C-Span's Mistake

Ms. Lipstadt is Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University and author of History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving.

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The media storm in which I have been engulfed actually began a few weeks ago.

Shortly after History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving appeared HarperCollins received a call from C-Span’s Book TV asking for my speaking schedule. They were excited about covering the book. The HarperCollins folks were very pleased; particularly since C-Span’s coverage would come within a few weeks of publication of the book, when the book was readily available in the stores. (Some people still buy their books that way and more power to them!). As a C-Span Book TV junkie, I was delighted.

My joy was quickly dissipated when I learned that David Irving had announced on his website that C-Span had asked to appear in order to give “balance” to my presentation. I was surprised by this, to say the least. (Initially, I attributed the word “balance” to him, but since then C-Span has repeatedly used it to justify its decision.)

At first I was convinced that this was a decision made at the lower levels of the C-Span food chain, but C-Span disabused us of that notion. “It has been discussed and decided on at the highest level,” HarperCollins and I were both told. I asked Amy Roach, the C-Span producer handling this matter: “Would you put on someone who says slavery did not happen?” “No,” Roach assured me. Then why a Holocaust denier, I asked. “Oh,” she said quite breezily, “He’s not going to talk about Holocaust denial. He’s going to talk about the trial.” Since the trial was all about Holocaust denial, this struck me as completely wacko.

I also explained that deniers are liars, as we demonstrated overwhelmingly at the trial. (See Judge Charles Gray’s judgment at www.hdot.org. Click on Judgment and go to part XIII. Note the language he uses to describe Irving’s work.) Since they lie and distort to prove their points, how can one have a debate with them? One cannot trust anything that they say.

When I told Roach that this would hurt C-Span, she immediately assured me: “Oh, we don’t have advertisers, we aren’t susceptible to pressure.” I told her that I was not talking about pressure. I was talking about credibility. She said they have people of all opinions (Holocaust denial, an opinion?) on all the time.

I probably should not have been surprised that she said this since a few days later, when a reporter calling her boss, Connie Doebele, the Executive Producer of Book TV, for a comment, was told that C-Span puts on liars all the time--they cover Congress.

I then told Roach that I would probably not go on. I added, almost as an afterthought that I assumed if I did not go on, they would not broadcast Irving. No, she assured me, they would broadcast him anyway. (Where’s the “balance” in this?)

Roach told me this as I was boarding a flight to Germany. I pondered the issue for a good part of the flight. Do I, by not going on, give him an unchallenged hour on Book TV? Do I, by going on, give him the debate he and all his fellow Holocaust deniers, have wanted for so long? I decided that I had to decide for myself and C-Span had to decide for itself. I would not do it.

At that point someone brought the story to Richard Cohen. He called C-Span and spoke to both Doebele and Roach. They kept using the word “balance.” He wrote a passionate piece in the Washington Post, which was syndicated in other papers. Within a few hours, a petition was being circulated among historians asking C-Span not to go forward with its decision. The petition, started by the David Wyman Institute, had over 200 signatures within 48 hours. The New York Times, Boston Globe, AP, and Atlanta Constitution all picked up the story, as did some widely read blogs. The LA Times just interviewed me as well.

C-Span has issued a very wimpy statement (see lipstadt.blogspot.com), saying that they wanted to cover my book, but that I would not let them tape my presentation at Harvard. They were invited to go on MSNBC with me, but, according to the producer there, refused. (Where’s the balance there?)

That is where it stands now. Most people who have been contacting me and or writing about this recognize that this is not about freedom of speech nor is it really about David Irving. Holocaust deniers have the right to make complete fools of themselves. They can speak wherever they want. That, however, does not mean we have to invite them into our “homes” or that a network--a public service network at that--has to give them precious, highly limited and coveted broadcast time.

There are many things to debate about the Holocaust, e.g. Goldhagen’s theories, but whether it happened is not one of them. I have stood by this principle for many years and continue to adhere to it.

As I reflect back on this, I recall that my initial expectation was that when I said no, C-Span would drop both of us and that would be that. I would have forfeited a great opportunity for publicity about my book. It was C-Span’s obstinacy and fuzzy thinking (to be kind) which pushed this into the media.

During the trial, virtually all good thinking intelligent people made it quite clear that they were rooting for David Irving to lose and lose decisively. One reporter described him as the “prince of darkness.” This time, however, my “adversary,” was a network that many of us look to as a source of sanity. Brian Lamb, the founder of C-Span, had created a network that broadcast calm, clear, and, by and large, insightful discussion of important issues. For them to show such moral blindness remains terribly disturbing.

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Irfan Khawaja - 8/4/2006


I don't disagree with any of that. But I think CSpan could play a useful educative role if they allowed Irving to make his case in this context (and only in this one), while making clear that Irving lost his case against Lipstadt (though of course Lipstadt herself will presumably make that clear).

Irfan Khawaja - 8/4/2006

I actually think you have things exactly backwards. What would be outrageous would be to present David Irving in a free-standing program WITHOUT presenting Lipstadt.

I really don't follow the rest of your argument. I am not suggesting that Irving and Lipstadt are on the same ethical plane. Neither, so far as I can see, is CSpan. Lipstadt is a bona fide scholar, Irving is not; Irving is dishonest, Lipstadt is not. Lipstadt would not be granting Irving any moral sanction at all by appearing on CSpan. The whole point of her appearing is that she doesn't do so. Nor would CSpan be granting any more sanction. You're simply assuming that joint appearance on TV implies moral sanction of one party. I don't see why.

You say that CSpan's decision "borders on the bizarre." Again, I don't see why, and it certainly is not "explicable only as an obsession." I would have done it myself if I were there, and I have no such obsession. Assuming they stick to a joint appearance and don't present Irving minus Lipstadt (which would be very wrong), the rationale is that if you're going to discuss a court case, there are two parties to it, and both sides should present their case even if one side is wrong, which Irving is.

I don't understand your claim that Irving is not a "fraud per se." How can a rehabilitator of Nazism not be a fraud? And what is the difference between a fraud and a person who obfuscates and muddies the waters? My own view would be that he is a fraud, an obfuscator and a water-muddier. But he was also the plaintiff in the court case and it makes sense to hear his charge from his mouth in order to make sense of Lipstadt's defense against it.

I think Lipstadt deserves accolades too, and I am glad she won. I do disagree with the view she defends in this essay, however.

Irfan Khawaja - 8/4/2006

I hope you don't claim to be agreeing with me, because your argument is not the same as mine. I don't think Lipstadt's conditions are "outrageous"; I think they're understandable but mistaken. She wasn't trying to have Irving "barred"; she was identifying a condition of appearing on CSpan herself.

The trial showed that Irving IS a Holocaust denier, so let's not muddy the waters about that. Lipstadt has not libeled anyone; she has merely restated the implications of the trial--in which Irving was thoroughly discredited and which he was immoral to have brought about in the first place.

Please don't confuse your claims with mine. I have no wish to have mine associated with yours. If not for the fact that Lipstadt's book was about the trial, my view would be that Irving should not be invited to make any public appearances anywhere and should not be published anywhere. To that extent I actually agree with Lipstadt and her supporters. My disagreement with them is a very narrow one and I don't want it misconstrued.

Irfan Khawaja - 8/4/2006


I think you're begging the question. "By appearing in context with someone you are indicating...that some common intellectual ground exists in which reasonable disagreement can take place." I would deny that, and I would vehemently deny that one is "judged by one's opponents." If that were so, one could never oppose evil people.

In agreeing to have her lecture broadcast alongside Irving's, Lipstadt would only be indicating that for purposes of this discussion, Irving was the initiator of an accusation to which she was responding. There is no claim of sanction here, implicit or explicit, and no suggestion that she intends to have a productive discussion with Irving. (Surely we should be able to infer that from the content of her lecture.)

She is merely allowing him to state the positive claim (an accusation), where what she says refutes them. This preserves the idea that the whole controversy originated with HIS claim to which she is RESPONDING. And it allows us to hear the accuser make his accusation in his own voice. What she would say would be for the benefit of the audience, not her adversary. I simply don't see what Irving wins or what Lipstadt loses--unless we adopt Irving's definitions of those things. What the audience gains is an object lesson in dealing with the likes of Irving.

You say you wouldn't enter a debate with irrational people. But that's a red herring. In one sense, Lipstadt has already entered into a debate with Irving: just look at the title of her book. It is not as though she can discuss the court case without discussing Irving. My point is, if we're going to discuss the court case, let us hear the accusation from the accuser.

One only looks foolish if one tries to PERSUADE an irrationalist of the truth. But one doesn't look foolish at all if one demonstrates the irrationality of an irrationalist. And in my opinion Lipstadt is doing the second, not the first.

Irfan Khawaja - 8/4/2006

"It wouldn't be fair to simply call me an "agreer" and leave it at that?"

No, it wouldn't.

Irfan Khawaja - 8/4/2006

Christopher Hitchens.

Thanks by the way.

Irfan Khawaja - 8/4/2006

Well, she's already addressing him (Irving) and it (his position) by mentioning Irving's name in the subtitle of her book.

I agree that we should do nothing to confer legitimacy on Irving, but I don't agree that when you debate someone you are automatically conferring legitimacy on them simply because you are debating them. It depends on what you say and how you say it. I think it's obvious from Lipstadt's message that she regards Irving as having zero legitimacy. There's no need for any symbolic gestures over and above that.

A few exceptions aside, I think all of us in this discussion are agreeing that Irving is an irresponsible, dishonest, and racist figure. The disagreement is that some of you think that debating someone implies that their position is somehow legitimate. Whereas I think that debating someone merely implies that their position is incompatible with one's own and deserves to be publicly refuted. But for now, I'm going to leave the issue there.

