Letter From Mannheim
Prison - Zundel On
German Soccer

From Ingrid Rimland

Good Morning from the Zundelsite:
Remember how Judge Meinerzhagen objected to the German anthem being sung in a Zundel hearing in Mannheim not all that long ago in honor of Ernst's Holocaust debunking efforts? I have been told it upset the judge to no end. He thought it was improper and showed "disrespect" for what was being said and done in Germany's Holocaust Heresy Trial.
Against that backdrop, consider the following, stitched together from various letters I received during the month of June from my husband:
I promised in the previous letters to illuminate some evolving and, I believe, historically significant stations of the cross on the way to German freedom via self-liberation. Soccer, or Football, as the English like to call it, is perceived to be a safe area, not as dangerous an area as the political arena. Ingrid, my dear wife - at some point in life everything becomes political up to a point! Thus, valuable lessons can and will be learned.
German people, it seems, are in a football euphoria - a state of mind I can relate to, since I, too, had my first real bonding with what this essence is that ties one to one's Volk. There is a best-selling book and a blockbuster film out about an historic event, referred to as the "Miracle of Bern", when nine years after World War II the Germans shook off at least the worst of the trauma of the defeat and began to reassert themselves in the family of European nations. Eighty to ninety millions of Germans spread all over the European heartland felt relieved, as if a stone had been lifted off their chests. It was a wonderfully uplifting feeling, almost like a "having been born again" feeling must be for Christians.
The soccer world was then purely European. Other nations had not yet been [caught] by the football fever. This world championship was held in Bern, where Germany's national "eleven" met the equally qualifying Hungarians for the World Championship. My schoolmates and I fevered along with the rest of the nation. At the time, we German children played amongst the devastation and ruins of our fatherland. The ruins were our stage set.
I have discussed that period with many thousands of Germans all around the world, and all who were old enough to feel and think for themselves about national issues - all, to a man, and even we, who were youths at the time - felt the same. Something in our psyche had changed! One 90-minute soccer game had accomplished what the writers, poets, singers - and, even more so, what the Allied-appointed and beholden politicians had not even come near to achieving: A soccer game gave the German nation and its traumatized people back their self-confidence.
Ingrid, as strange as it may seem to others soul-wise, maybe even to you 5,000 km away from all this action, today we may well be experiencing an almost tectonic shift similar to the one I described to you above, because this feeling is only the outward expression of something going on at a much deeper level - deep, deep down inside the bowels of this churning, rumbling German soul volcano. Volcanos are interesting spectacles, mainly observed and studied by geologists and volcanologists equipped with their seismographic devices that are capable of detecting, mapping and interpreting these tremors and cataloguing their behavior patterns. Because of their specialized training and knowledge, they can see things and predict what will most likely happen within a certain time period to a long-dormant volcano.
We, the knowing, who have specialized expertise acquired over decades of intensive study and relying on a roadmap of this specific German volcano called "historical events" - Ingrid, we are like these scientist who are climbing all over the mountain slopes or are flying over its gas-and-ashes-venting, cauldron-like peak. What we see taking place is what percolates to the top, and for the moment at least vents only as harmless gas with a whiff of noxious fumes and some bothersome ashes that settle over the German political landscape. We see many things and detect even more with our soul-detecting instruments what the German political volcano is up to. We, in fact, are ideally suited for this job. We understand our volcano because we are an intimate and integral part of it. That's why our predictions and projections, our intrinsic insights, are of a quality for which intelligence agency employ highly priced intelligence assessment and evaluation teams.
Ingrid, I believe our volcano is active, deep down, because the internal pressure of these primeval forces that have been building for decades have to vent, have to find some form of release - and if it is not to explode in a violent fury one more time, it would be better to allow it to vent steam, gases, and even some lava along harmless secondary eruption channels in order not to blow its whole peak, like Mount St. Helens did over 20 years ago.
This soccer world championship is allowing the Germans [to vent] collectively and individually as shouting, dancing and screaming spectators wearing the new, harmless uniform of identity - an endless sea of T-shirts with German flags and patriotic slogans shouted very often in English, if you can imagine that scenario. These mostly younger Germans, many of them girls, are letting off steam and pressure that built for a long time.
