Sunday, February 27, 2005

Interview in U.S. News and World Report

3/7/05
U.S. News and World Report

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/050307/usnews/7lipstadt.peo.htm

The Week

Until a landmark libel case turned her world upside down, Deborah Lipstadt was known as a chronicler, not a maker, of history. In her acclaimed 1993 book, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, the Emory University professor cited widely read World War II writer David Irving--who referred to the Holocaust as a "legend" and refused to acknowledge Adolf Hitler's responsibility in the systematic killing of 6 million Jews--as one of the most prominent deniers. Irving sued Lipstadt for libel. Her new book, History on Trial: My Day in Court With David Irving, recounts the six-year legal battle that vindicated her.

In what way was history on trial?

We exposed as bogus virtually every argument and contention that Holocaust deniers, like Irving, make to supposedly prove that the Holocaust didn't happen. We showed that you can't take history and twist it any way you want. There is a historical record. There is a massive cache of documents, all of which prove quite clearly that there is evidence for every step of the killing process.

Besides debunking Irving, what else did the trial accomplish?

It was emblematic of the passing of the torch of memory from Holocaust survivors, the youngest of whom are in their 60s or 70s, to historians. Poet Paul Celan once asked, Who will be the witnesses for the witnesses? This trial showed historians can do that.

Why did you fight back?

The case was brought in Britain, where the defendant must prove the truth of what she wrote. This is the mirror image of libel law in the United States, where Irving would have had to prove that I lied. If I had not defended myself, Irving would have won by default and could have claimed that his description of the Holocaust was legitimate. I could not ignore this.

So the suit backfired on Irving.

The irony is that if he had not sued me, no one would have known the extent to which he distorted or misrepresented evidence.

Yet Holocaust denial goes on.

I'm no more amazed that Holocaust denial exists than I am that the Holocaust happened. -Diane Cole


Copyright © 2005 U.S.News & World Report, L.P. All rights reserved.

14 comments:

Paul said...

DL states:
We exposed as bogus virtually every argument and contention that Holocaust deniers, like Irving, make to supposedly prove that the Holocaust didn't happen. We showed that you can't take history and twist it any way you want. There is a historical record. There is a massive cache of documents, all of which prove quite clearly that there is evidence for every step of the killing process.Interesting that DL's publicity campaign coincides with the deportation to Germany of revisionist historian and holocaust denier Ernst Zundel.

For his crimes, Zundel has been held in solitary confinement in a Toronto jail for the past two years, he's been detained on a national security certificate signed by Canada's solicitor general and the federal minister of citizenship and immigration.

The certificate allows the federal government to hold him indefinitely, pending deportation.

Cruel and unusual punishment in anyone's book.

Anonymous said...

Can you name five claims made by Irving that you demolished, and what evidence you provided to demolish them?

david gehrig said...

There's a good summary -- of way more than five claims -- as summarized by Justice Gray as part of the judgment itself. Pick it up from paragraph 13.12:

http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/i/irving-david/judgment-13-01.html

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David H Lippman said...

And now the author of "The Hitler We Loved and Why" and the expert on Nazis links to UFOs is getting deported back to his native Fatherland, to be held accountable for what he has written and what he intends his impact to be. If you want to use your free speech rights, then you should accept the accountability and responsibility for what you say.

Anonymous said...

David, sorryI I've used the nizkor search facility and can't locate the transcript of Judge Grey's verdict. Can you give me a hypertext link?

david gehrig said...

See above.

For the entire judgement:

http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/i/irving-david/judgment-00-00.html

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Paul said...

If you want to use your free speech rights, then you should accept the accountability and responsibility for what you say.Maybe. But you don't get locked up for two years in solitary confinement nor do you get deported to the fatherland for telling people that Elvis is still alive.

david gehrig said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
david gehrig said...

Neither did Zündel get "locked up" for denying the Holocaust, as the text of Justice Blais' ruling -- as posted on Zündel's own site -- demonstrates.

It's explicitly spelled out in paragraph 6: It is important to note that Mr. Zündel's views on the Holocaust had been known for years, but were of no concern to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). They may well have been an irritant to many and may have been considered as vile and perverse, but they were not enough to label him as a security threat. Rather, the investigations only began when Mr. Zündel crossed the boundaries of free speech and pursuant to the Ministers’ opinion, entered the realm of incitement to hatred and potential political violence in relation to the White Supremacist Movement.Zündel just tells it another way -- that is, Zündel lies -- because his version fires up people too lazy to find out the truth, but who want to shoot their mouths off all the same, in hope of swaying other lazy people.

