by Mark Lane
Copyright Mark Lane,
[The numbers in brackets indicate the page
numbers in the soft cover version. They are provided in the ebook
for reference/citation purposes]
. .For almost five decades I have attempted
to set the record straight in any number of matters and thus I have
become entangled in controversy. Some of those efforts have had
international ramifications; responding to the false assertion by
the United States government beginning in 1963 that its president
had been murdered by a solitary madman. Some had but local consequences;
exposing the unjust imprisonment and brutal treatment imposed upon
children by the state at a "school" for "mental defectives"
at a place called Wassaic, New York, a decade earlier.
. . .Not being prescient I was never
armed before tilting at each windmill of the state with knowledge
as to my chance for success, even measuring victory by the minimal
standard of convincing a few that there might be some substance
in my argument worthy of examination – or at least that although
I said those things I was almost certainly certifiably sane. In
early 1964 a happy ending predicated upon even so cleverly biased
a barometer, seemed illusory. There I stood alone proclaiming the
troubling facts, shouting the mandatory questions almost silently
into a government and media created windstorm of abuse, ridicule
and disinformation. Some years later almost everyone agreed with
me and added that they always had.
. . .For some many years publishers
would not print my books, colleges canceled contracts for me to
lecture, radio and television stations excluded me from their interview
programs, some issued an edict "barring" me "for
life." In time those loyal executives have left, some voluntarily
seeking the good life elsewhere, some have been ousted in a coup
others in a less violent manner simply died. I have surfaced once
again on their stations and programs with still more inconvenient
matters to place on the agenda resulting in further executive proclamations
of fealty to the throne and my subsequent, but almost immediate,
dismissal from the debate.
. . .Therefore, wounded, scarred, a
little tired, but neither exhausted nor discouraged and still eager
both to see things as they are and dream of how they might be changed,
I learned to
[ii] approach with some
care each new potential conflict against an enemy possessing the
seemingly mutually exclusive attributes of quasi-omnipotence and
. . .This latest chapter begins in
1945 when Willis Carto and I both worked in an organization committed
to the overthrow of governments by the use of force and violence.
It was the United States Army, World War II was raging, and Willis
and I were not to meet, or even know of each other until four more
decades had passed. We each served honorably in the military, each
were discharged honorably; Willis having served with a bit more
distinction, was awarded the Purple Heart, a decoration originating
with George Washington. He was in the Far East theater, while I
served in the European theater. How entertaining our euphemistically
inclined generals made it all seem at the time.
. . .During 1946 on furlough from the
Army of Occupation while stationed near Hitler's hometown, Linz,
Austria, I drove to Dachau. The curator of the establishment showed
me some cells, pointed to the gas chambers where hundreds of thousands
had been executed, and explained that a debt was owed by the democracies
to the few Jews who had survived.
. . .I brought no engineering degree
to the concentration camp. I was still a teenager who had entered
the army immediately after having been graduated from high school
and my skepticism regarding official pronouncements in general had
not as yet been finely honed upon the stone of repeated government
. . .I left Germany to return to my
headquarters outfit in Austria, a pilgrim, one more witness to the
fact that hundreds of thousands of prisoners had been gassed to
death in Dachau.
. . .Through the time machine known
as the writer's prerogative we move swiftly forward into the mid
1980's. Do not scoff at this device; if applied appropriately it
can save you countless hours of tiresome plodding.
. . .Readers of Plausible
Denial will know the details surrounding my meeting
with Willis Carto and Liberty Lobby. It will suffice for others
to know that I was retained to represent that organization when
E. Howard Hunt brought an action against it for defamation. It seemed
he denied that he had been involved in the assassination of President
[iii] and thought the
allegation written by a former CIA official and printed in The
Spotlight, published by Liberty Lobby, might be demeaning.
We won the case before a jury which tried the issue in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami.
. . .At about that time a lawyer named
Fleming Lee was working for Liberty Lobby. He told me that a man
named Mel Mermelstein was suing the Institute for Historical Review
(IHR), a group of which I had never heard, and also Liberty Lobby.
As Mr. Lee explained it, Mr. Mermelstein was a concentration camp
survivor who was alleging that the holocaust had occurred, that
he could prove it and that those who denied it had occurred, such
as the IHR and Liberty Lobby, were both incorrect and villains.
