Posted Tuesday, May 30, 2000

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Reuters May 29, 2000

Lipstadt gets ovation for willing Holocaust case

Danielle Haas

JERUSALEM, May 29 (Reuters) - Misuse of sources, lies and distortions led to right-wing author David Irving's downfall in the libel case he brought against her for calling him a Holocaust denier, Professor Deborah Lipstadt said on Monday. The American academic, who in April defeated Irving in a British court, told an audience of more than 300 people at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial that Irving had indulged in "wilful misrepresentation" in his depiction of the Holocaust.

"We took every place, every argument that Irving uses to deny the Holocaust and we followed his sources," she said in her first speech in Israel since the trial.

"We tracked his footnotes ... in every single case ... they found some form of distortion, a lie, a mistranslation, a misstatement, something inserted that wasn't there," she said.

Lipstadt was given a standing ovation by the audience that included Holocaust scholars and survivors.

Irving, 62, brought his libel action against Lipstadt and her publisher, Penguin books, after claiming she had libelled him in her book "Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory."



 Professor Yehuda Bauer .... called Lipstadt a "brilliant historian." "From this point of view Irving couldn't have chosen a worse person to attack," Bauer said.

In the book, Lipstadt, of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, said Irving was a Nazi apologist who distorted facts to support his claims the Holocaust did not happen.

Six million Jews perished during the Nazi Holocaust in World War Two.

Lipstadt said Irving would "ignore any evidence that would contradict what wanted to say" and that he had tried to "bring down" the numbers killed in the Auschwitz concentration camp while "inflating" the numbers of Germans killed in the bombing of Dresden.

The British author has been told to make a down payment of 150,000 pounds ($231,000) to Penguin books by June 16 following the case.

Condemning Irving for belittling the testimonies of Holocaust survivors, Lipstadt said that he had "danced on the graves of Holocaust survivors."

Leading Holocaust scholar Professor Yehuda Bauer said the trial had "considerable impact" on Holocaust research in helping to expose the methodology of Holocaust deniers and forcing historians to focus on previously ignored details of the period.

He called Lipstadt a "brilliant historian." "From this point of view Irving couldn't have chosen a worse person to attack," Bauer said.

© 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

Our opinion
WHATEVER else Judge Gray in his infinite judicial wisdom inserted into his judgment (which is subject to appeal) he never once used the word "lies" or any variation on it. He did however find that Deborah Lipstadt lied in writing that Mr Irving had a portrait of Adolf Hitler above his desk; that he was in cahoots with Hizbollah leaders; and that he stole or damaged the microfiches of Goebbels diaries from the Moscow archives. As for Yehuda Bauer -- isn't he the person who reprimanded Lipstadt on November 27, 1992 (after he had paid her $25,000 to write the book) for omitting Mr Irving from it almost entirely? That's what Mr Irving revealed in his closing speech.

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