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Home » My Courtroom Battle With a Holocaust Denier: Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt at TEDxSkoll (Transcript)

My Courtroom Battle With a Holocaust Denier: Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt at TEDxSkoll (Transcript)

Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt

Here is the full transcript of Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt’s TEDx Talk: My Courtroom Battle With a Holocaust Denier at TEDxSkoll conference.

TRANSCRIPT: 

I come to you today to speak of liars, lawsuits and laughter. The first time I heard about Holocaust denial, I laughed.

Holocaust denial? The Holocaust which has the dubious distinction of being the best-documented genocide in the world? Who could believe it didn’t happen? Think about it.

For deniers to be right, who would have to be wrong? Well, first of all, the victims — the survivors who have told us their harrowing stories. Who else would have to be wrong? The bystanders. The people who lived in the myriads of towns and villages and cities on the Eastern front, who watched their neighbors be rounded up — men, women, children, young, old — and be marched to the outskirts of the town to be shot and left dead in ditches.

Or the Poles, who lived in towns and villages around the death camps, who watched day after day as the trains went in filled with people and came out empty.

But above all, who would have to be wrong? The perpetrators. The people who say, “We did it. I did it.” Now, maybe they add a caveat. They say, “I didn’t have a choice; I was forced to do it.” But nonetheless, they say, “I did it.” Think about it.

In not one war crimes trial since the end of World War II has a perpetrator of any nationality ever said, “It didn’t happen.” Again, they may have said, “I was forced,” but never that it didn’t happen. Having thought that through, I decided denial was not going to be on my agenda; I had bigger things to worry about, to write about, to research, and I moved on.

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