The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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The TIMES of London

Copyright 2000 Times Newspapers Limited The Times (London)
January 21, 2000, Friday

Historian accused of right-wing extremism

BY:  Tim Jones

David Irving, the historian, was accused yesterday of being a right-wing
extremist who made statements deliberately designed to feed virulent
anti-Semitism still prevalent in the world.

During highly charged exchanges in the High Court, Richard Rampton, QC,
accused Mr Irving of being a holocaust denier who based statements on the
flimsiest evidence.

Mr Irving 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.

Wounded by Mr Rampton's allegation, Mr Irving, conducting his own case,
accused him of playing to the press by making slurs. Ignoring Mr Irving's
protest that the allegation was serious, Mr Rampton continued: "Our case
against you is that you consort with deeply anti-Semitic people."

Mr Irving, he said, had dignified himself as an historian who had lent his
considerable weight to making statements denying that the Holocaust had
taken place. "He has done so," he said, "because of his sympathies and
attitudes. He is a right-wing extremist."

The hearing continues.

Copyright 2000 Times Newspapers Limited The Times (London)
January 21, 2000, Friday

David Irving and Andrew Roberts

BY:  Mark Inglefield

David Irving, the eccentric historian, gave Andrew Roberts, his more
thoughtful peer, a public dressing-down yesterday.  Spying Roberts in the
Royal Courts of Justice - where Irving is fighting the claim of Deborah
Lipstadt,  the American academic, that he is a "Hitler partisan" - Irving
offered a few damning thoughts on an article Roberts wrote in last week's
Sunday Telegraph. "I'm writing a letter about your stinking article,"
screamed Irving, before he was interrupted by the clerk's "All rise".

"Luckily the judge turned up," breathes a relieved Roberts. "Irving is an
enormous bear of a man. He could hide a plate in one hand. He looks like a
grizzly from behind. I will compose a reply."
Copyright 2000 Times Newspapers Limited The Times (London)
January 19, 2000, Wednesday

Irving insists that Hitler did not order the Holocaust

BY:  Tim Jones

THE historian David Irving refused to accept yesterday that hundreds of
thousands of Jews had been sent to concentration camps as part of Hitler's
plan to exterminate them.

His denial that the liquidation of Jews was part of a plan personally
approved by the Fuhrer came during a sharp exchange with Richard Rampton,
QC, during a libel case at the High Court in London.

Referring to the transportation of Jews from Warsaw and other towns and
cities to the villages of Treblinka, Sobibor and Belzec, near the Russian
border, Mr Rampton suggested that "only a fool and a liar" would suggest
that they were being sent there for their health.

No sensible person, Mr Rampton said, would conclude from all the evidence
that thousands of Jews were being shipped to the three villages close to the
Russian border for benign purposes.

Mr Irving, 62, who is conducting his own case, replied: "There could be any
number of convincing explanations, from the most innocent to the most

He added: "During World War II large numbers of people were sent to
Aldershot but no one believes that there they were put into gas chambers."

In another exchange, Mr Irving said he could not accept that 1.2 million
Jews had been deliberately murdered at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Mr Irving, who maintains that the gas chamber at Auschwitz was built by the
Poles after the war as a tourist attraction, said: "I don't accept that and
I have good reason not to."

He indicated that he would justify his belief about what occurred at the
infamous camp when he cross-examines Holocaust experts who are to appear in
court during the course of the trial, which is expected to last for more
than two months.

Speaking from the witness box in Court 73, in front of a packed public
gallery in which there were many Jewish people, Mr Irving maintained that
Hitler had not been aware of the mass slaughter of the Jews. He said that in
the records of the so-called "table talks" between Hitler, Heinrich Himmler,
the head of the SS, and Joseph Goebbels, his Propaganda Minister, there was
no evidence that the Fuhrer knew of the "Final Solution".

Even in 1942, Mr Irving said, Hitler was talking in terms of shipping the
Jews to the island of Madagascar to begin new lives but that operation could
not be carried out because of the naval war.

Hitler, he said, did not want the Jews transported to Siberia, which would
merely toughen up the strain of the Jewish "bacillus". He wished them to be
removed totally from the Greater Reich.

Mr Irving said that during the conversations, at which Hitler and his
henchmen had discussed the course of the war, there was no suggestion that
the Jews should be systematically killed.

