On November 15, 2017, the Western Foundation and the Wolpow Institute welcomed Historian Deborah E. Lipstadt to campus. In the evening, she presented “History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving,” in which she recounted the story of her libel trial in London against right-wing extremist David Irving. In her 1993 book “Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory,” Lipstadt had called Irving a Holocaust denier, and by the end of the trial, which lasted over five years, the judge found on Lipstadt’s behalf and labelled him not only a denier but a racist, a falsifier of history, and an antisemite. His later appeal of the verdict was rejected. The trial was described by the Daily Telegraph (London) as “having done for the new century what the Nuremberg tribunals or the Eichmann trial did for earlier generations.”
Lipstadt’s 2005 book on the trial, “History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving,” was made into a movie, “Denial,” in 2016 starring Rachel Weisz as Lipstadt.
Prof. Lipstadt’s visit was made possible by the generous support of a number of units on campus. Our gratitude to the Western Washington University Foundation, the Friends of the Ray Wolpow Institute Fund, the Kohlmeier Mikulencak Fund for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, Fairhaven College World Issues Forum, the Western Libraries, and the Departments of History, Liberal Studies, Modern & Classical Languages, Political Science, and Sociology. More than 750 tickets were reserved for Dr. Lipstadt’s presentation in the Performing Arts Center.