In April 2000 a High Court judge branded the writer David Irving a racist, an antisemite, a Holocaust denier, and a falsifier of history. Irving’s attempt to silence his critics by means of a libel suit against the American historian Deborah Lipstadt was decisively rejected in a judgement later confirmed by the Court of Appeal. Faced with mountainous costs to pay, Irving was declared bankrupt on 5 March 2002. None of this has stopped him continuing to try to prevent the publication of books that expose him as a manipulator of historical documents and a Holocaust denier.
The key expert witness against Irving was the Cambridge historian Richard J. Evans, a specialist on modern German history and author of In Defence of History. Although Evans’s report was upheld in all its major points by the High Court, Irving’s threats of legal action have intimidated a series of publishers.
Now Verso brings you the book in full. Evans describes how he came to be involved in the case, and reflects on the interaction of historical and legal rules of evidence. He recounts his discovery of how Irving falsified the documentary evidence on the Second World War, and demonstrates his connections with far-right Holocaust deniers in the United States.
Evans argues that the trial does for the twenty-first century what the Eichmann trial did for the second half of the twentieth. It vindicated history’s ability to come to reasoned conclusions on the basis of a careful examination of the evidence, even when eyewitnesses and survivors are no longer around to tell the tale.
Publication Sept. 2002
Verso Books, London.
1 85984 417 0