Emory University, Atlanta, Friday, March 25,
Book TV over
By Jennifer Sutcliffe
March 25, 2005
DIRECTOR of the Institute of
Jewish Studies and Professor of Jewish and
Holocaust Studies Deborah Lipstadt has again
come at odds with the man who sued her five years
ago for portraying him as a Holocaust
Lipstadt planned to see a feature of her book
about this court battle on the March 16 broadcast
of C-SPAN's "Book TV." She granted C-SPAN
permission to tape a speech she gave that day at
Harvard Hillel, a Jewish organization at Harvard
A GOOD article, with some odd English
in parts; but distinguished by original
Jennie Sutcliffe is the
only reporter so far to have asked me for
my side of the controversy (the NY
Times tried, but failed to reach me in
time, and gave up)..
But Lipstadt cancelled
these plans when C-SPAN told her that a
broadcast of English historical writer David
Irving, an expert on the Hitler regime who she
has called "a liar and a falsifier of history,"
would be stacked with hers on the show.
According to Lipstadt, Irving's claims that
there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz and that
Adolf Hitler had no role in the Final Solution,
among other things, implicate him as a Holocaust
But Irving said such notions are part of
Lipstadt's "obsession" with him.
"I am not a Holocaust denier," Irving said. "I
am bored by the Holocaust and I think most of the
world is, too."
In 2000, Irving sued
Lipstadt for her cutting portrayal of him in
her book, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing
Assault on Truth and Memory, which was
published in 1993.
After a three-month trial, a British judge ruled
in favor of Lipstadt, finding that testimony and
documents that pictured Irving as an anti-Semite
who distorted facts gave an apt portrayal.
Lipstadt said C-SPAN's decision to "balance" her
views with those of Irving was illogical.
"It would be like airing someone who wrote on
slavery and someone who said slavery didn't
happen," Lipstadt said.
Lipstadt refused C-SPAN coverage of her speech,
which was based on her book History on Trial: My
Day in Court With David Irving. However, C-SPAN
taped a recent
speech Irving gave at the Landmark Diner in
According to Irving, Lipstadt did not originally
write her 1993 book with his mention.
He said the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum wrote
her with the suggestion that he should be included
in the work.
"When someone calls you this it is the same as
being called a pedophile," Irving said. "It's a
label you can't shake off."
Irving said [that] at the trial Lipstadt
brought in an "army" of defenders while he defended
More than 200 historians at colleges nationwide
have sent a
petition to C-SPAN to protest the airing of
Lipstadt's speech alongside Irving's.
C-SPAN issued this response last Thursday:
"Book TV was interested in Deborah
Lipstadt's new book about her British libel
trial. Our interest in covering David Irving was
to hear the plaintiff's story of the trial.
Since Professor Lipstadt has closed her book
discussions to our cameras, we are still
discussing how to cover this book and we don't
have an immediate timetable."
This statement is near all Lipstadt has heard
"They have been totally uncommunicative,"
Lipstadt said. "I have no idea what their plans
Lipstadt said C-SPAN had planned to show
Irving's Atlanta speech on the show with or without
"He didn't have to be balanced, but I did," she
Index to the
media scandal surrounding Prof Lipstadt's
attempt to silence C-Span and the history
Lipstadt writes a paid OpEd in New York Sun:
'Why I said No to