Mr Irving, who accepts that hundreds of thousands of Jews were murdered but
denies that the killings were part of a systematic programme of
extermination, accused Mr Rampton of disregarding evidence which did not
concur with his case.

During the trial, Mr Irving has been branded a "falsifier of history and a
liar" for questioning the massacre of six million Jews by the Nazis. He has
been accused of denying the Holocaust and Hitler's role in it.

Mr Irving 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 was a "Hitler partisan" who had twisted history.
Copyright 2000 Times Newspapers Limited The Times (London)
January 18, 2000, Tuesday

Nazis sent Jews to new life, says Irving

BY:  Tim Jones

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.
Copyright 2000 Times Newspapers Limited The Times (London)
January 13, 2000, Thursday

Irving says Holocaust 'logistically impossible'

BY:  Michael Horsnell

The Hitler historian, David Irving, denied yesterday that the Nazis killed
millions of Jews in concentration-camp gas chambers. The SS may have had
gassing experiments, he said, but such mass murder was logistically impossible.

Mr Irving, 62, said that the massacre of Jews - as occurred in the East when
Germany invaded Russia - was by shooting, but was without the knowledge of
Adolf Hitler and was not part of any systematic extermination by the Third

On the second day of his libel trial at the High Court, he said that he had
never done anything to exculpate Hitler and in his book, Hitler's War, he
gave a list of crimes committed by the Fuhrer.

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

Mr Irving is suing Deborah Lipstadt,  the American academic, and Penguin
Books, who published her book, Denying the Holocaust, which claimed that he
is a "Hitler partisan" who has twisted history by denying the Holocaust
occurred. In the windowless Court 37, the judge, Mr Justice Gray, who is
sitting without a jury, listened as Mr Irving tangled with defence counsel
Richard Rampton, QC, over the vast numbers of Jews who died at the hands of
the Nazis.

Was it six million who died in one of the blackest chapters of 20th-century
history? "A lot of the numbers are very suspect," the historian said. The
judge put it to him: "It's said against you that you tried to blame what was
done against the Jews by the Third Reich on Jews themselves." Mr Irving
replied: "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. There must be some reason why
anti-Semitic groups break out like some kind of epidemic."

Mr Rampton asked him: "Do you accept that the Nazis killed by one means or
another - murdered, hanged, put to death - millions of people during World
War II?" "Yes," Mr Irving said. "I hesitate to speculate. It was certainly
more than one million, certainly less than four million." Mr Rampton: "Do
you deny the Nazis killed millions of Jews in gas chambers in purpose-built

Mr Irving: "Yes, it's logistically impossible." He added: "One million
people weigh 100,000 tonnes - it's a major logistical problem. I deny that
it was possible to liquidate millions of people in gas chambers as presented
by historians so far." Asked about the Holocaust, the historian said: "I
find the word is misleading and unhelpful. It's too vague, imprecise and
unscientific and should be avoided like the plague."

Pressed on his own definition of the Holocaust, he said that although
tragedy befell the Jews "it was the whole of the Second World War and 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, Mr Irving brought up
the name of Anne Frank, who died of disease in a camp at the age of 15. "She
was a Jew who died in the Holocaust and she wasn't murdered unless you take
it in the broadest sense."

At the start of five hours in the witness box, Mr Irving, who claims to be
the victim of an international conspiracy to ruin him as an historian,
described himself as a "laissez-faire liberal". He said: "I don't care about
political parties as long as they spend the money on hospitals and not the
Millennium Dome. I don't look down on any section of humanity, coloured
immigrant or females. But I can't say I applaud uncontrolled coloured
immigration. I regret the passing of old England.

"I sometimes think if sailors and soldiers who stormed the Normandy beaches
could see what has happened since, they wouldn't have got 50 yards up the
beach. They would have given up in disgust." He said that he paid no
attention to Professor Lipstadt's  book until 1996 - three years after it
was published - when his own new work, Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third
Reich, was being marketed. He found that bookshops began to show an aversion
and refused to stock his work.

He accused the defendants of blackening his reputation by labelling him a
spokesman for the forces of Holocaust denial, who spent his time with
anti-Semitic groups.

Mr Irving claims that word was put about that he was an ardent admirer of
the German dictator who "conceived himself as carrying on Hitler's criminal

Extolling his virtue as an historian who excelled at recovering original
documents - from archives to collections of letters retained by the widows
of German officers - he said that his opponents and rivals were jealous of
the fact that he got to them first.

