Uncovering Mark Weber and the Institute for Historical Review
by T. S.
A student essay from Dr. Elliot Neaman's History 210 class (historical methods - spring 2004)© Elliot Neaman / PHDNReproduction interdite par quelque moyen que ce soit / no reproduction allowed
“If the Party could reach into the past and say of this or that eventit never happenedsurely that was more terrifying than mere torture and death.”
George Orwell 1984
As an undergraduate at the University of San Francisco, it pretty much goes without saying that I encounter unusual ideas everyday of my life. Growing up in the Mojave Desert of Los Angeles County, I was primarily surrounded by the children of military aerospace employeesnot exactly what you would call a bastion of liberal thinking. This was part of San Francisco’s appeal for meit was a city where the status quo was not a justification for doing nothing; a city where free speech truly existed; and a city where one could find solidarity with others who shared a similar worldview.
Having been here for two years, I have come to appreciate San Francisco for the anomaly that it is. I cannot walk from one side of the campus to the other without someone begging me to save the environment, protest the presence of CIA recruiters, or boycott the school cafeteria. Ideas undoubtedly run freely amongst college students at this university. Something I have finally come to realize after two years, however, is that the dissemination of information is not a rightit is a privilege. In order to maintain this privilege, individuals and organizations have a responsibility to present the truth. Advocates of a cause should not justify dishonesty by claiming that the end justifies the means. Organizations that spread their beliefs have a responsibility to present their information, associations, and motivations in an ethical manner. Any group that purposefully misrepresents itself to attract members effectively forfeits its integrity. Such organizations do not deserve the support of rational and intelligent human beings.
The Institute for Historical Review (IHR) is an organization guilty of ignoring its fundamental responsibility to the truth. The IHR and its director, Mark Weber, try to present their organization as a group solely interested in scholarly historical revisionism. They say:
Founded in 1978, the Institute for Historical Review is a public interest research, educational and publishing center dedicated to promoting greater public awareness of key chapters of history, especially twentieth century history, that have social-political relevance today. The IHR is non-ideological, non-political, and non-sectarian.[i]
By simply reading this mission statement, a uniformed web surfer may ignorantly believe they have stumbled onto the website of a legitimate academic journal. Indeed, this is the impression Weber and his associates have incessantly labored to establish. According to its own newsletter, the IHR “pleads agnosticism” concerning the goals or methods of any group whose objective is not the “revision of history”.[ii] The IHR strives to be regarded as “non-ideological, non-political, and non-sectarian”, but its conformity to generally accepted extremist ideology, including anti-Semitism, and its connection to right-wing extremist organizations eliminates any possibility of acknowledging this group as non-political. The IHR and Mark Weber emerged out of a confluence of right-wing extremist organizations, and their attempts to disguise their extremist tendencies need to be exposed for the dangerous obstructions of truth that they are.
Most people apathetically dismiss deceptive organizations. They say, “Well, I am personally much too intelligent to be lured in by a group that is obviously lyingthis is none of my concern.” The fact is, because it is impossible to always differentiate between truth and deceit, no one is immune from putting undeserved confidence in a dishonest organization. Deborah E. Lipstadt recounts a terrible case of misplaced trust in her landmark book on holocaust denial, Denying the Holocaust. According to Lipstadt, a history major at Yale University submitted his senior essay on the Luftwaffe in the Spanish Civil War to the Journal of Historical Review (JHR), which is the official publication of the Institute for Historical Review. He had discovered the JHR in an annotated bibliography, where it was listed alongside respected historical and social science journals. Since it was included with these other reputable journals, the Yale student mistakenly believed it was a typical scholarly publication.[iii] A senior history major at Yale University is undoubtedly equipped with the skills necessary to accurately evaluate the quality of a scholarly journal; however, if a person with an education of this caliber can be deceived, who cannot be?
The Institute for Historical Review (IHR) needs to be evaluated according to the political connections it has maintained. It attempts to extricate itself from the extremist right by asserting its mainstream scholarly legitimacy, but its espousal of anti-Semitic Jewish conspiracy theories and its generally racist worldview point to an organization that belongs in the extremist fringe. As the situation with the Yale student exemplifies, the IHR is dangerous to everybody because it “hampers our understanding of important issues, muddies the waters of discourse with invective, defamation, self-righteousness, fanaticism, and hatred and impairs our ability to make intelligent well-informed choices.”[iv]
Before concluding that the IHR and Mark Weber are indeed right-wing extremists, it is only fair to first look at the general phenomenon of right-wing extremism. Once we understand the implications of the label, we will be prepared to make an objective judgment about the politics motivating Weber and his organization.
