Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 81 - 85 of 103

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     What follows is not strictly relevant to the
 1glass plates, but it is relevant to this case and is best
 2inserted here because of its chronology. When I returned
 3to London with the remaining diaries which the Sunday
 4Times had requested, an awkward situation had developed.
 5Our secrecy had been compromised by an astute reporter of
 6The Independent, a Mr Peter Pringle, who was based in
 7Moscow at the time I was using the archives. He too has
 8submitted a written witness statement for the Defendants.
 9He stalked me into the KGB archives, confronted me and
10learned from Dr Bondarev of my work on the Goebbels
11Diaries. The resulting scoop in The Independent sent the
12press world about its ears. Before I returned to London
13on July 4th 199 h entire Fleet Street press and the
14broadcast media fell over themselves to print stories
15about the diaries and my own participation. In order to
16blacken the name of the Sunday Times and its somewhat
17unpopular editor, I was described with every possible
18epithet.
19     It is of relevance to this action, in my
20submission, my Lord, because the same organizations which
21had gone to great lengths to furnish the Defendants here
22with the materials they needed to blacken my name and the
23book "Denying the Holocaust", now applied heavy pressure
24to Andrew Neil and The Times Newspapers Limited to violate
25their contract with me and to pay me nothing of the moneys
26which were due to me under the contract. Under this

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 1pressure, which Mr Neil described to me at the time as the
 2worst that he had experienced in his life, the Sunday
 3Times having in fact paid me the first installment welshed
 4on the rest of the payments. I was forced to sue them in
 5these same courts for breach of contract. The financial
 6consequences of this violation of the contract, in round
 7terms about £65,000, were serious for me.
 8     When I reviewed all the clippings, when I read
 9all the statements made by these various bodies and boards
10and campaigns and agencies and organizations attacking my
11name, both during my absence in Moscow and upon my return,
12I could only say, sadly, from a lengthening experience:
13"The gang's all here". The same gang whom I loosely
14describe as the traditional enemies of free speech, were
15to be seen in the following days behind the metal police
16barricades, police barricades thrown up outside my
17apartment, screaming abuse at me and other leaseholders in
18our building, spitting, harassing passers by, holding up
19offensive placards and slogans, including one reading in a
20most execrable taste, "Gas Irving". They can be seen in
21the newspaper photographs. From the photographs of this
22demonstration it appeared that representatives of every
23ethnic and other minority were present in these. It was
24the most disagreeable experience.
25     On my second visit to Moscow, as your Lordship
26will find from the relevant passages of my diary, I found

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 1frostier atmosphere. The boxes which I had so readily
 2been provided with on my previous trip were said to be
 3missing and not found. For three or four days I was
 4unable to do anything and then one box was released to me
 5which I devoured rapidly. On the last day but one it
 6became plain that I had jealous and envious rivals in
 7Munich to thank for the difficulties that the Russians
 8were now making. Dr Bondarev's secretary came into the
 9reading room and said there were allegations that I had
10stolen the glass plates. I assured her that while
11I borrowed some heavy glass plate which had been in my
12custody was at that time back in the archives and nothing
13was missing, which was true. I also voluntarily wrote a
14statement which was handed to Dr Bondarev.
15     Your Lordship will find this document in both
16Russian and English, in my handwriting, is in discovery
17both of myself and of the Defendants as an exhibit to the
18report by Professor Tarasov. Professor Tarasov is to be
19giving evidence before your Lordship, and I shall examine
20him with particular pleasure.
21     Dr Bondarev's secretary came back a few minutes
22later and said that this declaration was just what they
23required. She vouchsafed to me the information came from
24Munich.
25     Your Lordship will see from the information
26which came from Munich which is in the Defendants'

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 1discovery that the Institut fur Zeitgeschichte faxed to
 2Moscow a particularly hateful letter about me in an
 3attempt to destroy my relationship with the Russians.
 4However, I already had all the documents that had been on
 5my shopping list, either in long hand or by dictating them
 6on to a hand-held dictate recorder or typed on to my
 7portable typewriter, or as photocopies of a few pages of
 8November 1938, or as photographic prints obtained from the
 9glass microfiche. I have collected several hundred pages
10of the most important Goebbels Diaries entries that have
11been missing ever since the end of the war, and I see no
12reason not to be proud of this achievement. It is
13indicative of he general attempt to blacken my name and to
14silence me, that when I spoke to a meeting organised by my
15private supports' club, I suppose you would call it, the
16Clarendon Club, on evening of July 4th 1992, my return
17from Moscow that day, the hall in Great Portland Street
18was subjected to violent demonstrations outside which
19required a very large police presence to protect the
20members of my audience. This will be one of the
21photographs in the bundle I shall shortly be submitting to
22your Lordship. Later on that year when I addressed a
23third meeting at a West End hotel, there were even more
24violent demonstrations. Such demonstrations do not occur
25spontaneously. Somebody has to pay for the printing and
26the bill posting and the bus rentals. I might mention

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 1that on one of the days that followed I was violently
 2attacked by three men who identified themselves to me as
 3Jews when I was having a Sunday lunch at a public
 4restaurant in Mayfair with my family. They had laid an
 5ambush for me.
 6     I only recently learned that on the Monday after
 7my return from Moscow, my long time publishers, Macmillan
 8Limited, seeing the clamour and coming under pressure from
 9unnamed members of the Jewish community (I have the
10internal memorandum), panicked and issued secret
11instructions for the destruction of all remaining stocks
12of my books without ever informing me that they had done
13so.
14     This particularly repulsive act by a publisher,
15July 6th 1992, reminiscent of the Nazis in 1933, cost me
16of course many tens of thousands of pounds in lost
17royalties. At the same time as they were taking these
18secret decisions to destroy all of my books, at a cost to
19themselves of hundreds of thousands of pounds, my editor
20at Macmillan has continued to write ingratiating letters
21expressing interest in the early delivery of my Goebbels'
22biography. It was altogether a most unhappy period.
23      My Lord, I am coming towards the end as you can
24see. I can add one further brief example of how different
25is my attitude of such documents as the Goebbels Diaries
26from the attitude of my rivals and the scholars.

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