Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 91 - 95 of 186

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    Is there anything else in this letter from you to
 1draw attention?
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     No.
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Let us see what you said five days letter in a letter to
 4the Provost of Coventry. Was Coventry holding some kind
 5of memorial exhibition or what?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     Coventry is a twinned city with Dresden and I was
 7collaborating with the Coventry Cathedral authorities in
 8their celebrations.
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Coventry was quite badly bombed in the war, too, but not
10as badly as Dresden.
11 A. [Mr Irving]     I believe 300 people were killed, were they not?
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Not as bad as Dresden. Mr Irving, please keep your eye on
13the ball.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Actually, Mr Rampton, if I may say so, that
15may have been slightly your fault.
16 MR RAMPTON:     But there is no doubt one reason for what you call
17the Dresden/Coventry link, is there not?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     They are both victims of bombing during the war?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     Both cities were used for propaganda purposes.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What?
22 A. [Mr Irving]     Both bombing raids were used for propaganda purposes.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I have no doubt, war is a terrible thing. "I am now
24enclosing", this is dated 6th December 1964, "I am now
25enclosing a large number of photographs of the destruction
26caused in Dresden by the Allied bombing. Some of them

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 1should be suitable for the exhibition we had in mind to
 2raise funds for the Dresden/Coventry link. I have
 3enclosed several duplicates of some of the best for a
 4particular purpose. I suggest that when your exhibition
 5opens you might circulate these both to the local and
 6national newspapers as free publicity material which they
 7can print if they like".
 8     "To drive home the impact of the exhibition,
 9I also suggest that you have the text of the Police
10President's report on the Dresden raid attached, printed
11in large type. I think that it is nonchalance and the
12casualties" (please note those words) "it mentions have a
13shattering impact. Please also feel free to quote any
14excerpts you wish from my book or, for example, from the
15feelings expressed by RAF airmen, without acknowledgment
16if you wish. The Police President's report is really
17something sensational. I brought it back from Dresden two
18weeks ago and I have been trying to establish its
19authenticity through Ministry of Defence channels".
20 A. [Mr Irving]     Also, in addition to the German archives.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes. Now this: (Underlined) "I am myself in no doubt as
22to the authenticity of the document."
23 A. [Mr Irving]     Can I point out that I have not underlined that document
24myself.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That is not your underlining?
26 A. [Mr Irving]     It is certainly not typed in; nor have I done that line

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 1down the left-hand margin.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I had assumed you had not.
 3 MR RAMPTON:     I did not take the line down the side to be
 4yours. I am not accepting that it is not possible when
 5you have typed a letter and looked at it and thought that
 6is an important passage, I will underline that in ink, but
 7that is not what you did.
 8     "In view of having obtained it indirectly from
 9the Dresden Deputy Chief Medical Officer responsible for
10the disposing of the victims still lives in Dresden. It
11was circulated to him officially in March 1945. Please
12note that I am leaving", so on and so forth, "at the end
13of December for three and a half months".
14     Mr Irving, you will agree, I hope, that you are
15urging the Provost of Coventry to put into his exhibition,
16with as much effect as he can achieve, a document which
17shows casualties of 202,040 people?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And yet, Mr Irving, you still were not certain, or should
20not still have been certain, that those figures were
21accurate?
22 A. [Mr Irving]     I said quite clearly here that I am satisfied as to the
23authenticity of the document, and we now know that the
24document is accurate, except for the figures.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Mr Irving, in your earlier correspondence ----
26 A. [Mr Irving]     The document also mentions enormous damage to buildings

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 1which, if you have been to Dresden you will know precisely
 2which buildings we British were responsible for destroying
 3that day ----
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What has that got to do with casualties?
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     I heard laughter in court and I thought I should make
 6plain that this document did not ----
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Because your answer was absurd, no doubt, Mr Irving. You
 8have just been telling us that, we have been through it,
 9how you had lingering and then disappeared doubts about
10the authenticity of the document ----
11 A. [Mr Irving]     Of the figure.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You were satisfied of the authenticity of the document,
13but had doubts about the reliability of the figure?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     That is correct.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Those doubts about the reliability of the figures have now
16disappeared. Why?
17 A. [Mr Irving]     I have told him that I am in no doubt at all as to the
18reliability of the document, The authenticity of the
19document because of where it came from.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You are asking the Provost of the Cathedral of Coventry to
21plaster these figures, the casualties it mentions which
22have a shattering affect, impact all over his exhibition.
23Why, if you do not believe that the figures are reliable?
24 A. [Mr Irving]     Are you suggesting that at this time I had any reason to
25doubt that the figures were inaccurate?
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You have said so a dozen times.

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     I said I am investigating the figures and I am going to
 2great lengths at this time, through the various archives
 3and governments, to find out what I can about the people
 4who signed the document.
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You have known from the beginning that the figures were
 6suspicious, have you not?
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     Suspicion inasmuch as I have not seen them substantiated
 8by other documents, for example, on the Eastern Front, we
 9have seen some of the major figures of the killings of the
10Jews substantiated by the lower-level documents on which
11those totals are based, and I would have liked to have
12seen similar documents reflecting these totals, as indeed
13subsequently turned up in 1966 when the West German
14Government and the East German Government simultaneously
15provided me with corroborating documents for their
16document.
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     A month before this document was sent to the gullible
18Provost of Coventry Cathedral, you wrote a long memorandum
19which had as part of its introduction (my Lord, it is page
2027 of tab 2), in paragraph 4, you wrote this, Mr Irving --
21Has your Lordship got it?
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, I think.
23 MR RAMPTON:     Obviously, it is of some importance to determine,
24one, whether the document is genuine, i.e. was really
25written by the person claiming to have signed it and on
26the date specified; and two, if the document is genuine,

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