The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Holocaust revisionist tells court in libel trial he's wanted in Germany

By Douglas Davis

  LONDON, Jan. 18 (JTA) - There is scarcely a dull moment these days in
London's Royal Courts of Justice, where a Holocaust revisionist is engaged
in a landmark libel case against a U.S. Holocaust scholar.

  The latest twist came when David Irving announced to the court, just
settling in for a protracted three-month trial, that he was anticipating his
arrest by British police because a German court is seeking his extradition.

  The long-standing warrant for his arrest, he said, relates to his claim
that the gas chambers at Auschwitz were not genuine.

  Irving cited the extradition as an example of the "the kind of hatred I
face and the problems I face because of the repugnant allegations against
me" in Deborah Lipstadt's 1993 book, "Denying the Holocaust: The Growing
Assault on Truth and Memory," published by Penguin Books.

  Irving is claiming that references to him in the book have "blackened" his
name and damaged his career as a writer and historian by alleging that he
manipulates data to suit his ideological preferences, labeling him a
distorter of history and portraying him as a Holocaust denier.

  The book, he said, had generated "waves of hatred against me."

  As an example, he showed the judge a Jan. 12 article from the German daily
Stuttgarter Zeitung, which reported that a court in nearby Weinheim had
asked the British government to facilitate his extradition.

  The extradition request stemmed from a lecture Irving had given in=
 Weinheim
in which he had asserted that the gas chambers at Auschwitz were a fake.

  The lecture was given in September 1990, Irving was indicted for racial
incitement in 1996 and extradition proceedings were launched in 1998.

  Irving said no attempt had been made to serve a warrant against him, but,
he declared, the British government had agreed to cooperate with Germany.

  He also conceded that he had been fined $24,000 and barred from Germany in
1992 for making the same statement at a meeting in Munich, also in 1990.

  Earlier, in the course of five hours in the witness box, Irving denied=
 that
6 million Jews had died in the Holocaust and told the High Court that it was
logistically impossible for the Nazis to have killed millions of Jews in gas
chambers.

  He also said there was no evidence that Hitler had sanctioned a systematic
program of extermination of the Jews.

  Irving, 62-year-old author of some 30 books on World War II, conceded that
the SS might have undertaken gassing experiments, but he denied that
millions could have been killed in this way.

  Asked by lawyer Richard Rampton, appearing for Lipstadt, whether he agreed
that 6 million had died "in one of the blackest chapters of 20th-century
history," Irving replied, "A lot of the numbers are very suspect."

  Judge Charles Gray told Irving: "It's said against you that you tried to
blame what was done against the Jews by the Third Reich on Jews themselves."

  Irving responded, "I have said on a number of occasions that if I was a
Jew, I would be far more concerned not at who pulled the trigger, but why.

  "Anti-Semitism is a recurring malaise in society," he continued. "There
must be some reason why anti-Semitic groups break out like some kind of
epidemic."

  Rampton asked whether he accepted that the Nazis killed "by one means or
another =97 murdered, hanged, put to death =97 millions of people during=
 World
War II?"

  "Yes," replied Irving, adding: "I hesitate to speculate. It was certainly
more than 1 million, certainly less than 4 million."

  Although Irving conceded that the Jews had suffered a tragedy, he said=
 "the
people who died were not just Jews but Gypsies and homosexuals, the people
of Coventry and the people of Hiroshima."

  Asked how many innocent Jewish people he thought the Germans had killed
deliberately, Irving raised the case of Anne Frank, who died of typhus in
Bergen-Belsen at the age of 15.

  "She was a Jew who died in the Holocaust," he said, "And she wasn't
murdered unless you take it in the broadest sense."

  Of Hitler, Irving said "there was a time when he was on the right course,
but he went off the rails. You can't praise his racial program or penal
methods, but he did pick up his nation out of the mire after World War I,
reunified and gave it a sense of pride again."

  Irving said that he had ignored Lipstadt's book until 1996, when he found
that bookstores refused to stock his own new work, "Goebbels: Mastermind of
the Third Reich."

