April 11th: An Eerie Confluence of Dates

This entry was posted in History on by .

Deborah Lipstadt’s most recent book, The Eichmann Trial, is now available. She will be blogging all week for the Jewish Book Council andMyJewishLearning‘s Author Blog.

It was the 50th anniversary of the start of the Eichmann Trial and the 11th anniversary of the verdict [judgment] in my libel trial in the UK when David Irving sued me for libel for calling him a Holocaust denier.

More significantly, on April 11th I spoke at the United States State Department to mark the anniversary of the Eichmann trial. In addition to State Department staff members, there were a number of diplomats present [Turkey, Morocco, Ukraine, and Israel among others], as well as friends and colleagues. It was quite meaningful that I was speaking about this seminar act of genocide to an audience composed in part deborah lipstadt eichmannof people who deal with genocide and persecution-related issues. One of the people with whom I spoke has spent years working to rid the world of land mines. Another had been involved in the genocide in Darfur. Another had worked on issues related to the former Yugoslavia. Tragedies all.

There was another factor that made this a meaningful moment. The audience was composed of Federal employees. My book is dedicated to three men who worked for a Federal institution, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. One of them, Special Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns, gave his life for the institution. The quick response by the other two, Special Officer Harry Weeks and Special Officer Jason “Mac” McCuiston, prevented this tragedy from assuming far greater proportions.

I began by taking note of that fact and reading from the dedication. I was surprised by the emotion it evoked, not just from the audience, but from me. Soon it will be two years since the tragedy but the pain of that moment is still palpable.

Deborah Lipstadt’s The Eichmann Trial is now available. Check back all week for her posts on the Jewish Book Council and MyJewishLearning‘s Author Blog.

Posted on April 27, 2011

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy