International Campaign for Real History

In the High Court of Justice

DJC Irving

- v -

Penguin Books Ltd and Deborah Lipstadt

In 1993 American scholar Deborah Lipstadt published Denying the Holocaust, product of a research contract funded by an Israeli agency. British writer David Irving claims that it libels him. This is her Defence (which follows closely the Defence pleaded by her U.K. publisher, Penguin Books Ltd).

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In the High Court of Justice 







First Defendants 


Second Defendant 




1. Goebbels bookIt is admitted that the Plaintiff is a well-known writer, and the author of a biography "Goebbels, Mastermind of the Third Reich" (hereinafter referred to as "the Goebbels book"). It is denied that the Plaintiff is an historian. Save as aforesaid, paragraph 1 of the Statement of Claim is not admitted. reply

2. Paragraph 2 of the Statement of Claim is admitted.

3. It is admitted that the Second Defendant is the author of a book entitled DENYING THE HOLOCAUST, sub-titled The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory (the Work), which the First Defendants published within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court in about July 1994. The Second Defendant occupies the Dorot Chair in Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Save as aforesaid, the Second Defendant declines to plead to paragraphs 3 to 7 inclusive of the Statement of Claim, and those parts thereafter of the Statement of Claim which concern the other Defendants to this action.

4. It is admitted that in the Work, the First Defendants published the words (as footnoted but with different numbering) set out in paragraph 8 of the Statement of Claim. The said words formed but part of the Work, to the whole of which the Second Defendant will refer to put the said words into their proper context. It is denied the said words referred to the Plaintiffs save where he was expressly referred to by name. Save as aforesaid, paragraph 8 of the Statement of Claim is denied.

5. It is denied that the said words, whether in their natural and ordinary meaning, or by way of innuendo bore or were understood to bear the meanings pleaded in paragraph 9 of the Statement of Claim.

6. Further, or in the alternative, the said words are true in substance and in fact. The meanings the Second Defendant will justify are :

 (i) that the Plaintiff has on numerous occasions (in the manner hereinafter particularised) denied the Holocaust, the deliberate planned extermination of Europe's Jewish population by the Nazis, and denied that gas chambers were used by the Nazis as a means of carrying out that extermination; reply

 (ii) that the Plaintiff holds extremist views, and has allied himself with others who do so, including individuals such as Dr. Robert Faurisson, and Ernst Zundel;

(iii) that the Plaintiff, driven by his obsession with Hitler, distorts, manipulates and falsifies history in order to put Hitler in a more favourable light, thereby demonstrating a lack of the detachment, rationality and judgment necessary for an historian;

(iv) that there are grounds to suspect that the Plaintiff had removed certain microfiches of Goebbels' diaries contained in the Moscow archives, from the said archives without permission; and that the Plaintiff lied and/or exaggerated the position with regard to the unpublished diaries on microfiche of Goebbels contained in the Moscow archives, and used by him in the Goebbels book;

(v) that in all the premises, the Plaintiff is discredited as an historian and user of source material, and there was an increased risk that the Plaintiff would for his own purposes, distort, and manipulate the contents of the said microfiches in pursuance of his said obsession.

P A R T I C U L A R S 

Meaning (i) - (iii)(v): The Holocaust and the Gas Chambers
(1) The Plaintiff has publicly claimed as follows :

(i) "There were no gas chambers at Auschwitz.... by logical deduction that were no gas chambers anywhere in Germany... But this is not an important issue. I am not a Holocaust Historian. About 100,000 people died in Auschwitz in three years. If we must assume generously that a quarter of them were murdered then we must remember that the British killed 50,000 Germans in one night when they raided Hamburg...."

(ii) "Auschwitz was not an extermination camp and the Holocaust was a propaganda hoax by the British... That question [the Holocaust] is still wide open. I still maintain Auschwitz was not an extermination camp. There were no gas chambers there, I think they were a figment of British wartime propaganda..."

(iii) "I also predict that one year from now [1992], the Holocaust will be discredited. That prediction is lethal because of the vested interests involved in the Holocaust industry. As I said to the Jewish Chronicle, if a year from now the gas chamber legend collapses, what will that mean for Israel? Israel is drawing millions of dollars each year from the German taxpayer, provided by the German government as reparation for the gas chambers. It is also drawing millions a year from American taxpayers who put up with it because of the way the Israelis or Jews have suffered. No one is going to like it when they find out that for 50 years they have been believing a legend based on baloney".

