The Case for Auschwitz

Unjacketed Library Edition

The Case for Auschwitz

Evidence from the Irving Trial
Robert Jan van Pelt
Distribution: World
Publication date: 1/14/2002
Format: cloth 592 pages, 132 b&w photos
7 x 10
ISBN: 978-0-253-34016-0
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Description

From January to April 2000 historian David Irving brought a high-profile libel case against Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt in the British High Court, charging that Lipstadt’s book, Denying the Holocaust (1993), falsely labeled him a Holocaust denier. The question about the evidence for Auschwitz as a death camp played a central role in these proceedings. Irving had based his alleged denial of the Holocaust in part on a 1988 report by an American execution specialist, Fred Leuchter, which claimed that there was no evidence for homicidal gas chambers in Auschwitz. In connection with their defense, Penguin and Lipstadt engaged architectural historian Robert Jan van Pelt to present evidence for our knowledge that Auschwitz had been an extermination camp where up to one million Jews were killed, mainly in gas chambers. Employing painstaking historical scholarship, van Pelt prepared and submitted an exhaustive forensic report that he successfully defended in cross-examination in court.

Author Bio

Robert Jan van Pelt is Professor in the School of Architecture, University of Waterloo, Canada. He is coauthor (with Debrah Dwork) of Auschwitz: 1270 to the Present and winner of a National Jewish Book Award, 1996, and of the Spiro Kostof Book Award of the Society of Architectural Historians.

Reviews

"The bulk of the book is the methodical and chilling presentation of materials presented at the trial . . . interwoven with Irving's testimony and defense. Van Pelt has arranged an enormous amount of complex material succinctly and to great effect. Read as a whole, the book is a stunning courtroom drama and a vital document of historical evidence. This is an important addition to Holocaust literature and 20th-century history." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Readers of this book, which will become the sine qua non of all writing about the Holocaust, should be warned that it describes the gruesome nature of Holocaust history, and the equally gruesome role of those who have sought to deny it." —The Jerusalem Post

"The Irving case has done for the new century what the Nuremberg tribunals or the Eichmann trial did for earlier generations." —The Daily Telegraph

"Fascinating insights into the conduct of the case and the main personalities . . ." —Jewish Chronicle

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Table of Contents

Preliminary :

Preface and Acknowledgments
1. The Negationists' Challenge to Auschwitz
2. Marshaling the Evidence
3. Intentional Evidence
4. Confessions and Trials
5. "Witnesses Despite themselves"
6. Auschwitz at the Irving Trial
Abbreviations
Notes
Bibliography
Index