Website’s Origins and Vision
This website has its origins in a chance meeting in June 1995. The Founder, Dr. Mark Nataupsky, was then the Director at a small Holocaust Center in Florida. He was studying in preparation to attend the Yad Vashem summer institute in Israel the next month. He spent about 10-15 minutes in the library one Saturday morning to get a few more books to read. As he started to leave, he saw a nicely dressed man and woman standing in the foyer.
He told the couple that he was sorry that he had forgotten to lock the front door; that the Center is not open on Saturdays; and that he would appreciate it if they would please return on Monday. The man said his name is Dan, and “no”.
They sat down in the library, and Dan said that he is an internet provider. He said that he passed the Center every day going to work and back to home. For several years he had intended to stop in and offer to put the Center on the internet for no cost to the Center. But it was only then that he made the stop.
Mark paused for a moment and contemplated the uniqueness of the event. Although Dan intended to go into the Center over a period of thousands of hours, he stopped in the Center only during the one 10-15 minute time interval that the Center was supposed to be closed, but the front door was accidentally left open, and Mark was in the library.
At that moment Mark stated out loud: “Now I know what God wants me to do. God wants me to do Holocaust education on the internet.” He did not know exactly what it meant, but he now had a vision.
Later that year Mark ended his tenure as Director of the Center and returned to his home in Virginia. Although Mark and Dan had many discussions, they never produced any products together. It was Dick Fairman who brought Mark’s vision to reality.
Dick was the sole owner of Interactive Productions. He asked Mark to allow him to produce a virtual Holocaust Teacher Resource Center at no cost. The tireless, altruistic, efforts of Dick Fairman brought to life the first version of this website. He also donated countless numbers of additional hours to refine and add new material to the website.
In November 1995 Mark established the Holocaust Education Foundation, Inc. as an IRS approved 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization. Tax deductible donations enable the continuation of further developments under the new internet provider, Vectec, Inc.
Continuation of Mark’s vision is the creation of Holocaust lessons and courses, not just lesson plans and background materials. Substantial donations from generous sponsors are needed in addition to small donations which also are both needed and appreciated.
The founder, Dr. Mark Nataupsky, owes an eternal debt of gratitude to his friend Dick Fairman. It was his generosity that made Mark’s vision of God’s calling into a reality. Now it is up to others to continue to bring the vision into reality.