Release date: Dec. 14, 2004
Contact: Elaine Justice at 404-727-0643 or

Lipstadt's 'History on Trial' Recounts Successful Defense of Truth

Emory University's defense of academic freedom is celebrated in a new book by Holocaust scholar and historian Deborah Lipstadt. She recounts her internationally publicized British libel trial in 2000 with a Holocaust denier in her forthcoming memoir, "History on Trial," set for publication in February by HarperCollins.

Lipstadt made headlines around the world when she was exonerated in a British court on libel charges bought by David Irving, a noted Holocaust denier. At issue were passages from Lipstadt's 1993 book, "Denying the Holocaust," in which she named Irving as one of the most dangerous proponents of the denial movement. While the result was a resounding victory for the truth of Lipstadt's words, the road to triumph was anything but easy.

"Emory University was resolute in its support," writes Lipstadt in the book's acknowledgements. "Without waiting to be asked and with no fanfare or publicity, it stepped forward. As an institution committed to academic excellence and moral engagement, Emory, under the leadership of then President Bill Chace, was appalled by Irving's distortions of history . . . Throughout the trial, colleagues, staff and students inundated me with support, exemplifying what it is that I treasure about this institution."

After the trial, Emory established a Web site,, to ensure that the documentary record of the trial would be available for research, says Lipstadt. The site continues to be an important scholarly resource, complete with trial transcripts, the complete text of the judgment handed down, and key items of evidence introduced during the trial, including expert witness reports, diary entries, correspondence and other documents, along with witness statements.

"Emory prides itself on being an institution which is morally engaged in the world," says Lipstadt. "I am deeply grateful to the university for what it did for me."

Kirkus Reviews calls Lipstadt's memoir "a fascinating and meritorious work of legal--and moral--history."

Lipstadt is Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies and director of the Rabbi Donald A. Tam Institute for Jewish Studies at Emory.

For more information on "History on Trial," go to:

To view Lipstadt's op-ed "Witnesses for the Witnesses" that appeared in the International Herald Tribune, go to

Lipstadt's blog from her trip to Auschwitz for the 60-year anniversary of its liberation can be accessed at


Emory University is known for its demanding academics, outstanding undergraduate college of arts and sciences, highly ranked professional schools and state-of-the-art research facilities. For nearly two decades Emory has been named one of the country's top 25 national universities by U.S. News & World Report. In addition to its nine schools, the university encompasses The Carter Center, Yerkes National Primate Research Center and Emory Healthcare, the state's largest and most comprehensive health care system.

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