(Jerusalem Post) Mel Mermelstein — a publicity hound and self-proclaimed “Holocaust survivor” who sued the Institute of Historical Review — helped out by a prejudicial Jewish judge who refused to recuse himself — died on Friday at his home in Long Beach, California, aged 95 of COVID-related complications, according to a report in The New York Times:
In 1944, when Mermelstein was 17, his parents, two sisters and brother were deported with him from their Hungarian town to Auschwitz. At the concentration camp, his mother and sisters and were murdered in the gas chambers and his father and brother died from other causes, The Washington Post reported. Before his father died, Mermelstein promised him that he would tell what had happened there.
After World War II, Mermelstein moved to the United States, where, in 1979, a group called the Institute for Historical Review offered $50,000 to anyone who could prove that the Nazis had used gas chambers to murder Jews during the war. The organization sent entry forms to Holocaust survivors who had spoken publicly about their experiences, including Mermelstein. According to the Post, the letter he received read: “If we do not hear from you, we will be obliged to draw our own conclusions and publicize this fact to the mass media.”
Although Jewish organizations, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Anti-Defamation League, insisted that Mermelstein ignore the letter in order to avoid bringing more attention to the Holocaust-denying organization, he was determined to respond to the challenge: “I watched my mother and sisters being led to the gas chambers, and they tell me it was a hoax. They are hate-mongers, Jew-haters. I’m going to get them if I have to spend the rest of my life doing it,” he said, according to the Post.
For his entry, Mermelstein sent a copy of his memoir describing his experience during the Holocaust, titled “Bread Alone: The Story of A-4685,” a reference to the number tattooed on his arm, according to the Times. However, when the Institute did not pay Mermelstein the $50,000, he sued the group for the money, in addition to $17 million in damages for “injurious denial of established fact,” as well as libel, breach of contract and emotional distress, the Post reported.
In a pretrial ruling, a judge said that the fact that Jews were exterminated in gas chambers at Auschwitz is “not reasonably subject to dispute,” the Times report said. Later, another judge ordered the institute and other defendants to pay Mermelstein the $50,000 in prize money and an additional $40,000 in damages and to write a letter apologizing to the plaintiff and other Holocaust survivors.
Contrary to what this article would have us believe, this lawsuit ended in a resounding victory for the Institute for Historical Review — and for historical revisionism in general.
The truth of the matter is that the judge — despite being Jewish and stipulating that “gas chambers” existed — threw out Mermelstein’s case against IHR:
On Thursday afternoon, Sept. 19, 1991, Mermelstein and his attorneys gave up what was left of their lawsuit, and voluntarily withdrew complaints of libel, conspiracy to inflict emotional distress and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Earlier in the day, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen M. Lachs had thrown out as lacking in merit the malicious prosecution portion of the case. In his suit against the IHR and co-defendants Liberty Lobby and Willis Carto, plaintiff Mermelstein had sought $11 million in damages.
IHR attorneys and researchers were able to show the court that Mermelstein was a “demonstrable liar” and “prevaricator” who got caught in numerous lies on the stand — the IHR’s Theodore O’Keefe wrote,
This is nothing compared to his varying versions of the fate that befell his father. In a declaration given in November 1969 at the German consulate in Los Angeles, Mermelstein said his father died during “evacuation marches to Blechhammer from other camps.” According to the account given in By Bread Alone, though, Mermelstein’s father died in bed after working himself to death, trading food for cigarettes. In a May 1981 deposition, his father had died of overwork and exhaustion, while in a June 1985 deposition, he died of “exhaustion, cruelty, starvation, and beatings.” According to still other accounts given by Mel Mermelstein, his father was “gassed at Auschwitz.”
Mermelstein even bragged to Ed Koch, former mayor of New York City, during a tour of Auschwitz, “I was part of the special detail which hauled the bodies from the gas chamber and took them to the crematoria” — a “fact” he failed to mention in his “memoir” or anywhere else.
We would highly recommend Michael Collins Piper’s 1994 book on this trial, Best Witness: The Mel Mermelstein Affair and the Triumph Of Historical Revisionism in our library.
Mel Mermelstein bragged that he was the “best witness” to the existence of the “gas chambers” — surely, if that is the case, then the official “Holocaust” narrative will be relegated to the category of “historical fiction” where it belongs.