For decades, Professor Deborah E. Lipstadt has fought – in and out of courtrooms and classrooms – to ensure that the truth about the atrocities of the Holocaust are not forgotten. On Sept. 24, the historian brought this quest to John Marshall with, “The Changing Face of Holocaust Denial in the 21st Century,” this year’s Dean Fred F. Herzog Memorial Lecture.
Founder of Emory University’s Institute for Jewish Studies, Lipstadt is a renowned lecturer and author of numerous books confronting Holocaust denial. In 1996, Holocaust denier David Irving unsuccessfully sued Lipstadt in British court, accusing her of libel for calling him a denier in her book, “Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory.” She later penned the book, “History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier,” which Hollywood is turning into a major motion picture with a screenplay by Oscar-nominated playwright David Hare and produced by BBC Films and Participant Media.
Among her many appointments, Lipstadt has served the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council at the request of President Bill Clinton and has served as a consultant to members of the U.S. Congress on political responses to Holocaust denial. She received her B.A. from City College of New York and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Brandeis University. In 2006 she was elected to the American Academy of Jewish Research, the oldest organization of Judaic scholars in North America. Fellows are nominated and elected by their peers and thus constitute the most distinguished and most senior scholars teaching Judaic studies at American universities.