Irving v. Lipstadt


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

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Holocaust denial

92. This issue has taken a very subsidiary place at the hearing and in our judgment rightly so. It can be dealt with briefly. The expression "Holocaust denial" has achieved currency because of claims that the Holocaust did not occur and books written in reaction to those claims. Professor Lipstadt's book is entitled "Denying the Holocaust" and bears the sub-title "The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory". The first words in the preface to the original edition are: "When I first began studying holocaust denial ...". In his conclusion on meaning the judge by inference defined the Holocaust as the "deliberate planned extermination of Jews" "embarked upon" by the Nazis.
93. The judge was entitled to hear Professor Evans's view upon the meaning of the expression. We are not persuaded that the expression can be given any precise technical meaning or that "Holocaust denier" defines a class of persons precisely. Having regard to the views expressed by the applicant about a range of events in the history of the Third Reich, we agree with the judge that the applicant may be described as a Holocaust denier. We acknowledge that he has over the years modified, and in some respects significantly modified, his views upon some of the relevant events. However, the respondents were justified in describing him as "one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial" having regard to the views he has expressed and in some respects persisted in, and the manner and force with which he has expressed them. The use of the word "dangerous" was justified by reason of his historiographical methods considered by the judge and in this judgment.