Holocaust denier David Irving & Himmler Vol 2

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 8767
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Holocaust denier David Irving & Himmler Vol 2

Post by wm » 11 Oct 2023 22:17

steve248 wrote:
04 Oct 2023 15:30
Irving was a holocaust denier, an anti-Semite, a racist and associates with right-wing Nazi sympathisers.
Maybe, but does British law define "holocaust denier"? - No.
or "anti-Semite"? - As far as I know, the answer is no.
Is associating with "right-wing Nazi sympathizers" (how did the judge know that anyway? Did he interrogate them?) a crime? No.

Irving initiated the libel suit and lost it. The judge decided that he "had deliberately distorted evidence," even if he was mistaken - tough luck, life goes on.
But such nebulous smear terms were inappropriate and wrong. Because today Irving tomorrow we.

gebhk
Member
Posts: 2631
Joined: 25 Feb 2013 20:23

Re: Holocaust denier David Irving & Himmler Vol 2

Post by gebhk » 12 Oct 2023 12:42

steve248 wrote:
11 Oct 2023 16:30
Biber, I believe your opening sentence above refers to the US system of justice.
Over here in the UK, judges pay scant regard to politicians or their views.
Hi Steve
To assume British judges (just like any other individuals) are not subject to pressure from powerful interests, do not have political views, do not have to fit in and are not subject to 'group think' including regarding the political mores of the times just because they don't have to pay as much overt attention to politicians as they do in the US, would be naive in the extreme. The crucial advantage to Irving of having the trial in the UK was that in the US it would be up to him to prove the allegations in question were untrue. In a UK libel case he only has to show that the allegations in questions were made and it is up to the defence to prove their veracity. Furthermore, in the US there are additional hurdles regarding evidence and intent that the plaintiff has to cross to prove their case which they do not in the UK.

Regarding Irving as historian. You do not need to be trained to be and to call yourself a historian (in law too). All you need to do is write or speak history. Just like you do not have to be trained to call yourself a nurse (what you cannot do legally is call yoursef a registered nurse if you are not). And frankly that is an entirely separate issue from whether one is a good or poor historian (or nurse for that matter). There are good and poor historians in both camps. And, clearly, Lipstadt indulged in some very poor history writing if she generated enough name-calling against historians who hold a different view to her own (aka playing the player not the ball) to generate enough material to make litigation viable. Which brings us roundly to the earlier point that in a forum with aspirations to be historical, we should avoid similar name calling and player playing. A heads up that such a book is coming, which can then be assessed on its historical merits when it attives, is quite sufficient, entirely helpful and thank you. Labelling authors not so much.
Last edited by gebhk on 12 Oct 2023 13:02, edited 3 times in total.

gebhk
Member
Posts: 2631
Joined: 25 Feb 2013 20:23

Re: Holocaust denier David Irving & Himmler Vol 2

Post by gebhk » 12 Oct 2023 12:44

Hi WM
Maybe, but does British law define "holocaust denier"? - No.
or "anti-Semite"? - As far as I know, the answer is no.
Is associating with "right-wing Nazi sympathizers" (how did the judge know that anyway? Did he interrogate them?) a crime? No.
I think you are slightly missing the point here. This was not a criminal trial - it was a libel trial. Whether the allegations the defendant made against the plaintiff were of them having committed crimes is not at issue. What is relevant is whether those allegations were (a) true and (b) damaged the reputation of the plaintiff. The plaintiff has to prove both - ie that the allegations are untrue and damaged his or her reputation. Crucially, the judge concluded that Mr Irving's reputation had not been materially damaged as a result of Ms Lipstadt's allegations (and, on the face of it, this seems to be a reasonable conclusion), so even if the allegations were proven untrue, Irving still would have lost the case.

User avatar
Gorque
Member
Posts: 1662
Joined: 11 Feb 2009 18:20
Location: Clocktown

Re: Holocaust denier David Irving & Himmler Vol 2

Post by Gorque » 12 Oct 2023 13:14

For those interested, Trial transcripts and evidence presented can be found here: https://www.hdot.org/trial-materials/

Biber
Member
Posts: 616
Joined: 31 Jan 2007 22:56
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Holocaust denier David Irving & Himmler Vol 2

Post by Biber » 12 Oct 2023 17:21

Did he not lose one of his cases purely on procedural grounds not on the merits of the case?

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 8767
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Holocaust denier David Irving & Himmler Vol 2

Post by wm » 12 Oct 2023 22:18

As I understand it, Lipstadt called him a Holocaust denier, falsifier, and bigot, so he sued.
The judge summarized what Lipstadt said as follows:
- that Irving is an apologist for and partisan of Hitler,
- that Irving is one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial,
- that Irving, in denying that the Holocaust happened, has misstated evidence,
- that Irving has allied himself with representatives of a variety of extremist and anti-Semitic groups.

