Deborah Lipstadt on the Irving Sentence

What a good thing it is that Deborah Lipstadt has a blog. It is, needless to say, full of interest right now. She was floored yesterday by Irving’s sentence. She gave us her first thoughts and then further thoughts, she was summoned to talk to the BBC and then unsummoned because they switched to bird flu. Livelier than the average blog, you must admit – and also involved in centrally important issues. Truth, for instance, and evidence, and documentation, records, history, lies and the uncovering of lies.

After having a long conversation with a reporter who was in the courtroom, I have learned that it seemed to him – quite clearly so – that the judge was really angry about Irving’s claims to have “changed his views” as of the 1990s. “The judge had read every page of every transcript of your trial. He knew the judgment. He knew the experts’ findings,” this reporter said to me. “The judge knew that in 2000 Irving was in court suing you. He knew that Irving’s claims to have seen the light and to no longer be a denier as of the 1990s was rot and that Irving was playing with the court.”

Once again, as he did at my trial, Irving seemed to behave in a way that said: “I can do whatever I want, say whatever I want and get away with it.” The problem is, he can’t. While I may disagree with Holocaust denial laws, while I may be disturbed by the sentence, David Irving cannot seem to grasp that there are consequences to his actions.

Judges don’t like it when people play with the court. We saw that in Judge Jones’s verdict, and we see it again here.

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