London, April 18, 2000
Tuesday April 18, 2000, Page 8
Irving says he will still not be silenced
IRVING, branded by a judge as a racist anti-Semite with neo-Nazi sympathies, insisted on Wednesday he did not regret his libel action against an American professor and her publishers.
"I have no regrets. It's been the most exhausting phase of my life but I put up a good fight," Irving told the [Asian] Times describing the eight-week case which ended in his humiliating failure on Tuesday.
"They wanted a scrap, so I gave them one," he said of his opponents Professor Deborah Lipstadt, of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and her publishers Penguin Books.
The judge ruled that Lipstadt was justified in calling Irving a "Holocaust denier" and an associate of right-wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism.
Irving, who has said he will try to appeal the ruling, faces a ruinous £2m legal bill.
Penguin, owned by Pearson Plc, said on Tuesday it would "resolutely pursue the costs" incurred in their defence. But Irving said later that he simply did not have the money.
He told the Times: "1 have no doubt (the defendants) would drive me to bankruptcy.
Lipstadt made clear in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday that she felt no sympathy for Irving.
Irving "causes pain, and then says that your pain is not real pain" and denigrates people who can't defend themselves because they were killed in the Holocaust.
"And he does it with such glee," she said. But Irving dismissed suggestions that he could be silenced by the verdict.
"I will still continue to write what I find to be true history. I can't be intimidated," he told Sky television hours after he lost the case.
Judge Charles Gray in his verdict on Tuesday condemned Irving as a racist and anti-Semite, saying he had "for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence".
The media almost unanimously pilloried Irving.
The Sun said Irving had no place in a civilised society. "Irving is a disgrace to Britain," it screamed from its editorial page.
The Times called Irving "an intellectual bruiser" and said his rout in the libel case was a fitter punishment than the bans on Holocaust deniers in some countries including Germany.
'Exercise in pest control'
DEBORAH LIPSTADT says she was always a fighter. And a day after exposing British writer David Irving as a racist anti-Semite and Holocaust denier at London's high court, she knows that fighting spirit paid off.
"There was only one way to fight this -- with all our strength and all our might," Lipstadt, a professor at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, told Reuters in an interview.
"Some people might say we used a sledgehammer to go after a fly. I don't think that is true. If Irving was a fly he was more like a bug that multiplies and multiplies and multiplies."
"This was an exercise in pest control".
An exhausted Lipstadt told Reuters it had never entered her mind not to fight Irving's libel suit. But she conceded there were those who would rather she had not.
"There were people who were frightened, there were people who were worried that this would give him a platform," she said.
After all, what could she have settled on? she asked. "Would it he two million Jews? Three million Jews? One camp of gas chambers? Two camps of gas chambers?
Lipstadt insisted that in defending her case she was not trying to block out other peoples' views on the Holocaust but to establish as truth her claim that Irving distorted and twisted the historical evidence.
But Lipstadt said the lessons to be learnt were not purely Jewish.
"This is not just about Jews and not just for Jews," she said. "There are many elements of the Holocaust which parallel other genocides."
"But I think there are some elements ... which stand by themselves," she added. "We have never seen an attempt by a state to use all its energies to destroy a people, not just within its own borders, but wherever it could reach them."
Picture and caption added by this website.
April 18, 2000
Website fact: The stamina of the defence team in the Lipstadt libel action was aided by a six million dollar slushfund provided by Steven Spielberg, Edgar J Bronfman, and the American Jewish Committee, which enabled them to pay 21 lawyers and "experts". A million pound lollipop was figuratively brandished from the defence lawyers' table throughout the trial, and all those who behaved got a lick at it; their experts like the "scholars" Prof. Evans, Prof. Longerich and others were paid up to £125,000 each (on top of the academic salaries they continued to draw) to testify as they did. Nobody was paying for Mr Irving. His witnesses testified without payment, from conviction. [Help!]