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                               SPECIAL REPORT

                              Embattled Bigots:
           A Split in the Ranks of the Holocaust Denial Movement

                           ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE

Printed in the United States of America
Anti-Defamation League
David EI. Strassler, National Chairman
Abraham H. Foxman, National Director
Howard P. Berkowitz, Chairman, National Executive Committee
Peter T. Willner, Chief Operating Officer
Robert G. Sugarman, Chairman, Civil Rights Committee
Jeffrey P. Sinensky, Director, Civil Rights Division
Gary Zaslav ,Chairman,Fact Finding and Research Committee

This publication was made possible through a generous grant from the
Schnurmacher Foundation.

This publication was prepared by Rebecca N. Kaufinan, Research Analyst, 
Research and Evaluation Department. Edited by Alan M. Schwartz, Director, 
Research and Evaluation Department.


Introduction ..........................................................1
Power Struggle ........................................................1
Background: IHR, Carto, and the Holocaust Denial Movement .............2
Mutiny at the IHR .....................................................3
Carto's Reaction ......................................................4
Aftermath of the "Battle" .............................................5
New Voice of Extremism ................................................5
Blaming the Jews, Again ...............................................6
Conclusion: Effect of the Conflict on the Holocaust Denial Movement ...6

Embattled Bigots: 
A Split in the Ranks of the Holocaust Denial Movement


A bitter dispute has recently engulfed the Holocaust denial movement 
in the United States, resulting in a split in the ranks of its main 
propaganda outlet, the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), a pseudo-
academic institution whose business is peddling hateful lies. Within the 
past year the feud has included these dramatic events: lawsuits filed by 
IHR's founder against several IHR staffers, their countersuit against him, 
his issuing of a new, competing Holocaust denial publication, and a 
violent physical altercation at the IHR office between the two factions.
It is unclear what the schism will ultimately mean for this insidious 

The Institute for Historical Review is the primary force in the 
international anti-Semitic propaganda movement known as Holocaust denial. 
Through its publications and periodic conferences, the IHR has attempted 
to garner scholarly respectability and popular visibility for what it 
claims to be historical "revisionism." [See ADL report Hitler's 
Apologists: The Anti-Semitic Propaganda of Holocaust "Revisionism" 

Since 1979, the IHR has enjoyed increased attention within the extremist 
community, despite significant legal and financial setbacks. The best 
known of these reversals occurred in 1985 when IHR agreed in a court-
approved settlement to pay $90,000 to Mel Mermelstein, an Auschwitz 
concentration camp survivor. Mermelstein had sued the organization for 
failing to pay him a $50,000 "reward" it had offered for "proof" that 
the Nazis operated execution gas chambers at the concentration camps 
in WWII.

Ironically, the Mermelstein case and other financial difficulties, such 
as a 1984 fire at IHR headquarters, are not responsible for the most 
serious problem facing the group. It seems that after a decade and a 
half of nefarious activity, the IHR's most formidable challenge is a 
conflict between its founder and its own activists.

Power Struggle

IHR's internal politics are as contentious as its "revisionist" theories 
about the Holocaust are hateful and absurd. Recently, a power struggle 
within IHR culminated in the ousting of the group's founder, the longtime 
anti-Semite Willis Carto. Carto -- who has lamented Hitler's defeat at the 
hands of the "International Jews" -- was ejected as IHR's leader in 
September 1993 after the Institute's editorial staff and board of directors 
voted to terminate association with him.

A month later, on October 15, Carto unsuccessfully tried physically to 
"retake" the IHR building and was dragged from the premises by the police 
as he reportedly screamed, "You're killing me." The scuffle then moved 
into the courtroom, where lawsuits and countersuits have been filed 
regarding who would head the organization. The victor would not only 
control IHR, but also a bequest of $10 million in stock share certificates 
from the late granddaughter of the inventor Thomas Edison. A key figure in 
the coup against Carto summed up the imbroglio by stating, "I think it's 
all about money."

