Nov 17, 2016
In 1996, Emory University Professor Deborah Lipstadt found herself in a peculiar situation: she and a team of lawyers would have to defend the truth about the Holocaust against British historian and famed Holocaust denier David Irving.
It was a quirk of the English legal system that allowed the battle to play out in court. In England, the burden of proof in libel cases rests on the defendant, not the plaintiff. So, when David Irving filed a libel lawsuit against Professor Lipstadt and her British publisher for critical statements Professor Lipstadt wrote about him in her 1993 book “Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory,” it was up to Professor Lipstadt to justify her criticism.
Sixteen years after Professor Lipstadt won her legal battle, the story of her encounter with Irving is now the subject of the recently released movie “Denial.”
Deborah Lipstadt is our guest on today’s episode of “So to Speak.” During our conversation, Professor Lipstadt revisits the Irving trial, explains its implications for free speech and academic freedom, and elaborates on the unique phenomenon of seeing one’s life acted out on the big screen.
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