Holocaust denial is a confusing thing. It’s kind of like saying that Barack Obama isn’t the President, or that Tuesday comes after Friday—the idea doesn’t even need to be engaged with. It’s self-evident! And yet, for Deborah Lipstadt, the task of proving the existence of a sustained effort to systematically murder Europe’s Jews proved far more difficult than she could’ve ever imagined.
The forthcoming film Denial tells the story of Lipstadt’s legal battles with famed Holocaust denier and historian David Irving. After describing Irving’s Holocaust denial as purposefully obtuse and a distortion of history in her own book, Lipstadt, a historian herself, was sued for libel. In England, Irving’s home country, the burden of proof is placed upon the defendant, not the claimant. In order to protect her name, Lipstadt rebuffed the idea that Holocaust denial was a legitimate academic choice, and had to prove the existence of the Holocaust in court. (Lipstadt also wrote The Eichmann Trial for Nextbook Press, part of its Jewish Encounter Series).
Starring Rachel Weisz as Lipstadt and Timothy Spall as David Irving, Denial will be released on September 30. Watch the newly released trailer below:
Jesse Bernstein is a former Intern at Tablet.