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 Posted Saturday, July 21, 2001

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Friday, July 20, 2001


IrvingHistorian Irving Denied Appeal

LONDON (AP) - Historian David Irving, who questioned the extent of the Holocaust, on Friday lost his bid to challenge an earlier ruling that branded him an anti-Semitic racist and an apologist for Hitler. Irving now faces bankruptcy if he does not quickly pay the first installment in a legal bill estimated at close to $3 million.

Three judges at the Court of Appeal ruled that High Court judge Charles Gray was justified in labeling Irving a Holocaust denier 15 months ago. One of the appeal judges, Malcom Pill, said it was fair to describe Irving as "one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial." "Where we have been invited to consider evidence in detail, it does not in our judgment diminish the soundness of the judge's conclusions," Pill added.

Irving was not in court for the decision. His lawyer said he was away from London, promoting his new book on Winston Churchill. Irving, the author of books including "Hitler's War," launched appeal proceedings last month against a High Court ruling that said he played down the horrors of the Holocaust.

LipstadtThe 63-year-old author had sued American academic Deborah Lipstadt and publisher Penguin over her 1994 book, "Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory." Irving said the book destroyed his livelihood and fueled considerable hatred against him.

Rejecting Irving's suit last year, Gray ruled that Irving had indeed "misrepresented and distorted" historical evidence and that he was "anti-Semitic and racist and that he associates with right-wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism."

Gray said Irving had, for his own ideological reasons, deliberately misrepresented historical evidence and portrayed Hitler in a favorable light. Irving's lawyers argued last week that the historian had never said the killing of Jews was "in any way excusable."

Lawyer Adrian Davies, acting for Irving, told the judges that Gray's findings went contrary to the weight of evidence and that his judgment was wrong and unjust. Irving, the author of nearly 30 books, insists he does not deny that Jews were killed by the Nazis, but challenges the number and manner of Jewish concentration camp deaths.

He claimed that after publication of Lipstadt's book, his academic work was increasingly shunned by publishers and agents. Irving has also been banned from Germany, Canada and Australia.

The High Court ordered Irving to pay Lipstadt's and Penguin's legal costs -- estimated at $2.78 million. Irving has funded the appeal with the help of contributions from supporters, including some in the United States.

The appeal court ordered Irving to pay $210,000 of the costs immediately. If he does not pay within 21 days, he may face bankruptcy proceedings.

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