International Campaign for Real History

In the High Court of Justice

DJC Irving

- v -

Penguin Books Ltd and Deborah Lipstadt

In 1993 American scholar Deborah Lipstadt published Denying the Holocaust, product of a research contract funded by an Israeli agency. British writer David Irving claims that it libels him.


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In the High Court of Justice








First Defendants


Second Defendant


Statement of Claim

The Parties to the Action

1. The Plaintiff is a well known writer and at all times material to this action a reputable historian and publisher wholly or largely dependent since 1961 on his income from writing publishing and marketing books and from lecturing at home and overseas on topics of modern history. He is the author of several works of biography including one entitled Goebbels. Mastermind of the Third Reich.

2. The First Defendants carry on business as a well known and reputable company publishing books under a number of different imprints including the imprint "a Plume Book" which books are disseminated sold or offered for sale in bookstores and other outlets throughout the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court.

3. The Second Defendant is a religious instructor at a college in the State of Georgia in the United States of America who engages in activities of a journalistic character and who delivers speeches to audiences in the said United States of America and in Australia and in Canada and in other countries. She is the author of a book entitled Denying the Holocaust sub-titled The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory (hereinafter: The Work) which was first published outside the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court in or about the year 1993 and which the First Defendants published or caused to be published disseminated sold or offered for sale to the public generally within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court in or about the month July of the year 1994 to the whole of which Work the Plaintiff will refer at the trial of this action.

[Paragraphs 4 to 7, omitted here, identify the third to seventh defendants, booksellers, all of whom have since agreed terms with Mr Irving on which he ended his action against them.]
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The Words Complained of

8. In the said Work the Second Defendant did falsely and recklessly write and publish to the First Defendants and did cause them to publish as they did falsely and recklessly the following words defamatory of and concerning the Plaintiff and of him in the way of his said calling:


Cover and Title Page:

"Denying the Holocaust"

"The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory"


Page 14:

The confluence between anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, and Holocaust denial forces was exemplified by a world anti-Zionist conference scheduled for Sweden in November 1992. Though canceled at the last minute by the Swedish government, scheduled speakers included black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan, Faurisson, Irving and Leuchter. Also scheduled to participate were representatives of a variety of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel organizations, including the Russian group Pamyat, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, and the fundamentalist Islamic organization Hamas.1

Page 111:

Nolte contended that Weizmann's official declaration at the outbreak of hostilities gave Hitler good reason "to be convinced of his enemies' determination to annihilate him much earlier than when the first information about Auschwitz came to the knowledge of the world."2 [...] When Nolte was criticized on this point in light of prewar Nazi persecution of Jews, he said that he was only quoting David Irving, the right-wing writer of historical works. How
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quoting Irving justified using such a historically invalid point remains unexplained [...].3 As we shall see in subsequent chapters, Irving [...] has become a Holocaust denier.

These works demonstrate how deniers misstate, misquote, falsify statistics, and falsely attribute conclusions to reliable sources. They rely on books that directly contradict their arguments, quoting in a manner that completely distorts the authors' objectives. Deniers count on the fact that the vast majority of readers will not have access to the documentation or make the effort to determine how they have falsified or misconstrued information.


Page 161:

At the second trial Christie and Faurisson were joined by David Irving, who flew to Toronto in January 1988 to assist in the preparation of Zundel's second defense and to testify on his behalf. Scholars have described Irving as a "Hitler partisan wearing blinkers" and have accused him of distorting evidence and manipulating documents to serve his own purposes.4 He is best known for his thesis that Hitler did not know about the Final Solution, an idea that scholars have dismissed.5 The prominent British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper depicted Irving as a man who "seizes on a small and dubious part particle of 'evidence,'" using it to dismiss far-more-substantial evidence that may not support his thesis. His work has been described as "closer to theology or mythology than to history," and he has been accused of skewing documents and misrepresenting data in order to reach historically untenable conclusions, particularly those that exonerate Hitler.6 An ardent admirer of the Nazi leader, Irving placed a self-portrait of Hitler over his desk, described his visit to Hitler's mountaintop retreat as a spiritual experience,7 and declared that Hitler repeatedly reached out to help the Jews.8 In 1981 Irving, a self-described "moderate fascist," established his own right-wing political party, founded on his belief that he was meant to be a future leader of Britain.9 He is an ultra-nationalist who believes that Britain has been on a steady path of decline accelerated by its misguided decision to launch a war against Nazi Germany. He has advocated that Rudolf Hess should have received the Nobel Prize for his efforts to try to stop war between Britain and Germany.10 On some level Irving seems to conceive himself as carrying on Hitler's legacy.