. . .I had met Mr. Mermelstein at a
party in Orange County, California, some time before. Before the
social event had ended I knew him well enough to call him Mel. As
you may observe I now call him Mr. Mermelstein. I now know him even
. . .The night I met Mr. Mermelstein,
I remember it well. I had recently returned from my first visit
to Beirut and a journey through the displaced person's camps in
southern Lebanon where Palestinians, barred from returning to their
homeland by the Israeli government, were concentrated in substandard
conditions but surviving due to the efforts of the Palestine Liberation
. . .I spent hours with Yasir Arafat
hearing positions presented on behalf of the PLO with which most
Americans were unfamiliar. Upon my return I spoke with Rabbi Elmer
Berger, Alfred Lilienthal, Haviv Schieber and others in an attempt
to aid in the process of encouraging a peaceful solution before
the U. S. supported settlements on the West Bank created a fait
accompli and the conditions for war without a foreseeable end.
. . .Mr. Arafat showed me a sculpture
which he kept on his desk. He said, "Mr. Lane, this is a Red
Indian. Do you know why I have it on my desk?"
. . .The question seemed rhetorical.
I remained silent. He continued. "To remind us that we Palestinians
must never become the Red Indians of America. We must resist. Only
[iv] can we survive.
We will resist against every odd, like the Jews in the – what
is the word – ghetto – yes, the ghetto in Warsaw."
. . .I recounted that exchange to Mr.
Mermelstein. He seemed to be listening intently – awaiting
the proposal that was certain to arrive.
. . .I suggested that he, a survivor
of a concentration camp, together with a leader of the American
Indian Movement, accompany me to Beirut, meet with Arafat, observe
the conditions under which the Palestinian refugees were compelled
to exist, and then perhaps feel called upon to enter the peace process
as honest brokers and new voices to and for America.
. . .Mr. Mermelstein seemed genuinely
interested. I did not know then if he was motivated by the desire
to do a good work or his eye was upon the public relations aspect
of the proposed enterprise. In either event he was on the verge
of committing himself to the first stage of the process when his
wife, hearing of the conversation, walked over and told him that
the idea was preposterous, out of the question. She then indignantly
led him away from me.
. . .I next saw him years later when
I took his deposition, portions of which are presented in this book.
. . .When Mr. Lee told me a little
about the Mermelstein case he also asked if I would like to get
involved on behalf of Liberty Lobby. My response was no less firm
than had Mrs. Mermelstein's been to the suggestion, as she appraised
it, that her husband consort with the enemy.
. . .I said that I knew Mel slightly,
was not antagonistic toward him, indeed was sympathetic in view
of his suffering, that I also knew there had been a holocaust, and
that Mel had survived it. I added, as a historic touch, that I had
seen the gas chambers at Dachau some forty years before.
. . .Although Mr. Lee suggested a substantial
fee to defend Liberty Lobby against the Mermelstein suit, I demonstrated,
I thought as I rejected that offer that there are some things lawyers
should not do.
. . .The result of that first contest
between Mr. Mermelstein and Liberty Lobby is set forth in this book.
I played no part in it. I was never informed as to how the matter
progressed. I did not even know who was representing Liberty Lobby
at the time.
. . .The final contest began much later.
For me it started when
[v] I realized that
the charge that Liberty Lobby denied that the holocaust had occurred
was a myth. By that time almost every Jewish organization established
to document the details of the holocaust had agreed, albeit reluctantly
and belatedly, that there had been two types of camps – concentration
camps and death camps. The death camps had been equipped with gas
chambers. They agreed as well that there never had been any gas
chambers in any camps located in Germany – a position which
Liberty Lobby had proffered years before it was acceptable to do
so, years before the truth became the conventional wisdom. Dachau
was located in Germany. My eyewitness testimony was revealed for
what it had been all along – hearsay at best, the result of
cleverly manipulated political propaganda at worst.
. . .It was only after Mr. Mermelstein
had brought another lawsuit, this time for defamation against the
IHR and Willis Carto, that I became interested. The article, published
by the IHR, which formed the basis for the action, acknowledged
that the holocaust had occurred, that Mr. Mermelstein had likely
survived it and that he personally exaggerated what he had seen
and experienced in an ever-growing series of articles, lectures,
books and interviews which more than superseded each other and in
some instances repudiated claims he had previously asserted. The
IHR article concluded that exaggerated stories tended to discredit
the truthful accounts of other holocaust survivors.
