إرفنج ضد ليبستدات


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 5: Electronic Edition

Pages 181 - 185 of 187

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    Well, my Lord, let him fight his own battles. The
 1excuse for not knowing, which is as far as I would go. Of
 2course, it is not a smoking gun. It is not the kind of
 3balance of probabilities, or even evidence beyond all
 4reasonable doubt that would be required in a criminal
 5case. But he had no excuse for not having known because
 6he then came into very close proximity with a large number
 7of people who had been briefed in the most nauseating
 8detail by Himmler himself as to what he was doing. I have
 9made no secret about that in my books. I would be
10interested to hear how learned counsel gets round that
11particular problem when the time comes.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That again is extremely helpful to have you
13say that, but can I ask you one question arising out of
14it? I quite follow why you take October 1943 as the date
15from which you accept Hitler was in the know.
16 A. [Mr Irving]     Had no excuse not to know.
17 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Or had no excuse not to know, but what about the period
18with I think Mr Rampton has really been dealing with this
19afternoon between November/December 1941 and October 1943?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     We are very ill-advised by the documents that are
21available even now. We are ill informed by the documents
22that are available even now after 55 years, my Lord, and
23this is where you begin having to say that, I forget what
24the legal term is, there may be a legal term for it, but
25in any case of ambiguity then the balance of doubt has to
26be given to the accused rather than to the incriminated.

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 1 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Can that really be right when you have a situation where
 2Hitler was at any rate not objecting as from October 1943
 3to what most people would regard as thoroughly abhorrent?
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 5 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Can you not infer from that that, assuming the evidence
 6was available for him, he would not have put up any
 7objection before October 1943?
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     That is precisely the way that I would be inclined to put
 9it, my Lord. I have even said on occasion that there is
10no evidence that he would have objected even if he had
11been told the most brutal detail of what was going on.
12But we just do not have that evidence. My literary agent
13in America said, "For God's sake, if you have not got the
14evidence, invent it". I thought my ten years spent in
15researching the book were too precious for that.
16 MR RAMPTON:     So it really comes to this, does it, Mr Irving?
17If you were sitting on a jury in a criminal court, whereas
18I might very easily convict Hitler, you would not, but, if
19you are looking for proof positive that he did not know,
20you are swimming very hard against the tide, are you not?
21 A. [Mr Irving]     No. You talk about in a criminal court and in a criminal
22court of course the standards of evidence required,
23particularly where a man's life is at stake, are much
24sterner than in a civil action. Am I right?
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Never mind civil actions or criminal actions. This is a
26rotten analogy, anyway. You are an historian.

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     Mr Rampton, you started the analogy.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, you did, with your references to the standard of proof
 3in a criminal court when you were answering his Lordship.
 4It is a rotten analogy.
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     I think it is a very useful analogy.
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What are you looking at as an historian is not a question
 7whether a man is guilty or not of law, whether he is
 8liable to pay damages. You are looking at the evidence
 9with an open and objective mind to see what is the degree
10of probability that it suggests as to what happened. That
11is what are you doing, is it not?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     This is right, but then at this point different historians
13operate in different ways, and it may be that I make
14myself culpable by just putting the evidence in the pages
15and not joining up the dots and allowing the reader to do
16the dot joining for himself. I assume that my readers
17have a certain degree of intellectual honesty and ability,
18that they are capable of forming their own conclusions
19provided I present the evidence to them with as much
20integrity as possible. Other historians, like no doubt
21some of the experts in this case, like to join up the dots
22for you and that is where the mistakes I think creep in.
23It is possible that my way of writing history is wrong.
24It is possible their way of writing history is right.
25They have been taught in universities how to write, I have
26not, but this is not Holocaust denial, Mr Rampton.

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Well, Mr Irving, we will come to that next week, but your
 2method of writing history, whether one approves of it
 3academically or not is quite beside the point, is
 4perfectly all right provided that you do not distort and
 5manipulate the evidence, is it not?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     You are absolutely right.
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     If we should succeed in proving that that is exactly what
 8you have done on a number of occasions, then you do not
 9deserve the name historian, do you?
10 A. [Mr Irving]     I take you do not consider that you have succeeded so far.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What privately I should think, Mr Irving, I certainly am
12not going to tell you.
13 A. [Mr Irving]     From the way you couched the question.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I could be standing here thinking why am I going through
15all this, I have already cooked ----
16 A. [Mr Irving]     You know why you are going through this, and I do. It is
17connected with a very substantial fee you are paid for
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is cheap. Let us get on.
20 MR RAMPTON:     It is not only cheap, it is complete rubbish. My
21Lord, I would pass now, if I may ----
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think we will probably stop now.
23 MR RAMPTON:     I tell you where I am going next. I am going
24briefly to Dr Brach in the autumn of 1941, which relates
25to gassings in the Warthegau and possibly also in Riga.
26 JUSTICE GRAY:     Is that vans?

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 1 MR RAMPTON:     Vans yes, and then I am going to go to what
 2Mr Irving calls the Schlegelberger memorandum, and then
 3probably to the Roman Jews, unless your Lordship would
 4prefer, which equally well we can do, to have a look at
 5Hitler's earlier utterances.
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No. All I think is that sometime that is
 8 MR RAMPTON:     It is obviously important.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Both to the manipulation and also to
11 MR RAMPTON:     Yes. I am thinking that the subject of Hitler's
12Adjutants is a long one with, I am afraid, probably quite
13a lot of documents to look at because of the records of
14what they said. That may take more than one day, which
15I do not have, so I was going to leave that until after
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, that is fine. It does occur to me that
18sometimes there is scope for exploring before one gets
19into the detail.
20 MR RAMPTON:     I know.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     We had an example just a moment ago. It is
22not remotely intended to be a reproof.
23 MR RAMPTON:     It is amazing what answers one can get. I have
24made the assumption, perhaps wrongly, that any general
25question I ask is either going to get no answer ----

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