Skip to main content

tv   Lectures in History Anti- Semitism Holocaust Denial  CSPAN  September 15, 2019 12:01am-1:16am EDT

12:01 am
sheets, come back and join us. thank you all very much. [chatter] announcer: you're watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on .-span3 next on "lectures in history, emory university professor teaches a class about anti-semitism in america and holocaust denial. she shares the story of her 1996 lawsuit against holocaust denier david irving, which was turned into the 2016 movie -- "denial appear, she also outlines answers to frequently made by deniers. what i'd like to do today is
12:02 am
start by contextualizing for you holocaust denial. i'll talk to you about what happened during my trial but first i want to talk -- who are holocaust deniers, why do they say what they say and how can we understand, what's doing, or what their arguments are, their so-called arguments are? but i think we have to begin first by defining the holocaust. i'm getting sort of a basic definition. there are many variations. how would you define the holocaust? don't all freeze up on me. how would you define the holocaust? >> we went over this briefly in class that we went back to the root of the word holocaust, "total" and caust to be consumed by "fire." a more popularized term to describe the hebrew term for the utter destruction of the jewish people. prof. lipstadt: the utter destruction of the jewish people by whom? the third reich. the germans. it is not all the horrific things the germans did during
12:03 am
the war. the germans did many horrific things, killed millions of people. had they won, they'd probably, this is counterfactual, we don't know because they did not win, but had they won they probably would've killed millions more. they probably would have wiped out many people whom they considered useless eaters, just consumers, not producing anything. they might have wiped out all homosexuals. they mainly persecuted german homosexuals but they may have eliminated all of, and murdered them. they might have murdered people, many of the workers and the ukraine, leaving enough agricultural workers to produce food for the third reich, but that is all speculation.
12:04 am
the mongols, because of the, you know, the connection mongols to the connections of what used to be called mongoloid, today what we would call the children with developmental disabilities. but all those things could wait till after the war. the one thing that could not wait that happened during the war was the attempt to wipe out the jewish people from one end of europe, the netherlands. denmark. all the way through into the soviet, well into the soviet union. and then north africa, libya and aimed at other north african countries where there was -- a large population of jews. corfu, rhodes, etc. and what makes it, we know of other genocides.
12:05 am
one of the most famous genocides, too little talked about is the turkish genocide of the armenians in the time of world war i. and that, which is denied also by the turks. the turkish government denies there was a genocide. there is a parallel there. but in any case, most genocides are against a specific people within a specific area. for answers, the turks were not out to kill armenians who
12:06 am
might've been living in berlin. or in paris or in any other place in europe. they wanted the armenians in a specific area and turkey murdered, destroyed, removed, etc. in this case, the case of the holocaust, as we know from the various memoirs and discussions we have had over the course of the semester, it was men, women, children, irrespective of whether you posed a particular threat to the german regime. and inside germany and outside of germany. the mass killings begin outside of germany. the begin with the group and the mobile killing units and early 1941 in former, in soviet territory. that the germans captured. so, it's different from, again, it does not encompass all the horrific things that were done in the name of germany during the war, but what, what captions our attention is this unique, unique cannot be modified.
12:07 am
you cannot say somewhat unique, a little unique, very unique. something is either unique or not unique. right? ok? this unique attempt to murder an entire people, irrespective of age. people were wheeled to the deportation trains. we have pictures of it. because they could not walk, they could not sit. baby carriages. babies carried into the gas chambers. irrespective of age, irrespective of gender, irrespective of whether the person posed a threat to germany and a sensible-- an ostensible threat to germany. what deniers are denying, holocaust deniers are denying, is that this happened. not that there were not bad things that happened, bad things -- as one denier that i interviewed said to me "bad things happen in war." one side bombs another, one side unfairly imprisons another group. so, this is no different. but one of the things, see they
12:08 am
engage in immoral equivalencies. we have moral equivalencies, these are immoral equivalencies. they will say things like, ok, so, the germans had concentration camps. that was well know. when doc how was opened they had a press conference to announce the opening of dacau. but the american -- who did the americans have camps for? >> japanese. prof. lipstadt: not is not entirely correct. who did we have camps for? >> japanese-americans. prof. lipstadt: american citizens of japanese descent. foreigners. >> did they have camps for pow's prof. lipstadt: camps for pow's. but that is the norm. many words in the region we are sitting in right now in the south. there were camps for officers, german officers. and in many camps, they were treated better, they had more freedoms of movement than american soldiers who were
12:09 am
black. so, in other words the officers could go into town, and african-american soldiers were often told by their commanding officers you were not allowed to go into town. but a pow camp is a norm, a prisoner of war camp is a norm in the course of a war. we're talking about camps for civilians. camps for noncombatants. they'll say, oh, well, the germans bombed london in the blitz but the allies bombed dresden. they will find all sorts of, you did bad. we did bad. let's all sing kumbayah. but there is no immoral equivalency of an attempt to wipe out an entire people. that stands alone. so there is this effort to deny it. now, holocaust denial begins quite early.
