on Kalman K. Brattman (K. K. Brattman)
and the Holocaust Survivors Network
The purpose of this report is to provide information about the pattern of libelous Internet attacks by Kalman K. Brattman, editor of the Isurvived.org website, on survivors and rescuers of the Holocaust and on other innocent individuals and Holocaust organizations. These attacks have continued unabated for more than four years.This report will make readers aware of the background, behavior and lack of credibility of K. K. Brattman, and will answer concerns about his Internet attacks. This information is intended to aid in the defense of innocent individuals whom he has attacked.
In 2003, Kalman K. Brattman (K.K. Brattman) of Malden, Massachusetts launched a web site called "Isurvived." "Isurvived" was ostensibly the official web site of the "Holocaust Survivors Network," which Brattman claims to direct. At first glance the web site appears to be a typical Holocaust education site, but deeper examination reveals that the site is primarily a vehicle for several elaborate character assassinations disguised as investigative reports.
The targets of these attacks include several Holocaust educators and Holocaust survivors, as well as respected organizations such as Yad Vashem and venerable historical figures such as Hiram Bingham. More extensive research has revealed that Brattman's "Holocaust Survivor Network" is a hoax with no meaningful membership other than Brattman writing under several aliases. Brattman has aggressively promoted his web site and has attempted to damage the reputation of several people. By passing himself off as a leader of an authentic survivor organization and a Holocaust expert, Brattman has attempted to prejudice several organizations against his victims. For the last three years Brattman has with impunity used the internet to willfully defame and harass respected and honorable people, while avoiding accountability through deceptive web sites and manufactured identities.
Brattman has produced virtually no original content for his website (with the exception of his attacks on innocent individuals). His website is almost entirely made up of pirated material from legitimate Holocaust educational websites on the Internet. Brattman gives the illusion that this is material he has produced by putting a header and footer "frame" around the information, such as: "Holocaust Survivors’ Network – iSurvived.org / Referenced Material" and "Thank You for Visiting!" or "I Survived the 20th Century Holocaust – iSurvivied.org." K. K. Brattman has not asked for or received permission to link his site to legitimate Holocaust sites. Webmasters of a number of the sites to which K. K. Brattman links were contacted and they had no knowledge of his links to their sites. Many of these webmasters asked K.K. Brattman to break the link to their site. He has refused to do so.
A review of some of K. K. Brattman's character assassinations posted on Isurvived as "reports" will suffice for this document. Brattman's first target was the late Hiram Bingham who is being considered for an honor by Yad Vashem. When Eric Saul, a respected Holocaust educator, came to Bingham's defense, Brattman branded Saul a devious scam artist, imposter, and fraud. Solly Ganor, a Lithuanian Holocaust survivor, wrote Brattman to defend Eric Saul's reputation, and Brattman promptly attacked Ganor as a "fake" and made the outrageous claims that Ganor had never been in the Dachau concentration camp and that his autobiography, Light a Candle was "bogus." Brattman also cast slurs on Bingham's family members by accusing them of perpetrating fraud along with Eric Saul. Brattman's derogatory attacks also included the Director of its Righteous Program at Yad Vashem, Dr. Mordecai Paldiel, and Dr. Lance Hill, Director, and Plater Robinson, Holocaust Education Director at the Southern Institute for Education and Research at Tulane University, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Dr. Stephen Feinstein, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, University of Minnesota, and noted broadcast journalist Dennis Praeger.
After journalist Jonathan Tilove, of the Newhouse News Group, wrote an article exposing Brattman’s methods, Brattman then targeted Tilove for attack.
Little is known about K. K. Brattman's past before his abrupt manifestation on the internet in 2003 as the purported leader of a Holocaust survivor organization and a Holocaust educator. Based on a short autobiographical sketch penned under the name "Kalman" and other sources, we now know that Kalman K. Brattman is a 61 year-old Romanian immigrant who claimed he was trained in science in Europe but apparently failed to find a position in his academic field in the United States. It is not clear what he has done over the past 25 years for income. He tells people that he works at Harvard University, but there is no record of him as an employee. He is most likely on some form of public assistance.
