Saturday, March 12, 2005

Lipstadt presentation at UTD

The UTD Mercury - News
Issue: 2/14/05

Lipstadt retells legal struggle with 'Holocaust denier' Irving

By Tahir Mahmood

Emory University Professor Deborah Lipstadt recounted her legal battle with historian David Irving to a full audience in the Conference Center auditorium Feb. 6.

The Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies, Lipstadt's legal troubles began when she labeled Irving a "Holocaust denier" in her 1993 book "Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory." Irving sued her for libel when the book was published in England, commencing a long five-year legal fight in the courtroom, described in Lipstadt's new book "History on Trial: My Day in Court with Holocaust Denier David Irving."

Lipstadt's lecture was part of the Burton E. Einspruch Holocaust Lecture series, sponsored by the Holocaust Studies Program at UTD.

Lipstadt began the lecture with comic flair by turning off her cell phone on stage.

She then described how her legal battles with Irving ensued after she described Irving's written histories as mostly right-wing and sympathetic to Nazi Germany.

When Irving filed suit in England, Lipstadt refused to settle the suit and apologize.

"How could I apologize to him?" Lipstadt said. "In England, I had to prove that what I wrote was not libel. I wanted a trial that proved Lipstadt was right when she called David Irving a denier."

Lipstadt said she assembled a "Dream Team of historians" to testify on her behalf.

"Things reversed to make him look like he was on the defensive," she said.

Approximately 3,000 pages of evidence were presented to support her case. In one of his diaries, Lipstadt said he wrote God makes people of another race of a different species, and he referred to himself as a "baby Aryan."

The judge found in Lipstadt's favor.

"Let me close by sharing with you the verdict, which was a slam dunk," Lipstadt said. "The judge called Irving fallacious, absurd, undeniably racist and an anti-Semitic racist.

Many faculty and students in the audience responded positively to Lipstadt's lecture.

"She's absolutely fantastic," said Vincent Cirillo, professor of biology at UTD. "I am glad she had the courage to do this. She is a scholar in the Temple Shalom in Dallas, where she conducts religious services like closing of the Sabbath."

Zsuzsanna Ozsvath, director of the Holocaust Studies Program and literary studies professor at UTD, shared in the enthusiastic response at the end of the lecture.

"She is capable of melding together the intellectual side of historical research with deeply emotional understanding," Ozsvath said.

Some students were so interested they said they plan to read her new book.

"Professor Deborah Lipstadt gave an extraordinary lecture and it was very informative," said Melody Sadjadi, a doctoral student in literary studies. "I look forward to reading her new book."

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ms Lipstadt's case was based heavily on the evidence of Jan Van Pelt.

Based on the evidence of witnesses, Kula and Tauber, Van Pelt claims that 12 pounds of zyklon be crystals were dissolved into kremaII of Auschwitz, over a protracted period.

Why is there no significant blue staining on the walls and ceiling of kremaII?

david gehrig said...

The short answer is, because formation of prussian blue depends on more than simply the presence of cyanide. See http://www.holocaust-history.org/auschwitz/chemistry/blue/ for a detailed response by Dr. Richard Green to this denier canard.

Dr. Green submitted a report refuting Rudolf for the 2001 Ivring/Lipstadt appeal, in which Irving had offered the Rudolf report but then withdrew it at the last moment when he saw how it was chopped to bits by the responses from the Defendents. In particular, Rudolf had a nasty habit of relying on other "forensic experts" who turned out only to be himself under other pseudonyms.

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Anonymous said...

But there is some blue staining, which suggests that the conditions in kremaII did not preclude the formation of such staining.

The condition of the krema is entirely compatible with the revisionist claims that it was a morgue which was fumigated infrequently and thus had minimal blue staining.

david gehrig said...

As I've already said, see http://www.holocaust-history.org/auschwitz/chemistry/blue/ for a detailed response by Dr. Richard Green to this denier canard.
Green specifically addresses your point -- the unevenness of the prussian blue deposits -- directly and in detail. Take a look.

