Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 13: Electronic Edition

Pages 136 - 140 of 186

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    I think what Mr Rampton is saying is that
 1this is a man, part of whose job was to try and record the
 2numbers of deaths at the time. Does that not make him
 3rather a specially valuable witness?
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     Purportedly he was.
 5 MR RAMPTON:     Did you follow him up?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     Can I just finish what I am saying? When you write a book
 7like this, you get letters from all sorts of people who
 8claim to have been on the spot. If they do not provide
 9some kind of instant justification, for example the man
10who took these ghastly photographs of the, so what,
11burnings on the Altmarkt, he produced to me his actual
12pass signed by the Gauleiter giving him permission to go
13through the police cordons. If someone comes to me with
14this kind of evidence and I am also looking for something
15which gives verisimilitude. Do you remember General
16Bruhns and the girl in the flame red dress that was still
17in his mind's eye? Looking at that letter, and it is
18difficult, having only two paragraphs presented to us, for
19me to say what caused me to put this lower down the ladder
20of reliability, because we are only just shown two
21paragraphs from it. It may have been the fact that it was
22typed on a very cheap typewriter or perhaps it was badly
23spelt and illiterate, and the person was not in the right
24position where he should be. But there may have been
25something and I cannot tell you after 35 years what it was
26that told me that this letter assigned less importance to

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 1than the letter typed by Mr Funfach.
 2 MR RAMPTON:     Mr Funfach denied having had any direct knowledge
 3of it at all. All he told you was that General Mehnert,
 4who is dead, had mentioned a figure of, what, 180,000.
 5That is better evidence, is it, than the direct eyewitness
 6testimony, on face of it, of Mr Miller?
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     If you turn to page 52, you will see Mehnert telling to
 8Funfach, we were both absolutely astounded at the low
 9figure of 35,000, which is given in the press here.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I repeat it, Mr Irving. Mr Funfach says he was not
11there. He reports the words of a dead man.
12 A. [Mr Irving]     He reports the words of a man who was alive at the time he
13spoke to him.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You put that in the forefront and reach firm conclusions
15on the basis of it. You suppress what you were told by
16Mr Miller.
17 A. [Mr Irving]     You say suppress. This implies that there has been a
18deliberate act of suppression of something because it does
19not agree with what I intend to say.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Indeed. That is precisely my suggestion. You have got it
21in one, Mr Irving.
22 A. [Mr Irving]     Nowhere in my Dresden book have I stated words to the
23effect that there are authorities which hold that lower
24figures are more credible, and that this kind of letter is
25not covered by that kind of statement.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I did not say that, Mr Irving.

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     I have repeatedly said, both in the Dresden book and
 2elsewhere, there are upper figures and there are lower
 3figures and you have to decide yourself what figure is
 4more plausible. I then said I consider figure X to be
 5plausible because ... and I have then given the reasons
 6why, which is precisely the way that a scientist should do
 7it. But for your Professor Evans to come along and say,
 8oh, look at this letter which he ignored or suppressed,
 9which is the word you use, is totally unjust.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     My information, for what it is worth, I do have a sort of
11---- where does this come from? It is in an H1 file.
12Mr Miller wrote to you, Theo Miller, from Ingoldstadt,
13Donnau which I think is in West Germany, is it not?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     Why is the entire letter not before us in this bundle so
15that I can form an impression?
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I am afraid, Mr Irving, somebody is to blame for that. It
17ain't me and I don't know the reason.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     The reason is that it is not legible. That
19is what it says in the table.
20 MR RAMPTON:     It is jolly difficult to read.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think Mr Irving ought to have a look at it.
22 MR RAMPTON:     I agree.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     If there is a point to be made, he ought to
24have the chance to make it now.
25 MR RAMPTON:     That is the second letter. I do not know about
26the first letter.

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     Anyone can use this tactic of coming along with isolated
 2paragraphs and say, why did you not quote this and why did
 3you not quote that?
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I have not concealed from you that I think it
 5is all rather unsatisfactory.
 6 MR RAMPTON:     My Lord, this is not actually very funny, but that
 7is the state of the first letter.
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, let us see.
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     The second letter is a bit more easy, so there they are.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     How much of the first page did Professor
11Evans -- he has a good imagination.
12 MR RAMPTON:     When you read the microfilm, you can read them.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Off the microfilm.
14 MR RAMPTON:     I will not hand that one up.
15 A. [Mr Irving]     Unfortunately, he says, my recollection is very poor.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Whereabouts on the page? I think I have page
17you are looking at?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     It is about line 10 of the first page, my Lord. "My
19recollection of names etc. is very poor. Please
20understand everybody" ----
21 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Yes, names. That is the point, is it not?
22 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
23 MR RAMPTON:     It looks as though you did write back to him,
24Mr Irving.
25 A. [Mr Irving]     He says he is answering my questions.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, he wrote to you first, I think, on 4th February, 7th,

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 1that is the one we cannot read. The first line of this
 2says: "Dear Mr Irving I thank you very much for your kind
 3letter of February 21st". Do we have that in the bundle?.
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes. That is the one I am looking at.
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     ---- "Which I received today. Your compliments on my
 6English are undeserved but Cassell's Dictionary being
 7rather a help, I think I had better continue writing in
 8English". Then I am afraid it gets harder and harder. Is
 9there anything in that letter which betrays a good reason
10not to accept the evidence of Mr Miller, given that he is
11not after all writing under the heel of the communists of
12East Germany?
13 A. [Mr Irving]     This is the second letter, not the first letter of course.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, but answer my question. I cannot read the first
15letter. It is blank. Is there anything about that letter
16which makes you suspicious of his veracity?
17 A. [Mr Irving]     His veracity?
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes.
19 A. [Mr Irving]     I do not think he is deliberately lying, no.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No. so there is no reason to suspect his good faith?
21 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Is there any reason to suspect that he is not telling what
23is accurate?
24 A. [Mr Irving]     He is telling me what his recollection is of the events to
25the best of his ability, given what he admits is a poor
26recollection of details.

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