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September 08, 2009

Is HRW Investigator Garlasco An Avid Collector of Nazi Paraphernalia?

Garlasco flak badges.jpg
Marc Garlasco's 430-page book on Nazi paraphernalia

Human Rights Watch investigator Marc Garlasco accuses Rick Ayers of "Hiding in Plain Sight", but it is Garlasco who is apparently hiding in plain sight. While he has been treated with credibility by outfits like the New York Times, his apparent passion for Nazi paraphernalia has gone unnoticed and uncommented on -- despite the fact that it can be easily traced on the Internet. (The bottom right side of the Huffington Post url link above contains an example of Garlasco's hobby -- penning books on Third Reich memorabilia -- hiding in plain sight.)

Mere Rhetoric blog today lifts the veil on Garlasco's unusual extra-curricular activities:

There are two Marc Garlascos on the Internet. One is a top human rights investigator who, having joined Human Rights Watch after several years with the Pentagon, has become known for his shrill attacks on Israel. The other is a Marc Garlasco who's obsessed with the color and pageantry of Nazism, has published a detailed 430 page book on Nazi war paraphernalia, and participates in forums for Nazi souvenir collectors.

Both Marc Garlascos were born on September 4, 1970. Both have Ernst as their middle name. Both live in New York, NY. Both have a maternal grandfather who fought for the Nazis. I've put links and screenshots on all this after the jump, and you can click through for full-sized versions. It's hard to escape the conclusion that both Marc Garlascos are the same person.

Bloggers and activists concerned about Israel have been baffled and frustrated by the first Garlasco almost since he joined HRW. On his public photography site he posts gratuitous Palestinian and Lebanese death porn in between galleries of cute Western-looking kids playing soccer (no link - keeping his kids out of it). He provides a seemingly never-ending stream of interviews to all kinds of outlets, where he spins tales about ostensible Israeli atrocities. The only problem is that many of these tales - per Soccer Dad and IsraPundit and Elder of Ziyon and NGO Monitor and CAMERA and LGF - are biased and inaccurate. That doesn't stop Garlasco from putting them into the kind of HRW reports that make their way into international anti-Israel condemnations and academic anti-Israel dissertations.

Then there's the second Marc Garlasco, who I caught wind of from Elder of Ziyon. Elder had just finished tearing apart another one of HRW Garlasco's anti-Israel reports when he found the Amazon profile of collector Garlasco. This Garlasco's Amazon book reviews show a nearly obsessive knowledge of Nazi-era Luftwaffe Flak and Army Flak. A little more searching revealed that he's written a gigantic book on the subject that retails for over $100. He regularly participates in forums about Nazi medals under the handle Flak 88, where he posts galleries of his prizes and admires what others have managed to collect. On those forums he uses the email, which points to a family genealogy site he set up in 2002.

The anti-Israel backgrounds of other Human Rights Watch employees including Joe Stork, Lucy Mair and Nadi Barhoum have been noted before, but this blows them all away.

Update: A timely report on HRW staffers ("Experts or Ideologues") just came in from NGO-Monitor.

Additional blog postings about Garlasco's affinity for Nazi material: Instapundit, NRO's The Corner, Commentary Magazine, The Volokh Conspiracy, Israel Matzav and Solomonia.

Posted by TS at September 8, 2009 07:54 AM


Interesting that his screen handle is Flak 88.
The 88 mm Anti aircraft gun was Germany's most successful artillery piece used to shoot down American and British aircraft and destroy American tanks, killing thousands of allied soldiers.
Of course the 88 could have other significance too. It is a moniker for "Heil Hitler" (H being the 8th letter in the alphabet.)

Posted by: steve at September 8, 2009 11:09 AM

lets get real - do you really think that this guy, with his hoard and creepy love of nazi memorabilia and his license plate (a known white supremacist/neo nazi "tag"), is simply a "collector"? duh - you have to be a moron to believe that. the real shocking thing is how did he get away with this for so long!!

Posted by: dan at September 8, 2009 02:07 PM

Strange how the ultra-right and ultra-left streams of anti Israel activists meet and coexist.

Posted by: David Guy at September 8, 2009 04:11 PM

Elder of Ziyon has a picture that this guy posted of himself in a german nazi shirt that he put up on a nazi collector site.....go and check it can this creep claim to be impartial?????

Posted by: callie at September 9, 2009 10:10 PM

This information needs to be added on his wikipedia page:

Posted by: Craig at September 10, 2009 01:06 AM

After seeing the extremely disturbing picture of him wearing a 3rd Reich sweatshirt, I have no doubts as to where his heart lies:

Regarding the coincidental 88 moniker:
'88 is also the year Garlasco graduated high school according to this site:

Posted by: Craig at September 10, 2009 02:28 AM

That's not a Nazi shirt. Thousands of Jews that have won the iron cross would take issue to that. As a Military Historian myself I have all kinds of medals and uniform peices from WW2 and WW1 including many German items. I even take them to schools sometimes for displays, my maternal Grandfather also faught in the German army.

One can't demonize a military enthusiast for collecting this stuff, I myself and many of the people who are into military things are very pro-Israel. Don't judge him so easily because most military collectors are conservatives with similar views in my experience.

Posted by: Jeremy at September 17, 2009 08:58 AM

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