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The Irving Judgment (Law) Paperback – 27 Jul 2000

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (27 July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140298991
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140298994
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,056,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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You can of course read this judgment on-line. but I am glad to have it in book form.

If any reader doesn't know it yet, this is the judgment from the libel case in 2000 between David Irving, an English historian who specialised in military history in the Second World War and Deborah Lipstadt, an American academic and her publishers Penguin Books.

Lipstadt wrote a book about Holocaust denial called "Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory" in which she surveyed a number of individuals and organisations who have written and published literature calling into question the authenticity of the generally accepted historical understanding of the Holocaust. The 3 sticking points are:
1. Whether there was a deliberate policy of extermination of Jews authorised by Hitler
2. Whether the death toll in German run concentration camps was 6 millions
3. Whether gas chambers were used as a means of mass extermination.

David Irving was mentioned in passing in the book on about 5 pages out of 278 and decided to sue Lipstadt and her publishers for libelling him as a Holocaust denier, a partisan of Hitler, a neo-Nazi and a falsifier of history. It was the job of the defence to prove these allegations in a court or face criminal sanctions and paying massive damages.

There are books by Richard Evans (the Cambridge University history professor who acted as the defence's expert witness) and Lipstadt herself as well as the journalist DD Guttenplan in which the case is described. However, this book sets out Mr Justice Gray's judgment in which he describes in detail the individual factors of the case in a manner of absolute objectivity.
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The remarkable judgement recorded in this book exposed David Irving as a Hitler-loving, Holocaust-denying anti-Semite and racist, who falsified evidence to promote his fascism.

In 1994 Penguin Books published Professor Deborah Lipstadt's book Denying the Holocaust. Irving complained that certain passages in the book accused him of being a Nazi apologist and an admirer of Hitler who had resorted to the distortion of facts and the manipulation of documents in support of his contention that the Holocaust did not take place.

In 1996, Irving issued a writ claiming damages for libel, naming Penguin Books and Professor Deborah Lipstadt as defendants. The trial opened in the High Court in London on 11 January 2000. The Hon. Mr Justice Gray delivered his judgement in favour of the defendants on 11 April 2000.

Mr Justice Gray reminded the Court that Hitler said to the Reichstag on 30 January 1939, "if international Jewry within Europe and abroad should succeed once more in plunging the peoples into a world war, then the consequence will be not the Bolshevization of the world and therewith a victory of Jewry, but on the contrary, the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe."

And on 12 December 1941, "He had prophesied to the Jews that if they once again brought about a world war they would experience their own extermination. This was not just an empty phrase. The World War is there, the extermination of Jewry must be the necessary consequence." Hitler talked again of exterminating Jews on 1 and 30 January 1942, and on 14, 22 and 24 February 1942.

Mr Justice Gray said, "I find that in most of the instances which they cite, the Defendants' criticisms are justified.
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Penguin are to be applauded for producing this book. As one of the parties being sued, they had a right to ensure this to be out in the public domain. I had followed the trial (from New Zealand via the internet newspapers) but was dissatisfied with the scope of coverage. I had tried reading a number of David Irving's books but found that his presentation of historical material appeared as it did to justify the Nazi era and Hitler and co as just another set of political leaders and soldiers, unpalatable. It was also apparent he was a poster boy for a range of far right and anti-Semitic groups. Groups that maintained not so many Jews "died" in an event called the holocaust and besides many were enemies of state dying of natural causes in prison camps. They even questioned the existence of death camps and the apparatus of execution using science and maths to argue the impossibility of such wide scale killing. Irving, it is noted did not distance himself from this view of history and the need to put historical evidence on trail was evident as a means to resolve a calculated revisionism of something so sordid it almost defies comprehension. What I found ugly in these arguments was that the majority of those murdered were unable to defend themselves due to being exterminated. The bleakest part of our humanity is the ability to justify acts of great evil. So to read a legal judgement that provided justice as well as an ethical legal verdict was both inspiring and uplifting. I think the separation of Irvine the historian from Irvine the revisionist has been accomplished with judicial clarity. Reading this judgement should put an end to revisionism based on unsupportable spin doctoring.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x91a9ba8c) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x917cc564) out of 5 stars The Scales of British Justice tipped against Mr Irving 11 Aug. 2011
By Stephen Cowley - Published on Amazon.com
This reprints the verdict in a famous libel trial in London in 2000. David Irving had sued American author Deborah Lipstadt and her UK publisher Penguin Books for hostile remarks about him in her Denying the Holocaust (1994). Judge Charles Gray's judgement is here reproduced by Penguin and is perhaps the most authoritative book to have come out of the case, being the opinion of an impartial, trained forensic mind who sat through all the evidence.

The trial became a major rehearsal of arguments about the 'Holocaust' up to that date and received considerable media coverage. It cemented or made the public reputations of several witnesses, many of whom also issued books discussing the evidence they gave. These include Richard Evans' Lying About Hitler (2001) and Robert van Pelt's poorly typeset The Case for Auschwitz (2002). Much of the verbatim exchanges and evidence is still (2011) available on Irving's Focal Point website together with his own bitter ruminations. However, Gray summarises the case accurately.