The first thing we need is a working definition of extremism. Roger Scruton offers the following interpretation:
1. Taking a political idea to its limits, regardless of unfortunate repercussions, impracticalities, arguments, and feelings to the contrary, and with the intention not only to confront, but to eliminate opposition.
2. Intolerance toward all views other than one’s own.
3. Adoption of means to political ends which show disregard for the life, liberty, and human rights of others.[v]
This is an excellent definition of the general characteristics of extremism, but we need to first consider the practical applications of these principles before we can unequivocally position the IHR in the extremist fringe. Furthermore, Scruton’s definition could be applied to extremist groups on both the far right and the far left. We need to know what separates the political beliefs of the far right from those of the far left if we are to fully comprehend the nuances of “far right extremist”.
In general, the far right has maintained a rigid adherence to “American” values such as individualism, capitalism, religiosity, and nationalism. Far rightist organizations are staunchly anti-Marxist, and they tend to include ethnic/racial chauvinism as a major tenet of their ideology. The far right also has a tendency to espouse convoluted conspiracy theories, usually involving the Illuminati, Freemasons, or some type of evil Jewish cabal. In contrast, the far left almost universally endorses some form of Marxism-Leninism. This being the case, leftists are strident supporters of labor unions and the working class in general.[vi] Despite such pronounced ideological differences, Laird Wilcox reiterates that "style and tactics matter more than goals”[vii] to and extremist organization like the IHR. The result is a group unafraid of violating boundaries to infiltrate the mainstream.
An important characteristic of right-wing extremism is the tendency to seek social conflict. Intolerance of opposing viewpoints is mentioned in Scruton’s previously supplied definition, but without these opposing viewpoints to combat, most right-wing extremist organizations would struggle to maintain any semblance of group unity. Michi Ebata refers to the central importance of an “out-group” when he says: “In fact, the out-group is central to right-wing extremists in their hierarchical conception of the world; it provides a means of maintaining their sense of superiority, thus giving meaning and purpose to their lives.”[viii] Interestingly enough, the IHR has continually relied on not just one out-group, but twoJews and “exterminationists” (i.e. mainstream historians who accept the three key components of the Holocaust: six million killed, gas chambers, and intentionality.[ix]) Consider the language the IHR uses on its website to explain its struggle to raise funds: “For every dollar it spends, the IHR’s adversaries spend a hundred.”[x] Since when are professional historians who oppose your position referred to as “adversaries”? The connotation of the word is negative, implying some sort of enemy who can be conquered and destroyed. The conflict mentality utilized against the so-called “exterminationists”, however, pales in comparison to the IHR’s favorite out-groupthe “transnational figure of hate”[xi]the Jews.
The psychology of social conflict makes Jews a particularly attractive out-group for right-wing extremists. In his groundbreaking study The Functions of Social Conflict, Lewis Coser explores the way anti-Semites use the Jewish “threat” as a dialectical antithesis, absolutely necessary for the establishment of their own identities. He writes:
Mingled fear and dread of the Jews is one of the key elements of the complex anti-Semitic syndrome. This imaginary threat leads to a “regrouping” of the anti-Semite by his joining, as in Germany, the real community of like-minded men, or by his joining, as in America, an imaginary pseudo-community of likewise threatened individuals. There comes about a kind of illusory collectivity of all those who are similarly “threatened” by the Jew and who have lost everything but their common “danger” in the face of the expected aggressive actions of the Jews.[xii]
Notice that the “Jews” are a threat to right-wing extremistsnot the Jew. Even the most vitriolic anti-Semite does not see the Jewish threat encapsulated within a single Jew; instead, it is the existence of an organized group of evil Jews that strikes fear into the heart of any anti-Semite. This alleged connection of Jews is the basis for a fundamental tenet of right-wing extremist ideologythe Jewish conspiracy theory.
Extremists tend to be close-minded; accordingly, they only accept information from sources they regard as credible. In the holocaust denial movement, this means that deniers only accept information that comes from other deniers. This unity allows for conspiracy theories to be rapidly circulated and accepted by extremists who believe that accepting the conspiracy theory is a necessary part of remaining loyal to the group. On the unobstructed dissemination of conspiracy theories within extremist organizations, Michi Ebata writes:
The closed-minded person is unable to evaluate and act on information received from the outside on its own intrinsic merits, relying instead on a source to which he or she accords authority. The extremist is unduly receptive to information, representing his or her own beliefs regardless of contradictions while utterly rejecting as false any contrary information. Thus the extremist style of thinking is characterized by an image of unity that is potentially conducive to conspiracy thinking.[xiii]
Most conspiracy theories are completely harmless. For example, does it really hurt society if someone believes we never landed on the moon? The danger of Jewish conspiracy theories, however, is that they are often utilized by right-wing extremist groups to distort the meaning of Jewish history and present Jews as the evil usurpers of Israel.
