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Archive/File: orgs/american/ihr/press adl.102094
Last-Modified: 1995/03/02

ADL Report Reveals Split in Holocaust Denial Movement that is as
Hateful as their Anti-Semitic Propaganda

   To: National Desk
   Contact: Myrna Shinbaum or David Lehrer of the
          Anti-Defamation League, Oct. 20-23 at the ADL press
          office in Los Angeles, 310-285-1292,
          or after Oct. 23 at 212-490-2525

   LOS ANGELES, Oct. 20 /U.S. Newswire/ -- A bitter dispute about
control over a $10 million bequest and who will direct a crucial
propaganda group has caused a serious split in the Holocaust denial
movement, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in a report
released today at the fall meeting of its National Executive
Committee, its highest policy-making board.
   "Embattled Bigots: A Split in the Ranks of the Holocaust Denial
Movement" reveals that the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), a
pseudo-academic group based in Orange County, Calif., and the
movement's main propaganda source, is embroiled in lawsuits and
countersuits with Willis Carto, who founded the group in 1979.
Carto, who was ejected as leader last year, heads the nation's
largest anti-Jewish propaganda organization, Liberty Lobby, which he
founded in 1955.  He was formerly closely linked to the far-right
Populist Party, established in 1983, which ran the former neo-Nazi
and Klan leader, David Duke, as its candidate in 1988 for U.S.
president.
   Carto's ouster by other IHR activists led to physical violence
last year when he attempted to retake the group's building and was
dragged from the premises by the police.  Following the scuffle,
legal action was taken by both sides to determine who will control
the group and a $10 million bequest from the late Jean Farrel, the
granddaughter of inventor Thomas Edison.
   Trying to regain power, Carto has blamed a Jewish conspiracy,
writing a letter, to his supporters, "There is not the slightest
doubt in my mind that the ADL and/or other forces of political
Zionism are behind this..."
   Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director, said, "Carto is
promoting a conspiracy theory that he hopes will downplay the
allegations against him and instead focus on longtime adversaries of
the IHR and Liberty Lobby.  Frankly, his fate in the IHR is less
important to us than how effectively Holocaust denial propaganda can
be countered.  That is our main concern."
   The ADL document reports that the IHR suffered financial setbacks
ever since it agreed in a 1985 court settlement to pay $90,000 to Mel
Mermelstein, an Auschwitz concentration camp survivor.  Mermelstein
sued the group for failing to pay him the $50,000 reward it offered
for "proof" that Nazis operated execution gas chambers during World
War II.
   The mutiny at the IHR was ignited in October 1993 when Carto was
ousted, ostensibly for his reputed highhandedness toward employees
and mishandling of funds including the Mermelstein affair.  However,
the primary point of contention revolved around editorial direction
of the group's "Journal of Historical Review."
   Staff members charged that Carto wanted to reduce Holocaust denial
features -- the mainstay of the publication -- and planned to abandon
the issue entirely and change the name of the magazine.
   "Ironically, they accused Carto of attempting to turn the journal
into a 'racist' and 'Nazi' publication," said Foxman.  "That has
always been part of the agenda of the Holocaust denial movement."
   While the battle rages on, the ADL report concludes that even if
the two groups continue on their self-destructive path, the Holocaust
denial movement will not collapse.  There are many others for whom
Holocaust denial is a propaganda mainstay.  Included among them are
Bradley Smith of the "Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust"
(closely associated with the IHR), the organization that places its
advertisements in college campus publications; Gary Lauck, the
leading supplier of neo-Nazi propaganda abroad, and George Dietz,
publisher of "Liberty Bell," a gutter-level, pro- Hitler monthly
publication.
   "Measures to preserve the memory of Hitler's victims have taken on
a new importance," the ADL report concludes.  "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."
   The report was prepared by the Research Department of the ADL
Civil Rights Division.
   The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's
leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and
services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.
   ------
   Editors: Copies of the book are available from the ADL Public
Relations Department.
-30-


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