CAFE Holds Memorial for Author, Wife & Freedom Fighter Ingrid Rimland in Toronto

CAFE Holds Memorial for Author, Wife & Freedom Fighter Ingrid Rimland in Toronto

TORONTO, December 3, 2017. They came from as far away as Michigan and from all across Southern Ontario to honour a free speech warrior and a passionate advocate of truth and justice for Germans.  Tpday,

Christian Klein a Toronto advocate for the German expellees and Paul Fromm, Director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression spoke as did a surprise visitor from Michigan, Rudi LIst..

Part of a film Germans, Off Your Knees! featuring Ernst Zundel and Ingrid Rimland was also screened, showing important moments from their life together.

Music was supplied by Dieter Kahl on the accordion and Christian Klein on guitar. The memorial ended with one of the theme songs of the free speech movement, the old German folk song Die Gedanken Sind Frei (Thoughts Are Free).


A wise man once said that success should be measured not by the position one has reached in life, but rather by the obstacles he has overcome. That standard is certainly relevant as today we remember and honor a remarkable woman.


Ingrid Rimland was born in 1936 into an ethnic German Mennonite community in Soviet Ukraine. When she was five years old, her father was taken from her – arrested by Bolshevik authorities and deported to Siberia – never again to be seen by his little daughter or other loved ones. A short time later, the people of her community — along with millions of others in Ukraine and other Soviet-controlled areas – welcomed the German troops who were advancing eastwards to bring down the Red empire.


A few years later, during the final months of the war in Europe, and as the resurgent Red Army was retaking Ukraine, she and many others fled westwards with the retreating German troops. Then, after several years living as a refugee, she and other members of her community migrated to South America where they began new lives in an isolated Mennonite settlement in Paraguay.


From there she moved with a husband and a young son to Ontario, Canada, where she had a second son, and then to the United States, where she eventually became a U.S. citizen. She earned a Bachelor’s degree, and then a Master’s, and then, a Doctorate of education.  For years she worked as an educational psychologist in California public schools, specializing in special education and education for migrant children. She later worked as an education consultant and testing specialist for some 40 schools in southern California. At the same time she ran a private practice in child psychology.   


That’s already quite a record for someone of her modest origins and difficult early life. But she pushed herself still further, making a name as an acclaimed writer.


Her novel, The Wanderers, drew on experiences from her own life and the lives of others in the community of her birth. This book earned the California Literature Medal Award for best fiction in 1977. A mass-market paperback edition was issued by Bantam publishers.


She also wrote an autobiography, titled The Furies and the Flame, and a book entitled Demon Doctor, as well as an ambitious three-volume novel, Lebensraum.


During the final decades of her life she was well known, of course, for her association with Ernst Zündel, the bold, energetic and courageous publisher and activist. She was much more than just his wife. She was a fiercely loyal defender and a valued collaborator.


During those years — in California, and then in Tennessee, where she lived until her recent death — she dedicated herself to the task, as she saw it, of defending the heritage and honor of her much maligned and mistreated people.

To this new career she devoted the same tenacity, skill and self-discipline she had put into her earlier professional life. For years she wrote and published a newsletter that won a loyal readership, and she maintained the influential “Zundelsite” website.


Although I cannot say that I knew her well, I’m pleased that she and I worked together on several projects. The most important, probably, was the demonstration we staged together in early 2005 outside the Canadian Consulate in downtown Los Angeles to protest the outrageous treatment of Ernst Zündel by Canadian authorities.


Today we remember with gratitude the life of a woman of idealism and ability who overcame poverty, privation, uprooting, and personal loss to achieve success in life, and whose struggle serves to inspire and encourage all of us, and many others as well.


Ernst Zündel died on August 5, 2017.

I had phoned him at his place in Germany on August 4.

He revealed me that Ingrid was going to die very soon

and he got down to some terrible specifics.

Never would I have guessed that Ernst would disappear

the next day. I was surprised by his death. I was not

surprised by Ingrid’s death in spite of what she wrote

about her surgical operation in Power‘s issue Nr.462

(September 2017, p. 7A). She thought she knew better

than the doctors. She even wrote : “Don’t you believe

them […]. I am back home, recuperating […]”. She was wrong.

The doctors and her husband were right.

Barbara Kulaszka died on June 15, Ernst Zündel on

August 5, Serge Thion on October 15 and Ingrid Rimland-

Zündel few days later. I guess I know the next one.

“Les dieux ont soif” (Gods are thirsty) but, alive or dead, we shall win.

 Robert Faurisson, Vichy, Monday, October 30, 2017