Irving v. Lipstadt
David Irving, Hitler and Holocaust Denial: Electronic Edition, by Richard J. EvansTable of Contents
|(b) Jewish criminality in... >||(f) The 'Kaufman plan'. >>|
1. As this Report has shown above, Irving does, like other Holocaust Deniers admit that a limited amount of antisemitic actions were perpetrated by the Nazis, up to and including murder. However, his portrayal of such actions is far from objective or unbiased. Irving generally tries to dismiss an example of an antisemitic action or policy by the Nazis as non-existent, or invented by critics long after the event, or committed by criminal mavericks operating without orders under the harsh conditions of war. If he is unable to do this, he frequently attempts to blame it on the Jews themselves. He does this either indirectly, by supplying 'information' which will encourage readers to regard the Nazis' antisemitic beliefs with sympathy, or directly, by attributing antisemitic actions by the Nazis to provocation by the Jews.
2. This tactic is entirely characteristic of the arguments used by Holocaust deniers, as summarized earlier in this Report. Irving has already been quoted as saying that the Jews only have themselves to blame for their misfortunes, up to and including the Holocaust. He also employs this general argument in a number of specific historical instances. A detailed consideration of some of these provides another opportunity to examine the methods Irving uses in interpreting the past to see if they also conform to the kind of falsification of history which Lipstadt attributes to Holocaust deniers in general. As we shall now see, they do indeed fall into these general patterns. Irving's attempts to pin the blame for antisemitic actions in the 'Third Reich' on the Jews themselves can be discussed, indeed, as examples of various types of manipulation and distortion of the historical record. These include, as we shall now see, manipulation and misinterpretation of statistics, use of unreliable sources, suppression of relevant evidence, and the skewing of evidence to fit a preconceived argument. The following subsections will take each of these in turn, in the chronological order of the events in the history of Weimar and Nazi Germany to which they refer.