Irving v. Lipstadt
Witness Statement of Bernie M. Farber: Electronic Edition, by Bernie M. Farber
I, BERNIE M. FARBER of 4600 Bathurst Street, Toronto, Ontario, M2R 3V2 WILL SAY as follows:-
1.I am employed by Canadian Jewish Congress ("CJC"), Ontario Region, as the Executive Director. Prior to my employment by CJC I was a social worker with the Ottawa Jewish Community Centre, before working with the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa-Carleton. When I first joined CJC I was employed as the Director of Research.
2.CJC was founded in 1919. Today it represents a community of approximately 350,000 Jewish-Canadians and is recognised at all government levels as the representative of the Canadian Jewish community on matters of public policy and concern. When I was the Director of Research, I was responsible for carrying out investigations into the activities of far right, extremist movements. One of the functions of CJC is to undertake research of this kind in order to educate the Jewish community about the efforts of far right organisations to spread anti-Semitic ideologies.
3.On or around March 1986, the CJC received notification that David Irving was going to make two presentations in April 1986. The first was to take place on 3 April at the University of Toronto and the second was scheduled for the evening of 4 April. The Friday meeting was sponsored by the Canadian Association for Free Expression ("CAFE").
4.CAFE is an extreme right-wing organisation established by Paul Fromm. Paul Fromm has been publicly involved in extremist racist activity since the 1960s. I attach an extract of a report commissioned by the Metro Toronto Access and Equity Committee on the extent of hate motivated activities and its history in the Greater Toronto area entitled From Marches to Modems: A Report on Organised Hate in Metropolitan Toronto (please see Appendix, pages 1 to 12). This extract contains a study of the development of Paul Fromm's activity as a far right extremist and supporter and founder of neo-Nazi organisations. Particular attention should be paid to pages 5, 6, 10, 11 and 12, which provide details of neo-Nazi rallies that Mr Fromm has attended and spoken at, and details of racist and anti-Semitic statements that he has made.
5.In 1986, Mr Irving was already well known in Canada for his associations with such groups as the Institute for Historical Review ("IHR"), the Canadian League of Rights ("CLR"), CAFE and C-FAR by virtue of the fact that Mr Fromm publicly supported Mr Irving and made appearances at Mr Irving's talks.
6.On 3 April 1986, in my capacity as Director of Research, I attended the talk given by Mr Irving to an audience of students, at the University of Toronto. Mr Irving discussed, amongst other issues, his book (then awaiting publication), Churchill's War.
7.On 4 April 1986, I attended Mr Irving's talk at the CAFE meeting at the Carleton Inn Hotel in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Shortly afterwards I made a note of what and whom, I heard and saw (please see Appendix pages 13-15).
8.There were approximately sixty people in attendance at the meeting, of whom around 45 were male. I noted that a significant number of the people present were German and Hungarian (I was able to identify them as such because they were speaking German and Hungarian. My father spoke German so I am familiar with the German Language and, due to the fact that I have a number of Hungarian friends and colleagues, I am able to recognise Hungarian).
9.Those present included: Paul Fromm, supporters and members of C-FAR (C-FAR is the Canadians for Foreign Aid Reform, a "think-tank" set up by Paul Fromm), members of CAFE, members of the Canadian League of Rights ("CLR"). A number of these people were well known to CJC through photographs of demonstrations and other meetings, this is how I was able to identify them. Also present were friends and followers of Ernst Zundel, a number of whom had been present throughout Mr Zundel's trial (I attended most of Mr Zundel's trial). In addition to these occasions on which I became familiar with these people, police officials had, in the past, identified some of them to my colleagues and me. Both Mr Zundel and Mr Ron Gostick (Director of the CLR) were also present. Both these men are notorious antisemites and Holocaust deniers.
10.As is typical at meetings of this kind, there was literature on sale that appeals to the ideology of the attendees. For example, Larry Abraham's book None Dare Call it a Conspiracy, and The Great Holocaust Trial by Michael Hoffmann III published by the Institute for Historical Review, the subject matter of which is the trial of Ernst Zundel. I attach an extract from a later edition of the latter publication (see Appendix pages 16-29, particularly pages 16, 21,23 and 24).
11.Mr Zundel was accused and convicted of knowingly spreading false news likely to cause mischief to the public interest in social and racial tolerance. Mr Irving's association with Mr Zundel became public when Mr Irving testified at Mr Zundel's trial. Mr Hoffman goes into some detail on the subject of Mr Irving's involvement in the trial of Mr Zundel (see Appendix, pages 25-27). Mr Irving's material was for sale next to this publication and others of a similar ideological leaning.
12.I engaged Mr Gostick in conversation and inquired about obtaining some of the books that were currently on the list of books banned in Canada (one of which is Mr Hoffman's book The Great Holocaust Trial). Mr Gostick suggested to me that he would be unable to mail me copies of books I requested, however, if I were to leave him my name and address he would see to it that they would be delivered. The meeting lasted from 7.30 until approximately 10.00 p.m.
The contents of this statement are true to the best of my knowledge and belief.
Bernie M. Farber