AR-Online logo 



Posted Friday, October 9, 1998

The day Deborah Lipstadt found herself face to face with David Irving
The writer's 1994 diary record

FOR THIRTY-FIVE years author David Irving has kept a private diary. It has proven useful in countless actions. For the information of his many supporters he publishes an edited text in his irregular newsletter ACTION REPORT.


British writer David Irving is suing American professor of religion Deborah Lipstadt in Libel, for lies about him contained in her book Denying the Holocaust, which she wrote at the behest of Vidal Sassoon, Yad Vashem, the Hebrew University, and other similar agencies.

The action will be tried in 1999. Her lawyers have demanded to see Mr Irving's private diary account of their one and only face-to-face meeting at Atlanta in 1994, when she was horrified, after slandering him in her speech, to find that he was sitting in the audience. Here that diary is.


OVEMBER 11, 1994 (Friday)

Atlanta (Georgia) -- Fort Lauderdale -- Key West (Florida)


Rose at 7:30 A.M. Breakfast on Marietta Square, but cafe was nasty and food more so. Drove with M. to De Kalb college auditorium at 9:10 A.M.

We bumped into Deborah Lipstadt as I struggled to carry in the two packages of (72) Macmillan GÖRING paperbacks. Found we were the first to arrive; she was engrossed in girl talk with the organisers, so we were not recognised. I tucked myself away in an exit corridor until after she began, then slipped in at the back.

M. had set up his video camera inconspicuously on a tripod to one side of the auditorium. About 150 students attended. Lipstadt clearly was totally unaware that I was there. In her speech she made several ugly references to me as, somebody, "not really a historian," whose several books had been published but had earned no respect from other historians, in fact Irving was "not a respectable historian" at all. Earlier she had talked of Mark Weber in the same terms, of Willis Carto and -- pandering to the sizeable Black section of the audience -- of David Duke and his "white sheet and cone-head".

She talked of the eye witnesses to the Holocaust at length, though not in detail, and of the mounds of documents which exist to disprove the revisionists -- though she refuses to call those people that; she calls them "deniers" and is proud to have coined the term Holocaust denier, she said. In particular she said that among the documents which refute the "deniers" is a "blueprint of a gas chamber complete with the openings through which the S.S. tipped the pellets of cyanide."

Most of her speech, in fact seventy five percent, was empty vapourings on the level of:

"These guys are denying the Holocaust. I won't debate them. I refuse to. Would you debate somebody who said the Earth was flat? Would you debate somebody who said sexual abuse of children was good? There is no debate."

She returned to the child abuse theme at least five times in her meandering talk&emdash;prompting me to consider asking a supplementary question when the time came whether by her obsession with Sexual Abuse as a child she was trying unconsciously to tell us something about her own childhood.

Question time came. D. -- without our having discussed this -- asked the first question: would Ms Lipstadt explain why she is so disrespectful of David Irving, given that he has such a record of literary accomplishments? She evaded direct answer, suspecting that D. was a hostile; in fact as soon as she deduced that he was not there to flatter her she snapped at him "Get to a Question or sit down"&emdash;or words to that effect.

I then politely put up my hand. Invited to speak, I boomed in my very English, very loud voice to her:

"Professor Lipstadt, I am right in believing you are not a historian, you are a professor of religion?"

She answered that she was a professor of religion but (something special else) in history too. I then waded in with verbal fists flying:

"I am the David Irving to whom you have made such disparaging reference in your speech. Given that I have had thirty years experience in the archives, that I have published some thirty books in the leading publishing houses of the world, including The Viking Press, William Morrow, E P Dutton, and Avon in this country, what gives you the right to go around the world, to Australia and New Zealand" (which visits she had mentioned proudly in her speech) "blackening my name as though my opinions are of no consequence?"

She was livid and shouted at me to sit down or ask a question. Still booming I continued:

"You have just told an outright lie to these students. You are trying to gull gullible students into believing that there are mounds of documents proving the Holocaust. You referred specifically to one, a 'blueprint of a gas chamber' which you have, complete with 'the holes through which pellets were inserted'. I have here" -- holding up my right hand stuffed with $20 bills -- "a thousand dollars for you if you can produce to this audience, now or at any time in the future, this document about which you have just lied to them. One thousand dollars!"

Prof LipstadtWhat followed was uproar. A pleasing "silent gasp" had gone round as I began speaking and the students realised who I was, in their midst. I then challenged her on those world tours: "Why don't you tell the audience who hired you to go around Australia and New Zealand! Who paid your fees?" She spluttered that she hadn't received any fee. I pressed on remorselessly: "Why don't you tell the students who paid your air fares to Australia and all around that continent, and who paid all your expenses. Because if you won't tell them, I will." (I did not however: I could see adult staff running this way and that, obviously setting things in motion. Time to keep powder dry.)

