Archive/File: orgs/australian/adelaide-institute/statement-of-weber Last-Modified: 1998/04/19 [Page 1] Jeremy Jones and members of the Committee of Management of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry on Behalf of those members of the Jewish community of Australia who are members of organisations affiliated to the Executive Council of Australian Jewry Complainant and Fredrick Toben on Behalf of the Adelaide Institute Respondent Witness Statement: Mr Mark Weber, POBox 2739, Newport Beach, CA 92659, USA 13 November 1997 My full name is Mark Edward Weber. I was born in 1951 in Portland, Oregon, and I am a citizen of the USA. Since January 1991 1 have been a full-time employee of the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), a history research and publishing center founded in 1978 and based in southern California. The (IHR), continues the venerable tradition of historical revisionism. It is widely and justifiably known as a central pillar of the international movement known as Holocaust revisionism (or, to its adversaries, as 'Holocaust denial'). Since April 1992 1 have served as chief editor of The Journal of Historical Review, which has been published by the (IHR), since 1980. The Journal's Editorial Advisory Committee currently consists of 23 scholars, both American and foreign, of whom 15 hold doctoral degrees. Since March 1995 1 have served as Director of the (IHR), In March 1988 1 testified for five days in Toronto District Court as a recognized expert witness on the 'Final Solution' and the Holocaust issue. I have been a guest on numerous radio talk shows, and on the nationally-syndicated 'Monte Williams' television program. Millions of Americans saw and heard me speak about the Holocaust issue on a March 1994 edition of the CBS network television program '60 Minutes'. [Page 2] I studied history at the University of Illinois (Chicago), the University of Munich (Germany), and Portland State University, from where I. received a Bachelor's degree in history (with high honors). I then did graduate work in history at Indiana University (Bloomington), where I served as a history instructor and received a Master of Arts degree in European history in 1977. I have carried out extensive research on the Holocaust issue at the National Archives and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. I am the author of numerous articles, reviews and essays dealing with the Holocaust story, and my writings on other historical, political and social issues have appeared in a variety of periodicals. In my position as IHR Director and IHR Journal editor, I maintain regular contact with historians and other scholars in the USA and numerous foreign countries. I have studied the backgrounds, activities and goals of such Zionist organisations as the Anti-Defamation League, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) Given this background, I believe I can speak authoritatively about the nature and aim of Holocaust revisionism, and of historical revisionism generally. I have been asked by Dr Fredrick Toben of the Adelaide Institute to comment on the witness statement of 15 October 1997 by Mr Jeremy Jones, a prominent figure in Australia" Jewish community, and for some years an official of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. I have carefully read through his statement. Mr. Jones asserts that "[the] Holocaust Deniers' underlying contention is that the Jewish people are dishonest, deceitful and perpetrators of a massive fraud... ". He further asserts that "Holocaust denial is, for the racist of today, as potent a weapon as charges of deicide and witchcraft in times past". He goes on to contend that Holocaust revisionism "constitutes an assault on memory and human dignity and is intimidatory as it represents a process of rehabilitating Nazism...". Mr Jones also approvingly cites an article by a certain Walter Reich, who alleges that "the primary motivation for most deniers is anti-Semitism, and for them the Holocaust is an infuriating inconvenient fact of history". These assertions are not accurate. Indeed, throughout his statement Mr Jones arrogantly and maliciously mischaracterizes the nature and motives of Holocaust revisionists (or 'Holocaust deniers'). In reading Mr Jones' statement, I was struck by his attempt to discredit the Adelaide Institute's website by castigating the motives and good faith of Holocaust revisionists through selective quotation of what others say the revisionists say, rather than by showing just how these website postings are actually harmful. Since its founding, the IHR has steadfastly opposed bigotry of all kinds in its efforts to promote greater public understanding of key chapters of history. Contributors to the IHR Journal have included respected scholars from around the world. Among the items published in the Journal have been writings of Vaclav Havel, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and several American-Jewish authors. We are [Page 3] proud of the backing we have earned from people of the most diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, including Jewish. Far from being fomenters of bigotry or hate, the Institute and a number of prominent Holocaust revisionists have been victims of hate groups such as the Jewish Defence League. These attacks have included physical assaults, arson (including the July 1984 fire-bombing of the IHR office), and at least one murder. Mr Jones' characterization of Holocaust revisionists as 'deniers' is maliciously