For Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt, a movie adaptation with some of-the-moment lessons

The historian Deborah Lipstadt — fertile of mind, digressive of conversation — was walking through the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Lower Manhattan on a recent afternoon when she came across a magnificent vista of the Hudson River outside one window.

Lipstadt, 69, a Holocaust scholar who teaches at Atlanta’s Emory University, had just finished looking through an exhibit on the murdered American innocent Leo Frank — “they pulled him right out and lynched him” — but was suddenly taken with the view.

“It’s so beautiful. Look at the water,” she said, then, motioning to some of the difficult exhibits behind her and the neighborhood of the 9/11 attacks in which the museum sat, added: “Right near all this. It’s poignant. Really poignant.”