And the morgue fantasia is another excellent example of the sort of thing the Lipstadt case disproved. Take a look at van Pelt's book to see another denier canard biting the dust.

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Anonymous said...

It seems to be your modus operandi to answer (evade?) any question on the technological and chemical aspects of mass murder during WWII by inviting any enquirer to analyse vast tracts of obscurantist techno-babble. Guess what? I'm not a chemist! I expect that you suspected that though.

If I might phrase my question a little differently. How can a non-chemist evaluate the relative worth of opposing chemical treatise?

Since you don't care to speak about blue stains yourself, which is fair enough, can I ask you a non-technical question? It is alleged by Van Pelt that the roof slab of kremaII was cast in one piece, in order not to alert the innmates to the true purpose of the instalation, and that the holes for zyklon induction were chisseled through on completion of the structure. Since other buildings at auschwitz had cast concrete roofs with apertures for many innocent purposes cast into them, don't you think that it would be more suspicious to hammer four holes into the roof after it had been cast, rather than to simply say that these holes were to be for stove flues or ventilation and cast them into the roof?

david gehrig said...

Like it or not, history isn't determined by who writes the best prose. Sorry if you find the stuff I cite impenetrable. I didn't, and neither did Irving.

In fact, when he read them he knew that he'd had the Rudolf report shot out from under him quite dramatically by van Pelt and Green and Keren and McCarthy, and in embarrassment withdrew the Rudolf report from his evidence before the appeal even began.

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Anonymous said...

So David Irving went to Lipstadt's defence team and said, "I am so embarrasssed, I wish to withdraw the Rudolf report, I have obviously made a big mistake, oh my god, how could I have been so dumb?"Or is the reality that you have no idea why Irving chose to withdraw the Rudolph report and are simply appending an invented explanation for his withdrawal which casts your arguments in the best light?

The fact is that the levels of blue staining in KremaII are most similar to the levels of blue staining found in rooms infrequently exposed to Zyklon for purposes of fumigation. Have you heard of Occums Razor?

Even if Green is right, you have a room in which the forensic evidence indicates either infrequent use of Zyklon, or frequent use under unusual circumstances. Green's theory would allow historians to claim that virtualy any room with minimal blue staining was a homicidal gas chamber. Convenient that isn't it?

Have you no comment to make on the dubious explanation for the non-existance of holes in the roof in the plans for KII. Perhaps you can direct me to an "expert" in the chemistry of concrete.

david gehrig said...

First off, remember that you are choosing to appear as an anonymous poster on someone else's blog. If anything, you're being treated with far more respect than someone in that role deserves, not far less, given that you're cowering in anonymity and supporting an obviously antisemitic fantasy.

If you want a private tutor, hire one. If you want to whine that the facts of history are somehow actually determined by who spoon-feeds anonyms and who doesn't, you're free to do so, but don't expect it to be taken as anything but the whining of an anonym Holocaust denier.

Secondly, here is a little homework assignment for you. What do the following people have in common: Dr. Ernst Green, Dr. Werner Kretschmer, Dr. Christian Konrad, Dr. Rainer Scholz, Jakob Sprenger, Wilhelm Schlesiger, Manfred Koehler, and Lennart Rose? And what does their very existence say about the intellectual honesty of (a) Rudolf, (b) the entire Holocaust denial movement?

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david gehrig said...

Sorry, Dr. Ernst Gauss, not Dr. Ernst Green.

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Anonymous said...

I pressume that these are all aliases used by Germar Rudolf. Considering that holocaust denial is an imprisonable offence in the home country of Rudolf I would assume that the use of aliases was a neccessary subterfuge.

To get back to my point, Green may well have demonstrated that the formation of prussian blue is not an inevitable consequence of zyklon-b exposure. He has not, however, demonstrated that the minimal staining in kremaII was a result of specific operational modalities, rather than of minimal exposure for fumigation.

