Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 56 - 60 of 103

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    Besides, this particular magazine had no assets,
 1under the Defamation Act against a major national
 2newspaper four or five years ago, which resulted in an
 3immediate settlement out of court which I can only
 4describe as most satisfactory. The terms of this
 5settlement are covered by the usual Court Order, though
 6I fancy they are known to the Defendants here who asked
 7for, and were given, full disclosure of the relevant
 8papers.
 9     It will become evident to this court from the
10evidence that I lead over the next few days, my Lord, that
11the international community started to intensify its
12campaign to destroy me and to truncate my career as an
13author either before or at about the same time as The
14Viking Press and other publishers published my well-known
15biography of Adolf Hitler, "Hitler's War", which was
161997.
17     The court will be shown at least one internal
18document, dated April 1977, which I have identified as
19emanating from the Washington files of the so-called
20Anti-Defamation League, a part of the B'nai Brith, in the
21United States, which reveals quite unabashedly how they
22tried to pressure television producers to cancel
23invitations to me to discuss "Hitler's War" book on their
24programmes. It failed. The programme in question went
25ahead and the ADL noted, aghast, in a secret memorandum
26that I was well versed in the matters of history, a

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 1formidable opponent who could not, however, be called
 2anti-Semitic. I would have to be destroyed by other
 3means.
 4     This is a document in my discovery. By various
 5entirely legal means, I obtained several such disturbing
 6documents from within their files.
 7     From them and, in particular, from their details
 8registered out the Data Protection Act in this country, it
 9appears that these bodies, which are also embedded in our
10society in Britain and elsewhere, have seen their task,
11unbidden, as being to spy upon members of our society, to
12maintain dossiers on us all, and to deploy those dossiers
13when necessary to smite those of us of whom they
14disapprove.
15     As the court will see, the dossiers are
16explicitly designed to hold such material on the subjects'
17personal lives, criminal records, credit delinquencies,
18marital difficulties, dietary habits and even sexual
19proclivities. That is what we know from their details of
20registration.
21     It is not anti-Semitic to reveal this. The
22spying and smearing by these bodies goes on against fellow
23Jew and non-Jew alike. The Jewish writer, Noam Chomsky,
24relates that he found, quite by chance, that they were
25"monitoring" (for that is the word they use) him too.
26     Several of our own most notable personalities

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 1have already commented on this unsavoury element of
 2British life. In an article in a UK magazine, the writer,
 3Mr Auberon Waugh, remarked upon how he too inadvertently
 4found that such a file was being kept on him.
 5     May I add that these "dossiers" provided by this
 6London body to the Canadians, to the Anti-Defamation
 7League, and to various similar bodies in Australia, South
 8Africa and elsewhere, have been drawn upon heavily and
 9without question by the Defendants in this action, which
10my justification, I submit, for drawing your Lordship's
11attention to this disturbing and sleazy background.
12     When I attempted to take the libel action
13against the London-based body that I have mentioned, its
14Director, Mr Michael Whine, admitted in an affidavit that
15his body had taken upon itself to "monitor" -- here is
16that word again -- my activities, as he called them, for
17many years. He also freely admitted that when secretly
18called upon by his Canadian associates in 1992 to provide
19them with a smear dossier for the purposes of destroying
20my presence in Canada by planting it in government files
21in Ottawa, he willingly agreed to do so.
22     This is how that file turned up in Canadian
23Government resources; which in turn is how it came into my
24hands, years later, through lengthy "Access to Information
25Act" procedures; otherwise I would never have known why I
26found myself being taken in handcuffs aboard an Air Canada

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 1flight in 1992, after 30 years as an honoured visitor in
 2that country and deported, an event to which the
 3Defendants make gleeful reference in their book "Denying
 4the Holocaust".
 5     I may be rather naive, but this kind of thing
 6offends me as an Englishman, as no doubt the idea will
 7offend many of those present in court 37 today. The
 8notion that a non-Governmental body, unofficial body,
 9equipped evidently with limitless financial resources, can
10take it upon itself to spy upon law-abiding members of the
11community for the purpose of destroying them is one that
12I find discomfiting.
13     I have never done it to my fellow human beings.
14I can think only of the wartime Gestapo and its offshoots
15in Nazi-occupied Europe as a body engaged in similar
16practices. It is an offensive and ugly comparison, I
17warrant, and one that I have never made before, but in a
18legal battle of this magnitude, I consider it necessary to
19use ammunition of the proper calibre.
20     My Lord, I will now come to the matter of the
21glass microfiche plates containing the diaries of the Nazi
22propaganda Minister, Dr Joseph Goebbels. Your Lordship
23will have seen from the Statement of Claim that the
24Defendants have accused me of having improperly obtained
25these glass plates from the Moscow -- it was in 1992 -- or
26damaged them.

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 1     May I set out some of the antecedents of this
 2matter? Your Lordship will, perhaps, remember the
 3widespread newspaper sensation that was caused by the
 4revelation at the beginning of July 1992 that I had
 5succeeded in retrieving from the former KGB archives in
 6Moscow the long last diaries of Dr Joseph Goebbels, a
 7close confidant of Adolf Hitler and his propaganda
 8minister and, indeed, his successor as Reich Chancellor.
 9     I may see here that scholars have been searching
10for a number of diaries ever since the end of World War
11II. I would mention here only the example of the diaries
12of Hitler's Intelligence Chief, Vice-Admiral Wilhelm
13Canaris, in the search for which I was concerned in the
141960s and 1970s. (The Canaris diaries offered to myself
15and Messrs William Collins Limited on that occasion turned
16out to be fake, which I established by the use of the
17appropriate forensic laboratory in the City of London,
18Messrs Hehner & Cox).
19      Forensic tests are to play quite a large part in
20these current proceedings too.
21      In writing my own biographies of the leading
22Nazis, I have attached importance to primary sources, like
23the original diaries which they wrote at the time. When I
24have found these documents, as many scholars know, I have
25invariably and without delay donated them (or copies of
26them) either to the German Federal Archives in Koblenz or

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