Translate

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Jane Garvey interviews Deborah Lipstadt on BBC Woman's Hour and advertises Denial as "a great film, well worth seeking out"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0890k96

Jane Garvey:

Let's talk to Deborah Lipstadt, the American academic who was living a successful but to be honest quite obscure life in Georgia when she wrote a book called Denying the Holocaust in 1993. She came to international prominence when a British historian a man called David Irving sued her. She made reference to him in that book describing him as somebody who said the Holocaust never happened. The case reached the High Court in the first few weeks of the year 2000 and is now the subject of a new film called Denial. Now here's a quick extract after a bad day in court when Irving is getting headlines for his views and creating soundbites. Deborah, who is played in the film by Rachel Weisz is understandably angry.

Rachel Weisz as Lipstadt:

Irving got what he came for. He wanted headlines, he got them: "No holes, no Holocaust." He wanted a catchy phrase, he got it. It's gonna spread like a virus.

Female voice:

More tea?

Rachel Weisz as Lipstadt:

No, I don't want more tea! 

Female voice [aggrieved]:

I was just asking. 

Rachel Weisz as Lipstadt:

Don't you see what he's doing? He is making it respectable to say that there are two points of view. People are going to see the news now and think "OK, some people think there were gas chambers at Auschwitz and, oh, this is interesting, and some people don't!"

Jane Garvey:

That was Deborah Lipstadt as played by Rachel Weisz. The real Deborah Lipstadt joins us now from the BBC Studios in Salford. Deborah, good morning to you.

Deborah Lipstadt:

Good morning. Thank you for having me.

Jane Garvey:

It's really interesting to talk to you for a multitude of reasons and what a time for this particular film to come out!

Deborah Lipstadt:

Unbelievable! Unbelievable!

Jane Garvey:

What do you make of that?

Deborah Lipstadt:

None of us thought - not the producers, not Mick Jackson the director, or anybody who acted in it, not the actors or David Hare - none of us assumed when we first began planning and working on this that it would have the contemporary relevance that it does but given the first part of the show where we spoke about the marches, we live in a world where people have alternative facts where truthiness - Stephen Colbert calls it truthiness where if I really believe something it has has as much value as facts. 

Jane Garvey:

Just remind us, who used the phrase "alternative facts" in the last couple of hours?

Deborah Lipstadt:

Well, in the last 24 hours, Kelly Conway, the Trump Campaign Manager, now a pivotal person in the White House, when the President's Press Spokesman went out in front of the press and completely lied and said this was the biggest inauguration ever and called the press liars for saying it wasn't when the pictures show great gaps in the number of people and stands at the parade were empty - not all of them but a lot of them, he just went on this rant when the NBC interviewer called her on this and said this is not true and, she said "We have alternative facts." Well, there's no such thing as alternative facts and another word for alternative fact is shorter and quicker and stronger is lies. And this is the third day of the Administration!

Jane Garvey:

Yes, well, OK, it's going to be - I don't know how best to describe it - interesting is an adjective that catches everyone. Let's stick to that.

Deborah Lipstadt:

It's a Chinese curse!

Jane Garvey:

Let's go back in time then to you writing this book - and I said your life was obscure but I don't mean to be offensive - it was a very satisfying one, I'm sure. You cannot have expected ....

Deborah Lipstadt:

I wasn't on Woman's Hour!

Jane Garvey:

You weren't at the time, no. What did you expect when you wrote Denying the Holocaust?

Deborah Lipstadt:

Denying the Holocaust was a book that was suggested to me by two leading historians of the Holocaust who said "You should look into this phenomenon" and I said, "Are you kidding? It's like studying flat-earthers," but they really felt it was important and I have a lot of respect for them so I figured I would write the book and I didn't have a title for the next book at that moment. I said I'll spend two years writing this book and that's it, I'd be finished with the topic and I'm gonna move on. Little did I think it would shake my life and it was because David Irving came after me and sued me for libel.

Jane Garvey:

That's the important fact, isn't it? He sued you. I think some people thought it was the other way round.

