became one of the world’s leading publishers of National Socialist and anti-Semitic books and paraphernalia, including “Did Six Million Really Die?” and “The Hitler We Loved and Why” - the latter written by him under a pseudonym.
This much of his biography is fairly common knowledge among Canadians, but how many also know that he was an active member of the Liberal Party of Canada? I recently stumbled across this fact. Here’s what it says in Wikipedia about him:
“In 1968 he joined the Liberal Party of Canada and ran in that year's Liberal leadership convention under the name Ernest Zundel as a self-described "nuisance candidate" running on an "immigrant rights" platform. He used his candidacy to campaign against anti-German attitudes. He dropped out of the contest prior to the election, but not before delivering his campaign speech to the convention.”
A campaign speech at the 1968 Liberal leadership convention – the same convention that elected Pierre Trudeau. Heh.
Now I am sure a Liberal reading this would immediately object: Oh come on. You can’t blame the Liberal Party for this. Nobody knew he was a neo-Nazi at the time, and besides, he was only a fringe candidate who got no support.
Perhaps. But why did he choose the Liberal Party over, say, the Progressive Conservative Party? And why did it take a right-wing Sun Media reporter – Mark Bonokoski, a man who tried to get the nomination for the Canadian Alliance Party in Ottawa West Napean in 2000, and the former communications director for Tim Hudak - to expose him? Rather than, say, somebody at the Toronto Star? And while we are on the topic of inconvenient questions, what is it about Tommy Douglas, founder of the CCF, the man who was christened by the CBC as the “Greatest Canadian”, but who wrote a master’s thesis extolling the need to sterilize Canada’s natives? What gives with that?
So many questions, so few asked by polite Canadians. Perhaps they are too busy attending Jian Ghomeshi’s book launch party to pay attention.