Gray is persuaded by Evans' examples of Irving's manipulation of historical evidence with respect to Hitler's attitude to the Jews and the death toll in the Dresden air raid in 1945. However, the traduced documents about Hitler and the Jews in Irving's Hitler's War (1977 edition) are all identified by Irving himself in his introduction and are not random samples. Gray rejects as "too sweeping" Evans' claim that Irving was "not a historian". He confesses himself surprised at the scant evidence for gassings at Auschwitz, on which the 'holocaust denier' part of the case hinged. However, he is persuaded by van Pelt that Irving's interpretations of evidence were unsound. He describes Irving as 'anti-semitic', 'racist' and lacking objectivity, cavalier and arrogant in his treatment of evidence, but with some merit as a military historian. Irving's reputation received a severe blow as a result. Evans commented that the months in court gave a fuller opportunity for debate than brief academic seminars and this is reflected in the high quality of Gray's judgement, which is a good place to start studying the subject. Highly recommended.
HASH(0x91adb858) out of 5 stars The Irving Judgment 15 May 2014
By Bacchus - Published on Amazon.com
You can of course read this judgment on-line. but I am glad to have it in book form.

If any reader doesn't know it yet, this is the judgment from the libel case in 2000 between David Irving, an English historian who specialised in military history in the Second World War and Deborah Lipstadt, an American academic and her publishers Penguin Books.

Lipstadt wrote a book about Holocaust denial called "Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory" in which she surveyed a number of individuals and organisations who have written and published literature calling into question the authenticity of the generally accepted historical understanding of the Holocaust. The 3 sticking points are:
1. Whether there was a deliberate policy of extermination of Jews authorised by Hitler
2. Whether the death toll in German run concentration camps was 6 millions
3. Whether gas chambers were used as a means of mass extermination.

David Irving was mentioned in passing in the book on about 5 pages out of 278 and decided to sue Lipstadt and her publishers for libelling him as a Holocaust denier, a partisan of Hitler, a neo-Nazi and a falsifier of history. It was the job of the defence to prove these allegations in a court or face criminal sanctions and paying massive damages.

There are books by Richard Evans (the Cambridge University history professor who acted as the defence's expert witness) and Lipstadt herself as well as the journalist DD Guttenplan in which the case is described. However, this book sets out Mr Justice Gray's judgment in which he describes in detail the individual factors of the case in a manner of absolute objectivity.

One thing the judgment does not do is attempt to justify the generally accepted Holocaust history; Gray rightly says that this is the job of the historian. What it does instead is to set out a whole series of issues and put both the defence's point and Irving's response side by side. I don't think anyone reading this could possibly say that the judge has been anything but scrupulously fair to both parties.

Reading this judgment, I got the impression that Irving was tending to wriggle and prevaricate once the historical evidence was put to him. Justice Gray did not agree to every point made by the defence against Irving. He did not fully accept Evans' condemnation of Irving as a historian, finding much to admire in his industry and thoroughness. However, the judgment does not put Irving in a favourable light. I must say I felt a little queasy reading the chapter in which quotes from Irving's speeches and diary entries were transcribed verbatim in which his anti-Semitism and racism is exposed.

While the judgment does not purport to prove the Holocaust, it has by necessity had to examine the evidence of orders from the top and the use of gas chambers in Auschwitz. It is clear from the Judgment that Gray did not find the revisionist arguments put by Irving were convincing and accepted the case as put by Evans and others.

The even-handedness shown by Gray caused Lipstadt some upset and it is interesting to note that many revisionists quote bits from document our of context. I would recommend that readers do read the whole Judgment from beginning to end to understand the process which leads to the final line: "It follows that there must be judgment for the Defendants"
HASH(0x91785e34) out of 5 stars The indicment of holocaust historical revisionism 31 Oct. 2013
By "Belgo Geordie" - Published on Amazon.com
Penguin are to be applauded for producing this book. As one of the parties being sued, they had a right to ensure this to be out in the public domain. I had followed the trial (from New Zealand via the internet newspapers) but was dissatisfied with the scope of coverage. I had tried reading a number of David Irving's books but found that his presentation of historical material appeared as it did to justify the Nazi era and Hitler and co as just another set of political leaders and soldiers, unpalatable. It was also apparent he was a poster boy for a range of far right and anti-Semitic groups. Groups that maintained not so many Jews "died" in an event called the holocaust and besides many were enemies of state dying of natural causes in prison camps. They even questioned the existence of death camps and the apparatus of execution using science and maths to argue the impossibility of such wide scale killing. Irving, it is noted did not distance himself from this view of history and the need to put historical evidence on trail was evident as a means to resolve a calculated revisionism of something so sordid it almost defies comprehension. What I found ugly in these arguments was that the majority of those murdered were unable to defend themselves due to being exterminated. The bleakest part of our humanity is the ability to justify acts of great evil. So to read a legal judgement that provided justice as well as an ethical legal verdict was both inspiring and uplifting. I think the separation of Irvine the historian from Irvine the revisionist has been accomplished with judicial clarity. Reading this judgement should put an end to revisionism based on unsupportable spin doctoring.
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