(iv) "I do not think there were any gas chambers or any Master Plan. It's just a myth and at last that myth is being exploded."

Hitler's War(v) "Why dignify something (the Holocaust) with even a footnote that has not happened" (when dealing with the new edition of "Hitler's War", written by the Plaintiff and published by the Plaintiff's own imprint, Focal Point in November 1991);

(vi) "The gas chambers were erected in Poland for the tourists". reply

(2) The said claims were variously false and/or misleading in that:

(i) The Nazis established Concentration Camps proper (camps in which persons were imprisoned without regard to the accepted norms of arrest and detention), throughout the Third Reich and the Nazi Occupied Territories: for example, Dachau, Buchenwald, Ravensbruck and Bergen-Belsen; reply
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(ii) The systematic mass murder of the Jews began in about June 1941, when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union. In the first place, carried out primarily by the SS Einsatzgruppen, hundreds of thousands of Jews were shot to death;

(iii) After an experiment on Soviet prisoners of war in the main camp of Auschwitz on 3 September 1941 in which 600 of them were murdered using Zyklon B gas, extermination camps in Poland at Chelmo, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek were used and/or established with (save for the latter two, which were also labour camps) the sole purpose of murdering every person brought to them, irrespective of age or sex; reply

(iv) Chelmo was put into use in December 1941. The victims were killed using gas vans. About 320,000 persons were murdered there;

(v) Auschwitz-Birkenau began operating as an extermination camp in March 1942. At its height, it had 4 gas chambers in use, using Zyklon B. Over 1 million Jews were murdered there, as were tens of thousands of gypsies and Soviet prisoners of war, until it was closed in November 1944;

(vi) Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka were established as part of Aktion Reinhard (headed by Globocnik), the murder operation principally aimed at the Jews of the General Government in Poland, and used carbon monoxide gas generated by a diesel or gas engine. About 600,000 Jews were murdered at Belzec, whilst it operated between March and December 1942; between about 250,000 and 500,000 Jews were murdered at Sobibor during its operation between April 1942 and October 1943; and between about 870,000 and 1.1 million Jews were murdered at Treblinka between July 1942 and August 1943.

(vii) The Holocaust, the deliberate planned extermination of Europe's Jewish population by the Nazis, resulted in the murder of millions of Jews in extermination camps as set out above. About a further 2 million Jews were killed in Russia, elsewhere in Poland and in other European countries.

(3) On 5 May 1992, the Plaintiff was found guilty by the District Court of Munich of defamation in conjunction with the offence of denigrating the memory of deceased persons. The facts upon which the said conviction was based were as follows. On 21 April 1990, at a meeting attended by about 800 people of the Deutsches Jugendbildungeswerk at the restaurant Lowenbraukeller on Stiglmaierplatz in Munich, the Plaintiff said (inter alia):

"We now know, and I need mention this here only by way of footnote, that there were never any gas chambers at Auschwitz.... We now believe that, just as the gas chambers which the Americans built here in Dachau in the days following the end of the war, were a sham, the gas chambers which can now be seen by tourists in Auschwitz were built by the authorities in Poland following the Second World War...For this the German tax payers have had to pay about 16 billion Deutschmarks as a penalty for Auschwitz... For a sham". reply

(4) On 14 January 1994, the 25th Criminal Chamber of the Regional Court of Munich upheld the said conviction of the Plaintiff, and increased his fine (to 200.00 DM for 150 days). During the course of his appeal the Plaintiff claimed that his researches had revealed no evidence of the gassing of the Jews in Auschwitz and scientific opinions had proved the impracticability of gassing. During the course of its judgment upholding the Plaintiff's conviction as aforesaid, the Regional Court further found that (as was the fact): 

