Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Judgment: Electronic Edition, by Charles Gray

Table of Contents


12.1 In 1992 Irving was told by Elke Frohlich, the widow of Professor Broszat, who edited fragments of the diaries of Goebbels, of the existence in Moscow of the long lost diaries themselves. They were, she said, in the form of microfiches recorded on hundreds of glass plates. She suggested to Irving that he might be able to buy the plates, since they were not listed on the archive inventories. She advised Irving to raise the necessary money She gave him the name of the director of the archive. Irving approached him at the end of May 1992.
12.2 On 26 May 1992 Irving contacted the Sunday Times, whose editor at that time was Andrew Neil, with a view to making an agreement about the   diaries. Neil expressed serious misgivings about their authenticity. (He had good reason for his caution, since the Sunday Times had recently had the misfortune to publish Hitler's diaries which turned out to be forgeries). Neil, however, agreed to provide the finance needed for a preliminary visit to Moscow by Irving. He travelled there on 6 June 1992. He was introduced by a Sunday Times journalist based in Moscow, Peter Millar, to Vladimir Taraso, the Head of the Department of International Contacts at Rosarchiv. Irving, having inspected the diaries, was satisfied of their genuineness. On his return to London, Irving entered into an agreement with the Sunday Times whereby the newspaper would pay him £75,000 in return for his translation of parts of the diaries. Irving returned to Moscow on 28 June 1992 and remained there working on the diaries until 4 July. The diaries were stored on 1,600 glass plates, each glass plate holding about 45 pages of diary.
12.3 In Denying the Holocaust, Lipstadt wrote in a footnote:
"The Russian archives granted Irving permission to copy two microfiche plates, each of which held about forty-five pages of the diaries. Irving immediately violated his agreement, took many plates, transported them abroad, and had them copied without archival permission. There is serious concern in archival circles that he may have significantly damaged the plates when he did so, rendering them of limited use to subsequent researchers".
Irving complains that in that passage Lipstadt accused him of violating an agreement with the Russian archives in that he took and copied many plates without permission causing significant damage them and rendering them of limited use to subsequent researchers. Readers would infer that he is a person unfit to be allowed access to archival collections.