Gill Seidel spends a large portion of his book, The Holocaust Denial, talking about the way right-wing extremists try and discredit the Holocaust. In his mind, holocaust deniers are motivated by a rigid opposition to Israel. He writes:
The antisemites assert that the Jewish state of Israel was only established in the wave of sympathy, which followed the Holocaust: take away the Holocaust, and you take away the moral basis for an independent Jewish state, they argue. Thus, ideologically, they proceed to take away the Holocaust. Not only is its existence denied, but the modern antisemite claims that the very idea of Nazi genocide was invented by Zionists, in order to win gullible sympathy for their cause.[xiv]
It is not hard to find examples of Zionist conspiracy theories in IHR publications. Consider this smattering of supposed Zionist conspiracies from the IHR website:
1. This war [in Iraq], Weber stressed, does not serve the best interests of America or humanity, but is instead a war to further the interests of Israel and organized Jewry. Around the world, he continued, the Zionist role in pushing for war, and the scope and harmful impact of Jewish-Zionist power, are ever more obvious.
2. Around the world awareness is growing that the “Holocaust” campaign is a major weapon in the Jewish-Zionist arsenal, that it is used to justify otherwise unjustifiable Israeli policies, and serves as a powerful tool for blackmailing enormous sums of money from Americans and Europeans.
3. As long as the "very powerful" Jewish lobby remains entrenched, there will be no end to the systematic Jewish distortion of current affairs and history, the Jewish-Zionist domination of the U.S. political system, Zionist oppression of Palestinians, the bloody conflict between Jews and non-Jews in the Middle East, and the Israeli threat to peace.
4. Espousing Jewish supremacy, the Zionist terrornetwork operates internationally, linking Israel, Europe and the United States. In addition to the suffering and destruction resulting directly from its many crimes, the network's campaign of bigotry fosters a dangerous climate of hate and intolerance. Through intimidation, threat and violence, Jewish-Zionist terrorists have succeeded in silencing numerous voices.[xv]
The IHR is obviously convinced that there is some sort of Jewish-Zionist conspiracy that only serves its private agenda. Although this belief in an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory is a clear example of right-wing extremist ideology, it can also be interpreted as proof that intense anti-Semitism motivates Weber and his associates. Consider that “Increasingly, antisemitism is being coded as ‘anti-Zionism’, as this is seen as politically more acceptable.”[xvi] The IHR and Mark Weber claim that they are anti-Zionist, which is an increasingly more acceptable mainstream political ideology, but their affiliations with blatantly anti-Semitic organizations will make it impossible for us to see their anti-Zionism as anything less than badly disguised anti-Semitism.
Espousing anti-Zionism is not the only smokescreen extremist groups like the IHR employ to disguise their anti-Semitic ideology. Consider that in the early 1990’s in the United States, Jews constituted half of all billionaires and a substantial portion of the faculty in elite universities. Ten members of the U.S. Senate, thirty-two members of the House, and three major network CEOs were also Jews.[xvii] In a country where Jews have attained such remarkable success in the upper echelons of society, anti-Semitism can be a useful tool for opposing the government. With powerful Jews visible within the framework of the status quo, extremists simply draw a connection between opposing the establishment and opposing those who control itthe almighty Jews. Thus, “For right-wing extremists, Jews represent the unidentified enemy behind the state, behind politicians, behind any position of power.”[xviii] Anti-establishment groups unite with groups like the IHR because of a vested interestopposition to the status quo controlled by powerful Jews.
It is clear that although the IHR claims to be a legitimate organization committed to scholarly research, it exhibits certain characteristics that indicate it belongs in the right-wing extremist fringe. Pursuing an ongoing conflict with a well-defined out-group is an example of right-wing extremist ideology that exists within the IHR. Mainstream organizations do not need enemies to define themselvestheir work defines who they are. In contrast, the IHR has only derived the meaning of its existence from its opposition to “exterminationists” and Jews. Espousal of complicated conspiracy theories is another right-wing extremist tendency that prevails within the IHR. Weber and his associates cannot prove the theories they propose, but they support them nonetheless. Although they attempt to gain political acceptance for these conspiracy theories by labeling them “anti-Zionist” or “anti-establishment”, the fact remains that the IHR and Weber are still animated by the same anti-Semitism that necessitated the creation of the IHR in the first place.
