Irving v. Lipstadt
Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Judgment: Electronic Edition, by Charles GrayTable of Contents
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10.26 Irving agrees that he did from time to time, prior to being prohibited from entering Germany, address both the NPD and the DVU. They were organisations which were under German's strict laws both legal and constitutional; they were not extremist. Irving was critical of what he regards as the repressive laws in place in Germany which have the effect of stifling freedom of expression. Irving said that he had disclosed in the action transcripts of his addresses: there was nothing extremist in what he said. He had not spoken of Holocaust denial or engaged in anti-semitism at any of these meetings. Irving agreed that Deckert of the NPD is a friend with whom he is in regular contact. But there has been nothing extremist or anti-semitic in the correspondence which they have exchanged.
10.27 In regard to the list of alleged extremists compiled by Funke, Irving described them as an "ugly ragbag of neo-Nazi extremists". He claimed that most of the names were completely unknown to him. He pointed out that the Defendants and their team of experts and lawyers have spent many man-hours trawling through his diaries and other papers looking for mention of them. For the most part the trawl has been unsuccessful. Irving also mounted the argument that it would not be in the least reprehensible for him to associate with somebody holding extremist views. It would be objectionable to associate with extremists only if they were violent.
10.28 Irving sees this part of the Defendants' plea of justification as an attempt at "guilt by association", comparable with the worst excesses of the McCarthy era in the US. As an illustration of what he regarded as an attempt by the Defendants to smear him, Irving cited Funke's claim that a man named simply as "Thomas" in his diary was in fact Thomas Dienel. But Irving said never learned Thomas's last name and has not, to his knowledge, ever encountered Dienel. In the same way, the Defendants had introduced into the evidence Michael Kuhnen. But, said Irving, he had explicitly said he would not attend any function at which he was present and had never had anything to do with him.
10.29 Of the individuals identified by the Defendants, Irving submitted that "shorn of their commercial packaging, they do not amount to very much". Althans was accepted by Irving to be an extremist, although that had not been apparent when they first met. Irving regretted his acqaintance with him. As to Philip, Irving agreed that he is a friend and a revisionist. His position in relation to Zundel was similar: he agreed that he is a revisionist holding right-wing political views but considers him to be a respectable man who is "free of any conviction". He holds no brief for Zundel's particular views and "wild horses would not make him read some of his books". He described his relationship with Christopherson as "tenuous". Irving admitted to an association with Varela and Weckert. Despite the evidence of meetings which they attended together and the correspondence exchanged between them, Irving was reluctant to admit any association between them. As to Staglich, Irving testified that he did not speak to him at the Hagenau dinner to commemorate Hitler's birthday but did have breakfast with him the following morning. Irving denies any association with Rami or Kussel (although he agreed that he has shared a platform with both of them on one occasion). His only contact with Remer (who he accepted is "an unreconstructed Nazi") was to interview him for a book He had no recollection of Swierczek and categorically denied any association with Dienel.
10.30 Irving acknowledged that he is friendly with both the Worches but not intimately so. It was Ursula Worch who invited him to speak at the rally at Halle. Irving was at pains to refute the Defendants' claim that the video of that meeting revealed him to be associating with well-known extremist in an environment where Nazi slogans, salutes and uniforms were much in evidence. In the first place, asserted Irving, the video has been edited and re-edited so as to make it appear compromising. In any case he spoke briefly at the meeting, taking no part in the procession beforehand and leaving promptly after he had spoken. He can be seen shaking his head in disapproval at the Nazi slogans. He paid little attention to the others on the platform. There was nothing about Holocaust denial in his speech.
10.31 In relation to the IHR, Irving said that it included elements which are "cracked anti-semites". But he said that its officials nearly all held academic qualifications. Irving claimed that he had tried to introduce to the IHR what he called "mainline historians". He said he had never been an official of the IHR. He agreed that he has on several occasions spoken at their meetings (though he put it that he had done so no more than "occasionally"). He spoke on historical events, some of them uncomfortable for his audience. There was nothing extremist in what he said. It was not his decision to include reports of those speeches in the IHR Newsletter. He accepted that he regards the IHR as an ally but claimed that his association with them is minimal.
10.32 Irving claimed that he had no knowledge of neo-Nazi nature of the National Alliance. He had not seen or read the literature put out by the organisation. He had no interest in it. Although his diary records his having "set up the room" for one of his talks, he had not noticed that the literature of the Association was on sale at the meetings at which he spoke. He asserted that his denial in the pre-trial answers to the Defendants' request for information of any association with the National Alliance was true. He had not noticed the National Alliance banner which can be seen in the video of his talk in Tampa, Florida in 1996. He corresponded with Gliebe (who is a prominent member of the Alliance) because he is a personal friend. The headed National Alliance notepaper used by Gliebe meant nothing to him. The three meetings at which he spoke were not National Alliance meetings. He agreed that an entry in his diary refers to meetings being organised by the National Alliance but claimed that he had not the slightest notion who those people were. He also agreed that his diary makes reference to a Nazi-style introduction at one of the meetings at which he spoke and to Nazi-looking crackpots being present but explained that he had no control over who was present.
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