The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/press/irving-vrs-lipstadt/Press_Summary.000111



This is a round up of the wire service coverage for the first day of the
trial.  Some correspondents for the wires filed more than one report.
These are included where possible.  Articles are separated by three
asterisks  ***.  This file is in plain text format.   Next major update
0600 MST /1300 GMT 12 January 2000.

         Copyright 2000 Associated Press AP Online January 11, 2000;
Tuesday 3:12 PM Eastern Time

HEADLINE:   Holocaust Book Libel Trial Underway

DATELINE:  LONDON

A book that claimed a historian distorted aspects of the Holocaust
generated ''waves of hatred'' against him and threatened his livelihood,
he told England's High Court on Tuesday.

David Irving is suing Deborah Lipstadt  and Penguin Books for libel over
the 1994 book ''Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and
Memory,'' which claims he has denied that the Nazis used gas chambers to
exterminate the Jews, holds extremist views and distorts history.

Penguin and Lipstadt,  who holds the Dorot Chair in Modern Jewish and
Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, deny any libel.

Irving, 62, has outraged Jews by saying the Holocaust has been
exaggerated and by challenging the number and manner of Jewish
concentration camp deaths under Adolf Hitler's regime. He also claims
Hitler knew nothing about the extermination of Europe's Jews until 1943.

But Irving, who is representing himself, said in his opening statement
Tuesday that he would show that ''far from being a Holocaust denier,''
he had repeatedly drawn attention to major aspects of the Holocaust.

''The word 'denier' is particularly evil, because no person in full
command of his mental faculties, and with even the slightest
understanding of what happened in World War II, can deny that the
tragedy actually happened, however much we dissident historians may wish
to quibble about the means, the scale, the dates,'' he said.

Being branded a Holocaust denier, ''is a verbal Yellow Star,'' he said,
referring to the symbol the Nazis forced Jews to wear.

Irving, the author of ''Hitler's War'' and ''Goebbels: Mastermind of the
Third Reich,'' said Lipstadt  and her publisher were part of ''an
organized international endeavor'' to destroy his career.

He said he once earned more than $160,000 a year in royalties from his
writing and had always looked on his books as his pension fund and a
legacy for his four children.

''By virtue of the activities of the defendants ... I have since 1996
seen one fearful publisher after another falling away from me, declining
to reprint my works, refusing to accept new commissions and turning
their backs on me,'' Irving said. ''Such is the nature of the odium that
has been generated by the waves of hatred recklessly propagated against
me by the defendants.''

''In short, my 'pension' has vanished,'' he added.

Irving has addressed neo-Nazi groups in Austria and Germany, and in 1988
testified in Toronto on behalf of Ernst Zundel, a Canadian on trial for
denying the Holocaust occurred. In 1992, German authorities fined him
for claiming British intelligence had spread the ''propaganda'' that the
Germans were using gas chambers to kill millions of Jews and other
so-called undesirables. He is banned from Germany, Canada and Australia.

Under Britain's libel law, a claimant needs to prove that his reputation
has been damaged. Truth is not necessarily a defense. The case, which is
being heard without a jury, is expected to last 12 weeks.

***

Copyright 2000 PR Newswire Europe Limited Press Association Newsfile

January 11, 2000, Tuesday 12:23 PM Eastern Time

HEADLINE:  WAR HISTORIAN 'A LIAR', HIGH COURT TOLD

BYLINE:  Jan Colley and Cathy Gordon, PA News

Controversial historian David Irving was branded a liar today as he
launched his High Court libel action over a claim that he was a
"Holocaust denier".

The 62-year-old author of Hitler's War and Goebbels: Mastermind of the
Third Reich claims that Penguin Books and academic Deborah Lipstadt
were part of "an organised international endeavour" to destroy his
career and "vandalise" his legitimacy as a historian.

He says that the "waves of hatred" generated by their book, Denying the
Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, had robbed him of
financial security for the future.

But Penguin and Professor Lipstadt,  holder of the Dorot Chair in Modern
Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia,
deny libel and plead justification.

Their counsel, Richard Rampton QC, told Mr Justice Gray, who is hearing
the case without a jury: "Mr Irving calls himself an historian. The
truth is, however, that he is not an historian at all, but a falsifier
of history. To put it bluntly, he is a liar.

