Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 116 - 120 of 189

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     That I have tried to do something about. The
 1whether it actually was over the midday adjournment -- it
 2was. I just do not see that we can solve any of these
 3problems
 4 MR RAMPTON:      Perhaps the authorities at least might pretend
 5that it was mid summer instead of Siberia, we might be a
 6little bit more comfortable
 7     Cross-examined by MR RAMPTON, QC
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Mr Irving, to be serious (and I am sorry to be a little
 9bit facetious) Mr Irving will need some files
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Yes, I think it is best to do that first
11before you start
12 MR RAMPTON:      Yes, I agree. D2(i) and (ii), a copy of his
13opening ---
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Would you prefer to have your own copies
15 A. [Mr Irving]     No, my Lord, they are not marked up
16 MR RAMPTON:      Those are the first two transcript files.
17Eventually, but perhaps not now, and Mr Irving's own
18writing, his books. Those are the two, just (i) and (ii)
19are the only ones that are needed and a copy of the
20opening to start with.
21     (To the witness): Mr Irving, there is an
22elegiac story that you told us just now -- I do not mean
23that sarcastically at all; it is perfectly true it is --
24you blame that appalling note on the wreath on Deborah
25Lipstadt's book, is that right
26 A. [Mr Irving]     I think I was quite careful to say that it is difficult to

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 1quantify and difficult to be precise, but one thing leads
 2to another which thereupon leads to another and in that
 3respect the book has created and generated a climate of
 4hatred
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     If what the book said about you is true, then it would
 6not, perhaps you would agree, be the book's fault but
 7yours, would it not
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     I do not think any man can ever be expected to receive a
 9wreath from hateful people like that and have it said it
10is his own fault
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Let us take a step back in time (and I promise you, as
12I have before, both publicly and privately, that I am
13going on to Auschwitz this week, to give you time to get
14your head round it). In 1977, when the first edition of
15Hitler's War was published, you accepted the Holocaust in
16all its essential details in its ordinary sense, did you
17not, its generally understood sense
18 A. [Mr Irving]     Would you tell the court what you mean by the ---
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, I will. The systematic mass murder of millions of
20Jews by the Nazi regime during the Second World War
21 A. [Mr Irving]     I do not accept the word "systematic", but for the rest of
22it, then that is an accurate precis
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Including the continuous, if not systematic, though it is
24difficult to distinguish the two, perhaps, use of
25homicidal gas chambers in institutions like Auschwitz
26 A. [Mr Irving]     Continuous

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, over a period of time
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     It is not a word that I used
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, not daily on a continuous basis, but for a long period
 4of time, something like, I think, 22 months you accepted
 5that Auschwitz used homicidal gas chambers to kill very
 6large numbers of Jews, did you not
 7 A. [Mr Rampton]     I certainly did not say 22 months
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, let us try to get to the point. In your 1977 edition,
 9Auschwitz was characterized, I am not quoting, I am
10paraphrasing, as one of the extermination camps, was it
11not
12 A. [Mr Irving]     That is correct
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     In the 1991 edition, it had become, am I not right, merely
14a slave labour camp?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     That is correct -- well, I did not say "merely". I said a
16slave labour camp
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     "Merely" is my word
18 A. [Mr Irving]     You appreciate one has to be precise what I agree to
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes
20 A. [Mr Irving]     Otherwise it will be used against me later on. You said,
21 "It was merely a slave labour camp"
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You can be certain that I do not conduct litigation in
23that way and that if I did his Lordship would sit on me
24quite hard. So have no fear of silly little Perry Mason
25traps like that
26 A. [Mr Irving]     I am very glad to hear it

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Until 1988 you accepted the Holocaust, however it be
 2precisely defined (and I am not quibbling about minutia)
 3in its generally understood sense, that is to say, a mass
 4killing of Jews by the Nazis during World War II, did you
 5not
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     I did not use the word "Holocaust" but I did quite
 7definitely accept that the Nazis engaged in mass killing
 8of Jews during World War II
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Do you accept that most people in the western world now
10and perhaps all over the world, I know not, when the word
11"Holocaust" is used mean the systematic mass murder of
12millions of Jews by the Nazi regime
13 A. [Mr Irving]     I do not think that they ponder one moment to define what
14they are thinking about. They associate pictures with
15words. When the word "Holocaust" is used, they are
16thinking of people behind barbed ward, they are thinking
17of pits will bulldozers pushing bodies into them. It is
18visual images that are conjured up. They are not using
19legal definitions which can later on be bandied in a libel
20action. I think it is pictures that are conjured up by
21the word
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, we are not looking for legal definitions, Mr Irving.
23We are looking for -- I give you the card straightaway so
24that you can think about it while I ask you more questions
25 -- what people would have understood you to mean when
26later you denied the Holocaust, do you understand? Do you

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 1remember my original question was it might be thought
 2eventually that the catastrophe or the misfortune you
 3described at the end of your evidence-in-chief had been
 4brought on you by what you have said yourself. Do you
 5understand that? Do you understand, perhaps put it this
 6way, that if you use a word ---
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     This is very similar to saying that the catastrophe that
 8befell the Jewish people was brought on them by
 9themselves, and you can say to each of those sentences,
10each of those points, the answer is yes
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I do not think ---
12 A. [Mr Irving]     But between each of those alphas and omegas there are very
13many intervening stages which you are leaving out
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That may be so. I do not think you are perhaps quite
15answering my question
16 A. [Mr Irving]     I thought that was a very comprehensive one, sir
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Let us go back to your opening yesterday. You made noisy
18complaint, if I may call it that, about being branded a
19"Holocaust denier", did you not
20 A. [Mr Irving]     Oh, yes, yes
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You finished up by calling it a verbal Yellow Star
22 A. [Mr Irving]     Among my remarks I called it a verbal Yellow Star. I did
23not finish up by calling it that
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No. "A poison to which there is virtually no antedote,
25less lethal than a hypodermic with nerve gas jabbed in the
26neck but deadly all the same. For the chosen victim, it

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