WHY BRITISH HISTORIAN DAVID IRVING
LOST HIS TRIAL VS. DEBORAH LIPSTADT
|In 1993, a certain Prof. Deborah Lipstadt, Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory
University (Georgia, USA), published a book titled "Denying the Holocaust" where among other things she
esteemed that British historian David Irving was an "holocaust denier." To know better about the Holocaust
deniers, please read here.
David Irving is a rather well-known although controversial historian since his publication in 1963 of "The
destruction of Dresden". With the years he became more and more controversial to the point to maintain in his
"Hitler's war" (1977) that Hitler had no knowledge of the Holocaust until 1943 and that he never gave a written
order for it (the famous Hitler's orders). Of course he never gave a written order, firstly he was nobody fool,
secondly it was not his kind to sign compromising documents.
Mrs Lipstadt - born in 1947 in the USA- who is a very reputable and serious American historian of Jewish descent
-her father was a German Jew and her mother a Polish one- gave the following reasons to her claim :
When the trial started in January 2000, Irving made the crucial error to stage a trial against a supposed "Jewish
conspiracy" against himself and his works rather than to prove that he was not an Holocaust denier and therefore
that Pr. Lipstadt was guilty of defamation.
His assertions that this alleged defamation was the result of a broad Jewish conspiracy was not even mentioned
in passing in the initial document of the opening statement so important in anglo-saxon procedure. . Had Irving
stuck to this basic theory the evidence in his case would have revolved around the statements made by Lipstadt.
Instead Irving decided to pursue a far broader theory of the case : he began to claim that the defamation was the
result of a world-wide conspiracy to persecute him conducted by various Jewish organizations. And, as a result,
Irving and his ability as a historian were the central issues rather than Lipstadt's statements.
-1. " Although a best-selling, high-profile professional historian, I have been subjected to a
campaign of boycotting, hounding, persecution and de facto punishment by organisations based in the U.K.,
Australia, and elsewhere overseas, designed to harass, vilify, threaten, assault, silence, and permanently
commercially ruin me. I am aware of other historians who have similarly suffered. I noticed that the phrase
'Holocaust denier' came into the common currency of the published media. I was physically and violently attacked
in the street and in a restaurant in 1992. My family and I have been subjected to an organised barrage of obscene,
violent, and abusive telephone calls. The Board of Deputies of British Jews and its satellite and related
organisations staged violent street demonstrations, for which they publicly took the credit, at my place of residence
and at venues where I was to speak, which required heavy police reinforcements to protect."
-2. "These opponents have furthered their aims by clandestine means, furnishing perjured
statements about me to foreign governments and starting whispering campaigns against me - spreading for
example the odious tidings that I had supplied the trigger mechanism used for the Oklahoma City bomb in 1995;
they have applied violent and/or psychological pressure to my reputable publishers (like Macmillan Ltd in 1989 and
again in 1991 and 1992) to violate fair contracts freely entered into, and they even forced them on one occasion
(The Sunday Times, London in July 1992) to refuse to pay moneys owing to me under such a contract. Among their
methods of intimidation, which bear a close comparison with the methods used by the Nazis in the 1930s, these
organisations have started campaigns of book-burning and window-smashing against bookstores in the U.K., and
they have blackmailed printers in Britain and Denmark, to my knowledge, to abandon production plans for books
written by me."
-3. "The Work Complained of, Denying the Holocaust, written and published by the Defendants, was
the principal instrument deployed in the campaign to destroy me. The author, the Second Defendant, was financed
and promoted by the same organisations as lay at the root of the international campaign, and funded with copies of
the same smear materials that these organisations had concocted against me."
With this document, Irving's allegations that there was a long-standing conspiracy to fraudulently destroy his
reputation as a historian and that Deborah Lipstadt had been a paid agent in a vindictive campaign against him
became the real theme of the trial. This is reflected in both Irving's opening statement at trial and his closing
argument. In his determined effort to prove this conspiracy, Irving forgot the basic issues of the litigation. Instead
Irving decided to focus his opening statement on his reputation and the conspiracy to persecute him. It was a
mistake that was to cost him dearly.
