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An interview with Chris Webb

A radio interview conducted by Ingrid Smart from the Holocaust Historical Society and Chris Webb on 17 December 2012 in London

www.HolocaustResearchProject.org

IS: Good afternoon Mr Webb, is it okay if I call you Chris?

CW: Yes that will be fine, no one calls me Christopher

IS: Is it true you founded the ARC Group in 2002?

CW: That is correct, indeed it was me who formed the team, I also named the organization and website, not many people know that, but that is indeed a fact. I wanted something short and memorable, and it took a little while, but was worth it. The ARC group was quite a unique bunch, we all brought something different to the mix.

IS: The ARC site has been archived for many years, what caused this situation?

CW: The original ARC group disbanded in December 2005 when Michael Peters, an earlier contributor to the team, left the group, relinquishing all contact with ARC. He later requested to re-join the group but on condition he be permitted to bring along with him a number of individuals with a previously unknown, and subversive agenda.

To cut a long story short, our German webmaster, under the influence of these “friends” produced and planted a number of fake items, on the ARC website. It came to light purely by accident, on comparing the handwriting of a supposed plan of Stangl’s accommodation in Treblinka with some other handwritten material provided many years before by the same person. He used a third party in Germany, to send the material to me but was clever supplying many genuine items with the odd forgery thrown in. Most of the fake items never made it to the website, but sadly a few did.

Once this came to light in September 2006 plans were put in place to expel all these individuals and disband the group, which took place in October 2006. It was incredibly sad that it came to that, but there really was no choice.

However, I am very pleased that we were able to recover the website after it had been vandalised, and I am proud that it is still available to view online. It was better to leave it as it was, a fitting tribute to those that perished in the Holocaust and for those good people who worked on the website between 2002 and 2005.

IS: So how did the Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team (H.E.A.R.T) come about?

CW: Discussions about starting a new Holocaust website, which covered the whole of the subject was discussed in London in August 2005, and with the events of October 2006, the opportunity presented itself to create one.

I contacted former ARC member Carmelo Lisciotto an IT expert and former ARC member with a view to starting another website, along the lines described above.

IS: What did Carmelo bring to the table?

CW: Carmelo Lisciotto from America is a renowned IT expert and Holocaust historian and he designed the website, as well as writing hundreds of articles for the website. He also searches for images and building up the H.E.A.R.T. archives through his contacts in various institutions and museums.

Carmelo’s contribution to understanding the Holocaust is immense, he re-built the ARC website that was vandalized and his contribution to H.E.A.R.T. should never be underestimated or undervalued.

IS: What drives you to do this type of work?

CW: I have been interested in this aspect of history since my father gave me the book The Final Solution by Gerald Reitlinger in 1971. Through the two websites we have helped people discover the fate of their loved ones during the Holocaust, where other organizations have failed. To educate the younger generations about the horrors of the Holocaust is a worthwhile aim.

Under the H.E.A.R.T. banner we have lectured at Universities, as part of the normal yearly class programmes and as part of the Holocaust Memorial Days for many years, and helped the BBC and the German authorities in various war crimes trials.

Through this work I have met some truly wonderful people, real long-life friends, some of them are sadly no longer with us, and it is nice to see that they live on in some way through their work on the websites.

IS: What is your stance on Holocaust Denial at this moment in time?

CW: My stance on Holocaust Denial is quite simple, there is no point in getting into endless debates with these people. Any casual glances at any of these sites show what a mindless pursuit this is. They will never change their warped views, no matter what you put to them. Other misguided people seek controversy where none exists, just to fan the flame of pointless debate.

The best defense against Holocaust Denial is websites like H.E.A.R.T. – www.holocaustresearchproject.org and ARC – www.deathcamps.org and they know it, which is why they are constantly attacked. The more you are attacked, and these attacks include death threats and smear campaigns, the more you know you are doing the right thing.

IS: What are your wishes for the new year?

CW: I wish all your listeners a happy and prosperous 2013

IS: Thank you Chris for your time and trouble, and we wish you and H.E.A.R.T. a happy 2013.

 



Copyright Carmelo Lisciotto H.E.A.R.T 2010

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More Stories By Holocaust Research Project

The aim of H.E.A.R.T is to inform and educate people about the Holocaust and the extermination programs conducted by the Nazi regime throughout Europe during the Second World War.

H.E.A.R.T research and material is contributed from a group of independent Holocaust researchers who devote their spare time to research for the production of this website and other forms of related publications, such as leaflets and books.

H.E.A.R.T is run by its trustees and directors, who manage the daily administration of the website, review all research materials, fact checking, and addressing any required corrections.

Most materials presented on the H.E.A.R.T website originate in Poland, Germany, the former Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom as well as from private sources in the USA and other countries.

H.E.A.R.T currently accepts no new membership however we do maintain affiliations with educational institutions and private associations that contribute articles, photos, rare documents, etc.

Contributed text and pages will appear on the website as a "Guest Publication" with the author maintaining full copyright to the submitted text however page design and layout is owned by © H.E.A.R.T. All other material presented on this website is subject to H.E.A.R.T copyright however all pages may be used “Freely” providing the source is credited as the following:

"Courtesy of the Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team www.HolocaustResearchProject.org " © H.E.A.R.T www.HolocaustResearchProject.org

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