Irving v. Lipstadt
Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Judgment: Electronic Edition, by Charles GrayTable of Contents
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The shooting of the Jews in Riga (paragraphs 5.111-122)
13.24 An objective historian is obliged to be even-handed in his approach to historical evidence: he cannot pick and choose without adequate reason. I consider that there is justification for the Defendants' complaint that Irving was not even-handed in his treatment in Hitler's War of the account given by General Bruns of the shooting of thousands of Jews in Riga. Irving appears readily to accept that part of Bruns's account which refers to Altemeyer bringing him an order which prohibited mass shootings from taking place in the future. On the other hand Irving takes no account of the fact that, according to Bruns, it was only shootings "on that scale" which were not to take place in future. (A total of 5,000 Jews were shot in Riga on 30 November 1941). Nor does Irving mention that the order apparently stated that the shootings were to be carried out "more discreetly". In other words the shooting was to continue. Moreover Irving ignores Bruns's earlier reference to Altemeyer telling him of an order that the Berlin Jews were to be shot in accordance with Hitler's orders. My conclusion is that in these respects Irving has perverted the sense of Bruns's account. I was unpersuaded by the explanation offered by Irving for his treatment of this evidence.
13.25 There is a related criticism made by the Defendants in relation to the Riga shooting, namely that Irving suppressed the evidence of the widow of Schultz-Dubois about Hitler's reaction to a protest about the shooting. I am not satisfied that this criticism is made out. In the first place I am not persuaded by the evidence that at the material time Irving was aware of the account of Frau Schultz-Dubois: he testified that he had not read the relevant passage in Professor Fleming's book. In the second place, I take the view that the nature of the evidence was such that Irving was entitled to discount it: it was at least third-hand and emanated from Admiral Canaris who was anti-Nazi and no friend of Hitler.