Irving v. Lipstadt
Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Judgment: Electronic Edition, by Charles GrayTable of Contents
|Hitler's anti-semitism >||Irving's response: Hitler... >>|
6.1Apart from the specific criticisms made by the Defendants of Irving's historiography, with which I have dealt in the preceding section V of this judgment, the Defendants make the broader criticism of him that he persistently and seriously misrepresents what the evidence, obectively analysed, shows to have been the attitude adopted by Hitler towards the Jews in general and his involvement in the evolving policy to exterminate them. The Defendants' case is that, in order to arrive at any conclusion about the extent of Hitler's knowledge of the persecution which culminated in the genocide which took place in the gas chambers, it is necessary to take account of his conduct (including his public statements) throughout his political life. If this approach is adopted, the Defendants maintain that it becomes apparent that the proposition that Hitler did not know about or authorise the genesis of the gassing programme is unsustainable.
6.2 In this section I shall set out the parties' respective arguments in relation to this issue. I shall start with the issue whether and, if so, over what period the evidence shows Hitler to have been anti-semitic. I shall then rehearse the arguments as to the extent, if any, of his knowledge of and responsibility for the policies of shooting, deporting and exterminating Jews by means including gassing. For the sake of clarity I shall deal with each of those policies in separate sections, recognising that there is a degree of artificiality in such an approach. The policy of exterminating the Jews was not introduced in phases. I recognise also that there is an overlap between the questions with which this section is concerned and the issues addressed in section V (especially at (vi)). Inevitably there will be some duplication.