He maintained that he had never knowingly or wilfully misrepresented any
document nor suppressed information that did not support his case and said
that he always passed the information he gathered to other historians.

The case continues.
Copyright 2000 Times Newspapers Limited The Times (London)
January 13, 2000, Thursday

BY:  Tim Reid


The main plank of David Irving's case rests on Deborah Lipstadt's  claim
that he is a "Holocaust denier". Mr Irving says that he has never claimed
that the Holocaust did not take place, although he has questioned the number
of Jewish dead and the system by which the victims were killed (Tim Reid

A Germanophile since his teens, Mr Irving won many plaudits with a string of
Second World War books. But his 1977 book, Hitler's War, provoked a storm of
controversy when he alleged that Hitler had not known about the mass murder
of Europe's Jews until 1943. In 1979 his German publisher apologised for
printing in Hitler's War that Anne Frank's diary was a forgery.

 From the mid-1980s Mr Irving regularly addressed right-wing groups in
Austria and Germany. In 1988 he testified on behalf of Ernst Zundel, a
Canadian on trial for spreading "false news" about the Holocaust. Zundel
also called Fred Leuchter, who claimed that Zyklon B cyanide gas was never
used at Auschwitz.

The judge dismissed the evidence, but Mr Irving published a version of the
Leuchter report, writing in the foreword that British intelligence had
spread the "propaganda story that the Germans were using 'gas chambers' to
kill millions of Jews and other undesirables".

When he repeated the claim at a meeting in Munich he was charged by the
German authorities, found guilty in May 1992 and heavily fined.

Mr Irving says he is a victim of a "global conspiracy", led by Jews, of
which Professor Lepstadt is a major part. Her claim that he "denies" the
Holocaust threaten to destroy his reputation and leave him penniless, he

Unlike most libel trials, this case is not being heard by a jury but by a
sole judge: Mr Justice Gray, one of the most senior High Court libel judges.
Under the Civil Procedure Rules, the judge in charge of a case has the power
to dispense with a jury if the case's length and the volume and complexity
of evidence appear to be too onerous for a jury.

This libel trial, dealing with one of the most controversial and complex
episodes of the past century, is expected to take at least three months.
Both sides will call a host of eminent historians. "The documentary evidence
will be enormous," one lawyer said. Neither side opposed the judge's
suggestion, made before the trial, to dispense with a jury.

A good example of a judge- only trial was the marathon "McLibel" case, when
the hamburger giant McDonald's sued two environmental activists over claims
about its business practices. Mr Justice Gray, a former top libel silk, said
recently that the balance of success in British libel actions has shifted to
defendants - unlike the past, when plaintiffs could expect big rewards.


The libel case was triggered in 1995 when Deborah Lipstadt  published
Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory. The book
grew from her concern about the worldwide proliferation of claims that there
was no systematic mass murder of Europe's Jews during the Second World War.
The book is the first full-length study of the history of those who attempt
to deny the Holocaust.

Postwar attacks on the veracity of the Holocaust began in 1948 with the
publication in France of Le Passage de la Ligne (Crossing the Line), by Paul
Rassinier, who had been sent to Buchenwald as a member of the Resistance. He
argued that there was no extermination policy towards the Jews, only an
emigration policy.

In 1965, Austin App, an American professor, published the Six Million
Swindle, arguing that no more than 1.5 million Jews had been killed, and
that the Nazis had not planned to kill all Jews; and in 1973, Thies
Christopherson, a former Wehrmacht officer, published Die Auschwitz Luge
(The Auschwitz Lie), which claimed that no more than 200,000 Jews were killed.

Many more "denials" have followed, but in her book Professor Lipstadt
referred extensively to Mr Irving, whom she considered one of the most
vehement exponents of Holocaust denial. His mastery of historical documents
made him a particularly dangerous exponent of the claim, she said. She
asserted that he was associated with well-known Holocaust deniers - she
deliberately rejects their preferred term of "revisionist" - and distorted,
suppressed and manipulated history for a noxious ideology. She said that he
had denied the Holocaust as an historical fact.
Copyright 2000 The Financial Times Limited Financial Times (London) January
12, 2000, Wednesday London Edition 2

NATIONAL NEWS: Writer's action raises thorny questions



The long-awaited libel action between Penguin Books, the international
publishers, and David Irving, the controversial second world war historian,
over his version of the Holocaust, began yesterday in the High Court.