His argument rests on a prior assumption of mass extermination and is thus logically flawed.

david gehrig said...

Not simply "aliases" as you euphemize it -- they're made up "experts" (sometimes with fake PhDs) that he quotes in his report as if they're different people rather than simply his sock puppets, in egregious violation of scholastic protocol. He has admitted in as many words that his intention in doing so was to mislead the German court to which he was supposedly giving expert testimony with his "report."

It's a fun little irony. Because of the Lipstadt team's demolition of liars like Rudolf and his too many names, people like you are reduced to hiding behind no name at all.

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Anonymous said...

Yes it's hilarious, almost as funny, in fact, as you constantly hiding behind the coat-tails of experts and your lofty disdain for sharing your "vast knowledge" on a pro bono basis.

The fact remains that Dr Richard Green's investigations simply demonstrate that there are negligable traces of cyanide in kremaII. His conclusion is that these traces weathered away or failed to accrete to the walls and ceiling of the krema. It is equally possible, of course, that there never was any substantial exposure in the first place. Dr Green "proves" that kremaII was used for mass extermination with cyanide gas by drawing our attention to the very low levels of residual cyanide accretions in the krema. Now that's what I call irony!

david gehrig said...

What I have learned about the evidence in the Irving case I have learned the hard way -- by reading literally thousands of pages of expert reports, transcripts, and related books, before, during, and after the trial. Not the easiest reading, either, but I did it, so it's plainly not a fatal task. And I therefore have exactly zero sympathy for those who whine, oh, all those papers and books and testimony, they're just too hard for a human to read, and so I'll use that as my excuse for not admitting that Irving really was everything Lipstadt said he was.

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Anonymous said...

So having read the evidence you should realise that if the conditions in KremaII precluded the retention of cyanide residues, it is not possible to determine how much Zyklon was used in this building through forensic investigation. So there is, in fact, no forensic evidence indicating the homicidal use of this building. So its status as a gas chamber depends upon non-forensic evidence. No?

Anonymous said...

Idiotic anonymous jerk wrote:

"It seems to be your modus operandi to answer (evade?) any question on the technological and chemical aspects of mass murder during WWII by inviting any enquirer to analyse vast tracts of obscurantist techno-babble. Guess what? I'm not a chemist! I expect that you suspected that though.

If I might phrase my question a little differently. How can a non-chemist evaluate the relative worth of opposing chemical treatise?"

Well, how did you evaluate Rudolf's nonsense in the first place?

"Since you don't care to speak about blue stains yourself, which is fair enough, can I ask you a non-technical question? It is alleged by Van Pelt that the roof slab of kremaII was cast in one piece, in order not to alert the innmates to the true purpose of the instalation, and that the holes for zyklon induction were chisseled through on completion of the structure."

It's a lie. Van Pelt says no such thing.

"To get back to my point, Green may well have demonstrated that the formation of prussian blue is not an inevitable consequence of zyklon-b exposure. He has not, however, demonstrated that the minimal staining in kremaII was a result of specific operational modalities, rather than of minimal exposure for fumigation.

His argument rests on a prior assumption of mass extermination and is thus logically flawed."

He has demonstrated that the mass gassings were possible as alleged.

"The fact remains that Dr Richard Green's investigations simply demonstrate that there are negligable traces of cyanide in kremaII. His conclusion is that these traces weathered away or failed to accrete to the walls and ceiling of the krema. It is equally possible, of course, that there never was any substantial exposure in the first place. Dr Green "proves" that kremaII was used for mass extermination with cyanide gas by drawing our attention to the very low levels of residual cyanide accretions in the krema. Now that's what I call irony!"

Wrong. While cyanide traces are one piece of evidence (and good evidence, for that matter), no one made an argument that since these traces are present there, it was a homicidal gas chamber. All Dr. Green needed to prove was that it was COMPATIBLE with being a homicidal gas chamber (contrary to deniers' nonsense) - no more, no less. You're the worst kind of demagogue.

david gehrig said...

