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Holocaust deniers beware August 30, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in History.

I wanted to point people to this post at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub, a cool history blog I like to hit up now and again.

Holocaust deniers should be wary of offering ridiculous award amounts; I swear I saw one circulating the NIU campus a couple of years ago. And, sadly, these people do, in fact, exist. Look no further than the revisionism of organizations such as the Institute for Historical Review or individuals such as Ernst Zundel, who, incidentally, is on trial in Germany.

The essence is that these kind of reward offerings are technically sweepstakes and thus bound by contract law. A Hungarian-born Jew Mel Mermelstein attempted to collect the reward of $50,000 from IHR based with his own testimony as evidence for the Holocaust.

The IHR, of course, refused to pay up and Mermelstein sued in California Superior Court in 1985. Memelstein’s lawyer asked the court to take judicial notice of the Holocaust, which established the Holocaust as fact. Brilliant. The text of the decision can be found here.

The IHR and five other defendants were ordered to pay $150,000, which was reduced to $90,000. In addition to the monetary damages awarded Mermelstein the court ordered all five defendants to issue a letter of apology to the plantiff which was to read as follows:

“Each of the answering defendants do hereby officially and formally apologize to Mr. Mel Mermelstein, a survivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Buchenwald, and all other survivors of Auschwitz for the pain, anguish and suffering he and all other Auschwitz survivors have sustained relating to the $50,000 reward offer for proof that ‘Jews were gassed in gas chambers at Auschwitz.'”

The crazies over at the IHR have their version of things over here.

Ben Austin at Middle Tennessee State University compiled the lengthy facts as well as the Court transcription on his website. He also has a plethora of information about the Holocaust in general.


1. edarrell - September 4, 2006

Thanks for the plug! Spreading the word of Mermelstein is a noble ting to do, I think.

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