Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 31 - 35 of 189

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 1 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     You said you wanted to develop that and I think now is
 2probably the appropriate time to do that, if you want to
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     I have, of course, a very large collection of ring binders
 4of Press clippings which have been made available to the
 5Defendants and in which they have not shown the slightest
 6interest. Reviews in all the leading newspapers of the
 7world of the books that I have written. I believe I have
 8written about 30. I could have produced all those reviews
 9to the court, but if I just summarize and say that they
10are largely very favourable reviews, the kinds of reviews
11that made publishers line up to publish my books until the
12turning of tide.
13     Obviously, there were some reviews that you
14could describe as the curate's egg, but, by and large, the
15reviews were exceptionally favourable. It may be said
16that the reviewers were not as clever, perhaps, as the
17expert witnesses whom the Defendants have summoned for
18this case. That may be one argument; maybe they had not
19seen though me, perhaps. Arguments like that will be
20advanced, but I submit this is not the case. These were
21book reviews written by experts in their own field, like
22Captain Steven Roskill who was an eminent naval historian,
23Professor MRD Foot, who is another official historian,
24Professor Sir Frank Hinsley. If I just summarize it as
25briefly as that, my Lord
26 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Yes, I think that is sufficient

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     If you wish to question that, of course, I will be quite
 2happy to put in all the evidence to support the
 3contention, but Defendants have not shown any interest in
 4these statements
 5 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Can you help me because I have not alighted on them. Are
 6they in one of the files
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     They were within my discovery. They were disclosed to the
 8Defendants in proper form. Admittedly, I did not do an
 9index of the entire set, but they were shown 16 ring
10binders full of chronologically organized, properly pasted
11up reviews and Press clippings in which, who knows, they
12might have found some goodies they could have used against
13me, I do not know, but they did not bother with them
14 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Take your own course, Mr Irving, but do you now want to
15deal with the publication of "Denying the Holocaust"
16 A. [Mr Irving]     The publication of the book. I paid no attention to that
17book, my Lord, until 1996. It did not come into my ken
18until 1996. I believe it was published in 1994, but in
19April 1996 we published in this country my book the
20Goebbels' biography, "Goebbels. Mastermind of the Third
21Reich". Your Lordship will be aware this is the only book
22that I requested that your Lordship study in some detail
23because it is a book that I am particularly proud of.
24     When we began marketing that book in the United
25Kingdom, which meant literally that I and my publisher
26imprint rented a van and visited approximately 980

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 1bookstores up and down the length and breadth of the
 2country, which is a very enjoyable exercise. I do not do
 3it out of tedium; it is very interesting to visit the
 4bookstores and their managers. We marketed the book
 5directly to them and we sold many thousands of copies in
 6this manner, but we came across the phenomenon that in a
 7number of bookstores, particularly in the Waterstones
 8chain, the head of the history department took an aversion
 9to me.
10     After visiting a number of the bookstores, it
11became quite plain that the reason for the aversion to me
12was the fact that they were selling the book "Denying the
13Holocaust", published by the first Defendant and written
14by the Second Defendant. This book was being believed by
15Waterstones or by their employes and by, no doubt, other
16bookstores too. It was causing me considerable concern
17because these bookstores were thereupon refusing to stock
18my books.
19     So I thereupon during that tour began to
20purchase copies of "Denying the Holocaust" as evidence
21that the book was on sale within the jurisdiction. I put
22the publishers on notice. I put the author on notice.
23I put certain of the book sellers themselves on notice
24because under the Defamation Act anybody in the
25distribution chain can be held liable for the peddling of
26libels. I subsequently, of course, separated those --

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 1I discontinued the action against the book sellers for
 2reasons that need not occupy the court.
 3     At the beginning of September 1996, which is
 4that same year, which had been a very harrowing year for
 5me, as I had seen my American publishers, St Martin's
 6Press, in conjunction with my big American publisher,
 7Doubledays, simultaneously deciding, we now learn, upon
 8representations made by the Second Defendant not to go
 9ahead with publication of my Goebbels' biography,
10I decided that I had no recourse but to take libel action
11against this book which was, obviously, part of the cause
12of my problem.
13     So I issued the writ, after taking usual
14procedural steps, the letter before action and so on,
15I think it was dated September 6th 1996
16 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Yes. Now, you have selected for complaint a number of
17particular passages from the book and I think it would be
18appropriate if you were to deal with them, and where you
19best find them, I do not know, but certainly they are to
20be found in your Statement of Claim, but it may be you
21would rather deal with it in some other way
22 A. [Mr Irving]     May I return my papers and collect the Statement of
24 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Yes, of if you point out where they are, perhaps somebody
25can do it for you rather than having you go backwards and

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     They are in the ring binder
 2 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Thank you very much
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     My Lord, I was defamed and libelled on a number of pages
 4in the book. I do not propose to read out, unless your
 5Lordship wishes otherwise, the specific passages
 6 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     No. You are entitled to take your own course about that
 7but I think what you ought to do is just give an
 8indication of ----
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     I will read out ----
10 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     --- why you object to the passages that you have selected
11for complaint
12 A. [Mr Irving]     If I go to paragraph 9 of the Statement of Claim which is
13 "The natural or ordinary meaning of the words complained
15 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Yes
16 A. [Mr Irving]     I contend that the passages meant, and were intended to
17mean and understood to mean, firstly, "that the
18Plaintiff", meaning myself, "is a dangerous spokesperson
19for Holocaust denial ... for denial forces who
20deliberately and knowingly consorts and consorted with
21anti-Israel, anti-Semitic and Holocaust denial forces and
22who contracted to attend a world anti-Zionist conference
23in Sweden in November 1992, thereby agreeing to appear in
24public in support of and alongside violent and extremist
25speakers, including representatives of the violent and
26extremist anti-Semitic Russian group, Pamyat, and of the

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