[...] Prior to participating in Zundel's trial, Irving had appeared at IHR conferences [...] but he had never denied the annihilation of the Jews.11 That changed in 1988 as a result of the events in Toronto.

Both Irving and Faurisson advocated inviting an American prison warden who had performed gas executions to testify in Zundel's defense, arguing that this would be the best tactic for proving that the gas chambers were a fraud and too primitive to operate safely. They solicited help from Bill Armontrout, warden of the Missouri State Penitentiary, who agreed to testify and suggested they also contact Fred A. Leuchter, an "engineer" residing in Boston who specialized in constructing and installing execution apparatus. Irving and Faurisson immediately flew off to meet Leuchter. Irving, who had long hovered on the edge of Holocaust denial, believed that Leuchter's testimony could provide the documentation he needed to prove the Holocaust a myth.12 According to Faurisson, when he first met Leuchter, the Bostonian accepted the "standard notion of the 'Holocaust.'"13 After spending two days with him, Faurisson declared that Leuchter was convinced that it was chemically and physically impossible for the Germans to have conducted gassings.14 Having agreed to serve as an expert witness for the defense, Leuchter then went to Toronto to meet with Zundel and Christie and to examine the materials they had gathered for the trial.


Page 179:

David Irving, who during the Zundel trial declared himself converted by Leuchter's work to Holocaust denial and to the idea that the gas chambers were a myth, described himself as conducting a "one-man intifada" against the official history of the Holocaust.15

In his foreword to his publication of the Leuchter Report, Irving wrote that there was no doubt as to Leuchter's "integrity" and "scrupulous methods." He made no mention of Leuchter's lack of technical expertise or of the many holes that had been poked in his findings. Most important, Irving wrote, "Nobody likes to be swindled, still less where considerable sums of money are involved." Irving identified Israel as the swindler, claiming that West Germany had given it more than ninety billion deutsche marks in voluntary reparations, "essentially in atonement for the 'gas chambers of Auschwitz.'" According to Irving the problem was that the latter was a myth that would "not die easily."16 He subsequently set off to promulgate Holocaust denial notions in various countries. Fined for doing so in

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Germany, in his court room appeal against his fine he called on the court to "fight a battle for the German people and put an end to the blood lie of the Holocaust which has been told against this country for fifty years." He dismissed the memorial to the dead at Auschwitz as a "tourist attraction."17 He traced the origins of the myth to an "ingenious plan" of the British Psychological Warfare Executive, which decided in 1942 to spread the propaganda story that Germans were "using 'gas chambers' to kill millions of Jews and other 'undesirables.'18

Branding Irving and Leuchter "Hitler's heirs," the British House of Commons denounced the former as a "Nazi propagandist and long time Hitler apologist" and the latter's report as a "fascist publication." The boxes of microfichesOne might have assumed that would have marked the end of Irving's reputation in England, but it did not. Condemned in the Times of London in 1989 as "a man for whom Hitler is something of a hero and almost everything of an innocent and for whom Auschwitz is a Jewish deception," Irving may have had his reputation revived in 1992 by the London Sunday Times.19 The paper hired Irving to translate the Goebbels diaries, which had been discovered in a Russian archive and, it was assumed, would shed light on the conduct of the Final Solution. The paper paid Irving a significant sum plus a percentage of the syndication fees.*

[footnote] * The Russian archives granted Irving permission to copy two microfiche plates, each of which held about forty-five pages of the diaries. Irving immediately violated his agreement, took many plates, transported them abroad, and had them copied without archival permission. There is serious concern in archival circles that he may have significantly damaged the plates when he did so, rendering them of limited use to subsequent researchers.
  Irving believes Jews are "very foolish not to abandon the gas chamber theory while they still have time." He "foresees [a] a new wave of anti-semitism" due to Jews' exploitation of the Holocaust "myth." C.C. Aronsfeld, "Holocaust revisionists are Busy in Britain," Midstream, Jan. 1993. p.29.

