Institute for Historical Review

Institute for Historical Review

IHR miscellaneous files

Mark Weber's testimony before the Human Rights Commission (December 7, 1998)

Copyright in the following transcript is owned by A.S.A.P. Reporting Services Inc. of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Any and all commercial use of the transcript is prohibited.

Toronto, Ontario

- Upon resuming on Monday, December 7, 1998

[...]

MR. CHRISTIE: The next witness is Mr. Weber. I faxed to the Tribunal on Friday Mr. Weber's CV and his anticipated evidence.

SWORN: MARK WEBER

Costa Mesa

California

EXAMINATION-IN-CHIEF RE QUALIFICATIONS

MR. CHRISTIE:

Q. Mr. Weber, have you ever been qualified to testify in the courts of Ontario as an expert in history?

A. Yes, I have.

MR. ROSEN: I have to object. I am not sure why Mr. Weber is being called as an expert. I don't understand under what rubric or heading he is being called as an expert.

In any event, my friend begins by saying, "Have you ever been qualified as an expert in Ontario in history?" In my respectful submission, that is not what I understood from my friend's material, that he was calling this witness as a historian. My understanding was that he was being called in a much narrower way, which has to do with a study of the Holocaust, a revisionist study of the Holocaust. In my respectful submission, that is something totally different.

I think we should clarify at the beginning as to why this witness is being called.

Second, I don't think it is proper for my friend to begin by saying, "Have you ever been qualified in an Ontario Court as a historian?"

THE CHAIRPERSON: The purpose of this exercise is an attempt on Mr. Christie's part to qualify this witness as an expert. I think the Tribunal will wait until we hear what is being said at the end of that section of this process.

MR. CHRISTIE:

Q. Were you ever qualified by the courts of Ontario as an expert in history?

A. Yes, I was.

Q. When was that?

A. That was in 1988. I don't remember the month.

Q. In what court was it?

A. It was in a court here in Toronto during the trial of Ernst Zündel on a false news charge. I don't remember the name of the court.

Q. How long did you testify?

A. A week, I think, five or six days.

Q. And you were testifying in that situation about what historical circumstance?

A. I testified extensively on Second World War history, Jewish history in the 20th century, German-Jewish relations. That was the nature of my testimony.

Q. You went through a process of cross-examination on your expertise at that time?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. And the court accepted you as an expert at that time?

A. Yes.

Q. That was in a criminal prosecution; is that correct?

A. That is correct.

Q. In front of a jury?

A. Yes.

Q. In your background you have studied at certain universities for the purpose of qualifying for a Master's Degree in history; is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. You are presently the Director of the Institute for Historical Review and Editor of the Journal of Historical Review. Is that correct?

A. That is correct.

Q. That is published six times per year; is that correct?

A. That's right.

Q. This is a document which I take to be a curriculum vitae. Are you familiar with that?

A. Yes.

Q. Could you look through it and make sure that it is something you are familiar with and that it accurately reflects your background and your opinion.

A. Yes, it does.

MR. CHRISTIE: Could that be marked as an exhibit, please.

MR. ROSEN: I object. As I understood the question, he wants to put in his CV and the attached opinion as an exhibit before he has been qualified.

MR. CHRISTIE: The particulars of the background and curriculum vitae of the witness

THE CHAIRPERSON: If we admit this, it is for the limited purpose of this voir dire, if you like, as to whether we are going to qualify him as a witness.

MR. ROSEN: Does your copy have something called "Anticipated Evidence" attached to the back?

THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, it does.

MR. CHRISTIE: In my submission, as it is more than likely that the parties will oppose the qualification of the witness, it is necessary for the record for two things to occur: that we will be able to show the background of the witness in a concise form, together with his anticipated evidence, to show the relevance of the evidence.

THE CHAIRPERSON: The Tribunal did not look at that portion of it. We are prepared to admit his curriculum vitae that is, the first page and those pages dealing with publications which will be subject, of course, to cross-examination. Until he is qualified, we are not going to admit the last three pages concerning his anticipated evidence. We will deal with that in due time if he becomes qualified to give evidence.

