Toronto, Canada, Wednesday, September
that Bastard," man said to
tells of battle with David
By LAUREN KRAMER, Pacific
VANCOUVER -- When her
book Denying the Holocaust: The Growing
Assault on Truth and Memory was
published in 1994, Prof. Deborah
Lipstadt devoted 300 words to David
Irving, whom she called "the most
dangerous of Holocaust deniers, an
anti-Semite and racist."
comment: In fact the original book
manuscript did not even mention Mr Irving;
even as published it contained no hint of
any allegation that Mr Irving was an
anti-Semite or racist; these inventions
were dreamed up by Lipstadt's British
lawyers for her defence
"The reason is that he knew the truth
but distorted it," Lipstadt, director of
Emory University's Institute for Jewish
Studies, told attendees at the Greater
Vancouver Jewish Federation's Combined
Jewish Appeal opening night event on Sept.
The venue, Schara Tzedeck Synagogue,
was filled to capacity with those who came
to listen to her talk, "Truth on Trial: My
Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier."
Lipstadt's time in court with Irving went
on much longer than a day -- it lasted six
It all started after Penguin published
her book in the United Kingdom. Shortly
thereafter, Lipstadt learned that Irving
was planning to sue her for libel.
"This is a man who testified as a
witness on [German Holocaust
denier] Ernst Zündel's
behalf, and who called the Holocaust a
legend," she says. "It seemed, at the
time, ludicrous that he could sue me for
not being a Holocaust denier."
What she didn't know back then was that
in the United Kingdom, libel laws are
precisely opposite to those in the United
Under English libel law,
the burden of proof
is on the defendant rather than the
plaintiff, meaning the onus is on the
author of a statement to prove the truth
of what he or he she is saying.
comment: Tough! A writer being called upon
to prove she's writing the
"Irving had waited for the book to
appear in the U.K. before suing me -- in
essence, he had venue-shopped," she
Realizing that she would need to fight,
Lipstadt hired Anthony Julius,
senior consultant for the London law firm
Mishcon de Reya and a prominent British
Best known for his actions on behalf of
the late Diana, Princess of Wales,
comment: His firm charged Diana's estate a
fee of two million pounds, four million
dollars, for setting up the charitable
fund in her memory] Julius
is also known for his opposition to
anti-Semitism, and he offered to work on
Lipstadt's case pro bono.
comment: Later however, as in the Princess
Diana case, he submitted a whopping great
bill. Julius is one of those short-memory
folks we all come across in
life.]Julius promised her that he would fight
the case as vigorously as any commercial
"Also, we wanted to ensure this did not
become a 'did-the-Holocaust-happen' case,
and instead focus on proving I told the
truth when I wrote that Irving was a
Holocaust denier and anti-Semite,"
that if the case went to trial, we
would not call Holocaust survivors to
the stand, because they were witnesses
of fact, and we didn't think it was
ethical or necessary to subject a
survivor to that."
Lipstadt, Julius and their team began
investigating Irving's assertions
regarding the Holocaust, tracing his
footnotes back to the original documents
from which he claimed they originated.
"We found distortions over and over
again, creating a false impression in
reader's minds, but in a way that sounded
credible if you didn't know the details,"
All through the trial, she wondered
what would happen if she lost, or even if
she won a "yes, but" victory over Irving.
She also received tremendous support from
Jews around the world.
"People would come up and tell me how
much they were counting on me," she said.
One Holocaust survivor approached her
after the first day of the trial. "You are
fighting for us. You are our witness," she
Another time, a British man came up to
her, explaining that he had helped
liberate Bergen Belsen. "Get that
bastard," he told her.
"I felt guarded by this band of people
whose life had been shaped by the
Holocaust," she said. "And ultimately, we
won a tremendous victory in which the
judge laid waste to Irving's reputation,
finding him to be a Holocaust denier, a
falsifier of history, a racist, an
anti-Semite and a liar."
book History on Trial: My Day in Court
with David Irving was published in 2005.
comment: It is now, barely two years
later, being sold for its scrap value, 82
Hot dogs are served outside the great
tourist attractions, the Auschwitz death
camp in Poland (above) and the Holocaust
Museum in Washington DC
on Deborah Lipstadt
praise for Binjamin Wilkomirski, the
(ASSHOL) fraudster and
Lipstadt has assigned Fragments
in her Emory University class on
Holocaust memoirs. When confronted with
evidence that it is a fraud, she
commented that the new revelations
'might complicate matters somewhat, but
[the work] is still
questions to put to Prof. Lipstadt the
next time you see
April 2001 over Emory's choice of
Deborah Lipstadt as graduation speaker;
won't get honorary