The Holocaust on Trial: History, Justice and the David Irving Libel Caseby D. D. Guttenplan
To his admirers, British author David Irving is one of the world's preeminent military historians. Scholars of World War II have described his biographies of Hitler, Rommel, Goering, and Goebbels as essential reading. But there is a dark side to these best-selling books as well, starting with the author's denial of Hitler's responsibility for the extermination of European Jewry and ending with his claim that the Holocaust never happened. Deborah Lipstadt, an American academic, blew the whistle on Irving. Her book, Denying the Holocaust, describes him as a right-wing extremist who denigrated the memory of Hitler's victims. Irving sued for libel in England, where libel laws are famously biased in favor of the plaintiff. It was up to Lipstadt to prove the truth of what she wrote, and to prove, along the way, that hundreds of thousands of Jews were indeed gassed to death at Auschwitz. D. D. Guttenplan's brilliant coverage of this high-stakes duel, based on exclusive access to many of the participants, makes compelling reading and raises surprising questions about what we know, or can know, about history.
Author Biography: D. D. Guttenplan is a contributing editor of The Nation. His work has been published in Granta, Vanity Fair, the New York Times, Harper's, and Atlantic Monthly. He lives in London and Guilford, Vermont.
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