The Sunday TimesJournalists and scholars alike were shocked that the Times chose such a discredited figure to do this work. Showered with criticism, the editor of the Sunday Times , Andrew Neil, denounced Irving's views as "reprehensible" but defended engaging Irving because he was only being used as a "transcribing technician." Peter Pulzer, a professor of politics at Oxford and an expert on the Third Reich, observed that it was ludicrous for Neil to refer to Irving as a "mere technician," arguing that when you hired someone to edit a "set of documents others had not seen you took on the whole man."20

However the matter is ultimately resolved, the Sunday Times has rescued Irving's reputation from the ignominy to which it had been consigned by the House of Commons. In the interest of a journalistic scoop, this British paper was willing to throw its task as a gatekeeper of the truth and of journalistic ethics to the winds. By resuscitating Irving's reputation, it also gave new life to the Leuchter Report.

Page 181:

A similar attitude is evident in the media reviews of David Irving's books: Most rarely address his neofascist or denial connections.21

Irving is one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial. Familiar with historical evidence, he bends it until it conforms with his ideological leanings and political agenda. A man who is convinced that Britain's great decline was accelerated by its decision to go to war with Germany, he is most facile at taking accurate information and shaping it to confirm his conclusions. A review of his recent book, Churchill's War, which appeared in New York Review of Books, accurately analyzed his practice of applying a double standard to evidence. He demands "absolute documentary proof" when it comes to proving the Germans guilty, but he relies on highly circumstantial evidence to condemn the Allies.22 This is an accurate description not only of Irving's tactics, but of those of deniers in general.

Page 213:

As we have seen above, Nolte, echoing David Irving, argues that the Nazi "internment" of Jews was justified because of Chaim Weizmann's September 1939 declaration that the Jews of the world would fight Nazism.
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Page 221:

Another legal maneuver has been adopted by a growing number of countries. They have barred entry rights to known deniers. David Irving, for example, has been barred from Germany, Austria, Italy, and Canada. Australia is apparently also considering barring him.23

The Natural or Ordinary Meaning of the Words Complained of

9. In the premises the said words as thus published by the First and Second Defendants and as offered for dissemination distribution and sale to the public generally by the Third and Fourth and Fifth and Sixth Defendants in the context of the said article meant and were intended and understood to mean

(i) that the Plaintiff is a dangerous spokesperson 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 organization 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 Plaintiff 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 Plaintiff routinely perversely and by way of his profession but essentially in order serve his own reprehensible purposes ideological leanings 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 in a manner as completely to distort their authors' objectives
  • and while counting on the ignorance or indolence of the majority of
  • readers not to realise this;

(iv) that the Plaintiff 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 Plaintiff is an ardent admirer of the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and conceives himself as carrying on Hitler's criminal legacy and has placed a self-portrait of Hitler over his desk and has described a visit to Hitler's mountaintop retreat as a spiritual experience and has described himself as a moderate fascist;

(vi) that before Zundel's trial began in 1988 in Toronto the Plaintiff , compromising his integrity as an historian and in an attempt to pervert the course of

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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 Plaintiff 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 Plaintiff described the memorial to the dead at Auschwitz as a "tourist attraction."

(ix) that the Plaintiff 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 Plaintiff'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 Plaintiff 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 Plaintiff the newspaper threw its task as a gatekeeper of the truth and of journalistic ethics to the winds and although there was thereby increased the danger that the Plaintiff would in order serve his own reprehensible purposes misstate misconstrue 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 Plaintiff was unfit to perform such a function for this newspaper.

(xi) that the Plaintiff violated an agreement with the Russian archives and took and copied many plates without permission causing significant damage to them and rendering them of limited use to subsequent researchers.

The True Innuendo of the Words Complained of

10. The Plaintiff will show at the hearing of this action that the true or legal innuendo of the words "Holocaust denier" is that any person described as such wilfully perversely and with disregard to all the existing historical evidence denied and continues to deny all and any occurrence of one of the worst crimes known to history namely the mass murder by whatever means by Hitler's agents and their associates of the Jewish people and hence genocide and hence a crime against humanity.

11. The Plaintiff will show at the hearing of this action that the true or legal innuendo of the word "Hezbollah" is that used to refer to and describe a known international terrorist organisation led by one Sayed Hassan Nasrallah from Beirut in the Lebanon also known as the Hizbollah whose guerrillas kill Israeli civilians and soldiers thereby deliberately provoking retaliations and which organisation has been determined by President Clinton at the international anti-terrorism conference in 1996 as being among the enemies of peace and whose officials and armed activists are now being hunted down by death squads code named EGOZ (Hebrew for Almond) formed by the Israeli army.