The real paradox of his position was that Irving has always insisted that Hitler could not be held responsible for the
Holocaust without specific documentary evidence. Now he claimed he could establish a Jewish conspiracy of thirty
years duration based upon little more than his interpretation of innocuous documents. Quite ironic !!
In the end, the judge Mr Justice Gray ruled "that [Irving] is an active Holocaust denier; that he is anti-Semitic and
racist and that he associates with right-wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism" and "that Irving has for his own
ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence" were
As a result of previous statements about the Holocaust, Irving has been barred from entering Germany, Austria,
Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. On 20 February 2006, he was sentenced to three years' imprisonment in
Austria for denying the Holocaust, when he re-entered Austria following his earlier ban. He was released from jail
on December 21, 2006 where, to MHO, he did not deserve to be but where he has certainly done his best to end
Having said that, I personally want to make two points :
1- I disagree with the Laws that punish Revisionist statements or writings especially when the most stringent
come from countries like France and Austria which have a past of collaboration or which have been extremely
lenient in the repression and punishment of former Nazis like Austria. It is ironical to see that Mr. Irving is currently
rotting in an Austrian jail whereas this country had a man, who received a silver medal with an oak leaf cluster by
the fascist Ustashi leader, Ante Pavelic, as President.
2- I personally read two books by Irving, Hitler's War and The War between the Generals, which I found y well
documented and very interesting. During his trial, some historians pretended that Irving uses to distort facts and
makes a poor translation of German documents. Others sustain that In a number of specific cases, it is obvious
that Irving has simply invented sources, quotes and other supportive data.
For instance, British author and historian Martin Middlebrook has dealt with Irving's failings very clearly in his 1973
book, "The Nuremberg Raid." On pages 293 through 296, Middlebrook dissects a story that Irving reported in his
work "And the German Cities Did Not Die-A Documentary Account" published by a small, right wing Swiss house
In this book, Irving stated categorically that the Germans had learned in advance about the disastrous 1944 British
air raid on Nuremberg in which a very large percentage of the raiding aircraft were lost to German action. Irving
quotes three British airmen, who were prisoners of war in Germany, to the effect that the Germans had prior
knowledge of this raid. Very extensive research on the part of Middlebrook proved that two of the named airmen
had no knowledge whatsoever of the statements attributed to them by Irving, in fact flatly denying them, and the third
alleged witness simply never existed anywhere except in Irving's imagination. I am not in a position to judge.
But I will still consider that Mr Irving made a fool of himself during the Lipstadt trial and ruined his credibility as an
historian but also that those two books by him were among the best I have read concerning Hitler 's era and
Nevertheless, I think that people should read Irving and listen less to the diatribes of those official historians who
know all and better and who for too long were mono-sourced and discarded German archives as poison.
Sometimes the truth is in the poison because somehow Irving has proved to their dismay that if you go confront
and interview the people in the know -even if they are deemed to be the bad people- you will come back with
unofficial material that might jeopardize and stymie the official truth. Napoleon used to say that "history is a bunch
of lies agreed upon" and he was right. Irving's opponents somehow can not stand the idea that he is bringing back
this Napoleon's quip to the surface. And the fact that Irving distorts this new unearthed truth to prove his point
adds to the contempt of the official historian world of whom he is not a member.