Irfan Khawaja - 8/4/2006

One example, from the court case:

8.12 Irving asserted that, at least until he came to prepare for this case, he was not a Holocaust historian. He claimed that the topic bores him. He submitted that his comments about the Holocaust should be judged in the light of his lack of expertise. He did, however, agree that, when appearing as an expert witness in the Canadian prosecution of Zundel, he had answered questions about the Holocaust. Moreover he had to agree that he had told an audience in Toronto in 1988 that he had been going round as many as forty archives relating to Auschwitz. He accepted he had said that he was writing a book about Auschwitz.

Quod erat demonstrandum--at least for those with a little more than half a brain.

Irfan Khawaja - 8/4/2006

Much as I admire Prof. Lipstadt and despise David Irving, I can't accept her reasoning here.

The book she is promoting is about a court case in which she was the (justly-victorious) defendant. C-Span's position is best defended as a matter of general principle: when a court case is being discussed, it is best (if possible) to allow both sides to speak, even if one side has lost (i.e., Irving's), even if the losing side deserves to have lost, and even if it deserves execration. I would go so far as to defend this principle for Scott Peterson or OJ Simpson, or even the defendants at Nuremberg or Eichmann at Jerusalem. (Peterson did make his case for innocence on TV and Simpson's lawyers made his. Judging by the verdict in the first case and the evidence in the second, Peterson was lying and Simpson's lawyers were playing games with the truth.)

It is an insult to the intelligence of the audience to discuss the lies of the liars but then insist on shielding us from view from the liars themselves. David Irving is a fraud. The point is not that he has a "right" to speak on C-Span, much less that he is owed such an opportunity or that there is some big "free speech" issue here. Nobody owes him anything, and First Amendment issues are not remotely involved. But there is no point in discussing a court case in which he plays a central role if we are going to act as though he doesn't exist.

It would be different--very different--if the topic was the Holocaust as such, as opposed to this court case. In that context, inviting Irving would be completely inappropriate, and Prof. Lipstadt's arguments would be 100% correct.

But that is not what this controversy is about. Lipstadt's book is not a generalized discussion of the Holocaust, or of Holocaust denial-in-general. It is a discussion of a specific court case (yes, a court case about the Holocaust) in which the claims of the defense can only be understood in relation to the claims of the plaintiff. The defense is responding TO the plaintiff. For the sake of intelligibility, we need to hear the plaintiff make his charge, even if he does it mendaciously (meaning: whether he lies about the charge, or the charge is founded on lies), to grasp the significance of Prof. Lipstadt's defense with respect to it.

This point would stand if we were talking about a court case about slavery-denial. It is a general principle that holds regardless of subject matter. A court case is a particular adversarial dispute between two parties and ought be discussed that way or not at all.

The problem with the slavery analogy is that it is presented as though it involved a generalized discussion of the historicity of slavery, followed by someone denying it. The more relevant analogy would be a court case in which a slavery-denier sued a scholar of slavery for libel, and the scholar won. But in that case, I'd just say exactly the same thing as I have said.

Obviously, I certainly agree that Irving should NOT be broadcast now that Lipstadt herself is not being broadcast. That would be a travesty and contradict the whole point of my argument.

I wonder whether Prof. Lipstadt or her supporters or anyone else is willing to carry the principle behind their opposition to Irving to its logical conclusion. Irving, let's agree, is a liar. This reason, on their view, implies that he must NOT be seen on TV. If this were the case, NO liar could ever make his case on TV. On that hypothesis, who exactly would be LEFT to speak on TV? I'm not being facetious or rhetorical with that question. I am being absolutely serious.

David Irving is hardly unique in being a liar. Virtually every spokesman for every government on earth is a bald-faced liar and the totalitarian ones are scarcely different in any respect from Irving. Can any sane person believe the crap that comes out of the mouth of the spokesman for the People's Republic of China? (The PRC's recent threat to declare war against Taiwan was, in its spokesman's words as quoted in the NYT, "not a war bill". How different is that from the Irving method?) How about Castro's Cuba? Saudi Arabia? Iran? Pakistan? Syria? "Baghdad Bob"? What principle differentiates these liars from Irving? None. And yet they all get print space and air time all the time.

What we are being told is that since they are liars, they should not appear on TV, and we should be deprived of the chance to judge them for what they are. We should simply have safe, accredited experts pronounce verdicts on them, to save us the responsibility of arriving at that conclusion in a first-hand way.

Deprived of that chance, however, we are deprived of the chance to make judgments altogether. I can't think of a better recipe for the total infantilization of the American public. I.e., for maintaining the status quo.

And isn't that the assumption here? The assumption is that the American public consists of morons or infants. Faced with a man who has been DEMONSTRATED to be a liar, an anti-Semite and a Holocaust denier, the abject fear is that people might ignore those facts...and believe him. It certainly is possible. But if it happens, that tells us something that badly requires acknowledgement and rectification: it tells us that the American people have zero practice dealing with liars, and faced with one, will believe any crap that comes out of his mouth. That deficiency cannot be rectified by putting Deborah Lipstadt on C-Span to preach to the choir about the evils of David Irving.

I asked my students yesterday whether any of them were inclined to doubt the Holocaust. None were. Then I asked them what they would say to someone who did doubt it. NOT ONE COULD ANSWER. I asked them whether they had heard of David Irving. Not one had. An accidental result? It had never even occurred to them that such a person COULD exist. Faced with one in real life, how well do you think they'd acquit themselves?

Put Deborah Lipstadt in front of these students or people like them, and the result will NOT be less Holocaust denial (not that they watch C-Span, alas...). The result will be more fideistic complacency, more mindless piety, and less ABILITY to counter Holocaust denial. It is the latter thing that we desperately need, not the pious ability to say "You go girl" at Prof. Lipstadt's efforts (valiant as they are).

If you want to scare the hell out of these people--and boy do they need it--put David Irving in front of them, and make them realize that it is their responsibility to know how to respond to such a person. They need to see with their own eyes that evil is not an abstraction; it takes human form and those who instantiate it look perfectly ordinary, like David Irving. They need to know that the enemy does not always speak German, gesticulate wildly, wear a starched uniform, and have a funny moustache. He can look like a "nice man" but be a monster.

The depressing assumption behind Prof. Lipstadt's article is that if you put Irving on TV, you are legitimizing him because the mere presence of a person on TV proves by itself that he has some legitimacy. Really? Think hard about what that means. It means that every jackass on TV has legitimacy because...they're on TV. Covertly, it means: "If you are on TV, you can't be lying all that much; the proof is: you are on TV." There is a small moral disaster contained in that assumption.

The truth is that putting Irving on TV gives him no legitimacy. He has no legitimacy and he cannot acquire it merely by showing up on screen, any more than he can do it by showing up on the Internet. But the deeper truth is that being on TV doesn't confer legitimacy. Being on TV just means that you're on TV. Period. You could be admirable. You could be a liar. You could be anywhere in between. The lesson should be: Get used to it, and judge accordingly.

Irfan Khawaja - 8/4/2006


I understand your concern. To allay your very first worry, I understand "reason" and "logic" to include experience. I am not saying we should ditch experience.

You're also absolutely right that Irving fooled a generation of scholars, and can easily fool the ordinary viewer. So we're agreed at least on the problem: how does one deal with such a thing?

I agree also that Irving should NOT be part of the general debate on the Holocaust. That would indeed be crazy.

So much for the agreement. As for the disagreement:

We have a court case here that would never have come into existence had David Irving not brought suit. What he believes is at the very center of what the controversy is about. You can obviously talk about the Holocaust without talking about Irving, but you cannot talk about this case without talking about Irving's beliefs. Since that is true, if we're going to discuss the case at all, the audience should have first-hand access to what Irving actually believes, right out of the horse's mouth.

If what you're saying, however, is that the American public can't handle Irving, I would say: then they can't handle this case AT ALL. If the American public is so credulous and immature that, when faced with a David Irving, and faced with the knowledge of the 2000 court verdict, they will STILL believe him, then they really aren't fit for any sort of public debates on an issue like this. In that case, they should just leave the whole issue alone. And that means: they should avoid reading Lipstadt's book, avoid watching her lectures...just avoid the whole issue and go about their business.

But any person capable of reading Lipstadt's book or listening to her speak should be capable of confronting David Irving, at least in their living room. If you've gone so far as to cultivate an interest in Holocaust denial, you might as well take a look at the real thing--and deal with it. It is too easy, and too passive, to sit there and cheer Lipstadt on. (Not that we shouldn't cheer.) But contrary to Lipstadt's stated view, I think we do more credit to her cause by each of us confronting Irving in our own minds, and realizing that he's not so awesome or scary after all.

You say that the presumption of an audience is that politicians lie. Why can't the presumption of the audience also be that a person demonstrated to have lied is lying? That is exactly the presumption we should all have in watching David Irving.

It is true that some people, confronted with a seemingly intelligent spokesperson for Holocaust denial, will believe him. I would like to think that few would. But whether few did or many did, we would learn something VERY useful. We would learn the extent of the problem we confront, and as with AA, the first step towards solving a problem is to admit that you have it (and how big it is).

People need to break the habit of thinking that if some guy is pontificating intelligently on TV, "there must be something to what they are saying." They have to realize that that is a myth. Most of all, they have to cultivate the skills for detecting when the intelligent-sounding guy is in fact a Nazi-sympathizing fascist. But to break a habit, you have to work at it.

That's why I disagree that giving Irving a platform would ONLY serve the purpose of those who agree with him. It would do that, I admit. It would not further understanding of the Holocaust, true. But it would DEFINITELY further understanding of and practice at dealing with, dangerous but plausible-sounding liars like David Irving. People desperately need that. That's the only solution to the problem you've described.

