Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 1: Electronic Edition

Pages 46 - 50 of 103

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    First: is the General describing something he
 1does not take university level textual analysis to realize
 2that if a General says: "I can see her in my mind's eye
 3now, a girl in a flame-red dress", this is a man who has
 4been there and seen it with his own eyes.
 5     This document has, in my submission,
 6considerable evidentiary value. It is not self-serving.
 7The General is not testifying in his own interest. He is
 8merely talking, probably in a muffled whisper, to fellow
 9prisoners at a British interrogation centre, and he has no
10idea that in another room British experts are listening to
11and recording every word. We also have the original
12German text of this document, I might add, my Lord.
13     So to what purpose do I mention this? Well,
14firstly, because I shall later on in these proceedings add
15further unknown documents from the same superb British
16archives -- that is the Public Record Office -- documents
17that go to the events of this one day, November 30th 1941,
18documents which show Adolf Hitler taking a most remarkable
19stand on this atrocity.
20     But I also adduce this document for the
21following reason which is immediately of importance, given
22the title of the book: "Denying the Holocaust". I adduce
23this document for the following reason: if an historian
24repeatedly refers to this document, the Bruns Report; if
25he quotes from it; if he immediately writes as soon as he
26finds it showing it to fellow historians, both Jews and

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 1non-Jews alike, and in writing draws their attention to
 2the existence of this document, and its fellow documents,
 3all of which were hitherto unknown to them; if, moreover,
 4that historian reads out this document in public, with its
 5awful, infernal descriptions of the mass killings of Jews
 6by the Nazis on the Eastern front on multiple speaking
 7occasions; if this historian, speaking to audiences even
 8of the most extreme hues of left and right, heedless as to
 9their anger, insists on reading out the document in full,
10thus "rubbing their noses in it", so to speak; if
11continues to do so over a period of 15 years again and
12again right up to the present date, and if he quotes that
13document in the text and references that document in the
14footnotes of all his most recent works, beginning with the
15"Hitler's War", the biography, the republication in 1991,
16through "Goebbels. Mastermind of the Third Reich" in
171996 and "Nuremberg, the Last Battle" in 1997, if all
18these things are true, then is it not a libel of the most
19grotesque and offensive nature to brand that same
20historian around the world as a "Holocaust denier" when he
21has not only discovered and found and propagated this
22document and brought it to the attention of both his
23colleagues and his rivals and his foes, regardless of
24their race or religion, and to countless audiences?
25     This is not an isolated example, my Lord. In
26Introduction to my biography of Adolf Hitler, "Hitler's

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 1War", which was published by The Viking Press in America
 2and by Hodder & Stoughton in the United Kingdom and later
 3by Macmillan, we shall find that I have drawn specific and
 4repeated attention of the reader to the crimes that Adolf
 5Hitler committed.
 6     How did all this happen? I shall invite the
 7court to hear expert evidence on the relationship between
 8the world's Jewish communities and the rest of us, given
 9by a professor of sociology at a leading American
10university who has published a number of book-length
11studies on the topic.
12     The Jewish community, their fame and fortunes,
13play a central role in these proceedings. It will not
14surprise the court, I suppose, that among the allegations
15levelled against me by the Defendants by their experts is
16the adjective of "anti-Semitic".
17     This adjective is both the most odious and the
18most overworked of epithets. Almost invariably it is
19wielded by members or representatives of that community to
20denigrate those outside their community in whom they find
22     It does not matter that the person whom they
23label as anti-Semitic has conducted himself towards that
24community in an irreproachable manner until then; it does
25not matter that he has shown them the same favours that he
26has shown to others; it does not seem to matter either

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 1that that same community who thus labels him or her has
 2conducted against him an international campaign of the
 3most questionable character in an attempt to destroy his
 4legitimacy, the economic existence upon which he and his
 5family depends.
 6     If he defends himself against these attacks, he
 7is sooner or later bound to be described as anti-Semitic.
 8     It has become a ritual. No doubt the English
 9people, who in 1940 found it necessary to defend
10themselves against the Germans, would by the same token
11earn the title of anti-German. Is a person who defends
12himself ultimately and wearily and after turning the other
13cheek for 20 or 30 years ipso facto no better than the
14most incorrigible kind of ingrained anti-Semite with whom
15we are probably all familiar? I submit that he is not.
16     This court will find that, like most Englishmen,
17I have had dealings with both English and foreign Jews
18throughout my professional life.
19     There were, to my knowledge, no pupils of the
20Jewish faith at the minor Essex Public School that
21I attended (in common with our present Home Secretary)
22from 1947 to 1956. In fact, I was surprised when I
23recently heard the suggestion that there had been one.
24     I encountered many Jewish students when I
25attended London University, however. I would like to
26commemorate here the name of my flat mate at Imperial

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 1College, Mike Gorb, who died tragically in a
 2mountaineering accident. I regarded as a good friend
 3another senior student, Jon Bloc. There was one student,
 4a Mr Peter L, who began agitating against me for the views
 5that I profounded while at University, views I can no
 6longer remember; and I have to confess that I found his
 7agitation both perplexing and irritating because it all
 8seemed rather petty and spiteful at the time.
 9     As my own witness statement recalls, at the time
10of the Anglo-Israeli-French "police action" in Suez in
111956, I joined student demonstrations on behalf of the
12Israelis, though for the life of me now I cannot remember
13why. It is the kind of thing you do when you are a
15     My Lord, when my first book was published, "The
16Destruction of Dresden" in 1963, I became uncomfortably
17aware that I had somehow offended the Jewish community.
18I did not at the time realize why and I do not fully
19realise why even today. Whatever the reason, their
20journalists were in the spearhead of the attack on me. As
21other books appeared, this polarisation among the English
22critics became more pronounced. I remember the name of
23Mr Arthur Pottersman, writing for a tabloid newspaper --
24the Daily Sketch -- as being one of the few vicious
25critics, not of Dresden book but of my person.
26     My publisher, Mr William Kimber, to whom I

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