Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 176 - 180 of 186

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    "Many historians accept the 35,000 figure".
 1increase in estimates of the number killed in the raids
 2does not comport with the facts. Official reports justify
 3an estimate of between 25,000 and 35,000 killed. Figures
 4that rose to 100 or 200,000 killed lost touch with the
 5reality. In 1994 research by the Dresden historian
 6Friedrich Reichart was published, using a previously
 7unused source, which convincingly reduced Bergander's
 8figure of 35,000 to 25,000. This figure", says Professor
 9Evans, "can be regarded as close to definitive"?
10 A. [Mr Irving]     Well...
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Well, now, Mr Irving, 100,000, 60 to 100,000 those figures
12are fantasy, are they not?
13 A. [Mr Irving]     I think the answer to that is you pays your money, you
14takes your choice, and we know who is paying the money to
15Mr Evans and we know what choice he has made.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I see. But what about Mr Reichert? Has he been paid by
17the international Jewish conspiracy to produce these
19 A. [Mr Irving]     What an extraordinary statement!
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Well, that is what you have been asserting all through
21this case.
22 A. [Mr Irving]     I do not think I have mentioned the phrase even once. Do
23you want me to comment on Reichart's book or are you just
24making ----
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     We are going to have a little trawl through your public
26utterances about the Jews tomorrow.

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     Oh, good.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You might enjoy that. Is it right, Mr Irving, that
 3when ----
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     Can we also have a bit of a trawl through the public
 5utterances about the Jewish community about me?
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     You are perfectly entitled to.
 7 MR RAMPTON:     About what?
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Call evidence about that, Jewish
 9organizations' statements about Mr Irving.
10 MR RAMPTON:     Oh well, he can, yes.
11 A. [Mr Irving]     I think Reichter has done a very good job. I have read
12the book in part. I have been very impressed by the
13solidity of his research, particularly as he had access to
14the records to the crematorium administration and the
15cemetery administration.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That is right, the numbers of burials, certified burials
17and so on and so forth, the numbers of bodies found since
18and all that kind of thing, the capacity for incineration
19in the Altmakt. He is a sensible, level headed chap who
20has actually bothered to check the hard cold figures and
21the contemporaneous documentation, he is not?
22 A. [Mr Irving]     Are you implying that these were documents that I was ----
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No.
24 A. [Mr Irving]     --- that I suppressed when I wrote my book in 1962?
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I am implying that when you write in 1995 and 1996 figures
26as high as 100,000 you were just making it up?

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     When was Reichart's book published?
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     1994.
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     Was that available to me at the time?
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I have no idea.
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     When you see yourself that it was supplied to me in 1997
 6with the covering letter.
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Look at Bergander's book. Have you not read that?
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     No.
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     35,000.
10 A. [Mr Irving]     I know Bergander very well as a human being and I respect
11him as a friend and he is a jolly decent chap, but I do
12not put his book in the same category as I put Reichart's
13book having read Reichart's book.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Mr Irving, a final question about Dresden. Then, my Lord,
15I shall run out topics for today. I explain what benefit
16we might gain from that when I finish. One final question
17on Dresden.
18     Is it right that when your German publishers put
19a out version of Dresden in 1985 they described it as a
21 A. [Mr Irving]     I believe I am right in saying that Schindler's List when
22it is published has always had the title "a novel" written
23on the front the jacket.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Is the answer to my question yes or no?
25 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, indeed, and they apologised to me for their mistake.
26I consider that to be a repugnant kind of suggestion on

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 1your part.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It is entirely consistent with every question I have been
 3asking you on this topic since we started on it this
 4morning. Pie in the sky, Mr Irving, your figures. May I
 5suggest that the reason why you have done it is because
 6you want to make false equivalence between the numbers of
 7people killed at Dresden and the numbers of people killed
 8at Auschwitz?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     If I am permitted to re-examine myself in-chief then
10I would say the following, and it may be you would wish to
11interrupt me.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No. That is a question and so answer it in
13whatever way you think fit.
14 MR RAMPTON:     Is that right?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     Do I consider my figures to be pie in the sky? No.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Well, it is a bit more than that.
17 MR RAMPTON:     A little bit more than that.
18 A. [Mr Irving]     Would you repeat it?
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I suggested that your figures are fantastic, that they
20have no sound basis in real evidence, and I suggested the
21reason why, to which you say no, and I suggested that the
22reason why you have done it is that you want to make a
23false equivalent between the numbers of people who died in
24Dresden and the numbers of people who were killed by the
25SS in Auschwitz?
26 A. [Mr Irving]     I repudiate that suggestion. I can only state in general

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 1that I did not just write a book about the air raid on
 2Dresden; I also spent three years of my life researching
 3all the major air raid attacks, not only on German cities
 4but on other cities, that I was able to compare the air
 5raids on German cities like Hamburg, Castle, Fausheuim and
 6Damschadt, if you look at the death rolls -- am I going
 7too fast?
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No. I was distracted. I do not mean to be discourteous.
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     I had the impression you were not listen. I was able to
10compare the death rolls in those cities with the death
11roll in Dresden and come to an independent conclusion,
12independent of what people might write to me in private
13letters, that on the balance of probabilities, given the
14scale of catastrophe that was inflicted on Dresden, the
15number of homes destroyed, the numbers of people rendered
16homeless, the numbers of people in the city, the fact that
17the city had no air raid precautions whatsoever, that it
18had no air raid sirens, it had no defences, it had no
19guns, it had no shelters, on the balance of probability
20more people probably died in Dresden than are known to
21have died in Hamburg in a much smaller air raid when far
22fewer bombs are dropped, far fewer homes are destroyed and
23far fewer people rendered homeless. That, therefore,
24although I respect Reichter's work on the basis of the
25documentation of the numbers of bodies dragged up to the
26cemeteries, I concluded that probably more people died in

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