These young soccer players were born while I was struggling in my court cases. One very young 22-23 year old defended the players who had draped their arms over each other's shoulders as they sang the national anthem, which one TV commentator mentioned to the former Leftist Interior Minister Schily - undoubtedly responsible, in part, for my fate! - that he had never before heard the whole stadium erupt in such a loud rendering of the national anthem, which Schily sourly acknowledged and took credit for because of the generation of 1968 [of which he was a part], their immigration reforms etc.
Even mainstream commentators are now detecting [this venting]. One of them said it succinctly: "The German are no longer uptight." They are liberating themselves for the moment in a seemingly innocuous way, by means of T-shirts with patriotic slogans or with shawls with sentences from the German national anthem on it - to be safe! Others signal their patriotism with buttons, by dyeing their hair in black-red-gold, even painting their faces and soccer boots.
Claudia Schiffer, hardly a champion of German virtues and nationalism, recently appeared in England in a Brigitte Bardot type public appearance photo shoot, draped only in a German flag. People are coming off the fences, as it were. There is something in the air, and I am not alone feeling it and commenting on these definite seismic shifts in the public stance of Germans. It is not just the identification with that flag - that alone for a German of that generation is an unheard-of, almot career suicide step - but what she said just about knocked me for a loop.
"It's time to clear out the cliches about Germany."
Ingrid, in press conference after press conference, Germany's national trainer, Jürgen Klinsmann, a former national champion of great acclaim who lives with his wife and children in Malibu, California, recounts how Americans also celebrate their Day of Independence [the Fourth of July] with gusto, [honoring] their Stars and Stripes. He explains how on the 4th of July in America everybody hangs out their flags, drapes their cars, drives around waving the Stars and Stripes - joyfully and absolutely naturally! He says it's the most logical thing to do! And he repeats this in Swabian-tinged English for the interviewers from the BBC, CNN etc. Can you see the dynamic at work? Not only are 80 million Germans hearing common sense explanations from the trainer of the national team - the rest of the world hears it also! When Klinsmann decided to strike a patriotic pose, he told a foreign reporter how he joined in [an American 4th of July celebration] by raising the German flag! And this German with a Swabian accent spoke to an audience of over 500 million soccer fans around the world of the need for [a healthy national identity].
Klinsman said, according to one of Germany's largest newspapers, Süddeutsche Zeitung: "Young players and aggressive tactics are going to get us in our own land the world championship. We want to show the world who we are." Ingrid, he sounds like a football revisionist. That is the gospel of self-liberation.
This world championship started subdued enough, with the customary German masochistic demeanor which had spread over the nation's psyche like a World War I poison gas cloud. Everybody played down any patriotic notions. It was a sad spectacle to observe for an intuitive type like myself.
Then came the criticism leveled against Klinsmann - the Swabian from California. That was the acid mood, tangible to those who can detect and feel nuances of human behavior. Ingrid, I know you don't follow sports, but Klinsmann was the team captain under Franz Beckenbauer, who was and is the legendary figure in German soccer, its former team captain, then national trainer of German soccer of almost three decades. That's why they call him "Der Kaiser" - the Emperor of German soccer.
Beckenbauer, too, had escaped to America because the football establishment was overly bureaucratic, hidebound in traditions, and ailing - he was called back, or should I say lured back to German with promises of lots of money and a free hand at doing things his way, not unlike Klinsmann was to be lured back from sunny California where he has lived for the last eight years on the beach of Malibu with his wife, Debby, and his children.
Ingrid, how often have I written and talked about this beneficial mix of American largesse and yet simplicity in doing things and tackling problems that might seem to the Germans living in Germany insurmountable because of their induced fear of daring to soar with the eagles instead of being stuck with the turkeys in the barnyard. I am pleased to show you that with all my scholastic limitations and handicaps I was right - and sensing what was missing and is still a stumbling block, namely the willingness to be free in spirit, to shake off centuries of limiting conventions, unwritten rules, taboos - to challenge long passé dogmas which are the curse of the establishment. These limitations are like mental handcuffs for a people and its state institutions. Germany, my dear Ingrid, is the classic case.
One of the reporters wanted to know what all this new-found "togetherness" was all about, and Klinsman said defiantly, staring into the world media's cameras, "S a dash of patriotism is good and can never hurt!" Ingrid, in 60 years I have only heard such words from the mouths of [those believed to be out of touch]!
