The circumstances surrounding David Irvin’s lawsuit against Deborah Lippstadt were highlighted in Richard J. Evans’ book Telling Lies About Hitler: The Holocaust, History, and the Irving Trial. The author; Evans is a witness in the ordeal in which Deborah denounced David as a Holocaust denier, which David regards as slander and which led to the eventual filing of the lawsuit in court.
The book depicts Irvin as a fervent Hitler fan. Furthermore, contrary to what Lippstadt documents in her novel, Irving insists he is a true historian. Other witnesses, including Richard Evans, corroborate the allegations. As witnesses, they all agree with the fact that Irving is not a real historian based on the credibility of his sources of information as well as the availability of the materials to the general public (Evans 31). According to the judgment made, a true historian should have accurate facts from reliable sources; the information should not be distorted. Nevertheless, it should maintain a high level of originality. His actions should reflect equally the motives and the general character of a real historian. As such, his facts should correspond to what other authors know about the said historian with Ronald Syme’s work ‘Roman revolution’ cited as a good example. Ronald relies on what he witnessed and what others witnessed, his work is accepted as he documents what was experienced and witnessed. Gibbon who cited the work of A.J.P. Taylor in his work ‘The origin of world war II’ did not embrace the real personality and real motives of Hitler. Hence his work is categorized as fiction.
Although Watt and Keegan supported Irving and were against the ruling by Richard, the book denotes the fact that the case was ruled against their wish (Evans 103). The two argued that other politicians had always allowed their political agendas to influence their professional practice and this was the case with both Hitler and Irving. The book sheds light on the role and attributes of a proper historian with adequate consideration laid on the factors that led to the case, as well as its aftermath.
Evans, Richard J. Telling Lies About Hitler: The Holocaust, History and the Irving Trial. London: Verso, 2002. Document.