As you'd know if you bothered to read the Green stuff you're manufacturing excuses to stay away from, the conditions didn't uniformly preclude deposits or uniformly allow them. You'd also know that Prussian blue is only one kind of cyanide deposit, and not the only one found.

And see van Pelt's book, pages 392-398, for the "Markiewicz report" on forensic tests performed by Poland's Institute for Forensic Research, which concludes: The present study shows that in spite of the passage of a considerable period of time (over 45 years) in the walls of the facilities which once were in contact with hydrogen cyanide the vestigial amounts of the combinations of this constituent of Zyklon B had been preserved.

But I notice you've gone utterly silent on the fact that the man whose arguments you're aping, Germar Rudolf and his dozen sock puppets, fully admits making up his sources left and right as it suits him. That's okay by you? As long as he spoonfeeds you, that is, it doesn't matter what kind of lies are in his spoon?

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Anonymous said...

To my fellow annonym, "It's a lie. Van Pelt said no such thing". Really? Perhaps you can tell me on which page of Van Pelt's opus he testifies that the zyklon induction holes were cast into the roof of kremaII.

"He has demostrated that the mass gassings, as alleged, were possible". Yes, and someone once posited an explanation for the designs incised upon the Nazca plain, by demonstrating that the local population could have constructed hot air balloons to direct their creation. You want to forget possible and concentrate on probable.

If, as you claim, the low levels of residual cyanide in kremaII of Auschwitz are "compatible" with allegations mass gassings, then so are the low levels of residual cyanide in many, baracks, etc., of Auschwitzt. No one is claiming that anyone was gassed in these buildings are they?

Mr Gherig, I have read the Rudolf report and I have read Green's refutation. A comparative anaysis indicates that Rudolf cannot claim that the lack of residual cyanide deposits precludes the use of KremaII as a homicidal gas chamber, but that, in order to refute Rudolf, Dr Green has had to admit that minimal deposits of cyanide have accreted in this building. What Green fails to admit is that many innocent buildings contain similar levels of residual cyanide traces as KremaII. This means that forensic evidence niether proves nor disproves the status of this building as a homicidal gas chamber. No forensic evidence.

david gehrig said...

Sorry, not another response from me until you finally acknowledge what you've been so desperately (and glaringly) avoiding -- the established fact that Rudolf is a self-admitted fraud.

You're okay with that?

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Anonymous said...

"To my fellow annonym, "It's a lie. Van Pelt said no such thing". Really?"

Really.

"Perhaps you can tell me on which page of Van Pelt's opus he testifies that the zyklon induction holes were cast into the roof of kremaII."

No, rather you should cite his alleged claim about chiseling.

""He has demostrated that the mass gassings, as alleged, were possible". Yes, and someone once posited an explanation for the designs incised upon the Nazca plain, by demonstrating that the local population could have constructed hot air balloons to direct their creation. You want to forget possible and concentrate on probable."

Especially for you I can rephrase: Dr. Green has proven that the mass gassings, as alleged, were not improbable, contrary to what deniers stated. That was the point of his report. Whether or not chemistry can be used to prove gassings, it cannot disprove them.

"If, as you claim, the low levels of residual cyanide in kremaII of Auschwitz are "compatible" with allegations mass gassings, then so are the low levels of residual cyanide in many, baracks, etc., of Auschwitzt. No one is claiming that anyone was gassed in these buildings are they?"

On the contrary, as Marciewicz et al. show, the levels in Kremas are significantly larger than in the barracks. Which means that "maybe they were fumigated once or twice" theory fails.

But you didn't get the point. Even if it is shown that cyanide traces are not a piece of evidence for gassings (but neither do they disprove them), then they are simply irrelevant. So what? Gassings are not proved by simply pointing to these traces. One piece of evidence less, one more - who really cares?

"This means that forensic evidence niether proves nor disproves the status of this building as a homicidal gas chamber. No forensic evidence."