Again, let me reiterate: I think Irving should only be part of the debate about Lipstadt v. Irving, not about the Holocaust or WW II as a general topic. Generally speaking, he should be given the cold shoulder and told to fend for himself.

Irfan Khawaja - 8/4/2006

Actually, I wanted to add one footnote to what I said. Sorry if I'm belaboring all this, but Rick, you mentioned the issue of WMD, and how the Bush Administration misled the country. I can agree with that. They did mislead the country.

But it is worth remembering that the Bush Administration's lies on that subject do not come anywhere close to those of Iraq. What I found upsetting about the whole WMD debate is the way in which the Iraqis got away with lie after lie after lie on WMD, from 1991 to 2003--almost with impunity. The Bush Administration got pilloried; fine. But where was the scrutiny of the Iraqis?

This phenomenon seems to me typical of American discourse. Americans are really good at savaging their own political leaders. What they are really, really bad at is applying the same standards outside of that context. The real WMD issue is not that Bush lied (though he did). The real issue is that the Iraqis fooled the UN inspectors for more than a decade! How on earth did that happen? It happened because throughout the 1990s, Americans were too busy accusing Clinton of...lying.

I long for the day when David Irving is treated the way Bill Clinton was by the Republicans, or the Iraqis (or Iranians) are treated the way Bush is by the Democrats.

Sandor A. Lopescu - 4/16/2005

Orest Slepokura? Isn't this the guy the Canadian government is trying to send back to the Ukraine??

Sandor A. Lopescu - 4/16/2005

You mean to tell me the Kislock's have been in America for three plus generations and still can't speak English?

Charles Lee Geshekter - 3/28/2005

Herr Heinz:

Sieg hiel, ye poor lost waif......

E. Simon - 3/28/2005

Good thing you're not in the genealogy business.

Heinz H Bartesch - 3/25/2005

David Irving is to Deborah Lipstadt as Michael Moore is to
George Lucas (as in all of George Lucas's works are fiction: so too is Deborah Lipstadt's)

Can you please provide me one example, one for instance in which David Irving's work is 'dishonest and deceptive'? I trust you can't - unless you just to refuse to use your brain and think about the possibilities that the facts he presents my have some actual historical accuracy. It's very clear that most people who have accepted hook, line and sinker, ALL the Holocaust stories as fact not fiction, have trouble realizing they've been had. It's a rude awakening.

I'll be happy to direct you to scientific studies, which if you have half a brain, will help you realize the many
physical impossibilities for the holohoax stories.

Orest Bohdan Slepokura - 3/25/2005

No sweat, mate...

One fascist, apartheid state (the pre-Mandella South Africa) can hook up with a second fascist, apartheid state (ruled by eventually to-be-assassinated by his fellow Jew, Yitzhak Rabin) - namely the Jewish state
of Israel. OK...

But, that said - and, in the meantime - let us not give those many Jews who'd said and did diddley-squat to quash that fascist-apartheid state's (i.e., South Africa) love-fest with another fascist-apartheid state (Israel,
of course) the absurd right to pontificate about what a downright beyond-the -pale fascist-racist bloke British historian, David Irving, is.

Orest Bohdan Slepokura - 3/25/2005

No sweat, mate...

One fascist, apartheid state (the pre-Mandella South Africa) can hook up with a second fascist, apartheid state (ruled by eventually to-be-assassinated by his fellow Jew, Yitzhak Rabin) - namely the Jewish state
of Israel. OK...

But, that said - and, in the meantime - let us not give those many Jews who'd said and did diddley-squat to quash that fascist-apartheid state's (i.e., South Africa) love-fest with another fascist-apartheid state (Israel,
of course) the absurd right to pontificate about what a downright beyond-the -pale fascist-racist bloke British historian, David Irving, is.

Orest Bohdan Slepokura - 3/25/2005

No sweat, mate...

One fascist, apartheid state (the pre-Mandella South Africa) can hook up with a second fascist, apartheid state (ruled by eventually to-be-assassinated by his fellow Jew, Yitzhak Rabin) - namely the Jewish state
of Israel. OK...

But, that said - and, in the meantime - let us not give those many Jews who'd said and did diddley-squat to quash that fascist-apartheid state's (i.e., South Africa) love-fest with another fascist-apartheid state (Israel,
of course) the absurd right to pontificate about what a downright beyond-the -pale fascist-racist bloke British historian, David Irving, is.

Heinz H Bartesch - 3/25/2005

Les: I've basically addressed most of these issues in my other reply to you on the other subject matter. Safe to say, there are indeed always tragedies in every war - war is a tragedy, a failure of mankind to evolve past our most primitive state. (of course, it's interesting to note that it's always the 'leaders' of nations, those who are supposed to be the most 'advanced' and learned that lead us to war)

Yes, it's different if a nationality declares war (like Islam has done on us perhaps?) opposed to a nation (like the US on Muslim nations)! Don't know if you had thought about that parrallel when you wrote the statement? Wonder if our nation will have us much success in it's holy crusade as Hitler did in his?

Les Hildering - 3/24/2005

Of course Lipstadt should not be held accountable for a state action 25 years ago. I don't even know if she had completed her doctorate then. Yes Israel and South Africa were allies perhaps due to a seige mentality. They certainly violated the NPT with a sneak explosion of a nuclear device in the Atlantic. The "flash in the sky."

Yet many nations have consorted with rogue states. I would not single out Israel for this transgression. Look at all the nations that interact with the US or Iran for example.

Orest Bohdan Slepokura - 3/24/2005

During a 1976 state visit to Israel by South Africa's then prime
minister, John Vorster, the late Yitzhak Rabin invited Vorster,
an old Nazi collaborator, unabashed racist and white supremacist,
to Yad Vashem to pay homage to Jews murdered in the Holocaust.
Vorster should, of course, have been tried as a Nazi collaborator;
instead he was welcomed by his Jewish hosts.

Compared to the usual outcries from Jewish groups who zealously
guard the dignity of Holocaust remembrance, no less remarkable
was the bland equanimity Israeli and Diaspora Jews also displayed
toward the Vorster visit. Vorster left Israel four days later, after
forging close military and commercial ties between the Jewish state
and Pretoria's apartheid regime.

That said, I can't see how either Professor Lipdtadt - or any other of
her co-religionists - could be all worked up by C-Span's BookTV having
historian David Irving on to jaw-jaw for an hour or so.

Heinz H Bartesch - 3/24/2005

Les; absolutley! I'm glad to see us coming around to a common ground! I believe if you did some real objective, clinical analysis of the concentration camps and really had access to the Nazi files (which few people have had the privilage of seeing), you'd come to an understanding that these camps were built and designed to house AND FEED all the occupants. Pictures and blueprints show kitchens with huge vats to cook for thousands. I believe you'd come to the understanding that while the camps were by no means
recreational centers, they were never set up as pure extermination centers. If they were, the Nazi's would have been very efficient at it and they're would be great evidence of extermination left behind. Now, imagine in this scenario that as the food supply dwindled down to next to nothing - because of supply and also because the supply routes and the RR tracks were bombed by Alied bombers, the strong (Kapo's in the camp) made sure they
got the food and the weak parished. Sickness would spread like crazy (typhis killed most). Imagine too that as the
Germans lost ground in the east, they pulled their prisoners rather then leave them behind (wonder why they just didn't kill them?) and marched them into other already overcrowded camps.

Yes, this is NOT a pretty pictures and I'm not making excuses for the Nazi pogram against the Jews. However, I believe the more you ask intelligent questions about the absurd testimonies and claims of the Holocaust, the more you'll realize that they don't hold much water at all. The more you realize you've been lied to, then at one point do
you wish to say "Wait a minute, let's take a look at this"?

Yes, both sides committed holocausts and there are those who would say "that's war" (and it's why I'm a staunch peace advocate and hate what we're doing in Iraq). However, especially as a German who's suffered hatred for having a German name, I recognize that this continual perpetration of lies, the never ending holocaust movies and forced education just perpetrates more lies and demon-izes Germans. I'm tired of lies - seek the truth and the truth will set you (and me) free!

Les Hildering - 3/24/2005

Whether gassed or starved or shot, clearly the Germans did not care about the interness in those camps and created conditions like Abu Ghraib. So whether there was a final solution or deaths caused by indifference or moral depravity, the burden is on Germany. The burden is also on the allies for pulverizing noncombantants into death. Both sides committed holocausts as it were.

Les Hildering - 3/24/2005

Of course it is different if a nationality declares war as opposed to a nation. I think the figures you cite for Dresden, which I do believe was a warcrime and a terrible evil against the German residents and refugees from the East, was much less than 300,000. Some say 24-50,000. Irving says about 100,000. Yet regardless of the numbers, Gypsies, gays, Polish POW etc were killed as well. Many Holocausts and many tragedies in this war.

Heinz H Bartesch - 3/24/2005

Les; what if it turns out that the actual number killed was closer to 1Mil and that the actual number that were gassed to death with ZyklonB turned out to be a big Zero, as in notta one, zilch? At what point would you feel comfortable calling it a Holyhoax? Keep reading and investigating and learning (and I can send you to scientific analysis as well as historical logic that will help you) and I guarantee you'll come to the realization, to a great awakening that you've been lied to for all your years.