The Institute for Historical Review and Willis A. Carto
Since its inception in 1978, the Institute for Historical Review has expended a great deal of energy trying to distance itself from other right-wing extremists. The Yale student is one example of the fruits of the IHR’s labor; Pat Buchanan, one of the foremost conservative columnists in the country, is another.[xix] Although Buchanan is not an outright holocaust denier, he has disputed survivor testimonies with the same arguments extrapolated by IHR deniers. For instance, he has criticized the “so-called Holocaust Survivor Syndrome”, a disease that encourages “group fantasies of martyrdom and heroics”.[xx] Buchanan would not publicly espouse an ideology that obviously originated with a radical anti-Semitic organization like the Ku Klux Klan or National Alliance, because doing so would jeopardize his mainstream credibility. Buchanan’s public regurgitation of IHR theories, however, is a dangerous sign that the IHR is not being associated with these aforementioned radical anti-Semitic organizations. The IHR’s infiltration of the mainstream is a threat because “Extremists of any kind pull the center of a debate to a more radical position. They can createand, in the case of the Holocaust, have already createda situation whereby added latitude may be given to ideas that would once have been summarily dismissed as historically fallacious.”[xxi] It is time to investigate the early political connections of the IHR, so that we can understand why it is irresponsible of Pat Buchanan to repeat theories that originated within an anti-Semitic extremist organization.
Any discussion of the IHR must begin with the shadowy figure who created itWillis A. Carto. Carto first became involved with the far right in the 1950’s when he worked for the John Birch Society. Carto’s affiliation with the Society did not last long, however, and its founder, Robert Welch (a known anti-Semite), personally fired Carto for overly vitriolic anti-Semitic views.[xxii] Shortly thereafter, Carto founded what would become his flagship organization, the Liberty Lobby.
Carto and his Liberty Lobby cannot be labeled as anything but anti-Semitic extremists. Racial purity is one of Carto’s primary concerns. He has objected to the fact that so few Americans are worried about the “inevitable niggerfication of America,”[xxiii] and has declared that racial equality would be acceptable if there were not “negroes around to destroy the concept.”[xxiv] Although Carto spews such bigoted invective in all directions, Jews absorb the majority of his hatred. For example, Carto has written in his personal correspondence that
Hitler’s defeat was the defeat of Europe and America. How could we have been so blind? The blame, it seems, must be laid at the door of the international Jews. It was their propaganda, lies, and demands which blinded the West to what Germany was doing. If Satan himself…had tried to create a permanent…force for the destruction of all nations, he could have done no better than to invent the Jews.[xxv]
Despite such compelling evidence, Carto has tried to deny his racist and anti-Semitic beliefs by repeatedly filing lawsuits for libel and defamation of character.
Fortunately, the American judicial system has recognized the Liberty Lobby as the “colorful collection of bigots and simpletons”[xxvi] that it is. When the Liberty Lobby sued the Wall Street Journal for calling it the “far-right anti-Semitic Liberty Lobby”, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia unanimously dismissed the suit, stating: “If the term anti-Semitic has a core factual meaning, then the truth of the description was proven here.”[xxvii] In a footnote to the court’s ruling, Judge Robert Bork went on to say, “Since its inception, Liberty Lobby has been an outspoken, often vicious critic of Jewish groups and leaders” that has characterized “political Zionism” as the “most ruthless, wealthy, powerful and evil political force in the history of the Western world.”[xxviii] There is simply no denying that Willis A. Carto and his Liberty Lobby are an anti-Semitic right-wing organization. Since Mark Weber has taken over as IHR director, however, he has emphasized that Carto actually had a rather limited role with the IHR.[xxix] Just how involved was Willis Carto in the creation of the Institute for Historical Review?
Carto’s wife, Elisabeth, originally filed for the business license for the Institute for Historical Review in 1978. The address listed on this business application was the same as the address of the American Mercury, a publication produced by Carto’s Liberty Lobby.[xxx] Not only was the IHR legally founded by Willis Carto through his wife Elisabeth, but former IHR staffers, including David McCalden (the first director of the IHR), have also testified under oath that Carto had “ultimate authority” over every decision made by the IHR.[xxxi] In fact, the U.S. Court of Appeals stated that Carto “specifically designed the Liberty Lobby/Legion/Noontide/IHR network so as to divorce Liberty Lobby’s name from those of its less reputable affiliates.”[xxxii] Carto was absolutely instrumental to the creation of the IHR. By claiming to be a scholarly enterprise with no pseudo historical motivations, Weber is asking us to ignore the IHR’s association with Carto’s community of anti-Semitic organizations.
