Incredulously enough, the Ontario Civil Liberties Association has rushed to the aid of Monika Schaefer, a Canadian Holocaust denier who’s currently on trial in Munich for inciting racial hatred, a criminal offence in Germany.
The executive director of the association, Joseph Hickey, has written a letter to Canadian Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland in support of Schaefer’s right to free speech. A Canadian citizen of German ancestry, she has described the Holocaust — one of the most meticulously documented events in modern times — as the “biggest and most pernicious lie in history.”
Accused of being an antisemite, Schaefer has also spoken darkly of what she calls “the Jew world order.”
In his letter to the ministers, Hickey wrote, “We ask you both to do everything you can to save Monika Schaefer from her ongoing unjust and immoral imprisonment in Germany. Every day that Canada refuses to act or acts ineffectively is a day that Ms. Schaefer spends in a foreign jail.”
The association claims that Germany’s law banning Holocaust denial runs contrary to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Canada is a signatory. What the association conveniently ignores is that Schaefer has knowingly broken the law of a foreign nation. As B’nai Brith Canada correctly notes, many countries, including Canada, impose criminal penalties for “speech that crosses the line into incitement or hate-mongering.” This should be borne in mind in the Schaefer case.
Now 59, she was arrested in Munich last January while visiting her brother Alfred. She was charged with six counts of “incitement of the people” after posting a video denying the Holocaust. In Germany, where the Holocaust was conceived, Holocaust denial is rightly considered a crime.
An environmental activist and a former Jasper National Park warden, Schaefer is a musician and a violin and viola teacher whose parents immigrated to Canada in the early 1950s. In the 2006, 2008 and 2011 federal elections, she ran unsuccessfully as a Green Party candidate in Alberta’s Yellowhead district. The party condemned and distanced itself from Shaefer in 2016 following her appearance in a notorious YouTube video in which she brazenly recited a litany of filthy lies about the Holocaust.
“Sorry mom, I was wrong about the Holocaust,” she murmurs in the video. She goes on to say that, as a young woman, she asked her mother why Germans had remained silent during the Nazi era. From there, she makes the toxic leap to Holocaust denial, never explaining why she chose to cast her lot with a bunch of despicable Holocaust deniers/antisemites.
The Edmonton Journalcolumnist Paula Simons, who monitors the white supremacist scene in Canada, believes she was greatly influenced by her brother, a neo-Nazi who lives in Germany. Schaefer may also have fallen under the sway of the late Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel, whom she references in her video.
Judging by the video, Schaefer is an ardent follower of Zundel. “These things did not happen,” she declares, referring to Germany’s unprecedented war crimes. Dismissing the Holocaust as “the six million lie,” she claims that Nazi extermination camps, like Auschwitz-Birkenau and Treblinka, were merely work camps with armament factories where inmates were treated fairly.
Tellingly enough, this was the official Nazi version of the truth until it was boldly exposed as a cynical lie. Doubling down on this fabrication, she falsely contends that none of these camps were equipped with gas chambers.
In light of Schaefer’s miserable record, it is more than a little shocking, if not disappointing, that a reputable organization like the Ontario Civil Liberties Association has rallied to her cause. Holocaust denial, apart from being a shameless assault on the historical record, is a relatively new form of antisemitism which anti-Jewish propagandists have gleefully seized upon to promote antisemitism.
Why, then, is it so difficult for the Ontario Civil Liberties Association to recognize this transparent ploy? And why does it fail to understand that Schaefer’s noxious claims feed into antisemitism, the world’s oldest and most enduring hatred.
Schaefer’s strategy is crystal clear to Germany, but strangely enough, the Ontario Civil Liberties Association is still in the dark about her abominable agenda.