"Anyone denying the gassing and murdering of Jews in the `Third Reich' defames every Jews and slanders the memory of all Jews gassed in Auschwitz. By calling the mass gassing of Jews in Auschwitz an invention, the Accused [the Plaintiff] denies the Jews the inhumane fate to which they were subjected in the `Third Reich' purely on account of their origins...He knew that the so-called Auschwitz lie would be assessed as defamation and prosecuted...The Accused is seeking only superficially to paint a picture at variance with established research and in truth is clearly seeking to deny the mass murder of the Jewish people in the Third Reich...The Accused can only reach his conviction by failing to heed the historical fact of the gassing of the Jews in Auschwitz...and by relying on a few revisionist outsiders and pseudo natural history propaganda magazines apologetic to the National-Socialist cause. Had the Accused applied his endeavours in an unprejudiced manner, not marked by any ideology of the Right, he would always have been in a position to assess accurately the numerous historical sources and witnesses...To the extent that the Accused is relying on his belief, the Criminal Chamber has not taken this into account to reduce the fine...since the gassing of the Jews in Auschwitz is such a publicly known historical fact that only people - like the Accused - who refuse to acknowledge this dreadful truth are able to arrive at such a belief.

To the detriment of the Accused it has to be said that a denial of the fate of the Jews in Auschwitz represents a massive insult to Jewish people and a grave defamation of those who died. The Criminal Chamber has also appraised as aggravating the fact that the Accused from his own testimony disseminated the so-called Auschwitz lie even subsequent to the events at issue here.... there is a risk of the generation which did not experience as direct contemporary witness the situation prevailing during the National Socialist period and the persecution of the Jews accepting this line of thinking without questioning it... It also had to be taken into account that the Accused as a writer and historian is also in a position to give the impression that his thoughts are backed up by scientific evidence. There is the risk that by giving voice in this way he will be used by revisionists of the neo Nazi movement as a historical-scientific signboard and thereby introduce above all uncritical young people not versed in history to his ideas...." reply

(5)The Institute of Historical Review ("the IHR") is an ultra-right wing, pseudo academic organisation which is the centre of revisionist activities and publications, and which attracts neo Nazis, anti-semites and racists. The IHR is part of a network that includes the Liberty Lobby which publishes Spotlight, a journal devoted to the Jewish conspiracy theory, and the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust. The IHR holds an annual revisionist conference, devoted to the promulgation of the view inter alia that there was no Holocaust. On its editorial board was Ditlieb Felderer, an Austrian resident of Sweden, publisher of the vitriolic anti-semitic publication "Jewish Information Bulletin", who in 1983 was sentenced to 10 months in prison for distributing hate material (he had sent leaders of the European Jewish community pieces of fat and locks of hair with a letter asking them if they could identify the contents as Hungarian Jews gassed at Auschwitz).

(i) In September 1983, the Plaintiff (described by the IHR as "noted British revisionist historian"), lectured to the Fifth said conference. Amongst his fellow speakers was Dr Robert Faurisson, author of numerous revisionist works, and sued (according to IHR literature advertising the conference) for defamation for speaking "independently on the Six Million/Gas Chambers thesis". Dr Faurisson was in fact convicted by the French courts for the libel of denying the Holocaust. Dr Faurisson has claimed the "so-called gassing" of the Jews was a "gigantic politico-financial swindle whose beneficiaries are the state of Israel and international Zionism" and whose chief victims were the German people and the Palestinians. He has further claimed that the Nazi decree making it mandatory for Jews to wear a yellow star was a measure to ensure the safety of German soldiers because Jews engaged in espionage, terrorism, black market operations and arms trafficking; and that Jewish children were required to wear the yellow star from the age of 6, because they too were engaged in illicit or resistance activities against the Germans;

(ii) In February 1989, the Plaintiff lectured to the Ninth said conference. Amongst his fellow speakers were Fred Leuchter, a self-styled engineer, who published a report purporting to prove that the gas chambers at Auschwitz and Majdenek were never used to gas people, speaking on "The 'Gas Chambers' at Auschwitz...", and Carlo Mattogno, speaking on "The First Auschwitz Gassings: Genesis of a Myth". At the said conference the Plaintiff said: 

"They [the Exterminationists] have realised that they are way out of line with the Auschwitz story, and they are frantically engaged in damage control at present. They're pulling their entire army of liars back from the main battlefront, into the second line, because all the artillery that's coming down on the front line now is making it too dangerous for them".

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