12:10 am
and, in fact, let's say, brazil and panama, not argentina. but in argentina, which was home to quite a number of escaped nazi war criminals, and a very loyal to the third reich german ex-pat community, they refused to believe when one of the chief executive officers, chief operating officer's of the holocaust told them about what happened, they refused to believe it. many of the early denial materials were produced there. some were produced in france. there was early denial in the 1950's and the 1960's.
12:11 am
but holocaust denial, the denial that i have studied, the denial you read about in " history on trial," or the movie, deals with later denial. and it deals with denial that begins to emerge about the mid-1970's. and it's, it has a certain parallel. alex, you and i were discussing white extremism. it adopts many of the same tactics. what deniers figured out, and deniers are very often closely linked to white supremacists, white power groups, etc. or, if you go on the website of white supremacist groups, you will see holocaust denial material there. they figured out early on that if you praised the third reich, praised the nazis, if you did that, if you walked around in pseudo third reich uniforms, or
12:12 am
you were photographed giving the german salute, people would look at you and say, that is an extremist. we don't want to be associated. an extremist rebels. that is why the racists do not go marching around with white bed sheets with ku klux klan hoods on. we all recognize that and we stay away from that. but they figured out if they got rid of the outer telltale signs of extremism, of pro-nazism and of neo-nazism and garb themselves in more traditional, acceptable, non-extremist wear people would not be repelled by this. so, instead of calling themselves deniers or anti-semites. we hate jews.
12:13 am
we think with the germans did was terrific. they adopted the name revisionist. sometimes you will hear deniers refer to as revisionists. and what they want to say is we are not denying anything. the only thing we want to do is revise mistakes in history. that is one an institute they created -- that's why an institute they created in the mid-1970's was the journal of historical review. review. in other words, reviewing mistakes in history. history makes mistakes. we understand things different, etc. but the only thing they looked at that was the killing of the jews. and it was hardly revising of mistakes, but it was denial. denial that, and they denied, each one is a little different.
12:14 am
there's not one overwhelming or uniform template to apply to all deniers, but there are certain things that are common to them. a, to deny that there was a plan by the third reich led by adolf hitler, directed from berlin to annihilate the jews. ok? so, that if any jews may have been killed -- they use the word died. pay close attention to language. it was rogue action. or individual action. some officer got out of hand, shot a bunch of jews. some soldiers buried to synagogue. but it was nothing organized and not directed from berlin. a. b.
12:15 am
the number six million victims is totally made up, an exaggeration. it cannot be proven. it cannot be documented, etc. c. anything wrong that was done was not done under the aegis of adolf hitler. again, it goes back to the rogue actions. these were out of control officers or things like that. what am i up to, d? i forget. and then a big focus on gas chambers. now, the gas chambers are a scientific impossibility. gas chambers would've exploded. gas chambers never happened. they were really fumigation
12:16 am
units, there were air raid shelters. any number of different examples of what they were other than purpose built killing machines. now, just for a moment, i want to contrast, i want to make a point here that i think it is important to recognize. the germans killed, murdered with the help of lithuanians, latvians, ukrainians, militia in different places, well over one million jews. we will look at some of those documents in a little while. but they shot them. took them out to pits that had been dug. shot them and buried them in the pits. we have eyewitnesses to this. we have the physical evidence, etc., etc. and the deniers do focus on that and do try to say that was, that was a killing a partisans, people who were spies, of people who were rising up against the germans.
