Respectful Insolence

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
303-617-9412
media@holocaust-history.org

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:

http://www.holocaust-history.org/denial/denial-of-service.shtml

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.

Comments

  1. #2 Socialist Swine
    March 8, 2006

    Orac,

    I made up a button for linking to the THHP site. It’s not terrific but it’s something.

  2. #3 Orac
    March 8, 2006

    Thanks. I don’t see it on your site? Is it there?

    A list of those who linked will appear later or tomorrow.

  3. #4 Socialist Swine
    March 8, 2006

    It’s there now. Earlier I must have accidently hit the “save as draft” button versus the “publish” button. The image is there now.

  4. #5 Orac
    March 8, 2006

    Yeah, I’ve done that before, back when I was on Blogger.

    The buttons look good. Thanks!

  5. #6 Urinated State of America
    March 9, 2006

    Very sad, but typical of the holocaust denier crowd.

    Harry is great guy, and it’s tragic that his business suffered from this mindless attack.

  6. #7 Julia
    March 10, 2006

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention — I might have missed it, were it not for you. (And I’ve passed the link to this entry to someone who will probably get more eyeballs informed about it.)

  7. #8 David Edwards
    March 23, 2006

    This item just came to my attention.

    Seems as though once again, the bolt through the neck brigade are determined to scrape the Streicher barrel … I recall he had something of an arsonist streak too, albeit by proxy …

    I also recall a comment by Airey Neave in his book on the Nuremberg Trials – Surely to be a second-rate copy of Streicher is the worst of all? Lamentably, there seem to be individuals who regard it as a good idea …