Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 186 - 190 of 207

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Where do I find that in your text?
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     It is not there. The book is already nearly 1,000 pages
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     But it is the critical -- it is the critical passage?
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     He is throwing them out. He remained inactive and now he
 6is throwing them out. He is sending them to the marshy
 7parts of Russia, the most radical measures.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What it means is -- bear with me Mr Irving -- what it
 9means is that the time has, he uses the plue perfect we
10would call it in English, "I had to remain inactive
11against the Jews for a long time, but that does not mean
12much because now the book of account has been taken out
13and the time has come", is it means?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     He does not actually say that of course. He does not say
15"The book has now been taken out".
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Sorry, it is probably my misunderstanding.
17Mr Irving, I think you just said that you have not
18translated that sentence beginning "alt den Juden", but
19you did, did you not? Is that not where you write: "He
20pointed out, however, that he had no intention of starting
21anything at present"?
22 A. [Mr Irving]     It is bundled up in that sentence. It is precise'd in
23that sentence.
24 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     You use the word "precis", but you have changed the tense,
25"missed" stays in the past tense?
26 A. [Mr Irving]     That is the next sentence we are taking up.

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 1 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     No, it is the same sentence, unless I have misunderstood.
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     "It has no sense to make additional difficulties for
 3oneself", he then continues.
 4 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Yes, but go back to the previous sentence. Am I not right
 5in thinking that your rendition of that previous sentence
 6is where you write: "He pointed out, however, that he had
 7no intention of starting anything at present"?
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     What he no doubt said, if he was speaking in direct
 9speech, is, "For a long time now I have done nothing,
10I have been inactive towards the Jews."
11 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     In the past?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     In the past, yes.
13 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     But that is not the same thing as saying that you have no
14intention of starting anything at present or in the
16 A. [Mr Irving]     At present.
17 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Is there not a real distinction between the two on
18reflection now?
19 A. [Mr Irving]     No, because the sense of the next sentence, my Lord, where
20he goes on to say, "I am not looking for difficulties.
21I am not going to try to make difficulties, there is no
22point in it, there is no sense in doing it."
23 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Look at the tense again. It is "hat". That may be a bad
25 MR RAMPTON:     No, my Lord, I do not think it is.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It may be a neutral point.

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 1 MR RAMPTON:     Maybe, but I have a reason why I say it is not a
 2bad point.
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     Can I use Professor Evans' translation?
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, please do.
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     Where he said: "I had to remain inactive for a long time
 6against the Jews too. There is no sense in artificially
 7making extra difficulties for oneself. The more cleverly
 8one operates the better." In other words, "We are not
 9doing anything for the moment, but the time will come when
10I get my book out".
11 MR RAMPTON:     No, Mr Irving. You know that is nonsense.
12 A. [Mr Irving]     I would not say it was nonsense, Mr Rampton.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I am afraid I have to suggest it is nonsense and you know
14it is nonsense. He is talking actually about what he is
15going to do with Bishop Galen who is grumbling about the
16euthanasia programme. That is the context?
17 A. [Mr Irving]     Then he goes on to Galen, yes.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, and he uses the past tense to describe his previous
19inactivity against the Jews to, you miss out the
20word "ough" also and then he says: "There is no since in
21artificially making extra difficulties for oneself".
22There is no "at this time" as there is in your English.
23He simply observes, no doubt with some pride, "The more
24cleverly one operates the better", and what he is saying
25is this: "Look, leave Galen for the moment, don't let's
26make extra difficulties for ourselves in relation to

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 1Galen. I had to remain inactive against the Jews for a
 2long time too", and then the implied parentheses or
 3sequence, "but the time has now come"?
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, but you are hanging all your proof on this implied
 5parentheses which just does not happen to be in the
 6document, Mr Rampton. It is not hanging document again.
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It does not hang Hitler. There are plenty of other ways
 8of doing -- I was going to say skinning a cat, but it
 9hangs you as an accurate recorder of German history,
10because it is a deliberate misuse of a translation which
11you knew to be wrong, so as to exculpate Hitler and make
12it appear that on 25th October 1941 he was yet again
13postponing taking any action against the Jews. You know
14perfectly well, because the German says it, that that is
15not what he said?
16 A. [Mr Irving]     I totally disagree with you.
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It was a long question.
18 A. [Mr Irving]     I have taken a very lengthy entry of some 20 lines.
19I have had to condense it into a paragraph of three or
20four or five lines for that particular passage and I think
21I have done an adequate job. If I was going to write a
22book two or three times as long endlessly boring, as the
23academics write them, then no doubt I could have put in
24the whole of that quotation undigested, unanalysed.
25I have had the difficult job that all authors face which
26is to condense something into a reasonable length while

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 1not losing any of the essence. You can pick your
 2individual sentences where a word is wrong and take that
 3sentence out and the weight of the sentence remains the
 4same. Hitler says: "I wanted to send them out." Hitler
 5says: "I have been keeping a little book and one day it is
 6going to come out." Hitler says: "I don't believe in
 7looking for problems if we don't have problems. Look at
 8the case of Galen, that is another one that I am going to
 9put on the back burner." This is typical Hitler.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     "That is what I did do with the Jews. I had to remain
11inactive for a long time too."
12 A. [Mr Irving]     Do not forget, Mr Rampton, we have a whole series of
13documents which lie in my direction and not in yours.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What is worst, Mr Irving, I suggest and then I am going to
15leave it, what is worst is that not only have you used a
16translation, not even your translation, a translation by
17somebody else which you knew to be wrong, but you have
18given a reference to the original which will make the
19reader suppose that this is first generation, mint new
20Irving translation?
21 A. [Mr Irving]     I do not think it says that in the footnotes at all. It
22is the historian's job to give the most accurate source
23reference he can give which will point the reader in the
24direction of the original document, rather than in some
25second or third ----
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     This is a direct quotation of that passage?

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