MR. CHRISTIE:

Q. You are referred to in your curriculum vitae as an accredited historian. What does that mean?

A. It means that I have recognized credentials in history and that I have been recognized by others as a qualified, bona fide historian. I am a member of historical associations; I have written extensively on history. It also makes reference to the fact that a court in Canada found me qualified as a historian.

Q. Have you been invited to speak on the subject of your views of history and your knowledge of history on the Montel Williams program?

A. Yes.

Q. Have you been interviewed on CBS Television, on "60 Minutes"?

A. I was shown on "60 Minutes." I wasn't interviewed for that purpose, but I was shown on "60 Minutes."

Q. You studied at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Is that correct?

A. That is correct.

Q. What did you study there?

A. History, political science, economics, but mostly history.

Q. How long were you there?

A. I was there for a year.

Q. And the University of Munich in Germany?

A. I was there for two semesters at the University of Munich, one year.

Q. One year?

A. Yes.

Q. And Portland State University?

A. I went there and then went back. Altogether I was there for three or four years.

Q. And you received a Bachelor's Degree in history; is that right?

A. That's correct.

Q. It says with high honours. What does that mean?

A. For those who do very well in history, they receive an accolade of high honours, summa cum laude.

Q. Did you receive some recognition in that regard?

A. Yes, I did. My Bachelor's Degree was with high honours.

Q. Did you do graduate work at the University of Indiana in Bloomington?

A. Yes.

Q. Were you a history instructor there?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you receive a Master of Arts Degree in European history in 1977?

A. That is correct.

Q. Since then you travelled and taught in Africa; is that right?

A. I travelled in Africa and taught before I graduated from Indiana University.

Q. Sorry...?

A. I actually travelled in Africa and taught in Africa before I was at Indiana. I have taught in Africa, yes.

Q. How much research have you done in the subject of the Holocaust in the Archives in Washington, D.C. from 1978 to 1983?

A. I did very extensive research on this issue at the National Archives and Library of Congress. I have done research also in other archives as well on this subject.

Q. What other archives have you done research in?

A. Institute for Contemporary History, the Leo Beck Institute in ...

Q. Where is the Institute for Contemporary History?

A. In Munich. The Leo Beck Institute in New York. I guess that's all.

Q. You have worked at the IHR since 1991; is that correct?

A. That is correct.

Q. You have been the Editor of the IHR's journal, and it says "acclaimed journal." How has this been acclaimed?

A. It has been acclaimed in several ways. It has an Editorial Advisory Committee made up of historians and other academics that praise it and give it its imprimatur, so to speak. The journal is also subscribed to by a number of leading research centres and academic libraries around the world, including New York University, Harvard University, Yale, Institute for Contemporary History in Munich, the University of Tel Aviv in Israel, Hebrew University in Israel, the Bibliothèque Nationale in France.

A number of historians, some of them better known and more accredited than others, have spoken at our conferences and praised the journal and have contributed to the journal.

Q. You have published books and booklets as set out in your curriculum vitae; is that right?

A. That is correct.

Q. The reviews that you have done and articles that you have done, where were they published?

A. This is a listing, essentially, of reviews and articles that appeared in our journal. I have also written for other periodicals, and a number of articles I have written have appeared in periodicals and newspapers and magazines in Poland, Russia, Spain, Germany, France and in a number of other countries as well.

This listing is really a listing of the more noteworthy articles just in the journal, but it gives an idea of some of the writing and some of the subjects I have covered. I have written much more than what is listed here, but this is a fairly good indication of what I have written on.

MR. CHRISTIE: Those are my questions on the qualification issue. I take it you don't want me to go into the scope or purpose of his evidence. You don't want me to deal with his anticipated evidence.

Those are my questions.

MR. KURZ: I am wondering if Mr. Christie, now that he has examined his witness in-chief, could tell us exactly what he proposes that he be accredited as an expert in.

MR. CHRISTIE: I thought you didn't want to hear about the anticipated evidence.

