Open Letter to the Readers of
Ernst Zündel's Power Letter
In his September 1995 Power Letter, Ernst Zündel made comments, regarding myself and the Nizkor Project which I direct, which were factually inaccurate. I would like to respond to those comments, to correct the errors of fact.
(The comments appeared in the English "Power Letter," but not in the German edition, "Germania Rundbrief." I would be interested in knowing why.)
Early in his article about Nizkor, Mr. Zündel makes reference to my being "far more lavishly financed" and the "David versus Goliath" situation that thus results. Please note that I am more interested in discussing facts about the Holocaust than our respective financial situations, but, since Mr. Zündel raises the point, I am obligated to correct him.
The hundreds of people who support my work have donated time, energy, computer hardware, and, yes, even money in its furtherance. I make no apology for this. The sum total of that support, including hardware and cash, has been a matter of public record for nearly a year. That total amounts to some $23,000 Cdn., and translates into one well-equipped and networked 486/33 computer, purchased for me by the Committee for Racial Justice. These facts have been available at our Web site since late April.
I believe the lead story in Mr. Zündel's Power Letter bears rereading from a different perspective. That story is headlined "Zündel Headquarters are being rebuilt at a frantic pace!" In his May Power Letter, Mr. Zündel writes that half a million dollars' worth of damage was done to his headquarters by the arson. In the July Power Letter, he refers to his struggle to get merely a "half-decent" settlement from his insurance company. The implication is that many the following repairs, which he lists, are being funded from his own pocket. There is nothing whatsoever wrong with that, but readers should bear in mind his words: "far more lavishly financed."
Mr. Zündel can afford "new bullet- and shatterproof windows" ($30 per sq. ft., according to a local glass shop). He is purchasing a new roof, with two tons of gravel, new siding, new insulation, new drywall, new paint, a new kitchen, a new dining room, and a new radio room. I can barely afford $900 a month for rental of my home, even though, as Mr. Zündel contends, I am "far more lavishly financed." ...oh, yes - I do have use of the 486.
Mr. Zündel will be purchasing sinks, a stove, and not only one fridge, but "new fridges."
I don't own a sink.
I don't own a stove.
I don't own a fridge, let alone several.
I do enjoy the use of a 486. I don't, however, own it.
The preceding headline in the Power Letter is "New Cable TV-Stations are added to our already existing list. New sponsors are being found weekly! More radio stations are soon to be added to the existing line-up!" People are giving Mr. Zündel cash to support his television evangelizing, which is an expensive business. He can afford time in a radio and television recording studio, or maybe he owns one outright, I don't know. I have a 486 in a rented apartment.
He refers to his production and distribution of his "books and publications," newsletters, and his public access TV shows. I don't have facilities to produce and distribute anything. Thanks to the Committee for Racial Justice, however, I do have use of a 486.
Mr. Zündel has compared the situation to David and Goliath. Very well; readers can judge for themselves.
Mr. Zündel questions whether our "superiors" will support us. Perhaps he does not understand what Nizkor is. The Nizkor Project is the name that I have given to the work done here by roughly 150 volunteers, including Nizkor's Webmasters, Jamie McCarthy and Hilary Ostrov. None of these volunteers has received a dime for their efforts. We are not "owned" by anyone (except me, I suppose) or by any organization. We answer to no-one but ourselves.
In particular, our Webmasters have no "superiors" other than myself, and, as anyone associated with our web project will attest, I defer to them and their team. It was my confidence in Mr. McCarthy and Ms. Ostrov, and in their ability to get the job done without my interference, that led me to ask for their help in the first place.
Mr. Zündel refers to Nizkor as "the Holocaust Promotion Lobby Website" and "a Holocaust Promotion lobby group." I don't know who misinformed him, but Nizkor is not affiliated with this organization. If he will provide me with the telephone number or address of this lobby, I will contact them and try to clear up the misunderstanding.
Mr. Zündel refers to Nizkor as "the Enemy." I support his right to that opinion, and his right to freely express it. I could dispute the label, but, since truth will always be the enemy of lies, I concede the point.
