Rounding Off a Busy and Productive Year
Revival and Expansion of Our Publishing Operations
More Meetings and Broadcast Interviews
A Successful Two-Week Visit to Hungary, Britain and France
An Update From Mark Weber
Director, Institute for Historical Review
This past year has been a particularly busy and productive one for us.
For one thing, we have revived and expanded our book distribution and publishing operations. We’ve added several titles to the already extensive list of books, discs and flyers we distribute. (A complete listing, with descriptions and prices, is on our online bookstore.)
And recently we issued a handsome new IHR edition of the wartime memoir of Leon Degrelle, the legendary Belgian writer and politician turned front-line infantryman. This gripping first-person account of sacrifice, heroism and fierce combat, titled The Eastern Front: Memoirs of a Waffen SS Volunteer, captures the grit, terror and glory of Europe's World War II battle against Soviet Communism.
During the past year we organized nine IHR meetings. These educational gatherings – most of them here in southern California -- strengthen our network of friends and supporters, and have helped make the IHR something of an activist center and rallying point for like-minded men and women in the region. I’m encouraged by the steadily more impressive character and dedication of those who attend.
Our meeting in January was a tribute to Kevin MacDonald on the occasion of his birthday and his retirement from the faculty of California State University Long Beach. It was also an opportunity to express our apprecation for the important work of this outstanding scholar and courageous activist.
At our meeting in February we welcomed David Cole, who made headlines during the 1990s as a “notorius” Jewish “Holocaust denier.” At that meeting, Cole broke 18 years of silence to speak publicly for the first time about his adventures, achievements and mishaps during the 1990s, and, more importantly, about his tumultuous but secretive career since then.
At a special two-and-a-half-hour IHR meeting in May we presented a selection of World War II German “Deutsche Wochenschau” weekly newsreels, with English subtitles. Watching these striking "enemy" newsreels helps to understand how the German public viewed the dramatic and quickly unfolding events of the great global conflict. And, naturally, they also provide a very different perspective on the Second World War than the one that is familiar to most Americans.
At our IHR meeting in July, I gave a talk titled “America’s Delusional Narrative of History: Why a Utopian Ideology and a False View of the Past Means That America’s Decline Will Accelerate.”
A focus on equality and individual rights, I said, has long been a central feature of America’s prevailing ideology. Consistent with that, Americans have long accepted a narrative of US history as a continual striving for ever more “democracy,” ever greater political and social equality, and ever more individual “freedom.” But America’s guiding ideology, I said, is utopian and delusional. Policies based on noble-sounding but false premises about life, history and society are bound to fail.
A decades-long stress on “diversity,” equality, individualism, “pluralism” and “rights” in our mass media and popular culture has made inevitable the major demographic and cultural problems of recent years. The hyper-individualistic outlook that fueled the rapid development and expansion of the United States during its first two centuries, I explained, is also responsible for the mounting problems of recent decades, including a steady erosion of national identity and purpose, increasing social polarization, spreading pessimism, and growing distrust of the US around the world.
At our meeting here in August, the featured speaker was Adrian Davies, a visiting British attorney who is exceptionally well informed about European history and culture. He spoke about the profound cultural and demographic changes across western Europe in the decades since the end of World War Two, including a steady dissolution of traditional values, the displacement of the native peoples, and an accelerating “third-worldization” of major cities.
“Ideas have consequences,” Davies said in his detailed and anecdote-rich address. In our talks at this meeting, he and I both spoke of the growing mood of anxiety about the future, as expressed in the surprising election victories of anti-establishment political parties during the past year. The prevailing System, he and I both emphasized, was unhealthy long before the symptoms of inner decay became obvious.
Tomislav Sunic – an author, scholar and diplomat who was born in Croatia and educated in Europe and the US -- was the featured speaker at our meeting here in September. In his hard-hitting talk, he took a probing look at the factors behind Europe’s current malaise. (The text of Sunic’s address, titled “Europe in Crisis: The End Result of Egalitarianism,” is posted on the IHR website.)
In my talk at this gathering, I spoke about the important ties of culture and ancestry that connect all people of European heritage, regardless of where they live or their citizenship. Both Sunic and I stressed that the rivalries and occasional squabbles between Europe’s different nationalities are insignificant compared to the mortal danger that now threatens the future of all Europeans.
