D. D. Guttenplan’s The Holocaust on Trial is a bristling courtroom drama where the meaning of history is questioned. The plaintiff is British author David Irving, one of the world’s preeminent military historians whose works are considered essential World War II scholarship and whose biographies of leading Nazi figures have been bestsellers. Irving refuses to admit to Hitler’s responsibility in the extermination of European Jewry, replying that the Holocaust as we know it never happened. The defendant is Deborah Lipstadt, who blew the whistle on Irving, calling him “one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial.” Irving sued for libel, and under English law, it was up to Lipstadt to prove the truth of her writings, and the falseness of Irving’s views.
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