Although his sentence, from the point of view of British law, may be correct but, it's disturbing that history is decided in court or by the government.
Irving clearly acted as a shock jock - for fame or money.
The majority of his statements were logically true, even if it wasn't all the truth.
For example, he said, the gas chambers in Auschwitz were fake. They are fake. The real ones were blown to bits in 1945.

User avatar
Gorque
Member
Posts: 1662
Joined: 11 Feb 2009 18:20
Location: Clocktown

Re: Holocaust denier David Irving & Himmler Vol 2

Post by Gorque » 14 Oct 2023 19:39

An interesting back and forth from day 22 of the trial:
MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. We do not want to overdo this point. You put that the dictionary meaning of “transport” includes as one of the meanings “transportation” and you say that has been the Cassell’s Dictionary definition since time immemorial. The witness says he wants to look at the relevant one, which would be the one from the1930s, and I think that is a fair request.

MR IRVING: Can I just show him the typed extract I made last night?

MR JUSTICE GRAY: If it relates to the contemporary Cassell’s Dictionary, yes.

MR IRVING: In that case I will just put to the witness this 1935 dictionary.

MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is it Cassell’s?

MR IRVING: No. This is now a different one. This is a Butler &Tanner. It is a Routledge Dictionary and unfortunately it is more abbreviated. It does not give the sense that I was looking for in such detail. The point I was trying to make, my Lord, is that it refers to “transportation” rather than “a transport” in the sense of a train.

MR JUSTICE GRAY: I know what the point is.

[Professor Richard John Evans]: Here, of course, it does not.

MR IRVING: It just says “transport” which is ambiguous.

[Professor Richard John Evans]: “Transport conveyance”, transport or conveyance.

[Mr Irving]: Yes.

[Professor Richard John Evans]: Those are the primary meanings.

[Mr Irving]: I will have to put it to you to in an “if” form, then, and on Monday bring the photocopy of the original. Professor Evans, if the 1935 or if the contemporary wartime edition of the Cassell’s Dictionary says that the meaning of “transport” in English is in this order of priority, “transport, transportation, carriage, conveyance, transfer and shipment”, is it unreasonable to assume, in the absence of any contextual information, that this is referring to a transportation, rather than to a single train load?

[Professor Richard John Evans]: It is unreasonable, I think, yes, from the context here. “Judentransport aus Berlin. Keine Liquidierung” quite
clearly means “the Jew transport from Berlin, no liquidation”. I think it is likely that, had it said, had they meant there should be no liquidation of any transport, train loads of Jews from Berlin, then it would have said something, they would have said so in the plural, transporte, or he would have put down something like people, emigrants, or people who were deported, or whatever. Let us try and remember what it is that you
17 actually wrote in Hitler’s War in 1977.

[Mr Irving]: I am trying to narrow this down to a simple matter.

[Professor Richard John Evans]: Which is that Himmler was summoned to the Wolf’s Lair for a secret conference with Hitler, I am quoting from your
book here, at which the fate of Berlin’s Jews was clearly raised. “At 1.30 pm Hitler was obliged to telephone from Hitler’s bunker to Heydrich, the explicit order that Jews were not to be liquidated”. That is what you said in your book. You did not mention Berlin there at all.

[Mr Irving]: Can we keep to the language problem, which is to say, that if it was what you said—-

[Professor Richard John Evans]: I am sure you would like to, Mr Irving.

[Mr Irving]: — the Jew transport, would it not be “der Judentransport aus Berlin”?

[Professor Richard John Evans]: No, because his telephone log, as you know perfectly well, is in a very abbreviated form that generally leaves out the definite article.

[Mr Irving]: Leaves out the context, is that right?

[Professor Richard John Evans]: No leaves out the definite article, is what I said. You can go two lines up, “Verhaftung Dr Jekelius”. It does not say “Die Verhaftung Dr Jekelius”.

[Mr Irving]: What you are saying, this is your expert evidence, is that “Judentransport” could under no circumstances be translated as “transportation of Jews from Berlin”?

[Professor Richard John Evans]: That is not quite what I am saying.

[Mr Irving]: Will you accept that it can?

[Professor Richard John Evans]: Just let me answer.

[Mr Irving]: Just say yes or no. Will you accept that it can?

[Professor Richard John Evans]: No, I am not going to say yes or no, I am going to give you a full answer.

[Mr Irving]: That is what I am trying to avoid, because we really are running out of time.

[Professor Richard John Evans]: I know you are trying to avoid it, Mr Irving.

[Mr Irving]: We are familiar with your full answers, unfortunately.

[Professor Richard John Evans]: I did swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

MR JUSTICE GRAY: It will not be very long, this answer, I do not think.

[Professor Richard John Evans]: It says “Judentransport aus Berlin”. That is the context. Jew transport from Berlin. It is clear it means a single train load of Jews, “Keine Liquidierung”.

[Mr Justice Gray]: Are you saying it is clear to because you are now familiar from the context of all the other documents we know, as indeed I am also now, that that is the correct translation. But my question to you is, if you are faced just with that one line in a document that you read back in 1970, knowing none of the surrounding documentation, right, that it would be totally improper and perverse to translate that as “transportation of Jews from Berlin”, which was the sense that I gave?

