Wednesday, June 20, 2007

About This Blog

Deborah Lipstadt’s Blog began when my book History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving was published. While I intended this blog to be a place to post reviews and comments on the book, I also used it to track the controversy that emerged right after publication when C-SPAN's Book TV refused to let me appear unless I agreed either to appear with David Irving or to have him appear immediately after I did, that is, back-to-back.

Since then, this blog has morphed into far more. I now address issues of antisemitism, Holocaust denial, politically correct idiocies, and free speech particularly as it pertains to Holocaust and genocide denial. While this blog gives me a chance to comment on these issues as they arise, it also saves me from having to answer the same questions numerous times. And though I aim to keep this blog focused on these issues, occasionally I write about something that cries out for comment. Other times, because something is so mind-boggling, it needs no comment.

I treat the items that I post as somewhere between email* and op-ed columns. This means that I try not to let typos or spelling errors creep in. However, the postings are not as polished as I try to make my op-ed columns. Sometimes, due to the pressure of time and/or my desire to get something posted rapidly, a mistake will pass me by. I apologize for that.

Regarding comments: I post most of the comments that come my way. I do not post items that come from deniers or antisemites. I feel no need to make this blog a soapbox for them. Nor do I post unabashed or even slightly abashed attempts to use this blog to advertise other blogs, particularly those with no connection to the topics under consideration.

I created this blog under the tutelage and at the urging of my blogmother, London's Sasha Frieze, whose observations on life can be found at Sashinka. During the early months, particularly during the whirlwind of the C-SPAN controversy, I simply could not have maintained it without the help of Hilary Ostrov who stepped forward to volunteer invaluable technical assistance. Tamar Orvell helped me take this blog into its latest incarnation. My photo is by Jillian Edelstein. And my friends at the Starbucks on LaVista and Briarcliff Roads, in Atlanta, continue to provide hospitality, friendship, and strong coffee. Their early morning camaraderie is essential to my work.

* I do not correct tpyos in email. That would destroy the prupose of email.

18 comments:

dan said...

it is important to track that down and find out if it really happened. the kippa story in BElgium i mean. I doubt very much that so called news story is true. can you verify it now with a link and a newspaper story link. if not, please take this down. i am 99 percent sure it is a fake story. please find out

danny bloom
http://bubbieandzadiefiles.blogspot.com

Deborah Lipstadt said...

Contrary to your doubts, it appears that this story is quite true. There have been interviews with the man in Haaretz and other places.

See
http://www.antisemitism.org.il/eng/events/27912/Belgium_-_%E2%80%98We_are_not_serving_Jews%2C%E2%80%99_an_American_Jewish_tourist_was_told_in_Belgian_caf%C3%A9

dan said...

Deborah,
Thanks. I saw the Haaretz story, but that is just a rehash of the JTA story and the Jewish Currents story from Belgium. I found maybe discovuered that the argument in the tourist cafe was over money, they were charging a very high price for a mere cup of coffee, our dear professor friend got angry, threw a fit, and got kicked out, with some angry words exchagned on both sides of the dispute, by him as well, but one of the waiters appraently did single out his kippa in one of his parting shots at him. But it appears that the original argument was not over wearing a yarmulke or being Jewish but over the old man's behavior inside the cafe, and you know as well as I do, that old crotchey old men can sometimes get into trouble this way, and then later blame it on on "they said I was a Black, they said I was a Jew, they said I was a Moslem, they said I was a feminist", whatever. It appears that our professor friend, God bless him, got into a hissy fit, got thrown out of the cafe, where he was only patron at the time, got angry and decided to get revene, to get even, so he went to the media, and they media took his story as TRUE, when it is a kind of Rashomon story, with more than one side of truth to it. i really doubt this story was originally about antisemitism, but that is what it is about now. I beleive JTA and Haaretz and everyone else got it wrong. Let's see. If I am wrong, I will eat my hat. I have seen cases like this before, and there's somethjng fishy to the crotchey old professor's tirades. it's not about being a Jew. They didn't throw him out for wearing a kippa. That's his imagiantion. they threw him out because he was an argumentative old man. Watch this case unfold. I already found one website in Europe that took the original story down because it was not true, they said. Antisemitism is real, and we must guard against it eveerywhere, and if it happened in this case, they owe the man a deep apology. But if this facts are not FACTS, then he needs to backtrack adn we need to find out the truth. You are a reporter, Deborah, you know how these things sometimes work. Okay, if I am wrong, good. But I smell something fishy here. Not that Professor is a liar, but just that was alone in a foreign land, went into a tourist trap cafe, got charged a high price, 3 times normal coffee price at most cafes, and started complaining, as is his right. But he might have made an ass of himself at the same time, yelling and screaming, so maybe there is MORE here than meets the eye. I will report back if i hear more. you too? Maybe update your origianl blog post on this..... it reminds me, this story, of the Jewish girl at college in DC who scrawled antisem words on her door and then told media a racist did it. when all along, she did it. we need to get all the facts right. I believe JTa and Haartez was part of the media circus on this.

danny

dan said...

