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 corporations. 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 libels. 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 Australia. 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 propagandist. 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 trial.
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