Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 51 - 55 of 103

<< 1-5101-103 >>
    My publisher, Mr William Kimber, to whom I
 1have earlier referred, recommended to me the services of
 2his lawyer, Mr Michael Rubinstein, a name with which the
 3older members of this court may perhaps be familiar -- a
 4very well known lawyer at the time. Mr Kimber said to me
 5in his drawling, affable voice: "You will like Michael.
 6He is very Jewish but a very Christian kind of a Jew,
 7rather like Jesus Christ". You remember that kind of
 8thing. It is the kind of inexplicable sentence that one
 9remembers even now, nearly 40 years on down the road.
10I found Michael an enormously capable, energetic and
11likeable person - indeed, very English, his advice always
12sound, and he stood by me as legal adviser for the next 20
13years, two decades. He had a rhinoceros hide, as
14I remarked once in my diary -- a remark seize upon by the
15Defendants as evidence of my anti-Semitism.
16     I also form the long term friendship (which
17exists to this day) with well-known writers like the
18American David Kahn, an expert on code breaking. Being an
19author dealing with American and British publishers,
20I frequently came into contact with the Jewish members of
21the publishing profession.
22     The editor of "Hitler's War" for the Viking
23Press was Stan Hochman who became, as the correspondence
24and for all I know also my diaries show, a good friend;
25Peter Israel, who purchase "Uprising", which was my book
26on the 1956 Hungarian uprising, was editorial director at

.           P-51



 1Putnam's, and so on.
 2     The discovery documents, my Lord, show that
 3there was also some kind of relationship between myself
 4and our own George Weidenfeld which was the usual kind
 5love/hate relationship that exists between authors and
 6publishers. George published several of my books,
 7including my biographies of top Nazis like Field Marshal
 8Erhard Milch and Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, and I do not
 9believe that he made a loss on those operations. But
10behind my back, I learned that he had made unhelpful
11remarks about me, and I had occasion to write him one or
12two terse letters about that. But I believe we are still
13friends and my relations with the present Managing
14Director of Weidenfeld & Nicholson are of the very best.
15But those are all individuals, my Lord.
16     Even as I speak of Weidenfeld, it reminds me
17that during the 1960s and 1970s I became vaguely aware of
18forces gathering to oppose me. George had originally
19bought the rights to publish my biography of "Hitler's
20War". At some stage Weidenfeld's repudiated the
21contract. Publishers can always find an excuse, a
22loophole to do so if they want, and I was not unhappy as
23it gave me the chance to offer it to an equally
24prestigious Publishing House, Messrs Hodder & Stoughton,
25for an even larger fee.
26     At the Frankfurt book fair on October 13th 1973

.           P-52



 1 -- my diary entry relates the whole of this -- George
 2Weidenfeld sat next to me at dinner and lamented after a
 3few cocktails his mistake in "tearing up" the contract for
 4"Hitler's War". When I asked him why he had done so, he
 5explained: "I had to do so. I came under pressure from
 6three Embassies. One of them was a NATO power", which
 7I took to be Germany, "one of them was France and the
 8other was Israel".
 9     It is right that I should state here, and the
10correspondence shows, that he later denied having said
11this, but I took a very detailed diary note that same
12night, which is in my discovery, the bundle of which -- it
13is marked "Global" -- we shall look at briefly over the
14next few days, if your Lordship pleases.
15     So it became gradually evident (and I have to
16emphasise that I cannot pin down any particular year in
17which I finally realized that I was being victimized by
18this hidden campaign) that I was the target of a hidden
19international attempt to exclude me, if it could be done,
20from publishing further works of history.
21     It did not affect my attitude towards the Jews
22in the way that people might expect it to. I did not go
23on the stump, up and down the land, vituperating against
24them.
25     I merely made a mental note that I had to be on
26the look-out for trouble. Such trouble had already begun

.           P-53



 1in November 1963 when a three-man squad of burglars,
 2evidently at the commission of the English body to whom
 3I earlier made reference, my Lord, was caught red-handed
 4by the police, whom I had alerted, as they raided my North
 5London apartment, disguised as telephone engineers and
 6equipped with stolen GPO passes. There is a reason why
 7I mention this.
 8     The leader of that gang (whose name I shall not
 9mention as he is not represented in this court) told the
10police that he had hoped to find my secret correspondence
11with Hitler's henchman, Mr Martin Bormann! Perhaps
12I ought to add that there is no secret correspondence with
13Bormann.
14     I mention this episode for a reason, my Lord.
15This gentleman subsequently became editor of a left wing
16"Anti-Fascist" machine called "Searchlight", and he has
17made it his lifelong task over the intervening 30 years to
18take his malicious revenge upon me for the criminal
19conviction which he earned as a result of his felony.
20     His magazine repeatedly inveighed against me,
21reporting sometimes true, often part true, but usually
22totally fictitious rumours about my activities and alleged
23"Nazi" connections around the world in an attempt to
24blacken my name.
25     I will not say that the rumours are all untrue,
26my Lord. They never are. I believe Mr Winston Churchill

.           P-54



 1once famously said: "The world is full of the most
 2dreadful stories and rumours about me, and the damnable
 3thing about them is that most of them are true!" At
 4least, so rumour has it.
 5     But the untrue ones about me are the ones that
 6have a habit of surfacing again and again with their
 7original polish undimmed. I mention this case, as the
 8Defendants here seek to rely heavily on the outpouring of
 9this troubled soul, the editor of "Searchlight".
10     The court might wonder why I took no action
11against this journal or, indeed, any of the other parties
12who had defamed me over the years. One of the things that
13Mr Rubinstein, like Mr Kimber, my publisher, dinned into
14me very early on was to avoid at all costs taking libel
15action.
16     My Lord, I am sure I do not need to labour the
17reasons why in this opening statement. Suffice it to say
18that I had already realized by 1970, at the time of the
19"Convoy PQ17" libel action -- that is Broome v. Cassell
20 -- that libel actions are time consuming, costly and
21vexatious, and are indeed in the words of the cliche "to
22be avoided like the plague".
23     Besides, this particular magazine had no assets,
24so any type of litigation would have been quite
25pointless. I might add that only once in recent years
26have I been forced to take action in this jurisdiction

.           P-55


<< 1-5101-103 >>