Letters

Irving's Doomed Libel Suit

As I recall I said, at a dinner in New York with some revisionists around last Christmas time, that to the extent that Irving claims that Lipstadt damaged his reputation in any measurable sense, he will lose. Irving was not blackballed by the publishing industry because of Lipstadt's book. There was not the element of what American lawyers call “but for cause.”

Most of the time the trial considered other issues whose involvement in a libel suit was hard to understand. However, as the legally vital claim of damage by, specifically, the Lipstadt book, could not be sustained Irving's position was hopeless from the outset.

Arthur R. Butz
Evanston, Illinois

No Gas Chamber in Dachau

The May-June 1993 Journal of Historical Review (page 12) contains a letter by Dr. Martin Broszat [of the Institute for Contemporary history in Munich] regarding the Dachau concentration camp. Broszat mentions a gas chamber there, never completely finished or put into operation.

Toward the end of World War II I was a US Army captain on the staff of Ambassador Robert Murphy, political advisor to General Eisenhower. I was at Dachau about a month after it had been liberated, either the end of May or the beginning of June, 1945. There was no gas chamber there, nor did I see one in the process of construction. What did occur was that some higher authority in the American occupation government, whether a civilian or military, I don't know, decreed that a gas chamber should be built, which was subsequently done.

I was also at the Buchenwald camp a few days after it was liberated on April 11, 1945. There was a crematory there but no gas chamber.

Homer G. Richey
Charlottesville, Virginia