The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/press/Haaretz.010620

June 20, 2001 16:14 (Israel time)
Historian who challenged Holocaust appeals libel ruling

The Associated Press

LONDON - Historian David Irving, who has questioned the extent of the
Holocaust, sought permission Wednesday to appeal a court ruling that
he was an anti-Semitic racist and an apologist for Hitler.

Once again, Irving sat across a courtroom from Deborah Lipstadt, the
American academic he sued last year over her 1994 book that accused
him of playing down the horrors of the Holocaust.

Rejecting Irving's suit, High Court Judge Charles Gray ruled that
Irving had indeed misrepresented and distorted historical evidence,
that he was anti-Semitic and racist and that he associated with
right-wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism.

Irving's lawyers argued Wednesday that the historian had never said
the killing of Jews was in any way excusable.

Lawyer Adrian Davies told three Appeal Court judges that Gray's
findings went contrary to the weight of evidence and that if an appeal
was allowed, Irving would argue that his judgment was wrong and

Gray said Irving had, for his own ideological reasons, deliberately
misrepresented historical evidence and portrayed Hitler in a favorable

The 63-year-old author sued Lipstadt and her publishers, Penguin, over
her book, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and
Memory, saying it destroyed his livelihood and generated feelings of
hatred against him.

Irving, the author of nearly 30 books including Hitler's War, insists
he does not deny that Jews were killed by the Nazis, but challenges
the number and manner of Jewish concentration camp deaths.

He claimed that after publication of Lipstadt's book, his academic
work was increasingly shunned by publishers and agents.

Gray ordered Irving to pay Lipstadt and Penguin's legal costs -
estimated at $2.78 million. Irving has funded the appeal with the help
of contributions from supporters, including some in the United States.

Davies said the judgment against Irving - who has been banned from
Germany, Canada and Australia - was that he had falsified history.

"It's not that he's a nasty person who holds horrible views and knows
lots of people who hold even more horrible views," Davies told the
appeal judges.

"I say that nowhere in the entire core of Mr. Irving's work, in an
authorial life of nearly 40 years ... has he said anything which
remotely began to suggest that he thought the Nazis did a jolly good
thing - or even an excusable thing - in rounding up all the Jews in
eastern Europe and putting them into camps," said Davies.

Lipstadt, who holds the Dorot Chair in Modern Jewish and Holocaust
Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, offered no comment Wednesday.

The hearing continues Thursday and is expected to last five days.
 copyright 2001 Ha'aretz. All Rights Reserved

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