Anti-Semitism History Holocaust Holocaust denial Personal Politics

Trial By Fire: The Holocaust History Project Won’t Be Silenced

Today’s regularly scheduled post has been delayed due to an important and tragic development.

Something bad happened a couple of days ago, something that cuts rather close to home.

Arsonists targeted the offices used as a mailing address for the Holocaust History Project (THHP). (Video here, but only if you have IE and Active X installed, unfortunately.) The fire caused considerable damage to a warehouse complex and caused smoke damage to nearby businesses. Although the perpetrators have not been identified, there is good reason to suspect that it was not the business that was targeted, but rather THHP. The business sold and exported educational materials for schools. It is not too much of a stretch to conclude that the most likely suspects are people or organizations opposed to the educational mission of the THHP fighting Holocaust denial.

The press release:

Media Contact:

Sara Salzman
[email protected]

Trial By Fire: The Holocaust History Project Won’t Be Silenced

In the early hours of March 6, 2006, a fire broke out at a warehouse complex near San Antonio International Airport, causing extensive damage to the offices of The Holocaust History Project (THHP), an organization that has been, for the last ten years, in the forefront of confronting Holocaust denial online, in addition to providing educational materials to students throughout the world. Arson investigators now have confirmed that the fire was intentionally set and are continuing their investigation.

It was just the latest in a series of attacks with the apparent intent to silence THHP. For the past 18 months, the THHP website has been under an unprecedented Distributed Denial of Service attack. This cyber attack began on September 11, 2004, and is being carried out by a specially modified version of the MyDoom computer worm, programmed to target the THHP web server. See the THHP statement:

Harry Mazal, the Director of THHP said, “We have been able to defend our work against these cyber attackers. They tried, but couldn’t shut us down. We have strong indications that this arson is the next step in a series of attacks against our educational and scholarly work. Although the fire caused significant damage to our offices, there is no way we will be silenced. Our web site has not been affected, and our work will continue.”

Read the rest of the press release here. Fortunately for THHP, the building torched was merely a mailing address. THHP’s library, servers, and other resources were not there. Unfortunately, it was the site of Harry Mazal’s private business.

I wrote about the DDOS attack on THHP very early on in the history of this blog. This DDOS has continued on an almost continuous basis to this very day and has been quite difficult to combat. I know this because I’ve been affiliated with THHP for the last four or five years, as I mentioned in a previous post. True, in comparison to Harry Mazal, Sara Salzman, Jamie McCarthy, and Andrew Mathis, and several other highly dedicated people, my contribution, which consists mainly of money, medical input about some denier lies and distortions, and commentary, pales. Sadly, a few years ago, I had the chance to help out Andrew and a couple of others attend a David Irving speech in New York City in order to protest and confront his lies, but didn’t do it. It happened to be on a weeknight, even worse, a clinic night. I finished up clinic late and thought that I wouldn’t be able to make it into the city in time. In retrospect it turns out that, if I had applied myself, I probably could have hopped the train to Manhattan and made it there by the time the speech was scheduled to start, but to my eternal shame I let my being tired serve as an excuse not to.

Nonetheless, I take this personally. Harry is a great guy and a major force in the fight against Holocaust denial. Even though THHP’s resources, library, and servers were unscathed, Harry’s business has suffered a major loss, and other businesses in the building were collateral damage; Harry has paid a heavy price for his dedication. We have some suspicions about who might have done this, but no concrete evidence yet. That makes any speculation other than that the perpetrators are likely to be either people or a group opposed to THHP’s message and mission not advisable at this stage. I’ll certainly be posting more about this as I get more information. For example, Harry Mazal was to be interviewed by a local San Antonio television station this morning. When I get a transcript I will either post it or link to it.

In the meantime, I’m asking any reporters out there who read this and might consider it a good story to contact Sara at the e-mail address or phone number listed on the press release. I’m putting the full power of my blog (as little as that might mean) behind this effort. Any bloggers out there who value the kind of work that THHP does and detest what Holocaust deniers do and stand for, please link to THHP and the press release above. (You do not need to link to me; I’m not trying to pump up my own traffic.) I’m using what little pull I’ve accumulated in the blogosphere to work towards an outcome that the arsonists did not anticipate: namely that the THHP becomes more widely read and more potent a force than ever for combatting Holocaust denial.

More here (links to be added as I’m made aware of them):

More links will be added to a separate thread tomorrow…

(Note, due to a serious Trackback spam problem that we’ve been having, all Trackbacks are moderated. Please don’t get worried if you don’t see your Trackback right away.)

ADDENDUM 3/10/2006:

An update on this story, along with coverage by a local San Antonio television station and an example of the anti-Semites coming out of the woodwork to attack Harry Mazal.

ADDENDUM 3/12/2006:

The list of bloggers linking to the Holocaust History Project and this story has been updated.

ADDENDUM 8/31/2006: Comments closed due to ongoing comment spam attack.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

Comments are closed.


Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading