The Holocaust History Project

Question:

I am a student at ... doing a paper on virtual holocaust memorials and sites on the internet. I was impressed by the frankness and honesty that seems to permeate many of the essays but I was curious to know who set this site up. I would appreciate any information you are able to give me, specifically if you are run by a group, or a single person? Are you funded privately publicly or a combination of both? How do you test the veracity of the information sent to you, and does the posting reflect the opinion of the site or only the contributing writer?

Yale F. Edeiken answers:

The site is operated by The Holocaust History Project, Inc. which was chartered as a not-for-profit corporation in the State of Texas. Application has been made to the Internal Revenue Service to certify The Holocaust History Project, Inc. as a tax-exempt educational organization. It was formed by a group of individuals interested in the subject and, for most of us, conversant with the arguments of those who deny the Holocaust. We come from several countries as diverse as the U.S., Canada, Germany and Denmark. Few of us are professional historians; our membership includes people of many professions.

Are you funded privately publicly or a combination of both?

All of our financing is private.

How do you test the veracity of the information sent to you,

Every item that you see on this web-site has been distributed to the other members for accuracy and an analysis. This includes the translation of the original documents that we present. As an author who has an article published on our webpage, I made various changes to my article because of their observations. I have seen the same process operate with others.

This is, of course, only the beginning of our site. We are in the process of establishing a peer review process that meets the accepted academic standards. When this is in place, articles to be published by our web-site will be reviewed by independent experts outside of the membership of The Holocaust History Project.

and does the posting reflect the opinion of the site or only the contributing writer?

Since all material is reviewed by other members of The Holocaust History Project, it should be considered the to reflect the opinion of the group as a whole. It should be noted that facets of the Holocaust are controversial the debate between the "functionalists" and the "intentionalists" or what the role of the U.S. in halting the Holocaust should or could have been, to cite two examples. While all of the opinions published here can be considered representative of The Holocaust History Project, there might be cases where there are dissenters to any single specified opinion.

I hope this answers your questions.

Yale F. Edeiken
Of The Holocaust History Project

Harry Mazal OBE answers another questioner:

Perhaps a word of explanation regarding the Holocaust History Project might be in order. We are an association of men and women in a number of countries around the world, (some of whom are Jewish, others Christian and even a few non-religious ) who have joined together with the express purposes of:

1) Combatting Holocaust denial. There are a great many mendacious and evil people who are attempting to degrade the memory of your family -- and mine I might add -- by insisting that the Holocaust is nothing more than a massive Jewish conspiracy to defraud the world. By putting the facts on the Internet where everyone can see them, we hope to diminish the influence of these evil-doers.

2) Teaching young people. By having the "Questions" portion of our web-page -- which you so unceremoniously use for your own purposes -- we try to answer questions by students and the general public regarding the Holocaust. Because teaching of this sad period is now required in many schools in this country, we are proud to offer a service to the public who might otherwise land on the web-pages of Holocaust deniers such as CODOH, the IHR, Zundel, etc. Responding to complaints such as yours detracts from our ability to carry out our work.

3) Conducting research on the Holocaust. Many of us dedicate a considerable portion of our lives to research on the worst disaster to affect Jewery in the history of mankind. I have personally spent many weeks in Auschwitz, Theresienstadt, Dachau and Majdanek, not to say Budapest, Prague, Warsaw, Berlin, Lublin Munich, Krakow, etc. seeking answers to this calamity.

I hasten to add that part of this time was spent looking for some clue which might help me know what happened to a considerable portion of my family Nontheless the main thrust of my research was dedicated to obtaining documents which would help me better understand how such a dreadful event could have taken place. I must confess that I still don't understand.

My personal library -- which is visited by students and researchers in this region -- consists of thousands of books, official documents, microfilms, etc. This library is often consulted by our members who, thanks to the marvels of modern computing, can receive electronic copies of the material they require for their research.

I sympathize with your loss and am greatly moved by your suffering. I would point out however, that you are not alone in this pain, nor is your story unique. Many of us lost our families in the Holocaust. One of our colleagues is a Holocaust survivor from Poland whose mother and sisters were murdered in front of him. Yet he enthusiastically works several hours a week with me in organizing our vast collection of information.

