copyright Cariboo Observer, Wednesday April 29, 1998 p. 21
by Leah Blain
Adolf Hitler said this to reporter Joseph Hell in 1922.
Underneath these words, a grey background has vague outlines of a handful of Jews about to go to their death under the Nazi dictator's hands.
This is a web page researched and designed by Ken Lewis, who has dedicated thousands of hours to create a web site to combat the anti-Semetic racism that is running rampant of the World Wide Web.
The Canadian League for Human Rights recognized Lewis' contribution by awarding him an honourable mention at the Media Human Rights Awards banquet held in Toronto on April 6th.
Lewis isn't so much interested in talking about his award or his work as he is about the importance of combating racism.
"When people think of the Holocaust, they think of the gas chambers. But 1.5 million Jews were shot in the Soviet Union before the gas chambers came into existence," he says as he scrolls down his website.
His expertise and website have a slightly different focus on the Holocaust than the usual ones.
On the main web page, Lewis has reports taken from the Einsatzgruppen mobile killing units. These elite units were sent to the Soviet Union for the sole purpose of killing Jews. The commanders of these units later used their expertise in the gas chambers.
The reports, sent from the mobile units in the Soviet Union to headquarters in Berlin, give dry and factual accounts of all the successful murders.
"Six hundred and eighty-five Jews, 1,639 partisans and Communists were shot between January 1 and 15, for a total of 80,160," reads Operation Situation Report USSR No. 157, addressed to the Chief of the Security Police and Security Service on January 19, 1942.
"There's a lot of bigotry on the Internet. Most of it is still directed toward the Jews. One of the forms it takes is denial," says Lewis in a quiet, serious voice.
His motivating force for volunteering thousands of hours for this cause is simple. He is offended by the messages of hate that the ultra right wing groups are spreading.
But it isn't so much their twisted versions of events but rather their aim of recruitment that spurred Lewis to give up so many hours to the cause, he says.
"They're trying to recruit young people through lies and deception. There's lots of them. I feel it is necessary to tell the truth."
Many of these right wing hate web sites are made in Canada, he says.
He doesn't understand hatred, but maybe the few years of philosophy under his belt gives him some insight to the origins of racism.
"I have an opinion that people are afraid of change. People see how society is changing and they're afraid and they look for someone to blame. What I see is people who are unable to accept responsibility for their own lives seek someone to blame."
But as he clicks on picture after picture of children, women and men stripped, with guns to their heads and bodies lying in mass graves, philosophy can't help him explain why people deny the atrocities and spread the same sentiments the began the Holocaust.
"I don't understand hatred. On a personal basis, I don't understand hatred."
April 29, 1998