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From: Hilary Ostrov 
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: More Sour Grapes to Inaccurate Whines in Irvingland
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Date: Mon, 25 Dec 2000 22:03:45 GMT
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In his continued desperate attempts to portray himself as the "victim"
of the libel suit he launched and so spectacularly lost, David Irving
(who seems to have an ongoing problem with details, such as dates) has
posted an article that appears in the January 2001 issue of the _BBC
History Magazine_.  Irving bills it as the "January 2000" issue.

Irving falsely claims, in his "introduction", that the author of the
article, Richard Evans, is "[r]isking contempt proceedings, he is
drawing on and quoting Discovery documents that are still privileged."

Not surprisingly, there is nothing in Evans' article which is not now
available via the transcripts, judgement and/or the expert reports.

However, for all his sour grapes and inaccurate whines (and those of
his die-hard supporters), Irving has no choice but to live with the
consequences of his "very public disgrace" - as the published intro to
the BBC magazine article described it.  Evans concludes:

[Irving's whining interpolated "pop-ups" deleted -hro]

[...] what was being debated was not, of course, history itself, but
the way that Irving dealt with the evidence: a fine distinction, but
one central to the case. On one issue after another, Irving was forced
to withdraw his earlier claims when confronted with hard evidence on
matters such as the gassing of hundreds of thousands of Jews, or the
systematic and centrally directed nature of the mass shootings of
hundreds of thousands more behind the Eastern Front.

There was enough material in Irving's diary to show that he was a
racist and an anti-Semite, who had associations with many neo-fascists
and political extremists in a variety of countries, notably Germany
and the US. Indeed he had been fined by a German court under laws that
made Holocaust denial illegal, and banned from entering the country.
It came as no surprise when the judge, in a masterly 350-page
judgment, found for the defence on virtually all the instances of
falsification which had been uncovered, and rejected Irving's libel
suit and claim for damages.

Amid the welter of comment that came after the verdict, two aspects of
the trial's significance stood out. The first was that it was a
victory for free speech. Irving had tried to get Lipstadt's book
withdrawn and pulped, and obtain an undertaking from her publishers
not to publish similar things about him again. That attack on freedom
of speech had been repulsed.

Secondly, the verdict was a victory for historical scholarship. Nobody
was going to stop Irving from continuing to say and write what he
wanted to. But if the verdict had any effect, it would be to deny him
credibility, especially with the popular readership to whom he
addressed his work. The ability of real historians to achieve genuine
knowledge about the past on the basis of the documentary record had
been vindicated.

In the 1961 Jerusalem trial of Adolf Eichmann, the director of
operations of Hitler's 'Final Solution of the Jewish Question',
survivors had been the main witnesses. The 2000 London trial of Irving
versus Lipstadt and Penguin Books dealt with the issues as if there
were no survivors around to tell the tale. It was for this reason that
The Daily Telegraph rightly concluded at the end of the trial that
'the Irving case has done for the new century what the Nuremberg
tribunals or the Eichmann trial did for earlier generations'.

Hilary Ostrov
The Nizkor Project

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