The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

MacLean's Magazine
October 1994

Battle on the Internet

His home is in a small coastal town north of Victoria, his weapon a rickety self-built personal computer, and his only support a meagre income from his job as assistant manager of a gas station. But on the ethereal ground of the Internet, 54-year-old Kenneth McVay is a warrior with global reach. His cause: fighting the neo-Nazis, racists and anti-Semites who have discovered the power of the worldwide computer network.

Groups and individuals who dispute that the Nazis systematically exterminated an estimated six million people, most of them Jews, have made increasing use of the Internet to proselytize their beliefs and recruit new adherents. Their contributions, often anonymous, to such Internet discussion groups as alt.revisionism and alt.skinheads are frequently vitriolic."The Holocaust is a big lie," asserted one recent writer."I wish there had been a Holocaust and that we could have another one." McVay spends hours each day monitoring the Internet discussions for such assertions and countering them with detailed references to a personal collection of more than 1,000 computerized documents, including survivors' testimony and evidence from the 1946 Nuremberg war-crimes trials.

"I provide them with the facts, with the citations," says McVay."The project never ends. We get one or two new Nazis every week." McVay has received help, in the form of research and additional documents, from supporters who include Eli Rosenbaum, chief war-crimes prosecutor for the U.S. justice department. But money remains tight, and his aging equipment is consistently on the verge of collapse."The whole system is in jeopardy--everything is at risk on a minute-to- minute basis," he says. Last week, however, a group of Vancouver-based admirers persuaded a local charity, the Committee for Racial Justice, to raise money for McVay's Fascism and Holocaust Archives--and his one-man crusade may now become a full-time job.

© Copyright Maclean's Magazine (Oct. 17, 1994), p. 6.

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