  Irving, who is defending himself, acknowledged during an adjournment in=
 the
trial that he was aware of the adage that "a lawyer who represents himself
has a fool for a client."

  "We shall see," he commented.

  Unlike Lipstadt, who maintains a wary distance from the media on the=
 advice
of her attorney, Irving is extremely accessible during breaks in court
proceedings.

  Approached by a woman who told him that her grandparents had died at
Auschwitz, he replied, "You may be pleased to know that they almost
certainly died of typhus, as did Anne Frank."

Jews bound for camps were `well provisioned', Irving tells hearing

JAN COLLEY and CATHY GORDON
Special to the Scotsman, Edinburgh

http://www.scotsman.com/cgi-bin/t3.cgi/taf/index.taf?function=3Ddetail&Scotsman_uid1=3DTS00002914&desk=3DNews&cat=3Dnews&sec=3D33

THE image of the Holocaust wasdented by the fact that trains carrying Jews
to concentration camps were "well provisioned", the historian David Irving
said yesterday

A telegram message about a transportation of 944 Jews from Berlin to
Lithuania on 17 November, 1941, decoded by British intelligence, showed that
there was 24 days` worth of food on board for the three-day journey.

"It`s a bit of a dent, a tiny dent in the image we have of the Holocaust
today," the author of Hitler`s War, told the High Court in London. It went
against the accepted image of victims being stuffed into cattle trucks and
shipped across Europe with no food or water, to arrive half dead at the
other end.

Intercepted messages indicated that the trains were equipped with a "very
substantial amount of food" to keep the Jews going for three weeks after
their arrival and their appliances or "tools of the trade", Irving, 62,=
 said.

Irving is suing an American academic, Deborah Lipstadt, and Penguin Books
for libel over claims that he is a "Holocaust denier" in the 1994 book
Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory.

He claims that the book alleges he has distorted statistics and documents to
serve his ideological purposes and reach historically untenable conclusions
and that it had generated "waves of hatred against him".

Cross-examining Irving, of Duke Street, Mayfair, in central London, Richard
Rampton, QC, for Prof Lipstadt and Penguin said he was concerned with the
historian`s "readiness to leap to conclusions in favour of the SS and the
Nazis".

Irving told Mr Justice Gray, who is hearing the case without a jury, that he
"strongly objected" to the suggestion. "Here`s a British intercept of a SS
telegram which has not been quoted by any of your [Rampton`s] experts
because it doesn`t fit into the picture that they are trying to create."

It was, he said, a "subtly different picture of how this deportation
programme was carried out "brutal and cruel though it was".

Mr Rampton said that far from it being a "dent" in "Holocaust perception",
it was possible that the food had been paid for by the Jews on the shipment.

Irving agreed that it was quite probable, because the Jews kicked out of
Berlin were "robbed blind". He said thathe did not doubt that there was a
"lot of hardship and cruelty and barbarism", but he questioned the
impartiality of experts for the defence who had paid no attention to these
documents which "go against the notion that it was a systematic programme to
exterminate Jews".

Mr Rampton showed the court a report which said that 2,934 Jewish evacuees
from Berlin and other cities, including women and children, were shot in the
east on 25 November, 1941.

Irving said that "it was not impossible" that the trainload of Jews in the
message ended up "in that atrocity".

Up to 1.5 million Jews were shot in the east, he said, but denied that they
were "part of the system".

Irving added: "The system ended when the train arrived. The system put the
victims on the trains and sent them to the east with food and equipment to
start a new life. Once they arrived on the spot, the system broke down and
the murderers stepped in."

The hearing continues.

===

Nazis sent Jews to new life, says Irving

BY TIM JONES
The TIMES, London, 18 Janaury 2000
http://www.the-times.co.uk/news/pages/Times/frontpage.html?999

THOUSANDS of German Jews were provided with food and equipment by the Nazis
to begin new lives in the East only to be murdered at their destination,
David Irving claimed yesterday.