See above.

Anonymous said...

A morgue used to store the victims of a typhus epidemic is likely to have been subjected to far more fumigations with zyklon (an anti-typhus prophylactic) than a barrack, but probably less exposure than an instalation used for the fumigation of typhus-lice infected clothing. The levels of residual cyanide in kremaII are compatible with the claims made by the Germans that this building was a morgue. Any claims asserting it's homicidal use cannot be validated by chemical analysis.

The architectural plans of KremaII show no holes for the induction of zyklon crystals. They show no devices for the dispersal of zyklon. The only evidence for the homicdal status of this building is eyewitness testimony. Eyewitness testimony convicted Germans for the slaughter of Polish officers at Katyn. Eyewitness testimony convicted Germans of making soap and lampshades from jewish cadavers. Who murdered the Polish officers? Did the Germans really make soap and lampshades from human beings? Please respond, I would really like to hear your answer.

Anonymous said...

Mr Gehrig, you surprise me! The usal way defeated exterminationists hide their blushes is by making fervent accusations of anti-semitism. Congratulations on your originality. Goodbye!

Anonymous said...

"A morgue used to store the victims of a typhus epidemic is likely to have been subjected to far more fumigations with zyklon (an anti-typhus prophylactic) than a barrack"

Let's see a substantiation of this idea.

"The levels of residual cyanide in kremaII are compatible with the claims made by the Germans that this building was a morgue."

"Claims" made by the Germans? The Germans claimed that they were gas chambers. You must be confusing the Germans with the deniers.

Of course, if this room (not a "building") was a morgue, it wouldn't have gas-tight doors, it wouldn't need to be "pre-heated", it wouldn't have the holes in the roof, it wouldn't be called "Vergasungskeller", etc.

"Any claims asserting it's homicidal use cannot be validated by chemical analysis."

Rather, they can be corroborated by it.

"The architectural plans of KremaII show no holes for the induction of zyklon crystals."

The plans we have don't. But as van Pelt points out in his book, we lack at least one late plan, and it is quite possible that the holes were introduced in it. After all, the morgues were converted to the gas chambers quite late.

The whole issue is moot, since the holes were there, as is proven by the so-called "Train photo", which shows at least 2 introduction chimneys in places where the holes can be found currently. It cannot be a coincidence, so the holes were there.

"They show no devices for the dispersal of zyklon."

Krema inventory contains 2 entries - 4 wire-mesh introduction devices and 4 wooden covers. Deniers have never been able to explain what these are.

"The only evidence for the homicdal status of this building is eyewitness testimony. "

Wrong. For example, convergence of documentary criminal traces is no less compelling. I'm not even talking about he convergence of _all_ available evidence.

"Eyewitness testimony convicted Germans for the slaughter of Polish officers at Katyn."

An old Katyn canard. And why do you think that the Soviets did it? Do we have any credible evidence for it from independent parties? (I'm just playing your little game).

"Eyewitness testimony convicted Germans of making soap and lampshades from jewish cadavers."

Oh, let's see:

1) this alleged testimony;
2) the relevant verdicts;
3) the proof that this alleged testimony is quantitatively and qualitatively analogous to that for gassings.

"Who murdered the Polish officers? Did the Germans really make soap and lampshades from human beings? Please respond, I would really like to hear your answer."

Well, as I said, let's play your game. What credible evidence do you have that the Poles have been killed by the Soviets? Please, no unauthenticated documents, biased commissions' reports, etc.

Anonymous said...

"Let's see a substantiation of this statement"

Sorry! The statement stands on it's own. It does nor need substantiation. Res ipsa loquitur!

Germans did not claim that the instalations at Auschwitz were gaschambers. German prisoners of the Communists etc., made "confessions" to their captors. They also "confessed" to exterminations by steam and mass electrocution. As we all know these things didn't happen.

