Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt, Dorot professor of Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, has published and taught about the Holocaust for close to 40 years. The author of six books and numerous articles, she is probably most widely known because of the libel lawsuit brought against her (1996) by David Irving for having called him a Holocaust denier. Irving then was then arguably the world’s leading denier.
After a ten-week trial in London (2000), in an overwhelming victory for Professor Lipstadt, the judge found Irving to be a “neo-Nazi polemicist” who “perverts” history and engages in “racist” and “anti-Semitic” discourse. The Daily Telegraph (London) described the trial as having "done for the new century what the Nuremberg tribunals or the Eichmann trial did for earlier generations." The Times (London) described it as "history has had its day in court and scored a crushing victory." According to the New York Times, the trial "put an end to the pretense that Mr. Irving is anything but a self-promoting apologist for Hitler."
Her TED talk about the trial has received close to 1.2 million views. The movie DENIAL, starring Rachel Weisz and Tom Wilkenson with a screenplay by David Hare, tells the story of this legal battle. It is based on her book HISTORY ON TRIAL: MY DAY IN COURT WITH A HOLOCAUST DENIER (Harper Collins 2006) and recently reissued as DENIAL (Harper Collins 2016). The film was nominated for a BAFTA as one of the best British films of the year.
Professor Lipstadt is currently writing a book, ANTISEMITISM: HERE AND NOW to be published early in 2019. In addition to an American edition, the book will be published in the UK, Germany, Czech Republic, and Israel.
She has written most recently HOLOCAUST: AN AMERICAN UNDERSTANDING (Rutgers, 2016) which explores how America has understood and interpreted the Holocaust since 1945.
Her book, THE EICHMANN TRIAL, (Schocken/Nextbook 2011) was described by the New York Times Book Review as having “done a great service by… recovering the event as a gripping legal drama, as well as a hinge moment in Israel’s history and in the world’s delayed awakening to the magnitude of the Holocaust.”
She has also published BEYOND BELIEF: THE AMERICAN PRESS AND THE COMING OF THE HOLOCAUST (Free Press, 1986) which surveys what the American press wrote about the persecution of the Jews in the years 1933-1945. She is currently writing a book, The Antisemitic Delusion: Letters to a Concerned Student which will be published in 2018.
At Emory she directs the website known as HDOT [Holocaust Denial on Trial/ www.hdot.org] which contains a complete archive of the proceedings of Irving v. Penguin UK and Deborah Lipstadt. It also provides answers to frequent claims made by deniers. At Emory Lipstadt has won the Emery Williams Teaching Award. She was selected for the award by alumni as the teacher who had most influenced them.
Professor Lipstadt was an historical consultant to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and helped design the section of the Museum dedicated to the American Response to the Holocaust.
She has held Presidential appointment to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council (from Presidents Clinton and Obama) and was asked by President George W. Bush to represent the White House at the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. She was part of a committee that advised Secretary of State Madeline Albright on matters of religious freedom abroad.
She has a B.A. from the City College of New York and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Brandeis University.