[verbatim trial transcripts]
January 28, 2000
Difficult to counter the deniers
Is the denial of the Holocaust stupidity or a form of anti-semitism, a belief which can be compared to other peoples belief in UFO's or a crime?
by Per Nygren
Not even at the International Forum of the Holocaust the answers were absolutely clear. The question about the deniers, they who call themselves revisionists and claim such thing that Hitler never gave orders that jews and gypsies should be exterminated, that the gas chambers could not be used for mass murder on human beings or that the diary of Anne Frank is a fraud and in reality has been written after the war, was of double actuality on the Stockholm conference yesterday.
One of the invited speakers, doctor Deborah Lipstadt, who has written the leading academic work in order to disclose the deniers - "Denying the Holocaust: the growing assault on truth and memory", was forced back to London to prepare for a trial. She and her publisher have been sued the author David Irving, one of the deniers.
The publishers dissociate themselves
Irving, a known author of several books about the second world war, claims that he has lost his livelihood because publishers of reputation have cancelled contracts with him because of Lipstadts book.
The trial, which can be followed day by day and verbatim on his home page on the Internet - is for David Irving a forum to develop his theses and challenge the established view of History. For the historians and the experts on the International Conference of the Holocaust his writings are of course stupid, without substance, absurd.
Prohibition of denial
But ought the denial of the Holocaust be prohibited, as in for example Germany and France? Yes, were the opinion of several of the participants, who maintained that the denial of the Holocaust is not about the writing of History, but about anti-Semitism, it is an insult against Humanity, yes, a "criminal conspiration". - No, said doctor Robert Jan van Pelt from Holland. - Don't give the deniers a platform! Don't martyrize them! Prohibition does not work in practise. Our answer to the deniers must be education and knowledge.
Van Pelt came directly from the trial in London, where he was cross-examined for two days by David Irving. And he will return to London for continued examination. He therefore did not want to speak about the ongoing trial. -
"But my expert report is also on the Internet [see panel on left]," he gave as an answer. "Do deniers like David Irving really believe what they themselves are saying? Or are they deliberately lying? - It is evident from this that I have read twenty years of correspondence between deniers like Faurisson and Irving. That correspondence is up to a degree of 95-96 per cent about money. When David Irving in 1988 definitely became a denier, it was about money. The deniers gave him a platform."
Arguments without substance
Does education help? Stéphan Bruchfeld, Sweden's foremost expert on the deniers, tells that after a ten weeks course he gave notes with the arguments of the deniers to the students, and asked them to answer them. - The outcome was a disaster, he said. Not because there are no substance in the arguments of the deniers. But who can prove that UFO's does not exist? It is about turning the tables. Ask the deniers about what documentation they possess. They have none at all.
January 28, 2000
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