Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 86 - 90 of 186

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Well, now ----
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     "Urteil" means "judgment", does it?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     "Urteil" is "judgment", yes, or "verdict".
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Can you just read the next rather long convoluted
 5sentence?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     "As I have now seen the complete document with my own
 7eyes, I do not doubt that it is genuine, and should there
 8be a second edition of my Dresden book, this information
 9should certainly be incorporated, possibly as an appendix,
10perhaps mentioned instead on pages 295 to 296 of the
11present appendix on these pages".
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Including the number of dead? You do not say that, but
13that is what you mean, is it not?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, reproducing the document and I believe I am right in
15saying that is what we actually did. We reproduced the
16document in toto as an appendix which is what one would do
17with a document that one wants to present to readers
18without necessarily forming a judgment on it.
19 MR RAMPTON:     You say that, Mr Irving. You see, what I am I am
20wondering is how it came about, as I shall shortly,
21I hope, show.
22 A. [Mr Irving]     I have to introduce the caveat, of course, you are asking
23me about things that lie 36 years back.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Of course. This is why contemporaneous documents are so
25valuable, Mr Irving.
26 A. [Mr Irving]     Indeed, and if you ask for my recollection of things, like

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 1what I said at a meeting with a man in his front room...
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I will show you the documents.
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, it is better that we refer to the documents.
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Why it was, Mr Irving, that with such rapidity between
 526th November and onwards, from 26th November onwards,
 6your lingering doubts, if indeed you had any, about the
 7reliability of the numbers seems to have evaporated?
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, I do not think I have referred in this letter --
 9I may be mistaken -- to saying, I do not think I have said
10that the figure is genuine. I have said the document
11appears to be genuine, but I have doubts, as I make quite
12plain in the letter two days earlier to McLachlan, who is
13an intelligence chief himself, about the actual figure.
14So, clearly, one has to carry out further investigations.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Let us see what you said, roughly speaking, a week
16later ----
17 A. [Mr Irving]     If I can just continue? Of course, clearly, it would have
18been improper for me to suppress the document in any way.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I am not suggesting you should have done, not for a
20moment.
21 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It might have been an interesting document. It turned out
23to be ----
24 A. [Mr Irving]     It turned out 20 or 30 years later to be totally fake, and
25interesting in as much as it was issued by the Goebbels
26propaganda ministry.

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Actually about 10 years later but that does not matter.
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     As far as I am concerned, it was 20 or 30 years later.
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Let us see how your attitude to this document, which
 4I quite accept you did not know at the time was a fake,
 5though you had expressed considerable doubts about the
 6reliability of the figures up until now. 6th December
 71964, you wrote to the Provost of Coventry. The only
 8mistake in Miss Rogers' document is that she describes the
 9Provost of Coventry as Mr Cunningham. That is, in fact,
10Mr Irving's telephone number, telephone exchange?
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     She is too young to have remembered that.
12 MR RAMPTON:     It was Cunningham 8426 for anybody that is
13interested. It was late at night, I know that. That is
14on page 40 of this document. This, I think ----
15 A. [Mr Irving]     Can we look previously on December 1st, the letter where
16I am writing to the German Federal archives trying to make
17attempts to find out more about the people concerned and
18the authenticity of the document?
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Again I have no translation of this which is why I have
20not referred to it. If it is important, please tell us
21what it says.
22 A. [Mr Irving]     "Dear Colonel Teska, during a recent visit to Dresden, I
23have received from an erstwhile officer in Dresden who
24during the war was the Local Chief Medic in Dresden,
25Dr Max Funfack a copy of the attached document. As you
26can see, it is supposed to be an order of the day issued

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 1by the Dresden Police Chief in which for the first time
 2the number of air raid dead is provisionally estimated at
 3202,040. Obviously, it is important for me to establish
 4how genuine this document is, and I am trying to locate
 5the officers who signed this document, Colonel Grosse",
 6G-R-O-S-S-E, and so on. I have written to the German
 7Federal Government, the archivist trying to track down the
 8authenticity of the document.
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That is very proper, if I may say so, a very proper
10proceeding, Mr Irving. Before you barge into the public
11arena waving the document and saying how wicked the Allies
12were, it is best to be sure that the document is genuine
13and the figure is reliable, do you not agree?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     I consider this to be wicked, burning thousands of bodies
15at a time in a public funeral. You may say: "So what?",
16but you are saying about how wicked the Allies are. It is
17a war crime and there is no way round it.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Let us clear the air. Nobody on this side of the court is
19supposing that it is a jolly good thing that, let us say,
2025,000 or 35,000 innocent German civilians were roasted to
21death in Dresden in 1945.
22 A. [Mr Irving]     Roasted to death?
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     We are concerned about your gigantic appetite for
24distorting and exaggerating; that is all I am concerned
25with. I think it was your correspondent -- I cannot
26remember his name now -- a German gentleman who drew your

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 1attention to the fact that it was probably only 35,000?
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     Only 35,000 people burned alive in one night by the
 3British.
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, and he said ----
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     A charming term of phrase, only 35,000.
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     As opposed to the huge figures you were punting about and
 7he said, with which nobody would disagree, that is bad
 8enough, that is two divisions.
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     At least he did not say: "So what?"
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, Mr Irving, I think you are being unfair
11when you pick on that phrase when it was used in context
12and Mr Rampton was not belittling the tragedy of the
13bombing. So you have made your point. I do not think it
14is a fair one, but let us move on.
15 MR RAMPTON:     Do you not think it even worst or even more of an
16offence to those people who died in Germany and
17Dresden ----
18 A. [Mr Irving]     I think his Lordship has said that we should move on.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     --- To exaggerate the numbers of the dead for your own
20base-political purposes, do you not think that would be
21worse, Mr Irving?
22 A. [Mr Irving]     I think his Lordship said we should move on.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is a different point, but, anyway,
24I think it is comment.
25 MR RAMPTON:     Is there anything else in this letter from you to
26Colonel Teska on 1st December 1964 to which you want to

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