The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Linda Thompson
threatens legal action

The following message was received on July 3, 1996, by electronic mail:

Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed 4 Jul 96 01:08 EST
From: (Linda Thompson)

You are advised that I have already begun the process of suing the Anti-Defamation League for writing numerous false and defamatory articles about me and that you have republished one such article. You are not immune from suit in the United States for the republication of libel.

This is your notice required by Indiana law prior to suit that I intend to sue you, and the organizations sponsoring you, Congregation Emanu-El, 1461 Blanshard St., Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8W 2J3 and San Antonio Area Foundation Nizkor Fund, P.O. Box 120366, San Antonio, TX 78212-9566 for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, misappropriation of name, and endangering the life and safety of myself and my family by republishing the ADL article about me on your website.

Remove it immediately. I expect an immediate full apology and retraction for being associated, falsely, by you and by implication, and by republication of falsehoods, with so-called "racists" or "nazis."

Linda Thompson

Mr. McVay's response was to request specifics with regard to the "defamation":

Please be more specific. There are over 4,000 files on this system, and multiple pages from the ADL in the United States.

Thank you,
Kenneth McVay

The response from Ms. Thompson was an exact copy of the initial message, which failed to identify the allegedly libelous material.

Since Ms. Thompson's name appears within three reports published by the ADL, and since Nizkor has archived all three of these reports and provided access to them via the worldwide web, the nature and specific details of the alleged defamation remains unknown.

We invited Ms. Thompson to provide us with the specifics we have requested with regard to this alleged defamation, as we cannot consider this matter further without knowing which ADL article her electronic mail refers to.

On July 5, 1996, she was kind enough to do so.

Although she was unable to provide a valid filename, we responded by suggesting a likely file with a similar name, and asked Ms. Thompson to confirm our identification, and, if our surmise proved correct, to define the defamation she alleged was contained within. We also provided the URL for the web version of the file (after two false starts replete with typographical errors), so that Ms. Thompson could view both.

On July 6, we received additional clarification from Ms. Thompson. It claimed that Nizkor had misapproprated her name for our "commercial benefit."

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