Posted Monday, April 16, 2001

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Denver, Colorado, March 2, 2001, Friday

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By Dahlia Jean Weinstein,
News Society Writer


TISSUES were a hot commodity at the recent Choices luncheon, called "The Truth on Trial." More than 900 attendees, mostly Jewish women, fought back tears as they listened to Dr. Deborah Lipstadt, a professor of modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies from Emory University, who spent most of the past five years in a British courtroom fighting Holocaust denier David Irving.

Irving sued Lipstadt and her British publisher, Penguin Books, for libel in 1994 after she accused him of distorting the history of the Holocaust in her book, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory.

"I got the letter (regarding the lawsuit) and laughed," she said, not expecting the suit to hold water. Unfortunately, British libel laws say you're guilty until you prove you're innocent. Her legal team decided not to try to prove the Holocaust occurred, but to prove instead that Irving was a manipulator of the truth - a liar.

"This is a man who said, 'Auschwitz is like a Disneyland for tourists,'" Lipstadt said. "I never decided to fight. I just fought."

Irving lost that battle and two appeals. Another appeal will be heard March 19 in Britain, but Lipstadt has already won the war. Her dedication honors the 6 million Jews who lost their lives in Nazi concentration camps.

Event chairwomen Cindy Attias, Michelle Hepner and Artis Silverman welcomed the guests to the luncheon, the annual Allied Jewish Federation Women's Department fund-raiser benefiting its annual campaign.

In addition to raising funds, many guests brought new clothing and personal items for the Joint Distribution Committee, which donates them to Holocaust survivors living in Romania. Centerpieces of school supplies will be sent to Jewish children in Russia.

Then, a video presentation and tearful plea from AJF campaign director Ellen Finer brought out the tissues once more as guests got a glimpse of the people they were helping around the world.[...]

Related items on this website:

 Lipstadt trial index
 Trial transcripts
  Charges of bigotry backfire, ADL loses Denver appeal against $10.5m libel award
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