"Lies may take various forms and may as often consist of suppression or
omission as of direct falsehood or invention, but in the end all forms
of lying converge into a single definition: wilful, deliberate
mis-statement of the facts."

Counsel continued: "Mr Irving has used many different means to falsify
history: invention, misquotation, suppression, distortion, manipulation
and - not least - mistranslation.

"But all these techniques have the same ultimate effect: falsification
of the truth.

"Moreover, the lies which the defendants in this case will show that Mr
Irving has told concern an area of history in which, perhaps, it behoves
any writer or researcher to be particularly careful of the truth: the
destruction of the Jews by the Nazis during World War Two - the
Holocaust - and Adolf Hitler's role in that human catastrophe.

"Or, as Mr Irving would have it, alleged catastrophe. For Mr Irving is
nowadays a Holocaust denier.

"By this I mean that he denies that the Nazis planned and carried out
the systematic murder of millions of Jews, in particular - though by no
means exclusively - by the use of homicidal gas chambers, and in
particular - though by no means exclusively - at Auschwitz in southern
Poland."

Counsel said it was an important case - the essence of which was Mr
Irving's honesty and integrity as a "chronicler".

"For if it be right that Mr Irving, driven by his extremist views and
sympathies, has devoted his energies to the deliberate falsification of
this tragic episode in history, then, by exposing that dangerous fraud
in this court, the defendants may properly be applauded for having
performed a significant public service, not just in this country, but in
all those places in the world where anti-semitism is waiting to be fed.

Earlier, Mr Irving, who is representing himself, said that his career
was destroyed by a "cumulative, self-perpetuating, rolling onslaught
from every side - engineered by the same people who have propagated the
book which is the subject of this action".

He intended to show that "far from being a Holocaust denier", he had
repeatedly drawn attention to major aspects of the Holocaust, had
described them, and had "selflessly" provided historical documents both
to scholars and the general public of which they had been previously
unaware.

He said that to justify her allegations of manipulation and distortion,
it was not enough for Prof Lipstadt  to show that he had misrepresented
what happened but that he knew what happened and "perversely and
deliberately" portrayed it differently.

Mr Irving said that the phrase "Holocaust denier" had become "one of the
most potent phrases in the arsenal of insult".

"The word 'denier' is particularly evil: because no person in full
command of his mental faculties, and with even the slightest
understanding of what happened in World War Two, can deny that the
tragedy actually happened, however much we dissident historians may wish
to quibble about the means, the scale, the dates and other minutiae."

He continued: "Yet, meaningless though it is, the phrase has become a
part of the English language. It is a poison to which there is virtually
no antidote, less lethal than a hypodermic with nerve gas jabbed in the
neck, but deadly all the same: for the chosen victim, it is like being
called a wife beater or a paedophile.

"It is enough for the label to be attached, for the attachee to find
himself designated as a pariah, an outcast from normal society. It is a
verbal Yellow Star."

The hearing, which is estimated to last 12 weeks, was adjourned until
tomorrow.

***


Copyright 2000 Agence France Presse Agence France Presse

January 11, 2000, Tuesday 11:36 AM Eastern Time

HEADLINE:  British historian sues US academic over "Holocaust denier"
claims

DATELINE:  LONDON, Jan 11

British historian David Irving, who is widely vilified for questioning
whether six million Jews were killed by the Nazis, began a libel battle
on Tuesday against claims he is a "Holocaust denier."

The 62-year-old historian, who wrote "Hitler's War" and "Goebbels:
Mastermind of the Third Reich," told London's High Court that a US
academic and her publishers were part of "an organised international
endeavour" to destroy his career.

Deborah Lipstadt,  a professor of modern Jewish and Holocaust studies in
Atlanta, Georgia, argued in a book published by Penguin in 1994 that
Irving was one of the most dangerous and prominent exponents of denying
that the Holocaust took place.

Lipstadt  and Penguin Books deny libel and plead justification.

Like Irving, they have amassed considerable funds to fight the 12-week
case at the London courtroom, in which it was standing room only on
Tuesday.

