Talk:Irving v Penguin Books Ltd

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"Mein Führer" qoute[edit]

I am unhappy with the allegation that he refered to the judge as "Mein Führer". The transcript referred to (p194 not 193) actually says: 'I am clearly heard to say, "You must not", because they are shouting the "Siegheil" slogans, Mein Fuhrer, and things like, "you must not always be thinking of the past".'

The quotes are inserted by the transcriptor, so it is equally likely thet he could have actually said: 'I am clearly heard to say, "You must not", because they are shouting the "Siegheil" slogans, "Mein Fuhrer", and things like, "you must not always be thinking of the past".'

Which is a very different thing to say.

I find him to be a very nasty man, and guilty of holocaust denial, but even such a man should only be condemned for what he is proven to have said and done. It's not proven that he called the judge Mein Fuhrer, and certainly the judge did not respond as I would have expected had Irving done so.

I therefore propose that this allegation be removed. Cerddaf 2009-07-08 09:14 GMT.

I believe I understand your point, and, if all I had to back it up were the transcript itself (a primary source), I might agree. However, I have a specific citation to a trusted secondary source that says explicitly that he did make such a slip.
I think that you would at least need a reliable source of your own with an opposing view to challenge the inclusion of this slip in the article.--TachyonJack (talk) 16:27, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

I have removed the statement in question, because I believe BLP rules make it critical that we be absolutely sure of the accuracy of statements like this before including them (better to err on the side of not including a potentially true fact that including a false statement). I am cross-posting my justification from the David Irving page: I noticed this fact when it was listed on the main page, and it appeared immediately dubious to me. There was also an in-line comment in the article questioning it as well. I reviewed the cited court transcript, and it appears that "Mein Fuhrer" was not an address to the judge, but rather the second in a list of three Nazi slogans that Irving was reporting having heard at a rally:

When the off-screen chanting of slogans begins at 18:18:59 I am clearly seen to interrupt my speech, shake my head at them and gesticulate with my left hand to them to stop, and I am clearly heard to say, "You must not", because they are shouting the "Siegheil" slogans, Mein Fuhrer, and things like, "you must not always be thinking of the past". I am heard clearly to say: "You must always be thinking of the past. You must not keep coming out with the slogans of the past. We are thinking of the future [voice emphasised] of Germany. We are thinking of the future of the German people. As an Englishman I have to say ...", and so on. So I am quite clearly expressing extreme anger at these people who have come along with their Nazi slogans.

In light of BLP rules, I think this statement should be removed unless we can find a source that indicates positively that this isn't simply a misunderstanding of ambiguous sentence structure. Alereon (talk) 22:13, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

I believe that there are enough sources to justify the inclusion of this remark:
Every one of these results indicates positively that this isn't simply a misunderstanding of ambiguous sentence structure. It is true that the statement itself, without any record of vocal inflection, is somewhat ambigous. It is for that reason that we must rely upon the multitude of trusted secondary sources that describe his remark as being directed towards the judge.
I do not wish to start a revert war, but I do believe you are greatly mistaken. If you still have objections to the inclusion of the claim under discussion, I suggest we bring in a third party. In the interest of civility, I will wait a short amount of time for a response before I put the claim back into the article. Additionally, when I do add the claim, I intend to firm it up with multiple, unambigous citations, as I see that one may not be enough (no sarcasm or other denigration intended). --TachyonJack (talk) 00:28, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for commenting before the revert. Before we continue, because of the sensitive nature of this topic, I feel it behooves me to make clear that I don't support Mr. Irving or his viewpoints, my objections are limited factual concerns over whether he actually called a judge "Mein Fuhrer." My suspicions arose because this seems like TOO perfect of a Dr. Strangelove-esque fantasy to have actually happened in real life. I appreciate the sources that you have provided, however my concern is that they are all simply repeating what is effectively hearsay without making more than a cursory attempt to verify it. In support of this, I submit that the statement in question was made on Day 32 of the Trial (statement on page 194), or March 15th, 2000 (Wednesday). If Mr. Irving had actually made this statement in the way described, I would expect this to be immediately commented on and appear in media references, as from what I understand this was not a low-profile trial and events were being followed pretty closely in the media. In fact, the first online reference occurs 8 days later, on March 23, 2000, in a post made by a friend of the defendant who had noticed the remark in court. The statement is not referenced in the media until nearly a month later, after the court transcripts were published (note that I do not know precisely when the transcripts were published, it is my understanding that this would have happened no later than when the court's decision was filed on April 11th, 2000, I welcome comments from any who know more on this point). Further references spread widely and rapidly after the initial Guardian article that reported his statement was published on April 12th, 2000. Essentially, I see three questions here:
1. Did Mr. Irving himself mean the words as part of a list of statements, or were they referring to the judge (as a slip-of-the-tongue or otherwise)?
2. Did third parties in the courtroom ("reasonable persons") or bystanders interpret his statements as referring to the judge as opposed to a list of statements?
3. Did anyone interpret his statement as being directed at the judge, rather than a list?
We know from media attention after the fact that #3 is yes, and it seems clear from a lack of contemporary coverage that #2 is no. In light of the impossibility of proving the intent of an individual's spoken words based only on a written transcript (#1), I have e-mailed Mr. Irving directly (through his website) and asked him whether his words were directed at the judge (as a slip-of-the-tongue or otherwise) or were part of a list of statements he had heard in his presence. There are obvious problems inherent in taking the subject's word in a case like this, but unless we can find a neutral observer who was present to comment on what he said, then two biased opinions on opposite sides of the issue are going to be the closest we come. I intend to wait for Mr. Irving's statement on the matter before making a decision on whether to seek outside review. Alereon (talk) 04:07, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
To summarize my points a little more concisely, we're all in agreement with what he said, the question is what he MEANT by those words, because the meaning is ambiguous. It's a fact that words can be interpreted in different ways depending on your attitude to the speaker, so it makes logical sense that someone who dislikes Mr. Irving would be inclined to interpret his words in a way that places him in a negative light. I question whether we can ever reach a level of verifiability of what he MEANT to satisfy BLP requirements unless Mr. Irving himself admits he was referring to the judge. Alereon (talk) 04:19, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Just briefly weighing in here, as I was asked to review the matter and give my thoughts on the situation. The sources presented by TachyonJack are rather solid, and I'd say tyhat they are reliable. I don't have an opinion as to whether the quote should be in the article, but care with BLP should be taken. Best, Steve Crossin The clock is ticking.... 22:17, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Irving definately did this. He himself realised he had done it and laughed to himself. It was a mistake but he did it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Edisonbright (talkcontribs) 13:59, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