Mr. Zündel refers to Nizkor as a "Jewish connection." I am not Jewish. Jamie McCarthy is not Jewish. The 486 is not Jewish. Whence, then, this "Jewish connection," and why does Mr. Zündel seek to leave his readers with the impression that Nizkor is Jewish? (Granted - many among Nizkor's volunteers are Jewish. Many are Christian; does that mean that Nizkor is a "Christian connection?")
Mr. Zündel states that Nizkor has "offered an exchange of links." Not quite.
Nizkor has provided links to Zündel's site ever since we became aware of its existence, and has updated those links, tracking his Web site across its three different access providers. We do this not for Mr. Zündel's sake, but so that our readers can see Holocaust-denial for themselves. And we have pledged to Mr. Zündel that we will cross-link to specific material on his site wherever it is appropriate to do so. For example, when we finish our 66 responses to the "66 Q&A" that Mr. Zündel makes available, we will include a link so that our readers can see the original Q&A for themselves, on Mr. Zündel's site.
What Nizkor asks is that Mr. Zündel pledge to do the same.
Mr. Zündel goes on to question whether our "offer" is genuine, and to say that he has discussed the "offer" with others. What "offer" does he mean? Nizkor has made no "offer."
Nizkor will provide these cross-links no matter what Mr. Zündel does. We have done so in the past, we do so now, and we will do so in the future. For example, we are cross-linking to Greg Raven's web site in a variety of ways, and Mr. Raven's refusal to return the favor makes no difference to us. We would simply like Mr. Zündel to demonstrate his honesty and his committment to a free exchange of information on the Web, by pledging to reciprocate wherever it is appropriate.
Regarding this pledge, Mr. Zündel indicates that he would like "a couple of weeks" so that he can "consult with other revisionists, scholars, our technical people, and with our attorneys."
I am surprised that attorneys and techies must be called in to simply add links to web pages - it is hardly a complex or legally-trying matter, or so it seems to me. But I am even more surprised that Mr. Zündel feels it necessary to confer privately with other revisionists. He claims to have agreed to the cross-linking "in principle." Why, then, must he compare notes with his colleagues before merely reciprocating what Nizkor has been doing all along?
This makes it all the more ironic that Mr. Zündel accuses us of having to consult with our "superiors."
Mr. Zündel raises the issue of "the great electronic Holocaust debate," and mentions that "serious dialogue can begin." This is a separate issue from cross-linking our Web sites, but it is one in which we are happy to see sudden interest.
We point out first that the reality of the Holocaust is not determined by debate. We agree with Professor Lipstadt and others on this matter. However, we are willing and able to refute the claims against that reality which Mr. Zündel will make.
I would again direct his attention to the Usenet group alt.revisionism, where discussions regarding the reality of the Holocaust have raged for four years - since 1991!
One does not "debate" on Web sites - the medium is inappropriate; it would be like duelling glaciers. Usenet, however, is perfectly designed for free and open debate. For whatever reason, Mr. Zündel has elected not to participate on Usenet. That is his choice.
Frankly, we find it an unsurprising choice, given that Greg Raven, Bradley Smith, Friedrich Berg, Michael Hoffmann, Jack Wikoff, and Ross Vicksell have all visited alt.revisionism and then later chosen to leave. But perhaps Mr. Zündel will choose differently.
The world has indeed been watching, and it will continue to watch. Mr. Zündel's absence has been duly noted. One must wonder, given his professed desire to debate these issues, why he has avoided doing so on Usenet.
But all this is in the past, and since Mr. Zündel now assures us that "the great electronic Holocaust debate is here," we can only assume that in the near future, we will be seeing him on alt.revisionism. We look forward to the opportunity; we've been waiting a long time.
Since 1991, Mr. Zündel.
Director of the Nizkor Project
The original email text and the original Usenet article text are available for reference.
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The Nizkor Project
HTML: Jamie McCarthy
Director: Ken McVay OBC
August 12, 1996