October 25, 2000
Richard Rampton's Flying Circus tours North America, speaking on Lipstadt trial
AR, Sherman Oaks -- REVISIONISTS, historians, and lawyers will be bearing down on the Philadelphia Bar Association in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on October 30, 2000 for a conference being held to celebrate the unprecedented triumph in April 2000 of dragon-slayer Deborah Lipstadt over British historian David Irving in the London High Court.
Mr Irving had sued her for libel. The Judge, Sir Charles Gray QC, found that much of what she had written in her book Denying the Holocaust was a pack of lies, but that other items were true. The judgment is coming up for appeal.
Lipstadt's brilliant British defence team, whom she personally selected and single-handed guided to victory using her acute knowledge of the British legal system and its ancient laws, has been invited over to the United States. The Richard Rampton Flying Circus, as cynics are dubbing it, will go on display to cheering audiences of lawyers, law students, and Holocaust industry experts.
In the days of ancient Rome, such victorious armies would drag their prisoners, wrapped in netting, behind their chariots. No doubt if they had taken any prisoners on this occasion these sparkling intellectuals would chain them to the back of pick-ups and drag them through the dusty streets of Philadelphia.
The are two blemishes on their celebrations, not mentioned in the any of the invitations so far received by Action Report:
His counsel have now lodged with the British Court of Appeal, within time, a formal application for permission to appeal. Judge Gray attempted to prevent it, by denying Mr Irving leave to appeal, in the crowded courtroom on April 12.
"The grounds for the appeal," says Mr Irving, "which are also the grounds for the application, are concise and irrefutable: the judge simply got it wrong, in both fact and law, on point after point after point."
One example: Judge Gray dismissed the 1942 Schlegelberger Memorandum, which Mr Irving first brought to the world's attention in the 1970s, as being of dubious authenticity. The original has been in Reich Justice Ministry files ever since 1942 however, and is still in the custody of German government archives.
If the memorandum is not fake (and clearly it is not) it shows that Adolf Hitler wanted the final solution postponed until after WW2. There is no other possible reading, because that is what the document says. "Judge Gray chose to ignore it," says Irving, "and that is what the appeal courts are for."
Mr Irving, whom the traditional enemies of the truth have been hoping to see ruined before he can get the doors of the appeal court open, is writing in the United States -- 8,000 miles beyond their reach. It is these enemies' worst nightmare. In the last three months he has completed not one but two one-thousand page blockbuster works of history -- the revised Hitler's War, the millenium edition; and the second sensational volume of his biography Churchill's War; both will go into production for Parforce UK Ltd in the last months of this year.
David Irving says he will approach his worldwide circle of supporters as soon as the Court of Appeal formally grants permission for the appeal, to build up for him a safe £100,000 ($160,000) fighting fund to see the battle through to final victory, a battle which has gripped the attention of the world's media. "The appeal hearing will be brief and painless," he says. "At its end, I shall be vindicated, and Steven Spielberg (right) and his moneyed cohorts will have to fork out a great deal more than they bargained for."
Through his worldwide circle he has been monitoring the activities of his opponents since this trial and building up dossiers on each of them. Lipstadt herself has been rebuked by her defence lawyers for having uttered public death threats against Mr Irving in ritual Hebrew terms when speaking with journalists in Tel Aviv. Calling for "hits" on opponents in litigation is not a tactic encouraged by the High Court in the U.K.
It has turned out that not only were her expert witnesses less neutral than they claimed -- Professor Hajo Funke, of Berlin university, Lipstadt's "expert on extremism", has so far granted only one interview on the trial, to the East German communist daily Neues Deutschland, which used to applaud the gunning-down of every refugee trying to cross the Berlin Wall -- but that they are earning fortunes from their promotional activities in Richard Rampton's Flying Circus.
Their raison d'etre in Philadelphia is: "The defense team consider that the legal, political, and moral issues raised by the case are so important that they have come to the United States to discuss these matters."
The public spiritedness of these British lawyers, who are coming -- no doubt at their own expense -- on this selfless task of educating their former colonials on the intricacies of British libel law, is commendable.
PERHAPS by chance, they have chosen to open their performance in Philadelphia on October 30, 2000 -- the eightieth anniversary, to the day, of New York Governor Glynn's newspaper article on the World War 1 "holocaust" of six million Jews.
