Since 1993, Mark Weber, who has probably done more than any other American to popularize denial of the World War II Holocaust of European Jews, has directed the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), a once prominent denial group that has recently been in decline. He also served as the editor of IHR's now-defunct Journal of Historical Review from 1992 to 2000 and remains the organization's leading spokesperson, giving speeches and radio interviews to promote IHR's anti-Semitic propaganda. Weber shocked his denial colleagues in early 2009, when he published an essay suggesting that Holocaust denial had become counterproductive and that the real struggle should be directed against "Jewish-Zionist power."
In His Own Words
"Around the world awareness is growing that the ‘Holocaust' campaign is a major weapon in the Jewish-Zionist arsenal, that it is used to justify otherwise unjustifiable Israeli policies, and as a powerful tool for blackmailing enormous sums of money from Americans and Europeans."
— "An Open Letter to Fourteen Arab Intellectuals," 2001
"The most direct and obvious victims of Jewish-Zionist power are, of course, the Palestinians who live under Israel's harsh rule. But as the IHR has made clear for years, in truth we Americans are also victims — through the Jewish-Zionist grip on the media, and the organized Jewish-Zionist corruption of our political system."
— Speech at an Institute for Historical Review meeting in Arlington, Va., 2002
"[W]hat is happening is a worldwide conflict now, a global conflict that involves all of humanity. … [W]hether you are a conservative or a liberal, whether your primary loyalties are to your religion, to your ethnic group, to your country, to your heritage in whatever form, you will come up inevitably against this great Jewish Zionist power. … [W]hat we are involved in, is a global struggle … for the interests of us all and the interests of humanity."
— Speech at a Holocaust denial rally, April 24, 2004
"[D]espite a discouraging record of achievement, some revisionists insist that their work is vitally important because success in exposing the Holocaust as a hoax will deliver a shattering blow to Israel and Jewish-Zionist power. … In the real world struggle against Jewish-Zionist power, Holocaust revisionism has proved to be as much a hindrance as a help."
— "How Relevant is Holocaust Revisionism?", Jan. 7, 2009
Born in Portland, Ore., and equipped with a master's degree in history from Indiana University, Mark Weber first appeared on the radical right in 1978, when he became news editor of National Vanguard, a publication of the National Alliance, which later evolved into one of the most important neo-Nazi groups in America. But while he remained connected to the Alliance for years, Weber was by 1979 already writing articles for The Spotlight, an anti-Semitic tabloid started by Willis Carto, and other Carto publications. In these articles, Weber referred to the Holocaust's Jewish "mythmakers," attacked the credibility of Anne Frank's diary, claimed the Allies used torture to extract false stories about extermination camps, and suggested that the testimony of victims of the Holocaust was unreliable at best.
"The Holocaust hoax is a religion," Weber wrote in 1989, according to the Anti-Defamation League. "[T]he rise of religions such as this generally coincides with the decline and fall of nations which tolerate them." The same year, he said he didn't believe that it was possible for black people to assimilate into American society.
In the mid-1980s, even though he was working closely with Carto, Weber remained a part of the Alliance and was listed as the treasurer of its Cosmotheist Church, which was an attempt by the basically atheistic group to win tax-exempt status. This is surprising because Carto and Alliance leader William Pierce had been bitter enemies since 1970, when they split as they worked to reconfigure the old Youth for Wallace group as the National Youth Alliance (which Pierce would officially rename the National Alliance four years later). Nevertheless, it was in this same period in the mid-1980s that Weber began taking a leading role at Carto's Institute for Historical Review (IHR). In 1984, Weber began leading the group's annual conferences. (These gatherings typically were highlighted by a "mystery guest," who in 1987 was Maj. Gen. Otto Ernst Remer, the unrepentant Nazi who helped crush a 1944 bomb plot against Hitler.) In 1985, Weber joined the IHR's editorial advisory committee and, in 1992, he took over as editor of IHR's Journal of Historical Review, work he did until 2000.
In 1993, with Weber's support, the IHR board ousted Carto as its leader, accusing him of interfering in editorial decisions. The next May, Carto and his wife tried to retake IHR by occupying its California offices, a situation that led to fistfights and, ultimately, Carto being forcibly removed from the building. At around the same time, another dispute between IHR and Carto broke out, with IHR leaders accusing Carto of diverting some $10 million that was allegedly left to IHR's parent company, the Legion for the Survival of Freedom.
During the decade of complex litigation that followed, Carto's Spotlight characterized Weber as a "rat," a "cockroach" and a "devil," but in the end Weber's side basically won. The Spotlight was shut down as a result of the litigation, although it was rapidly replaced with the look-alike American Free Press. Carto also created The Barnes Review, a Holocaust denial journal that now competes directly with IHR.
While Weber and IHR won their lawsuits, the fight with Carto proved to be a great distraction for the organization. It failed to maintain regular publication of its bimonthly Journal of Historical Review (no issues were published between April 1996 and May 1997) and it was unable to hold any conferences between 1994 and 2000. IHR did manage to put on a major conference in 2000, with David Irving, Ernst Zündel, and other notable Holocaust deniers in attendance, but a planned conference on "Revisionism and Zionism" in Beirut, Lebanon, in 2001, was cancelled after authorities banned it. The Lebanese decision followed international criticism of the planned conference.
Since then, Weber's IHR has continued to decline. By 2003, it stopped publishing the Journal of Historical Review and limited its conferences to mostly small, one-day affairs with speeches by Weber or other IHR staffers. In 2004, Weber did plan on attending a two-day Holocaust denial conference in Sacramento, Calif., but at the last minute, the venue refused to host the event, forcing Weber to join with representatives of the neo-Nazi National Alliance in a makeshift gathering at another location. In his keynote address, Weber went on an anti-Semitic rant, warning that all of humanity is involved in "a global struggle" against "Jewish-Zionist power."
More recently, Weber has sought publicity on James Edwards' extremist radio talk show, "The Political Cesspool," whose other guests have included Gordon Baum, head of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens and former Klan leader and neo-Nazi David Duke. IHR also runs ads on the Cesspool.
In January 2009, Weber threw the world of Holocaust denial into turmoil with the publication of an essay asking "How Relevant Is Holocaust Revisionism?" Weber's conclusion, shocking to his colleagues on the radical right, was not very — that those on the radical right would do better to struggle against the real enemy, "Jewish-Zionist power," than on a historical debate about the Holocaust that they were largely losing. The essay set off acrimonious attacks on Weber by many of his former friends and colleagues, but hardly reflected a move by Weber to the political center. Within months of publishing the essay, he was recirculating ancient anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, complaining about those "who control political and cultural life, including the education system and the mass media." From the looks of his audience, Weber had replaced his old suit-and-tie denialist friends with hard-core anti-Semites, including open neo-Nazis and heavily tattooed racist skinheads. What this means for Holocaust denial remains an open question.