. . .Since the article had not been
defamatory, was in fact truthful, and since Mr. Mermelstein and
his high-powered Los Angeles law firms added Liberty Lobby as a
defendant, an organization which played no part in the publication
of the article, I decided to look into the matter. When it became
clear that Mr. Mermelstein and his by then numerous giant law firms
were predicating their defamation suit upon the prejudice they might
engender by claiming that the defendants had insisted that the holocaust
had never taken place (although the evidence upon which they relied
for proof of defamation found the IHR saying just the opposite)
I began to view the lawsuit and the demands for huge sums of money
from Liberty Lobby, an organization in no way responsible for publishing
the nondefamatory article, – as little more than attempted
. . .It was at that point that I advised
my client, Liberty Lobby, not to settle the case, to offer no money
to Mr. Mermelstein and his law firms and instead to aggressively
defend against the false claims. I then agreed to represent Liberty
Lobby in what became the last battle of the Mermelstein war.
. . .For me the truth, the First Amendment
and the appropriate response of our judicial system to a difficult
case were considerations which overcame my distaste for grappling
with out-of-control Zionists who considered their cause so worthy
that it might best be served by falsification of the record, deceit
and character assassination.
. . .After the discovery period, documented
in this book, had been completed, I entered into a courtroom presided
over by Hon. Stephen Lachs, a judge of the Superior Court of the
State of California.
. . .In a more perfect society it would
be irrelevant to disclose that Judge Lachs is of the Jewish faith
and that Mr. Mermelstein's Jewish lawyers almost openly threatened
him with unspoken consequences flowing from the Jewish community
in Los Angeles if he failed to find for Mr. Mermelstein. Indeed
it is irrelevant because Judge Lachs turned his courtroom into a
perfect judicial chamber over which he presided with fairness, candor
and resources of patience rarely seen since the passing of Job.
. . .He made it clear that he did not
like the defendants and that he despised some of their earlier writings.
Having said that he made it even more apparent that justice was
to prevail and that Mr. Mermelstein's lawyers would not be permitted
to lie to the jury in his courtroom. You will not, he asserted to
them, tell the jurors that the defendants ever denied that the holocaust
had occurred, simply because they have never said that.
. . .In the end, after Mr. Mermelstein
testified and the law had been argued, digested, reargued and summarized,
Judge Lachs threw the case out, leaving but a few crumbs to be litigated.
Mr. Mermelstein's lawyers then voluntarily dismissed what little
was left of the case.
. . .Mr. Mermelstein appealed and the
California Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed the wisdom of Judge
Lachs' rulings. That ruling together with the decision by Mr.
and his many lawyers that it would be useless to attempt to seek
further review by a court concluded the legal contest.
. . .And
that was the end of the matter as far as I was concerned. I had
prepared a case, taken depositions, argued the matter and together
with a California lawyer, William Hulsy, who represented the IHR,
had won the case.
. . .Even if Liberty Lobby had published
the article in question, which it did not, and even if the article
had been defamatory, which it was not, and even if the defendants
had argued that the holocaust had not occurred, which they did not,
I was counsel, not a defendant, and my work was accomplished in
the courtroom, not elsewhere. In that courtroom I assured Judge
Lachs that Liberty Lobby had never denied the existence of the holocaust,
invited him to read the thousands of pages of evidence on the question,
which he did with almost unprecedented judicial dedication and I
asserted for myself that if Liberty Lobby had ever denied the existence
of the holocaust I would not have represented it in that trial.
. . .In spite of my meticulous efforts
in this case I learned in 1993 that Deborah Lipstadt, who calls
herself a historian, listed me as a "holocaust denier"
due to my participation at the trial.
. . .That Ms. Lipstadt has no respect
for the truth is abundantly evident in her book Denying
the Holocaust. Her cavalier attitude toward the facts
is also apparent as she attempts to publicize her book through false
and defamatory claims. Since she claims that Mr. Carto and Liberty
Lobby are the leading holocaust deniers in the United States in
her book, it is instructive to discover how she deals with Judge
Lachs, the only jurist ever to issue a finding on the question.
This "historian" never mentions him. How does she approach
the Mermelstein v. Liberty Lobby trial? With equal honesty. She
pretends that there was no ruling, no decision, no dismissal of
all charges, no legal victory for Mr. Carto and Liberty Lobby and
no opinion by the California Court of Appeals. She writes only:
subsequently filed action against the IHR and Carto for malicious
That case remains in litigation. Despite the financial loss and
public ridicule the Mermelstein case caused the IHR, there were
those in the organization's leadership who continued to maintain
that, given the press coverage generated by the contest, it succeeded.
. . .Since it is apparent that Ms.
