Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 12: Electronic Edition

Pages 61 - 65 of 154

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     No.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Did you not?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     I would not use those words, but I knew nothing at all
 4about his background. That was not before the court.
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You did not know anything about him; you just quoted him,
 6did you?
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     You have heard what I said, Mr Rampton. I knew nothing
 8about Hofmann's background that was not before the court.
 9I read the entire court transcript, which was many
10thousands of pages, which was adequate for writing a
11biography of Hermann Goring.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And you did not know that Hofmann actually participated in
13the Putsch of the 8th and 9th November 1923?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     Not from the transcript parts that I have read, no.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And you did not notice the judge saying to Hofmann, "It is
16nice testimony that you are speaking out on behalf of your
17leader"?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     Those are not the words he used. Would you like to quote
19the actual German to us?
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     "Es ist ein schones Zeichen von Ihnen, wenn Sie zu Gunsten
21Ihres Fuhrers aussagen".
22 A. [Mr Irving]     "It is very good of you to speak on behalf of your Fuhrer,
23on behalf of your leader", yes.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes. It was obvious, was it not, that Hofmann was likely
25to be a tainted witness?
26 A. [Mr Irving]     Tainted? It is possible, but he was giving evidence on

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 1oath, and I can only say that what was before the court
 2was what was before me.
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Have you got Professor Evans's, what is it called, report
 4there?
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     Have I got what?
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Professor Evans' report? Yes, you have.
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     Of course, I am writing a biography of Hermann Goring and
 8I am not writing a book about the Putsch. You appreciate
 9that, do you not?
10 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, but, Mr Irving, you are an historian and
11historian when, for needs of reference or whatever else,
12when they make reference to some event in the past, they
13can generally be expected by their readers to have some
14regard for accuracy, authenticity and so on, can they not?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     Let me give you the impression of how much attention I pay
16to accuracy. In order to write that one or two sentence
17passage about Hofmann and the looting of the delicatessen,
18I read 6,000 pages of transcript of the trial of Adolf
19Hitler and others.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     In Goring, page 59 -- I have not got it with me, but this
21is quoted on page, my Lord, 225 of Evans, at the bottom of
22the page, you wrote this: "Meanwhile, Hitler acted to
23maintain order. Learning that one Nazi squad had
24ransacked a kosher grocery store during the night, he sent
25for the ex-army lieutenant who had led the raid. 'We took
26off our Nazi insignia first!' expostulated the officer -

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 1to no avail, as Hitler dismissed him from the party on the
 2spot. 'I shall see that no other nationalist unit allows
 3you to join either!'" That is Hitler, apparently.
 4"Goring goggled at this exchange, as did a police
 5sergeant who testified to it at the Hitler trial a few
 6weeks later"?
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     That was Hofmann, yes.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That was Hofmann?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes. The whole episode is based on Hofmann.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     "Goring goggled at this exchange"?
11 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     How do you know Goring was there?
13 A. [Mr Irving]     Have you ever heard of author's licence?
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Author's licence or ----
15 A. [Mr Irving]     Are you criticising "Goring goggling" or being there?
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I am asking both questions, I think, am I not, Mr Irving?
17Do you know that Goring was there?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes. It is -- he was there because it is evident from the
19timetable of Einsatnacht(?) that he was there.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And how do you know that Goring goggled?
21 A. [Mr Irving]     That was author's licence.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You mean it was an invention?
23 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It is a piece of fiction?
25 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, when you write a book that is going to be read, as
26opposed to work written by learned authors like Professor

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 1Evans, you occasionally help the reader along by saying,
 2well, I mean, this was rather a surprising exchange. Here
 3is Adolf Hitler ticking off an Army lieutenant, one of his
 4Nazis, for raiding a Jewish shop and throwing him out of
 5the party for doing it. You would imagine that any other
 6Nazi, like Goring standing nearby, is going to be saying
 7-- doing a double take of this or am I wrong?
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You are completely wrong. It is a quite illegitimate
 9licence you have taken with a record of history, but there
10it is. It may not be the biggest point in the case, but
11it is there.
12 A. [Mr Irving]     How am I completely wrong? How am I completely wrong?
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You attribute a reaction to Goring for which you have no
14evidence.
15 A. [Mr Irving]     But it is reasonable to assume that if Hermann Goring, who
16was a dedicated Nazi, standing next to Hitler, and here is
17Hitler throwing somebody out of the party on the spot for
18having taken action against a Jewish kosher store that
19night, the Nazi is going to be saying, "What is going on
20here?" and he is going to be doing what is called a double
21take. I think it is a very reasonable inference to draw,
22and it is only two words.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It is reasonable to assume that Hitler, very disturbed at
24what had been happening and trying to restore law and
25order, sent for the lieutenant if, in fact, as Hofmann
26said, the lieutenant just happened to be there?

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, I am sure that the ex-Army lieutenant was not
 2hanging around in Hitler's presence the whole time.
 3Presumably, he was somewhere hanging around the bierhall
 4and Hitler learned he was there and said, "Bring that
 5fellow in. I want to tell him what I think of him".
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Do you not see what you are doing all the time, Mr Irving?
 7With every single one of these little fictions, these
 8little author's licence ----
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     Are you saying that he did not throw the man out of the
10party for having done what he did that night? This is the
11major point. You are looking for words ----
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Just let me ----
13 A. [Mr Irving]     --- just the same as in the other one where we have Hitler
14saying, "You cannot do that, you cannot kill the Jews" and
15you are picking on the date.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, Mr Irving.
17 A. [Mr Irving]     And here we have evidence that Hitler threw the person out
18of the party for having taken his squad to ransack a
19Jewish store, and you are picking on whether he was sent
20for or not.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     We will come to that in just a minute, Mr Irving. Please
22tell me this. When you wrote that passage about Hitler's
23reaction to this looting of a Jewish delicatessen, or
24whatever it was ----
25 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     --- had you read Hofmann's testimony?

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