Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Table of Contents
<< Approach to the issue of ...

Conclusion on meaning

2.14I shall set out my findings as to the defamatory meanings borne by the passages complained of. In doing so, I will not allocate separate meanings to the individual passages selected for complaint because it is to be assumed that the reader's understanding as to what is being conveyed about Irving will be derived from his or her reading of the book as a whole including the passages to which objection is taken. I do not believe that it is necessary or desirable to set out the meanings in the order in which it may be said that they emerge in the book.
2.15Adopting the approach set out earlier, my conclusion is that the passages complained of in their context and read collectively bear the following meanings all of which are defamatory of him:
  • i.
    that Irving is an apologist for and partisan of Hitler, who has resorted to the distortion of evidence; the manipulation and skewing of documents; the misrepresentation of data and the application of double standards to the evidence, in order to serve his own purpose of exonerating Hitler and portraying him as sympathetic towards the Jews;
  • ii.
    that Irving is one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial, who has on numerous occasions denied that the Nazis embarked upon the deliberate planned extermination of Jews and has   alleged that it is a Jewish deception that gas chambers were used by the Nazis at Auschwitz as a means of carrying out such extermination;
  • iii.
    that Irving, in denying that the Holocaust happened, has misstated evidence; misquoted sources; falsified statistics; misconstrued information and bent historical evidence so that it conforms to his neo-fascist political agenda and ideological beliefs;
  • iv.
    that Irving has allied himself with representatives of a variety of extremist and anti-semitic groups and individuals and on one occasion agreed to participate in a conference at which representatives of terrorist organisations were due to speak;
  • v.
    that Irving, in breach of an agreement which he had made and without permission, removed and transported abroad certain microfiches of Goebbels's diaries, thereby exposing them to a real risk of damage.
  • vi.
    that Irving is discredited as an historian.
2.16I add two comments in relation to the meanings which I have found. The first is that I do not accept the contention of Irving that the passage at p14 of the book means that he supports violent groups. But I do consider that passage to be defamatory of him in suggesting that he agreed to take part in a meeting at which representatives of such groups would be present. My second comment is that I do not accept that the reference to Irving at p213 of the book, when read in the context of the other references to him, bears the meaning that he applauds the internment of Jews in Nazi concentration camps.
<< Approach to the issue of ...