Heinz H Bartesch - 3/24/2005

Les; yes, the 40's was hell on earth for the jews - no doubt about it. However it was also hell on earth for a lot of other people, Germans included - just ask the 300K that died
in a true Holocaust (death by fire) of Dresden (another great, acurate read by David Irving by the way). And, as long as you're talking about history and German anti-Semitism, we might as well look at what happened 72 years ago on this very day, March 23rd:

72 years ago "All Israel declared a holy war" on Germany (24 March 1933)

"All-Israel" declared on March 24, 1933 a HOLY WAR on democratically elected Adolf Hitler and on peaceful democratic Germany The Jewish declaration of war on Germany was pronounced 19 days after Adolf Hitler won absolutely democratically the general election and only one day after he was even more democratically empowered by the "Reichstag" (parliament) to resolve the dire straits and poverty in Germany. Of course, no concentration camps were built and no restrictive Laws regarding the Jews had
yet been passed at that time. All there was, was Hitler's verbal antagonism to the Jews, nothing but an hostile opinion. Later the World Jewish Congress and the Zionist leaders succeeded, according to the Torah True Jews, to really initiate World War II: "The world-wide boycott against Germany in 1933 and the later all-out declaration of war against Germany, initiated by the Zionist
leaders and the World Jewish Congress ..." (Rabbi Schwartz of the American Neturei Karta Movement, Friends of Jerusalem, stated in the New York Times,
Sep. 30, 1997)

Now, Les, don't you think you should look at ALL history, from both sides and hold everyone accountable for their fair share in all the events before, during and after?

Les Hildering - 3/24/2005

Jews have every reason to be outraged at efforts to gloss over and erase the most tragic and devastating event in the history of the Jews. This was hell on Earth in the 1940s. The problem is an attachment to this horror that develops into contempt for opposite views that may have merit, or may advance one's knowledge of the crime.

I think Irving does not deny the concentration camps, the antiSemitic bias of Germans nor the death of millions of Jews. He questions the precise role Hitler played in their deaths and their forms of killing in the camps--in particular at Oswiecim. On his website, he does state that Jews were killed because of their ethnicity in the East in ditches and rural areas by the death squads.

He may deny part of the Holocaust canon but I don't think he denies all of it. One ought to separate his public utterances, some of which are racist and hurtful, from his writings. There may be a gap. I think there is.

D. E. Johnson - 3/24/2005

Of "Holocaust deniers", Deborah Lipstadt writes, "Since they lie and distort to prove their points, how can one have a debate with them? One cannot trust anything that they say."

I don't see a problem here: If one indeed does have the truth on one's side, bolstered by solid evidence, then there should be no problem confronting one's ideological opponents in a debate open to public scrutiny. In a world that seems to tout democracy as the highest attainment of mankind, would it not be something like a crime to deprive the participants of the evidence they need in order to make rational decisions? Yet that is exactly what some people propose to do, by denying an open exchange of ideas. May they thus be identified as being anti-democratic?

The refusal on the part of those who toe the predominant Holocaust line, to openly debate those who do not only serves to legitimize the "deniers" by making suspect the motives of the "affirmers", and this is as it should be.
The concept of freedom of speech is not all that difficult to understand. Neither is the concept of repression.

It is time for everyone to be allowed to lay their cards on the table.

D.E. Johnson

Les Hildering - 3/24/2005

True there is some coercion here in preventing new ideas. I am concerned about Zundel in jail in Germany. I would not use the word legend or hoax to describe the 6 million figure. It seems to merely aggravate or repeat the use of provocative terms that defenders of the idea use. I can't remember the source but some famous Jewish writer of note said it was 5 million Jews killed by Hitler so one can debate that figure without being called a Zionist or a denier I suppose.

One should recognize that for Jews the war was a traumatic and life-defining experience. It is not easy for many to allow opposite discourse which while understandable given the mass murders should be challenged if too restrictive. Not too many groups were almost eliminated as they were in such large numbers. They are not alone but they are in a sorry historical class of suffering. Yet as I have said, it is too easy to use pain to prevent discourse. That must be averted in a free society.

Ronald A Fonda - 3/24/2005

The only way the legend of 6 million Jewish deaths in German 'camps' can be maintained is by lies and threats, or even prison sentences in most western countries. Lipstadt's cohort is terrified of a fair debate on this subject, because their hoax would be revealed.

Heinz H Bartesch - 3/24/2005

Les: you're correct on several fronts: Lipstadt is most certainly not an expert on the Holocaust - her books filled with historical inaccuracies prove that. She does however understand about the Holocaust and "it's purpose in American life" and that's the problem and why she and the Holocaust lobby will do ALL they can to prevent debate - their purpose is to use the Holocaust "religion" (which it clearly is) to continue to gain sympathy from the masses and extort money to fund Zionist Israel. Have you ever wondered why there's no end to the governments who are paying retribution to "Holocaust Survivor" funds? Read what Jewish author Norman Finkelstein has written about it in this "The Holocaust Industry"! You'll start to get the picture: we've all been lied to and because the liars realize they've gotten away with it unchallenged, they're
able to use extortion!

Andrew Allen - 3/24/2005

I agree. Prof. Lipstadt should but doesn't have to
debate Irving. She might remember the great
Gore Vidal/William F. Buckley punchout and not want to
step into the ring with Irving.

But for 200 academician to call for blacklisting is
shamefull...unless they are from the Kim Il Sung Institute
for Historical Studies.

Andrew Allen - 3/24/2005

You are correct that, when pressed, Most historians now say that the "Human Soap" story doesn't wash, at least as far as a soap factory at Auschwitz goes. However, some fundamentalist Believers still raise the story. Mr. Ben Hirsch makes that claim in "Hearing a Different Drummer", published in 2000.
And many Holocaust groups like Nizkor still post the Danzig Institute soap experimentation stories....only claiming that the Germans were using Poles and Russians as the raw ingredients.
see: www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/ftp.py?camps/stutthof/danzig-soap-evidence

So the Human Soap tales still float to the surface occasionally. I wonder if Prof. Lipstadt has spoken out
against this falsification of history?

Importantly, a large amount of "evidence"
was introduced in trials to support the human soap
stories. A human soap recipe allegedly found in the
desk of Dr. Spanner (of the Danzig Institute) was presented at Nuremberg (Nuremberg document USSR-196.
A piece of "human soap" was also submitted to the
Nuremberg Tribunal as exhibit USSR-393
If the soap story is no longer something to "bring up",
where did all the fake evidence come from?
It is an interesting story which should be researched.

Anyway, I laud your call for tolerance. Thanks

Les Hildering - 3/24/2005

The petition is worrisome. I think academics should avoid any effort at censorship. Most academics would avoid this because of the importance of critical inquiry. I was disapponted at those signers for letting emotion overwhelm their intellectual commitment to freedom and debate. It had a bullying aspect to it as well but in America petitioning is time honored and one should not condemn the vehicle: only its purpose.

Les Hildering - 3/24/2005

She does not have to debate him. She feels offended and threatened by him. That is not her obligation or professional responsiblity. However, her diatribes against Irving as a vehicle to suppress his speech on C-SPAN and organizing protest against that is another issue.

I don't condemn her for avoiding him. I do question her commitment to open discourse in attempting to silence him. There is a difference. Yes Lipstadt is probably not an expert on the Holocaust but she is most informed on the writings about the Holocaust and it purpose in American life and letters.

Les Hildering - 3/24/2005

No there is no conspiracy. Nothing is done behind closed doors. There are networks of influence that reach into the Washington Post and other significant venues. One should respect the skills and talents of Jews in organizing and delivering powerfully their messages and views. The issue is in channeling this power into a more permissive and open engagement of ideas like the Holocaust. I tend to think that when such energy is expended to delimit analysis, it tends to create the very kind of anger and charges of conspiracy as seen here.

Les Hildering - 3/24/2005

With regard to soap, I believe Israeli experts and authorities have long ago dismissed that. So you can quit bringing that up as an issue. Assuming that holocaust revisionists maybe nasty folks, or even racially inspired creates even greater challenges to see if their facts or writings have any value. Yet we are talking about religious-secular issues here and so of course Jews will be most sensitive to distortions since millions perished. Yet rising above this horror and tolerating viewpoints of revisionism I think is not too much to ask for educated and well-regarded persons such as Dr. Lipstadt.

Les Hildering - 3/24/2005

Yes it is troubling when on person in a debate has the power to disallow the other person a "spot on the podium." Using language such as "falsifier," and "holocaust denier" may resonate but are no substitute for the airing of different views. One would think an academic would be most averse, given the nature of the occupation, in writing a book about a person and yet refusing that individual an opportunity to respond on a similar platform.

James Allen Bowery - 3/24/2005

OK, so call me an "anti-Semitic conspiracy nut" but there _is_ an over-representation of Jews (people who identify ethnically if not religiously as Jews) among those who inform our views of history. How many movies about Jewish persecution by Nazis have been made? How many movies about Gypsy persecution by Nazis have been made? How many movies about the deliberate starvation of Ukranians (the year before Hitler was elected by a hysterical German public) have been made?

I was raised to "believe in The Holocaust". I saw the films in high school and was told of the horrors. I was leaving my family's long tradition of being Christians at the time and this seemed to occupy a niche in my psyche very similar to the niche previously occupied by Christ in my psyche. It didn't bother me then that both of these presentations of "history" were of Jewish ethnic origin.

15 years later someone pointed out to me the timing and magnitude of the Ukranian famine, I had to start wondering what was going on. Why hadn't anyone told me about this before?

That's when I became an "anti-Semitic conspiracy nut".

Well, here's my "conspiracy theory": Jews are indeed unique in many respects that bring them to positions of influence, without relying on conspiracy to get there. Once there they exhibit more or less the same characteristics that any other ethnic group exhibits including ethnic nepotism. The result is we have a systemic imbalance in the way we view history informed by the preponderance of Jewish influence coupled with relatively unchecked ethnic nepotism.

So, we have the classic problem: Who will hold the accountants to account?

My response to Jews is, if you can't take the holocaust, get out of the court.

Curt Manard - 3/24/2005

Lipstadt is a joke, a non-German speaking "expert" on the Holohoax. She doesn't want to debate Irving, because he would excoriate her publicly.

