Irving v. Lipstadt

Appeal

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

Table of Contents
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Ribbentrop's testimony

86. In an endnote to Hitler's War (1977) the applicant stated:
"Writing on Hitler in his Nuremberg prison cell, Ribbentrop also exonerated him wholly. 'How things came to the destruction of the Jews, I just don't know as to whether Hitler began it, or Hitler put up with it, I don't know. But that he ordered it I refuse to believe, because such an act would be wholly incompatible with the picture I always had of him'."
The following words in that record was omitted. They were:
"On the other hand, judging from his Last Will, one must suppose that he at least knew about it, if, in his fanaticism against the Jews, he didn't also order [it]".
87. The applicant argued that the omitted passage cried out to be cut out (5.239). It was mere supposition on Ribbentrop's part or, as Mr Davies puts it, "merely speculation".
88. Ribbentrop was of course Foreign Minister in the Third Reich and his views were important to any assessment of Hitler's knowledge of events in the Third Reich. The applicant's submissions are not to the point which is of misleading selectivity in the context of the account in Hitler's War. We agree with the judge (13.48) that "there is an obligation on them [historians] not to give the reader a distorted impression by selective quotation" and that the applicant had failed "to observe this duty". The suggestion that Ribbentrop "wholly exonerated" Hitler is entirely inconsistent with the record read as a whole.
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