Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 5: Electronic Edition

Pages 21 - 25 of 187

<< 1-5186-187 >>

 1 A. [Mr Irving]     Quite possibly. I cannot say off the top of my head.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     The easiest way of doing it is to look for a stamp 101 at
 3the bottom of the page.
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And look at the right hand column. I will start, if
 6I may, for context at the bottom of the left hand page,
 7which in fact in the document is page 280, though it has
 8been cut off. "The will of the Fuhrer that the Jews are
 9shipped stage by stage from west to east again and again
10and again even in his table talk, you have all heard of
11Hitler's table talk or tichgesprache, written down by
12Martin Hein and Martin Bormann's secretary. Long before
13anybody got those these things, I got the actual
14transcripts from the Swiss lawyer who controls these
15documents. Here you see the actual wording used by Hitler
16in German, which is completely different from the
17published English translation."
18     You said that and then you had it published, did
19you not?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     If you read the next sentence, you will see what I am
21referring to, the interpolator's sentence.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     In fact, in the English translation sentences (plural)
23have been interposed which do not exist in the original
24German at all.
25 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     In that original you see Hitler saying things like: "It

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 1is a good thing that this legend is being spread about
 2that the Jews are perishing. It is a good thing that this
 3terror story" ----
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     "Terror story".
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     --- "is being spread about us". Then you go on to make a
 6comment of your own. I am not going to argue with you
 7about that because it speaks for itself. You say he
 8regards it altogether as being a legend.
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     Who regards it as being a legend?
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You say that Hitler regards it altogether as being a
11legend, do you not?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     He says it is a good thing that this legend is being
13spread about that the Jews are perishing.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That is you translation of the word "schreck", is it?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     Mr Rampton, I do not have the document in front of me when
16I am delivering an extemporary speech. Is this fact
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Pardon?
19 A. [Mr Irving]     Is this fact plain? I do not have thousands of documents
20stacked in front of me when I am making an extemporary
21speech to an audience.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You must know that part of the table talk absolutely
23backwards, do you not?
24 A. [Mr Irving]     Know something backwards? I am familiar with certain
25documents on which I have relied.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You must have known ever since you got the Genoud version

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 1that the key word in that particular sentence -- there are
 2two key words -- the first one is the word "schreck"?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     This is your submission that that is the key word, but it
 4is a loose word that has been put in there by Heinrich
 5Heime who transcribed it and we then have to try to make
 6some sense of it.
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Is there any sense in German -- you are the expert -- in
 8which it can be read be read as meaning legend?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     Coupled with the next sentence which I put in, this terror
10story, I think that legend terror story is an extremely
11good translation of the one word "schrecken". I am giving
12precisely the sense of it.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Rampton, I think I have really the point.
14We went through this yesterday and "schreck" means what it
16 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, it is merely Mr Irving's observation, my
17Lord, or acknowledgment, if you like.
18 A. [Mr Irving]     But we also have the problem, Mr Rampton, we are writing a
19work of literature and, undoubtedly, you could translate
20that document in a very wooden form, putting precise
21literal translations and you would end up with a ghastly
22book of the kind that academics and scholars write. You
23have to write a work of literature which is legible,
24giving the sense of the word while at the same time having
25it readable in a literary sense.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, but, Mr Irving, when you are dealing

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 1with source material, which you are here, is it not
 2important to convey the proper translation?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     I appreciate that, my Lord, but you have to take into
 4account the fact that we also have what Mr Rampton calls
 5extraneous knowledge, knowledge from other sources than
 6just this one document, which we use when putting the
 7proper construction on those words.
 8 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     That will, with respect, Mr Irving, will no do, will it?
 9You cannot translate a document differently because you
10are aware of other material which may point in a
11particular direction.
12 A. [Mr Irving]     My Lord, once again I would have to draw your attention to
13the fact, and I think it is cruel and unnecessary to try
14to suggest that I have done wrong by taking the original,
15official translation published by people who are far
16better qualified than I, professional translators.
17 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     No, I have that point. I understand it. I was
18questioning you about what you then went on to say which
19is that you were anxious to avoid what you have described,
20I think, as a "wooden" translation. I was putting to you
21that an historian really has to take what he finds when he
22is dealing with source material?
23 A. [Mr Irving]     This is right, which is why scholars' books are published
24in such small, limited editions, my Lord, because they are
25so illegible, that they are wooden translations of
26documents. You have to try to make the text flow when you

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 1are writing a book. Perhaps this is why my books are more
 2successful than theirs or more readable than theirs
 3because I put a lot of extra effort in to making my works
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Rampton, I tried to cut it short and
 6I have lengthened it. I am sorry.
 7 MR RAMPTON:     With my gratitude is all I will say about that.
 8Thank you. It saves me from asking any more questions
 9about that which I now will not do. But I am going to go
10on to what I contend must be another piece of deliberate
11mistranslation. My Lord, this appears on page 338 of
12Professor Evans' report.
13 A. [Mr Irving]     My Lord, if I could just add to that point? Of course,
14the motive there for changing the words or giving a
15different meaning is nothing to do with the motives of
16Holocaust deniers; it is purely an intention of producing
17a more readable book which is possibly an important
18distinction to make.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Well, that is what you are saying?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes.
22 A. [Mr Irving]     It has nothing to do with trying to minimise anything or
23trying to ...
24 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, now, Mr Irving, have you got your Goebbels'
25book there?
26 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, indeed.

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