The case, heard without a jury, comes as the British government
continues to ponder plans to introduce laws making Holocaust denial a
crime, as it is in France and Germany.

The historian, who is representing himself, told the court that Lipstadt
and her publishers had generated "waves of hatred" against him,
prompting publishers to refuse to reprint his works.

Irving said he once earned more than 100,000 pounds (164,000 dollars,
160,000 euros) a year in royalties but had been done "very real
pecuniary damage" by the defendants.

The historian, who has published more than 20 books, also took issue
with the epithet "Holocaust denier" coined by Lipstadt  in her work.

"If a writer, no matter how well reviewed and received until then, has
that phrase stuck to him, then he can regard his career as rumbling off
the edge of a precipice," Irving said.

In her book, "Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and
Memory," Lipstadt  described Irving as an "Adolf Hitler partisan who
wears blinkers and skews documents and misrepresents data in order to
reach historically untenable conclusions, specifically those that
exonerate Hitler."

The defendants are to call some of the world's leading experts on the
Holocaust and the Second World War, including Anthony Julius, a
solicitor and author of a book on the poet T S Eliot's anti-semitism.

Irving was fined by a German court and subsequently banned from the
country after he told a public meeting there in 1990 that there were no
gas chambers at Auschwitz.

He is also reported to have been refused entry to Canada, Italy, Austria
and Australia.

arb/jl/gj

***

Copyright 2000 Associated Press AP Worldstream

January 11, 2000; Tuesday 10:36 AM Eastern Time

DISTRIBUTION:  Europe;Britian;Scandinavia;Middle
East;Africa;India;England;Asia

HEADLINE:  Historian says Holocaust book threatened his livelihood

DATELINE:  LONDON

A controversial right-wing historian and author told the High Court on
Tuesday that a book about the Holocaust had generated ''waves of
hatred'' against him and threatened his livelihood.

David Irving is suing Deborah Lipstadt  and Penguin Books for libel over
Lipstadt's  1994 book ''Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on
Truth and Memory.''

Lipstadt,  who holds the Dorot Chair in Modern Jewish and Holocaust
Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, claimed in the book that Irving
has denied the Nazis used gas chambers to exterminate the Jews and that
he holds extremist views and distorts history.

Penguin and Lipstadt  deny any libel.

Irving, 62, the author of ''Hitler's War'' and ''Goebbels: Mastermind of
the Third Reich,'' said the author and her publishers were part of ''an
organized international endeavor'' to destroy his career and
''vandalize'' his legitimacy.

In his opening statement, Irving, who is representing himself, said had
always looked on his books as his pension fund and a legacy for his four
children, but that was no longer the case.

''By virtue of the activities of the defendants ... I have since 1996
seen one fearful publisher after another falling away from me, declining
to reprint my works, refusing to accept new commissions and turning
their backs on me,'' Irving told the judge, Charles Gray.

''In short, my 'pension' has vanished,'' he said.

Irving has outraged Jews by saying the Holocaust has been exaggerated
and by challenging the number and manner of Jewish concentration-camp
deaths under Adolf Hitler's regime. He also claims Hitler knew nothing
about the extermination of Europe's Jews until 1943.

He has regularly addressed neo-Nazi groups in Austria and Germany and in
1988 went to Toronto to testify on behalf of Ernst Zundel, a Canadian on
trial for denying the Holocaust occurred.

In 1992, German authorities fined him for claiming British intelligence
had spread the ''propaganda story'' that the Germans were using gas
chambers to kill millions of Jews and other so-called undesirables. He
is now banned from Germany, Canada and Australia.

But Irving said he would show that ''far from being a Holocaust
denier,'' he had repeatedly drawn attention to major aspects of the
Holocaust.

''The word 'denier' is particularly evil, because no person in full
command of his mental faculties, and with even the slightest
understanding of what happened in World War II, can deny that the
tragedy actually happened, however much we dissident historians may wish
to quibble about the means, the scale, the dates'' and other details, he
added.

Being branded a Holocaust denier, ''is a verbal Yellow Star,'' he said,
a reference to the mark the Nazis forced all Jews to wear.

He added that what was at stake in the case was not what happened in
Poland or Russia 50 years ago, but over the last 32 years ''on my
writing desk.''