Karlheinz Halter - 3/24/2005

The truth would set us free. Yes, of course, and "Prove all things," it says! So why are people prevented from doing that, what we have been told to do, in our Bible?

Is our Bible really obsolete? Superseded by "Law & Order," as it was under Uncle Adolf? And no one dares to complain? "Who Really Controls"? was a very simple question, in a student-paper in April of famous 1984, but students were quickly terrorized, in L.A. County.

So the students went to court, with the assistance of the ACLU (Gary Williams), and won their case, in Judge Ideman's Court (L.A. District court, in 1985). But why not, we still have that First Amendment! And "Irv Rubin Went Too Far in Espousing Hate" [Rubin and Odeh], as we read in the "Daily News" (Los Angeles) 17 Nov. 2002!

Where would we be, without our Freedom of Expression?

"I consider free speech for artists under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution," as Prof. Van Camp (CSU Long Beach) explains, "the appropriateness of government support for cultural activities, the role of Congress and the executive branch in carrying out these activities, the difficulties in judging aesthetic value both within and outside of government, and the philosophical and legal concerns surrounding the debate over free speech for artists."

Searching for the Truth, and inviting people to think is an artful undertaking, for there is no routine, it demands creativity! And we cannot stifle that, in our institutes of learning, for that would be paradox. And also VERY un-American! But then again, Prof Page Smith (UC Santa Cruz), he had already warned us, that they're "Killing the Spirit" -- unless we cared, and dare to resist!

And not only the spirit, as we found out too, after we read "The Community Mourns Robbyn Panitch" [on the murder of a mental health worker], in the "Jewish Journal" 3 Mar. 1989. For she knew too much, about THAT situation! And she was transferred-away from Torrance/Carson, before she was brutally killed.

But so it goes, as even smart Irv Rubin found out, the hard way, after he fell-off that balcony, in our L.A. Jail. And Torrance Judge McKee, he fell over the cliffs in Palos Verdes, after he started looking into that dreary case! But it was apparently suicide, as they said, in our "Daily Breeze"!

Karlheinz A. Halter

Heinz H Bartesch - 3/24/2005

Great post! You obviously are a learned man capable of much sound reasoning. I hope that Rafael Medoff will answer your question, but I suspect you'll never hear from him. I've found that the perpetrators of lies will do all they can to protect their lies as they have much to lose should they be discovered. This is not a matter of debating facts, it's a matter of protecting The Holocaust Industry (as Norman Finkelstein has proven); an industry that produces millions of not billions of revenue for certain, poor, forever persecuted souls.

Andrew Allen - 3/24/2005

Research and discussion of history is important. The fact that dozens of professors from various schools around the country would oppose discussion is a sorry
sight. It only demonstrates the intense controversy that surrounds discussion of claims of human soap factories and underground trick shower/gas chambers and underscores the need for open debate.

The act of Wyman Institute director Dr. Rafael Medoff in creating a "list of shame" calling for blacklisting and censorship is a brazen attempt to suppress discussion. It is the intellectual equal to the black listing of the McCarthy era or the Book burnings of the Nazis. Dr. Medoff’s demands should be rejected for that Reason alone.

One can only wonder what Rafael Medoff is afraid of to place historical orthodoxy over free speech and the rights of the public to hear various sides of a historical debate. If Mr. Irving is so obviously wrong, it will be apparent.

Andrew Allen - 3/24/2005

"There is no question the Holocaust occurred as conventionally described and acknowledged by the vast body of informed people. It is not even an issue among those who are intellectually honest."

That is an amazing statement! The more I study the
matter, the less likely are the tales of human soap
factories, baby bonfires, and underground trick shower/gas chambers.
When I visited Auschwitz in 1989, the official monument and Museum promoted a figure of 4,000,000 dead. At the Luneburg Trials the court "found" that over
2,500,000 people were killed at Auschwitz. Over the
years the figures have dropped to somewhere around
1,000,000 in the "conventional" descriptions.
The newly released documents from the ex-Soviet
Union are throwning further doubt on the claims of
believers in underground gas chambers. The work
of Pressac and others are a source of revision of the
"conventional" history.
It is bunk to claim that "Holocaust history" is
beyond revision, let alone debate.

It is simple: Free Speech, Free Thought, Free History.

The Truth has nothing to hide.

Heinz H Bartesch - 3/24/2005

try reading Irvings excellent recount on the very real Holocaust (mass death by fire): "The Destruction of Dresden"

find some flaws therein, I challenge you. Of course, because it acurately depicts the suffering and destruction of innocent Germans, not Jews, you'll probably find reason to justify it (and Hiroshima) as no jews were killed.

You only want to believe 'facts' that fit your pre-accepted

Heinz H Bartesch - 3/24/2005

Does anyone out there wonder why the Holocaust is the ONLY historical event that has legislation protecting it's fair
and open debate? Has anyone ever noticed that the more vehemently one fights to defend their position and is opposed to even talking about it in a reasonable tone, the more they usually have to hide, the more they risk to loose if their dogma is exposed? Does anyone wonder why we have to have a museum in our nations capital to pay tribute and remember an event that happened to Europeans on European soil? If the US wanted a museum to document the destruction of a race, why not one for the native American Indians who suffered far greater losses than European Jews?

Well, the Holocaust (more appropriately, the Holohoax) is such an event - in fact, the ONLY event of such monumental
proportions. The Holocaust museum is not enough - we have to have statues and memorials in every major metropolitan
city; we have to have 'forced' Holocaust education in our public schools, often starting in primary ages!

Yet, when someone wants to debate ANY of the alleged 'facts', one is quickly branded an anti-Semite. This is despite the fact that so many 'facts' previously assumed as truth have already been unequivocally found to be lies! These include the lies of lampshades and soap made of Jewish skin/fat; alleged Gas chambers at concentration camps like Mathausen; the killing of Polish officers at Katyn forest wrongly attributed to the Nazi's; and my favorite, the 'official' count of deaths at Auschwitz declining from 4 Million originally to 3, then 2 and now less than that - where will it end and what happened to all these 'lost millions' that turned out not to have died at Auschwitz?

The list actually goes on from there. Anyone who would claim that all the 'facts' about the Holocaust are indisputable and therefore shouldn't be debated are seriously deceived; either they've deceived themselves or they've fallen for the hatred that is spewed by those that have the most to loose and most to hide from open debate.

If Holocaust Revisionists are nothing more than flat-earther's, then let their arguments be heard in an open forum and they'll be laughed off the stage. If they have something of value, some irrefutable historical and scientific fact that would shed knew light and indeed disprove some of the dogma of the Holohoax, then wouldn't it be worth knowing the truth?

The truth would set us free.

Andrew Allen - 3/24/2005

I do not believe in the tales of underground trick showers/gas chambers at Birkenau. I came to that conclusion after going to Birkenau twice and spending
a great deal of time reviewing the aerial photographs
and the records presented by Pressac and others.

I classify the tales of trick shower/gas chambers along with the tales of human soap factories and baby bonfires.

Mr. Moshe is incorrect to make it a matter of calling people liars or not. The history of the National Socialist persecution of minorities is important enough to understand accurately.

Discussion is important to the process and no honest
historian should be afraid of it. Ms. Lipstadt and
her supporters should be ashamed of themselves

Andrew Allen - 3/24/2005

Ms. Lipstadt can dish it out against Mr. Irving in
a self-promoting book but she seems afraid to engage in fair debate.

I am a Revisionist who does not believe in the tales
of human soap factories or underground trick shower/gas chambers. The National Socialist persecution of minorities is too important not to be honestly and
accurately discussed. Ms. Lipstadt and her supporters
should be ashamed of themselves.

Leland Grove - 3/24/2005

Yes, C-SPAN erred...but Richard Cohen sang a different tune back in 1996. Note especially the last paragraph.

Copyright 1996 The Washington Post
The Washington Post

June 04, 1996, Tuesday, Final Edition
LENGTH: 770 words
HEADLINE: Irving's 'Goebbels' -- No Need to Be Timid

BYLINE: Richard Cohen

I have been reading David Irving's controversial and, to all extents, banned book, "Goebbels." It was to be published in this country by St. Martin's Press but the company changed its mind after Jewish groups, among others, protested. Irving, an Englishman, may be a historian but his version of history is, as newspapers always say about the truly odious, controversial. He's just a little bit pregnant with antisemitism.

He is also an indefatigable researcher. That accounts for how he became the first Westerner to get his hands on the massive (80,000 pages) diaries of Joseph Goebbels, the Nazis' propaganda minister and, it has to be said, a thoroughly rotten human being. In 1992, the diaries were discovered in the former Soviet archives in Moscow; Irving got to them that same year and his book is the result.

The book was sent to me from England, in a suitably unmarked envelope, following the well-worn Lady Chatterley route. This is the way "Lady Chatterley's Lover" and other proscribed books used to get into this country -- smuggled through customs, mailed from abroad and, sometimes, rebound as volumes of Shakespeare. I remember a certain "Hamlet" of my youth which, once past the cover, turned out to be a collection of erotic
short stories written with a certain literary flair. Never had the Bard been so bawdy.

My credentials as a historian are nonexistent. I have done my reading, of course, but I need others to tell me where Irving departs from the truth and veers into his own antisemitic fantasies. But by now I have read a score of reviews on the book, most from British newspapers, and have a pretty good idea what the author is up to. This book all but blames Goebbels for the Holocaust. In Irving's view, the German leader was not
the antisemite he has been cracked up to be. His associates, though, were not men of Hitlerian moderation.