The case will raise thorny issues such as: when are the ideas of historians
or academics so appalling their work should be forever banned? Other issues
include whether, or where, one limits free speech. And what makes a good
historian anyway, especially when their subject is the most emotive in 20th
century history?

These apparently intractable ethical issues will, to some extent, now be
decided by a single judge, Mr Justice Gray. The international publishing
industry, with its commercial interests, will be watching attentively.

David Irving, the historian of Hitler and other Nazi-related subjects,
accused Penguin Books and US author Prof Deborah Lipstadt,  of being part of
an "organised international endeavour" to destroy his reputation as a
historian by accusing him of distorting history and denying the Holocaust
took place.

"The word denyer is particularly evil because no person in full command of
their faculties 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 said.

Mr Irving is suing both Prof Lipstadt  and Penguin (a subsidiary of Pearson,
the media group that also owns the Financial Times), for damages over their
claims. He is also seeking an injunction to prevent further publication of
the allegations in Prof Lipstadt's  book Denying the Holocaust.

Representing himself in court, Mr Irving claimed both Penguin and Prof
Lipstadt  were "villains" who were part of an internationally organised
attempt to ruin his reputation.

Mr Irving said his books had been previously published by a number of
reputable publishers, including Penguin itself, Macmillan and Simon and
Schuster. However, as a result of Penguin's allegations, leading publishers
such as St Martin's Press now refused to publish his work.

Richard Rampton QC, for Penguin, said: "Mr Irving calls himself a historian.
The truth is, however, that he is not a historian at all, but a falsifier of
history. To put it bluntly, he is a liar."

Accusing Mr Irving of using disreputable methods, Mr Rampton insisted he was
a "Holocaust denyer", saying: "By this I mean that he denies that the Nazis
planned and carried out the systematic murder or millions of Jews, in
particular - though by no means exclusively - by the use of homicidal gas
chambers and in particular at Auschwitz in southern Poland."

The case is due to last three months.
Copyright 2000 Times Newspapers Limited The Times (London)
January 12, 2000, Wednesday

Irving a liar not an historian, court told

Right-wing author accused in libel battle of casting doubts on Holocaust,
reports Michael Horsnell

David Irving, the controversial, right-wing historian, was branded a
"falsifier of history and a liar" before a High Court judge yesterday for
questioning the massacre of six million Jews by the Nazis.

At the start of a libel battle expected to last three months, he was accused
of denying the Holocaust and Hitler's role in the Final Solution.

The accusations were made by Richard Rampton, QC, who is representing
Deborah Lipstadt,  an American academic, and Penguin Books who published her
work, Denying the Holocaust: the Growing Assault on Truth and Memory.

Mr Irving, 62, is suing both for damages for claiming that he is a "Hitler
partisan" who has twisted history. In a two-hour opening address he claimed
to be the victim of an international conspiracy to ruin him and make him a
pariah. Mr Irving, representing himself, said: "Such is the nature of the
odium that has been generated by the waves of hatred recklessly propagated
against me by the defendants."

He went on to claim that the gas chamber shown to tourists at Auschwitz was
a fake built by the Poles after the war.

But in an opening statement in reply, Mr Rampton told Mr Justice Gray: "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."

He accused the author of suppression of evidence, falsehoods and inventions,
distortion and manipulation to wilfully mislead. "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 the Second World War, 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."

He said that Mr Irving, who has had more than 30 books published including
Hitler's War and a biography of Goebbels, went to great lengths and employed
"disreputable methods" to achieve his exoneration of the Nazi dictator. In
one monstrous distortion of the evidence, he alleged, Mr Irving had falsely
used a "not to be liquidated" order, about a particular trainload of 1,000
Jews being deported from Berlin to Latvia in November 1941, to claim that
Hitler had generally ordered Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS, that
there should be no liquidation of Jews at all.

Mr Rampton went on to say that between the first edition of Hitler's War in
1977 and its second edition in 1991 Mr Irving's views about the Holocaust
had undergone a sea change. In the latter edition all traces of the
Holocaust as an historical truth had disappeared. Auschwitz had been
"transformed from a monstrous killing machine into a mere slave-labour camp".

This volte-face was based on "bunk" scientific evidence about traces of the
killing agent hydrogen cyanide, used by the SS at Auschwitz. It was part of
Mr Irving's campaign to "sink the battleship Auschwitz", Mr Rampton said.

