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The Review, the monthly magazine of the Australia/Israel & 
Jewish Affairs Council, May 1999

In Denial
Jeremy Jones

At the mid-April meeting of the Adelaide City Council a debate took place
on when and how the name "Adelaide" could be used by organisations and

This extraordinary discussion was prompted by the arrest in Germany of one
of that city's more notable and less noteworthy residents, Fredrick Toben.

The Adelaide Institute has an astonishingly high profile in the dark galaxy
of international antisemitism, having found the internet a useful megaphone
for the broadcast of anti-Jewish defamations, insults, caricatures and

Since the time of his arrest, many words have been spoken and uttered
concerning Toben, his Institute and what lies ahead of him.  From much of
what we have read, seen and heard in Australia since his arrest, it appears
his record is not so well-known to a number of working journalists in

Depending on your perspective, I am either fortunate or unfortunate enough
to be a Complainant in a case against Toben and his private "Institute",
currently awaiting a decision by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity
Commission under the Racial Hatred Act.  The elected representative
organisation of the Australian Jewish community, the Executive Council of
Australian Jewry, submitted the complaint three years ago, concerning a
range of antisemitic matter on the Adelaide Institute website, which
supplements Toben's printed newsletters, which were earlier entitled "Truth
Mission".  During the long three years of legal processes, many pieces of
paper have been exchanged and much time expended, unlike the German
situation where laws are in place which recognise the seriousness of Nazi
apologia to that society.

The Adelaide Institute is not an association of historians or scholars or
even, by any rational description, a "think tank".  It is simply and
totally a private vehicle through which Toben gains a letterhead under
which to publish and re-print a wide-ranging collection of anti-Jewish
slurs.  For all intents and purposes, and by his own admission, Toben is
personally responsible for all and any acts of the Institute.

Despite some of the more wide-eyed reportage,  Fredrick Toben does not
describe himself as an expert or authority in any area of history.  To the
contrary, he has written: "I am not a historian and I have massive
knowledge gaps and so I approach the 'holocaust' topic from my field which
is philosophy.".

The only real "philosophy" discernible on the Adelaide Institute website is
a philosophy of antisemitism.  Although Toben and his apologists claim that
they are mis-identified as Holocaust deniers, in a number of places on the
site Toben and others assert "No Holocaust!", on the basis of one or other
allegation they make concerning the accepted historical record.  The
context of the Holocaust denial is not history but the charge of Jewish
conspiracy and other unethical, immoral and criminal Jewish behaviour,
including responsibility for the outrages of the Bolshevik tyrannies.

The print and electronic newsletter brings together the obsessions,
thoughts and concerns of a number of internationally disreputable Jew
bashers, as well as allowing Toben and his mates to have a platform.
"History" doesn't enter the equation.

The "usual suspects" have been out in force trying to garner sympathy for
Toben.  His Adelaide Institute "associate", David Brockschmidt, made the
extraordinary claim that there is nothing antisemitic about Toben's work,
perhaps relying on the laziness of the public who only need to go to the
website to find the evidence.

John Bennett, perhaps hoping that enough journalists were unfamiliar of the
history of the founding of his insignificant little club, the Australian
Civil Liberties Union, perhaps confusing it with a mainstream civil
liberties organisation emerged as a "legal adviser" for the incarcerated

Englishman David Irving, Canadian Ernst Zundel and others immediately took
up the case, with One Nation webmaster Scott Balson providing those
visiting his website with direct lifts of Adelaide Institute material, not
balanced by a word of intelligent commentary.

As mentioned earlier, Fredrick Toben describes himself as a philosopher.
According to Penny Debelle in the Sydney Morning Herald, his current
contribution to Australian society is through one day's employment during
the whole of 1998 as a temporary relief teacher, with not even that much
work this year.  His major contributions to international antisemitism
during the same time period has been the broadcast of offensive and
insulting anti-Jewish material on his website and his hosting, in August
last year, of a "seminar" focusing on the promotion of distortions of
history, which brought together many of the most notorious purveyors of
anti-Jewish prejudice on this planet.

Toben himself has provided ample testimony that claims by his supporters
that he could be in any way unaware of the likelihood of his arrest in
Germany, are totally disingenuous.  Not only has he published a great deal
of material in which he has expressed his objection to the German law,
designed to stop the rehabilitation of the most evil regime the world has
ever known, but he published a "Travel Diary" prior to leaving for Germany
which opened with the sentence from the Wimmera Mail Times, "Controversial
Goroke identity Dr. Fredrick Toben flies to Europe today to challenge the
German ban on denying the Nazi genocide of Jews".

The last item on the Travel Diary of 21 March 1999 was "Next missive from
Germany ... wish me luck".  The active promotion of racism has the effect
of diminishing the quality of life of members of the target group and of
creating social divisions to supplement personal guilt. If Fredrick Toben
is "unlucky" in Germany, it will only be because he has received a fair

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