Witness Statement of Deborah E. Lipstadt: Electronic Edition, by Deborah E. Lipstadt

Table of Contents

The Holocaust as a Historical Fact

110.In writing this book I approached the topic of the Holocaust in no different a fashion than if I had been writing a book about some other aspect of the war. The book is not, for the most part, a direct response to the deniers in which I disproved their falsified findings. I have long maintained the position that it is not only counterproductive to enter into a debate with deniers but intellectually dishonest to do so. It would be to suggest that this is a "debate" about which there are two sides.
111.My approach is akin to a scholar who writes about people who are flat earthers or "conspiracy theorists." That scholar would devote herself to trying to understand how they reach their "conclusions," assess whether they truly believe their arguments to be accurate, and analyze the public's reaction to them. She would not spend time proving the earth is round or disproving their conspiratorial claims. For example, such a scholar would not "prove" that, contrary to the conspiracy theorists' claims, there really was a moon landing and that it did not take place in a studio stage in Nevada. Similarly, historians who write about the invasion at Normandy may do one of the following. They may:
The do not, however, feel it necessary to prove that it indeed happened and was not staged on some beach in Hawaii.
112.Accepted as a given: In the course of writing my book I did not believe it necessary to research or prove various aspects of the Holocaust. I accepted them as a "given." They included, among others:
113.Accepted as a given: The Third Reich devoted significant resources to the persecution and annihilation of European Jewry.
114.In writing my book I acknowledged that there is serious debate among historians over many aspects of the Holocaust, including the following:
115.Rejected as false: In my book I have treated the following claims as incontestably false. They do not require prior refutation before considering the motives of the people who advance them. In this case motive is the primary matter for investigation because facts are nowhere to be found.
116.Because this book was concerned solely with the deniers' history and modus operandi, I did not explore the items that I accepted as a given or analyze the items that are currently being debated among scholars.

accessed 12 March 2013