MORE seriously, the German Government has quietly admitted that over the last twelve months it prosecuted over 18,000 Germans for offences of "right-wing extremism," of which only a few hundred involved actual violence: i.e. they prosecuted over seventeen thousand thought-crimes -- people unwitting displaying the old swastika emblem, or even worse, National Socialist ideas, and perhaps even "denying the H."
As the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung recently pointed out in a courageous editorial, most of these new criminal records have been sprung on ordinary citizens blissfully unaware of the criminality of their actions and thoughts, because the tame German media are too cowardly to report any of these cases --
More than once my chosen Austrian lawyer, Dr Herbert Schaller arrived in the Vienna prison with fresh horror tales from Zündel's Mannheim courtroom -- the judge Meinertzhagen had warned him that if he asked certain questions of the court, or made certain defence motions, he too would be arrested.
I remember that in January 1993, when I was tried in Munich under Germany's laws for the suppression of free speech, one of my three lawyers turned up apologetically on the morning of the hearing apologizing that he could not continue to act for me, as the Munich Bar Association had threatened him with dismissal -- i.e. the end of his career -- if he did. He showed me their actual letter. I was fined thirty thousand deutschmarks, around twenty thousand dollars, for uttering a single sentence which the Polish authorities now belatedly admit was true.
I NOTICED when I was in Viennese prison that the jailhouse, built to hold eight hundred malfeasors, currently held 1,400 inmates, a quarter of them Blacks. It was a tight fit but it was possible, provided we did not all breathe at the same time.
This morning I have received a letter from Frau K., an elderly Viennese lady in her nineties. Exercising what is the constitutional right of every citizen in most other countries, on September 27 of last year she had written a personal letter to the President of Austria, one Herbert Fischer -- a small, straw-haired gentleman of even smaller character and endowed with all the intellect and bearing of Lady Chatterley's gardener -- to protest against my arrest, trial, and imprisonment. "What D. I. said was right," she wrote in one passage of this incriminating letter.
She received no presidential reply? Right. -- She heard no more? Wrong.
On March 8 the Austrian criminal authorities sent her a letter fining her the sum of 200 euros under penalty of jail for having written these seditious words to their august president. No trial, no hearing, no defence -- no lawyer would have dared to defend her anyway.
This is the new Europe, coming soon to a jailhouse near us. I for one shall do my damndest to prevent it.