K.K. Brattman has been careful to conceal his physical address and phone umber and generally operates under aliases and a post office box in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (He gives his address as: Isurvived.org, Holocaust Survivors' Network, NatureQuest Publications, Inc., Harvard Square Station, P.O. Box 381797, Cambridge, MA 02238-1797.) His federal tax identification number, as provided in public records, is 042632524.
Brattman claims to be of Jewish descent, but admits that his family changed their Jewish name and that he never had religious training.
In December 1978 in Boston he was convicted of sexual assault with intent to commit rape, a charge arising from an assault on a college student he met in Harvard Square.
In court documents in COMMONWEALTH V. KALMAN K. BRATTMAN, the court summary read, "At the trial of a defendant [Kalman K. Brattman] charged with assault with intent to commit rape, evidence that the defendant had committed an assault and battery on the victim, had attempted to restrain her, and had made sexual advances to the victim against her will was sufficient to warrant denial of the defendant’s motion for a directed verdict."
He had the conviction overturned on appeal on a technical error committed by the judge in his jury instructions. Brattman was then retried and found guilty of assault in 1982. He was given a six-month suspended sentence. For more information, see appendix.
In an email, Brattman was questioned about his rape conviction. The reply to journalist Jonathan Tilove was as follows:
"As you have been advised, we no longer can assist you with your inquiries. Whatever you are working on is of no interest to us. You are wasting your time and our in fishing for additional information. Best regards, First Assist Service Team (FAST)."
Brattman’s use of an elaborate web of links, including his own junk websites the link to each other, has enabled him to manipulate search engines like Google into ranking his attack web pages at the top of search return lists. Brattman has been able to convey, at virtually no cost, patently false and defamatory information to a medium that can be instantly accessed by the unwary public--and a medium that enjoys good measure of credibility.
Brattman's principal web sites, Isurvived and academiaexchange operate under various corporate entities, non-profit or otherwise, which include NatureQuest Publications, Inc., NatureQuest Corporation, Academiaexchange, Holocaust Survivors Network, Von Brattman Publications, International Institute for Fundamental Studies, Inc., and numerous others. In the 1990's Brattman formed at least two private foundations for which he files annual IRS form 990-PFs. In 1981 the IRS granted Naturequest Publications Inc. nonexempt charitable trust status under section 4947(a)(1) of the tax code. Brattman is the president of the organization and claims to work 20 hours a week for it. The foundation's principal charitable activities are listed as maintaining the websites of inmemoriamonline, academiaexchange, naturequest, and Isurvived. Brattman also heads at least one tax-exempt organization, "Naturequest Corporation" which has tax-exempt 501(c) (3) status, making gifts to it tax exempt, unlike the above private foundation.
These corporations appear to be shell organizations with no staff, income, or expenses. Brattman uses the corporations as tax umbrellas for soliciting tax-exempt contributions, including appeals for funds to support a web site dedicated to the victims of 9/11 (see fund appeal at inmemoriamonline) yet the organization has reported no income, assets, or expenses in year after year of federal tax filings. Brattman also sells commercial advertising on his web sites and carries several corporate sponsors, although a sampling of his sponsors revealed that none of them had heard of Brattman and did not know that their businesses were being touted as Brattman's clients. Since Brattman obviously expends funds to maintain his web sites, in the form of service provider and hosting fees, he is either (1) receiving no charitable donations or advertising revenue or (2) not reporting foundation and tax-exempt income and expenditures in violation of federal and Massachusetts state law. There is no evidence that Brattman is complying in any way with Massachusetts charitable organization regulations, nor the regulations in other states where he solicits.
It is not known how many web sites Brattman operates under assumed aliases. On academiaexchange, he is marketing approximately 30 web site domain names for a minimum of $20,000. He freely uses copyrighted and trademarked materials that he apparently does not have permission to use. This includes institutional logos that appear to give the organizations’ imprimatur to Brattman, photographic images, and reference materials lifted from other web sites.
When asked who the "I" in "Isurvived" represents, Brattman answered:
"Questioning the first letter ‘I’ in the name of our website is as meaningful as questioning Apple Computer Company of the names placed on their products such as the iMac or the iPod, etc."