inaccurate. The Institute does not deny the terrible persecution and suffering of Europe's Jews during the Second World War. Revisionist scholars associated with the IHR such as French professor Robert Faurisson and best-selling British historian David Irving acknowledge that many hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed and otherwise perished during the Second World War as direct and indirect result of the anti-Jewish policies of Germany and its allies. At the same time, the IHR publications point out that numerous specific Holocaust claims have, over the years, been quietly abandoned as untrue. For instance, apparently persuasive evidence presented at the Nuremberg Trial of 1945-46 "proving" that prisoners were gassed at the Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps is now universally recognized as untrue and worthless. In its issue of 1925 January 1995, the prestigious French weekly magazine L'Express acknowledged that the "gas chamber" at Auschwitz that had been shown for decades to tourists in its "original" state is actually a postwar reconstruction, and that "everything is a fraud" about it. (For saying this same thing at a public meeting in Munich in 1990, David Irving was fined 30,000 marks by a German court, and is still banned from Germany.) The Institute is very concerned about the legal persecution in several countries of persons who express dissident views about certain historical questions. In Germany and France, for example, persons are fined or imprisoned for disputing aspects of the Holocaust extermination story. In Australia, apparently, authorities are now seeking to silence those who express supposedly objectionable views on the Internet about the Holocaust issue. This effort insultingly suggests that Australians lack the intelligence or discernment of such perceptive individuals as Mr Jeremy Jones to evaluate historical issues for themselves. We believe that Australians should have the same right as Mr Jones and citizens of most countries to make their own evaluation of the Adelaide Institute website. If the revisionist view of the Holocaust were really as absurd and indefensible as Mr Jones contends, it would not have gained the support of university professors, historians such as David Irving and Harry Elmer Barnes, and even some former concentration camp inmates such as Paul Rassinier. These individuals did not decide publicly to reject the orthodox Holocaust story - thereby risking public censure, and worse - because they are fools, or because their motives are evil, but rather on the basis of a sincere and thoughtful evaluation of the evidence. In light of its own record as a pro-Zionist organization and as a supporter of Israel and its policies, it is astonishing that the ECAJ should have the temerity to accuse Dr Toben, or anyone, of disseminating "offensive" or "insulting" material, much less to seek to silence the Adelaide Institute website and censor the internet. The bigoted character of Zionism is well established. Israel's decades-long record of inhuman repression of Palestinian Christians and Muslims is similarly well documented. Repeatedly the United Nations and the 'World community' have strongly condemned the Zionists state for its military aggression (such as in Lebanon), 'its violation of international law, and so forth. Mr Jones not only fails to provide an objective definition of 'antisemitism', he and other Jewish community officials arrogantly reserve the right to determine who is and who is not 'antisemitic'. The standard that Mr Jones and the ECAJ seek to impose on Dr Toben and the Adelaide Institute is not a consistent one. The ECAJ seems unconcerned about hateful, offensive or insulting remarks made by prominent Jewish community leaders against non-Jews. For example, Edgar Bronfman, president of the World Jewish Congress, in May 1989 called the people of Austria "dirty, anti-Semitic dogs" for their refusal to renounce Kurt Waldheim as their president. (Bronfman was speaking at a meeting of the Canadian Jewish Congress. His remarks were reported in the Toronto Globe and Mail, 8 May 1989 - see attachment 'A'.) Another prominent Jewish community leader, Elie Wiesel, wrote in his book Legends Of Our Time : Every Jew, somewhere in his being, should set apart a zone of hate - healthy, virile hate - for what the German personifies and for what persists in the German. To do otherwise would be a betrayal of the dead". ( See attachment 'B'.) The charge that postings on the Adelaide Institute website are "reasonably likely ... to offend" someone because of his "race, colour or national or ethnic origin" is dangerously ambiguous. "Offensiveness" is a slippery concept. For example, many television viewers are regularly offended by images they see on the TV screen, but no one seriously regards this as sufficient reason to shut down broadcasting stations. (More specifically, many Jews may be "offended" seeing or hearing Palestine leader Yassir Arafat on television.) "Offensiveness" cannot be a useful guide to what should be permitted on television, in newspapers, or on the internet. It cannot be too strongly emphasized that anyone who is supposedly offended or insulted by the Adelaide Institute website postings must take the initiative to be so "offended". No one is obliged to look at this website and its "offensive" contents. To the contrary, everyone who views this website must take the initiative to do so. Mark Weber Director, IHR
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