The title of their first "dog and pony" act, which they have announced they will bring to "various parts of the country," is: "How British Holocaust revisionist David Irving Lost his Libel Action." The venue is a Chancellor's Forum in downtown Philadelphia on October 30. "Sweet phrase," says Mr. Irving, "Chancellor -- a bit redolent of Hitler's Reich; forum -- ancient Rome. Evidently there is to be a bit of Nazi pomp, and a bit of feeding to the lions."
Among the trapeze-artistes performing their stunts at the Philadelphia Bar Association at 12:15 on October 30, in the heart of downtown Philadelphia, are Mr Richard Rampton QC, himself -- the wheezy, chain-smoking trial lawyer whom Lipstadt's brain alone enabled to mastermind her brilliant legal defence -- and his buxom, bewigged junior, Heather Rogers, who liked to give the impression in court that she, and not Professor Lipstadt, had done all the hard work; also listed is a Tobias Jersak, a "historical consultant" from Cambridge, whose name is otherwise unknown but may be an anagram.
Rampton and Roegrs can well afford the air fares. Humble Emory university scholar Lipstadt has dipped into her annual salary deeply, paying them fees totalling £509,989.36, around a million dollars, for their work done at her dictate by April 11, 2000.
The Hon. Norma L Shapiro, a local District Court judge, will moderate the ninety-minute Philadelphia forum, and there are rumours that Mr Irving himself has already obtained an invitaion and is to fly over from the west coast. He will ask Professor Robert Van Pelt -- a professor of architecture at the university of Waterloo, Ontario, who was paid a quarter of a million dollars for his neutral testimony -- once again if he has yet found the manholes in the roof of Crematorium II at Auschwitz, which his eye-witnesses all described as having been used to tip the Zyklon B into the "gas chamber" beneath.
In his report, Pelt (right: he confessed in court to masquerading as an architect with no professional architectural qualifications whatsoever) said the "holes" can not now be seen. The massive concrete roof slab itself can, but not the holes. As things turned out in court, it did not matter that he was unable to shed any light on this vital discrepancy under cross examination earlier this year [transcript, Day 9, January 25, page 187]; the judge said he believed the post-war testimony of eye-witnesses, and not the concrete evidence.
Absent from Philadelphia: the only historian of merit in the entire defence team, Professor Christopher Browning, who was turned down for the chair of Holocaust history at Harvard on the grounds that he was not Jewish. Browning was paid a tenth as much as the other "experts," but he was the only one who in Mr Irving's opinion responded well under cross examination, as he was clearly a real master of the subject.
In fact, as has been pointed out, on page 52 of Browning's most recent book, Nazi Policy, Jewish Workers, German Killers (Cambridge University Press, 2000), a collection of the George Macauley Trevelyan Lectures delivered by him at Cambridge University in the Lent Term of 1999, Prof. Browning includes a reference to Mr Irving's standard work "Hitler's War", as the source for the phone call from Himmler to Heydrich on November 31, 1941, from Hitler's bunker, seeking to halt the execution of a trainload of Berlin Jews.
"Browning has woken up and smelt the coffee, and it ain't Maxwell's," says Mr Irving, pointing to a warning by the professor on page 33 of the same book that "in future" Holocaust historians must "get the facts right", because, says Browning, "there are people who do not wish us well. They stand malevolently prepared to exploit our professional mistakes and shortcomings for their own political agenda."
[On which point: several website readers have just pointed out that the "smoke" in the enlarged version of the faked Auschwitz photo on the Simon Wiesenthal website has now vanished -- but it still remains in the thumbnail photo!]
Philadelphia Function, October 30, 2000 [details]: An appropriate response to the Philadelphia function is being organised by Lincoln Herbert, phone or fax 610 622 2669. | To register for the function call the organisers tollfree at 800 247 4724. On the day of the function registration will begin at 11:45 a.m., and the conference organisers invite people to "bring your lunch and join us." Presumably the PBI will discourage attendees from bringing raw eggs -- the missile of choice used by Professor Lipstadt's army of supporters outside the High Court on April 12 against Mr Irving.
The end of the first stage of the Lipstadt trial has generated a lecture industry of its own.