A reading of Brattman’s websites, including Kalman’s Great Escape the "The RealDeal® / Science Forum of Debates" gives an insight into his mental health. His narrative is highly narcissistic, grandiose, and histrionic. In his postings, he claims the role of defender of Holocaust truth. He even suggests that he be appointed an overseer for Yad Vashem’s historic programs. He is prone to gross confabulations, wild associations, and paranoid delusions. When confronted with an alternative perspective, he becomes highly combative and posts ever-vitriolic attacks. Brattman exhibits behavior characteristic of a pathological liar and antisocial individual. There is no indication in his writings that he knows right from wrong.
The person who answered a telephone call to Brattman’s residence stated that he has no personal contact with anyone. An examination of Brattman's writing indicates that he writes under a number of fictitious personas, including: Avi, Editor; Ilan, Editor; Miriam, Editor; Eva, Assistant Editor; Judith, Book Review Editor; Jennifer; Bruce Attman; Steve Attman; Steve Grunfeld, Webmaster; and the First Assist Team (FAST).
For the last four years, Mr. Brattman has used email and web sites to willfully defame several Holocaust survivors and Holocaust educators. In addition, he has misrepresented the commercial value of his web sites and has consistently infringed on copyrights. He avoids accountability by using a number of phony personal and organizational aliases.
Brattman’s attacks on Holocaust educator Eric Saul have been damaging. For many years Saul organized a traveling Holocaust education exhibit on diplomats who helped rescue Jews during the Holocaust, titled "The Visas for Life Exhibit." Brattman’s dogged attacks against Saul, accusing him of being a "crook" and a "liar," led to organizations canceling the exhibit. Time and again coordinators of exhibit venues have believed Brattman’s correspondence smearing Saul and asked Saul to explain the controversy. Some the venues for the exhibit have disappeared.
In fact, the attacks on Eric Saul were used as a way to discredit Israel’s Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem. The following was received from "Avi, Assistant Managing Editor" of Isurvived in an email dated July 4, 2003:
"In my view, the ‘discovery’ of Eric Saul was the perfect vehicle for our Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Brattman, to go after what he really wanted for quite some time--that of discrediting in totality the ‘Righteous Among the Nations’ title."
After the broadcast of a documentary on a diplomat rescuer, K. K. Brattman contacted WGBH, the Public Broadcasting System station in Boston, and convincingly posed as Holocaust expert and challenged the credibility of the project. Saul and Ganor were compelled to respond to each criticism. Even Yale’s University’s student newspaper cited Brattman as an expert on the Holocaust and diplomat rescuers.
K.K. Brattman’s most harmful attack has been against respected Lithuanian Holocaust Survivor Solly Ganor, author of Light a Candle. Brattman’s lies about Ganor have followed Ganor around the world. When Ganor traveled to Germany to speak in 2004, the event’s sponsors confronted Ganor and asked if he was the "fake survivor." A search on the internet using Ganor’s name produces Brattman’s completely fabricated attack at the top of the return list.
In the middle of this attack of Solly Ganor, buried deep in the diatribe is the following statement:
"Let us begin by noting that we have no direct evidence of any sort on Solly Ganor… [it] "is our opinion for what it’s worth."
On April 15, 2004, Dr. Barbara Distel, Director of the Dachau museum and historic site, wrote the following to Kalman K. Brattman:
"As the director of the Dachau concentration camp memorial site I object firmly to your outrageous attempt to damage the reputation of the Nazi victim and Holocaust survivor Solly Ganor. There are laws in Germany which make slander of Holocaust victims a punishable offence. I cannot take legal proceedings against you. But I will send copy of this letter to all institutions related to the history of the Nazi Holocaust in the USA." [See below for full text of this letter.]
Brattman ignored this letter. When asked in an email for his response to this letter, he gave the nonsensical and evasive reply:
"We do not discuss any private emails received from Dr. Distel or anyone else as we scrupulously protect all our private contacts received."
Recently, Brattman has attempted to alter the text of Hiram Bingham on Wikipedia. Using several aliases, he submitted unsupported and deleterious edits to the article. He was quickly exposed by the Wikipedia editors and was barred from making further attempts at editing Bingham’s entry.