You are right. KremaII has gas-tight doors, but not gas-chamber doors. The doors on the Auschwitz Krema are gas-tight bomb shelter doors, similar to ones found in bomb shelters all over Germany. These doors are very different from actual gas-chamber doors of the type used in gas delousing units.

"If this room were a morgue, it wouldn't be caller a "vergusungskeller". You are right again, and if it were a gas-chamber it wouldn't be called a vergasungskeller either. The german word for gas-chamber is "gaskammer" not vergasungskeller. In the original quote it is clear that the vergasungskeller, whatever it may have been, was a seperate room from the morgue. So if the vergasungskeller was the real locus of exterminations, it was certainly not kremaII as is claimed by Van Pelt.

The morgue would, periodicaly, have to be heated for fumigation purposes.

"One late plan is missing". So your claim rests on a missing plan and missing traces of hydrogen cyanide. Brilliant!

I cant even be bothered to debunk your famous inventory and train photo.

Basically your claims rest upon an invented deductive concept which you call "convergence of evidence". Which can be summed up as the belief that lots of crap evidence assembled together magically becomes good evidence. It's a bit like asserting that if you gather enough sow's ears you'll end up with a silk purse. Please, enough already!

debunking the idiots said...

So, dirty anonymous punk, by not citing van Pelt you accepted that you lied about him.

"Sorry! The statement stands on it's own. It does nor need substantiation."

Thanks for admitting you have no evidence.

"Germans did not claim that the instalations at Auschwitz were gaschambers."

Yes they did, in numerous trials and other testimonies.

"They also "confessed" to exterminations by steam and mass electrocution."

They did not confess to any such thing, so once again you're a proven liar.

"You are right. KremaII has gas-tight doors, but not gas-chamber doors. The doors on the Auschwitz Krema are gas-tight bomb shelter doors, similar to ones found in bomb shelters all over Germany. These doors are very different from actual gas-chamber doors of the type used in gas delousing units."

They are the same doors. And, unless you wish to argue that morgues were also air-raid shelters (far from any SS barracks and full of rotting typhus corpses), your comment is irrelevant. If you _will_ argue that nonsense, you will argue with Mattogno:

"If this room were a morgue, it wouldn't be caller a "vergusungskeller". You are right again, and if it were a gas-chamber it wouldn't be called a vergasungskeller either."

Wrong. If it were a gas-chamber, it could be called Gaskammer (a term used to denote delousing gas chambers), Gaskeller (it was a cellar, after all), Vergasungsraum, Vergasungskammer, Vergasungskeller and many other names. So it was not a morgue.

"In the original quote it is clear that the vergasungskeller, whatever it may have been, was a seperate room from the morgue."

Wrong again. From the original quote and other related documents it follows that the room in question was LK1. So it was not a morgue.

"The morgue would, periodicaly, have to be heated for fumigation purposes."

Which could have been done by easy makeshift means, not installing a special device for it, which would indicate frequent gassings. Since you argue that there were no frequent gassings, the point is moot.

Moreover, the device was installed quite late. If there was such a requirement for a morgue, it would appear in the plans from the beginning. Sorry, you lose once again.

""One late plan is missing". So your claim rests on a missing plan and missing traces of hydrogen cyanide. Brilliant!"

Just another neat distortion. My case rests on positive evidence. But since you brought up the plans, I pointed out that we don't have all of them. And how did you reply? You, deniers, really have no shame.

"I cant even be bothered to debunk your famous inventory and train photo."

Of course you can't debunk them.

"Basically your claims rest upon an invented deductive concept which you call "convergence of evidence"."

There is nothing invented about this method, which is used in proving many things, in history too.

"Which can be summed up as the belief that lots of crap evidence assembled together magically becomes good evidence."

No, it's not defined as that, of course, but you wouldn't get the distinction, as you are full of crap, so, obviously, you see the crap everywhere.

I see you suddenly started ignoring Katyn (which is another case in which convergence of evidence works). How funny. You also seem to backed off in what concerns "soap and lampshade" testimony. So you're basically admitting that you lied.

