This Is What Happened When IHR Offered $50,000 To Anyone Who Could Prove That Jews Were Gassed At Auschwitz

In 1979, the Institute for Historical Review (IHR) announced that they were giving a $50,000 reward to anyone who could prove that Germans gassed Jews at Auschwitz. Camp survivor, Mel Mermelstein sent them definitive proof and, when they refused to pay, he sued them for $17 million. When the court noted that “It is simply a fact”, he was given $90,000.

Here’s the full story.

In 1979, at the IHR’s conference at Northrop University in Los Angeles, it was announced that they would offer a $50,000 reward to the first person to prove that Jews were killed at gas chambers in Auschwitz. As stated, they didn’t consider their organisation a “holocaust denial group”, they were just denying some facts of the holocaust. (the article continues after the ad)

In 1981, Mel Mermelstein, a camp survivor and author of the book By Bread Alone: The Story of A-4685, used the stories and sources mentioned in his book as a definite proof that indeed, Jews were gassed at Auschwitz. But when IHR refused to pay the reward, Merlmelstein sued the institute for breach of contract and ”injurious denial of established fact” seeking $17 million in damages.


The case went to the court and, on October 9, 1981, Los Angeles Superior Court ruled in favor of Mel Mermelstein. The court issued a judgment that Mermelstein has indeed provided sufficient evidence to prove his claim that the atrocities at Auschwitz did happen and The Institute for Historical Review was required to write a public apology and pay Mermelstein $90,000. Judge Thomas T. Johnson declared that:

“This court does take judicial notice of the fact that Jews were gassed to death at Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland during the summer of 1944.  It is not reasonably subject to dispute.  And it is capable of immediate and accurate determination by resort to sources of reasonably indisputable accuracy. It is simply a fact.”

If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: This Is How Agents Could Tell If A Safe House Was Convenient To Visit During WWII 

Photo:, USHMM Collections Search
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie

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