This would be easier to do if anti-Semitic extremism was not exhibited by the IHR during its first years in existence. A particularly telling example occurred at the 1983 conference, one of the best attended gatherings in IHR history. During the conclusion to his address, Keith Thompson urged listeners to “stand by the Third Reich”, because “if, in the end, the Holocaust did take place, then so much the better!”[xxxiii] Thompson’s sickening proposition was met with thunderous applause. Even worse, however, is that the IHR deleted the diatribe from its transcript of the conference in “its duplicitous efforts to conjure an innocuous impression before the outside world.”[xxxiv]
Although it would be difficult to upstage Thompson’s unabashed anti-Semitism, the IHR did its best by recruiting Major General Otto Ernst Remer to speak at its 1987 conference. The German government had just convicted Remer for publicly humiliating Jews at a pro-Nazi conference. Martin A. Lee recounts the comment that got Remer in trouble with the German authorities:
From the right-hand pocket of his suit, [Remer] removed with a grand gesture a gas-filled cigarette lighter. He held it under his nose, pressed carefully on the release so that the gas escaped slowly. ‘What is that?’ he asked, sniffing it, and then he gave the reply: ‘A Jew nostalgic for Auschwitz.’[xxxv]
Remer was the star of the IHR conference, and a klatch of youthful admirers approached him after he had finished speaking. During these informal conversations, Remer warned the youngsters about the dangers of “negroid cultural degradations” being sold to the American masses by “Jewish polluters”.[xxxvi]
The IHR has given the best indication of its right-wing extremist nature at its annual conferences, realizing that anyone in attendance is already a devoted member of the cause. Attendees are free to enthusiastically degrade the memory of six million Jews because the IHR simply conceals the anti-Semitic overtones of its conferences afterwards by omitting particularly offensive comments from official publications. Essentially, the IHR continues its efforts to enter the political mainstream while still indulging its appetite for conspiracy theories and Jew hating. The examples of Keith Thompson and Otto Ernst Remer point to an organization fulfilling the anti-Semitic visions of its bigoted founder, Willis A. Carto.
After having examined Carto’s background and the extremist tendencies he brought to the IHR, it is illogical to suppose that someone could join his organization but not support his ideology. Anti-Semitic extremism was obviously imbedded in the IHR, and anyone seeking affiliation must have been interested in working in an environment where extremist beliefs could be freely expressed. Mark Weber began leading the IHR’s annual conferences in 1984, explicitly approving of the existing relationship with Carto and demonstrating that he was eager to be involved with a group that had “thunderously applauded” the previous year’s assertion that if the Holocaust did occur, “then so much the better.”[xxxvii] Although Mark Weber has attempted to direct the IHR in a more mainstream direction since becoming the director/editor in 1992,[xxxviii] his activities prior to joining the IHR and his personal connections within the extremist fringe point to a man guilty of trying to disguise ulterior motives.
Mark Weber was born on October 9, 1951 in Portland, Oregon. He attended Indiana University at Bloomington where he earned a Master’s degree in European History in 1977.[xxxix] The next year, Weber began working as the news editor for the National Vanguard, the official publication of the National Alliance. The National Alliance is widely regarded as “the most important hate group in America,”[xl] and Weber’s involvement with this neo-Nazi organization will be examined in some detail later. In 1979, Weber began writing articles for the Spotlight, another anti-Semitic publication produced by Willis A. Carto. As has already been mentioned, Weber began leading the IHR’s annual conferences in 1984. He became the editor of the Journal for Historical Review in 1992, and was appointed director of the IHR shortly thereafter. Weber was recently named to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of the top forty “up and coming” right-wing extremists in the United States.[xli]
Since becoming the director of the IHR, Weber has desperately tried to sever his ties with the extremist elements of his past. Just because he denies the past, however, does not mean it is not there. For example, consider this summary of Weber’s interview with the University of Nebraska Sower in 1989:
Weber contended that the country was heading in one of two possible directions. Either it would become “a sort of Mexicanized, Puerto Ricanized country,” a result of the failure of “white Americans” to reproduce themselves, or it would break up because of long-standing racial problems. […] He did not think it desirable or feasible for “black Americans to be assimilated into white society.” He seemed to yearn for a time when the United States was defined as a “white country” and nonwhites were “second-class citizens.” This gave the country a “mooring, an anchor.” He bemoaned the fact that “today we don’t even have that.”[xlii]
Weber has subsequently realized that such obvious racism does not go over well in the American political mainstream, and has kept his racialist observations to a minimum. Affiliations with Dr. William Pierce and the National Alliance, however, suggest that this type of racial intolerance is a cornerstone of Mark Weber’s political ideology. We can only judge the legitimacy of Weber’s scholarship if we understand the environment in which he was nurtured; thus, it is time to take a closer look at Weber’s position in the neo-Nazi extremist fringe.
