Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 4: Electronic Edition

Pages 171 - 175 of 207

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    You are implying I used a deliberately perverse and
 1distorted translation?
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Oh, yes, indeed so. For one thing there is no reference
 3in what Hitler says to the marshier parts of Russia, is
 4there, actually says?
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     What did he say?
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     He said: (German spoken).
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     So you are accusing me of having mistranslated?
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Well, added words.
 9 MR RAMPTON:     You have added in some words, a small point.
10 A. [Mr Irving]     My Lord, I will have a statement to make about this in a
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Pardon?
13 A. [Mr Irving]     Shall I make the statement now? You will be familiar with
14the facts that Weidenfeld & Nicholson published the
15edition of Hitler's table talk back in about 1949, with an
16introduction by Hugh Trevor-Roper, a very good volume, it
17is almost unobtainable now. I read that when I was about
1814 from cover to cover, and that is the translation I have
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, I remember that.
21 A. [Mr Irving]     The official translation. I have not changed one dot or
22comma of the official translation as published by Hugh
24 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     You mean the Weidenfeld translation?
25 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
26 MR RAMPTON:     This book is published in 1996, "Goebbels"?

.   P-171

 1 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That is what I read from, page 377.
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     The German edition, which I am sure you have used at other
 5times and for other purposes of the monologue, has been
 6available since 1980.
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     The original German text of that was available to me since
 8much earlier than that, because I had the original Martin
 9Bormann typescript text.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     So you had it, as you wrote these words you had the
11original German available?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     But I used official translation by --
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I hear what you say, the question is not whether you did,
14but why. You had the original German available to you at
15the time?
16 A. [Mr Irving]     -- let me be more specific. When I wrote the Hitler's War
17in the 1970s, I had the English text in front of me, when
18I reissued it in Germany I contacted the Swiss owner of
19the original Martin Bormann files, who had the original
20German texts and I obtained from him on that occasion
21German texts of these passages. But I did not translate
22it, Mr Rampton. The translation was done by either
23Trevor-Roper or by Weidenfeld and I have used the exact
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Why?
26 A. [Mr Irving]     Why?

.   P-172

 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes. I thought you were somebody who did not read other
 2people books, if you have original document why did you
 3not refer to that?
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     That was the publication of the original document, this
 5was a published edition of Hitler's Table Talk and at that
 6time that was the only edition that was available.
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What in --
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     I beg your pardon?
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     -- sure, but this Goebbels book is published in 1996.
10 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes and I have used exactly the same translation.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Why?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     I find it an adequate translation.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     But it is a terrible translation, Mr Irving.
14 A. [Mr Irving]     By whom?
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]     By whoever did it. For one thing it has got its tenses
16all wrong. It has added words. Look at the top of page
17324 of the Professor Evans' report.
18 A. [Mr Irving]     300 and?
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     24. The German is set out in footnote 18, I think. This
20time I do ask that you just read the two one after the
21after in whichever order you like.
22 A. [Mr Irving]     Which is the part you are saying is the bad translation?
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Well, for example, he pointed out, however, well, there
24are several appalling translations. There is no reference
25in the German to a plan to exterminate the Jews. "The
26fear precedes us that we are exterminating".

.   P-173

 1 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Correct?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It is a much closer and uglier thing in the original
 5German than in this rather namby-pamby translation which
 6includes references to public rumours and plans?
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     I do not think so. "Schreiken" is a spook. It is a
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     A spook. It is a word of fright and fear, is it not?
10 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Which is it, because they are quite different
12in this context?
13 A. [Mr Irving]     My Lord, the imputation is that I have deliberately
14mistranslated or distorted.
15 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Well, adopted what you should have appreciated was a
16mistranslation, I think is the way it is put.
17 A. [Mr Irving]     At the time I wrote Hitler's War I only had the original
18English text.
19 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Yes, but by the 1991 edition you had the German
21 A. [Mr Irving]     And I still accept that my translation is not a serious
22deviation from that.
23 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     You would translate "schreiken" as a spectre or a spook
24rather than as a fear?
25 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, schreiken is the idea of a childish kind of spook,
26the idea of a goblin.

.   P-174

 1 MR RAMPTON:     Do you think this is a reliable dictionary?
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     It helped us a lot with the word "vernichtung", did it
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     OK. "Schreik", fright, shock, terror, alarm, panic,
 5consternation, dismay, fear, horror?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     What were the first two?
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Fright, shock, which is the word I used.
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, fright or shock, you see, once again your expert has
 9taken the tertiary or fourth meaning of the word because
10he prefers to manipulate it in that way.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I do not mind which of those words you want me to use, but
12I am certainly not going to use "spook", still less am
13I going to use "public rumour". Not even you would use
14"public rumour" deliberately, would you, Mr Irving?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     I think that Hugh Trevor-Roper is perfectly adequate when
16he translates like documents like this or the translator
17employed by George Weidenfeld who was a Jew certainly,
18could certainly not be accused of having wanted to
19exonerate Adolf Hitler.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     In your pleadings, Mr Irving, my Lord, this is, I do not
21know but it will probably be in the reply somewhere, we
22will find it -- my Lord, this is page 27 of the reply, no
23paragraph number at that stage. It is (i) and following
24on from page 26. You tell us this, Mr Irving, and you are
25talking about this particular issue and you mention the
26Trevor-Roper translation, you say this:

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