Deborah Lipstadt:

I don't believe history belongs in the courtroom. I am against laws outlawing Holocaust Denial. I don't think politicians should be deciding what we can and cannot say, what is permissible and what is not permissible. I am a firm believer in our First Amendment. It's hanging on by its fingernails but it's still hanging on. Freedom of speech is important. The best antidote to bad speech is more good speech.

Jane Garvey:

In the film, you are portrayed as coming to London where incidentally in the film it rains the whole time. I would like to say it isn't actually true, Deborah.

Deborah Lipstadt:

I know, I was here!

Jane Garvey:

... And you're mystified and you do get a lot of tea at times when you are particularly stressed.  You are an American at sea in the English legal system and you appeared to be baffled by it. Was that the case?

Deborah Lipstadt:

I was, I was, because British libel law is the mirror image of American libel law. Here, the burden of proof is on me to prove the truth and that's why people suggested that I settle, and there were a lot of people here and in the States who thought it wasn't worth my time. If I had settled, I would have to apologise for [sic] him and David Irving offered to settle before the trial and I refused because it meant my apologising for calling him a Holocaust Denier, my accepting that his version of the Holocaust was true and agreeing to pulp all my books. He was trying to curtail my freedom of speech.

Jane Garvey:

In the film you visit some members of the Jewish community in London and they also urged you to pack it in to leave it. Did that happen?

Deborah Lipstadt:

That's right. It happened quite precisely how I described it in my book. They were frightened. They thought David Irving would get publicity and even if he had lost he would win. Anthony Julius felt quite differently.

Jane Garvey:

He was your lawyer.

Deborah Lipstadt:

He was your solicitor, he was terrific, he really structured the defence together with his partner James Lipson and Richard Rampton, my barrister. He said "We're gonna fight a good fight, we're gonna decimate this man, we're gonna show he's a liar, he's a falsifier of history and we're going to expose him, and they did.

Jane Garvey:

But they did it without your actually contributing in court. Now I've only known you for a couple of minutes but I'm guessing you might have found that quite difficult keeping quiet.

Deborah Lipstadt:

I have friends saying that either the biggest miracle of this case was that I kept my mouth shut for the ten weeks that the case was and even for the year before it went to trial. Other people have described my keeping quiet as an unnatural act. It was very hard, but I came to understand the wisdom of their decision. I had written my book. I was being sued for what I wrote in my book. Our strategy was to keep the focus on David Irving. We followed his footnotes back to his sources and showed a consistent - not once or twice, not a mistake here or there - but I think 25 or 26 different instances - major instances - of lies and distortions in which he manipulates history.

Jane Garvey:

You also managed to win without the direct involvement of Holocaust survivors, so no Holocaust survivors gave evidence in court and again the film suggests you were very angry about that. Was that true?

Deborah Lipstadt:

I was upset about that. I think I understood sooner than Rachel Weisz does in the film the way it was written why they were doing that. Again, Holocaust survivors would have been witnesses of fact. We didn't wanna raise questions about the factual nature of the Holocaust, we wanted the spotlight to be on David Irving and his lies, and bringing them in would have changed that. Some were upset, some were concerned, but the overwhelming victory, the overwhelming judgment we got from the court when the judge said he lies, he falsifies, he distorts and he does it deliberately I think satisfied them that it was the right strategy.

Jane Garvey:

The plain fact though is that David Irving did get his days in court. He did get attention, he did get publicity. What do you think of that?

Deborah Lipstadt:

I think he got publicity, but it was the wrong kind of publicity. Before when he made his claims people would say "Oh, that's interesting," but nobody knew it was true or not true. Anybody who was in that courtroom, anybody who has read my book, anybody who has seen this film will see that what he claims is not what's there. He takes a fact and he distorts it, so, yes, he got publicity, but I think it was an exposure of his lies. No one takes what he has to say seriously unless they are already anti-Semites and already racist, because racism was very much a part of it as well. 
[There appears to be a liberal presumption that anyone who is perceived to be racist and/or anti-Semitic must by definition be a liar whose legal rights must therefore be counted at nought from then on. The definition of racism and anti-Semitism is vague and wide and can include saying anything that a person of another race might take an offence at. To be called an anti-Semite these days, all that has to happen is that a Jew hates you enough to accuse you of it. Justice Gray appears to have accepted this presumption without much difficulty. Independent judiciary, my eye.]

