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The Adelaide Institute was formed in 1995 from the former Truth Mission that was established in 1994 by convicted Holocaust denier Gerald Fredrick Töben. The Adelaide Institute is a Holocaust denial group in Australia and is considered to be anti-Semitic by the Australian government's human rights commission.
Supporters of the Institute have in the past been active in organisations such as Australians For Free Speech, which held a rally in 1994. The Institute has also been implicated in distributing Holocaust denialist material through mainstream and alternative publications. Letters to the editor and talk radio appear to be the favourite means of disseminating the worldview of the Institute. Prior to the opening of the film Schindler's List in Adelaide, members of the institute distributed Holocaust denial pamphlets on the street and through the mail, apparently targeting those of Jewish background. Additionally, members of the Institute sent materials denying to the Holocaust to prominent Australian newspapers masquerading as objective movie reviews, some of which reached publication.
The Institute's stated goal is exposing "the Holocaust myth". The activity of the Institute seems to have declined since its initial burst of activity in the middle 1990s. The Institute does however still maintain a website on which statements on various issues are regularly posted.
Legal action against the Institute
The Adelaide Institute website triggered the arrest of Fredrick Töben in Germany in April 1999. Töben was sentenced to 7 months in prison, but had already served seven months during trial, and was released upon payment of a $5000 bond-Kaution.
The Institute's website drew the attention of the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) in 2000 after HREOC found that the Adelaide Institute had breached section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act by publishing material on the website, the consequences of which were "vilificatory, bullying, insulting and offensive" to the Jewish population; HREOC ordered Töben to close the site and apologise to the people he had offended but because rulings of the HREOC are not enforceable at law, the case was then brought before the Federal Court of Australia, which ordered in 2002 that certain material be removed from the Adelaide Institute web site.
The Order of the Federal Court of Australia was that the Adelaide Institute should remove from its website any material which conveys one or any of the following imputations:
- there is serious doubt that the Holocaust occurred
- it is unlikely that there were homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz
- Jewish people who are offended by and challenge Holocaust denial are of limited intelligence
- some Jewish people, for improper purposes, including financial gain, have exaggerated the number of Jews killed during World War II and the circumstances in which they were killed
Electronic Frontiers Australia spoke out against the ruling, taking the view that "when encountering racist or hateful speech, the best remedy to be applied is generally more speech, not enforced silence." One of the reasons mentioned is that suppressing such content results in perception that the speaker must have something important to say, and "massively increased interest in what would otherwise be marginal ideas."
- John Tuson Bennett, one of Australia's longest and most active Holocaust deniers, active in the Holocaust denial movement since the late 1970s.
- Kerry Bolton
- Arthur Butz, author of The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry.
- Doug Collins, the first journalist to face a human rights complaint over four articles he wrote about the Holocaust and Jews, and who the called the Holocaust movie Schindler's List "Swindler's List".
- Robert Faurisson, France, Europe's leading Holocaust denier and known as the principal teacher of Ernst Zündel, German Holocaust denier and pamphleteer who was jailed several times for publishing hate literature.
- Jürgen Graf, as a Swiss citizen and author of several books about Holocaust denial, Graf was prosecuted, along with his publisher, Gerhard Förster, for denying the gas chambers and the six million figure. In July 1998 a Swiss court sentenced him to 15 months imprisonment, and to pay a large fine, because of his denial writings.
- Ingrid Rimland, a Canadian Holocaust denier, whose writings are regarded in Canada as hate material
- Germar Rudolf, German Holocaust denier.
- Olga Scully, Tasmanian woman, who has faced legal proceedings for her distribution of Holocaust denial propaganda.
- David Thomas, member of the Campaign to Decriminalize Holocaust History.
- Peter Hartung, the current director of the Adelaide Institute.
- Towell, Noel (21 December 2013). "Holocaust denialists back calls for reform of Australia's race hate laws". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
- HREOC media release:
- "Australian neo-Nazi jailed in Germany". BBC News. 1999-11-11. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
- EFA Letter to HREOC, Oct 1998
- Bolton, Kerry (2003). "From Kerry Bolton, Adelaide Institute Associate in New Zealand". Retrieved 2008-10-25.
- Official website
- Federal Court of Australia Toben v Jones (2002)
- Briefing Paper: The Adelaide Institute, published by the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission, Melbourne, 1999