KEY facts HERE;

*****Contacted by 'Joods Actueel', the owner of Le Panier d'Or
acknowledged that Kalmann was kicked out. He said he was ready to
apologize but added that the client had a "strange behaviour." The
restaurants in the area spoke rather of a quarrel about "outrageous
prices."

So Deborah, maybe just maybe, this was a quarrel about money and tourist trap prices, and the Prof got mad, got thrown out, and then got even........but i am not sure this is getting even, if it turns out he made this into something it was NOT.....but then again, i might be wrong....i often am. SMILE

dan said...

the quarrel, you see, mighthave been over the practice of waiters there, to quote different prices for coffee depending on the customer's wealth status, rich or middle or poor. who knows? but LE MONDE SAYS

L'exploitant du café ne conteste pas que le professeur ait été expulsé. Il se dit prêt à lui présenter des excuses "s'il le désire" mais soutient que ce client aurait eu "un comportement étrange". Les voisins de l'établissement préfèrent, semble-t-il, résumer à l'affaire à une querelle sur les tarifs pratiqués : les serveurs jongleraient allégrement avec les prix en fonction du profil des clients.

LE MONDE

dan said...

you see, it was about money. this is a letter from the restaurant. please update your post now. danny

Dear Sir,

Normally we decided not to respond to all the hate-mail we get becouse 90 % of them are anonymous. As your mail is undersigned I would to answer.

It is true Mr Kalmann visited our restaurant, and it is also true there has been an incident between mr Kalmann and one of the waitors. This incident was base don a discussion about the price of his coffee.

This can be checked in the police-files. It was not at all a racist incident.

dan said...

http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=14500

read the post here

danny

dan said...

marc grajower says

"Being the one who translated the article from the Standard Online (the Flemish Center Right daily) and who asked Engage to publish my translation, I think it's my duty to warn you that there is something fishy about this event.

There is the fact Mr. Kalmann complained about the attitude of the Bruges police as they did not let him file his complaint in English. It turns out that Mr. Kalmann speaks Dutch fluently, as he let himself being interviewed in English on television (I saw the interview with my own eyes).

In the original piece of "Joods Aktueel" there is also a mention of the coffee that is unreasonably expensive in that café. How can that be an issue if they " don't serve Jews". The story goes that he was shown the door when he took off his hat and his kippah could be seen."

http://contentious-centrist.blogspot.com/2008/02/we-dont-serve-jews-here.html

dan said...

Deborah,
You called it right. If you ever need anyone to track info down, email me. I control the Internet!

Kidding. But I can smell a rat from miles away, and that original JTA story, while very interesting, did sound fishy, as you yourself felt too.

Sad story. Unfortunately, many antisemities will use that story and the many of hundreds of blog posts to once again make antisemitic comments about poor professor Kalmann, who maybe was just having a bad hair day, that's all. I am sure he is a good man, and regrets what he did now. I think the Atlanta Constitution Journal, his paper, is tracking this "professor" down. I wish him well, and a good recovery.

danny

Deborah Lipstadt said...

I was wrong. The story was not as originally published. In fact I had doubts when i originally saw it and expressed those doubts. But when I saw the Haaretz story I thought it must be true.

Well seems that it wasn't true..or at least as it was originally published.

Daniel said...

Let me quickly shed some light on Marc Kalmann, my brother. He was born in 1948 in Amsterdam and not in Auschwitz in 1945. He lives in the Netherlands and is fluent in Dutch. He lived in the USA for 22 years and was sometimes employed as a teacher of languages at community colleges. He liked the title professor and has used it since. He tends to believe his own fantasies. I love him but I am concerned that his fantasies take over his world. And through the magic of the Internet it is taking the world by storm. I wanted to set some part of the record straight. I have no knowledge of what did or did not happen at the restaurant in Bruges.

Lucy in the Sky said...

Deborah, I just read your book "Denying the Holocaust" and I admire your desire to shut down Holocaust deniers and to get the facts out to those who might not have an understanding of history. The fact that people are trying to twist the truth and deny that something like the Holocaust happened is shocking to me and I feel that everyone should fight this. Thank you for writing such a book and for shedding light on the deniers and their attempt to deem the Holocaust as propaganda. We'll be discussing your book in one of my history classes in a couple weeks and I am excited to enlighten my classmates on your views!

cheetah_froggie06 said...