Irving said he had once earned more than 100,000 pounds (dlrs 160,000) a
year in royalties from his writing, but had been done ''very real
pecuniary damage'' by Lipstadt's  book.

The case, which is being heard without a jury, is expected to last 12
weeks.

(scl-kg)

***

Copyright 2000 PR Newswire Europe Limited Press Association Newsfile

January 11, 2000, Tuesday 08:27 AM Eastern Time

HEADLINE:  Mr Irving, who is representing himself, made his opening
statement to a courtroom in which there was standing room only.

He said that he had never held himself out to be a Holocaust expert and
had not written books about it.

If he was an expert on anything, it was the role that Hitler played in
the War.

"As a peripheral matter to that topic, on which I have written a number
of books, I inevitably investigated the extent to which Hitler
participated in or had cognisance of the Holocaust. That was the sum
total of my involvement as a book author up to the launching of these
writs."

Since then, he added, he had been obliged - because of the defendants'
"tactics" - to become something of an expert.

"To my utmost distaste it has become evident that it is no longer
possible to write pure history, untrammelled and uninfluenced by
politics, once one ventures into this unpleasant field."

He said that he intended to show that "far from being a Holocaust
denier", he had repeatedly drawn attention to major aspects of the
Holocaust, had described them, and had "selflessly" provided historical
documents both to scholars and the general public of which they had been
previously unaware.

"I submit that, harsh though it may seem, the court should take no
interest in that tragedy (the Holocaust)."

What was at stake was not what happened in Poland or Russia 50 years
ago, but over the last 32 years "on my writing desk in my apartment off
Grosvenor Square".

He said that to justify her allegations of manipulation and distortion,
it was not enough for Prof Lipstadt  to show that he had misrepresented
what happened but that he knew what happened and "perversely and
deliberately" portrayed it differently.

Mr Irving said that he once earned more than 100,000 a year in
royalties but had been done "very real pecuniary damage" by the
defendants.

***

Copyright 2000 PR Newswire Europe Limited Press Association Newsfile

January 11, 2000, Tuesday 08:10 AM Eastern Time

HEADLINE:  AUTHOR'S CLAIMS DESTROYED MY 'PENSION', SAYS HISTORIAN

BYLINE:  Jan Colley and Cathy Gordon, PA News

Controversial historian David Irving told the High Court today that the
author of a book about the Holocaust and its publishers had generated
"waves of hatred" against him.

Mr Irving, the 62-year-old author of Hitler's War and Goebbels:
Mastermind of the Third Reich, said academic Deborah Lipstadt  and
Penguin Books were part of "an organised international endeavour"
determined to destroy his career and "vandalise" his legitimacy as a
historian.

He said that he had always looked on his books as his pension fund and a
legacy for his four children, but that was no longer the situation.

"By virtue of the activities of the defendants ... I have since 1996
seen one fearful publisher after another falling away from me, declining
to reprint my works, refusing to accept new commissions and turning
their backs on me when I approach," he told Mr Justice Gray, who is
hearing the 12-week case without a jury.

He added: "Such is the nature of the odium that has been generated by
the waves of hatred recklessly propagated against me by the defendants.

"In short my 'pension' has vanished, as assuredly as if I had been
employed by one of those companies taken over by the late Mr Robert
Maxwell."

He said he would not have faced "this hatred" if the Second World War,
in particular the Third Reich and its "criminal leadership", had not
been his area of expertise"

Mr Irving claims he has been libelled in Professor Lipstadt's  1994
book, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory.

He says that it alleges that he has denied the Holocaust, has distorted
statistics and documents to serve his own ideological purposes and reach
historically untenable conclusions, and has knowingly consorted with
extremists.

Penguin and Professor Lipstadt,  holder of the Dorot Chair in Modern
Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia,
deny libel and plead justification.

They claim that Mr Irving has denied the Holocaust - the planned
extermination of Europe's Jewish population by the Nazis - and that gas
chambers were used to carry it out, and that he holds extremist views
and distorts history.