12:17 am
doesn't explain how their own documented lists show how many jewish children and jewish women are killed. if you're killing spies you are not killing children in the great number they killed. the reason the deniers focus of much on the gas chambers is that you have shootings in many wars. you have shootings of civilians in many wars. not usually in the number of well over an one million in the short time span this happen, but the gas chambers were -- and you died in one, you died in the other. the death was horrific. this is not compared pain. if i walked in here this morning and said, my god, i have an impacted root canal and someone said, oh, i have two. i would not have felt the least bit better. people get, my pain is worse than your pain. my people's pain is worse than your pain, and i think it is a nonproductive, useless road to go down. but the reason we focus on the gas chambers is the gas chambers were purpose-built killing machines. a gun could be used to get food,
12:18 am
a gun could be used for protection. no matter how you might feel about guns, they do have purpose. other than killing. gas chambers have one purpose and one purpose only. and that is to kill people. and to kill them efficiently, and to kill them using as little fuel as possible. and to kill them in a way that, in a manner that will make them compliant, so they will not all go crazy and start fighting, so you hang your clothes over here, remember where you hung your clothes, so you can find them when you come out. putting showerheads in the gas chambers or things like that to deceive people so they will be more compliant. but the deniers, realizing that there is no immoral equivalency for gas chambers, go to great
12:19 am
efforts to deny them, to say they were scientific impossibility. ignoring reams of evidence, some of which i'm going to show you in a little while, on a website called h.doc. we will look at it in a minute. so, that's the basic arguments of deniers. no plan, no 6 million, no leadership from hitler, no gas chambers and the last point is this was all made up by jews to get sympathy from the world. and to get reparations. and in that sympathy on the first point and the sympathy from the world to get themselves a state. a jewish state.
12:20 am
now, i want to stop here from the details of denial and pause it for you and explained he why i consider and it seems eminently clear to me, holocaust denial is really a form of anti-semitism. because what it is arguing is that the jews made up this myth, made up this story of 6 million killed. and then not only to make it up, to make it up a myth. we can make up a lot of great stories. we walk out of this room and no people would believe us. people would look at us like we are weird. but they managed to make up this unbelievable, incredible story, and get the world to believe it, get the allies to help them plant evidence, get the germans who were innocent, according to
12:21 am
deniers, to pay billions in reparations and even more than the money being paid, they were paying reparations, you know, money paid to the victims, and to the families of the victims, etc. to bear a burden of having done this. to bear an ethical burden. because even today germany, when chancellor angela merkel decided three, four years ago to open germany to quite a few refugees, i think it was one million, many of them were already there but part of a reasoning is that we as germans cannot turn people away. if you go to germany, you spend time in germany, that burden of what happened -- now, some people fight it, some people ignored it, some people fight against it -- but somehow if this never happened, to get
12:22 am
germany to accept it, it's quite a thing. for, after all, think about this. for deniers to be right, who would have to be wrong? for deniers to be right, who would have to be wrong? >> the victims. prof. lipstadt: the victims. all the people who said this is my story. my family disappeared, my wife, my children, my parents, my uncles, aunts, cousins, neighbors, etc., i saw them being shot or taken to the gas chambers never to reappear again. who else would have to? >> governments. prof. lipstadt: which governments? >> the germans themselves, the perpetrators themselves when they say it happened, that they are making that up. who else would have to be wrong? >> the troops. prof. lipstadt: that is a very good point.
12:23 am
there is -- there are no witnesses saying it did not happen. we did not see it. these people were taken and are all still, were taken to this nice place to live in this nice place. there are no documents, so what deniers do is they have to debunk the documents that do exist -- alex? >> are they essentially conspiracy theorists? prof. lipstadt: yes, yes. they are conspiracy theorists. and that is what anti-semitism is. they are conspiracy theorists making the point that this small group of jews was able to get the allies to plant this evidence, hold the nuremberg trials, hold the war crimes trials, get the german to pay reparations, all these things because of the power of the jews.
