Institute for Historical Review

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A lunatic Chaplin imitator
and his greatest fans

Icon nazi.svg
First as tragedy
Then as farce

The Institute for Historical Review (IHR) is an American publisher with a misleading name, controversial for its associations with holocaust denial and holocaust revisionism. The Southern Poverty Law Center regards the IHR as a hate group, and a "pseudo-academic organisation" whose purpose is to "promote Holocaust denial and defend Nazism".


The IHR was founded in 1978 by David McCalden of the National Front and Willis Carto of the Liberty Lobby, and served as an outlet for antisemitism, publishing texts on Holocaust denial and Judeo–Bolshevism. In 1979, the IHR offered a $50,000 reward for proof that gas chambers existed in Auschwitz and for the purpose of killing people. Mel Mermelstein, a survivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau, wrote to the IHR but his account of captivity was ruled not to be sufficient evidence. This led to a lawsuit with Mermelstein in 1981, represented by lawyer William John Cox. After four years and two courts, it was ruled that the Holocaust was an established fact that did not require additional evidence to prove, and the IHR was ordered to pay $90,000 to Mermelstein, publicly humiliating Carto in the process. During the trial, the IHR's office was subject to firebombing, which destroyed most of its text and audio archive. In the early 1990s, Carto was forced out of the IHR, and was sued for $5 million dollars for embezzling funds.

Since then the IHR has had a change in its focus. With holocaust denial no longer being legally defensible, it became a publisher of negationism. With negationism, authors and publishers can drive a "teach the controversy"-type narrative that basic facts are heavily disputed among historians. Its current director, Mark Weber, has been quoted as accepting the deaths of millions of Jews, but insists that the figures of 10, 6 and 2 million is an on-going debate among historians,[1] though his claims the Holocaust is a hoax religion and his continued support for Neo-Nazis suggests that he is not being honest.[2]