Irving v. Lipstadt
Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Judgment: Electronic Edition, by Charles GrayTable of Contents
|< Irving's reliance on the ...||Whether Irving has bent o... >|
Whether Irving has attached credence to unreliable evidence and/or failed to take account of reliable evidence
13.125 The unreliable evidence upon which, according to the Defendants, Irving was unjustified in relying is set out in the preceding paragraph. Historical evidence cannot of course be compartmentalised into reliable and unreliable evidence. It is part of the skill of an historian to evaluate the degree of individual items of evidence, seeking to adopt a consistent approach throughout.
13.126 It appears to me that the evidence which I have summarised in paragraph 13.124 affords a very slender basis for the claims which Irving has made for the numbers killed in the raids. The evidence of Mehnert, Fetscher and Frau Grosse was secondhand and unverified. In the absence of any indication on what they were based, I do not consider the Irving should have given any credence to estimates in letters from unidentified individuals. His speculation about the number of refugees does little to cast doubt on the reliability of the figures quoted in the official reports. Voigt's evidence was uncorroborated and unlikely to be correct in the light of the number of deaths recorded on the official cards. In my view, Irving should not have quoted numbers based on this evidence. Irving should have taken far greater account of the doubts about the genuineness of TB47; of the cogent and credible evidence of Miller and above all of the figures contained in the Final Report and in Situation Report No 1404. Having done so, Irving should have discounted altogether the unsatisfactory evidence collected in paragraph 13.124 above. In my judgment the estimates of 100,000 and more deaths which Irving continued to put about in the 1990s lacked any evidential basis and were such as no responsible historian would have made.