Background: IHR. Carto and the Holocaust Denial Movement

The Institute for Historical Review was founded by Willis Carto in 1979 
and is currently based in Newport Beach, California. In 1980, Carto and his 
wife, Elisabeth, filed for IHR's business license under the title "Legion 
for the Survival of Freedom, Inc." doing business as "The Noontide 
Press/Institute for Historical Review."

Three motivations animate the propaganda of the Holocaust denial movement: 
(1) the rehabilitation of Hitler and Nazi ideology; (2) the promotion of 
new formulations to express traditional anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, 
and (3) the undermining of the moral legitimacy of the State of Israel. 
IHR materials and activities clearly reflect these themes.

Willis Carto, 67, began peddling anti-Semitism and extremism more than 
two decades before the inception of IHR. Liberty Lobby, founded in 1955 
and currently the nation's largest anti-Jewish propaganda organization, 
was also the brainchild of Carto and continues to be his chief propaganda 
vehicle. Carto additionally founded the far-right Populist Party in 1983; 
in 1988, the party ran as its presidential candidate the former neo-Nazi 
and Klan leader David Duke. (Duke received 47,047 votes from eleven states 
in this campaign.) Since the 1988 election, the Populist Party, like IHR, 
has broken with Carto; it nonetheless continues to promote the same 
extremist agenda. Until the IHR/Carto schism in 1993, Liberty Lobby 
promoted IHR and Holocaust denial in its weekly newspaper, The Spotlight. 
Recent issues of The Spotlight - which has been estimated to have a 
circulation of nearly 100,000 -- vilify IHR and refer to its leaders as 

The IHR, whose membership is comprised of pseudo-academics and veteran 
hate propagandists, attempts to operate under the guise of scholarship. It 
publishes a bi-monthly glossy magazine, The Journal of Historical Review, 
and holds annual conventions where self styled "revisionist historians" 
present papers on a variety of subjects -- but the agenda caters on 
debunking the Holocaust. Regular speakers have included:

	* Robert Faurisson, a former University of Lyon (France) 
          literature professor who was convicted and fined in French 
          courts in July 1983 and April 1991 for promoting racism and 
          denying the reality of the Holocaust.

	* Ditlieb Felderer of Sweden, who claims that Anne Frank's diary 
          is a hoax and who was convicted in May 1983 by a Swedish court 
          for distributing anti-Semitic hate mail, including locks of hair 
          and pieces of fat which he alleged belonged to Holocaust victims.
	* British author David Irving, who has described himself as a "mild 
          fascist," and who has commented, "Without Hitler, the State of 
          Israel probably would not exist today, so to that extent he was 
          probably the Jews' greatest friend."

	* Dr. Arthur Butz of Northwestern University, a professor of 
          electrical engineering and computer science who wrote The Hoax 
          of the Twentieth Century, one of the first Holocaust-denying 

	* The late Ivor Benson, a one-time politician in Rhodesia 
          (now Zimbabwe) and pro Apartheid activist.

The nature of the conventions and publications indicates that IHR is clearly 
less concerned with historical truth than it is with promoting anti-Semitism.

Holocaust denial depends on the embrace of a mass conspiracy theory -- the 
allegation that Jews, academics, historians and others falsified or 
maliciously distorted all testimonies, reports and pictures of the 
Holocaust. Holocaust deniers explain Jewish motivation behind the "Zionist 
conspiracy" as a means to gain power and influence. In Carto's opening 
speech to the 1981 IHR convention, he asserted that "Zionists" are 
"predators" who exploit the "guilt" of Western society and "offer us 
expiation for the sins of our fathers by giving us the magnificent 
opportunity to contribute to the building of God's promised land for God's 
chosen people with our tax money." The IHR's game plan is simple; 
by legitimizing "debate" over the settled historical veracity of the 
Holocaust, deniers hope to sow the seed of doubt, which in turn will foster 
anti-Semitism in the form of resentment against those who have promoted 
this "hoax": the Jews.

