Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives and invite open debate.
Jennifer L of Lipstadt's home town Atlanta asks questions (Friday, October 17, 2003) about the Lipstadt trial, and gets answers
Q & A on the Lipstadt Trial
I'M A HISTORY MAJOR at a local Atlanta university. I'm currently writing my senior thesis and have decided to evaluate the trial that you were involved with in 2000 with Dr. [Deborah] Lipstadt. I would like to present my thesis as unbiased as I possibly can; therefore, I would like to ask you a few questions with regards to the trial. I would greatly appreciate your time and answers.
Why Dr. Lipstadt when other authors have clearly written about your style of historiography?
Don Guttenplan wrote in The New York Times that I told him that "It may be unfortunate for Professor Lipstadt that she is the one who finds herself dragged out of the line and shot," but it was not quite as random as that; she had led the campaign in 1996 to bludgeon my New York Publishers, St Martins' press, into halting publication of my biography of Dr Joseph Goebbels, which had also been selected as History Book of the Month (May 1996) by Doubleday Inc.
I don't have to tell you that this capitulation by St Martins Press (SMP) to weeks of blackmail, threats, street demonstrations, threatened walkouts by their Jewish editorial staff, etc., caused me much worry, and it was at a time of great personal grief in our family. It also led to considerable financial loss. It turned out that she had never even read the book she was protesting about.
When we got her private papers, through the legal discovery process, we found she had not even included my name in her original manuscript of her turgid book Denying the Holocaust, but had been put up to it, I am sorry to say, by the otherwise respectable historian Prof Yehuda Bauer of Jerusalem.
Her papers also revealed that the first publisher who commissioned this muck-bucket task from Lipstadt, was none other than the infamous Czech-born embezzler and mega-fraudster "Robert Maxwell" (born Jan Hoch).
To have the product of eight years' very hard work and research, in archives around the world including the KGB archives in Moscow, brought to nothing by this jumped-up and ignorant high-school teacher at Emory, using her network of Jewish friends, might not have provoked a response from many writers, but she got what she deserved when I sued her for defamation. It certainly came as a terrible shock to her. She is not accustomed to people answering back.
She fears debate: when she held a public lecture at Emory some years back, at which she invited questions, I rose toward the end of the question time and asked one question -- since she had smeared me in her talk, not knowing that I was present among her listeners: she called in armed police to have me removed from the lecture theater!
So much for the First Amendment: but she also shows that she holds that in equal contempt, regularly advising her listeners that it is binding only on Governments, not on individuals or other bodies. Words of encouragement to bigots and tinpot Hitlers everywhere.
You will find from her many talks around the world that she and her huge legal team had little confidence in the legal process as such, and that her lawyers, as she boasts, did what they could to "destabilize" me as their sole opponent in the months ahead of the hearing, trying to bury me in an avalanche of paper and using other less tasteful methods.
On the day of my daughter's funeral, a few days ahead of the trial, a local flowershop sent an expensive wreath with a concealed message of hatred, mocking her death (my daughter had no legs and was permanently disabled). And, yes, it did destabilize me.
After the Trial judgment, she added to her stock speech when visiting Israeli settlements the suggestion that I was Amalek, which is understood among orthodox Jewish populations to be a veiled incitement to murder. I am still standing however, and I know how to protect myself -- among other things, by bringing actions in defamation. The wearying legal process does have its advantages.
WHAT communities supported you during the trial?
None. There is no global Irvingite conspiracy. But I have built up a worldwide circle of several thousand friends who help me defend myself against the international network of the traditional enemies of free speech and their ugly, violent methods.
WERE you surprised with the verdict? -- Until then, I confess, I had always assumed, being English, that the English legal system was incapable of intimidation or purchase. I now know better (my late father once warned me, around 1966, that it is the best that money can buy). Lipstadt and her friends (see my answer above) poured Six Million Dollars into court, all of which they have lost. They will have poured similar amounts into the grubby hands of their neutral expert witnesses and those of the world's media.
You will find if you read the Trial diary on my website (which even the trial judge, Mr Justice Gray, praised for its even-handedness, in a private letter via his Clerk to an American during the trial) that on the day the infamous Judgment was read out, a rented mob of leftist thugs outside the Courthouse in London pelted me with missiles as I entered (most of them hit The Washington Post correspondent, above, whom I had providently stationed to my left when I saw them); and that the Israeli ambassador himself was in court, flanked by gun-toting armed guards -- unheard of in English court history -- and that your President Clinton and the president of the state of Israel sent letters of commendation to the judge and Lipstadt.
HAVE you continued writing or do you have a plans for authoring more on WWII history? -- Let me put it this way: I have not stopped writing. I have pursued this life of crime ever since I clocked out for the last time from the Thyssen steelworks in the Ruhr, Germany, in 1960. As work on my Hitler biography ran down ten years ago, I started work on a major biography of Churchill, also written only from primary sources, in 1972, and published the second thousand-page volume in the year of the Lipstadt Trial! The third volume will appear in 2005. I am also working on a definitive account of the life and motivations of Heinrich Himmler, chief of the SS, based again entirely on original sources. Most of his papers were seized by the Americans, and there are many of his private papers and albums in private American hands.
WHAT was your motivating factor to present WWII history in your style of historiography? What was the contributing factor to evaluating WWII and Holocaust history in your style of historiography (i.e. What caused you to dispute the way the Holocaust has been portrayed in history)?
As a steelworker in 1959/60, when I first began to learn of the sufferings of innocent people on both sides during the war, I decided to write about them and those responsible for inflicting such suffering. This interest has continued into the era of the Iraq war, which shows that that the world's statesmen have learned nothing from the Nuremberg trials.
HAVE you suffered any backlash from the community that supported Dr. Lipstadt? If so, any action taken against the community? -- I keep my powder dry, and know what to do when occasion arises.
WHEN did you decide to sue Dr. Lipstadt?
When I first obtained a copy of her book, some time in 1995 or early in 1996. I had to wait until the book had been published within the jurisdiction of the British courts. Had she been less greedy for royalties, and kept the book's publication to her own terrain, there would have been nothing that I could do, as the New York Times vs. Sullivan renders libel actions in the USA virtually impossible. Without that legal precedent, your Kmart and other magazine shelves would be empty: no National Enquirer, and none of the rest!
Even in England, it took some time to get the libel action off the ground. Among other things, she hid, she hunkered down, she refused to accept service of the court documents, etc -- she did all the things an errant husband would do, to avoid being served with court papers. To outfox her on that I had to take out a separate action in the High Court -- working all the time without lawyers, unlike her and her wealthy Hintermänner, Spielberg (right), Bronfman, Abe Foxman, and the rest of that gang -- to get official sanction to have her served out of the jurisdiction by officials of the British Foreign Office and the local consulate in Atlanta. When permission for that was granted, she finally came out of her funkhole and appointed lawyers in London.
I thank you for your time and any efforts that you can take to answer these questions as promptly as you can.
[full name provided to us]
Bookmark the download page to find the latest new free books