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The Durham Herald Co.
The Herald-Sun (Durham, N.C.)

March 6, 2000, Monday

EICHMANN MEMOIRS  Let history judge

A British historian's libel suit against an American professor has prompted
Israel to release Adolf Eichmann's 1961 prison memoirs, hoping the document
will bolster the American professor's defense. Whatever the reason, the
release of these memoirs is long overdue.

Eichmann, executed in Israel in 1962 for his role in the Holocaust, was in
charge of the "Jewish section" of the Nazi secret police. He was responsible
for transporting Jews to Eastern Europe. Some historians have already
condemned the memoirs as self-serving and therefore worthless historically.
In one passage, referring to his role in Adolf Hitler's regime, Eichmann
says he was "one of many horses roped into the harness and following the
will and orders of the carriage driver, unable to break out to the left or
to the right ...."

But as other historians have concluded, Holocaust deniers will find no
comfort in these memoirs. Eichmann refers several times to Hitler's direct
knowledge about the Final Solution. The memoir also offers gruesomely
descriptive passages about acts of horror that Eichmann witnessed.

Israel has kept these memoirs under deep cover, fearing that Holocaust
deniers would misuse their contents, or that Eichmann's survivors might
profit from them. Now that these memoirs have seen the light of day,
historians at last can judge and criticize the document, perhaps shedding
more light on Germany's dark descent into genocide.


Publishers Weekly

March 6, 2000, page 20

"Irving Sues Penguin in U.K., Claiming Libel," by Jean Richardson

Controversial historian David Irving has so far spent more than a month
in London's High Court conducting his libel suit against American
academic Deborah Lipstadt and her publisher Penguin Books, over the
publication of her 1994 book Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault
on Truth and Memory.  In her book, Lipstadt claimed that Irving is a
liar and a falsifier of history, who denies that the Holocaust took
place.  He has sued her and her publisher for damages on the grounds
that Lipstadt has generated "waves of hatred" against him, and made it
impossible for him to continue to earn his living as a reputable

    Irving, the 62-year-old author of Hitler's War, claims that Hitler
was not responsible for the killing of the Jews and didn't know about it
until October 1943; that the gas chambers at Auschwitz were not used for
mass killings but to de-louse corpses; that those who died in
concentration camps did so from disease and malnutrition; and that the
total of six million deaths is an exaggeration.  His evidence has been
fiercely contested by survivors and by other academics.  Military
historian Sir John Keegan, called as a reluctant witness to Irving's
reputation, said that although Irving's book was interesting, his views
were perverse and a denial of common sense.

    The defense has sought to portray Irving as a man of "unvarnished
racism," quoting from his private diary, his speeches to right-wing
organizations and a book in which he attacked the Jews for their greed.
Irving denies the charge, and said he was concerned with trying to
analyze why Jews were so disliked.  "In my own clumsy way," he said, "I
am trying to find out why we don't like them."  Excerpts from his
speeches have been quoted in court, including an attack on the British
government's immigration policy that Irving complained created a society
in which his passport was checked by a Pakistani officer and the English
cricket team has been infiltrated by black players.  In reply, Irving
said he was a patriot, not a racist, and lamented the passing of the
England into which he was born.

    Irving is conducting his own defense and has gambled heavily on
winning a case in which far more than personal issues are at stake.  The
case is being heard without a jury and is expected to last up to three

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