Weber first became affiliated with the National Alliance (NA) in 1978 when he became the news editor of the National Vanguard. The Vanguard has been described as an “intellectual and readable” neo-Nazi publication.[xliii] In a particularly shocking issue, Adolf Hitler was featured on the cover next to the declaration “The Greatest Man of Our Era.”[xliv] During this time, Weber also served as the treasurer for the NA’s racist Cosmotheist Church.[xlv] The Cosmotheist Church had little specific function; it was merely an attempt by the NA to gain tax-exempt status from the IRS. It gained tax-exempt status in 1979, but had it revoked after the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) protested. In 1983, a federal appeals court upheld the revocation “on the basis of the church’s white supremacist beliefs.”[xlvi] The founder of the NA, Dr. William Pierce, was a member of George Lincoln Rockwell’s American Nazi party. Pierce is a vehement racist and Jew hater, as he reveals in this NA newsletter:
The Christians who now talk about the impiety of opposing Jews because they are God’s chosen people can be made to talk instead about the impiety of collaborating with Jews because they are the spawn of Satan….All the homosexuals, racemixers, and hard-case collaborators […] should be looked at as dead menas men marching in lockstep toward their own gravesrather than as people to be feared or respected or given any consideration.[xlvii]
Pierce is also the author of The Turner Diaries, the infamous fictional account of white racists who overthrow the government and attempt to destroy all non-whites. One cannot ignore Pierce’s vilifying anti-Semitism when we read his chilling words in The Turner Diaries“Your day is coming, Jews, your day is coming!”[xlviii] In fact, Timothy McVeigh found Pierce’s message to be particularly appealing, and he made several phone calls to the NA offices before he bombed the federal building in Oklahoma City. With such demonstrative extremist beliefs, Weber’s work with the National Alliance is a serious blow to his credibility as an objective historical revisionist.
Since becoming a recognized holocaust denier, however, Weber has downplayed the importance of his time with the NA. For example, when he was testifying at Ernst Zundel’s free speech trial in 1988, Weber reiterated that his credibility should not be attacked because of an unwise affiliation he had in the past. When questioned about his neo-Nazi proclivities by the prosecution, Weber recalls:
In response to all this, I pointed out that I had not had any affiliation whatsoever with the National Alliance for more than eight years. I told the court that since that affiliation I had contributed several articles to the pro-Jewish but anti-Zionist monthly newsletter, Middle East Perspective, which was published by Jewish-American author and historian Alfred Lilienthal. In any case, I emphasized, what I write about history should be judged on its own merits, and not prejudicially on the basis of an affiliation eight years ago.[xlix]
Weber has a valid point. We must accept the fact that people make mistakes, especially when they are young, enthusiastic, and overly idealistic. Age brings wisdom, which grants us the ability to see a situation from another’s perspective and make a calculated decision. Mark Weber was young when he worked for the National Alliancemaybe we should accept his admission that he made a mistake and forgive his damaged credibility.
How can we forgive Mark Weber’s association with the National Alliance, however, when it continues to this day? Consider what William Pierce said about Weber when he became director of the IHR in 1994:
Among the new people at the IHR were two former National Alliance members, Mark Weber and Ted O’Keefe….Both he [Weber] and O’Keefe have their weaknesses, like all of us, but their competence, sincerity and commitment to the cause have never been in doubt….The IHR is not controlled by the Jews, and we will continue to distribute books published by the IHR….The IHR and the Alliance have a good working relationship.[l]
If the National Alliance had a “good working relationship” with the Institute for Historical Review, the directors of the two organizations must have been fully aware of it. Despite Weber’s claim that he was no longer affiliated with the NA in 1988, Pierce indicates here that Weber’s “commitment to the cause” still existed in 1994. Moreover, in 1999, the Southern Poverty Law Center concluded that Weber “now appears to be drawing close to his mentor [Pierce].”[li] The SPLC is one of the leading anti-hate organizations in the country, and it closely monitors all the leading extremist organizations for potentially dangerous activity. Nevertheless, a quote from William Pierce and an observation from the SPLC do not necessarily prove that Weber has continued to work in conjunction with the NA. We need direct evidence to unwaveringly conclude that Weber is actively involved with the neo-Nazi National Alliance.