The historian, who has been branded a "falsifier of history and a liar" for
questioning the massacre of six million Jews in the Holocaust, told a High
Court judge that the crimes had been committed without the knowledge or
approval of planners in Berlin.

He maintained that the enduring image of the Holocaust had been dented by
evidence that showed that trains carrying Jews out of Germany had been well
stocked with food and materials. The evidence, he said, went against the
accepted picture of Jews being herded on board cattle trucks without food
and water to arrive half dead days later at concentration camps.

The perception, he said, had been questioned by a telegram message about the
transportation of 944 Jews from Berlin to Lithuania on November 17, 1941,
which had been decoded by British intelligence. It had revealed that for the
three-day journey the train was carrying enough food for 24 days.

Mr Irving said: "It is a bit of a dent, a tiny dent we have in the image of
the Holocaust. The food and equipment was to enable them to set up their own
camps and workshops and to start a new life in the East, anywhere from
Germany." He added: "The system that was sending them there was apprehending
that they would be doing something when they got there. But once they
arrived on the spot, the system broke down and the murderers stepped in."

Mr Irving, 62, is suing Deborah Lipstadt, an American academic, and Penguin
Books for claiming in her book, Denying the Holocaust: the growing assault
on truth and memory, that he is a "Hitler partisan" who has twisted history.

Questioning Mr Irving, Richard Rampton, QC, for the defence, said that he
was concerned with the historian's readiness "to leap to conclusions in
favour of the SS and the Nazis".

Mr Irving told Mr Justice Gray, who is hearing the case in the absence of a
jury, that he strongly objected to the suggestion. He said: "Here is a
British intelligence intercept of an SS telegram which has not been quoted
by any of Mr Rampton's experts because it doesn't fit into the picture they
are trying to create."

Mr Irving said it was possible that the food provided on the train had been
paid for by the Jews themselves. "If you were going to exterminate Jews, you
don't send them on trains provided with food and appliances".

He agreed with Mr Rampton that the Jews in question could have been among
2,934 Jewish deportees from Berlin, including women and children, who,
records show, had been shot on November 25, 1941. The author said that the
telegram painted a subtly different picture of how the deportation programme
was carried out, "brutal and cruel though it was".

He did not doubt that there was much barbarism but questioned the
impartiality of defence experts who paid no attention to documents that "go
against the notion that it was a systematic programme to exterminate the Jews".

The case continues.

===

The Guardian is now running a special online section about the trial with
URLs to all coverage since the trial began last week.
http://www.newsunlimited.co.uk/irving/
Additionally, today's coverage is by David Cesarani

History on trial

David Irving may be isolated in his high court battle, but a growing number
of respectable academics are criticising what they have dubbed the
'Holocaust industry'.

Special report: the David Irving libel trial

David Cesarani Tuesday January 18, 2000
http://www.newsunlimited.co.uk/irving/article/0,2763,123784,00.html

At times during his legal battle in the high court, David Irving, a man of
natural military bearing, resembles a beleaguered Wehrmacht general in some
god-forsaken pocket on the eastern front, desperately trying to beat off the
Jewish-Bolshevik hordes. At least, one suspects, that is rather how he sees it.

He stands or sits alone on one side of the courtroom, while the large
defence team occupies most of the rest of it. In his opening statement he
referred several times to the existence of an "international endeavour" to
destroy his name and career as a writer. He menacingly promised that "the
Jewish community, their fame and fortunes, play a central role in these
proceedings".

Lest there be any doubt about that particular role, he avers that he was
"the target of a hidden international attempt" to silence him. Naming names,
Irving has pointed the finger at the American Jewish Anti-Defamation League
and its equivalents in Britain, Canada, and Australia. Bizarre as they may
be, these accusations will resonate beyond the odd collection of his
supporters huddled in the Irving corner of the public gallery.

To the young man clad in a black parka, black roll-top sweater, black
trousers and black baseball cap sitting among them, the notion, no matter
how paranoid, of an international Jewish conspiracy to destroy a hero of the
far right will appear just so much common sense. Rather more worryingly, it
may feed into the growing backlash against the so-called "Holocaust
industry" which, for very different reasons, is taking hold in mainstream
media and academic circles.