Okay. It's a stupid theory and, beyond that, tasteless as well. As for the book, it is fetid with repellent judgments and characterizations, including the repeated depiction of the Jews as worthy adversaries of the Nazis. In Irving's telling, this is almost an even fight. The German press, he says, was largely Jewish. He says Jews and Communists "poured
vitriol over the new Hitler government" while "irresponsible foreign journalists did the rest." After that, you see, industrial murder was, perhaps, understandable.

But stupid, too, has been the resulting phenomenon-cum-controversy. The book has been attacked by newspaper columnists (some of whom never read it) and, just the other day, was given a review of sorts in the New York Times Book Review even though it is not available in the United States. I, though, stand with Christopher Hitchens of Vanity Fair and a host of British reviewers: This book is worth reading.

The Goebbels diaries themselves are, of course, of vast historic interest, but more often than not, they are written in a sort of code. Goebbels shields his private life, and so it takes a crack researcher to know that when the little Nazi says he took a walk next door, it was to visit the actress with whom he had fallen madly in love. As for Irving's biases,
they are mostly so flagrant they might as well come flagged with a warning from Jack Valenti. Nowhere else, though, have I read an account of Kristallnacht, that night of government-sanctioned violence against Jews, that credits Goebbels with both the idea and the excess.

"Goebbels was the motor, goading his reluctant Fuhrer into ever more radical actions against the Jews." True? I cannot say. But the evidence for such a statement can be found in Goebbels's own handwriting, although as Irving repeatedly warns, Goebbels
lied to everyone, including his own diary. More the point, this maverick theory may well be worth debating. In such a fashion does knowledge emerge.

Sometimes while reading this book, I thought Irving was just plain crazy, and if we were in a room together, I would have gone for his throat. He is a thoroughly repulsive character, and if I were a book publisher, David Irving would never be on my list.

But we cannot get to the point where the Holocaust, which is a historic event, gets to be treated like a biblical story -- beyond criticism and shielded from hostile scholarship. Yet this book, which has been written about in The Post and New York Times, the Nation magazine and Vanity Fair, has effectively been banned in the United States. Whatever its merits or faults, you have been deprived of the right to judge for yourself. That's
not censorship in this case. It seems merely to be timidity.

Nathaniel Brian Bates - 3/24/2005

I believe that Nazis and Communists should not be afforded the respect that society offers them by giving them media coverage. Lipstadt is right. There are plenty of Constitutionalists and Righteous People who should be covered in their efforts. David Irving is not even an American, and has no business monopolizing what should be a forum for discussion of domestic politics.

Nazis and Communists get too much media coverage. Irving is a filth monger, along with Judge Greer and others of his ilk who have too much power and influence.



Nathaniel Brian Bates - 3/24/2005

I believe that Nazis and Communists should not be afforded the respect that society offers them by giving them media coverage. Lipstadt is right. There are plenty of Constitutionalists and Righteous People who should be covered in their efforts. David Irving is not even an American, and has no business monopolizing what should be a forum for discussion of domestic politics.

Nazis and Communists get too much media coverage. Irving is a filth monger, along with Judge Greer and others of his ilk who have too much power and influence.



Stephen Schwartz - 3/23/2005

C-Span has a problem in this regard. When I appeared on Brian Lamb's former show to discuss my book on Wahhabism, THE TWO FACES OF ISLAM, Lamb, out of nowhere, asked if I am a Zionist.

I was surprised, but said I support Israel's right to exist. In reality, I hew to the original definition of Zionism -- someone who thinks all Jews should go to Israel. Since I am not halakhically Jewish, and had no Jewish religious upbringing, it isn't really my issue, but I never thought all Jews should go live in Israel, so in the strict sense I am not a Zionist. Nevertheless, being called one doesn't bother me, especially when it comes from Wahhabis and other Arab fanatics. Qur'an supports the Jewish possession of the Holy Land.

When I appeared on a later show of theirs to discuss Saudi Arabia I said I did not take phone-ins because they attracted so many Jew-baiting cranks. Just like clockwork, they put on a guy who screamed that I was a Zionist.

On both occasions the topic I was there to discuss had nothing whatever to do with Zionism or Jews, or my personal family background, or my religious affiliations. Yet somehow they couldn't get away from the issue, in the name of balance.

david levy - 3/22/2005

"this in itself does not excuse the Israeli settlement policy of the past 50 years."

What was the Israeli settlement policy of the last fifty years? And can you explain the "50 year campaign to evict the Palestinians from the West Bank." Perhaps these might be some of the "wild exaggeration[s] or willful falsehood[s]" of which you speak.

david levy - 3/21/2005


Quit being such a pushover will you? Show some gravitas. This guy just said that Israel is perpetuating a holocaust against the Palestinians, slandering Israel and minimizing the Holocaust and all you can say is :

"With all due respect, and this is not directed against you but only the point of your post, what do the Palestinians have to do with this discussion?"

Sheesh, grow a pair.

Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 3/21/2005

Very true.

Sara D. Salzman - 3/21/2005

"Debating" implies two valid positions. Irving's position is not only invalid, it has been debunked both in the courts and by virtually every historian of any standing. If Professor Lipstadt allows herself to be a part of what looks like a "debate," (whether in person or via two alternate views being presented), it implies that Irving's position is a valid one worth addressing.

John R. Maass - 3/21/2005

In response to the comments of Diana K. Appelbaum above, I add that at the website http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/03/20/japanese.sub.ap/index.html one can read how popular Mein Kampf is now in Turkey.

Charles Lee Geshekter - 3/21/2005


Your analysis is lucid, learned and succinct.

The criticisms of David Irving focus considerably on his dishonest and deceptive handling of evidence. He is a discredited figure among historians on this issue.

The criticisms of Irving could apply with equal effect and accuracy to the meretricious mischief of filmmaker Michael Moore.

How would one complete this analogy: David Irving is to Deborah Lipstadt as Michael Moore is to ______?

mark safranski - 3/21/2005

"It is not as though she can discuss the court case without discussing Irving"

True, but that's not the same as discussing it with him.

Obviously, neither of us are pulling for Irving here but we have diametrically opposed opinions on the merits of Lipstadt agreeing to C-Span's format. I'm not really seeing what Lipstadt has to gain from that kind of exchange, just what she'd lose.

Tom Murphy - 3/20/2005

"I hope you don't claim to be agreeing with me,"

It wouldn't be fair to simply call me an "agreer" and leave it at that?

"I don't want it misconstrued."

That wouldn't be fair would it? You think it is fair to label Irving a "denier" when he doesn't deny? Clearly, the term "Holocaust Denier" libels Mr. Irving. An honest look at the facts shows this to be the case.

By the way, looks like Prof. Lipstadt has removed the comments from her blog. This after I posted these facts highlighting what another comment wrote about a "Gettysburg Denier". (read it)

mark safranski - 3/20/2005


I read a lot of your stuff here and generally I find myself in agreement with you. This issue is excepted.

Moral sanction can be explicit or implied. By appearing in context with someone you are not indicating you agree with them but that some common intellectual gound exists in which reasonable disagreement can take place.

I don't think that is the case with Lipstadt and Irving. By agreeing to the format Lipstadt is forced into a zero-sum position where Irving gains credibility for his position merely by appearing while Lipstadt loses. To a degree you are judged by your opponents. You might gain a victory by outwrestling a mighty pig but you had to enter the pigsty to do so.

Personally, I would not enter into a debate with holocaust-deniers, UN Black Helicopter conspiracy theorists, UFO-Area 51 believers and other cultists. They're irrationalists and circular-arguers - there is no epistemological method used by them that would allow a productive discussion and I would simply look foolish for the wasted effort.

Van L. Hayhow - 3/20/2005

I can certainly understand why you don't want your position confused with Mr. Murphy's. His is pretty hard to understand. Having seen tapes of Irving's speeches and seen shows on PBS on the trial it seems obvious that Irving is a holocaust denier. Lipstadt has made her position clear for some years, I belive. She will not appear jointly in any forum with a holocaust denier. We are in agreement that her position in that regard is the correct one. Yes, her book is about a trial. But the trial was about holocaust denial. As such any appearance by Irving would, of necessity, involve him in a discussion of his position on the holocaust. As such, I don't agree that her current position is a mistake.

Sara D. Salzman - 3/20/2005

Irving was the PLAINTIFF. It was Irving himself who brought all of this upon himself, by suing Professor Lipstadt, and it is Irving whose reputation (feeble as it was), is in ruins because of it.

Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 3/20/2005

There seems to be the impression among some posts, intelligent and well-written though they all are, that since Irving was the defendant in the case, he has every right to speak on a book about the trial. However, I am not familiar with any such privilege being given to other defendants or plaintiffs in a trial. O.J. Simpson was pronounced not guilty in his trial, yet of the numerous books and articles written about the trial, I have never seen him accompany an author on a book tour or speech. Ditto with numerous other trial cases made into books. I don’t recall C-SPAN inviting politicians to debate authors who have written about them, nor any other subject of a book. The quality of any book is not dependent on what the subject things of it, nor has it ever been.

Irving should not be excluded because he is a liar. He should be excluded because allowing him to speak on the book gives the impression, so often given on TV forums, that both sides of the story are equally valid and worthy of being discussed. Maybe the book is right, maybe it is not, either way is acceptable. I do not agree with this. If you want to have someone come to debate the book, by all means, bring on another accredited historian who disputes something or everything in it, not Irving simply because he is at the center of the Holocaust denial debate. This is not about the American public, or even Holocaust studies, it is about C-SPAN’s attempt to “balance” a book written about the trial of a notorious Holocaust Denial and anti-Semite with the actual figure. To me, this ads absolutely nothing to the debate over the trial and merely allows Irving a forum to repeat the same discredited claims he failed to make at the trial.

