In that I am the attorney who represents plaintiff Mel Mermelstein, the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp survivor whose entire family was murdered by the Nazis, against, among others, the Institute for Historical Review, I read with some interest the letters from Thomas Marcellus and Bradley Smith. Marcellus’ assertion that the Institute for Historical Review is not devoted to propagating the view that the Holocaust never occurred is a recently fabricated public relations maneuver initiated to make the institute’s brand of anti-Semitism more palatable to the American public.
Litigating against the institute has given me the opportunity to intimately scrutinize its history, as well the history of the founder, Willis Carto. Carto stated under oath that “certainly there were no Jews gassed at Auschwitz because there were no gas chambers. There were no Jews gassed at any of the . . . camps in Germany.”
Carto’s, and the Institute’s, anti-Semitism is well documented. In the publication The Right, of which Carto was editor, he also asserted that “the Jew is an alien in our midst and will remain so until he is driven out or conquered.”
It should as well be noted that Marcellus’ representation that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Steven Lachs admonished the plaintiff’s attorneys not to characterize the Institute for Historical Review as being devoted to the denial of the existence of the Holocaust is a blatant distortion. The record of Judge Lachs’ comments reveal that Lachs made no such statement or anything even approximating it. Indeed, as that record evidences, he was shocked and chagrined at the institute’s and Carto’s blatant anti-Semitism.
LAWRENCE E. HELLER