***

ROUNDUP: Irving says book spawned ``waves of hatred'' against him

01/11/2000 Deutsche Presse-Agentur Copyright (c) 2000, dpa

London (dpa) - Controversial historian David Irving told a court in
England Tuesday that the author of a book about the Holocaust and its
publishers had generated ``waves of hatred'' against him.

Irving, the 62-year-old author of ``Hitler's War'' and ``Goebbels:
Mastermind of the Third Reich'', said academic Deborah Lipstadt and
Penguin Books were part of ``an organised international endeavour''
determined to destroy his career and ``vandalise'' his legitimacy as a
historian.

On the first day of libel proceedings against the author and her
publishers, he said that he had always looked on his books as his
pension fund and a legacy for his four children, but that was no longer
the situation since publication of the 1995 book.

``By virtue of the activities of the defendants ... I have since 1996
seen one fearful publisher after another falling away from me, declining
to reprint my works, refusing to accept new commissions and turning
their backs on me when I approach,'' he told the court.

He added: ``Such is the nature of the odium that has been generated by
the waves of hatred recklessly propagated against me by the defendants.

``In short my 'pension' has vanished,'' he said at the outset of the
proceedings, expected to last three months.

Irving claims he has been libelled in Lipstadt 's book ``Denying the
Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory''.

He says that it alleges that he has denied the Holocaust, has distorted
statistics and documents to serve his own ideological purposes and reach
historically untenable conclusions, and has knowingly consorted with
extremists.

Penguin and Lipstadt , holder of the Dorot Chair in Modern Jewish and
Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, deny libel
and plead justification.

They claim that Irving has denied the Holocaust - the planned
extermination of Europe's Jewish population by the Nazis - and that gas
chambers were used to carry it out, and that he holds extremist views
and distorts history.

Irving, who is representing himself, made his opening statement to a
courtroom in which there was standing room only.

``It may be that I was totally ignorant on some aspects of World War
Two - I hasten to say that I do not believe I was - but to be accused of
deliberate manipulation, and distorting, and mis-translating is
perverse.''

He claimed that he had been the victim of ``monitoring'' by a Jewish
organisation, which had prepared dossiers on his personal life. Irving
said that such ``spying'' offended him ``as an Englishman''.

``I have never done it to my fellow human beings, and I can think only
of the wartime Gestapo and its offshoots in Nazi-occupied Europe as a
body engaged in similar practices.

``It is an offensive and ugly comparison, I warrant, and one that I have
never made before; but in a legal battle of this magnitude, I consider
it necessary to use ammunition of the proper calibre.''

Irving said that until his career was ``sabotaged'' he had ``earned the
reputation of being a person who was always digging up new historical
evidence; that was until the countries and the archives of the world
were prevailed upon, as we shall see, to close their doors to me''.

Defence lawyers said in their own opening statement that Irving had
``deliberately falsified history'' in particular about Auschwitz,
prompting the plaintiff to issue a fiery rebuttal.

``I don't see any reason to be tasteful about Auschwitz. It's baloney,
it's a legend. Once we admit the fact that it was a brutal slave labour
camp and large numbers of people did die, as large numbers of innocent
people died elsewhere in the war, why believe the rest of the baloney?''
Irving said.

He added, ``I say quite tastelessly, in fact, that more women died on
the back seat of Edward Kennedy's car at Chappaquiddick than ever died
in a gas chamber in Auschwitz.''

He went on, ``Oh, you think that's tasteless, how about this? There are
so many Auschwitz survivors going around, in fact the number increases
as the years go past, which is biologically very odd to say the least.
Because I'm going to form an Association of Auschwitz survivors,
survivors of the Holocaust and other liars, or the ASSHOLS.''

Proceedings were recessed until Wednesday.

Copyright (c) 2000, dpa

***

11-01-00 1306EST

TRIAL THAT COULD REWRITE THE STORY OF THE HOLOCAUST

ALEX RENTON

01/11/2000 Evening Standard Page 20 Copyright (C) 2000 Evening Standard;
Source: World Reporter (TM)

THERE'S quite a programme in the High Court this morning: Right-wing
historian David Irving taking on liberal American author Deborah
Lipstadt ; the mother of all arguments between some of the world's most
eminent Second World War historians and, most crucially, the facts of
Nazis' slaughter of the Jews up for debate.

