Another Zundel Letter
From Mannheim Prison
From: Ingrid Rimland
The following is an excerpt from a letter written by Ernst to a young friend in Texas
on October 22, 2005:
The criterion for getting the "Close Combat Decoration" in the old Wehrmacht was that you had to be in such close contact with the other combatant that you could see the whites of the enemy's eyes. That means, as you know, fighting close-in with bayonets, tree branches, rocks, anything one could get one's hands on. German veterans have told me hair-raising tales about the Eastern Front. Ernst and Ingrid, and their loyal friends, are out there in the forefront, seeing the whites in the eyes of the enemies of freedom, in prisons, courtrooms, in three countries and on two continents. Since the struggle has transferred from the battlefield to the courtrooms, this is where real history is now being shaped.
On 17, October, 2005, we won a small but significant legal victory in the Oberlander Gericht, which is the level of court one step away from the Supreme Court, known here in Germany as the Constitutional Court - an odd name and situation, as this temporary Allied construct in effect operates not under a Constitution at all, but rather under what's called a "basic law." Israel is the only other country in the world to operate under this unusual system - odd coincidence, eh?
The issue we brought before the court dealt with my mail restrictions, specifically correspondence between Ingrid and myself. Letters were being withheld - ridiculous! We won the case on constitutional grounds; the judgment reads that communication between a husband and wife are of a specially protected essence or class. Husbands and wives must be able to discuss their respective views about their own particular situation and how that may relate to the court case before them.
So - we won an important victory for married couples! Imagine this: I, the man who was forced to return in chains from exile after 47 years, is now being forced to fight like a bastard to give these Germans the important, actually sacred, right for a man and his wife to communicate freely!
I told them: "Bis hierher und nicht weiter!" Ingrid is fond of saying, "we drew our line in the sand." Undoubtedly, one day someone will translate these court documents. I don't have the time - I have to prepare for my other court appearance and have approximately 20,000 - 25,000 pages of documents to sift through for that! Most of it is déjà vu - they are the same documents dredged up by the prosecution for my prior court cases in Canada. Imagine that! I am accused of the same issues, as evidenced by the same documents the Canadian Supreme Court used to exonerate me on constitutional grounds thirteen to twenty years ago! One of the documents [against me] cites a publication written in England thirty-one years ago!
Can it get any more grotesque? I don't think there are any parallels in history. Ernst is once again setting precedent. Galileo had it easy by comparison.
I now want to switch topics to get a little mental relief from the torture of these documents of shame, as I call them. I told you in a previous letter that I had bought a small radio with a CD player. Now my cell reverberates to the sounds of Mozart, Brahms, Verdi, Beethoven, Bach - and, yes, Wagner too! Oi Vey! Ausgerechnet Ernst - how could you?!
I believe - and you could help me with this - that we humans respond to music with our DNA, our inherited genes - what we call in German Erbmasse, the things our forefathers deposited within the blood pulsating in our veins. That's where their racial memory is stored. That's why we Europeans and Euro-Americans resonate with our folk's collective memory. That's why country music in the United States and Canada is almost entirely the product of the European American. It is the same on this side of the ocean. At this very moment, Saturday morning, as I await the call to get my one hour of fresh air in the prison yard, I am listening to Schlagermusik sent by a kind of working class pop station, which also plays American hits as far back as Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, and Pat Boone.
Now that I have been taken out of circulation for the last three years and am safely locked away for 22 hours and forty-five minutes a day, I have time to listen to music and do some serious thinking. One of my recent interests has become music and a genetic connection. I talked about this issue with some Eastern Europeans, Gypsies, Jews - I encountered a Romanian thief here who confessed to me the other day that he comes from a long line of Jews - an eerie thing really as he plays guitar in our Bible hour, so we had something in common anyway. I also befriended a German/Russian-mix fellow who also played a few songs in church and sang for us. Interesting these people's attitudes toward music and the feeling music evokes in them! Then I questioned at length a Congolese who played "his music" and his own arrangements in, of all places, German churches and cathedrals! He brought me his media clippings. You should have seen the costumes and instruments they used - it was out of a black and white Tarzan movie, something I would have watched with my kids in the 1960s. Those goofy, wide-eyed German Christians, soaking in the multicultural milieu, looked totally bewildered in his photos!
One German here shares a cell with another Congolese who is highly intelligent, a former engineer. His German cell mate tells me this Congolese grows visibly distressed when the German watches classical concerts on his television. It has apparently even led to differences and arguments. It's that profound.
You see, we Europeans resonate via our DNA to a different cadence, rhythms, instrumentation, etc. One can see once again the wisdom in the statement, "we march to a different drummer."
When I listen to the electronic popularity tests conducted on the aforementioned German radio station, I listen to the voices of mostly women, but a few middle-aged men too. They almost exclusively request romantic, wholesome, non-raucous melodies, what I like to refer to as "voluptuous songs" about love, tenderness, kindness, loyalty, fidelity, rather than what modern music has to offer. One woman, a Greek, has had over 250 gold records to her credit over a forty years singing career. There are Italians and Spaniards, too, all singing in accented German - the same genre of music, nice, melodic. DNA is the key to success in the music field, as it is in painting, architecture, fashion - only the aberrant strangers in our midst create the cultural discomfort and dissonance we feel.
I believe we may be beating them back now. German pop is becoming increasingly popular in Germany. One boy recently sold over a half million records singing about tenderness and love in his silken voice. A music critic from one magazine wrote that he [the boy] had "soul in Blut," using the English word for soul, rather than the German Seele - as it might have alerted the ever present censorious cultural commissars that the German folk might be on the rise again, so to speak.



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