12:24 am
that is why we consider it a form of anti-semitism because it plays into all of the -- the financial shenanigans of the jews, the power of the jews, the many political -- the manipulation of the jews. >> in the event and holocaust and other ones indisputably happen, would you consider revision is to be the same as deniers? prof. lipstadt: let me go back to that. thank you for reminding me. they call themselves revisionist but you will see in the book, in "denial," that i don't call them revisionist because revisionism for those who are history majors, you are going to learn that revisionism is a respected approach to history. if you were to go up to the library and find a history of the south, american south, from 1952, maybe even 1962 or earlier, it would have very
12:25 am
little discussion of the life of the african-american, either as a slave or later as a free person. it would very little information on southern women, black or white. so, what a historian today would do is take that period and revise and think, well, if we add the voice of the slave or the freed african-american or the voice of the woman, how does our understanding of history change? i will give you another example. after world war i. it was not called world war i. it was called the great war. the paris peace accords were seen as a great accomplishment. by you took a history class in
12:26 am
1965, as opposed to 1925 or even 1975, 1985, 1995, you learn about all of the flaws of the versailles treaty. the great financial burden it put on weimar germany, on democratic germany. the creation of -- all sorts of things we'll go into now. that is revision of history. that's looking, you ask different questions. we look at it as historical events and we ask different questions. so revision, in terms of general history is a very respected. it is one of the operating motives of any science. >> they will often look back to
12:27 am
early legitimate historians who would call themselves revisionists. we're in that lineage. they try to legitimize their approach, denial through revision. >> do these actual legitimate historians who subscribe to the school of thought of revisionism, do they distance themselves? prof. lipstadt: there are no serious historians in the ranks of deniers. >> right. prof. lipstadt: yes, sometimes you'll get a professor that he learned as a professor of, i don't know astrophysics -- but, you know. they are in a completely different feel. no serious historian subscribes to this. where it has gotten traction is among certainly far right wing extremist, anti-semites and then
12:28 am
it begins to get traction today. for a long time, we thought it had diminished markedly. but it begins to get traction today in other ways, in sort of soft core denial. what had been talking about is hard core denial. soft core denial is bad things happen all the time. why complain about it? or you will get people that were once formerly respectable people. the former mayor of london. yeah, it happen but the zionists cooperated with the nazis and made it happen because they wanted the jews to come to palestine. it has no legitimate grounding, no legitimate historical data, but you will get that kind of thing as well. or the poles. in poland today, as of a year ago, they passed a law that says you can't talk about the polish people as collaborators.
12:29 am
now, the poles, because they wanted to -- they were many victims there are many poles who collaborated with the germans and many who rescued jews. and many poles who turned jews in. poland was to be thought of strictly as a victim, we did not collaborate in anyway. that is not the hard core denial i am talking about but it is more what i call soft core denial. >> when you say that there were not taken seriously, it is very different to the book where the denier is shown as someone who is taken seriously by the media and historians. prof. lipstadt: very few historians subscribe to his, talking about the tape of what happened with david irving. i will get into it in a more constructive way. ok, the same thing. so, let's turn to that for a
12:30 am
minute. my story, as many of you know from the memoir, which you are reading, etc. i wrote a book in 1993, published in 1993 on holocaust denial. i was intrigued by why was the media taking it seriously? why were people paying attention to this? on campuses refine people saying things like oh, it is the other side of the story. well, you know, there is a saying that you can have your own opinions but you cannot have your own facts. i don't holocaust denial and opinion. in order to be a holocaust denier, you have to look at the facts and lie. there are facts and their opinions and there are lies. it is not an opinion. it is a lie. but sometimes you can have a
12:31 am
long, you could think the earth is flat just because you have never been exposed holocaust ever beenve nee exposed. but in order to believe in denial you have to ignore reams of evidence, some of which we have gone through. the holocaust has the dubious detention of being the best documented genocide in the world. and the perpetrators, no perpetrator in any war crimes trial has ever stood up and said it did not happen. what they've said is, i didn't do it. i was only following orders. i had no choice. but not it did not happen, ok. then you have the people in the villages around the death camps. triblinka. who saw the train's day after day. who knew what was going on there? they knew what was going on. and the victims, of course. and the historians. for holocaust deniers to be right, thousands of historians who have written on this topic in the united states, in north
