The Holocaust Historiography Project


Unanswered Challenge

Phil Eversoul, in a letter to the editor that appeared in vol. 20, no.2 of the Journal, citing my article “The Rudolf Case, Irving’s Lost Libel Suit and the Future of Revisionism” (JHR 19, no. 5, pp. 26-61), asks “… why did Zaverdinos allow Irving’s statements to go unchallenged?” The Journal's editor wrote in reply that “the … focus of [my] article precluded [my] criticizing Irving’s trial positions at every instance,” and then mentioned that I did indeed challenge Irving on some issues. The fact is that from the very first paragraph, in which I express the view that Irving lost his case mainly on account of ignorance of the scientific work done by Germar Rudolf, and throughout the section and notes on the lost libel suit against Deborah Lipstadt, I made criticism of Irving’s position an integral part of the essay. Thus I can only conclude that Eversoul did not actually read what I wrote. Sections such as the one he cites are there only to show that Irving through his concessions and twistings and turnings exposed himself at every turn as ignorant of revisionist arguments on a subject which anyway “bores him endlessly.” I challenged Irving not only for his ignorance, but for his arrogance as well, namely his implicit assumption that if something does not emanate from Irving himself it cannot be worth very much. For example, he would not have been tripped up so easily on crematory capacities had he been familiar with Carlo Mattogno’s work.

Apart from the revisionist sources cited by the editor, I cite from many more and I believe that I do challenge Irving at almost every instance of his trial positions, if not every single one.

Recently I repeated my views on Irving in a private letter that found its way to him without my authorization. This prompted him to write: “You should remind Z[averdinos] that it was my head on the chopping block, not his. He has not fought a case in a British court of law. I have no respect for Monday morning quarterbacks.”

Mentioning that I had been an admirer of his writing for twenty-five years, I replied that even a “Monday morning quarterback” could see that he was hopelessly unprepared for his trial and referred him to my article for details. Finally, I asked Irving how it was possible that he still got standing ovations seeing that so much of what he used to tell admiring audiences was retracted during the trial.

No reply has been received to this challenge.

C. Zaverdinos
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

[Editor: Dr. Zaverdinos reports elsewhere that he recently received cordial replies from South Africa’s Minister in the Presidency, Dr. E. G. Pahad, and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aziz Pahad, after sending each a copy of Roger Garaudy’s Founding Myths of Modern Israel. He also notes that “the walkout of the U.S. hand in hand with Israel from the recent Durban conference has not gone unnoticed” in South Africa.]

Bibliographic information
Author: Costas Zaverdinos
Title: Unanswered challenge
Source: The Journal for Historical Review
Date: July/August 2001
Issue: Volume 20 number 4
Location: page 48
ISSN: 0195-6752
Attribution: “Reprinted from The Journal of Historical Review, PO Box 2739, Newport Beach, CA 92659, USA.”
Please send a copy of all reprints to the Editor.