Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 76 - 80 of 204

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    I imagine the reason you did not -- I do not know what the
 1verb is from "facsimile" -- you did not reproduce a
 2facsimile of the note of 1st December is that you will say
 3that is because it was not sufficiently legible on the
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     This is what you imagine, is it? Is your imagination what
 6you are leading as evidence now?
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes. I am asking you, what is the reason why -- you had a
 8lot of pictures in the second edition, did you not?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     In the 1991 edition?
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes.
11 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Why did you not put a facsimile of this message in?
13 A. [Mr Irving]     I had something like 3,000 pictures to draw upon,
14Mr Rampton, and it is a judgment call which photographs
15you use. One facsimile of a first line document where an
16order is going out, "the transport of Jews not to be
17liquidated" is for more important than a meaningless
18sentence like "had to remain".
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Now, I want to go to, if I may ----
20 A. [Mr Irving]     But I would like just to round up that argument between us
21by saying that I do not think that you have established
22that I have deliberately manipulated or deliberately
23distorted or deliberately mistranslated anything. It is a
24sin of omission. The sin of omission is that I should
25sometime five years down the road, having realized the
26misreading, it should have occurred to me that one word

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 1had been misinterpreted or misread and that I should take
 2that out of the 500,000 other words.
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I will be clear about it, Mr Irving, I will lay it out for
 4you. You can deny it. It is not my function at this
 5stage to persuade his Lordship that I am right. That
 6comes later on. You invented a Hitler order. You
 7deliberately inflated it into an order to protect the
 8whole of the Jews?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     I have not invented a Hitler order, Mr Rampton. I have
10hypothesized the Hitler order in the way that a scientist
11should and I have then supported the hypothesis with
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Mr Irving, this is one occasion on which a "yes" or "no"
14will do. You invented it in the sense that you made an
15hypothesis (and I do not say it is an unreasonable
16hypothesis) you made it into a categorical assertion of
17fact. Now, do you agree with that or not?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, in the introduction.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And do you agree with that as being an irresponsible,
20deliberately deceptive manner for a historian to proceed?
21 A. [Mr Irving]     Quite the contrary on the basis of evidence that I have
22led this morning from my little bundle.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     When did you have those Jeckhelm messages?
24 A. [Mr Irving]     The intercepts?
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes.
26 A. [Mr Irving]     Within the last four weeks I have seen the originals.

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You did not have them at the time when you wrote this
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     No, but if you have a clean mind when you set out to write
 4a book, untrammelled by what you have seen on the TVs and
 5on the movies or read in other people's book like that by
 6Mr Kershaw, if you start out with a clean mind and you
 7read documents that meet your criteria, you are probably
 8going to be nudged in the correct path that you arrive at
 9the right conclusions.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It may happen, Mr Irving, from time to time in life that
11you tell what you intend to be a lie and subsequent
12events, that wonderful friend hindsight shows that you
13were telling the truth all along. Mr Irving, we are not
14using hindsight. I am concerned with your state of mind
15when you wrote these books.
16 A. [Mr Irving]     You a tell a lie and it turns out to be the truth all
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Tell what you intend to be a lie.
19 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, you tell what you intend to be a lie and it
20turns out to be the truth.
21 A. [Mr Irving]     Why would I intend something to be a lie?
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Because you are trying to exonerate, exculpate Adolf
24 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, this is your opinion, Mr Rampton, and I do not think
25that this can be sustained on the evidence.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No. There are four limbs to this which you can say, "Yes,

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 1it is right" (which you will not) or "No, it is not right"
 2(which you will). The second limb to this is that you
 3deliberately distorted the original German so as to
 4inflate one transport of Jews from Berlin into the whole
 5of the German Jews?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     I am not going to respond to that because I have made a
 7response to that argument.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Exactly. The third step is that you did not misread by
 9accident the word "haben" as "Juden"; you knew all along
10that it was "haben" but you wrote it in as "Jews"?
11 A. [Mr Irving]     I am not going to respond to that because I have stated my
12position very fully on that too.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     The fourth proposition is that in any event, on your own
14account, by the time this version of the book, the 1991
15edition, comes out, you know for a certainty, even if you
16did not before, that it was wrong and you deliberately
17chose not to change it?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     On the contrary, you could use the word "deliberate" if
19I put it in at this time. A failure to take something out
20is an omission, a sin of omission, and not a sin of
21commission, if I may put it that way. I respectfully
22suggest that it was a sin of omission and a failure to
23take a word out of 500,000 words is ----
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I do not think it matters what words one uses.
25 A. [Mr Irving]     --- it would be improperly and unjustly described as being
26the kind of distortion that you are trying to impute.

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Indeed I do. To allow a falsehood once told to remain on
 2the record is just as reprehensible as to have invented it
 3in the first place, is it not?
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     I object to the word "falsehood".
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Well, it is a false statement.
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     A misreading of a word which is a perfectly legitimate
 7misreading of a word which, I suppose, every person in
 8this room would have read that way if they had been in
 9exactly the same situation.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     These books, Mr Irving, are in some sense, are they not,
11history books?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     Which books?
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     These, the Hitler's War books?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     They are ----
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]     They are meant to be?
16 A. [Mr Irving]     --- works of history, yes.
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     --- meant to be history books. They are meant to be a
18history of the Second World War seen not through Hitler's
19eyes, I do not mean that, but with an angle on it that
20perhaps others have not treated before, that is to say,
21the Hitler angle. Hitler is at the centre of these books,
22is he not?
23 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You use what in the second edition it appears by the time
25it appears you know to be a false statement of fact about

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