12. The Plaintiff will show at the hearing of this action that the true or legal innuendo of the words "Hamas" is that of an Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organisation similar in nature to the Hezbollah.

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13. The Plaintiff will show at the hearing of this action that the true or legal innuendo of the words otherwise complained of hereinbefore as being published in the Work is 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 regardless of the effect this will have on the lawful exercise of his profession.


The Damage is of a Lasting Nature

14. The Work complained of is a book purportedly of a non-fiction nature and not a transient newspaper article or radio or television broadcast. The libel is therefore of a character which lasts long after the actual date of publication dissemination sale or offering for sale of the libel or libels by the Defendants.


The Plaintiff is entitled to Aggravated Damages

15. In justification of a claim for aggravated damages the Plaintiff will rely on the following facts:

(i) the Second Defendant has pursued a sustained malicious vigorous well-funded and reckless world-wide campaign of personal defamation against the Plaintiff including in the United States of America and in Canada and in Australia and in New Zealand for several years without regard to cost; and

(ii) the Second Defendant published the words complained of maliciously and without any attempt at verification although the Plaintiff is well-known for affording every assistance to colleagues and inquirers regardless of their views; and

(iii) the Second Defendant continued and continues despite having been informed by solicitors for the first defendant of the commencement of these proceedings maliciously to publish the same similar or graver defamations against the Plaintiff which were widely quoted in the media and will be held during the trial of this action to have contributed to the revoking of a lawful agreement reached between the Plaintiff and his American publishers to publish the Plaintiff's above-mentioned biography Goebbels. Mastermind of the Third Reich thereby causing him actual pecuniary loss.


8. By reason of the premises the Plaintiff

has been brought into hatred ridicule contempt risk of personal injury and/or assassination and

has suffered damage to his reputation in his said calling as an historian and writer and publisher and

has suffered injury to his feelings

and claims

damages including aggravated damages for libel; and

an injunction restraining the defendants and each of them whether by themselves their servants or agents or otherwise from further publishing or causing to be published the said or similar words defamatory of the Plaintiff.


David John Cawdell Irving

served the fifth day of September 1996 by the Plaintiff acting in person, David Irving, 81 Duke Street, Grosvenor Square, London W1M 5DJ
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The following footnotes -- which have necessarily been renumbered here -- were offered in the Work. The Plaintiff makes no complaint about these footnotes except in so far as they may be relied upon by the Defendants to lend a spurious authenticity to the words complained of:-

1 Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Nov 26, 1992.

2 Ernst Nolte, "Between Myth and Revisionism? The Third Reich in the Perspective of the 1980s," in Aspects of the Third Reich, ed. H.W. Koch (London, 1985) pp. 36-37. Maier, The Unmasterable Past, p.29.

3 Maier, The Unmasterable Past, p. 179. n. 34.

4 Martin Broszat, Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte (Oktober 1977), pp. 742, 769, cited in Patterns of Prejudice, no. 3--4 (1978), p.8.

5 Sunday Times, July 10, 1977.

6 Ibid., June 12, 1977; July 10, 1977.

7 Robert Harris, Selling Hitler (New York, 1986) p. 189.

8 Canadian Jewish News, March 16, 1989.

9 Ibid., London Jewish Chronicle, May 27, 1983.

10 Spotlight, June, 1989.

11 "David Irving," Clipping Collection, Calgary Jewish Community Council, Alberta, Canada.

12 Toronto Star, April 20, 1988; Stephen Trombley, The Execution Protocol: Inside America's Capital Punishment Industry (New York, 1992), p. 85.

13 Robert Faurisson, "Foreword," The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth: An Engineering Report on the Alleged Execution Gas Chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Majdanek, Poland (U.S.A.., 1988) p. 1, (hereafter cited as Leuchter Report).

14 Robert Faurisson, "The Zundel Trials [1985 and 1988]," Journal of Historical Review (Winter 1988-89), p.429.

15 Searchlight, August 1989.

16 David Irving, "Foreword," Auschwitz the end of the Line: The Leuchter Report (London, 1989), p.6.

17 Times, London, May 11, 1992.

18 Irving, foreword, Auschwitz the end of the Line, p.6.

19 Times, London, May 14, 1992.

20 Independent, July 11, 1992.

21 Trombley, The Execution Protocol, pp. 87--94; New York Times Book Review. Nov. 22, 1992, p.33.

22 New York Review of Books, June 15, 1989.

23 Toronto Sun, Oct 15, 1992; Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Nov 16, 1992.

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