Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 15: Electronic Edition

Pages 61 - 65 of 93

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    I have my A01 begins "Background Information", is that
 1correct?
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, that is 01. I am sorry. It is a complete muddle. If
 3you could find A1 without the O?
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     How could I be so stupid? Right, now I have it.
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     In strictest confidence to Andrew Neil. "Dear Mr Neil" --
 6this is your document, is it not?
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     "I have just had an important deal collapse under my feet,
 9thanks to the prissiness of my New York publishers who
10felt it was unethical". Now, is that a reference to your
11Macmillan deal?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     No.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What is it a reference to?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     On May 6th -- I will be very brief -- or approximately May
156th, I was informed in Munich by a personal friend of the
16existence of the glass plates in the Moscow archives.
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes.
18 A. [Mr Irving]     This friend suggested that I should go to Moscow and if
19I took 10 or $20,000 in cash I could buy these glass
20plates from the archivists. I contacted the American
21publishers of my Goebbels biography and asked if they
22would increase the advance on the book to provide the
23dollars necessary for this adventure. For four or five
24days the American publishers were very excited.
25I arranged the trip to Moscow, or I began arranging it,
26and when I was far advanced, suddenly the American

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 1publishers decided that the idea of buying glass plates
 2from the Moscow archives looked unethical and they were
 3not prepared to get involved with it.
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Right, and you say that those American publishers were not
 5called Macmillan?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     That Goebbels book went through so many hands, I would
 7have remind myself.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes.
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     When you said Macmillan, of course, I am assuming that you
10are referring to the English Macmillan publisher who did
11have the rights in the book.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Well, I am sorry. I did not know they were different.
13I am awfully sorry. I am sure that they are related --
14they would have to be, would they not?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     They were not related. They spell themselves differently
16too.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     They were not, oddly enough, no. I think
18that is right.
19 MR RAMPTON:     Were not? Oh, well, that is my ignorance. I am
20sorry. Let us turn ----
21 A. [Mr Irving]     I know the Editor concerned was Don Fehr, but he also
22meant from -- that is F-E-H-R -----
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That is a perfectly natural confusion on your part brought
24about by my ignorance. Can we turn to your diaries,
25please, your diary entries, section B of this file?
26 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     On page B2 is your entry for 26th May.
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Now ----
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     "Macmillan Incorporated", that is correct, yes.
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     "Rose 6.45 a.m., ran round Mayfair 97 per cent hot."
 6Never mind the next bit. "A hectic day from which Telecom
 7much profited with calls to and from Moscow, New
 8York, ... (reading to the words) ... Frohlich. Susie
 9Terplar was the person that actually typed the entries.
10 A. [Mr Irving]     She was my assistant, yes.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     "The fuss was engendered first by attempts to get the
12Moscow invitation needed, then tickets, then visas.
13Finally, at 5 p.m. came a totally unexpected fax from
14Macmillan Inc". So you were, sort of, preparing to go on
15behalf of Macmillan at this stage if I have understood --
16Macmillan Inc?
17 A. [Mr Irving]     On behalf of myself as the author, but I was obviously
18raising the funds by hook or by crook.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Well, plainly. "Refusing [to] put up the funds after all,
20as they could not be party to a 'bribe'!"
21 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That was their position?
23 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, you have seen all the correspondence in discovery.
24Their message said, "It looks like we are trying to bribe
25a Russian official" ----
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes.

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     --- "and this looks unethical to us".
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, whereas -- I am not taking any point on this -- your
 3position was that you might need to pay for the right to
 4use them?
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     In two lines: The Soviet Union had collapsed. The
 6archive system was in total disarray. They could not even
 7afford to pay their own wages. We were doing the
 8archivist a favour by bringing him $20,000 in cash.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, I do not think any criticism is being
10made or could be made.
11 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, well, having been publicly flogged for the last three
12or four days, I always assumed that was going to be ----
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, but you are not being at the moment.
14That is the point I am trying to make.
15 MR RAMPTON:     I deliberately read that so that everybody should
16know that you put the word "bribe" in quotes and then put
17an exclamation mark after it.
18 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Whatever your publishers might have thought, it was not
20something you agreed with?
21 A. [Mr Irving]     No. It was not. The Hoover Library, the Stamford
22University, very many major American institutions had
23already bought large parts of the Russian archives over
24the previous weeks. There was a major sale going on.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     As I say, I really do want to rattle through the periphery
26of this as quickly as I can. I know you suspect me and

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 1I understand why, but you must not always be suspicious.
 2Is it right that you were also concerned, and again I say
 3quite properly concerned, as an historian and an author
 4that the people in Munich might get there first?
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     Oh, yes.
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And spoil your coup, your scoop, whatever you would like
 7to call it?
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Do historians take perfectly natural pride in being the
10first there?
11 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Now I want to whiz on, if I may? Did you eventually enter
13into a contract with the Sunday Times?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     After -- it was a contract in two stages. There was a
15letter of agreement that they would fund the first
16exploratory trip which I made with Mr Millar to Moscow in
17mid June 1992 ----
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes.
19 A. [Mr Irving]     --- when we would establish whether this was feasible,
20whether the plates were there, whether they were genuine,
21what their contents were, and whether the Russians were
22open to a piece of horse trading; and then after I came
23back from Moscow and we established to the satisfaction of
24the Sunday Times that I had obtained the material, or was
25in the process of obtaining it, then a contract was drawn
26up in a proper legal manner.

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