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The Troy, NY Record

 March, 2005


Historian's account is fair game for airing

Can there be any reasonable person in the western world who disputes the breadth and depth of the Holocaust?

THE operative word is "reasonable," as we know there are right-wing groups in our own country whose belief system springs from an anti-Semitic fountain that spews lies about the Holocaust. Indeed, one British historian, David Irving, has made a career based on challenging the extent of the Holocaust.

Now C-Span, that revered bastion of unfettered reality, has been served with a petition signed by 200 historians from the U.S. and other countries over C-Span's plan to air a speech by Irving. The speech was to be aired after author Deborah Lipstadt, who had been sued by Irving, promoted her book, "History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving."

C-Span producers explained that showing Irving's speech would lend balance to the issue, as he was the one who sued Lipstadt (the courts dismissed the suit). The petitioners, however, are adamant in saying that falsehoods cannot balance the truth.

"You just don't debate whether the Holocaust happened," said Lipstadt. "That's like debating whether the Earth is flat."

We agree with Lipstadt and the historians who are appalled by what Irving stands for. Anyone who could deny one of history's most horrific examples of inhumanity is a either a fool or someone carrying a misguided burden of hatred for certain people.

However, because Lispstadt chose to make an issue of her court battle with Irving by writing a book, Irving's account of the same issue should be fair game for airing. Certainly his lecture would provide viewers a clearer picture of what sparked the battle in the first place.

The majority of thinking people believe the Holocaust not only took place, but that it was shameful. Their minds won't be changed by someone like Irving.

Letting Irving be heard on a respectable medium like C-Span, a network with no agenda and no pundits, only reinforces the fact that bigotry and hate still run deep among some people the world over, and that people of good will should be aware of it, and teach their children accordingly.


Index to the media scandal surrounding Prof Lipstadt's attempt to silence C-Span and the history debate
Lipstadt writes a paid OpEd in New York Sun: 'Why I said No to C-Span'

© Focal Point 2005 F Irving write to David Irving