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  2. Taking on a ‘content specialist’
  4. Denying the Holocaust

She spent her junior year of college in Israel during the Six-Day War , where she stayed as an exchange student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She then enrolled at Brandeis University where she completed her Masters in and then her Ph. On September 5, , Holocaust denier David Irving sued Lipstadt and her publisher Penguin Books for libel in an English court for characterizing some of his writings and public statements as Holocaust denial in her book Denying the Holocaust.

The expert witnesses for the defence included Cambridge historian Richard J. English libel law places the burden of proof on the defendant rather than the plaintiff. Lipstadt and Penguin won the case using the justification defence, namely by demonstrating in court that Lipstadt's accusations against Irving were substantially true and therefore not libelous. The case was argued as a bench trial before Mr Justice Gray , who produced a written judgment pages long detailing Irving's systematic distortion of the historical record of World War II. The Times April 14, , p.


Despite her acrimonious history with Irving, Lipstadt has stated that she is personally opposed to the 3-year prison sentence Austria imposed on Irving for two speeches he made in , where he claimed there had been no gas chambers at Auschwitz. In Austria, minimizing the atrocities of the Third Reich is a crime punishable with up to 10 years imprisonment. Speaking of Irving, Lipstadt said "I am uncomfortable with imprisoning people for speech.

Let him go and let him fade from everyone's radar screens Generally, I don't think Holocaust denial should be a crime.

Anti-Semitism since the Holocaust and outside Europe

I am a free speech person, I am against censorship. In February Lipstadt warned of "soft-core denial " at the Zionist Federation's annual fundraising dinner in London. Referring to groups such as the Muslim Council of Britain , reportedly she stated: "When groups of people refuse to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day unless equal time is given to anti-Muslim prejudice, this is soft-core denial.

Along the same lines, Lipstadt has criticized the German philosopher and historian Ernst Nolte for engaging in what she calls "soft-core denial" of the Holocaust, arguing that Nolte practises an even more dangerous form of negationism than the Holocaust-deniers. Speaking of Nolte in a interview, Lipstadt stated:. Historians such as the German Ernst Nolte are, in some ways, even more dangerous than the deniers.

Taking on a ‘content specialist’

Nolte is an anti-Semite of the first order, who attempts to rehabilitate Hitler by saying that he was no worse than Stalin; but he is careful not to deny the Holocaust. Holocaust-deniers make Nolte's life more comfortable. They have, with their radical argumentation, pulled the center a little more to their side. Consequently, a less radical extremist, such as Nolte, finds himself closer to the middle ground, which makes him more dangerous. In late , Lipstadt attacked American and Israeli politicians for what she called their invocation of the Holocaust for contemporary political purposes, something she thought mangled history.

She rebuked Republican party presidential candidates for speeches that 'pandered' to the Evangelical constituency, as much as it did to the Republican Jewish Coalition.

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She also judged Howard Gutman 's remarks on causal links between Muslim antisemitism and the Israeli—Palestinian conflict as 'stupid. People go nuts here, they go nuts. There's no nuance, there's no middle ground, it's taking any shade of grey and stomping on it.

Witness: Voices from the Holocaust (HVT-8076)

The decision proves that David Irving is a falsifier of history. Irving follows the short line of Holocaust deniers who aim to resurrect Nazism by denying the planned destruction of the European Jews. Mr Justice Gray said the charges he had found to be substantially true were that "Irving had for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence" and that "for the same reasons, he had portrayed Hitler in an unwarrantedly favourable light, principally in relation to his attitude towards and responsibility for the treatment of the Jews".

The judge said he found that Irving was "an active Holocaust denier; that he was anti-Semitic and racist and that he associated with right-wing extremists who promoted neo-Nazism". There were certain defamatory imputations which he had found to be defamatory of Mr Irving, but in his judgment the charges against Mr Irving which had been proved to be true were of "sufficient gravity" for it to be clear that the failure to prove the truth of other matters did not have any material effect on the historian's reputation.

The judge observed that Mr Irving's submissions appeared to him "to have a distinct air of unreality about them".


In the instances he had found the defendants' criticisms to be justified, Mr Irving had "treated the historical evidence in a manner which fell far short of the standard to be expected of a conscientious historian. On the issue of Auschwitz, the judge said the central question to be determined in the case was whether or not the evidence supported the defendants' contention that the number of deaths ran into hundreds of thousands or whether Mr Irving was right when he claimed that the killing by gas was on a modest scale.

He commented: "I have to confess that, in common I suspect with most other people, I had supposed that the evidence of mass extermination of Jews in the gas chambers at Auschwitz was compelling.

More information about this image. Origin and Meaning of the Term The word antisemitism means prejudice against or hatred of Jews. Antisemitism in History The specific hatred of Jews, however, preceded the modern era and the coining of the term antisemitism. Discussion Questions What conditions and ideas made the Holocaust possible? See Also Article Introduction to the Holocaust. Article Introduction to Judaism. Glossary Terms. Series: Antisemitism.

Series: Victims of the Nazi Era.