Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Judgment: Electronic Edition, by Charles Gray

Table of Contents

The parties

1.4 David Irving, the Claimant, embarked on his career as an author in the early 1960s shortly after he left Imperial College London. He is the author of over 30 books, most of which are concerned with the events of and leading up to the Second World War (some of which were written and published in Germany). Amongst the better known titles are The Destruction of Dresden, Hitler's War (1977 and 1991 editions), Goebbels ... Mastermind of the Third Reich, Goering ... a Biography and Nuremberg ... The Last Battle.
1.5 As these titles suggest, Irving has specialised in the history of the Third Reich. He describes himself as an expert in the principal Nazi leaders (although in his opening he was at pains to make clear that he does not regard himself as an historian of the Holocaust). Many of his works have been published by houses of the highest standing and have attracted favourable reviews. It is beyond dispute that over the years (Irving is now aged 62), he has devoted an enormous amount of time to researching and chronicling the history of the Third Reich. The books themselves are eloquent testimony to his industry and diligence.
1.6 Apart from his books Irving has written numerous articles and, particularly in recent years, lectured and spoken both in Europe and the Americas and participated in numerous radio and television broadcasts. He emphasises that his reputation as an historian is founded upon his output of books.
1.7 As to his political beliefs, he describes himself as a Conservative with laissez-faire views. He mentions that he has not applauded the uncontrolled tide of Commonwealth immigration.
1.8 The 2nd Defendant, Deborah Lipstadt, lives and works in the United States. She was raised in a traditional Jewish home (her parents having migrated from Germany and Poland). She attended City College of New York and spent a year at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where she took a series of courses on the history of the Holocaust, subsequently staying on for a further year. On her return to the United States she completed an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Jewish Studies.
1.9 Since then Lipstadt has pursued an academic career teaching modern Jewish history with an emphasis on the Holocaust. In 1993 she moved to   Emory University, a research institution in Atlanta, Georgia, where she is Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies. She has written two books about the responses to the Holocaust, Beyond Belief: the American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust 1933-1945 and the book which has given rise to the present action, Denying the Holocaust. The latter was published by Penguin Books in an American edition and thereafter in an English paperback edition.
1.10 I should for the sake of completeness add that initially a number of individuals were joined as additional Defendants. The action is not pursued against them.