MR. KURZ: I am not asking for the anticipated evidence, Mr. Chair, just the area in which Mr. Christie says that he should be accredited to offer opinion evidence in the context of this Hearing, to help form the scope of cross-examination, if any, on these credentials.

MR. CHRISTIE: He, in my submission, will be qualified to testify in the same way as Professor Schweitzer, to discuss the subject of the Zündelsite documents from the perspective of their effect in society and their social context, and to show what part they play in an ongoing historical debate, and to show that they are in fact part of a growing body of academic research into the field of what took place in the Second World War.

I anticipate he will be able to deal with the aspects of the documents in HR-2. He will be able to testify about their relationship to other historical writing on the subject and to put it in context with other writing that opposes it, and to deal with its effects in society as he perceives it since he is involved in the same field of publication.

That is part of what I anticipate his evidence will be.

THE CHAIRPERSON: I suppose that may be a subject of some exploration in cross-examination and argument, and we will do that tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.

MR. FREIMAN: Before we rise, I just want to echo my concerns, which are similar to those raised by Mr. Kurz.

It is all very well and good to talk about what he is going to say. That does not help us at all in terms of what he is an expert in. Every previous expert has been proffered on the basis that he is an expert in a certain topic. All we have heard today is that Mr. Weber is an expert in history. That is a pretty wide expertise.

I think Mr. Christie might properly spend the evening considering whether he can narrow down to identify a field of expertise rather than a series of questions to which Mr. Weber's background fits him to give opinion evidence.

MR. ROSEN: That was my objection as well.

MR. CHRISTIE: I am glad we all echo each other.

Let me just say that the documents that I have supplied indicate clearly that the witness is an expert in the subject of Holocaust revisionism. It is a historical field of research that he has considerable experience in. I did not go through the articles that are referred to in the curriculum vitae, but they have quite clearly to do with the Second World War primarily, and Holocaust revisionism is a large part of it.

The documents that are in HR-2, the documents that are supposed to be offensive to the point of breaching section 13(1) it will be my submission that they are Holocaust revisionist opinions and views, to a large extent. To that extent, this witness is competent to testify as to their relationship with an ongoing historical debate.

I notice there is a double standard raised every time there is an expert being tendered by the Respondent, but I don't recall there being any great cataclysm of minutiae to identify the expertise of Dr. Schweitzer. He was an expert in historic antisemitism. We didn't get into nitpicking over what that might mean or even how it was relevant. I remember what objections I raised were raised in answer to his attempts at qualification and, of course, they were overruled.

It strikes me that counsel for the various objectors who are raising issues at this point should not be able to obstruct the attempt to qualify a witness in the subject of Holocaust revisionism and its relationship to an ongoing historical debate any more than I was entitled to obstruct even the attempt at qualification of the expert from the New York City college who testified earlier.

THE CHAIRPERSON: I am going to give you and other counsel full opportunity to attempt to qualify this witness. I suppose one of the issues might be whether, having said that the purpose of this witness is to deal with the evidence of Dr. Schweitzer in connection with the focus of his evidence, this witness has the same or comparable qualifications to Dr. Schweitzer in a manner that allows him to give opinion evidence in that area.

We will explore that tomorrow.

There is a couple of matters I want to deal with in terms of certain documents that were tendered in the course of Mr. Klatt's evidence. There were two documents that were not marked in the course of your examination-in-chief, Mr. Christie. One was the Valley Link Connect Inc. and the other was Sunshine Communications Internet Access. Those documents were not marked. I don't propose to mark them unless counsel say they wish them marked.

MR. CHRISTIE: Could they be marked, please. I thought they were referred to. If it was an oversight on my part, I apologize.

THE CHAIRPERSON: We can ask counsel to look at their copies of those two documents overnight, and we will address it in the morning.

Then there is a third document, the Transatlantic Online two-page document. I will hear you on those in the morning. The Registrar has those documents if you wish to look at them.

- Whereupon the Hearing adjourned at 4:41 p.m. to resume on Tuesday, December 8, 1998 at 10:00 a.m.


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