The director of a California organization attempting to disprove that any Jews died in World War II gas chambers has reportedly left the state as reports surfaced of his alleged earlier career editing racist and anti-Semitic publications in Britain.

William David McCalden, who has used the name Lewis Brandon while heading the Institute for Historical Review in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrence, was identified in a letter from the Board of Deputies of British Jews as a "neofascist activist" who defected from Britain's National Front in 1975 to form the National Party, a group espousing "British racial nationalism."

Information from the letter was provided by the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, which has reacted strongly to the institute's activities. William Cox, an attorney representing Auschwitz survivor Mel Mermelstein who is suing McCalden, said he had been told the McCalden had left the state.

McCalden said in a recent newsletter to institute supporters that he was about to take a vacation. His assistant at the institute has been describing himself to visitors as the new director.

McCalden and Eilizabeth Carto, treasurer of the holding corporation for the institute and wife of an important official of the Liberty Lobby, have filed papers contesting the suit. Mermelstein is seeking a $50,000 reward offered by the institute to anyone who could prove that the gas chambers existed.

The institute argues that perhaps 350,000 Jews died of disease and war injuries during World War II but not from any intentional extermination campaign.