Denial: the verdict

“Irving has for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately denial-irving-loses-ruling-ab0745hmisrepresented and manipulated historical evidence; that for the same reasons he has portrayed Hitler in an unwarrantedly favourable light, principally in relation to his attitude towards and responsibility for the treatment of the Jews; that he is an active Holocaust denier; that he is anti-Semitic and racist, and that he associates with right-wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism…[4][65] therefore the defence of justification succeeds…[5] It follows that there must be judgment for the Defendants.[66]
The court case verdict is so important.
The solicitor says it plain: the defendants’ book has stood the test.
And the Fascist’s credibility as historian is destroyed.  He is a racist and anti-Semite, he is a holocaust-denier – the judge found so.

Coverage of the case on TV that night kinda gave Irving a chance to repeat the stuff he’d been found wrong on, and emphasised why Lipstatd and Penguin Ltd.’s took the stance they did – put Irving on trial, not the author, and not the survivors of Auschwitz.

Denial” the movie is great.
Congratulations to all involved.
Says what holocaust denial is.
Shows Auschwitz as is now, in a compelling  and moving way.
Shows the defendants being knowledgeable, determined and effective.
Says you must be accountable for what you say and not all opinion carries the same weight.

There were risks – reducing 32 days of a trial to 32(ish) minutes of screen time (e.g. didn’t understand why the judge was exploring new questions during a defence’s summing up).
But the film is a triumph.

I’d been waiting for this film to be shown – because in 1980, I joined a number of people who shouted David Irving down when he came to Birmingham University’s Guild of Students, invited by the Debating Society.  He spoke, but he wasn’t heard.  A kinda colleague, Labour, with great English skills, put out a leaflet equating those of us who’d shouted as Animal Farm’s pigs who’d learned to walk with two legs.  (My previous attempts to use Guild Council to cast doubts on the reasons for his invite from the Debating Society had been ruled out of order – I was only an associate member(!))  Yet a big message from the film was to point out the problems of debating with such re-writers of history.  They didn’t deserve such a platform.  I feel the film vindicated those of us who said – these are not the kind of people to debate with.

And the hallmarks of holocaust denial –
1. the killings were not systematic;
2. the numbers were exaggerated;
3. Auschwitz wasn’t built for extermination;
4. the holocaust is a myth.

And in a subsequent development, Deborah Lipstadt has developed ideas of soft-core holocaust denial – worth reading.


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