12:32 am
america, and south america, in all of the european continent, in israel, i do not know where else, in japan. i was in japan and met with scholars working on, you know, the rescue of jews. another aspect of the holocaust. they would all have to either be in on the dupe, on this trick or have been duped. it does not make sense. what happened to me is in 1993 i wrote this book trying to examine this phenomenon and arguing it is a form of anti-semitism. in the book i made brief mention, i think, there are 300 words of a man named david irving. who was an author of many books on history. when you look at them closely, you can see they do not deserve to be, he does not deserve the
12:33 am
title of historian because he ignores evidence, perverts evidence, etc. he knew the facts and he twisted them. there are some deniers who do not know the facts. they believe that jews are evil. and someone says to you, they made it all up. because they wanted money from germany. because if you brought up in the western world, not just the western world, you have a template of anti-semitism. just like if you are white and you have a template of racism. you have grown up in that petri dish with those kinds of things around you, you know? so, i want to explore this phenomena. i mentioned -- i talked about the fact he became a denier. he likes to do outrageous things. and say, make outrageous historical claims.
12:34 am
at some point in the late 1980's he became a denier. he sued me for libel in british courts. the reason you chose great britain -- it is the mirror image of the united states. if you say you libeled me, i have to have to say you libeled. in britain, you as the author of the words have to prove the truth of what you say. > because the, the book was sold in britain. it was a british edition. so, i was considered to have done business in britain. and once you engage in a commercial enterprise there, you are liable to their laws, including their libel laws. >> in the book, it mentions a lot of the financial cost of the lawsuit. how did he manage to pay for everything? prof. lipstadt: first of all, he had supporters. he had many supporters amongst
12:35 am
white supremacists. there were saudis offering him money. he told the court that at one point. but we never, we never quite tracked that down. we never really attempted to track that down. >> i want to highlight how that all went down. because people often get that wrong saying that you sued him. even back in that time, people found it that way. prof. lipstadt: many people just assumed i had sued him. right. i mean, i don't believe history belongs in the courtroom. adjudicating things in a courtroom in a legal context is quite different. he sued me. but matthews point, thank you, is a correct one. many people assume, she must have sued him. so, in any case, he sued me. we took a very, some people say
12:36 am
this trial was about proving out holocaust happened. it really was not about that. when i sat down with my lawyers, we were both on the same page in this regard, but we said, we don't have trials to prove that world war i happened and we do not have trial to prove, i don't know, the civil war happened in the united states or whatever. why do you need a trial to prove the holocaust? that is not what we're about. my book was not about proving the holocaust happened. my book was about looking at deniers. and david irving says he is not a falsify of history, he does not lie about history or deny the documents. what we did, and should be of interest to any student of history is we followed the footnotes back to the source. in other words, we are not proving what happened, how many people precisely were murdered in auschwitz or murdered by the
12:37 am
troopers, but we were arguing that when david irving says at one point, he says only 64,000 people died there. "died" there. the evidence was using that does not prove his point. in other words, we were following his claims to show that he engaged in distortion of information, distortion of material, etc. yeah? >> it's similar to alex's question, but since irving was seen as an historian and if you are a denier, you cannot be an historian. how is it that so many respected scholars and professors saw him as an historian and even your lawyer at first did not want to say he wasn't. prof. lipstadt: we did not want to make a claim because we thought it was a swamp. we would not be able to make clear to the court in that sense. the more we looked at his information and more outraged we
12:38 am
were about how we openly distorted material. but people thought he had a propensity for finding documents that were not otherwise known. he would go to germany and someone would give him a diary and someone would give him something. over the years, they became less and less taken with his claims about history. he wrote a book called hitler's war. in it, he said it it is the autobiography that hitler never got to write. i'm paraphrasing here. i put myself in hitler's shoes. in it, he argues that hitler never knew about the holocaust. he tried to stop it. that's what he writes in the late 1970's. he revises the book in the late, early 1990's, and then all mention of the holocaust disappears.
