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Lying About Hitler: The Irving-Lipstadt Trial and Historical Truth

TLF 2110
Monday, April 23, 2018 - 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM



Please join us for an afternoon lecture by Richard J Evans (Douglas Southall Freeman Professor of History,University of Richmond). Professor Evans will be discussing the recent film adaptation of Deborah Lipstadt-David Irving Holocaust-denial trial and the role of history in the trial. 

 
 
 
 
Monday, April 23
4:00pm-5:30pm 
Taliaferro Hall Room 2110


Professor Richard J Evans was called as an expert witness in the trial against Deborah Lipstadt. Lipstadt, an American historian of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, was sued by British writer David Irving after Lipstadt accused him of Holocaust denial in her book Denying the Holocaust. Using the expansive British definition of defamation, Lipstadt was forced to prove in court that it was true that Irving was intentionally distorting history in order to deny the scope and intent of the Holocaust. Professor Evans and a small cohort of historians (among them the renowned historian Nikolaus Wachsmann) were tasked with combing through Irving's voluminous writings and comparing what he wrote to the original sources and historiography. The result was a resounding victory for fact-based history and peer review: Evans and the team found numerous and consistent instances where Irving misled readers to downplay the persecution of Jews, the knowledge of the Nazi leadership, and the role of Adolf Hitler. The results of their historical work was published in Professor Evans' book, Lying About Hitler: History, Holocaust, and the David Irving Trial. In 2016 the trial was depicted in the filmDenial starring Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson, and Timothy Spall. 



Professor Evans has published or edited 28 books including: Death in Hamburg: Society and Politics in the Cholera Years 1830-1910, In Hitler’s Shadow. West German Historians and the Attempt to Escape from the Nazi Past, In Defence of History, Tales from the German Underworld. Crime and Punishment in the Nineteenth Century, The Third Reich trilogy, and most recently The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914. Before retiring from Cambridge in 2014, Professor Evans taught at Birbeck UCL, Columbia University, and the University of East Anglia. He is recipient of far too many awards and grants to list in full, but some of his awards include: The Wolfson History Prize (1987), The Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History (1994), in 1998 he was elected an Honorary Fellow of Jesus College, University of Oxford, in 2000 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and he has received grants from the DAAD, the British Academy, and the Humboldt Foundation. Suffice it to say, in 2012 he was knighted for Service to Scholarship. He is currently the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Contemporary History. 

 
Wine and snacks will be served. To help estimate attendance, please RSVP to millercenter@umd.edu