It would be a mistake to dismiss Brattman as another Internet crank or mentally ill person. His character attacks concealed as investigative reports have fooled some organizations, including Holocaust survivor organizations. He aggressively and widely disseminates his reports and attacks and has attempted to destroy the reputations and professional careers of dedicated Holocaust educators.
The most dangerous and offensive outcome of K.K. Brattman's attacks is that he is quoted on numerous hate sites as a legitimate source of Holocaust information. Solly Ganor and Hiram Bingham have been libeled on these hate sites, using Brattman's Isurvived.org website as a source.
K.K. Brattman is a common school-yard bully who hides behind the anonymity of a website. He is a recluse sitting alone in an attic at his keyboard who would, in fact, be no more than a pitiful character were it not for the damage he has inflicted on innocent people.
The Holocaust community has recently come to the defense of Solly Ganor, Hiram Bingham and others.
The report was prepared by Eric Saul. If you have any comments, please feel free to send me an email: VisasForLife@cs.com.
To obtain further information, we recommend that you go to the following links.
These are sites that have posted an article written in 2006 by journalist Jonathan Tilove, of the Newhouse News service, exposing the Isurvived.org website. The article is entitled, "Dachau Survivor's Reputation Wanders Turbulent Terrain of the Internet." The article refutes the attacks on Holocaust survivor Solly Ganor and others.
Solly Ganor Remembrance. This is a wonderful website that tells the history of Solly Ganor and the Holocaust. This is well worth a visit.
This is a link to an interview by Solly Ganor on the documentary, Sugihara: Conspiracy of Kindness, released by the Public Broadcasting Corporation in the United States.
Dr. Stephen Feinstein, of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota, has included Kalman Brattman’s isurvived.org website on a list of "Unreliable Web Sites." He writes: "We do not recommend these sites. Warnings should be given to students writing papers that they should not use these sites because of denial, support by an unknown organization, or contents that are a strange mix of fact and opinion…"
This website provides reliable information on Hiram "Harry" Bingham IV.
This newspaper article written by Diana Day, of the Orange County Daily Breeze, defends individuals attacked on the Isurvived.org website.
This is the website for the Southern Institute for Education and Research at Tulane University, Lance Hill, Ph.D., Director. They have a fine Holocaust project that has come under unfair attack by the Isurvived.org website.
The Isurvived.org website attacks Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, for defending Solly Ganor. Please see these links for the website of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Museum of Tolerance, and for a description of Rabbi Cooper’s activities with the Center. Rabbi Cooper is one of the outstanding rabbis and Jewish activists in the world today. One of his principal missions is fighting hate on the Internet.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website.
Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority website.
Letter to K. K. Brattman from the Director of the Dachau State Museum regarding Solly’s authenticity as a Holocaust survivor. Despite receiving this letter from Barbara Distel, K. K. Brattman maintains his libelous attack on Solly Ganor.
KZ-Gedenkstaette Dachau Museum-Archiv-Bibliothek
Alte Roemerstrasse 75
Holocaust Survivors’ Network
NatureQuest Publications Inc.
Harvard Square Station
PQ Box 381797
Cambridge MA 02238 - 1797
Dachau, April 15th, 2004
To whom it may concern
This is to protest with vigour against chapter V "The Holocaust Controversy Page" of your web-site "I survived the 20th Century Holocaust". It is inconceivable that you dare to spread your slander story titled "The Solly Ganor Case of Deceit: Solly Ganor the Lithuanian Holocaust Survivor, Seeking Fame and Glory out of the Ashes of the Holocaust" in the name of Holocaust survivors and supposedly in their interest. It is proven irrefutably by documentary evidence that Solly Ganor (Zali Genkind) was deported together with his father from Stutthof concentration camp to Dachau concentration camp on August 18th, 1944. The content of his book "Light one candle" which has been published in Germany by the prestigious Fischer Taschenbuchverlag in Frankfurt (Das andere Leben, 1997) has been confirmed by other Lithuanian survivors as well as by historian specialists.
Mr. Ganor has been in Germany on various occasions. He has met with students and other groups, has had discussions with groups and individuals and spoke of his traumatic experiences as victim of the Holocaust. Again and again his audience was deeply impressed by his sincerity and his gift for finding words to describe boundless suffering. "Präzise Erinnerungsprosa - precise prose of recollection" read one newspaper headline.