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Anonymous said...

We exposed as bogus virtually every argument and contention that Holocaust deniers, like Irving, make to supposedly prove that the Holocaust didn't happen.Once again Prof. Lipstadt repeats this demonstrably false assertion. It seems that not only Irving has problems with the truth.

Anonymous said...

"We exposed as bogus virtually every argument and contention that Holocaust deniers, like Irving, make to supposedly prove that the Holocaust didn't happen."

Once again Prof. Lipstadt repeats this demonstrably false assertion. It seems that not only Irving has problems with the truth.

david gehrig said...

Well, let's look at the scoreboard.

The Leuchter Report -- destroyed. The "Hitler didn't know" bit -- destroyed. The "Hitler didn't order the Jews to be exterminated" bit -- destroyed. The "no homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz" bit -- destroyed. The "it's really an air raid shelter" bit -- destroyed. The "it's really a morgue" bit -- destroyed. The "there wasn't enough coal" bit -- destroyed. The Auschwitz plaque gambit -- destroyed. The "Zyklon was only for delousing" bit -- destroyed. The "elevator bottleneck" bit -- destroyed. And so on.

And, on appeal: The Rudolf Report -- destroyed. The "no holes, no Holocaust" bit -- destroyed.

Nope -- Lipstadt wasn't lying. If that's what strikes Holocaust deniers as anything other than a complete rout, well, as the saying goes, nobody ever had to pass an IQ test to be an antisemite.

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Anonymous said...

Mr Gehrig seems to ignore the fact that there is no documentary evidence that suggests Hitler ordered the extermination of the Jews, while there is documentary evidence that suggests Hitler ordered a postponement of the "Jewish question" until after the war. The document in question reads :

"Herr Reichsminister Lammers teilte mir mit, der Fuehrer habe ihm gegenueber wiederholt erklaert, dass er die Loesung der Judenfrage bis nach dem Kriege zurueckgestellt wissen wolle."

The document is available in the Bundesarchiv in Koblenz, file R22/52.

The debate is still open. The evidence provided by Jewish sources regarding the other points listed by Mr Gehrig is similarly circumstantial.
Clearly, it is in the collective interest of Jews to manipulate historical discourse regarding the interpretation of the Second World War.
As far as "anti-semitism" is concerned, the long history of the Jewish people shows quite clearly that they have existed as segregated, alien communities within host populations from the times of ancient Babylonia until the present day. The Torah, the Talmud, the New Testament, the Koran, the writings of Seneca, Tacitus, Josephus, the Lateran councils, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther etc. make this irrefutably clear. The phenomenon of "Jewish emancipation" and the coeval coining of the term "anti-semitism" (a misnomer)in the 19th century are merely consequences of increasing Jewish power.
Ms Lipstadt, Mr Lippman, Mr Gehrig and other Jews can be expected to advocate a highly partial interpretation of history, but to suggest that they are interested in impartial truth is naive.

David H Lippman said...

I may be "partial," and "naive," but at least I stand up to be held accountable, unlike "anonymous." Someone who claims to be representing the truth should not have to cloak himself in anonymity. And, "anonymous," you are using the standard tactic of deniers, fixating on the single paper that buttresses your case, while denying the relevance and existence of all the others! Your post, while repeating the Lammers-Hitler chat, ignored the weight of everything else Judge Gray said in his judgment, which was upheld upon appeal, as well as the devastating testimony and reports! Which you follow with a diversion into Thomas Aquinas about Jews being a "separate society." Does your statement that Jews are a separate people justify horrific mass murder? Does it justify the sadistic Nazi medical experiments? And who did the segregating, whether it was Torquemada bouncing the Jews out of Spain in 1492 or American universities setting quotas on Jewish admission in the 1930s? The segregators or the segregatees? Was Torquemada acting at the behest of a Jewish conspiracy to keep Jews separate from Spain, or was he an enlightened renaissance man, solving the problems that faced humanity with one fell swoop and red-hot pokers in the behind? Surely, Torquemada is a model for schoolyard bullies of all ages.