Jane Garvey:

The plain fact is, Deborah, is that we all pick our version of the truth, don't we? Everyone knows the Holocaust took place and it was hideous beyond anything that I can think of. However, when I look at my Twitter feed, for example, I largely get the views of people who might be tempted to agree with me or think along the same lines as me. Where do we go from this, particular in this age of social media? Where do we find every bit of truth we can grab hold of?

[Jane Garvey has blocked me on Twitter and so has the brunette woman on @BBCr4today. Libtards like living in their own echo chamber only occasionally wondering out loud if they should take account of other views more, but they basically broadcast for each other. Some of the Radio 4 programmes sound so cosy, just like friends talking to each other, don't they? That's because BBC journalists find their friends and lovers from the BBC itself eg Victoria Derbyshire stole Fi Glover's husband. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2706920/BBC-boss-left-radio-star-wife-presenter-Victoria-Derbyshire-sacked-claims-sexually-harassed-staff-member-probe-expenses.html These fucktard libtards don't care about us and are now even more afraid of venturing out of their own echo chamber. If any of them started expressing non-libtard normal views in the BBC canteen they would soon find themselves ostracised by their narrow-minded bigoted BBC village.]

Deborah Lipstadt:

You know when David Hare the playwright took on writing I was so thrilled by that because I have so much respect for him and he has now become a friend. He sent me a long document sort of laying out exactly what happened to me. For anyone who's going to write a biography of David Hare, it's going to be a very interesting document because it shows how he is going to shape the story and shape the screenplay, but at the very end he included a quote from Bertold Brecht's Life of Galileo, and it goes back to Galileo: the sun does not move around the earth, and you can insist that it does and you can put someone who claims that it does to death and whatever it is, but the facts stand and I think we don't all have our own versions of the facts. We may have our own explanations of why this fact happened as it did. Could World War Two have been prevented? Could the Holocaust have been prevented? Could the war in Iraq have been prevented? There are many things why but that they happened, that's the truth. Could we stop the snow caps melting? They're melting. The climate is changing. Slavery happened. It was not a good thing. There are facts and I think this movie, while it's ostensibly about Holocaust Deniers, it has a much bigger message and I never dreamt, as I said at the beginning that it would have the contemporary relevance that it does, and sadly, it does. 

Jane Garvey:

So, very briefly, Deborah, to our younger listeners, your advice in life would be listen and ask questions?

Deborah Lipstadt:

And check. A friend of mine right at the beginning of the election said to me "I hear Hillary Clinton is sick." I said to this person - she was tending towards Trump - "Really, where did you read this?" "On the internet." "Who said it?" "I don't know." "Where did he say it?" "I don't know." "What was the proof?" "I don't know."

The internet is a great gift but with every gift comes responsibility and we who care about facts - doesn't matter what your political outlook is - Conservative, right-wing, left-wing, it doesn't matter - check the facts. Check the truth. There are truths and we have to make sure we know them. 

Jane Garvey:

Good to talk to you, Deborah. Thank you very much.

Deborah Lipstadt:

Thank you very much for having me. 

Jane Garvey:

A great pleasure. Deborah Lipstadt. The film is Denial. Starring Rachel Weisz, Timothy Spall and Tom Wilkinson. It's a great film, well worth seeking out.

http://www.fpp.co.uk/trial/judgment/Lipstadt_judgment.pdf

http://thevoiceofreason-ann.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/denialmovie.html

http://thevoiceofreason-ann.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/my-review-of-denial.html

What Jesus said about Jews in his sermon on the Mount

John 8:44 "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."


No comments: