Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 7: Electronic Edition

Pages 141 - 145 of 199

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    And, rather like Heinreich Himmler -- I mean no offence by
 1that, but we looked at something this morning -- the more
 2apt, I suggest, to portray your true inner thoughts than a
 3carefully crafted script?
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is what he says in the next sentence.
 5 MR RAMPTON:     "And I am glad, in fact, that we are such a small
 6circle" -- indeed so, my Lord -- "today because I can
 7talk, I think, in a small audience like this more frankly
 8than I would in a large audience about what I am doing and
 9what I am proposing to do. Because, of course, an
10historian who now stands up and says, 'I do not believe it
11happened' is putting his name on the line. He's risking
12his reputation and his career and his prospects and his
14 A. [Mr Irving]     Precisely what we have seen over the last few years, of
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     "In Germany, of course, if you say it you're risking a
17jail sentence, because that particular lie has become a
18lie anchored in law and it is now a criminal offence to
19challenge that six million lie. And I think that alone is
20prove sufficient that there is not documentary evidence to
21back the lie up".
22 A. [Mr Irving]     Can I point to the word "challenge" rather than "deny"?
23"Challenge" implies you are looking at aspects of it.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Please do not be impatient, Mr Irving. The more time goes
25by, the more emphatic you become about this.
26 A. [Mr Irving]     No, these are quite important points -- small though they

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 1may seem.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     "And I think that alone is proof sufficient that there is
 3not documentary evidence to back the lie up. So they
 4anchor it in law and this is one particular reason why
 5I am even keener to demolish the lie. Yet, to find myself
 6speaking like this to you now, in August 1988, until would
 7have astonished me", "until now", I do not know, "would
 8have astonished me had I thought about it at the beginning
 9of this year, because at the beginning of this year I was
10among the believers. You can find that if you look at a
11number of my books, the Adolf Hitler biography I wrote or
12a book that I wrote called 'von Guernica bis Vietnam'. A
13number of books I accept quite happily that Auschwitz
14existed and that Auschwitz did exist as an extermination
15camp, among other extermination camps. What I did write,
16which upset a lot of people in my Hitler biography, was",
17and then you go on about upsetting people by denying that
18Hitler knew anything about it.
19     Then you say: "This was the kind of halfway
20house in my conversion".
21 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, and then if I can just draw attention to three lines
22from the bottom: "... not the slightest evidence of
23Hitler knowing about Auschwitz, Auschwitz as we are now
24taught to regard it". When we are talking about
25Auschwitz, I was being quite specific there. "Auschwitz
26as we are now taught to regard it". That is what I am

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 1trying to demolish.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I know exactly what are you talking about, Mr Irving.
 3That is why you say it was a halfway house in your
 4conversion. You were saying to yourself, were you not,
 5whether honestly or not is not today's work, "Well, if
 6Hitler did not know about the fact that Auschwitz was a
 7massive extermination camp, very likely or perhaps it was
 8not", then you get Mr Leuchter's little report put in your
 9hand and you said, "Oh, well, I am right after all.
10Hitler cannot have known about it because it never
12 A. [Mr Irving]     What never happened?
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That is the whole house in your conversion, is it not?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     What never happened?
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Auschwitz use as an extermination camp by the use of
16homicidal gas chambers?
17 A. [Mr Irving]     As a factory of death, yes.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     A factory of death. It was never built -- we know this --
19we have been over this a dozen times already in this court
20-- everybody knows who knows anything about it at all
21that Auschwitz did not start life as a totas fabrik , as
22you call it?
23 A. [Mr Irving]     There is no point getting testy about it, Mr Rampton.
24I think it is appropriate if I remind the court at this
25point that if it turns out that I am right, then truth is
26an absolute defence to this kind of position. And I am

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 1quite happy to stand here and be subjected to this
 2grilling, but if it turns out that I am right at the end
 3of this trial on this particular matter, then this been a
 4lot of water under the bridge that we could have spared
 5our time over.
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     With respect, Mr Irving, I believe you might have
 7misconceived the nature of this case. This case is not,
 8as I have repeatedly said, about who is right and who is
10 A. [Mr Irving]     Oh!
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It is not indeed. It is about your qualities as an
12exponent of the truth.
13 A. [Mr Irving]     So, in other words, "OK, he propagated the truth, but he
14did it in a tasteless manner and an offensive manner and
15an insensitive manner"?
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think this is a debate that may need to
17take place at some stage, but I think it is not productive
18at this stage.
19 A. [Mr Irving]     I am astonished to hear Mr Rampton say that it is not
20about ----
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think I know what he means and I know your
22response to it, but let us postpone this.
23 MR RAMPTON:     Mr Irving, we are dealing here, as you yourself
24said this morning, you opened with some reference to a
25state of a man's mind taken from a legal case, what we are
26dealing here with, Mr Irving, is your state of mind at the

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 1time when you made these statements?
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     In August.
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And subsequently.
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Not about whether you were right or wrong, as a matter of
 6objective fact. Do you understand?
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     But it is about both matters together taken in tandem.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, no, we are not. In this part of the cross-examination
 9we are simply dealing with what you said, why you said it
10and what basis you had for saying it -- you had.
11 A. [Mr Irving]     So the allegation is David Irving was right, but how
12tasteless the way he put it?
13 MR RAMPTON:     No.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Let us press on. For what it is worth,
15I think the way Mr Rampton puts it just now is precisely
16right, but please let us not prolong the debate.
17 MR RAMPTON:     Keep in the front of your mind what the Judge
18said, lest you go down some other routes or you may get a
19ticking off from the bench, Mr Irving?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     That is a risk when one is under cross-examination for
21several days.
22 MR RAMPTON:     Please turn to page 12, Mr Irving.
23 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I will start at 549. I am not at all sure what you are
25talking about but I do not think it matters. Towards the
26top of the page: "I do not like the historian writers who

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