This is just what I have come across during the course of my research for this project. Ernst Zundel is currently on trial again in Canada for violating the country’s laws against hateful speech. Zundel has chosen Mark Weber to be his publicity director, and Weber has been traveling throughout the United States doing interviews and writing articles in Zundel’s defense. During this publicity tour, Weber did two interviews with “American Dissident Voices” on April 4th and April 10th, 2004.[lii] “American Dissident Voices” (ADV), hosted by Kevin Alfred Strom, is the weekly radio program of the National Alliance, and describes itself as the “premier radio program for Whites.”[liii] In the two interviews, Weber devotes only a small fraction of his attention to Zundel’s trial. He spends most of his time talking about how the “Jewish power structure” is able to single-handedly control American society. For example, he says:
They [Jews] view non-Jews as essentially sort of stupid and as people who have to be guided along because they might start getting the wrong idea. Something like that mentality is already operating in society […] in the constant reiteration in our society of this holocaust story, which is designed to do the same thingthat is, make non-Jews believe that whatever Jews want should be approved because they’re so altruistic and noble and innocent and defenseless that saying no to anything that Jewish groups want is just almost a crime, it’s a terrible thing. And Americans are fed an enormous amount of propaganda to bolster that image.[liv]
Legitimate historians do not appear on neo-Nazi radio broadcasts. When you appear on an organization’s radio program for a series of interviews, you are condoning the cause of that organization and lending your credibility to its mission. Since the NA’s purpose is to promote a white-power ideology, Weber supported racism, bigotry, and intolerance by appearing on “American Dissident Voices.” Weber is undeniably involved with the extremist neo-Nazis of the National Alliance. Anyone accepting his historical research as “non-political” bestows unearned credibility on a deceitful anti-Semite that deserves none.
A month after Mark Weber appeared on “American Dissident Voices”, the program hosted former Knights of the Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.[lv] In many ways, Duke and Mark Weber have much in common. After belonging to the KKK and fulfilling his role as Grand Wizard (which he renamed “National Director”), Duke tried to gain some mainstream political legitimacy by forming the National Association for the White People (NAAWP). He even ran for the Louisiana State Legislature in 1989; unbelievably, he managed to win the election.[lvi] Duke and Weber are both characterized by their attempts to shroud their extremist beliefs and gain acceptance in the political mainstream. They have realized that in order to garner a certain amount of respectability, one must appear objective to the uninformed observer. In this way, Duke and Weber both threaten unsuspecting victims by disguising their anti-Semitic racism in the guise of political and scholarly respectability.
The IHR does not operate in a vacuum. By leading the holocaust denial movement, Weber and his associates utilize a “stealthy form of anti-Semitism that connects and strengthens a broad spectrum of extremists.”[lvii] The IHR provides dangerous neo-Nazis, skinheads, and anti-Semites a justification for their hatred. These groups are primarily composed of the young and uneducated, but when they read a Mark Weber article, with its big words and “reputable” sources, they honestly believe that this “scholar” is speaking the truth. The IHR manipulates people by feigning scholarly legitimacy; as Lipstadt says, “The organizational form the IHR adopteda research instituteand its outwards trappings may have been innovative but its agenda was not; to rehabilitate national socialism, inculcate anti-semitism and racism, and oppose democracy.”[lviii]
Weber and the IHR are a right-wing extremist organization. They are motivated by their anti-Semitic ideology, and their bequests for credibility need to be evaluated in light of the affiliations they maintain with other extremist groups, such as the National Alliance. As the historians of tomorrow, it is our job to defend the truth against those who would destroy it for a cause. If we allow Weber and the IHR to sow the seeds of doubt unopposed, what will happen when the voices of the World War II generation fall silent? I never want to see the day when “exterminationists” battle “revisionists” over the memory of six million innocent Jews.
[i] Institute for Historical Review, “A Few Facts About the Institute for Historical Review”, <www.ihr.org>
[ii] Deborah E. Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust (New York, 1993), p. 52.
[iii] Ibid. p. 4.
[iv] John George and Laird Wilcox, American Extremists: Militias, Supremacists, Klansmen, Communists, & Others (Amherst, NY 1996), p. 55.
[v] Roger Scruton, A Dictionary of Political Thought (New York, 1982), p. 164.
[vi] George and Wilcox, pp. 95-96, 171.
[vii] Ibid. pp. 54-62.