"The essence of this campaign is that the Holocaust, symbolised by
Auschwitz, is a myth, legend or lie deployed by Jews to blackmail the German
people into paying vast sums in reparations to supposed victims of the

Mr Irving, he said, had frequently addressed neo-Fascist, neo-Nazi groups of
people. In September 1991 he spoke to an audience in Calgary, Alberta, at
which he complained about pressure from Jews to prevent him speaking.

He alleged that Mr Irving told the meeting: "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?

"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. 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 A-S-S-H-O-L-S."

In his statement, Mr Irving rebutted allegations that he was a "Holocaust
denier" as described by Ms Lipstadt,  52, Professor of Modern Jewish and
Holocaust Studies at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, whose book was
published in 1993. He said that he had never held himself out to be a
Holocaust expert but could be described as an expert in the role that Hitler
played in the war.

He said: "These defendants have done very real damage to my professional
existence. May I first of all set out the very real pecuniary damage which
can be done to an author by an attack on his reputation. It is not merely
that he suffers injury and hurt to his feelings from unjustified attacks,
whatever their nature. An author, by virtue of his trade, lives a precarious
financial existence."

He added: "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 said that as a result of lies told about him he had been expelled from
Canada in 1992, a country which had been friendly to him for 30 years which
suddenly rounded upon him "as savagely as a rottweiler".

He said that "Holocaust denier" had become one of the "most potent phrases
in the arsenal of insult. As a phrase it is of itself quite meaningless. The
word Holocaust is an artificial label commonly attached to one of the
greatest and still most unexplained tragedies of this past century.

"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 paedophile. It is a verbal
Yellow Star."

The case continues.
Copyright 2000 Times Newspapers Limited The Times (London)
January 12, 2000, Wednesday

Academic buccaneer v bookish schoolmaster

The libel trial as entertainment may have reached its apogee in Hamilton v
Al Fayed, but that was pantomime farce compared with the darker matter of
Irving v Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt.

What is at stake here is not the amour-propre of individuals with grossly
inflated egos. Rather it is whether one of the blackest chapters of
20th-century history actually happened, or is a figment of politically
motivated Jewry.

David Irving, the historian who has brought the action, has been branded in
the past as a revisionist and even a neo-Nazi who has sought to diminish or
even deny the Hitler regime's greatest crime.

He chose to represent himself, a sign that a litigant is either exceedingly
sure of his ground or that he cannot afford George Carman, QC.

A burly man of 62 with dark and slightly greying hair, he appeared in a
dark-blue pinstriped suit, looking like an international art dealer or
possibly even a libel lawyer without his gown and wig.

He had 55 pages of opening statements to deliver, which he accomplished at
machine-gun speed in barely two hours, with a break for lunch. Occasionally
he thumped the table, waved his hands about, and at one stage even beat his
breast to emphasise his own high motives.

His style would not have been entirely out of place at one of those mass
rallies that a later generation knows from the newsreels.

But his audience was too small for this sort of performance. In the absence
of a jury, the case has been allotted one of the High Court's smaller and
less imposing arenas, where every spare seat is taken by representatives of
the British, US and Jewish press.

Mr Irving devoted much of his opening to his own history: how he had last
been before the court some 30 years ago over a spot of bother with his book
The Destruction of Convoy PQ17. He spent a great deal of time explaining how
he had not stolen the photographic negatives of Goebbels's diaries from the
Moscow archives in 1992, but had merely borrowed them for copying and put
them back. He gave the impression of being an academic front-liner, a
buccaneer who fought his way into archives for a first sight of vital

In front of him sat one of the principal defendants. Professor Lipstadt,
whose 1994 book casts severe doubts on Mr Irving's interpretation of the
Holocaust, is a well-presented, 54-year-old American with ginger hair,
half-moon spectacles and gold earrings, an orange silk scarf swathing her
black outfit.

She followed Mr Irving's address on a laptop computer, occasionally glancing
round at him with what looked suspiciously like wide-eyed incredulity.

Richard Rampton, opening for the defendants, said the case was about Mr
Irving perverting European history. Mr Rampton is of an altogether different
demeanour from Mr Irving, more of a bookish, soft-spoken schoolmaster. His
opening statement required only 11 typed pages and 15 minutes. But Mr
Rampton did not waste a word. "The essence of the case is Mr Irving's
honesty and integrity as a character - I shy away from the word historian."

There are an expected 12 more weeks of a case that has been two years in the
preparation, with eminent historians lined up ready to be called by both sides.

