Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Appeal Judgment: Electronic Edition, by Lord Justice Pill

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Events in the history of the Third Reich

30. The appellant's historiography has been assessed by reference to a number of events in the history of the Third Reich. The Auschwitz issue featured prominently at the trial and in the submissions at this hearing. Mr Davies went so far as to say that if he failed on Auschwitz, in failing, that is, to show an arguable case that the applicant's views were those a reputable historian could hold, the application failed. We do not hold Mr Davies to that concession though it reflects the evidence of the applicant, as recorded by the judge (7.94), that if "anyone detected holes in the roof [morgue 1 of crematorium 2], he would abandon his libel action".
31. It is not to diminish the importance of the scale and scope of the Auschwitz issue in human terms when we say that we prefer to take a more general view of the applicant's historiography. An overall view must be taken and that requires consideration of his published views in relation to the events in issue as a whole before a conclusion is reached. The allegation that the applicant was an "apologist for Hitler" and had the purpose of "exonerating Hitler" in any event requires consideration of issues other than the extent of gassing at Auschwitz. We concentrate on those events which have been specifically advanced by Mr Davies at this hearing and the conclusions the judge had reached upon them.