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

Table of Contents
Conclusion on meaning >>

Irving's case on meaning

2.9Of greater substance is the question of what interpretation readers would have placed upon the references to Irving in Lipstadt's book. The burden rests on Irving to establish that, as a matter of probability, the passages of which he complains are defamatory of him, that is, that the ordinary reasonable reader of Denying the Holocaust would think the worse of him as a result of reading those passages. Irving is further required, as a matter of practice, to spell out what he contends are the specific defamatory meanings borne by those passages.
2.10 The contention of Irving is that the passages in question would in their natural and ordinary meaning (that is, without imputing any special extraneous knowledge to the reader) have been understood to bear the following defamatory meanings:
  • (i)
    that the (Claimant) is a dangerous spokesman for Holocaust denial forces who deliberately and knowingly consorts and consorted with anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, and Holocaust denial forces and who contracted to attend a world anti-Zionist conference in Sweden in November 1992 thereby agreeing to appear in public in support of and alongside violent and extremist speakers including representatives of the violent and extremist anti-Semitic Russian group Pamyat and of the Iranian backed Hezbollah and of the fundamentalist Islamic organisation Hamas and including the black Muslim minister Louis Farrakhan, born Louis Eugene Walcott, who is known as a Jew-baiting black agitator, as a leader of the U.S. Nation of Islam, as an admirer of Hitler and who is in the pay of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi;
  • (ii)
    that the (Claimant) is an historian who has inexplicably misled academic historians like Ernst Nolte into quoting historically invalid points contained in his writings and who applauds the internment of Jews in Nazi concentration camps;
  • (iii)
    that the (Claimant) routinely perversely and by way of his profession but essentially in order to serve his own reprehensible purposes ideological meanings and/or political agenda
    • distorts accurate historical evidence and information
    • misstates
    • misconstrues
    • misquotes
    • falsifies statistics
    • falsely attributes conclusions to reliable sources
    • manipulates documents
    • wrongfully quotes from books that directly contradict his arguments in such a manner as completely to distort the their authors' objectives and while counting on the ignorance or indolence of the majority of readers not to realise this;
  • (iv)
    that the (Claimant) is an Adolf Hitler partisan who wears blinkers and skews documents and misrepresents data in order to reach historically untenable conclusions specifically those that exonerate Hitler;
  • (v)
    that the (Claimant) is an ardent admirer of the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and conceives himself as carrying on Hitler's criminal legacy and had placed a self-portrait of Hitler over his desk and has described a visit to Hitler's mountain-top retreat as a spiritual experience and had described himself as a moderate fascist;
  • (vi)
    that before Zundel's trial began in 1988 in Toronto the (Claimant), compromising his integrity as an historian and in an attempt to pervert the course of justice, and one Faurisson wrongfully and/or fraudulently conspired together to invite an American prison warden and thereafter one Fred A. Leuchter an engineer who is depicted by the Defendants as a charlatan to testify as a tactic for proving that the gas chambers were a myth.
  • (vii)
    That the (Claimant) after attending Zundel's trial in 1988 in Toronto having previously hovered on the brink now denies the murder by the Nazis of the Jews;
  • (viii)
    That the (Claimant) described the memorial to the dead at Auschwitz as a "tourist attraction".
  • (ix)
    That the (Claimant) was branded by the British House of Commons as "Hitler's heir" and denounced as a "Nazi propagandist and long time Hitler apologist" and accused by them of publishing a "fascist publication" and that this marked the end of the (Claimant's) reputation in England.
  • (x)
    That some other person had discovered in a Russian archive in 1992 the Goebbels diaries and that it was assumed that these would shed light on the conduct of the Final Solution but that the (Claimant) was hired and paid a significant sum by the London Sunday Times to transcribe and translate them although he was a discredited and ignominious figure and although by hiring the (Claimant) the newspaper threw its task as a gatekeeper of the truth and of journalistic ethics to the winds and thereby increased the danger that the (Claimant) would in order to serve his own reprehensible purposes misstate, construe misquote falsify distort and/or manipulate these sets of documents which others had not seen in order to propagate his reprehensible views and that the (Claimant) was unfit to perform such a function for this newspaper.
  • (xi) That the (Claimant) violated an agreement with the Russian archives and took and copied many plates without permission causing significant damage them and rendering them of limited use to subsequent researchers.
2.11 Irving contends in the alternative that the passages bear by innuendo, that is, by virtue of extrinsic facts which would have been known to readers or to some of them, the meaning that he is a person unfit to be allowed access to archival collections and that he is a person who should properly be banned from foreign countries. The extrinsic facts on which he relies in support of the innuendo meanings are in essence as follows:
  • (i)
    that a Holocaust denier is someone who wilfully, perversely and in disregard of the evidence denies the mass murder by whatever means of the Jewish people;
  • (ii)
    that Hezbollah is an international terrorist organisation whose guerillas kill Israeli civilians and soldiers;
  • (iii)
    that Hamas is an Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organisation
In support of his argument that readers of the book would have known these extrinsic facts Irving produced a collection of press cuttings, which, I am satisfied, establish the extrinsic facts on which he relies.
Conclusion on meaning >>

accessed 11 March 2013