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Deborah E. Lipstadt receives humanitarian award

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Renowned historian Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt has been named the recipient of the 2019 Gottheil Award for humanitarian service by Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity. She was presented with her award August 3 at the 2019 Zeta Beta Tau International Convention in Denver. 

Named for the founder of Zeta Beta Tau, the Gottheil Award honors an individual or organization that exhibits great service to mankind through humanitarian services and activities promoting understanding among all people. Past recipients include Felix Warburg, Franklin Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, Morris Abram, Doctors Without Borders, Special Olympics International, Coca-Cola Foundation, Jewish Federations of North America, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the USO.  

The Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Lipstadt has published and taught about the Holocaust for close to 40 years. She is widely known for the libel lawsuit brought against her by David Irving for having called him a Holocaust denier. Irving was then arguably the world’s leading denier. After a 10-week trial in London, in an overwhelming victory for Lipstadt, the judge found Irving to be a “neo-Nazi polemicist” who “perverts” history and engages in “racist” and “antisemitic” discourse. The Daily Telegraph described the trial as having “done for the new century what the Nuremberg tribunals or the Eichmann trial did for earlier generations.” 

Lipstadt’s TED Talk, “Behind the Lies of Holocaust Denial,” has received well over 1.3 million hits. The movie Denial tells the story of this legal battle, and is based on one of Lipstadt’s books. 

A past historical consultant to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Lipstadt helped design the section of the Museum dedicated to the American Response to the Holocaust. She has held a presidential appointment to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council from Presidents Clinton and Obama, and was asked by President George W. Bush to represent the White House at the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. She was also part of a committee that advised Secretary of State Madelene Albright on matters of religious freedom abroad. Lipstadt holds a B.A. from the City College of New York and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Brandeis University. 

“Deborah Lipstadt is committed to the fight against hate, a cause that is a priority at ZBT. We are honored to present this award and recognize Deborah for all of her work in the hate prevention and Holocaust education space,” ZBT Chief Executive Officer Libby Anderson, CAE said.

Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity was founded in 1898 in New York City as the world’s first Jewish Fraternity.

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