I promised you some images of how the new generation is trying to normalize their soul-condition. They may not have exactly the in-your-face courage to assert themselves in an organized way politically. The system has devised the ways and means to prevent that so far, but look at the ages and the faces - the "released" faces!
Ingrid, as I write these lines I am watching the NTV 5 p.m. news on Sunday, 18 June and the patriotism debate - "Sit is dangerous to show so much releasing flag waving" and "is German nationalism rising?" where one young, 25-year-old German says, "We have much to catch up on as regards patriotism.." That's against the background of a sea of waving flags filling the TV screen and as far as the cameras can focus - hundreds of thousands of young Germans "showing their flag," umembarrassed, as you can see even from these few photos.
Look at the girl in the center, Ingrid - she is of the "generations yet unborn" for which I undertook that arduous task when I told American and Canadian interviewers in answer to the question, "Why do you subject yourself to all this vilification, these dangers, this painstaking effort?" My answer always was, "I do it for the wartime generation who have no advocate, no one to protect them, no one to speak for them - and I do it for the generations yet unborn!" Here is that generation - then not yet born! This girl was born around the time of my arrest, her parents during the time of my first trials and tribulations. That's history in the making!
First, they will free themselves emotionally, and as they mature politically, those who can still think, from which the new generation of leaders will come, will draw the proper conclusions. This is the information age, as I have stated a thousand times, that will break the stranglehold of the hidden censors, the lobbyists in key positions, via the democratization of information.
That age is now upon us. It is, of course, different from what some of us, and the chattering political classes, have expected. History does not ever repeat itself in exactly the same way. But consider this: German T-shirt and flag makers have had to start nightshifts to fill the demand! This is, in fact, a street revolution which has taken everybody by surprise. It is no repeat from our father's methods and ways. It is more innocent, and less threatening to those who need to fear replacement. That is the way it should be. Patriotic feelings should be positive feeling - just like America's, celebrating the Fourth of July.
The Mannheimer Morgen of June 9 quotes the World Soccer Federation President, Joseph Blatter, aying that 32 Billion viewers will watch these world championships. 180 countries are involved and organized in this association. Ingrid, this is the most important sports event ever! That's why the imagery is important - and the transformation of these young Germans will start an image change. Every game where the German team can hang in here will mean that more firmly the new images and feelings will be embedded in people's minds.
Even if the German team, coached by this American Swabian Klinsmann, should be knocked out of the competition along the way, the far more significant victory, politically speaking, has already been achieved - and that is that Klinsmann's unconventional ways, his questioning of old habits and dogmas, of importing the almost naïve, boyish self-confidence of youth has achieved [a transformation] of the German football mythology that will be strengthened and heightened with every game this young team can hang on to. Every game, even the most insignificant games against teams which are given little chance, are important to this process now at work, which is the release of the German Volk psyche - the relaxing, the freeing of the collective psychic cramps which have held the German national spirit in a straitjacket for almost three generations. One has to see and watch this process unfold like a filmed time lapse sequence in one of those science films about blossoms opening after a desert rain shower - the faces of those boys and girls, adorned with the ever-present T-shirt and jeans, clothing geared to exuberance, carefreeness. It is the unmistakeable thumb print of the "American way".
A kind of fashion streamlining has taken place which turns, by the message it carries, into an instant political statement or mini-billboard. Since these soccer championships are watched by billions of viewers, an incredible propaganda value is achieved because TV needs close-ups to be effective in communicating passion, joy, exhuberance - that is the quality which has been already achieved: the voluntary identification with one's team and one's national colors, its symbols and one's Volk.
Thus are idols born! Liberators of the spirit! Klinsmann's soccer team is a tool for German self-liberation. Our young people are declaring their innocence and are dancing their way to a new tomorrow - one soccer game at a time! Ingrid, this is the defining image which kicked off the patriotism debate. That's how they sang the national anthem in the stadium. I spent 30 years being virtually the only one in the English speaking world saying that at every opportunity. And now photo models and actresses are saying it publicly at press conferences.
A new generation is taking over. No telling what this generation will talk about at press conferences and on talk shows. This being a censored letter, I will leave it at that.
Ernst Zundel



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