Among some who argue that Irving should be there, there has been some attempt to attack Deborah E. Lipstadt personally. This is unnecessary as well as petty and baseless. Aside from being a legitimate historian who seems unlikely to pull some stunt simply for its own sake, Lipstadt has always refused to participate in any forum with Irving, arguing (correctly in my opinion) that this only puts his position on par with her own. I agree fully with Diana K. Appelbaum’s assessment of this need for “balance” simply for its own sake, rather than being fair to the facts. I find the analogy between denying the Holocaust and denying slavery to be an accurate one, because both allegations fly in the face of all evidence, and both are used as a political tool to attack a particular group rather than genuine historical research.

As a side note, I do not believe that this discussion has any relevance to the current conflict in the Middle East, and I personally have never heard any Israeli or American use the Holocaust to justify anything that goes on in that region, other than perhaps to justify their need for having a state at all.

Tom Murphy - 3/20/2005

I agree. Of course it is outrageous for Lipstadt to demand that she either appear on C-SPAN to promote her book and have Irving barred or she doesn't appear at all. Her book is about the trail where she and Irving were defendant and plaintiff for God sakes! Irving was the plaintiff and Lipstadt was the defendant. This shows how unreasonable this woman is. And it simply is wrong to use this term "Holocaust Denier" to someone that doesn't deny!

The fact that slavery example once again shows that Lipstadt has succeeded in libeling the man. "someone denying the historicity of slavery"! This is a supposed to be a comparison to what Irving has done? That proves that Lipstadt's label is libel.

For example, the "Jewish Press Online" compared Irving's opinion to "denying that African-Americans were enslaved." You can see how outrageous that is, Lipstadt has succeeded in libeling the man and she is wronging C-SPAN with her attacks.

She is having a ball trying to hurt C-SPAN. She delights in childish mockery of C-SPAN with stupid typos of hers: "C-SPAM".

I see she has edited her immature exclamation of "AP Wire and bloggers catch the C-Span-Spin Wave!"

I am reading some of Lipstadt's book Denying the Holocaust and I see some things Lipstadt has written that are disturbing. (seems she treats somethings as she would say "nonexistent", look for updates at http://representativepress.blogspot.com/)

Richard W. Hodgman - 3/20/2005

Holocaust denial can never be acceptable as a means of political argument. If this assertion about Abbas is true I have no sympathy for his position. However, this in itself does not excuse the Israeli settlement policy of the past 50 years. It is indeed unfortunate that passions on this topic run so high that wild exaggeration or willful falsehood become a standard tactic. This is one reason I wish our president would crack some heads and force some honest dialogue and good faith negotiation between the parties. In fact, he should have done this years ago rather than let this boil fester. No other party in the world has any leverage to deal with this. Until the Israel-Palestine issue is resolved I have very little hope for the Middle East, or for successfully dealing with the terrorist threats we all face.

Diana Applebaum - 3/20/2005

this is an instance of the journalistic mania for "balance." When 1,000 experts hold one opinion and one guy holds the other way, too many nespapers give equal time. We often see this in global warming, and, more recently, in "creation siceice." I have seen news articles where a lone voice asserting that there is no human-caused climate warming is given equal time with the entire membership of the National Academy of Sciences.

In this case, however, the opinion of rational people is not 1,000 to 1, but all reasonable people on one side and only racists and anti-Semites on the other. Even so C-span falls back on the journalistic axiom that an opposing opinion must be sought and given equal time in the name of balance. I suggest that journalists learn to temper the need for balance with a little judgement.

Diana Applebaum - 3/19/2005

The current president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, is a holocaust denier of some standing. In his PhD thesis, “The Secret Connection between the Nazis and the Leaders of the Zionist Movement” he argues that there were only 890,000 Jews killed by the Nazi regime, and that the murders were largely the result fo nefarious Zionists: "The Zionist movement led a broad campaign of incitement against the Jews living under Nazi rule to arouse the government's hatred of them, to fuel vengeance against them and to expand the mass extermination..." http://hnn.us/articles/1414.html

Mahmoud Abbas's thesis was turned into a book, and it is only one of many books now in print in Arabic and Turkish arguing that the Holocause never happened, but was invented or exaggerated by the Jews in order to gain the world's sympathy and support for a Jewish state. It is ironic that such books have a wide circulation among Palestinians, ironic because the Palestinian leaders of the 30's and 40's actually were were Nazi collaborators.

Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem is often referred to as the founder of the so-called Palestinian national movement. The Mufti spent World War II in Berlin where he was the Prime Minister of a Nazi-Muslim government in exile. Hitler greeted the Mufti as a head of state and promised him that after he won the war in Europe he would conquer the Arab world and solve the Jewish problem in Palestine. Photos and testimony have the Mufti touring the death camps and letters exist of the Mufti imploring Nazi's and pro-Nazi heads of state to exterminate their Jews. http://hnn.us/articles/1414.html

Holocaust-denial books also sell strongly in Turkey, where the government continues to deny the Armenian genocide and to supress scholarly research on that subject.

One of the more remarkable aspects of anti-Semitic Arab propaganda is its tendency to reverse the charges. Palestinians like President Abbas accuse the Zionists of being Nazi collaborators (there were, in fact, shameful instances where Zionislt leaders in particular co9mmnities scheduled for extermination cut deals: they would help keep the community calm in exchange for the escape fof stated numbers of Zionists. I feel unable to criticize any Jew under sentence of individual and communal extinction for doing what they must have thought was the best they could do to salvage something form the lames.) These few cases, however, are hardly of the kind or scale of the behavvior of Arabs who enthusiastically and voluntarily collaborated with the Nazi occupiers of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya round up Jews in concentration camps. Nor are these Arab Nazis excused by the fact that Montgomery drove the Nazis out of North Africa before they and their Arab collaborators could murder more than a few thousand Jews.

History, as we all know, is not even past. The fact that millions of Arabs read, and apparently believe, that the Jews invented the Holocaust is a real and present danger.

mark safranski - 3/19/2005

C-Span is free to have David Irving on the tube anytime they wish.It is the context that C-span is proposing that is completely outrageous. Irving and Lipstadt are no more on the same plane than are a career criminal and his latest victim who got away.

Dr. Lipstadt is correct not to grant Irving the moral sanction of being considered respectable that her presence on the program would imply. C-Span was offering her an incredibly bad bargain here in return for TV time - one I cannot recall them ever requiring of another author. It borders on bizarre, explicable to me only as the obsession of some highly placed figure at the C-Span network a collective case of poor judgement.

David Irving is not a fraud per se. He is a rehabilitator of National Socialism and a deft propagandist for that cause, unearthing some previously unknown material on the Third Reich but always spinning, muddying the waters and obfuscating in the interest of " normalizing" Nazi Germany's crimes into that of just another dictatorship. John Lukacs painted a devastating historiographic portrait of Irving's methodology in _The Hitler of History_ if anyone cares to read the fine details.

Dr. Lipstadt deserves accolades for her stand.


Gordon Paravano - 3/19/2005

The notion promoted by the media (and academia) that for every idea there is an equal and opposite idea (sort of a Newton’s Third Law of social studies for “balance”) is not only unproven but one that can be dangerous. I’m not saying that there should be censorship; but bad ideas, if presented, should be presented for just what they are, BAD IDEAS. Example:

“It is a common mistake to regard National Socialism as a mere revolt against reason, an irrational movement without intellectual background. If that were so, the movement would be much less dangerous than it is.” Hayek, F. A., Road to Serfdom, Chapter 12. “The Socialist Roots of Nazism”

Rick Shenkman - 3/19/2005


I would like to focus on one of your statements and one only:

"If the American public is so credulous and immature that, when faced with a David Irving, and faced with the knowledge of the 2000 court verdict, they will STILL believe him, then they really aren't fit for any sort of public debates on an issue like this."

The trouble with Americans is not that they are immature. The trouble is that the mass institutions which formerly helped shape public opinion have frayed. Labor unions and political parties formerly helped educate voters; they no longer do. Instead voters are left to their own devices. Lacking guidance, they turn to people like Rush Limbaugh and others who reinforce their emotional prejudices.

I have great faith in people when I know that they are being given sound guidance. Lacking that guidance, public opinion shifts this way and that in response to emotional appeals.

Unfortunately, we have in the last generation celebrated the independent voter as if the independent voter were taking the time to read the NYT, the Weekly Standard, and the New Republic (and HNN, of course!). The truth is otherwise.

Mass institutions never did a great job educating voters. But Michigan university studies show conclusively that when these institutions were thriving voters knew more than they do today about politics.

Richard W. Hodgman - 3/19/2005

There is no question the Holocaust occurred as conventionally described and acknowledged by the vast body of informed people. It is not even an issue among those who are intellectually honest. And it should never be forgotten. It is one of the darkest chapters in the history of the world. Furthermore, I have no intention of reading Irving’s book and I would support Prof. Lipstadt’s position on the C-Span situation.

That said however, what does disturb me is how this historical fact (the Holocaust) simmers beneath the surface of much that is going on today in the Middle East. It seems to me this is often a subliminal justification among many supporters of Israel in the 50 year campaign to evict the Palestinians from the West Bank. As Prof. Norman Finkelstein of DePaul University has stated, this is nothing more than ethnic cleansing and is analogous to what Americans settlers did to the American Indians in the 18th and 19th century. I certainly don’t put all (or even most) Jewish people in this category and I hope nobody accuses me of being anti-Semitic for saying it, but this is a very dangerous time in human history and I think we should call injustice by its name no matter where or when it occurs. So any discussion of the Holocaust has the potential to become radioactive unless people of good will are willing to open their minds to all the issues that flow from it.

In my opinion the only truly credible voices that can help resolve this problem are those of open-minded commentators from the Jewish community. So the topic of the Holocaust is relevant to any discussion of the issues of terrorism and Middle East peace as they have been abundantly discussed in Prof. Cole’s companion thread. Occupation may not be the only cause of terrorism but it seems abundantly clear to me this is a central issue in the Middle East today. As the saying goes, if you seek peace work for justice!