12:39 am
not only that hitler had nothing to do with it but it is gone is being mentioned. but historians were interested in the documents he found. it wasn't he had so much respect, but he had history for suing people and being very litigious. i, of course, was one of his victims. >> you briefly touched on this in the book. you mention how at first he starts not as a full-on denier. he gradually falls into this denying. how do you think that happened? prof. lipstadt: here i'm speculating. i do not know for a fact but it seems to me that as time went on, he was getting less and less attention. people were saying, what's this craziness claiming hitler did not know about the holocaust? what is this extreme view of one thing or another? and it was a way of being, it seems to me, a way of being outrageous.
12:40 am
of getting attention. and when he would go to the meetings of the historic review, he has, hail the conquering hero. they loved having him come there. that is the only explanation. >> can you talk about the historical review and how it tried to look like -- prof. lipstadt: it's an important point because it resonates with some of the things we are seen today with extremism. it would have scholarly conferences. this looks like a scholarly conference. you'd glance. if you lose closely with the was all about denying the holocaust. it would publish journals. in fact, there was a student at yale, i believe it was yale, who wrote his senior thesis on some aspects of the luftwaffe and he went to the library. one of his teacher said, this is really good.
12:41 am
you should think about getting a published. so, he took himself off to the library. went to the journals, the journals on world war ii. he he saw the journal on historical review. i forget what the title was. and i'm going to send it to them. and he sent it to them and they accepted it immediately and publish it right away and sent him a check for $300. when someone told her the story, i said we should have known it was not a legit journal. a, they accepted it right away. b, they published right away. and they paid him. [laughter] he was duped by this. you can be duped by these kind of things. and the newspapers reported, this sounds legit. what we did is follow the evidence back to the sources and show how he twisted.
12:42 am
if you bring up one of those. ok, before you do that, this is a website holocaust denial on trial available now in french and spanish. i know we know you can do it in english. >> it will be available in russian and arabic and -- prof. lipstadt: farsi. an emory-based website, holocaust denial on trial. it's an emory based website with its own portal for security reasons. it has all, if you go to the lower end. the right hand side, trial materials, witness reports, etc. history on the project but let's go to the debunking holocaust deniers. just the different things that are covered in that. so, anne frank. one of the biggest things that the deniers like to deny is the authenticity of the anne frank diary.
12:43 am
you might ask the question, why? you are denying gas chambers, denying 6 million. why worry about anne frank's diary? >> they want -- it was one of the most popular diaries ever published in history. prof. lipstadt: before harry potter, it was the second most translated book in the world, other than the bible. but that's exactly right. for so many young people, the diary of anne frank is their entry into this field. if we can prove that is false, you were tricked about that. we can prove about other things. they say it is written in ballpoint pen. which it isn't. in the margins, the editor who worked on it, of course, never thought that she was handling something that would become iconic literature.
12:44 am
iconic piece of history so she made notes in the margins in green ballpoint pen. the diary is an ink that has been shown to be ink of the exact kind used in a period. about the annex. but let's go to the number of jews. let's go down a little bit. on auschwitz. other things where they tried to deny the authenticity of auschwitz. let's go to that one. crematory. german documents on the evidence. right there. so, what to know about the capacity of the cremation? here is the deniers claim. there are no authentic nazi documents that address the capacity of the crematoria. what they are trying to argue is that there are no documents that
12:45 am
show this camp could've, these others, that these others could have burned -- these ovens could have burned all of the arteries murdered in the gas chambers. this is about the ovens. they reject evidence. go down a little bit. there is a document that says, here we go, right here. 4700 people could be, 4700 bodies could be cremated and a 24-hour period. why were so concerned about the bodies to be cremated? they are killing people. the germans were very concerned about typhus and other diseases. you do not want the bodies to pile up. and, also, what he going to do? people say, no, you're going to the showers and they pile the bodies. it is like working backwards. how many bodies can be cremated determines how the people we can kill in 24 hours.
