Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 81 - 85 of 186

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    I want to go back, if I may, because again I am not
 1emerge ----
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     I remember you said, "So what?"
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, because that is not what this case is about,
 4Mr Irving. You accuse people too readily of a kind of
 5callousness, I do believe. We are investigating your bona
 6fides as an historian and nothing more than that.
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, you were the one who said, "So what?" ----
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, because the reference to Dresden was irrelevant ----
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     --- about the way we killed 100,000 people in one night.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     --- to your reference to Auschwitz. Now, just keep our
11eye on the ball, if we may. Would you turn to page 3 of
12this tabular document, please? Is it right that in
13November 1964 you were in Dresden and you visited somebody
14called Hahn, is that right?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     Walter Hahn.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes. Is it right that when you were in the sitting room
17Hahn and a man called Walter Lange, who is the director of
18the Dresden City Archive, began to discuss the
19implications of the 200,000 figure, yes?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, if you have a source for that, yes.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I have your own words.
22 A. [Mr Irving]     A diary or?
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Page 517 of Evans. When you came back from this visit,
24you wrote a long memorandum, did you not? It is in the
26 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It is difficult to read because it is a photograph of a
 2negative or whatever.
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I would much prefer to read it from Evans' text. "'Lange
 5had not realized that it gave this figure'", that is the
 6so-call TB 47, "'and I at once realised why Hahn had
 7seemed reluctant it show it to me (in fact he had had that
 8probably since 1950 or so, yet he had not shown it to me
 9on any of my previous visits in 1962 and 1963)'". Then
10comes this: "'As soon as Lange began to expostulate on
11this document being a patent forgery, Hahn became very
12worried'". What sort of man is or was Lange, Mr Irving?
13 A. [Mr Irving]     He was a short, bald headed gentleman with a prominent
14Communist Party badge in his lapel.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What sort of a man is or was Professor Seydewitz?
16 A. [Mr Irving]     He was the former Mayor of Dresden and, obviously, a
17Communist Party official.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Both of those, I think I am right, cast doubt on, if not
19the authenticity of the document, certainly the
20reliability of the figure, did they not?
21 A. [Mr Irving]     I am not sure that Walter Lange did, but Max Seydewitz had
22published his own book on air raids on Dresden -- a very
23good book -- and he produced different figures.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You knew from the beginning -- for you this is the
25beginning -- that there was grave doubt about the figures
26given in this document?

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That the figure for dead was 202,000 plus and the figure
 3for expected death, again a forgery, was 250,000, was it
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You knew from this time and said you thought the document
 7was genuine, but that the 200,000 figure might be suspect?
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You said that on a number of occasions. If we turn over
10to page 4 of the table, you said it to ----
11 A. [Mr Irving]     Of the table?
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     --- to Mr McLachlan, the Editor of the Sunday Telegraph:
13"It remains to be established whether" -- this is the
14second box, 26th November '64 -- "the 200,000 number it
15contains is equally genuine and if not why not".
16 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, yes, that sentence is quoted.
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And on 28th of November 1964 you wrote to a Herr Struss,
18Deiter Struss, I think his name was?
19 A. [Mr Irving]     My German publisher.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes?
21 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, my German publisher.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, your German publisher, referring to the death figure
23of 202,040 people. You said: "This information is
24naturally sensational and because it comes from the then
25Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Max Funfack, there is no
26doubt about the authenticity of the document." Now, did

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 1you in that letter to Herr Struss express any doubt about
 2the figure?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     Without seeing these two letters, it is difficult to
 4see ----
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I quite share that, if I may say so.
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     --- exactly what the context these sentences are taken out
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Page 37 of tab 2. It is probably written in German,
 9I should think, since it is from you to a German
10gentleman. It is page 37 and 8. It is a letter from you
11to Herr Dr Struss. Can I ask you to read it to yourself?
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Where is the relevant bit, Mr Rampton, do you
14 MR RAMPTON:     It is right in the first paragraph, my Lord.
15 A. [Mr Irving]     They do not seem to be irreconcilable. In the previous
16letter on page 36, I say, "Having now examined the
17document minutely myself, I am satisfied of its
18authenticity. It remains to be established whether the
19200,000 number it contains is equally genuine and if not
20why not".
21 MR RAMPTON:     That is what you said on 26th November ----
22 A. [Mr Irving]     And two days later I then write to Dr Struss.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes. Tell us whether in that letter -- my only question
24this, I do not know, I have not read the whole letter --
25you raise a doubt about the reliability of the number in
26the same way as you had two days earlier to the Editor of

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 1whatever the paper was, The Telegraph.
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     It is exactly the same. "This information is naturally
 3sensational and coming as it does from the Deputy Local
 4Chief Doctor, Dr Max Funfack, there could be no doubt as
 5to the authenticity of the document".
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Fair enough. I quite agree. What I asked was whether in
 7this document Dr Struss, your German publisher, you raise
 8any doubts about the reliability of the figures which is
 9the key to this argument, Mr Irving. You need to read the
10whole of it.
11 A. [Mr Irving]     "I have just returned from a visit to Dresden and I have
12received from confidential sources the Police report of
13the Police Chief in Dresden on the four air raids". This
14is the Tagesbefehl 47, of course, not the final report.
15"This document gives the death roll known as of that date
16as 202,040. This information is naturally sensational and
17coming as it does from the Deputy Local Chief Doctor,
18Dr Max Funfack, there can be no doubt as to the
19authenticity of the document. This document has been
20mentioned in Eastern Germany, in other words, Communist
21Eastern Germany, but only with the comment that it is a
22Nazi propaganda lie, and extracts have been published from
23it. I accept this judgment on page 245 of our book".
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Which judgment is that?
25 A. [Mr Irving]     Of the propaganda lie, presumably. Without checking the
26book, I cannot tell.

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