I doubt that Prof. Lipstadt intended to open this can of worms when she began this discussion but it is, after all, the elephant in the living room.

Rick Shenkman - 3/19/2005

Logic is on your side. But is logic always a guide to sound reasoning?

As the founding fathers were fond of saying, "Experience must be our only guide. Reason may mislead us."

Experience suggests that David Irving can easily pass himself off as a reasonable person, reasonable enough to have fooled a generation of scholars into accepting his books as both useful and learned. If they can be fooled, what chance is there that an ordinary viewer will not be?

One of the limits of democracy is that not all subjects are suitable to public debate. Some are more suitable than others; much that would be useful to debate is not debated, for example, because the debate would be boring. And in some debates, some people are more suitable debaters than others.

One of the distressing lessons of the past election was that millions were deluded by deliberately misleading or ambiguous statements by leading national figures about Iraq's complicity in 9-11. One study showed that more than 70% of Bush voters believed Iraq possessed WMD.

Given this profound evidence of the limits of democracy, one can see that it is easy to pollute the public debate with misinformation.

It is not reasonable to exclude officials from the airwaves even when they offer misguided pronouncements. The price we pay for democracy is that we must put up with politicians who lie. But the presumption of the audience is that politicians often prevaricate. This presumption of the audience saves them from a blind fealty that is otherwise lacking when dealing with supposed experts.

Giving David Irving a national platform would only serve the purpose of people who agree with him. It would not further understanding of the Holocaust. Some people naturally, confronted with a seemingly intelligent spokesman for Holocaust denial, would conclude that there must be something to what they are saying. This would be, to people who are lacking in deep knowledge about the Holocaust, the reasonable response to his appearance.

Were the subject one of great importance to the national political parties it would appropriately receive enough attention to guarantee the wide dissemination of an alternative understanding of the Holocaust, giving ordinary people the opportunity to draw reasonable conclusions. In the absence of such a national debate, reasonable people will reasonably draw erroneous conclusions.

Should the fact that people can be misled in the political realm be used as an excuse to give them opportunities to b misled in other realms as well?

In the last election even with a broad national debate people drew unreasonable conclusions about Iraq, as cited above. This is a measure of the failure of American democracy in the modern age. People no longer read newspapers. Increasingly, they are not even watching the network news. Instead, they are getting their information about politics from warped sources. This is a serious issue that should be addressed.

We cannot at present as historians do much to alter the arrangements by which most people learn about politics. But we can affect how history is presented--and we should try to.

Richard W. Hodgman - 3/19/2005

I think this comment hits the nail on the head.

Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 3/19/2005

Well put, Charles. I agree 100%

Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 3/19/2005

1) “Ms. Lipstadt is defaming Irving and she is gloating over her power fight with C-SPAN.”

Lipstadt is a noted and accredited historian with the facts on her side. Your argument that this is defamation was made by Irving himself in British court, and the court ruled unambiguously for Lipstadt, as has numerous academic observers and every scholarly articles that I can recall that has been written on the question.

2) “Irving is a man who believe that Nazis not only killed Jews with mass shootings but also killed Jews in concentration camps. Now does that sound like a "Holocaust Denier?”

You neglect to mention the fact that he also believes that Jews were not targeted for execution, there were no gas chambers, and that all of the survivors as well as Nazis themselves, are ALL lying. That, my friend, is Holocaust denial.

In his own words:
“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?”

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."


3) “I am sure many people hearing about the "Holocaust Denier" would be SHOCKED to learn that it is actually Lipstadt's outragous lie.”

As I say above, this opinion is neither supported by the facts, the courts, or the academic community.

“Mr Irving told the High Court the "gas chambers Holocaust" was "a big lie".


If I may ask 2 questions for Mr. Murphy, which I believe are quite relevant to this discussion:
Do you believe that all of the survivors who contradict Irving are liars, as he maintains?
What are your opinion of Jews in general?

Sara D. Salzman - 3/19/2005

According to Harold Covington (of the National Socialist White Peoples Party), "the real reason for Holocaust revisionism [denial] is to make National Socialism an acceptable political alternative."

Scratch a Holocaust denier and I'll show you an anti-Semite. Take a look at David Irving's list of "Traditional Enemies." Take a look at his reporting of the letter to CNN signed by over 200 historians and educators. He inserted the words "predominantly Jewish" to the list, although there is absolutely no evidence for this bizarre statement, and although it makes no difference WHO disagrees with him -- to Irving, they're ALL Jews.

Tom Murphy - 3/19/2005

There is a a vicious campaign is being waged that is grotesque, manipulative and dishonest. Ms. Lipstadt is defaming Irving and she is gloating over her power fight with C-SPAN. Ms. Lipstadt is a game player, she cannot honestly say that people are not being deceived when she uses the term "Holocaust Denier" and that it is causing unnecessary anguish for many people. Irving is a man who believe that Nazis not only killed Jews with mass shootings but also killed Jews in concentration camps. Now does that sound like a "Holocaust Denier? I am sure many people hearing about the "Holocaust Denier" would be SHOCKED to learn that it is actually Lipstadt's outragous lie. I am sure people would be shocked to learn that
Irving said at the Libel Trial, "I do not deny that there was some kind of gassing at gas chambers in Birkenau, it is highly likely that there was." (Emphasis mine. For the layperson it should be explained with regards to the words "Birkenau" and "Auschwitz" that it is often refered to as "Auschwitz-Birkenau" or the "Auschwitz camp at Birkenau") and keep in mind that Irving said this at the trial with Lipstadt, the very trial Lipstadt's book is about!

Tom Murphy - 3/19/2005

There is a a vicious campaign is being waged that is grotesque, manipulative and dishonest. Ms. Lipstadt is defaming Irving and she is gloating over her power fight with C-SPAN. Ms. Lipstadt is a game player, she cannot honestly say that people are not being deceived when she uses the term "Holocaust Denier" and that it is causing unnecessary anguish for many people. Irving is a man who believe that Nazis not only killed Jews with mass shootings but also killed Jews in concentration camps. Now does that sound like a "Holocaust Denier? I am sure many people hearing about the "Holocaust Denier" would be SHOCKED to learn that it is actually Lipstadt's outragous lie. I am sure people would be shocked to learn that
Irving said at the Libel Trial, "I do not deny that there was some kind of gassing at gas chambers in Birkenau, it is highly likely that there was." (Emphasis mine. For the layperson it should be explained with regards to the words "Birkenau" and "Auschwitz" that it is often refered to as "Auschwitz-Birkenau" or the "Auschwitz camp at Birkenau") and keep in mind that Irving said this at the trial with Lipstadt, the very trial Lipstadt's book is about!

Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 3/19/2005

Your post is an excellent example of how Holocaust studies have become so politicized. With all due respect, and this is not directed against you but only the point of your post, what do the Palestinians have to do with this discussion? Nothing, to my knowledge, other than some attempt to shift attention way from the focus of this article, namely Holocaust denial.

I cannot help but feel that the real reason people want to deny or minimize the Holocaust is not at all out of scholarly research, or intellectual curiosity, but because certain people simply cannot accept the image of Jew-as-victim because their views on the world are shaped by their ideology concerning the current Middle East conflict or simply by anti-Semitism (I should note that I have sever seen or heard of ANY Holocaust denier in my life that did not also happen to be an Anti-Semite, with Irving himself often speaking before neo-Nazi groups).


Stephen Francis Kislock III - 3/19/2005

A Conversation, with one's self, is ?????????????

Sara D. Salzman - 3/19/2005

A few months ago, I was involved in a discussion here with a "historian" who defended his attendance at Irving's "Real History" conference. My point then was, "Since Judge Gray determined that Irving mistranslates (among other things) to suit his own agenda, how can anyone take him seriously as a historian? Since Judge Gray's scathing rebuke to Irving, how can any credible person take him seriously?"

I still ask this question. One glance at Irving's web site, one read of his infantile name-calling and sniping (showing a drawing of a skunk whenever Professor Richard Evans is mentioned), one quick scan of his insistence that "Lipstadt must pay!" must convince even the slightly informed that this is not someone with any credibility.

I must mention in this context that during my last discussion here, Irving was so frightened of my position that he posted my comments on _his_ website, with a comment about my "taking a fat swipe" at him. Irving seems obsessed with my personal appearance, calling me at another point "the chubby plotter," and even claiming to have seen me at a speech he gave (I was about 70 miles away at the time). Each time, he has added my email address, to encourage his readers to "contact" me. If this is how he treats a simple individual trying to express an opinion, God save Professor Lipstadt, who has the courage, fortitude, and honesty to face him directly.

I fully support Professor Lipstadt's decision, and I hope that all honest, thinking individuals will not only do so as well, but will express their outrage directly to C-SPAN.

Stephen Francis Kislock III - 3/19/2005

History, will Remember C-span or David Irving?
What has Me Really Upset, is the Far Right Controls 90+ of the media.
If Fox, can do as it Pleases, where are you Professor Lipstadt?
Today the Palestinian are a Victim of a Current Holocaust, where are the Voices for these People?
Fair and Balanced, It's your Story and David Irving, saying ????????

Charles Lee Geshekter - 3/18/2005

Ms. Lipstadt 's case is beyond reproach. I salute her tenacity in pursuit of the truth against rabble-rousers non-historians like David Irving.

As the petition on her behalf to C-SPAN stated: "Falsifiers of history cannot 'balance' histories. Falsehoods cannot 'balance' the truth."

The same clarity and professional commitment applies equally to Western American historians who excoriate and debunk the distortions and falsehoods of such non-historians as Ward Churchill.

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