12:46 am
here you have a german documents sent by the head of the central building administration in auschwitz birkenau in terms of building different units, etc. sent to berlin detailing how many bodies could be burned in each crema, crematorium. here you see the actual document. one, 340 persons in a 24 hour period. if you have been to auschwitz birkenau, when you going to birkenau, you go to the back of the camps. that's crema two and crema three. crema four and five you just see the floor because it was pretty much destroyed. but telling you the exact number of people who could be burned in a 24 hour period.
12:47 am
so, four bodies in each muscle, that hole where you put the body in. four bodies over the period, 4700 people could be killed. that is already telling. if you create a capacity for cremate 4700 people in a 24-hour period, that is pretty striking. at one point during the trial, david irving tried to argue there was a typhus epidemic in the camp and they needed to cremate bodies. they are repopulating the camp and getting typhus. it does not make any sense. that is how we argued and how we showed. there you have the documents showing exactly what is was. if you take us to the -- the mobile killings. the estimate is pretty much --
12:48 am
1.1 million jews, a little over that, were murdered by the group and the collaborators. the holocaust deniers that the number is lower than one million. there is no statistic basis for that claim. research shows, what we have is group reports. there four major groups and there were smaller units within them. they sent back reports to berlin and how may people there were killing. we have many of those reports. they were discovered in preparation to the nuremberg trials. an american researchers found the files, reports. it's an interesting thing. stop for a moment and think about it. you're out killing people and the open, on the eastern front, murdering people. you write up a report detailing how many people you killed.
12:49 am
we only have one document and is one, right? here, right there. that is the jaeger report. that is the compilation. the deniers said the number of victims is impossibly large. here you have the jaeger report, report by a german officer, german general, on the number of jews who have been killed with us far. go down a little further. stop right there. here you have it. it's a comprehensive study of how many people had been killed by each unit at a certain point in time. if you to through all of these reports you come up with 1.1 million. but, going back to the creation of the report, why would someone create a report, you know, on this kind of thing?
12:50 am
>> wasn't it that they were very bureaucratic? prof. lipstadt: certainly bureaucratic but what else are you trying to say when you create a report? why else? robin? why else would you be. why, what would be the motivation of creating a report? >> legitimacy. prof. lipstadt: what else? i did my job. i'm proud of it. or, alternatively, the same reason, cya. should someone come and say, you did the wrong thing. i reported on it. there is a very interesting moment in the trial where our expert talking about his reports, christopher browning, a very prominent historian at the holocaust, a very fine historian was on the stand. and david irving was cross-examining him.
12:51 am
he said, maybe they exaggerated the numbers. maybe they blew the numbers up. maybe the numbers are much smaller. and, you know, browning said, yes, that's possible. i'm thinking, he supposed to be -- but they added something which shows the illogical of these deniers. he said, yes, but if they are he says writing, that whoever was sending in the reports new that berlin wanted big numbers. you only and exaggerate something when you know you are for filling, you are reporting to the higher ups. they want big numbers, i will give them big numbers. so that is the kind of thing. we pulled out the ground from underneath with logic and with documentation that shows that the claims there are no documents. >> and when it came to the nazi hierarchy, there is this concept that historians talk about called working towards the fuhrer.
12:52 am
hitler what kind of have a very uncertain idea of what he wanted or sometimes a very certain idea of what he wanted but he would let his underlings figure out how they would do it. without putting his own -- prof. lipstadt: get rid of the jews. >> so, would try to implement, to prove that they had not only done the task but done it with efficiency. there was a large desire to really try and work toward the fuhrer. prof. lipstadt: everybody wanted to outperform the other. you want to get rid of all of these people. i'm going to figure out the most drastic way. sometimes there was corroboration like when we read the memoirs, the diaries pertaining to france, sometimes, that case it was the germans wanted to deport the adults and the french, take the children, also.
