Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 2: Electronic Edition

Pages 106 - 110 of 189

<< 1-5186-189 >>
    It is the subsidiary clause there who could be legitimate
 1categorized, and you have even put it into the passive
 2voice which puts one further removed -- we do not know who
 3is doing the categorising
 4 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     So you are saying that the people who you found yourself
 5alongside are not, in truth, right-wing extremists or
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     I do not regard them as extremists, by my definition of
 8the word "extremist". I am prepared to believe there are
 9people at the other extreme who would regard them as
10extreme from their viewpoint because they hold views that
11are extremely or diametrically opposed to their own. But
12this is a free society. They are not extremist in the
13degree that they do not go around espousing violence or
14practising violence or advocating overthrow of
15governments. They are people who just hold views with
16which I am not necessarily associated. As your Lordship
17will have seen from the correspondence, I frequently had
18very marked altercations with these people, saying, in
19effect, "You may be a frightfully nice person privately
20and you have got a good tennis serve but, on the other
21hand, your views on the Holocaust are wrong"
22 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     So would you say that there is not anyone who you feel, in
23hindsight, you should not have associated with
24 A. [Mr Irving]     Oh, in retrospect, good Lord, yes! In retrospect, you
25could look out of the back of the truck as it goes
26trundling down the highway of history and you say, "I wish

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 1I never get to know him", but we have all met people like
 2that, my Lord. This should not be held against me.
 3People change.
 4     There is one particular gentleman called
 5Mr Althans, Ewald Althans, who figures in this
 6correspondence. He was a German character who I got to
 7know when he was a student. I first met him, I think, in
 81989 and my first impressions of him which I have recorded
 9in my diary was that he was a very forceful, energetic,
10forthright and fearless young man.
11     It subsequently turned out he held opinions that
12could be really categorised as extreme, that he was, in
13fact, an agent of the German government and an agent
14provocateur because he testified to that effect when he
15finally got his comeuppance. I bitterly regret ever
16having made his acquaintance, and certainly if he came
17anywhere near me I would say, "Go away". If he came to my
18front door, I would pretend I was not in. Well, if that
19can be held against me, my Lord, then I think this is an
20unjust society. These things happen. People change as
21you get to know them. They become different from the way
22they were when you first knew them
23 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     So you are saying really, are you, that you want to be
24judged by what you said rather than by what people you may
25have been at the same meeting with
26 A. [Mr Irving]     My Lord, I am very satisfied to be judged on what I

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 1have said verbally which is recorded in great abundance in
 2the transcripts. I am very satisfied to be judged on the
 3basis of what I have written to any of these gentlemen,
 4but I do not think I should be judged on the basis of what
 5they may have said either to me or to others. That is
 6their own affair. Frequently, I have had cause to
 7reprimand them privately and say, "Do not do it".
 8     For example, I remember one trip I made to South
 9Africa. The South Africans are a different people from
10us. They have different attitudes to us. I visited South
11Africa on a speaking tour and I went to Johannesburg
12Airport to pick up my assistant who was to accompany me
13and I warned her; I said, "You will find the people here
14in Johannesburg treat coloured people in a manner which is
15totally repugnant to us, but I must request you not to say
16anything about it because we are their guests", but that
17is as far as you can go
18 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     The last topic, is there anything you want to add
19 A. [Mr Irving]     No, my Lord -- unless you wanted to ask me about any
20specific names that they have mentioned? You do not
21 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Well, I was not proposing to, but if you want to say
22anything about, for example, Mr Zundel who is, perhaps,
23more important than most of the others
24 A. [Mr Irving]     Mr Zundel, I can speak about very briefly. I first met
25Mr Zundel, Z-U-N-D-E-L, who is a German of Canadian
26extraction who has been in constant hot water for the last

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 110 or 15 years, but is sill in the eyes of the law
 2blameless, in other words, he has not been convicted on
 3anything he has been accused of which is a matter not to
 4be taken lightly, of course. A lot of accusations have
 5been made against him, but he has so far not been found
 6guilty of anything.
 7     I first heard about him before 1986 in the most
 8disparaging terms. In 1986, I conducted around the world
 9lecture tour, and coming up from Australia and Fiji to
10Vancouver, I was met at Vancouver Airport in Colombia, in
11Canada, by a man who introduced himself in the car to me
12as Mr Douglas Christie. I said, "But you are the
13barrister for Mr Zundel, are you not, in the hearings in
14Toronto?" He said, "Yes, I am. I am chairing the meeting
15tonight". I was so shocked by this that I telephoned my
16tour organizer in Australia immediately and said, "I am
17afraid I cannot allow Mr Christie to act as chairman of
18tonight's meeting". My hostility to Mr Zundel at that
19time was so pronounced I would not even allow his
20barrister to come near me, in other words.
21     I then flew across to Toronto where I was to
22speak and I was picked up at Toronto Airport by two
23gentlemen who drove me down town, and half way down the
24Queen Elizabeth Highway into Toronto, one of the gentlemen
25turned to the other and said, "Ernst, I think we will put
26Mr Irving off at his hotel first". I said, "Do you mind

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 1if I ask who you are?" and he said, "Yes, I am Ernst
 2Zundel". I am afraid I was terribly shocked to be found
 3sitting in the same car with him because the blackening of
 4his name at that time had gone to such an extent that not
 5only did I not want to be associated with his barrister,
 6but not with him either.
 7     Now I say that, having got to know him over the
 8next two or three years, you realize that the reputation
 9he had and the man he was were two different things. He
10was an enbattled person, coming under, I will not even say
11the same kind of attack as I have, he came under the most
12vicious kind of attack which included the burning down of
13his house and a constant onslaught and violent and
14physical assault, and he was bearing himself up with more
15fortitude than taste; and you had to realize that he was a
16man with a certain intellect, a certain sense of humour
17and execrable private opinions. That is the only way that
18I can characterize him
19 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Yes
20 A. [Mr Irving]     I repeatedly said this, my Lord. I have sent him messages
21and letters and I have said that, frankly, your opinions
22are off the wall -- in fact, they are off the map. The
23correspondence has been in the discovery for the
24Defendants and they could have seen it and, no doubt, it
25has alarmed them because it does not confirm the picture
26that they would have wished to portray

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