American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"Denial" (2016)

 

Professor Deborah Lipstadt Meets Professor David Irving During a Dekalb College Lecture

 

Professor Deborah Lipstadt: Whatever the reasons that people become deniers, when you look closely they often have an agenda which they won't admit to. So, denial is pick to undo the lock to open the door to something else.

Yes?

Meg: Somebody told me you donít debate with people who say the Holocaust didnít happen.

Professor Lipstadt: That is correct -- like I don't debate with people who say Elvis is alive.

Meg: Talking to people you donít agree with, thatís democracy, isnít it? It's cowardly not to talk to them.

Professor Lipstadt:  Are you calling me a coward?

Meg: Well...

Professor Lipstadt: Listen, I -- I don't see it that way. You can have opinions about the Holocaust. You can argue about why it happened and how it happened. But what I wonít do is meet with anyone -- anyone -- who says it didnít happen -- because the Holocaust happened. It happened. And that isnít opinion. Thatís fact. And I wonít debate fact.

Second Audience Member:  In your book, why do you continually denigrate the work of David Irving? Heís a scholar. He's discovered all sorts of primary sources no one else knew about.

Professor Lipstadt: Well, to be honest, I -- I donít think I do denigrate him. Actually, I donít really think about him that much. I -- I don't thinks he's worth my time.

Yes, sir, gentleman in the back.

Professor David Irving: Professor Lipstadt, let me reveal something to you, Professor. I am that David Irving about whom you've been so rude. Yes, yes, I am he. And it puzzles me that you think yourself qualified to attack me, given that I have 30 years experience in the archives. And my books have been published by some of the greatest publishing houses in the world -- Viking Press, William Morrow, E.P. Dutton. I have to conclude that reason you don't engage with people you disagree with is because you can't.

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American Rhetoric.
HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.