Few reasonable people will dispute the right of Jews in this country and
elsewhere to join forces with other Jews, as well as legions of non-Jewish
anti-fascists, in opposing neo-nazism and the Holocaust denial that is
associated with it. But some are questioning whether memorialisation of the
Holocaust, as well as Holocaust studies in schools and universities, are not
being used wrongly, or simply getting out of hand.

While Irving disputes the accepted facts of the Holocaust, posing as the
victim of powerful forces with a vested interest in the established version,
serious writers on both sides of the Atlantic who scorn his methods and
arguments are questioning the purposes to which the Holocaust is being put.
They are asking if it deserves a special, protected place in the public
consciousness.

The government's announcement in October 1999 that it was considering the
establishment of a Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK gave evidence both of
the heightened intensity of Holocaust awareness and the reaction to it.
Richard Ingrams in the Observer complained that "not a day goes by without
the Holocaust being mentioned in one context or another".

Earlier in the year the announcement that the Imperial War Museum North was
planning a joint venture with the Manchester Shoah Centre provoked Brian
Sewell in the Evening Standard to condemn the "bandwagon" effect. "Can we
not say to the Jews of Manchester," he asked, "that enough has been made of
their Holocaust and they are too greedy for our memories."

Most recently, Sam Schulman in the Spectator warned that "a new kind of
anti-semitism may emerge in the 21st century, in reaction to the attempt to
make 'the Holocaust' central to our civilisation." As with all such
journalistic provocations there is more than an element of the
self-fulfilling prophecy, but the critique is not confined to columnists
hungry for a topic that will trigger an avalanche of letters to the editor.

In 1999, Tim Cole, a British academic responsible for ground-breaking
research on the wartime Budapest ghetto, published Images of the Holocaust:
the Myth of the "Shoah Business", which slammed the redemptive and kitschy
representation of the Holocaust seen in films and museums the world over. He
dubbed this, perhaps foolishly, the "myth" of the Holocaust.

It is not hard to show that what we know as the Holocaust, or Shoah, is a
narrative that was constructed over the years and only gained popular
currency from the late 60s onwards. Cole, building on the work of US scholar
James Young, argues that the Holocaust is invested with different meanings
depending on the society in which it is recalled. As Young showed, it helps
to tell a nation's story through the Jewish experience.

But Cole singles out the use of exhibitions and memorials to combat
Holocaust denial. "Museums such as the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and
movies such as Schindler's List have as a self- conscious goal not simply
teaching the public lessons from the past, but also the aim of disproving
the claims of those who deny the Holocaust."

In his eyes this is a mistake, since "it amounts to attempting to counter
the questioning of the reality of the 'Holocaust' by offering in its place a
representation of the 'Holocaust' which only tends to blur the critical
distinction between reality and representation". Worse, it's self-defeating:
"It was not until it emerged as an iconic event that it was perceived to be
an event which was deemed to be worth denying." Mem-orialisation provokes
denial.

The intellectual backlash has been more prominent and problematic in the US.
Next month will see the publication in Britain of The Holocaust In American
Life by the respected US historian Peter Novick, in which he maintains that
"it was Jewish initiative that put the Holocaust on the American agenda".
The story of Jewish martyrdom was used by American Jewish leaders from the
70s on to provide a narrative that could unite the diverse American-Jewish
community and deter assimilation, he argues. It was also a handy way to
clobber anti-semitism and justify US support for Israel.

Novick uncovered many policy statements by leaders of the American Jewish
Committee, the American Jewish Congress and the Anti-Defamation League to
sustain his thesis. He was on more speculative ground when it came to
explaining the receptivity of American society to a tale of Jewish misery in
Europe, although this was the most interesting part of his argument.