Mutiny at the IHR

On October 4, 1993, according to court records, Willis Carto received a 
letter signed by four senior staff members of The Journal of Historical 
Review (Thomas Marcellus, Mark Weber, Ted O'Keefe and Greg Raven) 
announcing that the IHR was "firing" him. Although Carto, in a court 
document, contended that he had "no inkling of their conspiracy to take 
over," trouble between Carto and his staffers reportedly had been building 
for some time. Carto's reputed highhandedness towards his employees and 
associates appears to be the primary reason for his ouster, in addition to 
several reasons listed by Marcellus in a court declaration, including: 
Elisabeth Carto's purchase of a new Cadillac with IHR funds; Carto's 
frugality in taking out an insufficient insurance policy (a 1984 fire had 
destroyed the IHR warehouse and offices and the $50,000 insurance policy 
purchased by Carto covered only a fraction of the damage); his skimping on 
pay and health benefits; and his "launching and subsequent mishandling of 
the reward offer" in the Mel Mermelstein affair.	

Marcellus asserted, moreover, that the primary point of contention rested 
on the editorial direction of The Journal of Historical Review. To the 
editorial staffs dismay, Carto allegedly wanted to reduce Holocaust denial 
features -- the publication's stock in trade -- by 80%, eventually to 
abandon the issue along with the name of the journal entirely. Furthermore,
Marcellus accused Carto of trying to turn the journal into a "racist" 
and "Nazi" publication -- as if the IHR's Holocaust-denial agenda weren't 
inherently anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi from the outset.  Carto, of course, 
denies the allegations against him and insists that the rebellious staff 
members	were manipulated by "sinister forces," as he put it in a letter 
to Holocaust denier Arthur Butz. This letter was included in a mailing 
from Carto to IHR contributors and contained attacks on ADL and Mel 

In light of the tension between Carto and the staffers, Marcellus and 
O'Keefe decided to take the issue to the board of the Legion for the 
Survival of Freedom, Inc., IHR's parent organization. According to the Los 
Angeles Times (May 8, 1994) Marcellus described their decision in a court 
declaration: "Having suffered Carto's machinations, hair-brained [sic] 
schemes, mismanagement, insults and irrationality long enough, the senior 
staff met to determine the course of action to stop Carto from taking harmful 
actions." It was alleged that the Legion for the Survival of Freedom, Inc., 
had listed a corporate director who had been dead for five years; that the 
board had never met, and that Willis Carto was the sole and controlling 
voice in the corporation.

Most importantly, at stake in this controversy was over $10 million in 
stock certificates bequeathed to the Legion by Jean Farrel, the granddaughter 
of Thomas Edison. The summer before the October "coup," Marcellus reportedly 
discovered a $100,000 bank order for Carto's Liberty Lobby, drawn from the 
Jean Farrel bequest. According to Marcellus, Carto directed his wife to set 
up a corporation for the sole purpose of controlling the money and loaning 
it back to the Legion -- thus making the Legion a less attractive target for 
potential lawsuits. Because the IHR advertised itself as the Legion, the 
senior staffers demanded control of the money Mrs. Farrel had bequeathed 
to the parent company.

After discovering and exposing Carto's alleged business improprieties, the 
staffers and their lawyer, William Hulsy, reportedly convinced two elderly 
directors of the board of the Legion to resign. The remaining third member, 
Thomas Kerr, appointed a new board which subsequently voted to terminate all 
association with Carto. Kerr later contended that he was "misled as to the 
facts" by the rebel staffers, and later rejoined the Cartos in a suit 
against the Legion.  