LIST OF DAVID IRVING'S BOOKS
* The Destruction of Dresden (1963) ISBN 0705700305
* The Mare's Nest (1964)
* The Virus House (1967)
* The Destruction of Convoy PQ17 (1967)
* Accident — The Death of General Sikorski (1967) ISBN 0718304209
* Breach of Security (1968) ISBN 0718301013
* The Rise and Fall of the Luftwaffe (1973), a biography of Erhard Milch ISBN 0316432385
* Hitler's War (1977), Hitler in wartime
* The Trail of the Fox (1977), a biography of Erwin Rommel ISBN 0525222006
* The War Path (1978) ISBN 0670749710
* The War Between the Generals (1981)
* Uprising! (1981), ISBN 0949667919
* The Secret Diaries of Hitler’s Doctor (1983) ISBN 002558250X
* The German Atomic Bomb: The History of Nuclear Research in Nazi Germany (1983) ISBN 0306801981
* War Between the Generals (1986) ISBN 0865530696
* Churchill's War (1987), Churchill in wartime ISBN 0947117563
* Destruction of Convoy PQ-17 (1968), reprint (1989) ISBN 0312911521
* Göring (1989), biography of Hermann Göring ISBN 0688066062
* Goebbels — Mastermind of the "Third Reich" (1996) ISBN 1872197132
* Hitler's War (1991), revised edition, incorporating The War Path
* Nuremberg: The Last Battle (1996) ISBN 1872197167
* Churchill's War Volume II: Triumph in Adversity (1997) ISBN 1872197159
* Rommel: The Trail of the Fox, Wordsworth Military Library; Limited edition (1999) ISBN 1840222050
* Hitler's War and the War Path (2002) ISBN 1872197108
* Hess, the Missing Years (1987) Macmillan, ISBN 0333451791
|Irving made a fool of himself and lost all credibility in the
course of the trial. The crucial allegations that set forth
Irving's "conspiracy" are in a section entitled "The
conspiracy to destroy and defame." It can best be described
as a paranoid rant which had little, if any, relevance to the
basic question of whether Irving was defamed in "Denying
the Holocaust" and did nothing more than detract from that
|Irving with ex-Nazi
Albert Speer in 1979.
Speer died in 1981.
He was a social
ladder climber, join
the NSDAP, made a
career in Nazi
Germany and in front
of the defeat paused
as a repentant Nazi
at the end of the war.
"The Holocaust ? Do
not make me laugh,
please. You must be
|In response, David Irving, a self proclaimed historian with a tendency to
see conspiracies all over the place and famous for the publication of
books like "The destruction of Dresden", "Hitler's war" or "The war
between the Generals", sued Dr. Lipstadt and her British publisher,
Penguin Books, for libel in a trial that made headlines around the world.
England's libel laws, unlike American laws, place an onerous burden of
proof on the defendant-in this case, Dr. Lipstadt. The stakes were
unimaginably high for Lipstadt and Penguin because they had placed on
their shoulders the responsibility of defending history. If David Irving won,
a British court would have lent its imprimatur to his version of events, in
which the survivors of Auschwitz are branded as liars, and the suffering of
the victims of the gas chambers is simply erased from the pages of
history." History, and the Holocaust itself, was on trial.
|(a) Mr. Irving has openly stated his belief that gas chambers were not used to
(b) He estimates that no more than 600,000 Jews were killed
(c) He argues that Hitler not only failed to order or approve of this action but knew
nothing about it; those Jews who were killed were killed in rogue actions by
Germans acting without proper authorization (Hitler’s War, Focal Point, 1991)
(d) He rejects the notion that those Jews who died did so as a result of an
organized annihilation of European Jewry by the Germans and their allies
(e) He markedly distorts, perverts and/or manipulates the meaning of documents
as the reports of expert witnesses will repeatedly indicate
(f) He believes that Auschwitz was not a death camp but a slave labor camp with
the highest mortality rate
(g) He claims that those who died at places such as Auschwitz and Treblinka did
so as a result of starvation and disease
|Mr. David Irving has a
to see hatred monger
hatred aimed at him.
You can read here a
message from David
Irving to the
Irving spent the majority of his four hour speech alternating between his perceived
standing as a historian and a massive Jewish "conspiracy" designed to destroy
that standing. These positions were neither credible or persuasive and would not
be supported by the evidence presented during the trial. Since he presented the
case himself, Irving's lengthy discourse appeared to be self-promoting puffery
rather than a reasoned exposition of the evidence.
To make his problem even worse, Irving's assertions of his standing as a
respectable historian provided the defense with an opening to savage him with the
irrefutable evidence that, as a historian, Irving was a fraud and a charlatan.
|"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." (David Irving)
|DAVID IRVING'S NICE UTTERANCES ABOUT THE
|The webmaster was
attacked by Irving
about his spelling.
The reader will
that Mr Irving is not
even capable to
make a difference
and a typo. Shame
on the illiterate.