GA preview[edit]

I signed up to review this article for GA status because of my interest in the topic. I have read Lipstadt's book and I saw the NOVA documentary on the trial, although it has been several years.

I notice first some style issues that may seem overly picky but bear with me.

  • I may have to get clarification on this, but I have questions about the appropriateness of the book cover in the article. Our Wikipolicy on nonfree content says that book covers and such copyrighted material are only allowed in the article about the book. But clearly this article is about the book, if not the main article on it. Some of the policy things about nonfree content get so detailed that, as I said, I have to get clarification.
  • Either way, the image starts under a Level 2 header on the left side, I'm sure to avoid the spacing by the overlong infobox. It seems the best thing to do at the moment is to give it an upright tag and place it elsewhere in the article for now per MOSIMAGES.
  • Is there a particular reason that Lipstadt's book title is not capitalized all the way through in the link? I notice this with the titles in the References section as well.
  • Remove the cquotes and replace them with blockquote tags.
  • The spacing between paragraphs in the History section is wonky.
  • There are blockquotes lower in the article in the Browning section. Per the MOS guidelines on blockquotes, they should be four lines or more to earn a blockquote.

This is a preview for style points only right now. I'm going to give the article a thorough reading for content and comprehensiveness over the next several days. Please let me know if you have questions. I look forward to working with you. --Moni3 (talk) 17:21, 21 July 2009 (UTC)


This otherwise very comprehensive article contains a couple of strange repetitions. For example, the mention of Irving's offer to settle is mentioned twice, in almost exactly the same words, as if it had been cut and pasted to later in the article. Someone with more experience of Wikipedia style maight want to scan the article and remove them. I'm not yet confident of my ability to do this myself. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:02, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

reference 74 isn't working[edit]

the reference on 74 appears to redirect to a pdf which does not appear to load normally.--Cymbelmineer (talk) 16:19, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

This is the link I see for reference 74. It's not a PDF; it's an ordinary html page that contains a transcript of a PBS program and it works fine for me. --Steven J. Anderson (talk) 00:57, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

An Awkward Sentence?[edit]

The following part of a paragraph I have trouble understanding; "Lipstadt hired the British solicitor Anthony Julius to present her case. Penguin hired Davenport Lyons libel specialists Kevin Bays and Mark Bateman. Together they briefed the libel barrister, Richard Brampton QC. Penguin also instructed Heather Rogers as junior barrister. Penguin knew that they were going to have to dig deep to defend Irving's claims. Lipstadt's claims would need to be backed up by some heavyweight experts and Penguin would foot the bill."

Wouldn't the sentence be better stated as "Penguin knew that they were going to have to dig deep to defend against Irving's claims.

The sentence following the one I wish to edit; "Lipstadt's claims would need to be backed up by some heavyweight experts and Penguin would foot the bill." adds to the confusion, I believe. When both sentences are read without the edit it states that Penguin will be defending Irvings claims AND footing the bill for the backing of Lipstadts claims.

The sentences are contradictory.--Joey2027 (talk) 05:02, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

forged documents[edit]

Within the article the following statement is made:"Evans spent two years examining Irving's work, and presented evidence of Irving's misrepresentations, including evidence that Irving had knowingly used forged documents as source material. " Which documents used by Irving were forged documents? If there were any, how did Evans know that Irving knew this. -- (talk) 17:05, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

The forged evidence on which Irving is said to have relied is Tagesbefehl (Order of the day) No 47 (“TB47”). simple to find with search function. -- (talk) 01:34, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

Who's Guttenplan? Needs explaining[edit]

The "Settlement offers" section refers to "Guttenplan's note" and "Guttenplan's book" without ever saying who Guttenplan is. This is the first reference to Gutternplan in the article. There is no explanation in the article of who Guttenplan is or what his note is or what his book is. This needs to be more clearly explained. Omc (talk) 04:41, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

The very first appearance of "Guttenplan" in the article is wikilinked, just like this: Guttenplan. Click it (or just hover your cursor, if you have hovercards enabled) and you will see this is a person who wrote a book on the case. The book is in the bibliography of this article, and is cited many many times in this article. --Krelnik (talk) 21:01, 5 January 2017 (UTC)