Carto's Reaction

After receiving his letter of dismissal, according to a Carto mailing sent 
to IHR contributors, Carto negotiated with Marcellus and O'Keefe to meet 
with them on October 15 at Hulsey's office to go over all of the corporate 
documents. Carto apparently failed to show at the meeting and instead went
to IHR headquarters, from which, according to his mailing, he sent a fax to 
Hulsey's office notifying him that he was "now in control of the IHR 
office." According to the Los Angeles Times, May 8, 1994, those present at 
IHR when Carto arrived allege that Carto, his wife, and three other people 
started to disconnect telephones, change locks, and tamper with computers. 
The editors and Hulsey went to IHR, where a fracas ensued. The Los Angeles 
Times reported an account of the events as follows:

     "It was hard to keep from laughing," recalled Hulsey, the staff 
     attorney who raced to the office after receiving the faxed 
     declaration of war. "Who would control the headquarters? The staff 
     arrives, forces the door and then fistfights start breaking out all 

     Eventually police arrived and Carto was arrested along with some 
     of the other staff members. Charges were never filed against any 
     of them.

     Hulsey's last memory of the melee is an indelible image of Willis 
     Carto with one foot wedged in the door. Nearby a staff editor 
     brandished a gun to break up a wrestling match on the floor. 
     Meanwhile, other institute historians were struggling mightily to 
     shove Carto out of the door.

     The founder's screams filled the room: "You're killing me!"

Aftermath of the "Battle"

Carto's efforts to regain power over the Legion and IHR moved to the legal 
arena. Thomas Kerr and Elisabeth Carto filed suit against the Legion for 
the Survival of Freedom (which now included O'Keefe, Marcellus, Weber, and 
Raven), and, in turn, the Legion filed suit against the Foundation to 
Defend the First Amendment (which included Willis and Elisabeth Carto). 
On August 3, 1994, William Hulsy, counsel for the Legion, told the court 
that a settlement had been reached, that neither side would take anything 
from one another, and the cases were dismissed.

The Carto/IHR feud, however, rages on. According to the August 15, 1994 
issue of The Spotlight, the IHR filed another lawsuit against Carto, this 
time with Liberty Lobby as co-defendant, in order to "gain control of 
purported financial assets they claim belong to a bogus IHR 'board of 
directors' that the conspirators themselves appointed." Subsequently, 
according to a September 12, 1994 issue of The Spotlight, Carto filed 
another lawsuit against "the bogus directors [of IHR] forbidding them to 
continue fraudulently acting as directors."

Carto has also waged a letter-writing campaign against the "conspirators." 
Carto pleaded his case to IHR contributors on stationery with IHR 
letterhead, listing as an address a P.O. Box in Torrance, California, 
which, incidentally, he claims to be the "original and historic address 
for the IHR since the beginning."

New Voice of Extremism

The Spotlight -- which continues to be overseen by Carto and used as his 
vehicle for attack -- recently announced in an August 1994 issue the debut 
of a new Holocaust denial publication to compete with The Journal of 
Historical Review. The Barnes Review -- named in honor of the late Harry 
Elmer Barnes, the original revisionist historian of WWI who in his 
senescence became closely allied with Carto and other Nazi sympathizers -- 
will be assisted by the staff of The Spotlight, according to an editorial 
by Carto. The proposed topics which Carto announced would be examined in 
forthcoming issues of the new publication included: "The truth about 
Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court's desegregation ruling in Brown vs. 
Board of Education"; "The Federal Reserve--a bankers' conspiracy"; "The 
mixing of the races in history--what are the results?"; and "What happened 
to the Cro-Magnons and the Neanderthals? Are remnants of these ancient 
people living in our world today?" Such features appear to confirm 
allegations made by the rebel staffers against Carto: that Carto intended 
to replace Holocaust denial articles in The Journal of Historical Review 
with more overt racist and nationalist propaganda.