The 60s saw the end of the melting-pot ethos in American society and the
rise of the "new ethnicity". It became fashionable to be a hyphenated
American. This "particularism" enabled American-Jews, and specifically
Holocaust survivors, to tell their stories for the first time. Moreover,
their experience harmonised with America's self-image as a sanctuary for
history's victims. Victimhood proved especially useful to American Jews who
wanted to defend their privileges against other ethnic groups, notably
African-Americans, without appearing too powerful or greedy.

Americans accepted the prioritisation of the Holocaust because it made them
feel good: they stood shoulder to shoulder with the people who had endured
the worst of the 20th century. Remembering genocide in a "warm glow of
virtue" became a vicarious alternative to actually doing anything about it.

These arguments are echoed in a more reductive form by Norman Finkelstein in
his forthcoming book The Holocaust Industry, which was prefigured by his
hostile review of Daniel Goldhagen's Hitler's Willing Executioners in the
New Left Review in mid-1997. Finkelstein, a left-wing and anti-Zionist
political scientist, claims that the "Holocaust industry" was created by the
pro-Israel lobby in the US after 1967 to justify aid for Israel. "'The
Holocaust' is in effect the Zionist account of the Nazi holocaust. It was
seized upon and methodically marketed because it was politically expedient."
It is at this point that the backlash against the so-called Holocaust
industry collides disturbingly with the events in the high court and their
background.

On the far left throughout the 70s and 80s it was common to find the
argument that Jews cultivated knowledge of the Holocaust to buttress
Israel's right to exist at the expense of the Palestinians and repel
criticism of its occupation policies. These themes lay at the heart of Jim
Allen's 1987 play Perdition, tellingly resurrected last year. In this drama,
based coincidentally on a libel trial, the defence counsel argues that
"Israel is a paid watchdog: a nation built on the pillar of Western guilt
and subsidised by American dollars."

Similar reasoning was located on the far right. It found expression in
Irving's introduction to the Leuchter Report, which purported to show that
there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz. According to Irving, "Since 1949
the state of Israel has received over DM90bn in voluntary reparations from
West Germany, essentially in atonement for the 'gas chambers of Auschwitz'",
which he declared a "myth".

Of course, there is a world of difference between this and the unease felt
in many quarters about the prominence of the Holocaust in society, culture
and politics today. But in their efforts to chart the origins of the
"Holocaust industry", its critics fall into the trap of ascribing too much
influence and power to the Jews, while the motives they ascribe to Jewish
organisations are reductive and harmful.

The Holocaust is the object of fascination today not just because it is a
gripping chapter of history, but because it has stunning contemporary
relevance. In a Europe that has recently witnessed "ethnic cleansing", the
past has become the present. As events in Rwanda showed, genocide is not
just a matter of academic research. The routine violation of human rights
and the benighted treatment of refugees inevitably evoke past experiences
and call for these to be studied and, with respect for all the crucial
variations of scale and character, recalled as a warning.

For it is too easy to dismiss reference to the Holocaust as an easy way of
demarcating good and evil. The issues that the Holocaust throws up, such as
racism, eugenics and biological politics, are precisely the dilemmas we face
today. It was for this reason that the British historian Michael Burleigh
concluded his study of Nazi "euthanasia" policies, Death and Deliverance,
with a passionate discussion of what the Australian philosopher Peter Singer
currently says about the right to life.

In the global marketplace of moral values, the Holocaust seems one instance
of applied evil that everyone can agree about. The globalisation of media
has made the Holocaust a ubiquitous subject, not the other way round.

The struggle for compensation for slave and forced labourers of the Nazi era
would not have won such support were it not, partly at least, for the
inclination to hold multinational corporations to account for their
treatment of employees. The ethical standards that are being demanded from
big business have given a reciprocal relevance to conduct of business under
the Third Reich. Such interest hardly existed a few years ago.

Most importantly, the impatience with Holocaust memorialisation rests on a
continuing, stubborn resentment of Jewish difference. Behind Peter Novick's
criticism of "particularism" is an assimilationist agenda. In Finkelstein's
anti-Zionism this is quite explicit. The critics of the proposed Holocaust
Memorial Day who instead want a "genocide day" seem unable, or unwilling, to
comprehend the specificity of the Jewish fate in the 20th century and the
right of a people to commemorate its suffering after decades when it was all
but ignored by the world.