[viii] Michi Ebata, “Right-Wing Extremism: In Search of a Definition”, The Extreme Right: Freedom and Security at Risk, Edited by Aurel Braun and Stephen Scheinberg, (Boulder, CO 1997), p. 14.
[ix] Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman, Denying History (Berkeley, CA 2000), p. xv.
[x] Institute for Historical Review, “A Few Facts About the Institute for Historical Review”, <www.ihr.org>
[xi] Brian Levin, “History as a Weapon: How Extremists Deny the Holocaust in North America”, The American Behavioral Scientist (Volume 44 Issue 6), p. 1001-31.
[xii] Lewis A. Coser, The Functions of Social Conflict (Glencoe, IL 1956), pp. 107-108.
[xiii] Ebata, p. 23.
[xiv] Gill Seidel, The Holocaust Denial: Antisemitism, Racism & the New Right (Leeds, England 1986), p. xxvii.
[xv] Institute for Historical Review, <www.ihr.org>
[xvi] Seidel, p. 145.
[xvii] Stephen Scheinburg, “Right-Wing Extremism in the United States”, The Extreme Right: Freedom and Security at Risk, Edited by Aurel Braun and Stephen Scheinberg, (Boulder, CO 1997), p. 56.
[xviii] Ebata, p. 16.
[xix] Lipstadt, p. 5.
[xx] Anti-Defamation League, “Report of the Anti-Defamation League on Pat Buchanan”, Los Angeles Jewish Journal (September 1991).
[xxi] Lipstadt, p. 209.
[xxii] Joseph Trento and Joseph Spear, “How Nazi Nut Power Has Invaded Capitol Hill”, True (November 1969), p. 39.
[xxiii] C.H. Simonds, “The Strange Story of Willis Carto”, National Review (September 1971), pp. 984-85.
[xxiv] The Monitor (November 1986), p. 6.
[xxv] Anti-Defamation League, Extremism of the Right (New York 1983), p. 64.
[xxvi] Ibid. “Liberty Lobby and the Carto Network of Hate”, ADL Facts (Volume 27:2 1982), p. 7.
[xxvii] Liberty Lobby, Inc., v. Dow Jones & Co., Inc., 638 F. Supp. 1149, 1152 n. 5 (D.D.C. 1986), aff’d, 838 F.2d 1287 (D.C. Cir 1988) cert. denied, 488 U.S. 825 (1988).
[xxviii] Ibid. Note 7.
[xxix] Shermer and Grobman, pp. 84-85.
[xxx] Lipstadt, pp. 152-53.
[xxxi] McCalden Deposition (Volume 2 1984), p. 210.
[xxxii] Liberty Lobby, Inc., v. Dow Jones & Co., Inc.
[xxxiii] Anti-Defamation League, <www.adl.org>
[xxxv] Martin A. Lee, The Beast Reawakens (New York 1997), p. 229.
[xxxvi] Ibid. p. 230.
[xxxvii] Anti-Defamation League, <www.adl.org>, from Keith Thompson (used in note 33).
[xxxviii] Southern Poverty Law Center, “40 to Watch”, <www.splcenter.org>
[xxxix] “Mark Weber”, <www.revisionists.com/revisionists/weber.html>
[xl] Southern Poverty Law Center, “40 to Watch”, <www.splcenter.org>
[xli] OC Weekly (December 2003), p. 12.
[xlii] University of Nebraska Sower (November 1989), p. 10., paraphrased by Lipstadt, p. 186.
[xliii] George and Wilcox, p. 336.
[xliv] Levin, pp. 24-25.
[xlv] Ibid. p. 18.
[xlvi] George and Wilcox, pp. 336-37.
[xlvii] William Pierce, “Reorienting Ourselves for Success”, National Alliance Bulletin (January 1994), p. 5.
[xlviii] Andrew McDonald (William Pierce’s pseudonym), The Turner Diaries (New York 1996), p. 118.
[xlix] Mark Weber, “My Role in the Zundel Trial”, <www.ihr.org>
[l] William Pierce, National Alliance Bulletin (March 1994), p. 4.
[li] Southern Poverty Law Center, “The Alliance and Its Allies: Pierce builds bridges at home, abroad”, Intelligence Report (December 1999), p. 93.
[lii] National Alliance, <www.natall.com>
[liv] Kevin Alfred Strom, “Jewish Supremacism Exposed: An Interview with Mark Weber, part 2”, American Dissident Voices (April 10 2004), <www.natall.com/internet-radio/>
[lv] National Alliance, <www.natall.com>
[lvi] Anti-Defamation League, <www.adl.org>
[lvii] Levin, p. 26.
[lviii] Lipstadt, p. 142.
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