12:53 am
sometimes they got support. working within the german hierarchy, working towards the fuhrer. he provided at least 35 different instances and they are all in the, on this website. you can look at the transcripts. bring up the section of the judgments. the last section of the judgment, part 13. so, what we did is, again, not prove, at one point, you know, my barrister turned to irving and said, i'm not interested in how many people were murdered at birkenau. i'm interested in proving that when you say it is only 54,000 you do not have the evidence to prove it. yet you are putting it out there as a claim. not what happened, but that what david irving -- and he is central to the deniers' argument, less so now, but he is central to the deniers' argument.
12:54 am
um, whoops. this is, um, i don't know if you will be able to find it. i will look up the source in just a moment. the judge eventually finds, this is, his judgment was over i think it is close to 300 if not over 300 pages long. if you, you don't have to read the whole thing but he summarizes each argument. in the end, in this section, he says, david irving perverts, distorts, his view is misleading, it is a travesty, it is unreal. he does it on purpose. he is motivated by his desire for -- in a manner with consistent with his own
12:55 am
ideological beliefs, even if that involvement had no historical evidence, and he is a neo-nazi polemicist. that was more than what we hoped for in terms of showing him to what, for what he was. >> right here in 13.44, this is from the judgment. it does not appear to me that irving approach the evidence in an objective manner. prof. lipstadt: he perverts the evidence. so, it was a significant victory in that sense. it put the kibosh sort of on hard core holocaust denial arguments. though people who have no sense of any of the evidence, etc., still try to make that are doing. it hasn't put the kibosh on soft core denial.
12:56 am
questions, comments? >> do you think that on david irving's attack was rooted in his personal belief in anti-semitism, or was recently trying to -- prof. lipstadt: why me? that is a great question. i can only speculate. but what i speculate is that were three things that motivated him. a, i was from the other side of the pond. and it was very hard. he is suing me over here. how am i going to mount a defense? how am i going to move my life over here to fight this? he offered to settle for 500 pounds, which i refused. to go to a charity of his choice. immediately, i could see it on the holocaust denial website. i was not going to settle. certain things you do not settle. a, i was on the other side of
12:57 am
the pond. b, i was a woman. and he is a misogynist. it is not surprising. anti-semitism and misogyny -- there are even more examples in the past couple of months of how they dovetail. i was a woman. and third of all, i was a jew. i'm known as a jew. i'm woman, i'm a redhead, i'm a jew. it is part of who i am. i am affiliated, etc. he had seen that by going after me he could go after jews, the jewish community. he wanted to prove there was a conspiracy against him. that they are out to get me. and he brought in a person who parades himself as an expert. the judge gave him a half hour on the stand and sort of did not think very much of him. a professor from emeritus now,
12:58 am
cal state long beach, who was to proof that i was part of a bigger conspiracy, which i wasn't. and what, with newspaper clippings. this newspaper said that you spoke of this meeting of a jewish organization and this newspaper said this organization was promoting her book or something like that. i was doing many in non-jewish settings as well but that did not matter to them. the judge kept saying, yeah, show me she's part of the conspiracy. turned to my barrister and then said, your witness and -- he said i have no questions to this witness. he had looked so silly. but i think that was part of it. other? >> i remember having a talk with
12:59 am
some teachers at an unesco conference and they were mentioning how there was an increase of theories and an increase in conspiracy theories and people believed it and that also rise in anti-semitism. and how do you relate this to soft core denial, and how do you address that? prof. lipstadt: it as part of it in a very overt fashion. the soft core denial is making a number of arguments. the holocaust was not so bad. there they go talking about the holocaust again. enough on the holocaust. some people talk about in inappropriate ways. but when you're talking about the genocide committing at a lifetime of people who are still on the earth in which one out of every three people of a group is murdered, it's hard to say too much.
1:00 am
? like, people say, white don't -- why don't we talk about slavery more? exactly. we should talk about slavery or the armenian genocide more. one is to diminish it. it was not so bad. there they go again, to make jokes about it. you see memes on the internet making jokes about it.
1:01 am
1:02 am
1:03 am
1:04 am
1:05 am
1:06 am
1:07 am
1:08 am
1:09 am
1:10 am
1:11 am
1:12 am
1:13 am
1:14 am
1:15 am


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on