The hearing opened as Downing Street prepared to announce a National
Holocaust Memorial Day.
Copyright 2000 Times Newspapers Limited The Times (London)
January 11, 2000, Tuesday

Penguin Books defends a libel action

Penguin Books is in the High Court today to defend a libel action brought
against it by the author David Irving in connection with Penguin's
publication in the UK of Denying the Holocaust by Deborah Lipstadt.   The
American author, a co-defendant, is a professor at Emory University in
Atlanta. The book examines the Holocaust "denial phenomenon" and names Mr
Irving as a denier who, it alleges, distorts history. This allegation is the
basis of his action.
Copyright 2000 Times Newspapers Limited Sunday Times (London)
January 9, 2000, Sunday

The sharp minds with a war to win

BY:  Margarette Driscoll

The court case between David Irving and Deborah Lipstadt  is expected to
last three months and is bound to be phenomenally expensive.

Irving, proud of his forensic mind, is to represent himself, while
Lipstadt's  case will be fought by Anthony Julius, the solicitor who
represented the Princess of Wales during her divorce. It will be the first
big test of his newly acquired skill as an advocate. He has already tried
his hand at writing, authoring a book exposing TS Eliot's anti-semitism.

The case is to be held without a jury, which is unusual, both sides having
agreed that the complexity of the issues would drag the hearing out if a
jury were to try it.

The battle will be fought out in front of Charles Gray, the judge, who is
himself a distinguished libel lawyer and one of the so-called "fashionable
four" libel QCs headed by George Carman. Gray's biggest win - in a case that
dealt with a shameful episode during the second world war, the extermination
of the white Russians - was Pounds 1.5m for Lord Aldington, the Tory peer,
against Count Nikolai Tolstoy.

Gray also appeared for Jonathan Aitken, the former Tory MP, in his notorious
libel suit against The Guardian.

At stake is Irving's reputation as a historian. The Sunday Times is to play
a small role in the drama. A former Sunday Times writer involved in the
newspaper's serialisation of the Goebbels diaries, which Irving edited and
translated, is to give evidence, along with several Holocaust experts.

One of the key witnesses for the defence will be Richard Evans, professor of
modern history at Cambridge, who has written on German history and is the
author of a book outlining the historian's role in modern society. He has
been asked to examine Irving's work and pronounce on its worth.

Though both sides insist the case is about Irving's academic credibility and
deny they wish to use the court to "refight" the war, it is the subject
rather than the characters that gives this case such power.
Copyright 2000 Times Newspapers Limited Sunday Times (London)
January 9, 2000, Sunday

Judgment day for the Holocaust historians

BY:  David Cesarani

David Irving will be at the centre of a marathon legal clash in the High
Court over the issue of 'Holocaust denial', writes David Cesarani

The battle looming in the High Court between David Irving, the most
controversial of Britain's historians, and Deborah Lipstadt,  an American
expert on the Holocaust and anti-semitism, promises to be one of the most
gripping of modern times. If the clash between Neil Hamilton and Mohamed
al-Fayed provided onlookers with scenes worthy of Gilbert and Sullivan, the
action for defamation brought by Irving against Lipstadt  and Penguin Books
this Tuesday will be more reminiscent of trench warfare.

The consequences for both parties will be enormous and the shock waves will
reverberate far and wide.

The issue goes beyond the reputations of two individuals and a publishing
house. It was triggered in 1995 when Lipstadt,  a professor, published
Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory. The book
grew from her concern about the worldwide proliferation of the claim that
there was no systematic mass murder of Europe's Jews during the second world

She was also appalled by the confused response on American campuses to
advertisements in college newspapers proclaiming that Auschwitz was a myth
concocted by Jews to make the world feel sorry for them and pay reparations
to Israel.

Lipstadt  sought to demonstrate the links between this denial of the
Holocaust and the activity of white supremacists in America and neo-Nazis in
Europe. It was, she argued, not just a distortion of history that pained the
Jews, but also part of a global effort to rehabilitate Nazism and, hence, a
threat to liberty itself.

In the book she referred extensively to Irving, whom she considered one of
the most dangerous exponents of Holocaust denial. She believed him to be a
potent force because he knew how to use historical sources, wrote well and,
thanks to his bestselling publications, carried considerable prestige. Yet,
she asserted, he was associated with well-known Holocaust deniers and like
them distorted history in the service of a noxious ideology.

