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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/k/kelley.marty/1997/moran-on-lipstadt

From mkelley@U.Arizona.EDU Thu Jan  2 05:45:41 PST 1997
Article: 90499 of alt.revisionism
From: Marty Kelley 
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Re: Holocaust Specifications For "Proof"
Date: Sun, 29 Dec 1996 21:17:20 -0700
Organization: The University of Arizona
Lines: 210
References: <32cdf17f.3621260@>
Reply-To: Marty Kelley 
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII
In-Reply-To: <32cdf17f.3621260@>

On Fri, 27 Dec 1996, tom moran re-posted his deliberate
out-of-context quote of a letter from Deborah Lipstadt to the _New York
Times_.  Since I've previously addressed Mr. Moran's illogical reading of
this letter, I will simply re-post the discussion that ensued the last
time I noticed Mr. Moran's nonsense on this point:

>From  mkelley@U.Arizona.EDU Sun Dec 29 21:12:05 1996
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 1996 15:33:04 -0700
From: Marty Kelley 
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Re: Tom Moran Can't read (again!) (Was Re: Holocaust Specifications For "Proof")

Tom Moran's misreading of Deborah Lipstadt's 11/8/93 letter to the _New
York Times_ is so full of illogic that sorting out his lies and errors will
take a bit of effort.  For the sake of clarity, it might be useful to  
reference my two earlier replies to Mr. Moran's distortion of this
letter, archived at:

On Mon, 16 Sep 1996, tom moran wrote:

> Marty Kelley  wrote:
> >On Sun, 15 Sep 1996, tom moran wrote, regarding Deborah Lipstadt's

> >> 	Anyway, the gist of her mentality and criteria for historical
> >> accuracy lies in her statement "They argue Pressac's book is
> >> superfluous; the tears of the survivors should be sufficient proof."
> >> 
> >> 	Let me reiterate Deborah's terse statement on historical
> >> accounting;
> >> 
> >
> > But golly, Mr. Moran--she is saying that this is what OTHERS say.  She is
> >not saying that she believes this--in fact, she goes on to explicitly say
> >that Holocaust deniers must be countered with facts, and that therefore
> >Pressac's book is necessary.
> They argue Pressac's book is superfluous; the tears of the survivors
> should be sufficient proof.
> These are the words. I left off quote marks so it is clear that the
> sentence is Ms.Lipstadt's and not a reference to something a
> revisionist said, as Mr.Kelley is trying to infer. 

Wrong, Mr. Moran.  In both clauses of the sentence, Dr. Lipstadt is
referring to _survivors_ and others who complain that Pressac's book is
"superfluous."  She is not referring to "revisionists" here.

> The first part of the sentence is her statement on what revisionists
> argue, the part, after a semicolon, is her statement on what should
> suffice. A semicolon is different than a comma. It is defined in the
> dictionary as "used to indicate a major division in a sentence". 

No, no, no, Mr. Moran--once again, though, you have given me a rather
interesting punctuation exercise to use with my students. (Remember your
problem with commas when we were discussing U.S. Supreme Court decisions?)
A semicolon does indeed mark "a major division in a sentence."  However,
in this sentence, it does NOT indicate that the second clause is 
Lipstadt's opinion.  According to one textbook, "semicolons can be used to
join independent clauses if the second clause restates or sets up a
contrast to the first." Read in the full context of her letter, it is
readily apparent that the second clause _restates_ the first--i.e., that
Lipstadt is attributing the claim that "the tears of the survivors should
be sufficient proof" to the same people who claim that Pressac's book is
"superfluous."  She disagrees with people who make such claims, and then
goes on to explain why documentary work such as Pressac's is important. 


> >Hey, let's look again at the full text of her letter....
> >
> >"       Jean Claude Pressac's book detailing how the Nazi gas chambers at
> >Auschwitz actually worked (news article, Oct. 28, Week in Review Oct 31)
> >has elicited condemnation from a variety of sources contending that
> >"genocide was possible because it happened."
> 	Now she is not giving the full sentence here, is she? Why not?

She was quoting it accurately. Here, however, is the full
paragraph in the 10/28/93 _NY Times_ article about Pressac's book:

	Some concentration camp survivors and their children living in
	France have reacted angrily, saying in a statement that the book
	amounts to the height of cynicism.  "Genocide was possible because
	it happened," they said. (_NY Times_, Oct. 28 1993, p. A3)

Nothing in this paragraph indicates that Lipstadt is misquoting anyone.
Are you arguing that she is quoting the source inaccurately?