Jews are still living with the pain of that silence. It was not of their
making or choosing. The ways of commemorating the Holocaust that may make
amends for that silencing process are legitimate subjects for argument, but
there is a danger of an inadvertent coalition between the man who sees
himself as the victim of a "hidden international conspiracy" and the critics
of the "Holocaust industry" who depict it as a manipulative ramp for the
benefit of one ethnic interest group and the State of Israel.

###


There is no new U.S. coverage of the trial as of 0700 MST / 1400 GMT.
This press release may be of interest.
Next update probably this time Wednesday 01.19.00

Historian will discuss new Holocaust evidence

01/18/2000
M2 PRESSWIRE Copyright 2000 M2 Communications, Ltd.
All Rights Reserved.

The pre-eminent American historian of the Holocaust, who has testified in
trials relating to Holocaust issues, will deliver the second of this year's
Verne Moore Lectures in History at the University of Rochester.

Christopher R. Browning, who is Frank Porter Graham Professor of History at
the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will discuss "Revisiting
the Holocaust Perpetrators: A Look at New Evidence" at 7 p.m. Wednesday,
Feb. 2 in Room 1-101 Dewey Hall on the River Campus. The lecture is free and
open to the public.

Browning is recognized internationally as an authority on National Socialist
policy toward European Jews during World War II. For three decades, he has
conducted research in archives in the United States, Germany, Yugoslavia,
and in Israel at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Remembrance Authority. His
publications include Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the
Final Solution in Poland; The Path to Genocide; Fateful Months: Essays on
the Emergence of the Final Solution; and The Final Solution and the German
Foreign Office.

In the spring of 1999, Browning delivered the George Macaulay Trevelyan
Lectures at Cambridge University, which will be published under the title
Nazi Policy, Jewish Labor, German Killers.

Browning has been involved in several trials related to the Holocaust.
Currently, he is scheduled to appear as an expert witness in the libel suit
of British historian David Irving against Deborah Lipstadt , Dorot Professor
of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University. In her book,
Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, Lipstadt
describes Irving as being one of the most prominent and dangerous Holocaust
deniers. The trial began January 11 in London.

Browning also was an expert witness in Britain's first war crimes trial, in
which retired British Railway worker Anthony Sawoniuk was charged helping
round up and kill survivors of a 1942 massacre in a Belarus Jewish ghetto.
Sawoniuk was convicted in the spring of 1999.

In 1988, Browning testified for the prosecution in the second Canadian trial
of Ernst Zundel, charged with the criminal offense of spreading "false news"
likely to cause racial and social intolerance with publication of his
pamphlet, Did Six Million Really Die?

Browning is currently writing a two-volume study of Nazi Jewish policy as
part of Yad Vashem's multi-volume comprehensive history of the Holocaust. He
also is working on a case study of the Jewish slave labor camp in
Starachowice in central Poland, based on nearly 170 survivor testimonies.

The Verne Moore Lectures are sponsored by the Department of History and have
been funded by a gift from University alumnus Verne Moore, Class of 1950,
since 1996. For more information, call (716) 275-2052.

((M2 Communications Ltd disclaims all liability for information provided
within M2 PressWIRE. Data supplied by named party/parties. Further
information on M2 PressWIRE can be obtained at http://www.presswire.net on
the world wide web. Inquiries to info@m2.com)).

Contact: CONTACT: Department of History Tel: +1 716 275 2052 Helene Snihur
Tel: +1 716 275 7800

Reuters - UK  Tuesday January 18, 12:56 AM
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/000118/12/dk8l.html

Slaughter Of Jews By Gas 'Never Happened'

A BRITISH historian denied in court yesterday that the Nazis murdered
millions of Jews in gas chambers.

David Irving, 62, claimed there had never been a systematic German plan to
wipe out the Jewish race in World War II.

He said the SS drove their victims from their homes and sent them to eastern
Europe "with food and equipment to start a new life". Trains transporting
Jews were well stocked with provisions.

Irving was giving evidence in his libel case against an American writer who
condemned his view of the war. He claims Deborah Lipstadt branded him a
"Holocaust denier", destroyed his career and generated "waves of hatred
against him".

He told the High Court in London possibly one million Jews were killed by
the Nazis, "but not by the methods handed down to us by historians".

Gas chambers were not used to any great extent, he alleged. It was
"logistically impossible to kill millions in the way we have been told".

Irving admitted once telling a press conference: "The biggest lie of the
lot, the libel against the German people, is that the Germans had factories
of death with gas chambers in which they liquidated millions."

He agreed a great many Jews were killed. But he insisted there were no
signed documents to prove Hitler ordered the "final solution".

Mr Rampton showed Irving a copy of a 1942 report signed by Himmler, head of
the SS, and marked for Hitler's attention. It revealed 363,000 Jews had been
killed in eastern Europe.

Ms Lipstadt, author of Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth
and Memory, and her publishers Penguin deny libel. The case continues.

###

Der Tagesspiegel
Berlin, Jan 18, 2000

Denier as Plaintiff

Of all names he is called David, like the Israelite hero of the Old
Testament. And of all nations he belongs to the fairest, the English,
who as Allies helped to defeat the racist German regime. And the
father of this 62-year old David served in the army at that time. But
his son has three big problems, which have changed him into the
mediocre monster who is taking up the time of the Royal High Court in
London. 

There this hobby-historian and Hitler-apologist, a man declared
persona non grata in Italy, Germany, Austria and Canada, is plaintiff
in an action for "defamation" and "libel" against historian Deborah
Lipstadt.

His first big problem: Irving belongs to the ranks of those who want
to prove the "Führer" didn't "know a thing about it" -- i.e., the
Holocaust. Somebody who plans to rescue the memory of a mass-murderer
wants to have the feeling of doing this power-personality a favour. He
erects walls of delusion. If that person at the same time wants to be
taken seriously as a historian, that at once conjures up the second
problem: bad company. Serious researchers and institutions avoid
people like him. Thus the third problem arises all by itself: no name,
no job, no money. Normally birds of that feather keep together,
rummaging around in militaria shops for trinkets, and don't do much to
disturb public discussion or expert debae; rather they disturb our
sense of morality.

What makes a self-taught paranoid like David Irving a repellent
irritation, a permanent source of insult to the victims, is the
obsessive dedication to detail with which he goes to work. He's
written twenty books about the Third Reich, entangling lies and facts
in them. He particularly denies the scale of the crimes of the Third
Reich and the complicity or paternity of Hitler in the Shoah [the "in"
Jewish word-of-preference for Holocaust]. Most accurately Deborah
Lipstadt has contradicted him, professor for Jewish History and
Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta. Lipstadt's important
study, "Denying the Holocaust" ( German edition: 1996) imputes to
Irving the intention of distorting history. He denies that too, and
wants to dispose of all his three problems by court action. Irving,
who ekes out an existence with little donations from a handful of
neo-Nazis, is suing Lipstadt and her publisher Penguin Books Ltd. He
wants to be taken seriously as researcher, to belong to the circle of
the recognized, and to win big bucks in "damages".

Not only England is following with consternation the absurd theatre
into which Irving has turned Court 37 at the High Court. The perfidy
of bringing this action in a country of free speech, where denial of
the holocaust is -- still -- not a criminal offence as it is here
[Germany], lies in the burden of proof. The Court must be shown that
Irving deliberately and maliciously falsifies historical facts. The
plaintiff insists that his history books are strictly scientific.
"There are so many survivors running around now," he is alleged to
have said in a 1991 speech, "in fact there are more and more, that
biologically speaking it is pretty questionable."

In alliance with his research accomplices Irving has been trying since
1988 to prove in detail that while Auschwitz was a labour camp, it was
no factory of death. He calls his website "The Fight for Real
History," but produces at present Real Hysteria.

Nothing else, thank God -- Caroline Fetscher.


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