Lipstadt cannot be trusted to recount with any degree of accuracy
the facts which comprise a recent judicial proceeding held in the
United States, for which there exists a verbatim transcript which
comprises an unquestioned record of what transpired, it is clear
that she cannot be trusted to present the truth about the disputed
details surrounding events which occurred more than half a century
ago, thousands of miles from here for which no certified record
. . .However, even Ms. Lipstadt, in
presenting the current conventional wisdom of those "experts"
and organizations upon which she relies for the "actual truth"
about the holocaust, concedes that there were no death camps and
no gas chambers located anywhere in Germany, before, during or after
World War II. Had revisionists made the same claims before the "authorities"
were constrained by the undeniable facts to reach the same conclusion,
they would have been pilloried, abused and ridiculed. They did and
. . .Now Ms. Lipstadt concedes, in
relying upon her authorized historians, "there had been no
homicidal gas chambers in German concentration camps." (2)
. . .She writes:
After the war there had been persistent confusion about the difference
between concentration camps and death camps. The latter, located
outside Germany, had facilities for the express purpose of murdering
people, primarily Jews. While there were no death camps in Germany,
there were many concentration camps, in which multitudes died
from overwork, disease, starvation, beatings, and severe
[ix] mistreatment. Much of the confusion
centered around the idea that there was a functioning homicidal
gas chamber in Dachau." (3)
Lipstadt complains that "[e]very time historians who study
the Holocaust correct a mistake in the record, deniers immediately
claim that they do so because their previous lies were about to
be exposed." (4) To
demonstrate the accuracy of her assertion she publishes a footnote
which reads --
1 / Deborah
Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust (New York:
The Free Press, 1993) p. 141.
2 / Ibid., p. 78.
3 / Ibid.
4 / Ibid.
. ."This is what they have done in
relation to the charge that Nazis used Jewish cadavers for the
production of soap. When scholars of the Holocaust corrected this
notion, the deniers were quick to charge they did so in order
to avoid being exposed as willful liars." (1)
. . .Based exclusively upon her recently
published false allegations Ms. Lipstadt has become a minor media
celebrity, a source for America to took to when the truth is sought
in difficult and related matters. For example, USA Today
consulted her regarding the misconduct of U.S. and Israeli government
zealots who suppressed evidence in an effort to convict John Demjanjuk.
. . .Mr. Demjanjuk is innocent; the
facts, the law and finally the Supreme Court of Israel have so decreed.
A United States Circuit Court of Appeals, just one step from the
U.S. Supreme Court, held that U.S. government officials hid the
evidence from it and from Mr. Demjanjuk's attorneys and may have
deliberately attempted to deceive the court. That matter is now
. . .What sense of outrage does Ms.
Lipstadt express against the officials who framed Mr. Demjanjuk,
what does compassion dictate must be done to compensate him for
his agony? She says, "the Demjanjuk case was apparently
bungled." (2) She laments
the "chilling effect" (3)
which may prevent the prosecution of other Demjanjuks. As for her
approach, "I'd prosecute them if they had to be wheeled into
the courtroom on a stretcher." (4)
So much for compassion to say nothing of the presumption of innocence
which in the past in other matters has been thought of as the cornerstone
of our judicial system.
. . .The Demjanjuk case, contrived
by Neal Sher, director of
[x] the Office of Special Investigations
of the Department of Justice and his colleagues, was offered as
a gift to Israel to prove that the holocaust occurred. In fact both
Israeli and U.S. officials stated before the shameful show trial
began that the prosecution and a conviction were
necessary to demonstrate the existence of the holocaust. Mr. Demjanjuk's
acquittal cannot alter a rational view of history any more than
his conviction and execution might have. It does demonstrate, however,
that unworthy politicians, prosecutors, reporters and historians
continue to avoid the truth regarding this matter while they dominate
the American news media.
. . .The statement published in The
New York Times attributed to a leader of the Likud
Party and a member of the Israeli parliament perhaps put it most
succinctly and blatantly: "The judges [the Supreme Court of
Israel] may have acted according to the way of the law, but they
have not done historical justice." (5)
Never, he warns us, should the facts be permitted to shape or modify
our view of events.
. . .You should read Mike Piper's account
of the Mermelstein-Liberty Lobby wars. You certainly will find neither
the details nor the truth published elsewhere as Ms. Lipstadt has
so eloquently demonstrated.
. . .As for me this introduction will
serve as sufficient proof by those insufficiently concerned with
the truth that I too have become a "denier." Please Ms.
Lipstadt, The New York Times, The
Washington Post, National Public Radio, and The
Washington Times, please – do not throw me into
the briar patch.
2 / USA Today,
August 18, 1993.
3 / Ibid.
4 / Ibid.
5 / The New York
Times, August 19, 1993.