In late September and early October, I made a two-week visit to England, Hungary and France. (A US-based private foundation that has supported the IHR in the past pledged beforehand to fund this trip.) I first flew to England, where I gave a spirited and well-received talk at a “London Forum” meeting, Sept. 27. A video of this address, titled “The Accelerating Crisis of the West, and Prospects for the Future,” is posted on YouTube, and an audio recording is posted on the “Audio Archive” section of the IHR website.)
In London, Budapest and Paris, I met with activists, writers, and publishers. I was especially pleased to talk at length with intelligent, focused younger Europeans who have a clear-eyed awareness of the past, a solid understanding of the issues of the present, and confident determination in facing the challenges of the future. My two-week visit helped me to better understand the major trends in today’s Europe, and just how and why people across the continent are unhappy with the general direction of social, cultural and economic life.
On my way back to California, I stopped for a few days in the Washington, DC, area, where I met with more activists and writers. During that visit, I addressed a special IHR meeting in northern Virginia. Joining me at this Oct. 11 event was F. Roger Devlin, an important author and scholar, and Paul Fromm, the intrepid Canadian free speech activist. Because they had both been with me in Budapest, Devlin and Fromm also provided first-person accounts of the “banned” gathering there, as well as observations about Hungary and Europe.
After my return to southern California, I reported in detail on my Europe visit at an IHR meeting on Nov. 1, with a first-hand review of the dramatic events in Budapest, my meetings and talks in Britain, Hungary and France, and what I observed in those countries. (A recording of this talk, titled “Behind Europe’s Malaise and Growing Discontent: Observations From A Recent Visit,” is posted on the “Audio Archive” section of the IHR website.)
A century ago people of European culture and heritage confidently controlled and dominated virtually the entire globe. Today the West is unable or unwilling to defend the cultural and ethnic integrity of even the European heartland. The Western world now faces the most dire threat in its entire history, I said. Europe is threatened with cultural-ethnic extinction. I also gave an overview of Hungarian history over the past century. I spoke, for example, about the Battle of Budapest, a major but little-known World War Two clash in which Hungarian and German troops ferociously defended the beleaguered city against better armed and numerically superior Soviet forces.
Our Christmas get-together here on Dec. 13 brought together friends and supporters from around southern California. Good food and stimulating talks by four seasoned speakers helped make this fifth annual Yule gathering a particularly enjoyable and memorable event.
In my talk, I reviewed our work and progress in 2014 and expressed appreciation to the men and women who have been particularly suppportive during the year. In keeping with the spirit of the season, I went to speak about the “Golden Rule” principle of justice and equity as an important ethical guide for our outlook and work.
Paul Fromm, who had flown to southern California to join us, reviewed some of his recent activities, and shared thoughts in a talk titled “Christmas: What We're Celebrating; What We're Preserving.”
William S. Hulsy, a local attorney and long-time friend of the IHR, took a look back at how the Institute has developed over the years. He recalled his important role during the 1990s as the Institute’s lawyer in a number of legal battles, prevailing in every single case. He remarked that although he has spoken for the IHR on numerous occasions, this is the first time he is speaking to the IHR. Fortunately, Hulsy noted, it has been years since the IHR has had to deal with lawsuits or other litigation.
Tom Bevington concluded with a well-informed and focused talk titled “Looking Ahead in a Season of Hope,” highlighting key points with projected photos and images.
Throughout the past year, we continued to broaden our outreach and strengthen our impact, not only here in the US, but overseas as well. During the past year, I’ve conducted dozens of interviews with US and overseas media, appearing many times as a guest on radio and television broadcasts to talk about topical and historical issues.
Our “IHR News and Comment” e-mail service continues to grow, steadily gaining new subscribers at a good pace. Since 2006 we’ve been compiling and distributing, several times each week, timely roundups of news, analysis and commentary items. (For those who do not already subscribe, just let us know and we’ll make sure to e-mail you these interesting bulletins.)
Our main IHR website -- www.ihr.org -- continues, of course, to be an important online source of information and perspective. For an impressive number of issues and topics, a Google "key word" search calls up one or more IHR items on the very first page. Many IHR essays and reviews are distributed and posted by others, including in translation in a range of languages. Dozens of IHR talks, interviews and lectures have been made into independently produced videos that are available online. “Why Hitler Struck the Soviet Union,” for example, a video based on a podcast I made, has received more than 70,000 YouTube views.
During the coming year, we’ll continue doing everything we can to inform, educate and enlighten – never forgetting that what we accomplish depends on the generous support of men and women appreciate our work and understand what's at stake.