Blaming the Jews. Again

Carto is promoting a conspiracy theory that he hopes will downplay the 
allegations against him and instead focus on longtime adversaries of IHR 
and Liberty Lobby. He contends that, among others, the Anti-Defamation 
League, "forces of political Zionism," and even the Church of Scientology, 
with which Marcellus is associated, are responsible for his estrangement 
from IHR. An August 15, 1994 issue of The Spotlight claims "the IHR coup 
was, in fact, simply a first step in the ultimate goal of the ADL, 
destruction of Liberty Lobby and The Spotlight." Carto explained his 
conspiracy theory in an open March 4, 1994, letter to IHR Editorial 
Advisory Committee member Arthur Butz, "Simply put, what is happening to 
the IHR is the fourth attempt by its enemies to destroy it ... There is not 
the slightest doubt in my mind but that the ADL and/or other forces of 
political Zionism are behind this ..." 

Conclusion: Effect of the Conflict on the Holocaust Denial Movement

The impact of the IHR conflict on the Holocaust denial movement's 
direction and viability remains to be seen. But even if IHR and Carto 
continue down a self-destructive path, the movement will certainly not 
fold. Holocaust denial remains a propaganda mainstay for several other 
extremist figures in the United States, including :

       * George Dietz, publisher of Liberty Bell, a gutter level, 
         pro-Hitler monthly publication;

       * Arthur Butz, the previously mentioned Northwestern University 
         professor of electrical engineering who wrote The Hoax of the 
         Twentieth Century;

       * Bradley Smith of the "Committee for Open Debate on the 
         Holocaust," an organization which continues to place in college 
         newspapers advertisements that	deny the Nazi murder of six i
         million Jews;

       * Jack Wikoff, a self-proclaimed white separatist who started his 
         own anti-Semitic "revisionist" periodical, Remarks, in August 1990;

       * Charles Weber, founder of the one-person Committee for the 
         Reexamination of the History of the Second World War and 
         contributor of several articles to the publications of well 
         known hate groups;

       * Gary Lauck, the leading supplier of Neo-Nazi propaganda abroad, and

       * Hans Schmidt, who founded the German-American National Political 
         Action Committee to promote Holocaust "revisionism" and to fight 
         what it perceives to be an anti-German sentiment on television 
         and in the news.

In addition, certain Black extremists in the United States have ridiculed 
and sought to cast doubt upon the horrors of the Holocaust. [See ADL
report "Uncommon Ground: The Black African Holocaust Council and
Other Links Between White and Black Extremists" (1994)]

Furthermore, this brand of "revisionism" extends well beyond the United 
States. In Canada, Ernst Christof Friedrich Zundel has been an active 
pro-Nazi propagandist for over two decades. His materials defending Hitler 
and the Third Reich and denying the Holocaust have been mailed to numerous 
individuals in Canada, the United States, and elsewhere. French 
Revisionists include the aforementioned Robert Faurisson, and Henri Roques, 
who became the center of a controversy for submitting a Holocaust-denying 
doctoral thesis which was approved by the University of Nantes in 1985.

The question of whether or not the movement's guru, Willis Carto, will 
maintain a prominent position in IHR is less important than how effectively 
Holocaust denial propaganda can be countered. The denial or distortion of 
the Holocaust has served many groups of the radical right, as well as some 
on the radical left, in their campaigns to attack Jews and the State of 
Israel, and to justify their own totalitarian agenda. Wherever they operate, 
these propagandists find small but fertile ground to cultivate their 
intellectual fraud among those people ignorant of or indifferent to the 
fact that Nazi Germany deemed Jews and other religious, ethnic, and cultural 
minorities subhuman, and in so doing, itself succumbed to inhumanity. Most 
importantly, an increasing distance separates this generation from
the events of World War II. As the survivors themselves pass from
the scene, and as hollow comparisons proliferate, the danger of
losing sight of the Holocaust's unique place in history grows.

In response to this propaganda, measures to preserve the memory of
Hitler's victims have taken on a new importance. Education on the
Holocaust, at both the secondary school and college levels, the
establishment of Holocaust museums, other programs, and public
exposure of these hateful propagandists are vital tools in upholding
the promise never to forget.

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