Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Skeleton Argument of the Claimant (long): Electronic Edition, by Adrian Davies

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Sonderaktion (sing.), Sonderaktionen (pl.)

146.The Defendants invariably attribute a sinister meaning to this word. It is treated as an euphemism for killing, an approach to construction much favoured by the Defendants when a literal translation of documents in the German language did not assist them. It is, however, far from apparent that it should invariably bear this sense. For   example, a telex to Berlin from Bischoff of the Auschwitz camp administration dated 18 December 1942 refers to a Sonderaktion der Gestapo bei sämtlichen Zivilarbeitern, which means, if the translation of Sonderaktion advocated by the Defendants and adopted by Gray J is correct, that the Gestapo killed all the civilian workers in the camp. No-one has ever suggested that such a massacre took place.