The capture, in Argentina, of SS Lieutenant Colonel Adolf Eichmann, chief architect and commander in charge of the Nazi death camps, his transportation to Israel, and videotape coverage of his trial in 1961, in an Israeli court, in Jerusalem, electrified the world. It is now fifty years later. Long enough for most people alive today, not to be aware of it. The public debate it prompted at the time, regarding the nature of Nazi crimes against humanity and also where, how, and by whom, Nazi war criminals should be brought to justice, was a watershed moment in how the civilized world found the means to deal with the legacy of the holocaust – genocide on a scale that had never been seen before. Deborah Lipstatd’s new book, The Eichmann Trial, infuses a gripping narrative with historical perspective and contemporary urgency.
On Monday Oct. 31, 2011, Deborah Lipstatd spoke at the Jewish Public Library in Montreal. Deborah Lipstadt, an American historian, is herself a courageous figure who was sued by David Irving, an English historian, for libel, in a London court. David Irving, also a historian, claimed that Deborah Lipstatd was “libelling” his work, his historical work – books that deny the historical facts of the Holocaust. After a three month trial, the Judge vindicated Deborah Lipstatd, calling Irving a “right-wing pro-Nazi polemicist,” and confirming the accusations of Lipstadt and Evans.
This brief video captures the importance of Deborah Lipstatd’s work and her contribution to our time and place.