I saw the movie, Denial today. The movie details the attempts of so-called Historian, Nazi sympathizer and Holocaust denier to sue Deborah Lipstadt, Professor of Holocaust Studies at Emory University, and her British publisher, Penguin Books, in 1996 for libel and slander in a British court. She called him a Holocaust denier truthfully in her book, " Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory."

Irving purposely sued Lipstadt in the United Kingdom because the burden of proof is placed upon the defendant, unlike in the United States justice system. She and her legal team had to essentially prove the Holocaust happened. She called in Robert Jan van Pelt, a Dutch author, architectural historian, professor at the University of Waterloo and University of Toronto in Ontario and a Holocaust scholar. as a witness. He is an expert on the architecture of the Birkenau crematoria having researched the architectural plans and designs from the Auschwitz Bauleitung. The Auschwitz Bauleitung was under the leadership of engineer and architect, Karl Bischoff during the Holocaust.

A poignant visit to Auschwitz to gather forensic evidence to use against Iriving is an instrumental part of this film. It was even filmed in Auschwitz-Birkenau which is extremely rare since filming of movies is forbidden by the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum. This movie had an important point to tell and in my opinion, the film makers of Denial were allowed to film on location.

Irving defended himself throughout the trial which ended in 2001. He changed his opinion in his military history book, "Hitler's War." Judge Gray pointed out that Irving accepted the Holocaust as historical fact in the 1977 edition but denied that it happened in the 1991 edition. He also denied Hitler's involvement in or ordering of the Holocaust. One only has to read Mein Kampf to know what plans Hitler had in store for Europe's Jews.

Iriving stated that Hitler's subordinates ordered, ran and executed the Holocaust behind Hiter's back. He offered anyone $1,000.00 who could prove that a document signed by Hitler ordering the Holocaust existed. Hitler of course never signed a paper ordering the Holocaust. It is known he gave verbal orders in July 1941 for its execution. It was at this same time that Rudolf Hoess, commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp was summoned to Berlin by Heinrich Himmler. He stated this in his testimony on April 15, 1946 during his trial in Poland. " Yes. In the summer of 1941 I was summoned to Berlin to Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler to receive personal orders. He told me something to the effect--I do not remember the exact words--that the Fuehrer had given the order for a final solution of the Jewish question. We, the SS, must carry out that order. If it is not carried out now then the Jews will later on destroy the German people. He had chosen Auschwitz on account of its easy access by rail and also because the extensive site offered space for measures ensuring isolation."

The trial ended in March 2001. Judge Gray found Irving to be a Holocaust denier, an anti-semite, racist, and a falsifier of the historical record. Lipstadt wrote of the trial in "History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier." Robert Jan van Pelt wrote of the trial in "The Case for Auschwitz: Evidence from the Irving Trial."

Cynthia Southern