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September 01, 1995 - Image 66

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-09-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Denier Targets
Internet Group

Toronto (JTA) — What would you were simply "looking to get at-

do if you received e-mail from a

Holocaust denier?
This was the question con-
fronting nearly 1,000 people af-
ter they received two essays that
had been dispatched over the In-
ternet by American Holocaust de-
nier Greg Raven.
The recipients were all mem-
bers of a cyberspace discussion
group that includes Holocaust ed-
ucators, writers, survivors
andtheir families.
"Raven has sunk to a new lev-
el of degradation," said Kenneth
McVay, a 54-year-old resident of
Vancouver Island, who received
the pseudoscholarly essays at his
computer terminal. "In all my
years of experience, I've never
seen anything even approaching
this sort of behavior."
Mr. McVay, who works full
time to combat hatemongers on
the Internet, called the distrib-
ution of the essays an "attack"
that has put "a flood of Nazi pro-
paganda into the mailboxes of
Holocaust survivors and children
of survivors."
Although Holocaust deniers
have long used computer bulletin
boards and the Internet to dis-
seminate materials, "as far as I
know, this is the first attack on
folks who are doing genuine Holo-
caust work using the Internet,"
said Avi Hyman, a computer
communications specialist for the
Ontario Institute for Studies in
Education in Toronto.
Mr. Raven is editor of the quar-
terly journal of the Institute for
Historical Review, an American
Holocaust denial organization
based in Orange County, Calif.
Mark Weber, who heads the
institute, wrote the essays sent
unsolicited to the on-line Holo-
caust discussion group. Al-
though Mr. Raven did not break
any laws, experts say, he proba-
bly violated the still-evolving eth-
ical code concerning cyberspace
But Rick Eaton, a researcher
with the Los Angeles-based Si-
mon Wiesenthal Center, down-
played the incident.
"It is akin to sending unwant-
ed faxes," Mr. Eaton said.
Legislation to prevent Internet
mailings such as Mr. Raven's
"may come down the line, but it
hasn't yet," said Mr. Eaton, cit-
ing as a reason the medium's rel-
ative newness.
Mr. Eaton noted that the es-
says sent by Mr. Raven over the
Internet were "standard pam-
phlets they've had for years that
were available on their Internet
Mr. Raven e-mailed these es-
says because he and his group

tention," Mr. Eaton said.
But the attention Mr. Raven
and his colleagues got from the e-
mail recipients was anything but

Depends On Court

Buenos Aires (JTA) — The ex-
tradition of former SS Capt. Erich
Priebke to Italy to stand trial for
war crimes will ultimately be de-
cided by Argentina's Supreme
Court, following an appellate
court ruling overturning the orig-
inal extradition order.
By a 2-1 margin, the appellate
court in the city of Roca ruled
against extradition on the
grounds that the statute of limi-
tations for murder under Argen-
tine law expired long ago.
Mr. Priebke, who was the
wartime deputy to Herbert Kap-
pler, the Gestapo chief during the
Nazi occupation of Rome, is want-
ed by Italy for his role in the mas-
sacre of 335 men, including 75
Jews, at the Ardeatine Caves
near Rome on March 23, 1944.
He also was reportedly involved
in the deportation of thousands
of Italian Jews to concentration
Italy's extradition request had
been granted by Argentine Judge
Leonidas Moldes on May 4, 1995.
Mr. Priebke has since been
under house arrest awaiting the
outcome of his appeal.
The Italian Justice Ministry
said it would appeal to the Ar-
gentine Supreme Court for a re-
versal of the decision.
In Rome, Jews reacted with
anger to the court's decision.
Voting against extradition, ap-
pellate court Justices Carlos
Muller and Carlos Perez Petit re-
jected the argument that the
murders were war crimes.
They said the extradition
treaty between Argentina and
Italy "does not make any dis-
tinction between homicide, war
crimes and crimes against hu-
manity. Thus, we consider the
case as one of homicide or
manslaughter, already pre-
They further declared that the
alleged crimes took place 51 years
ago, way beyond the 15-year
statute of limitations for murder
under Argentine law.
Court President Miguel Vilar,
who dissented with his vote to up-
hold the original extradition or-
der, said he considered the case
one "of war crimes committed
during a war and in occasion of a
war, thus unprescribable."

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