— Four national Jewish organizations will provide legal counsel to a Holocaust survivor who is suing the Institute for Historical Review (IHR) for failure to honor its offer of a $50,000 prize to the first person who could prove that Jews were murdered in the Nazi gas chambers during World War II.
The suit was filed by Mel Mermelstein, a 55-year-old Los Angeles businessman who has produced an affidavit that his parents and two sisters died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. He himself is a survivor of the extermination camp. Mermelstein is also seeking $17 million in damages.
Irving Peters, chairman of the Southern California Committee for the World Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, to be held in Jerusalem June 14-18, announced that the group has retained the counsels of the California branches of the American Jewish Congress, American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith and the Jewish War Veterans of the U.S. to assist Mermelstein who is a member of the executive committee of the World Gathering.
The IHR, based in Torrance, California, denies that six million Jews were murdered in Nazi death camps and contends that the Holocaust is a myth, a propaganda line taken by neo-Nazi and other anti-Semitic groups in the U.S. and abroad. According to the IHR, the gas chambers were delousing centers and the Jews who were burned in the crematoria died from malnutrition or disease.
The IHR is directed by Lewis Brandon who contends that the Holocaust myth was created by Zionists to shield Israel from criticism. Its treasurer is Elizabeth Carto, wife of Willis Carto who is treasurer of Liberty Lobby, an ultra-rightwing Washington-based organization.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.