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resultExtracts from Judgment by the Hon. Mr Justice Gray, April 11, 2000 [click for full text] [click here to download a printed version with illustrations of exhibits]

Extracts from that Judgment:


NewsweekApril 24, 2000: "I am not at all anti-Semitic. It is not anti-Semitic to be critical of the Jews."-- British historian David Irving, after losing a libel suit he brought against American professor Deborah Lipstadt for accusing him of 'Holocaust denial' in a 1993 book.

 Judge Gray

Extracts from that Judgment:

 Judge Gray on Antisemitism: "I have more sympathy for Irving's argument that Jews are not immune from his criticism. He said that he was simply expressing legitimate criticisms of them. Irving gave as an example what he claimed was his justified criticism of the Jews for suppressing his freedom of expression. Another legitimate ground of criticism might be the manner in which Jews in certain parts of the world appear to exploit the Holocaust. I agree that Jews are as open to criticism as anyone else."

 Judge Gray on racism: "I accept that Irving is not obsessed with race. He has certainly not condoned or excused racist violence or thuggery."

 Judge Gray on right-wingers: "I accept that when he has spoken at their meetings, Irving has not expressed himself in extremist or anti-semitic terms."

 Judge Gray on the gas chambers: "[Irving] is right to point out that the contemporaneous documents, such as drawings, plans, correspondence with contractors and the like, yield little clear evidence of the existence of gas chambers designed to kill humans. Such isolated references to the use of gas as are to be found amongst these documents can be explained by the need to fumigate clothes so as to reduce the incidence of diseases such as typhus. The quantities of Zyklon-B delivered to the camp may arguably be explained by the need to fumigate clothes and other objects."

More extracts | Judge Gray Speaks Out | The Trial Result (First Instance)

Picture: Sir Charles Gray, QC, the eminent Judge who heard the historic case of David Irving vs Penguin Books from January to April 2000.

Judge Gray on David Irving: "As a military historian, Irving has much to commend him. For his works of military history Irving has undertaken thorough and painstaking research into the archives. He has discovered and disclosed to historians and others many documents which, but for his efforts, might have remained unnoticed for years. It was plain from the way in which he conducted his case and dealt with a sustained and penetrating cross-examination that his knowledge of World War 2 is unparalleled. His mastery of the detail of the historical documents is remarkable. He is beyond question able and intelligent. He was invariably quick to spot the significance of documents which he had not previously seen. Moreover he writes his military history in a clear and vivid style. I accept the favourable assessment by Professor Watt and Sir John Keegan of the calibre of Irving's military history (mentioned in paragraph 3.4 above) and reject as too sweeping the negative assessment of Evans (quoted in paragraph 3.5). But the questions to which this action has given rise do not relate to the quality of Irving's military history but rather to the manner in which he has written about the attitude adopted by Hitler towards the Jews and in particular his responsibility for the fate which befell them under the Nazi regime.

Judge Gray on the scale of the killing of Jews in the gas chambers: "I have to confess that, in common I suspect with most other people, I had supposed that the evidence of mass extermination of Jews in the gas chambers at Auschwitz was compelling. I have, however, set aside this preconception when assessing the evidence adduced by the parties in these proceedings.

Judge Gray on David Irving on the documentary evidence: "Vulnerable though the individual categories of evidence may be to criticisms of the kind mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, it appears to me that the cumulative effect of the documentary evidence for the genocidal operation of gas chambers at Auschwitz is considerable."