Thank you for proving once again that you deniers can't proceed without distorting and lying all the time.

debunking the idiots said...

"If you _will_ argue that nonsense, you will argue with Mattogno:"

Sorry, forgot to supply a link:

http://vho.org/GB/c/CM/Crowell-final-eng.html

WJ Phillips said...

Two points.

If, as it says here, 'this blog does not allow anonymous comments', why are so many signed 'Anonymous'?

And thanks to all for this illuminating discussion. The skies don't fall when we disagree after all. In ten years the public prints will be ventilating the same disputes, and the indiscriminate dismissal of anyone who queries any details of one particular version as 'deniers' (a fatuous trope at best) will be smiled upon.

Mazel tov!

WJ Phillips said...

One still reads sometimes eyewitness testimony by GIs that they saw gas chambers at Dachau or Buchenwald, and by Tommies that they saw them at Bergen-Belsen. But Simon Wiesenthal had shot down such stories 30 years ago.

Mr Justice Gray's judgement warned about the evidentiary value of witness statements. The temptation to exaggerate, to chill the blood, to ingratiate oneself with one's own community and to obtain compensation must never be discounted.

Even in more neutral contexts-- beware. The first travellers from Europe to Africa and South America returned with many a remarkable tale about the strange flora and fauna to be found there. Shakespeare's line about men whose heads hang below their shoulders attests to the delusions that were spread.

Courts know that recollected testimony must always be handled with care. Yad Vashem once estimated that more than half the 20,000 accounts of Holocaust experiences in its possession were in some degree unreliable. There's no substitute for unambiguous forensics.

The difficulty one has with Ms Lipstadt's writings is that she takes her facts on trust and writes about what others did with those facts. She does 'Studies', not history. She is more essayist than researcher.

debunking the idiots said...

"One still reads sometimes eyewitness testimony by GIs that they saw gas chambers at Dachau or Buchenwald, and by Tommies that they saw them at Bergen-Belsen. But Simon Wiesenthal had shot down such stories 30 years ago."

This is not an eyewitness testimony. Some thought that these rooms were gas chambers. (For Dachau there are good reasons to think that the room which is now designated as a gas chamber had been such). So they reported what they thought was true. They did not report witnessing any extermination activities. There is no analogy with real gas chamber testimonies at all. So I don't see your point, sorry.

"Mr Justice Gray's judgement warned about the evidentiary value of witness statements. The temptation to exaggerate, to chill the blood, to ingratiate oneself with one's own community and to obtain compensation must never be discounted."

True, any testimony must be critically assessed and corroboration must be sought when possible. This is exactly what was done with many important Holocaust testimonies.

"Even in more neutral contexts-- beware. The first travellers from Europe to Africa and South America returned with many a remarkable tale about the strange flora and fauna to be found there. Shakespeare's line about men whose heads hang below their shoulders attests to the delusions that were spread."

Are we talking about delusions, testimonies, delusions as testimonies, delusions in testimonies or something else?

"Courts know that recollected testimony must always be handled with care."

Most historians do too.

"Yad Vashem once estimated that more than half the 20,000 accounts of Holocaust experiences in its possession were in some degree unreliable."

Once again you show traces of "revisionist" influence.

http://www.nizkor.org/features/techniques-of-denial/krakowski-01.html

"There's no substitute for unambiguous forensics."

For writing history? Wrong. There is no "unambiguous forensics" proving the historicity of Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great.

"The difficulty one has with Ms Lipstadt's writings is that she takes her facts on trust and writes about what others did with those facts."

She interprets the material, consolidates it into narrative, this is part of scholarship. What is supposed to be wrong with that? Scholars can't proceed without trusting their sources.

Now, if you could show that Lipstadt systematically trusts wrong sources, you would have a point.

"She does 'Studies', not history. She is more essayist than researcher."

Interpretation of sources can be called research too, and her 2 books about the denial aren't her ONLY two books.