Mark Weber, head of the pseudo-academic “Institute for Historical Review,” admits that the IHR’s reason for being – Holocaust denial – just isn’t catching on (outside of Iran, at least):
One of the primary leaders in the fight to question and delegitimize the Holocaust has proclaimed that fight to be a lost cause, sparking a furious debate among his cohorts.
Mark Weber, a telegenic Californian, has served for 15 years as director of the Institute for Historical Review, which was founded in the late 1970s as a center for people dedicated to doubting and criticizing mainstream histories of the Holocaust.
This month, however, Weber released an essay on the institute’s Web site, questioning whether this work has ever had any relevance. Weber argued that Holocaust revisionists are unlikely to have any success in convincing large numbers of people.
“It’s been almost 30 years, and Holocaust revisionism has gotten almost no support in academic circles or society at large,” Weber told the Forward. “It’s gotten some support in Iran, or places like that, but as far as I know, there is no history department supporting writing by these folks.”
Good news, right? Not exactly. Weber is trying to broaden the organization’s mandate to include other examples of “Zionist” perfidy – and as we saw during the Gaza conflict, there’s still quite a market for this stuff:
The argument in Weber’s essay, “How Relevant Is Holocaust Revisionism?” might appear, at first glance, to be good news for the Jewish organizations that have fought against Holocaust revisionists. But in his essay, Weber calls for his movement to shift to a new mission, one more purely directed to fighting against “Jewish-Zionist power.”
Michael Shermer, a columnist for Scientific American who wrote a book about Holocaust revisionists, said that “for Weber, the Holocaust is just a minor skirmish. The real war to be won is about the Zionists.” [Actually, it’s about the Jews, Zionist or otherwise. – DP]
Since taking over, Weber has continued to publish writing on the Holocaust and on World War II. But he came to the institute after working with the white supremacist National Alliance party, and he has pushed to broaden the institute’s mandate. The Web site that Weber has built features such articles as “The Jewish Role in the Bolshevik Revolution” and “Israel at 60: A Grim Balance Sheet.”
The Pope has lifted the excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church of four bishops appointed by a breakaway archbishop more than 20 years ago.
One of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s appointees, Briton Richard Williamson, outraged Jews by saying the Nazi gas chambers did not exist.
Relations between the Vatican and representatives of the Jewish faith have been strained throughout much of the Church’s recent history; Jewish groups have accused Pope Pius of turning a blind eye to the fate of the Jews in World War II.
The latest move by Pope Benedict is likely to add to those strains.
Bishop Richard Williamson recently told Swedish TV: “I believe there were no gas chambers. I think that two to three hundred thousand Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps but none of them by gas chambers.”
The Vatican has distanced itself from those remarks.