> > They argue that Pressac's work is superfluous; the tears of the 
> >survivors should be sufficient proof.
> 	The sentence of controversy.
> >"        In the best of all possible worlds they would be right.  The
> >testimony of those who suffered as well as the corroboration of the
> >perpetrators themselves would be the ultimate proof.
> 	Now this sentence is hard to relate to any preceding relevance
> which she implies with "...they could be right". She states that
> testimonies are the ultimate proof, whereas we could very well say
> that actual photographs of what should be there, according to
> Holocaust evidence and real forensic reports, and documents that are
> not subject to interpretations, but actually say something concrete. 

Well, no. She states that in the best of all possible worlds, a book
that goes over already-proven facts _would_ be superfluous, and the fact
that both the survivors AND the perpetrators were in agreement on what
happened should settle the matter.  However, note that she uses the phrase
"in the best of all possible worlds," Mr. Moran. People use tht phrase
when they are acknowledge that ours is NOT the best possible world.  So
once again, this paragraph argues directly AGAINST the notion that
testimony is sufficient proof.

[big snip]

> >        I too have been challenged as to why I had to write a book
> >exposing the background and methodology of the deniers.
> 	Right here is a most ridiculous statement. Maybe Mr.Kelley can
> translate it into something understandable. What the sequence has
> been, is, she has been challenged to a debate, she refused, and opted
> instead to write a book "exposing the background and methodology of
> the deniers" in lieu of using the mounds of evidence to undo the utter
> nonsense.

Mr. Moran is apparently confused about who Lipstadt is referring to.
Here, she is NOT referring to "challenges" from Holocaust deniers, but to
challenges from historians and others who believe (wrongly, I think) that
paying any attention to Holocaust deniers gives them undeserved attention.
As to the contents of Lipstadt's book, Mr. Moran has repeatedly said he
has never read it.  As a matter of fact, Lipstadt _does_ use documented
evidence to address several main denier claims.


> >  Had they been
> >ignored from the outset, my book would also be superfluous.  But too many
> >people, including naive students and talk show hosts, treat them as an
> >other "point of view." So a comprehensive analysis of the deniers was
> >necessary.
> 	 Here she states again the motive and contents of her book, "a
> comprehensive analysis of the deniers" instead of a comprehensive
> analysis of denier arguments and presenting the awesome stuff she
> claims.

Once again, since Mr. Moran has not read Lipstadt's book, it's clear that
he is unaware that she does, in fact, present a compelling analysis of the
flaws in deniers' arguments.  She convincingly shows that they routinely
lie, quote selectively, and engage in dishonest pseudo-scholarship. 


[Marty Kelley:]
> >Mr. Moran apparently does not understand the concept of attributing a
> >statement to others in order to refute it.  
> >
> >Here's a scenario: Suppose Mr. Moran wrote "There are some who claim that
> >the Holocaust happened, that millions of innocent people were wiped out
> >by the Nazis," and then went on to argue that he didn't think that was
> >the case.  Would Mr Moran consider it accurate if I then wrote, "Tom
> >Moran admits that `Millions of innocent people were wiped out by the
> >Nazis'"? That's precisely equivalent to what he's done to Lipstadt's text,
> >although Mr. Moran seems wholly unable to recognize it.
> 	Mr.Kelley should use this whole sequence as a lesson for his
> class and see what they have to say. Maybe they could make a
> connecting relevance to Mr. Kelley's 'parable' example above. 

Excellent idea, Mr. Moran!  When the syllabus permits, I will give my
students the 10/28/93 _NY Times article about Pressac's book, Dr.
Lipstadt's 11/08/93 letter, and copies of our discussion.  I'll ask them
to pass on their comments to this newsgroup.  In particular, we'll focus
on your weird interpretation of the semicolon's function.

Incidentally, I have been showing Lipstadt's letter to cseveral
colleagues, both graduate students and professors, and asking them to
summarize it. To avoid "bias," I have not told them about our
discussion in a.r.  Not a single one of them has agreed with your
interpretation of Lipstadt's comment about "the tears of the survivors."
(That sample includes, by the way, a German graduate student studying
second-language teaching.)

> 	I would say Ms.Lipstadt is thoroughly corrupt. Whether she knows
> it or not, that is another question. 
> 	Her statement above, "They argue Pressac's book is superfluous;
> the tears of the survivors should be sufficient proof" is, 'What they
> say; what she says'.
> 	I would rate Mr.Kelley in the same ranks as Ms.Lipstadt.

I would be honored to be in the same ranks as Dr. Lipstadt!

Marty Kelley  (mkelley@U.Arizona.EDU)
"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint.
When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist."
			--Dom Helder Camara

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