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The Case for Auschwitz: Evidence from the Irving Trial Hardcover – 1 Jan 2002

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press (1 Jan. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253340160
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253340160
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 4.3 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 905,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"The Irving case has done for the new century what the Nuremberg tribunals or the Eichmann trial did for earlier generations." --The Daily Telegraph " ... offers an invaluable review of the information available between 1942 and 1947 about the genocide at Auschwitz-Bikenau."--Jewish Chronicle, 29 November 2002 "... the core of the book offers an invaluable review of the information available between 1942 and 1947 about the genocide at Auschwitz-Birkenau."--Jewish Chronicle, 29 November 2002

About the Author

Robert Jan van Pelt is Professor in the School of Architecture, University of Waterloo, Canada. He is coauthor (with Debrah Dwork) of Auschwitz: 1270 to the Present, winner of a National Jewish Book Award, 1996, and of the Spiro Kostof Award of the Association of Architectural Historians, 1997, and coauthor (with Carroll William Westfall) of Architectural principles in the Age of Historicism.

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I don't see any reason to be tasteful about Auschwitz. Read the first page
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By R. Stewart on 4 Mar. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Van Pelt presented expert evidence in Mr David Irving's libel fiasco , a defeat which revisionists have attempted to distance themselves from but one which was absolutely fatal to their cause and the alledged evidence they place so much confidence in.

Van Pelt describes the nature of the camp its building and structure within the context of the Irving libel action , the claims made by Irving and other revisionist "scholars" , he explains why their claims cannot be sustained .
He demolishes their claims and reveals the flaws and distortions on which the revisionist case has been built,whilst in parallel he describes how the gas chambers how they were built and operated , their evolution and how they were in turn were destroyed.
Van Pelt does this with cold hard evidence based fact - no guess work no pseudo science in the pages of this book he dismantles the revisions claims one by one and exposes them to the critical examination which they so often they avoid.

The science is touched on through the experts called to refute Leuchter and Rudolf, the latter Irving withdrew rather than see Germar Rudolf's findings exposed for what they are.
To date he has never given a satifsfactory reason for doing so, this alone is worthy of note.

If you are at a loss as to what to read on Auschwitz Birkenau in the light of the complex claims made by "revisionist scholars" this book will assist you in making sense of the genocidal process - if you require an answer to the arguements of Butz , Irving , Faurission , Leuchter, Rudolf , Ball et al. this book puts their theories and ideas to the sword.

Well illustrated with photographs and diagrams from archival sources he explores how mass murder was accomplished and how it has been lied about.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
A good read, if now dated 4 Mar. 2015
By Howard Carter - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Although the book is now rather dated, it is full of useful details to counter the most common claims of Holocaust deniers (or, as van Pelt calls them, negationists). In the midst of preparing an expert witness report to be used by the defense in the famous Irving case, van Pelt amassed a collection of well researched information on the founding, evolution, and purposes of Auschwitz, to include the mechanics of murder in the gas chambers and disposition of the bodies in the crematoria and burning pits. The author's attitude comes across at times as an example of the academic's dismissal of those who do not have PhDs, and his attitude can be haughty, but there is no doubt that his writing was key in defeating Irving's suit, and making "the case FOR Auschwitz."
24 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Well worth the money 22 April 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Shermer and Grobman's _Denying History_ whetted, but did not completely satisfy, my appetite to learn more about the historical evidence for the Holocaust, so I bought and read van Pelt's book. I know that in this book van Pelt covers only a portion of the information that was in his reports for the Irving trial, but it was certainly enough to convince me that Judge Gray's verdict was the proper one. This book covers a lot of technical information that would possibly be hard to digest or be boring if it were presented by another author, but van Pelt writes very well, and I had trouble setting his book down. The author comes across as a very reasonable figure who is able to resist the urge to over-rely on either sentimentality or sarcasm. Perhaps I will need to read something else to internalize the horror that was the Holocaust, but I don't need to read anything else to see that it really did happen.
Finally, let me say that I was unprepared for what a big, handsomely bound, handsomely typeset book this would be. (I know that talking about the attractiveness of a book about the Holocaust is probably as bad as Jerry Seinfeld making out during "Schindler's List", but I figured that there might be some other bibliophiles out there who care about such things.)
12 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Essential Reading 9 Jan. 2007
By A. W. Johnston - Published on
Format: Hardcover
You would like to think that one of the central historical events of the 20th century would be beyond dispute, but nevertheless some manage to deny the holocaust.

In 2000, Holocaust denier David Irving sued Deborah Lipstadt and her publishers Penguin Books in the High Court for libel, and Robert Jan van Pelt was called as an expert witness for the defence. Essentially, his task was to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the court that the facts related by Lipstadt in [i]Denying the Holocaust[/i] were, to the best of current knowledge, true.

This book relates how van Pelt came to be called upon for this role, his researches and preparation for the trial, followed through with the story of how the trial itself went; from opening statements to Irving's eventual defeat.

On the way, the available evidence is thoroughly examined and assembled into a coherent narrative of the appalling events at the Auschwitz death camp. Arguments and evidence presented by Holocaust deniers is dissected, and their errors exposed in clear, logical prose.

This book is not cheap, but thorough and densely packed it is nonetheless good value.
4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A most excellent study. 27 Sept. 2011
By James A. Crescitelli - Published on
Format: Hardcover
One of the most comprehensive studies of the gassing and cremation operations at Auschwitz-Birkenau. In clear, non-hysterical p[rose, it presents the case based on evidence that has been meticulously considered, weighed, and analyzed. Packed with photos, diagrams, and charts, the book further solidifies the evidence FOR the fact that Birkenau and its four crematoria served as a killing center; they truly didn't function as bakeries, as one revisionist has posited. Along with forensic evidence gathered at various sites in Poland and Russia (i.e., the mass graves at Belzec), one wonders why people continue to insist that this didn't happen. Sure, it's mind-boggling... but the fact is that millions of people disappeared into these places. I don't think they could all have been shipped further east, or we'd be hearing from many of the children as adults now that the Soviet Union has fallen... Also addressed are the false credentials of many Holocaust deniers, and the lies and outright ignorance perpetrated in the drive to establishing their claims.
16 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant and long-overdue 9 Dec. 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
A fascinating look at a trial which brought to light the nefarious and underhanded way in which Holocaust deniers and revisionists twist the facts of history. A must-read for history buffs, truth seekers, and legal eagles.
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