AT the Hannah-Arendt-Institute in Dresden, Prof. Dr. Peter Longerich, a German-born historian of the Royal Holloway College at the University of London and "Director of the Research Centre for the Holocaust and Twentieth-Century History," will lecture at 7 p.m. in an Auschwitz series, in the Kulturrathaus in Dresden's Königstrasse 15: his topic is stated as "Auschwitz-Leugner. Erfahrungen aus dem Londoner Gerichtsverfahren David Irving gegen Deborah Lipstadt " [details]
Again we suggest that serious historians, while mindful of Germany's laws for the suppression of free speech, go along and take Longerich to task, for example on the Schlegelberger document. (He does not like that document, and pretends that it does not exist). In the trial he relied frequently on a mythical "consensus" as the source of his knowledge, i.e. what historians agree on. Under cross examination, Longerich was unable to tell the court whether the fact that historians with different opinions are thrown into jail in Germany may have skewed the consensus in any way.
Lipstadt abandons Trappist Silence
While in the courtroom in London Lipstadt pleaded the British equivalent of the Fifth Amendment, drawing on her right to refuse to speak or testify on oath. Since then this mastermind of the London trial triumph has not been idle, speaking, sometimes at taxpayer expense, to audiences all over the United States, where she knows she need not fear difficult questioning.
Emory University, Atlanta, is particularly involved. The student newspaper The Emory Wheel stated on October 6, 2000 that nearly 40 percent of Emory is Jewish. On September 11, the Emory Report, gave advance notice in Volume 53, No. 3, that Lipstadt, "who returns to the Emory College classroom this fall after winning a highly publicized libel suit" would be the featured speaker along with Rabbi Norman Lamm, president of Yeshiva University, on: "Holocaust Denial: Theological Reflections." The programme stated: "The discussion will include Lipstadt's thoughts on religious history and truth." [see full subsequent report on the event]
On October 16, she spoke in Houston's Temple Emanu El, in the Ruth Lack Lecture Series, sponsored by the local Holocaust Museum:
"Deborah Lipstadt: The internationally well-known author will give a presentation on her book and on her recent, highly-publicized court victory over a Holocaust denier."
A book signing was included.
On October 23 she participated in a Panel Discussion at which she lectured on her "Triumph Over Holocaust Denial" at the Borders bookstore at 3025 Kirby Drove, in Houston. The programme announced "a follow up discussion centering on Deborah Lipstadt's trial, verdict, and fallout." Panelists included a lawyer, a theologian, a psychologists, and a personal friend of Dr. Lipstadt," so the audience is known to have amounted to at least four. Once again, signed copies of her book were on sale.
On October 5, Michael Berger, of the department of religion at Emory (a department which, records show, closely monitored Mr Irving's website during the tragic days of the days of his daughter: one wonders why), and Michael Broyde, of the school of law, sent out invitations to a new Lipstadt spectacular which is to be held at Emory on November 1-2, a discussion on Holocaust denial law and historical truth, as part of their Reconciliation Symposium [details].
The local millionaire Tenenbaum family and the School of Law are sponsoring this function, which is to address issues raised by the trial: libel law, academic freedom and Jewish identity. On November 1, 2000 Lipstadt's chief ringmaster Richard Rampton ("Lipstadt's successful English barrister") is slated to open the conference -- jumping through the hoops on the law behind the trial.
He is in good company. On November 2 Anita Bernstein and David Biedermann will address the situation in various countries around the world -- thanks to the Internet, the debate is now out of control. Stanley Fish will address, perhaps appropriately, the lunch colloquium on November 2, discussing "Holocaust denial" in the context of academic freedom on university campuses -- in other words how to prevent free speech on this one vital issue without actually seeming to.
On the impact of the Holocaust on Jewish identity, what might be called the Norman Finkeelstein memorial lecture will be delivered by Joel Levy, of the Estee Lauder foundation in Germany, the body in charge of the cosmetic repairs to the Auschwitz site, and "our own Deborah Lipstadt" will inevitably speak too. [For information contact Eliza Ellison at 404 727 0699.]
Finally, on Sunday November 5, this industrious scholar, Lipstadt, is to speak at Emory University's Family Events weekend: her talk, which will be from 11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., will be "Perspectives from a British Courtroom: Confronting Lies, Deception, and David Irving," in the Institute for Jewish Studies Winship Ballroom. We urge all our friends to attend, and don't forget to take a packed lunch. [access the schedule]
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© Focal Point 2000 write to David Irving