If our work offends you and hurts your sensibilities, I cannot but suggest that you remember the immortal words of George Santayana:

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Yours sincerely,

Harry W. Mazal OBE

Another Question

I was simply interested to know how all of these documents and photos were acquired...in big chunks, one piece at a time, donations, evidence rooms, how..is it an ongoing process? Also where are you located? I was overwhelmed by the amount of compelling artifacts you have compiled for those who never knew or might forget.

Dr. Daniel Mittleman answers:

Thank you for your question. I am one of the individuals who answers questions for The Holocaust History Project.

THHP is an association of several dozen individuals who have been working to preserve information about the Holocuast. THHP, and its associated web site, are about two years old. But many of the individuals involved have been working on this and related projects for much longer. The documents and photos on THHP's site have been accumulated and assembled piecemeal by various individuals. In most every case, the individual author, editor, or compiler who undertook the work is listed with the document or artifact.

It is most certainly an ongoing process, for which we invite others to participate.

While THHP's computers are in the United States, we aren't really located anywhere per se. The people whose names you see listed with the documents and artifacts reside in several countries and in several US states. Each works from home with the documents uploaded to a central server. As such, it might be said to be a world-wide collaborative effort.

Thank you very much for your interest.

Dr. Daniel Mittleman

Question:

As a librarian and educator, I think your site looks promising but you fail to provide your visitors with any type of background on you or your group. You refer to "we" but never say who "we" is. Quite honestly, for all I know you are the very people that you declare to be exposing. In order to avoid such problems, you need to give your visitors adequate information to decide for themselves: names, degrees, sources, what exactly your organization is all about, etc. Otherwise, the page simply can't be trusted and all of your valuable time is useless. I hope you make the changes to your page and email me ASAP.

Harry W. Mazal OBE answers:

Thank you for your recent communication.

I am one of the persons in the Holocaust History Project that responds to questions from our readers. It is probable that you will receive responses from some of my other colleagues.

I do hope that you did not find any article, document, or essay in our site that would lead you to believe that we are even remotely like the very people that we declare to be exposing. A very large part of our material comes from the most reliable sources used by historians such as the National Archives, the United States Government Printing Office and the Auschwitz State Museum. Our essays are all signed by their authors* most of whom are identified within the text of the material. (See below) Some of us have been combatting denial for decades and are reasonably well known in our field.

*Except our mini-essays which are produced jointly by several of our volunteers

We do tend to hide our light under a bushel a bit, but this is due more to security reasons than to modesty. Some of our members are under death threat and others receive abusive messages through e-mail. There is, however, a section on our site that gives biographical information on some of our members:

http://holocaust-history.org/team/

You will notice that one of our members is a colleague of yours!

We have been somewhat lax in not putting the objectives of our organization on the page. For the record allow me to transcribe Article Four of our "Articles of Incorporation" when we were formed as a not-for-profit corporation. Kindly note that the following is copyrighted and must not be reproduced without our permission.

(c) Purposes

The purposes of this corporation shall be to foster, promote and develop the educational, cultural, and scientific resources needed to combat racism, anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial and all forms of bigotry. The corporation will furthermore offer educational resources and grants for educational institutions and the general public world-wide. It will offer services that will include, but are not limited to, web pages and other web presences on the Internet, publications, library facilities, mass- media, and lecture series, The Corporation will carry out fundamental and applied research, archive information, acquire documentation, establish computer servers, broadcast facilities or other means of promotion as are necessary to fulfill its objectives, and to conduct other such business as is required to promote these objectives. [...]

Please note too that we are an organization recognized by the Internal Revenue Service to engage in such activities within the meaning of Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3)

Our members have access to one of the largest private libraries in the world with tens of thousands of books, original documents, and other material on the Holocaust and related fields. Please feel free to have your students use our Questions and Answers service:

http://holocaust-history.org/questions/

Yours sincerely,

Harry W. Mazal OBE

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