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Prof. Lipstadt to Serve as Expert Witness in Civil Trial against Organizers of Charlottesville Unite the Right Rally


Deborah E. Lipstadt, the Dorot Professor of Holocaust and Modern Jewish Studies at Emory, will serve as an expert witness for plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit currently being pursued against organizers of the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The lawsuit, which began with opening statements on October 28, was brought by counter-protesters who seek to recover compensatory and statutory damages for the injuries they sustained when the rally erupted in violence. They charge that the defendants—10 White supremacist and White nationalist organizations and 14 individual rally organizers—engaged in a conspiracy rooted in racial and religious hatred, which aimed to promote violence against counter-protesters. Dozens were injured in the violence, and one counter-protester, Heather Heyer, was killed when protester James Fields plowed his car into a crowd. Because antisemitism featured prominently as part of the larger White nationalist and White supremacist worldview on display at Charlottesville, Lipstadt’s testimony will focus on explaining the antisemitic dimensions of the protesters’ ideology, symbolism, and rhetoric. She will also offer jurors a brief history of antisemitism to help them place the 2017 events within a larger context. A copy of Lipstadt’s expert report is available on the website of Integrity First for America (IFA), a civil rights organization working on behalf of the plaintiffs.