Göring bookA Black sitting next to M., ten rows ahead of me and to the right, with his video camera running, chuckled, "Man, this is turning into fun." I called out, "I have here two packets of my books" (holding GÖRING aloft) "which I am happy to give to all the students free, so they can see just who I am and which of us is lying." One or two students were hostile, but most were suddenly alert and awake. I unrolled the Auschwitz aerial photograph, and said: "You talk of documents. I have a document here. An aerial photograph of Auschwitz." As Lipstadt began screaming into the microphone, I tried to make the point that the picture had no trace of the "two thousand tons of coke" that the cremations (to which Rudolf Höss "confessed") would have needed every day. I am not sure that students got this point in the mounting turmoil however.

An armed security man had now arrived, brought in by the organisers, and he came to tell me that if I would not agree to be silent, I would have to leave. I stood up and said loudly,

"So: Professor Lipstadt not only refuses to discuss with us, she has Security called to prevent any discussion."

D. motioned to me to sit down (he afterwards said I would probably have been arrested and held, so he was right). There were no serious questions after that. Lipstadt was livid with the outcome. The students were dazed. Several times I wagged the bundle of $20 bills aloft, as she was speaking, and hissed: "One thousand dollars …!"

Then came the test: would they take the bait? If the first student refused to touch the book, then all would. But a Black man walking past had accepted a copy of the book from me; he shortly returned, even as La Lipstadt was speaking, to ask for an autograph. I gave him one, and four more books to hand out. That "seeded" the audience nicely. As the students filed out, I was mobbed by students asking for a copy. Victory!

"I've only got seventy," I said loudly, "so there are not enough for everybody." Beneath Lipstadt's anguished gaze the students then formed another line, to get their copies of the book autographed by me. Sweet victory. Then students came to me with copies of the printed invitation to autograph: I did so -- they were blank, which meant that either they had not asked Lipstadt for her autograph, or she would have to sign after me. Total Victory! Revenge!

Ho, ho. M. had videoed the entire ninety minutes, getting her on long focus and capturing my interventions too. Outside, I took a seat on a ledge, signed books, and lectured the students on the Holocaust. One, looking like a junky, was hostile but I treated even him with courtesy and patience. Another, Mia Daniels, was a journalist for the De Kalb Collegian. I could see she was not writing down the favourable points I made. They learn young. The German department head (a woman) asked for a book, but I was empty-handed by then. Fortunately: those packets weighed a ton.

Shortly, the woman organiser bustled over to ask who had video'd the event, and did we have a "release" signed by Lipstadt permitting this? M. handed her his card and intimated that the video was needed for legal reasons, in case Lipstadt libelled me or in case I was falsely accused of libelling her. The card read ... ATTORNEY AT LAW. Woman organiser blenched and withdrew.

It had not come cheap: what with the air fares, the car rental, and near on a thousand dollars' worth of books donated to the audience. In victory mood off to the Marietta Club for luncheon. Then with M. to a computer shop -- picked up a new mouse for the Mac, and Bodoni typeface -- then caught the 5:30 P.M. Valujet flight back to Fort Lauderdale. Landed at 7:30 P.M.; at 7:49 P.M. I was in the car, headed south on the turnpike. At 11:55 P.M. I was back in Key West. Not since April 1983 and the day of the Hitler Diaries fiasco; not indeed since June 1977 and David Frost's failed television attempt to demolish HITLER'S WAR, has success smelt so sweet, and been (in my view) so richly deserved.

November 12, 1994 (Saturday)
Key West, Florida

Wrote this letter to Mia Daniels at the DeKalb Collegian newspaper:

Dear Mia,-- it was very pleasant and interesting talking with you yesterday about the Lipstadt lecture and my dissenting views. I have no idea what you wrote, if anything at all; but I am enclosing a (slightly better) copy of the GÖRING biography, published by Macmillan Ltd in London. This was very well received (my most recent book), and I'm also attaching a few of the voices that were published about it around the world.

I get the impression that there is a lot of interest in your college about this topic, and you might like to mention in the Collegian that I willing to return at any time to talk at length about my views on the matter, which I will back up with documents and photographs, if invited by a properly constituted student or college body. Unlike La Lipstadt I would also be happy to hear the opposing viewpoint and to encourage a discussion on the matter.  

 © David Irving 1998.

 Register your name and address to go on the Mailing List to receive

[ Go back to AR Online Index | Lipstadt Case | Go to Main Action Report Index ]

Order books | Auschwitz Index | Irving Index | Irving Page | Irving Book-List | Other FP Authors
Buchladen | Auschwitz | Irving-Verzeichnis | -Hauptseite | -Bücher | Weitere FP-Autoren
© Focal Point 1998 write to David Irving