As the director of the Dachau concentration camp memorial site I object firmly to your outrageous attempt to damage the reputation of the Nazi victim and Holocaust survivor Solly Ganor. There are laws in Germany which make slander of Holocaust victims a punishable offence. I cannot take legal proceedings against you. But I will send copy of this letter to all institutions related to the history of the Nazi Holocaust in the USA.
Dr. Barbara Distel, Director
The following letter was written by the Association of Survivors Landsberg/Kaufering/ Outer camps of Dachau Affiliate of Dachau International. This letter was written by people who were with Solly both in the Kovno, Lithuania, ghetto and in the Landsberg/Kaufering concentration camps.
Association of Survivors Landsberg/Kaufering/ Outer camps of Dachau Affiliate of Dachau International.
Registration number in Israel 58-017-598-2.
P.O.B 17510, Tel Aviv, 61174
April 18, 2004
Dr. Barbara Distel, the director of the Dachau Museum, has already expressed our feelings concerning Mr. Brattman and his I.Survived.Org, fictitious allegations against one of the members and directors of our association, Solly Ganor. (See Dr. Barbara Distel's letter below.) What makes his twenty-five-page diatribe against Solly Ganor bizarre is the fact that he openly declares the following:
"With this being said, let us begin by noting that we have no direct evidence of any sort on Solly Ganor. The only thing left in rendering our opinion IS OUR RATIONAL DEDUCTIVE REASONING."
What Mr. Brattman is actually telling us is that the twenty-five-page hate mail against Solly Ganor is nothing but a figment of his imagination! We leave it to your judgment as to how rational his reasoning is.
Here is our statement confirming the veracity of Solly Ganor as a Holocaust survivor and his book Light One Candle‚ as our genuine story.
Let it be known that Mr. Solly Ganor is known to all the members of our association since childhood. Most of us went through the Holocaust in Lithuania, Stutthof and the outer camps of Dachau together. Therefore Brattman's outrageous lies and defamation about his person in unacceptable. Let it also be known that any attack on Mr. Solly Ganor we consider an attack on all the members of our Association.
We further declare that we consider his book, Light One Candle: from Lithuania to Jerusalem, our own genuine story. The survivors and the editors of the English version and the German version of his book inspected the manuscript for any possible mistakes before it was published.
It is almost sixty years since our liberation and in all these years, we have never come across anything so malevolent and vicious as this document written by K.Brantman and his I.Survived Organizaton against a Holocaust survivor.
Since Brattman's main contention is that Solly Ganor has never been to the concentration camp of Stutthof or Dachau, and that he is in fact a Holocaust impostor, and that his book "Light One Candle" is a bogus book, we present the following two documents which will once and for all refute Brattman’s lies against Solly Ganor and his book.
(1) Dr. Barbara Distel's letter . (Dr. Barabara Distel is the director of the Dachau Museum and Archives.) As you can see, she leaves no doubt as to how she feels about Brattman’s slanderous statements against Solly Ganor.
(2) From the Dachau archives: The arrival of Solly Ganor and his Dachau inmate’s number.
(1) Letter from the Dachau Museum
April 15th, 2004 [see copy of letter above]
(2) From the Dachau Archives
KZ-Gedenkstaette Dachau Museum-Archiv-Bibliothek
Alte Roemerstrasse 75
The following is a translation from the German:
Excerpt from the archives of the concentration camp of Dachau the names of the registered prisoners by alphabetic order
Explanation of the abbreviations:
Name: Genkind Solly (Solly Ganor)
Born: 18.5.1928, Kauen
Last known address: Kauen, Kalviu 13
Prisoner's number: 92298
Nationality: Lithuanian Jew
Arrived in Dachau 18.8.1944, from Stutthof.
Liberated on 2.5.1945
KZ-Gedenkstaetter Dachau, 24.3.2004
i.A Anne Stiller
We have now presented irrefutable evidence against the malevolent website of I.Survived .org by Brattman. We expect an apology to Mr. Ganor, and the immmediate removal of the slander pages against him.
Board of Directors,
Association of Survivors, Landsberg/Kaufering, Outer camps of Dachau.