Historian travels New Zealand to recount Holocaust Denial experience

October 17, 2017 by Keren Cook
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History aficionados attended an event at University of Otago’s Wellington Campus on the weekend to hear a famous historian share how he overcame an infamous Holocaust denier.

Sir Richard Evans
Photo: Wikipedia

Sir Richard Evans is a historian of 20th century Europe with a focus on Germany and World War II. He has authored 18 books and the University of Otago is hosting his visit to New Zealand.

Sir Richard’s work has made him a well-known, world-famous historian. The courtroom battle between Sir Richard Evans and David Irving has made it to the big screen.

The movie Denial tells the story of the landmark trial 17 years ago bought by Holocaust denier Irving – well known for his antisemitic views and racial slurs.

Presently, Sir Richard is on a lecture tour throughout New Zealand and talks about the trial and his experience begin cross-examined by Irving.

“I got the measure of him after the first hour or two, and what I came to realise is that you can’t trust anything he says,” says Sir Richard.

The trial featured old plans that were found of the Auschwitz concentration camp, which disproved Irving’s claim there were no holes build in the ceilings of the gas chambers to drop cyanide – a theory among Holocaust deniers.

“One shouldn’t exaggerate its importance. It’s distasteful; it’s unpleasant and it’s upsetting and I think we do everything we can to combat it,” says Sir Richard.

Irving lost the case and had to pay 2 million pounds in legal fees, while the verdict made Sir Richard a target to those who disapproved of the legal outcome.

He says: “ I had a sack full of abusive hate mail, which I’ve preserved for my biographer.”

However, Sir Richard says the abuse was worth it, as the verdict again demonstrated the evil of Holocaust denial.


One Response to “Historian travels New Zealand to recount Holocaust Denial experience”
  1. Rafi Plotkin says:

    What a great man and intellectual !!!

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