[Professor Richard John Evans]: Yes. That is what I am saying. And particularly perverse to say that it is an explicit order which Hitler has told Himmler to transmit that Jews were not to be liquidated. No mention of Berlin at all there, Mr Irving. That is a clear falsification of this document.

MR IRVING: Avoiding your renewed smoke screen which you are laying across the question I put —-

MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not going to have you saying that. The criticism is that you misrepresented this document in your book.

MR IRVING: That is a separate criticism, my Lord, with
respect.

MR JUSTICE GRAY: On the contrary, it is the whole point of the criticism. It would not be made unless you had misrepresented, as the Defendants say you did, this document. We not be looking at this document at all.

MR IRVING: In that case I shall have to ask further questions on the question of the meaning of the word, which I thought I had established superabundantly to the satisfaction of the court and everybody present, that a primary meaning of the word is transportation and, when
one has no other document to go by, and the court has not been shown that at that time I had any other document to go by —-

MR JUSTICE GRAY: I know what your case is, Mr Irving. I really do, and I do not think you need spend any longer on the pure linguistics.

MR IRVING: In that case I shall move on.

Biber
Member
Posts: 616
Joined: 31 Jan 2007 22:56
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Holocaust denier David Irving & Himmler Vol 2

Post by Biber » 14 Oct 2023 21:21

And the point of quoting that excerpt was?

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 8767
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Holocaust denier David Irving & Himmler Vol 2

Post by wm » 14 Oct 2023 22:42

Neglecting inconvenient facts or "improving" them (as in this case) - that's quite a popular sport among people writing about history.
Maybe it's not "he that is without sin, let him first cast a stone" territory but not that far away from it.

User avatar
Gorque
Member
Posts: 1662
Joined: 11 Feb 2009 18:20
Location: Clocktown

Re: Holocaust denier David Irving & Himmler Vol 2

Post by Gorque » 15 Oct 2023 00:42

Deleted post
Last edited by Gorque on 15 Oct 2023 00:47, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Gorque
Member
Posts: 1662
Joined: 11 Feb 2009 18:20
Location: Clocktown

Re: Holocaust denier David Irving & Himmler Vol 2

Post by Gorque » 15 Oct 2023 00:46

Biber wrote:
14 Oct 2023 21:21
And the point of quoting that excerpt was?

The quoted text highlights Mr Irving's habit of omitting relevant portions of a sentence, and/or quoting sentences or parts thereof without providing the proper context thereby misleading the reader as to the true meaning behind the evidence.

Biber
Member
Posts: 616
Joined: 31 Jan 2007 22:56
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Holocaust denier David Irving & Himmler Vol 2

Post by Biber » 15 Oct 2023 01:31

Oh, ok .. You do realize that you just described all of the historical record since the beginning of recorded history?

It is the writer, be it a historian, journalist, or anybody writing or reporting about anything, who controls not only what is presented but how it is presented. Nothing new. One would be foolish to think otherwise. Lector emptor.

Michael Kenny
Member
Posts: 8272
Joined: 07 May 2002 19:40
Location: Teesside

Re: Holocaust denier David Irving & Himmler Vol 2

Post by Michael Kenny » 15 Oct 2023 01:32

Biber wrote:
11 Oct 2023 16:04
Given the extreme politicization of the judicial system, and increased activism from the bench.
Translation: Any verdict I do not like must biased.

Biber
Member
Posts: 616
Joined: 31 Jan 2007 22:56
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Holocaust denier David Irving & Himmler Vol 2

Post by Biber » 15 Oct 2023 02:58

Michael Kenny wrote:
15 Oct 2023 01:32
Biber wrote:
11 Oct 2023 16:04
Given the extreme politicization of the judicial system, and increased activism from the bench.
Translation: Any verdict I do not like must biased.
Of course. That's human nature, and can be said from all vantage points along the spectrum. Your side, my side and everything between and beyond in either direction. If it makes you feel better to think your getting my goat by saying such a thing then ok, you got me.

gebhk
Member
Posts: 2631
Joined: 25 Feb 2013 20:23

Re: Holocaust denier David Irving & Himmler Vol 2

Post by gebhk » 16 Oct 2023 13:16

it's disturbing that history is decided in court
Hi Wm

You are perhaps over pessimistic. I have so far found little or no evidence that 'history' was being decided in court. What was being decided was whether what Ms Lipstadt had written about Mr Irving was true. For example, as I understand it, Mr Irving objected to being labled a 'Holocaust denier'. The defence were able to prove to the satisfaction of the court that he had in fact denied the scale of the holocaust and that therefore he was a holocaust denier. Whether he was right or wrong in his denial is immaterial to the case - albeit I would concede that the use of the extraneous and emotive 'dangerous' suggests some historical bias on the part of the judge.

Etc
Last edited by gebhk on 17 Oct 2023 11:40, edited 1 time in total.

Return to “Holocaust & 20th Century War Crimes”