On November 15, 2017, the Western Foundation and the Wolpow Institute welcomed Historian Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt to campus. Dr. Lipstadt presented “History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving,” where she recounted the story of her libel trial in London against right-wing extremist David Irving. In her 1993 book “Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory,” Lipstadt identified Irving as a Holocaust denier, provoking him to sue. The trial continued for over five years, and ended with the judge ruling in Lipstadt’s behalf. Irving was labelled not only a Holocaust denier, but a racist, a falsifier of history, and an antisemite. Irving later attempted to appeal the verdict, but was denied. The trial was described by the Daily Telegraph (London) as “having done for the new century what the Nuremberg tribunals or the Eichmann trial did for earlier generations.”
Dr. Lipstadt’s 2005 account of the trial, “History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving,” was made into a 2016 movie, “Denial,” starring Rachel Weisz as Lipstadt.
Dr. Lipstadt’s visit was made possible by the generous support of a number of units on campus. Our gratitude extends to the Western Washington University Foundation, the Friends of the Ray Wolpow Institute Fund, the Kohlmeier Mikulencak Fund for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, Fairhaven College World Issues Forum, the Western Libraries, and the Departments of History, Liberal Studies, Modern & Classical Languages, Political Science, and Sociology. More than 750 tickets were reserved for Lipstadt’s presentation in Western’s Performing Arts Center.
For a video recording of Dr. Deborah Lipstadt’s talk, please visit Western’s CEDAR website.