This was not the first time Irving had been attacked, but her assaults on
his reputation presented a challenge he could not afford to ignore.

Irving has been a quixotic figure on the British literary scene for more
than 30 years. A Germanophile since his teens, with marked right-wing
political leanings, he won attention with a string of heavily researched but
controversial second world war books. In 1963 he touched the raw nerve in
Britain and Germany over the bombing of Dresden. In 1970 he had to pay
Pounds 40,000 in damages for allegations he made in a book on the ill-fated
Arctic wartime convoy PQ17. Hitler's War, his 1977 book, took him into a
different realm of controversy when he alleged that Hitler had not known
about the mass murder of Europe's Jews until 1943. According to Irving, "the
incontrovertible evidence is that Hitler ordered that there was to be 'no
liquidation' of the Jews."

This caused consternation and provoked Martin Broszat, the leading German
historian of the Third Reich, to write a minutely documented critique of
Irving's methods and his thesis. But Irving responded to the furore by
offering a cash reward to anyone who could find a document directly linking
Hitler to the Final Solution.

At this stage he was taken seriously by many historians, but in the 1980s
what was excused as eccentricity or provocation for the sake of publicity
took the form of something more disturbing. In 1979 Irving's German
publisher apologised for printing in Hitler's War that Anne Frank's diary
was a forgery and paid compensation to her family. Irving now became a
presence in extreme right-wing circles in Britain and attended conferences
of the Institute of Historical Review in the United States, the leading
forum for those who deny the Holocaust ever happened.

 From the mid-1980s he regularly addressed neo-Nazi groups in Austria and
Germany, where he assumed almost heroic status among them. But did they warm
to him because he was "one of them" or because he attacked existing
orthodoxy? In 1988 he went to Toronto to testify on behalf of Ernst Zundel,
a Canadian on trial for spreading "false news", denying that the holocaust
had taken place. Zundel also called as a witness Fred Leuchter, an American
expert on execution techniques, who claimed as a result of scientific tests
that Zyklon B cyanide gas was never used at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The judge dismissed the scientific evidence, but Irving went on to publish a
version of the Leuchter report under his own imprint. In the foreward he
wrote that British intelligence had spread the "propaganda story that the
Germans were using 'gas chambers' to kill millions of Jews and other

When he spun this line to a far-right meeting in Munich he was charged by
the German authorities, found guilty in May 1992 and heavily fined. Yet in
Britain and America, Irving was still widely regarded as a scholar of
substance, wayward but not beyond the pale. His biography of Goebbels, the
Nazi propaganda chief, won plaudits from the likes of Hugh Trevor-Roper,
Donald Cameron Watt and Bruce Anderson. But his comeback only spurred on the
efforts of those determined to stigmatise him.

In 1997 a Munich court upped the earlier fine and barred him from entering
Germany, cutting Irving off from his archives and contacts. Then he was
banned from Canada and Australia where he had conducted lecture tours and
promoted his books. Finally, St Martin's Press in New York ditched his book
on Goebbels: for American publishers Irving had become too hot to handle.
One of his most important markets was in jeopardy.

It was probably a combination of these developments that prompted Irving to
sue Lipstadt.  The label of "Holocaust denier" that hung around his neck was
strangling him.

Irving rejects the accusation that he denies the Holocaust took place, but
he defines it to mean the slaughter of millions of civilians and not just
Jews. He can point to references in his books to the mass murder of Jews by
shooting or at the Chelmno death camp, but he insists that if gas chambers
existed at Auschwitz or other extermination camps it was for "experimental"
purposes. He insists that all his findings can be sustained by the
legitimate interpretation of original sources.

It will be crucial for him to prove this in court, because the outcome will
determine his credibility as a historian. Win or lose he will be a hero or a
martyr for the far right, but if he loses his stock will fall.

Irving sees himself pitted against what he calls a "global conspiracy" led
by Jews that is devoted to leaving him boycotted and broke. For those on the
far right such as Jean-Marie Le Pen, who regard the Final Solution as a
"detail" of history, or Jorg Haider, who would like the world to take a more
relaxed view of Hitler, the trial has considerable political significance.

If, as Lipstadt  believes, the record of Nazi atrocities is indeed a barrier
which constrains the far right, a heavy burden rests on her defence. Yet the
historians will know that its ramifications for them are no less profound.
Implicit in the issue of individual reputations will be the larger question:
who can be trusted with the past?

  David Cesarani is professor of Jewish history at Southampton University


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