Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 10: Electronic Edition

Pages 191 - 195 of 215

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 1 MR IRVING:      This is a very tactful way of putting it, my Lord.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      It was not intended to be particularly
 3tactful.
 4 MR IRVING:      This was the inference I am trying to draw. I am
 5trying to find the justification for the word that is
 6frequently used about my own endeavours as being
 7"dangerous". To what or whom am I being a danger? The
 8only interpretation I can put on it is the fact that I am
 9endangering people like Deborah Dwork who have made it
10quite a lucrative business, if one can regard being in
11education as being a business. Certainly she makes $5
12million a year for her Holocaust centre out of the
13Holocaust and the history of the Holocaust and teaching
14the Holocaust. There are all sorts of profitable side
15lines in publication of books and so on. This is what
16makes me into a danger, apparently, that if it turns out
17that this building here has no holes in the roof, then a
18large number of eyewitnesses have lied, and the whole mass
19extermination chamber part of the story collapses as
20securely as that roof has done.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Does Professor Dwork manipulate the evidence
22because she is making so much money out of her Chair?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I will take your guidance on what I should answer and what
24not.
25 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]      Answer it shortly.
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      May I point out, first of all, that this is money she

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 1raises for the Institute.
 2 MR IRVING:      It is not for herself personally of course. I made
 3that quite plain.
 4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Yes. This is money which is raised to create Chairs. To
 5provide students with scholarships, to build up a
 6library. So in that sense I do not think that Professor
 7Dwork at all profits from this. I also would like to
 8point out that when Professor Dwork wrote this book with
 9me, Professor Dwork was not a Professor of Holocaust
10history at Clark University. That in fact the sum total
11of support we got for this project to write the book on
12Auschwitz was 40,000 Canadian dollars which translates at
13the moment to £15,000 which I got from the Canadian
14Government, and that is all the support that went into
15writing that book.
16 MR IRVING:      The obvious question then is would she have been
17given a Chair in anything if she had not written the book,
18let us put it that way round?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      My Lord, I do not see it is relevant. If you think it is
20relevant I will answer the question.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      It has a sort of a relevance but not in terms
22of your evidence.
23 MR IRVING:      Yes. I will abandon that line of argument, my
24Lord. I just wanted to establish the fact somehow that
25I am considered to be danger to something, and the word
26danger is what puzzles me. I am not a member of the IRA.

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 1I do not go round blowing up cars. So what am I danger
 2to? I tried to put some flesh on to that particular
 3matter.
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Right. Next general question.
 5 MR IRVING:      Next general question, have you had the opportunity
 6to work in the Moscow archives? I do not know the answer
 7to that.
 8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I have worked on the basis of the microfilms which were
 9made at the same time that I had to work on this.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]      Yes. Have you worked in the national archives in
11Washington?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I have been once there, but not really. I have not really
13worked in the national archives.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]      That really surprises me. You aware, of course, that the
15national archives in Washington have I suppose the largest
16collection of captured German records including in
17relation to the SS and Auschwitz?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Yes, I am aware of that, and also I am aware that many of
19them have been made available. I am aware of the fact
20that one uses the archives which are useful for one's
21work. It happens to be that the archives, you know, when
22one works as an historian there are various particular
23things one researches for which one needs to go to the
24archives, because the documents are not available and one
25wants to see those particular archives. You want to see
26the documents in situ. In this case these are the

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 1Auschwitz construction documents. Very important in my
 2book, or in our book since the name of Deborah Dwork has
 3been mentioned now, was the archive in Koblenz and to a
 4lesser extent -- this is the German Federal archive in
 5Koblenz and to a lesser extent, for example, the Berlin
 6Document Centre and the archives of the court in Vienna.
 7These were the archives where the unpublished documents
 8were all stored. For other things, more general
 9information, I rely sometimes on documents as they are
10produced in facsimile and sometimes even on documents as
11they are ----
12 Q. [Mr Irving]      Can I halt this avalanche just there? We are still at the
13national archives in Washington. In May 1997 I believe I
14wrote you quite a lengthy letter?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      You wrote it. I never received it. Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]      You never received this letter I wrote to you?
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      What did it say?
18 MR IRVING:      It is a six-page peon of praise of his book, my
19Lord, drawing his attention to certain documents and
20archives and inviting his comment on matters of history,
21in the way that an historian should. I wrote to him --
22your address is and always has been at all relevant times
23presumably the Head of the Department of History?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      No, I am not.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]      But you have been at the University Waterloo, have you
26not?

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 1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Yes, but I am in the architectural school. I am not in
 2the Department of History.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]      If a letter is addressed to you at the University of
 4Waterloo and properly stamped and posted, then there is
 5every likelihood that it will reach you, is there not?
 6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I can only tell, and I am still under oath, that I never
 7received this letter.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      This is one question I am not going to
 9decide.
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I only learned of it a year ago when people pointed it out
11to me on the web.
12 MR IRVING:      Are you aware that that letter has been posted on
13my web site for the last two years?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      It happens that I am not very experienced with the web.
15Only somebody told me last year when I was already started
16to get involved in this case that it was posted on the
17web, and of course since I was already engaged on actually
18starting to work on this there was no way I could respond
19to it.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]      Are you going to make complaints at the University of
21Waterloo that letters properly addressed to you, properly
22addressed to your department, are not ----
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      I think we have all got other things to worry
24about than this wretched letter, if I may say so.
25 MR IRVING:      Very well. Is it not a pity that the letter did
26not reach you in view of the fact that it contained

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