Hi Deborah,

I'm a year 12 student from Australia doing Extension History. For the course, we have to do some sort of controversial issue in history that interests us, and I'm doing Holocaust Denial. Your book has been like my bible. I was wondering if you could help me with how the theory has changed over time, as my question regards how and why it has changed over time and led to the case between yourself and David Irving.

Anything you could say would be fantastic!

L.A. Lam said...

Hi Miss Lipstadt, my name is Lauren Lam. I recently read your book "Denying the Holocaust" this past summer, and found it very informing, and that your view was quite interesting.
My school has this project called the PRP, aka Senior project that you can start working on as a junior and I was hoping to get a head start on it and that my topic would be "What is the reasoning behind holocaust denial?" And because I found your book so interesting and straight forward, and intriguing, I was hoping that I could get an interview with you via email, and possibly have you as my "community mentor" which would basically consist of you giving me an interview and maybe a few other sources to find information on the topic. And also allowing me to use the interview on a video that is only for the project, with someone reading your responses to the interview questions outloud in your place.
I would really apprecaite any help you would be willing to give me. And I completly understand if you don't want to or are too busy.
Please contact me at Lateenwriter@hotmail.com with your answer. I would be extremely grateful. Thank you so much for your time.
Lauren Lam

Allen Esterson said...

Dear Prof Lipstadt,

I just came across this on your blog on 6 May 2008
"Michael Whine [UK Community Security Trust], notes that the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) was founded by the government as an umbrella organization in 1977."

http://lipstadt.blogspot.com/search/label/UK%20Ends%20Holocaust%20Education%3A%20False%20Rumors

Please note that the MCB was not set up in 1977, and was not founded up by the British government. See:

The Muslim Council of Britain – its history, structure and workings
[...]
The need to coordinate efforts on wider issues of common concern became apparent in the course of the Rushdie affair…. In April 1994, a meeting of Muslim organisations and institutions held at Golden Hillock Mosque and Community Centre in Birmingham adopted a working paper ‘Towards an Islamic consensus on National Affairs’. [...] The outcome of this work was a draft document entitled ‘Basic Elements of a Working Constitution for the Proposed Muslim Consultative Body’, presented to NICMU in January 1996, containing a number of organisational options for a new umbrella body. NICMU discussed the options and commissioned the sub-group to prepare a draft constitution. [...] The final meeting of the NICMU Working Party in May 1996 in Bradford, at the invitation of the Bradford Council of Mosques, adopted the Constitution and Standing Orders. The name ‘The Muslim Council of Britain’ (MCB) was chosen out of several proposed.

http://www.mcb.org.uk/downloads/MCB_acheivments.pdf

Best wishes,
Allen Esterson

dan said...

Deborah
I have important info on the kids book by the Rosenblat's in Florida called ANGEL FIRE. Remember how I was right about the guy in Beligum who said he was kicked out of the cafe for being Jewish but it later turned out to be untrue? WEll, i got info that show that maybe this book of theirs is NOT a true story, a fiction story, a nice fiction story, but not fact as they tell the AP reporter today. Email me at danbloom in care of GMAIL dot COM and i will tell you what i learned today. fascinating.

sad. sigh

DANNY
Tufts 1971

Elisabeth said...

Changing the subject quite a bit. I have a question regarding the Law that supported Hitler in his quest to wipe out the Jewish people in Germany and the rest of Europe. Did a law or laws exist during the 3rd Reich which allowed Hitler to stay within legality?
Gratefully,
Elisabeth

Sara said...

Dear Prof. Lipstadt,

I've recently started preparing my doctoral thesis on the matters connected strongly with the issue of Holocaust and - or maybe even first of all - polish anti-semitism. In my thesis I do my best to prove that Poles were not only witnesses, but - so to say - co-perpetrators of Holocaust. - They actively joined in the process of eliminating Jews from their country - Poland. Co-operating with the Nazis in the most cruel acts of genocide fell within the scope of the main purposes of polish underground military forces. When the Nazis were defeated by joined forces of eastern and western allies and they became unable to kill Jews, they unexpectedly found a formidable succesor that continued their work (I would say that was a "little" - polish Holocaust, including the notorious incidents in Kielce and in Krakow and many others).

Could you, please, recommend any literature that could help me to support my - above mentioned - point of view.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Your sincerely

Sarah Bekker

PS: I would also like to apologise for all possible mistakes that I made while writing to you. The only excuse I have is that English is not the language of my everyday use.