LWD wrote:tonyh wrote:LWD wrote:The problem is he's willing to use numbers and accounts he knows are wrong and discards those he knows are right that do not support his position. This places him in the ranks of liers and propagandist rather than historians. It also means that on their own his works are worthless as histories because a casual reader will not know what is truth and what is fiction.
Well then, by that standpoint, one must also call into question the books written by Martin Gilbert, who peddled the 4 million Auschwitz figure in his works and god knows how many authors have distorted facts to suit what they believed to be the correct assessment of the historical record.
Indeed they should but before we put them in the same league I'd ask a few questions (I am unfamiliar with Gilber).
Did he have incontrovertable proof that the numbers were not what he published at the time he published them?
Did the errors have any profound impact on his conclusions?
When the uncomfortable figure of 4 million arises in the subject of Auschwitz, post the 1990's revision downwards to 1.1 million, the standard reply is usually along the lines of "well, nobody believed that figure and it was made up by the Soviets / Poles, but this figure 1.1 is the correct one this time...honestly."
But you see, there is no "incontrovertable proof" when dealing with figures, not just with the holocaust, but with many tallies and in many circumstances and authors (not just Irving) will tend to pick the figure they believe at the time, even if there is alternative figures available.
One thing I will say for David Irving, is when he's been confronted with alternative figures that are of more substantial worth to his own, he usually tends to update his own work. That cannot be said of many authors in this sphere of study.
By the way, how can you read about the Second World War for so long and be unaware of Martin Gilbert?...
Beside, does ANYONE really believe that Judge Grey would have jeopardised his own position by ruling in favor of an author who was already a conspicuous figure over the globally financed witch-hunters he drew the libel case against? Of course not. One can only imagine the trouble he would have caused himself and the misery he would have had to endure for the remainder of his career if he had done so.
In the US this would be considered a very serious charge vs a Judge. I'm unsure how the judical system works in the UK. Was his postion really at risk? Even so I would not expect that to be a consideration. Note that US judges even those where there are significant numbers of Jewish voters have upheld the rights of NeoNazis to conduct demonstrations.
I don't care what would be considered a "serious charge" against a judge in the US, England or Ireland for that matter. They are not infallible and will subject to the same questioning eye everybody else is and I have little doubt that Grey took the soft option in his final judgment. I followed the trial closely when it was on and I felt that Grey gave Irving quite a bit of ground to play with during the events. But his final judgment, in my opinion, certainly did not tally with the events in court. I was actually quite surprised at how vitriolic it was considering the trial that had proceeded it.
And while there may not yet be as large a Jewish lobby in Britain as there is in America, I have no doubt in my mind that Grey would have been subject to some sort of bad press from certain quarters.
I'm sure when he looks back at the circumstances that befell Norman Finkelstein for daring to go against the grain, he will be sure he made the "right" decision.