Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 156 - 160 of 199

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    Principal archives which were being used by historians at
 1this time were in the national archives in Washington, and
 2the German Federal archives, to which I at that time still
 3had access, not having been banned from them by the German
 4government in the interests of German people.
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Are you familiar with the work which you disparagingly
 6call the French country chemist, Jon-Claude Presac?
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     I am not familiar with his work, no.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You know who he is, do you not?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes. He wrote this being volume on the desk.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     He did indeed. Do you know that he went to the archive in
11Auschwitz in 1982 and 1983?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     Maybe they found favour in him which they did not find in
13me.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You never asked?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     I am not a Holocaust historian, Mr Rampton. At this time
16in 1988 I was writing, if I remember correctly, the latest
17edition of the Hermann Goring biography or I was working
18on the second volume of my Winston Churchill biography,
19neither of which would have required me to go to
20Auschwitz.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You cannot have it both ways. You cannot have it that
22Auschwitz did not exist and you cannot have it that there
23is no evidence in the archive if you have never looked.
24 A. [Mr Irving]     If I say I have been round the archives, I am not saying
25I have been round all available archives, including those
26had Poland and elsewhere. I am saying I have been round

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 1the archives, which at that time is perfectly true. I
 2might even have gone to the Public Records Office to see
 3what they had.
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You might have been round the archives of the Royal
 5Botanical Gardens in Kew, for all I know.
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     I find that a cheap remark.
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Of course it is cheap, but this is a very cheap----
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     Which you say is a matter of great sensitivity to the
 9Jewish people.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     This is a very cheap fraud that you have perpetrated on
11the 50 or so people in this room because what you are
12telling me is that you have looked everywhere and all
13anybody can come up with is two or three documents.
14 A. [Mr Irving]     I have not said I have looked everywhere. This is again
15your manipulation of the sentence, your rather superfluous
16gloss. To look everywhere you need to spend the kind of
17money that your team has spent.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can I put it a different way round? Which
19were the archives that you had spent a few months going
20round?
21 A. [Mr Irving]     I do not want to be ambushed by references from my own
22diary, but I would suspect, from the way I put that
23sentence, that I went to the German Federal Archives and I
24went to the national archives in Washington, and possibly
25to the Hoover library in California where they also have a
26certain amount of material relating to this.

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 1 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     So you have done a fair amount of research into the
 2Holocaust, or into Auschwitz?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, but not specifically for that. I would have gone
 4there for other purposes and I would then have called up
 5roles of microfilm of Heinreich Himmler's papers which are
 6in great abundance in the national archives and I would
 7have looked at some of the Nuremberg documents. But I had
 8not travelled there specifically to research the
 9Holocaust. At this time I was researching probably
10Winston Churchill Volume 2.
11 MR RAMPTON:     So, when you said on page 6 that in relation to
12Hitler you had been round the archives of the entire
13world, we have to exclude Auschwitz from that, do we not?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     Can I see the exact reference?
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, of course you can. You are talking about Hitler and
16his knowledge of whatever, I do not know, Auschwitz
17I suppose, five lines up from the bottom?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     Because I worked in the archives of the entire world,
19including the public archives here in Wellington Street.
20That shows as Ottawa, by the way.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Please do not give us a list. The entire world is the
22entire world, but apparently does not have Auschwitz in
23it.
24 A. [Mr Irving]     It did not have anything behind the iron curtain and the
25people who were in the audience at that time would have
26realized that.

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Oh, I see. So they would not have been in the least bit
 2deceived?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     Mr Rampton, you have to put yourself back to 1988 before
 4the wall came down.
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I do not think so, because I am told that the archive at
 6Auschwitz was readily accessible to anybody with the
 7proper credentials, that is to say I am an historian,
 8please may I have a look because I intend to write a
 9serious piece of research about this, before I go public
10on what it was or was not.
11 A. [Mr Irving]     So we are coming back on to the negligence argument
12again?
13 MR RAMPTON:     No.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     The picture I have, and I think we probably
15need to press on a little bit, is that Auschwitz may or
16may not have been accessible to somebody like yourself,
17but you never in fact enquired about getting access to the
18Auschwitz archive?
19 A. [Mr Irving]     I ought to have but did not. If I was going to write
20about Auschwitz and the Holocaust then I ought to have but
21did not.
22 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     That is a fair summary of factual position?
23 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, with the rider that I added, my Lord, that if I
24intended to write about the Holocaust, then I would have
25done that and ought to have done it.
26 MR RAMPTON:     I add to this, and you not only deliberately

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 1decided not to go to Auschwitz because you were not
 2interested in finding the truth before making these
 3statements ----
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     Deliberately decided not to?
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, deliberately decided not to. You made a deliberate
 6decision. If you were the slightest bit interested in the
 7truth about Auschwitz, you would have gone there.
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     If I was writing a book about Auschwitz and the Holocaust,
 9then I would have gone there. When I became deeply
10involved in it, thanks to this litigation, and I tried to
11go to Auschwitz, then I was banned from entry, the only
12person in the world who has so far been banned,
13apparently.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That was recently, Mr Irving.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     There we are.
16 MR RAMPTON:     What is more, Mr Irving, what is important about
17this very early speech in your Holocaust denial career, is
18that you actually deliberately misled your audience in
19Toronto or Ottawa or wherever it is into believing that
20you had done the research and had found that there was no
21evidence.
22 A. [Mr Irving]     I can only repeat what I previously said, Mr Rampton, that
23my audience were not stupid and they knew that the iron
24curtain was still standing at that time, even if you have
25forgotten it.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Is that the lot from that speech?

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