Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 111 - 115 of 189

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 1 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     But you agreed to give evidence at his trial
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     I thought it was my duty as an historian, as a public
 3citizen, to give evidence. I did not realize at the time
 4the odium that would accrue. In fact, the element of
 5odium, I think, would have been impossible in this
 6country. I think it would have been almost a contempt for
 7witnesses to be subjected to the kind of onslaught that
 8I was after I gave evidence in that trial, but it
 9happened. I wrote letters to the newspapers about it.
10I said, "This will be completely impossible in England".
11The letters were published, but there it is.
12     If people ask me now, as they have, "Would you
13do it again?" I say, "No, I would not", not because I did
14not consider my duty to give the evidence I gave as
15an historian, and I understand the Judge afterwards said
16that he had never had such a convincing witness, but it
17was a mistake, because of the fact that that has been used
18as a reason to destroy me subsequently. Frankly, I do not
19seek personal destruction. If I was given the chance to
20do it again, if the people who have destroyed me since
21came to me now and said, "Mr Irving, we are prepared to
22put you back where you were", I would say, "Show me what
23I have to sign and I will do it". It is as simple as
24that
25 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Then, finally, I think this is the last topic that you
26need to deal with, the allegation that you broke an

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 1agreement in relation to the microfiche containing the
 2Goebbels' diaries by removing them from Moscow, or from
 3the archive in Moscow, and risking damage to them
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes. Well ---
 5 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     You dealt with this quite thoroughly in your opening
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, I have to be a bit careful because you have actually
 7compounded two elements in that statement. You said by
 8removing the glass plates and by something else. I do not
 9know what the agreement was supposed to have been. I have
10dealt with this quite thoroughly in my opening statement,
11and I am happy to aver here on oath that what I said in my
12opening statement in this respect, as in other respect, is
13true to the best of my knowledge and belief.
14     Ten years nearly, or eight years, have passed
15since that time when I was in Moscow and I obtained the
16diaries. You will be hearing the evidence of Mr Peter
17Miller who was with me at the time; and there is no
18written agreement either in my discovery or in the
19discovery produced by the Defendants who have had close
20collaboration with the Russian archival officials, will be
21able to cross-examine the Russian witnesses, and on this
22occasion they will be giving evidence, I understand, and I
23think, perhaps, we had better reserve judgment until after
24we have had the opportunity of hearing all that.
25     But, to the best of my knowledge and belief,
26there was no agreement, and I have made the admission

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 1(which I had to) which was quite proper about having
 2illicitly or illegally or even improperly removed the
 3glass plates on the archives and returned them the next
 4day and whatever which, to my mind, not such a big deal
 5because they allowed me to two days later anyway
 6 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Well, so far as I am concerned, that is all I was going to
 7invite you to give evidence about, leaving aside
 8Auschwitz, but do feel free to add anything that you think
 9has not been sufficiently covered before you are
10cross-examined
11 A. [Mr Irving]     I only wanted to say that you asked me earlier about the
12consequences of the book. I mentioned the pecuniary
13consequences and I mentioned the consequences for my
14career, but there has also been a more intangible
15consequence, that I have found myself subjected to a
16burden of hatred which you cannot quantify, but which is
17quite definitely there, the blank telephone calls, the
18obscene messages and so on. I would give only one
19example, my Lord, of the kind hatred -- well, two
20examples: one when I was assaulted in the Book Exhibition
21in Chicago -- in Los Angeles which I attended with my
22publishing imprint a few weeks ago when a member of the
23Jewish community -- a very notorious member of the Jewish
24community; one of the most extreme members in the United
25States with a long criminal record -- came up to the stand
26and screamed that he was going to come back and kill me,

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 1 "You're a Holocaust denier" he screamed as he was led
 2away by the police, using the phrase coined by the Second
 3Defendant.
 4     The second one would make more sense to your
 5Lordship if you are aware of who Philip Bullard is.
 6Philip Bullard was the head of the Nazi Extermination
 7Programme for the mentally and physically disabled, the
 8Euthanasia Programme
 9 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Yes, I know
10 A. [Mr Irving]     My Lord, I had the great misfortune in September to lose
11my eldest daughter. After we buried her, I received a
12phone call from the undertakers that another wreath had
13come. When the wreath was delivered late that afternoon,
14it was a very expensive and elaborate wreath of white
15roses and lilies -- far more expensive than we could have
16afforded -- with a card attached to it saying, "Truly a
17merciful death", "It was truly a merciful death", signed
18"Philip Bullard and friends". I should mention that my
19daughter was disabled in all those respects. She was
20legless and she had been brain damaged for 18 years.
21     I submit that this is the kind of hatred that
22this book has subjected me to -- something intolerable,
23something unspeakable, and which I would wish no other
24person to be subjected to
25 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Yes
26 A. [Mr Irving]     Thank you

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 1 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Is there anything you wish to add
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     Not to that, my Lord, no, and in any other respect I think
 3that you have drawn the essentials out of my admirably, as
 4was only to be expected
 5 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Well, you will have the opportunity, obviously, to amplify
 6your case after cross-examination, if you wish to. Now,
 7I do not know whether we need to clear the decks before
 8you cross-examine so that Mr Irving has the documents that
 9you mentioned earlier on, Mr Rampton
10 MR RAMPTON:      I do not know how best to do it. I have to say
11(and I will say it again; I sort of hinted at it
12yesterday) this is the most ghastly inconvenient and
13uncomfortable court I have ever been in. That is nobody's
14fault. I can hardly stand up. I cannot get at my
15documents
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      I wish I thought I could do something about
17it
18 MR RAMPTON:      I say that as a preliminary. The witness is miles
19away from the files that he needs. I can hardly see him
20because of this pillar and my learned junior cannot see
21him
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Otherwise you are pretty happy!
23 MR RAMPTON:      Except for the feeling that I am being boiled
24alive
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      That I have tried to do something about. The
26air conditioning was supposed to be on. I do not know

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