A ten second ad sponsored by an organization that publishes books and articles that deny the Holocaust, is running in a BART station and is stirring up controversy in San Francisco.
The Institute for Historical Review is an Orange County-based group that has drawn criticism from civil rights organizations. Articles on their web site include titles that praise Adolf Hitler and attack Holocaust survivors.
"Your gut reaction is, this is really awful and wrong," said Lafayette resident Alice Kennelly.
However, the ad running in the Montgomery BART station platform simply says "History Matters."
"It doesn’t really give you that much information about what they’re trying to do or say," said Anna Bethke from Millbrae.
Not all riders agreed with BART on its decision to run an ad from a group that regularly publishes Holocaust deniers.
"There are certain things that are factual, and denying facts is not a platform, is not something that would want BART to provide a platform for," said San Francisco resident Rohit Kumar.
In a statement a spokesperson said the transit agency had to run the ad saying, "We are bound by law to carry the ads as written since they comply with free speech laws that allow advertisers to express a point of view without regard to viewpoint."
Since the backlash, BART has required the company to remove the Historical Review’s web address from the ad.