Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 3: Electronic Edition

Pages 46 - 50 of 204

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    That is your account, must postdate the 17th May 1998,
 1you look at the first page?
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes. I did not understand the question, last question, it
 3was what?
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Well, if you say that you arrive at this conclusion in
 5consequence of the discovery of a Himmler, a file page on
 617th May 1998, this, what shall we say, "confession" must
 7postdate that, must it not?
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     Perhaps I should explain to his Lordship, if your Lordship
 9is wondering why it is written in the third person. This
10is a page.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I do not think that matters at all.
12 A. [Mr Irving]     No, right. But in other words I wrote that. This is what
13is important.
14 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     I follow you wrote it.
15 MR RAMPTON:     I had assumed you wrote that. This is why I called
16it a confession.
17 A. [Mr Irving]     Confession implies that something is wrong.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Put the substance, Mr Rampton.
19 MR RAMPTON:     It is quite inconsistent with the version you have
20been giving us in this court?
21 A. [Mr Irving]     It is absolutely consistent with my methods as an
22historian as saying here is one version, but the audience
23should know there is an alternative version. This is
24absolutely consistent with -- you remember how I sent that
25letter to The Times in 1966 saying there are other figures
26on Dresden and it is right that the public knows this.

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 1I know it is unusual for historians to do this, but I do
 2that kind of thing.
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     But you did not say, but on reflection I think this
 4suggestion that I was mistaken is probably wrong, and
 5I adhere to my original thesis that it was a Hitler order?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     I draw attention to the first two words on page 1043 "this
 7suggests".
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I know that?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     It does not say "this confirms" or "proves".
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     But to be blunt about it, Mr Irving, what
11I think is the suggestion made on the basis of your
12website entry is that it was because a journalist tipped
13off Himmler what had been going on that the message went
14out to Riga; have I understood it correctly?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     I think I would be reading very much between the lines, my
16Lord.
17 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     That is what you are saying here, is it not, Mr Irving?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     No, not at all. I am saying exactly what happened. What
19his timetable was.
20 MR RAMPTON:     Mr Irving, the position is this, you quite
21properly in this website entry recognize the possibility,
22I would say the probability, it does not matter, that your
23original thesis, that it was an order from Hitler was
24wrong, do you not?
25 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, you say "probability" and "possibility"; I would say
26what I am saying here is it is important that the learned

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 1public, academics and others who are accessing this
 2website realize there are documents which indicate a
 3discrepancies in The Times. However, we should not lay
 4every word on the gold balance, as the Germans say,
 5because it is quite possible and indeed highly probable
 6that as soon as Himmler arrived at Hitler's headquarters
 7he did not go and have a shower or something, he went
 8straight in to see the boss, and said "boss I am here,
 9what time shall I come past" and the boss said "oh by the
10way Heydrich I will have to tear a strip off you because
11of what is happening at the Eastern Front".
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Mr Irving, who reads these books of yours? Do not take
13that as a suggestion that nobody does, at all, I do not
14mean that, but who are they aimed at?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     How would I know.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Who do you write your books for? When are you writing a
17book, if I write something to my wife I do not use the
18kind of pompous language I use in court, I hope. So you
19know, you have an audience?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     Obviously, I am trying to write for as wide an audience as
21possible so that it is both learned enough for the
22academics to use as a source book, in the case of the
23Goebbels biography but also entertaining enough for the
24general public to look at and read from end to end without
25putting it down at the end of a chapter.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Exactly. It is meant to be readable and it is also

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 1scholarly and authoritative, is it not?
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     All three of those things. Do you not think, Mr Irving,
 4that the respectable approach to this problem of the
 5Himmler telephone call, for problem it is, historically?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Would have been to put both possible "theories", as you
 8call them, in this website into your book?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, here you have another time discrepancy, Mr Rampton,
10because the book was delivered to the publishers in 1995,
11and this Moscow diary came to my hands in 1998, three
12years, so it would have been quite a feat of imagination
13to imagine what was in the archives and I had not at that
14time seen.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, but you had assumed without more, had you not?
16 A. [Mr Irving]     This is not the point you were just trying to make, you
17were trying to imply I concealed what I knew, which would
18fall within the grounds of manipulation and
19mistranslation.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What I put to you is this, that you inserted an order from
21Hitler without evidence?
22 A. [Mr Irving]     I inferred an order from Hitler with very strong evidence.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You state it as a categorical fact?
24 A. [Mr Irving]     In my introduction to the book, yes, I draw conclusions.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And also in the text, if I may say so.
26 A. [Mr Irving]     No, in the text I state exactly what the documents say.

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And you mistranscribe the word Judentransport so as to
 2make Hitler appear the more merciful because that is what
 3it is about?
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     No, I applied the wider interpretation of the "transport"
 5rather than the narrow interpretation, which one could
 6subsequently apply once one knew more about the history of
 7that particular train load.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You do not agree now that you have been caught out by the
 9full entry in the Hitler log?
10 A. [Mr Irving]     Mr Rampton, historians are constantly being caught out by
11fresh documents that come into their purview and one is --
12I am personally very satisfied how infrequently I am
13caught out. I the entire Goebbels biography initially,
14for example, without access to the diaries in Moscow.
15I was pleased to find out how much I managed to work out
16correctly from secondary sources. So it is with
17particular episode, the decodes only came into our
18possession within the last four or five years and yet they
19confirmed exactly what I inferred 20 years, 25 years ago.
20I do not think it is a question of being caught out. If
21one revises and updates information it is not because one
22has been caught out, with all pejorative implications.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I am afraid they are pejorative. I would like to know why
24you say that the decodes (we will go it now, I will come
25back to where I was in a moment) why the decodes confirm
26your account?

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