Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 96 - 100 of 189

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    It is big figures 99 at the bottom of the page. The third
 1overrun."
 2     The footnote at the back of the book which I
 3could show you if my Lordship is interested, because I
 4have the book here, says the source of that information is
 5the SS Major, who was Himmler's Adjutant's Adjutant, who
 6has, however, requested that his identity be withheld.
 7Some of these people at the time I wrote that book were
 8still nervous about being identified, but he was the
 9source
10 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     But he is no longer nervous
11 A. [Mr Irving]     I am sure he has no nervousness now, my Lord, because the
12years has passed, but he was the source and that was the
13episode which I recounted to you. You asked if I used it.
14 In my submission, I have used it exactly as it should
15have been used and at the proper length
16 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Is this the 1991 edition or the 1977
17 A. [Mr Irving]     That is the very first edition, my Lord, 1997. If your
18Lordship is interested, I can certainly produce almost
19identical pages from the subsequent editions
20 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     No, do not bother. Thank you very much. Yes, now
21anything else or shall we resume? We are still on the
22topic of Hitler's Adjutants. I think you have dealt with
23criticisms (i), (ii) and (iii)
24 A. [Mr Irving]     Double standards
25 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     And the next one is, at any rate, self-explanatory
26 A. [Mr Irving]     I distort, suppress, manipulate evidence, but until they

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 1give chapter and verse, I cannot say.
 2     "The Plaintiff claims falsely that all of
 3Hitler's surviving adjutants, secretaries and staff had
 4uniformly testified that the extermination of the Russian
 5or European Jews was never mentioned at Hitler's
 6headquarters. That claim is contradicted by the evidence,
 7my Lord. I shall be interested to see what the evidence
 8is to which they are referring
 9 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Just pause a moment. Do you accept that you have made the
10claim that all the Hitler surviving adjutants and so on
11have uniformly testified that the extermination of the
12Russian or European Jews was never mentioned at
13Hitler's ---
14 A. [Mr Irving]     I think the full extent of the statement was that they
15have been frequently questioned ever since the war both by
16American and British interrogators and by others in
17between and certainly by myself on each occasion, and each
18of them has said that this systematic extermination of the
19Jews, or whatever -- what is it -- the extermination of
20the Russian or European Jews was never mentioned at
21Hitler's headquarters, that it was never mentioned in
22their presence. Obviously, they can only testify to what
23they personally witnessed and that was all I was
24interested in
25 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Yes, but the point I was on really was this, you have made
26that claim

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     I have made that claim
 2 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     You say it is a true claim
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     I have maintained that it is true claim. If, however, the
 4Defendants produce new evidence that it is false, I will
 5accept that evidence, but that does not amount to my
 6having distorted and manipulated. They would have to show
 7that evidence was on my desk within my four walls, so to
 8speak
 9 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Yes. The last one
10 A. [Mr Irving]     "In full knowledge of the historical detail, the Plaintiff
11subjectively filtered, bent and manipulated his sources to
12his own political and ideological desire to exculpate
13Mr Hitler." Well, that is a bit of a polemical question,
14I suppose, in which the sting is in the question rather
15than in the answer
16 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Not really. Anyway, answer it
17 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, the answer is under oath, no. My Lord, I have never
18consciously done any of those things in order to exculpate
19Hitler. In fact, I have bent over backwards to include
20what I knew from reliable sources which met my criteria,
21and in the very introduction to my book "Hitler's War"
22which is included in the bundle which I provided this
23morning, my Lord, I gave a short list, a check list, of
24the crimes he did commit: "He issued the commisart order
25for the liquidation of the Soviet commisarts and signed
26it. He issued the euthanasia order for the killing of the

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 1mentally disabled and signed it, back-dated it to
 2September 1st 1939. He ordered the killing of British
 3commandos who fell into German captivity. He ordered the
 4liquidation of the male population of Stalingrad and
 5Leningrad..." and so on. There is a long list of these
 6crimes which I gave as a kind of check list form in the
 7introduction of the book specifically to avoid the kind of
 8accusation that I apprehended would one day be made
 9 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     I suppose, to be balanced, you would accept that you would
10not only need that short list, but also a list of what one
11might call the opposite points where you say ---
12 A. [Mr Irving]     Said nice things about him
13 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     --- said commendatory things about him which, I think it
14is right to say, you do from time to time in "Hitler's
15War"
16 A. [Mr Irving]     I have obviously said commendatory things about him.
17There was a time when he was on the right course and then
18he went off the rails. That is roughly what I have said.
19But, of course, he was not on the right rails in every
20respect. You cannot praise his racial programmes. You
21cannot praise his penal methods. But, on the other hand,
22he did pick his nation up from out of the mire after World
23War II and reunify it and gave it a sense of direction and
24a sense of pride again which, from the German point of
25view, though not from the English point of view, was
26something commendable. I say those things which need to

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 1be said and it would be wrong to suppress them
 2 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     May I just ask you one thing that struck me when I was
 3reading "Hitler's War" which is that I think you say in
 4the Forward that you are writing it, as it were, from his
 5perspective
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, my Lord ---
 7 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Is that a usual way to approach an historical biography
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     No. It is my trademark way of writing, the books which
 9I have written. If you collect enough original primary
10sources, first of all, you are confronted with many
11problems. First of all, a super abundance of material and
12you have to decide which way you slice that particular
13cake. The easy way that I decided to slice the cake was
14to say let us imagine we are sitting in his swivel chair
15and that confronting us, as writer, are only the documents
16that passed across his desk. It is, in theory, a nice
17idea; in practice, it is more difficult to put into
18effect. But this is the first criterion you apply, and
19you then tell the story as seen from his viewpoint and in
20the sequence in which it came to him.
21     I give one example: The July 20th 1944 bomb
22blot. Every other writer would describe the planning of
23the bomb plot and the conspiratorial meetings and the
24arrangement and the provision of the explosives and the
25comings together and the various failed attempts. In my
26book, your Lordship will have noticed the first we know

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