Offensive the libel trial will be to many, but it will raise fundamental
questions, not least the right of scholarship to examine history's
sacred cows, however unpopular the exercise. Irving is suing Lipstadt
over a book, published by Penguin four years ago, in which she calls him
a 'Holocaust denier' - a phrase Irving rejects.

Conducting his own case, Irving will justify the views that have made
him notorious across the world: that the number of Jewish people killed
in the Second World War has been exaggerated, and that Hitler never
directly ordered those killings that did happen.

In her book, Denying The Holocaust: The Growing Assault On Truth And
Memory, Lipstadt called Irving an 'Adolf Hitler partisan' and claimed he
was a friend to neo-Nazi causes who 'applauds the internment of Jews in
Nazi concentration camps'.

Irving has fought many court cases, but this one is crucial, a chance on
a grand stage to attempt a restoration of the reputation he once had as
a serious and significant historian. Though authors in the field
acknowledge him as the pre-eminent scholar on the war from the German
end, publishers are terrified of him - or, more accurately, of the wrath
of the lobby that opposes him.

He is now his own publisher, and though his 20-odd books once made him
rich, losing this case would surely mean ruin. Threatened by
demonstrators wherever he goes, Irving has compared his situation to
that of Salman Rushdie - a target of extremists and a literal outcast,
refused entry to Canada, Italy, Australia and Austria because of his
views. Banned from Germany, too, he can no longer access the archives
vital to his research. His libel case opens as the British Government
considers making 'Holocaust denial' a crime, as it already is in several
European countries.

Irving, who is 61, will defend himself with typical passion, picturing
himself as a simple truth-seeker who has for decades battled a 'global
conspiracy' against his work. But he is more complex. The fascination
with Hitler, and his pleasure in causing annoyance, go back to
grammar-school days. At Sir Anthony Browne's, in Brentwood, Essex, he
chose a copy of Mein Kampf as the prize that the then Chancellor of the
Exchequer was to present to him. The interest continues to this day -
the flat he lives in off Grosvenor Square with girlfriend Bente and
their small daughter contains Hitler memorabilia.

Irving was born in 1938, the child of a Royal Navy commander and an
illustrator. He was brought up by his mother in Essex. At university in
London (he never took a degree), his opinions were already exotic: in
1959, he deliberately scuppered a student fund-raising drive for an
anti-government organisation in South Africa. Reporting this, the Daily
Mail quoted Irving as saying 'Call me a mild fascist' - a remark that
still haunts him, but which he says was the reporter's invention.

Unfit for military service, Irving decided to find the toughest job he
could, so - at the age of 22 - he went to the Ruhr to work in a steel
factory for a year. Talking to fellow workers there, he found a subject
for his first book: the bombing of Dresden in 1945 by Allied planes, and
the carnage it caused among civilians. Published in 1963, it was a
controversial success that set Irving off on his career.

The war's secret and disputed areas have remained Irving's territory -
from the British Government's 'betrayal' of the Polish resistance
through to the disasters of the Arctic convoys. In 1970, he lost a libel
case brought by the commander of the PQ17 convoy, whom he had accused of
cowardice and incompetence.

Irving's account of Hitler in relation to the death camps - which
depends principally on the meaning of one word used by Hitler in
discussion of the Jews - became notorious in 1977, when he published
Hitler's War, based on diary material given to him by Germans who found
him sympathetic. Though rejecting the Hitler defence, reviewers,
particularly the historian Hugh Trevor-Roper, hailed the book as a major
work.

ow that his credentials were established, later editions of Hitler's War
were changed to take on Irving's belief that there were no gas chambers,
either. His next coup, a biography of Goebbels, drawing on the
propaganda chief's own diary which was discovered in Russian archives,
was used to reinforce his Hitler thesis.

Irving's views on Hitler now dominate his life.

This fight will be all the more fascinating, because Irving, like Neil
Hamilton, seems to have little left to lose.

  Copyright  1999 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


==

This is a broadcast from London aired on the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. 
network on 01.11.00 the opening day of the trial.  Real Audio is required 
to listen to this broadcast.

http://cbc.ca/clips/ram-audio/evans_wr000111.ram


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