Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 18: Electronic Edition

Pages 121 - 125 of 181

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    I am referring to the passages, the instances which we
 1examined.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     I think it would probably be helpful to his Lordship if
 3you just listed on the fingers and thumbs of one or two
 4hands which specific instances this sweeping and rather
 5brutal judgment applies to?
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     They are listed on the contents page of my report, my
 7Lord.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     These are the only instances you are referring to with the
10sweeping judgment, in other words you are not going to
11pass judgment on the rest of my writings?
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, I am satisfied, as I say in the report, that we
13examined a sufficient number of instances to assure
14ourselves that they were representative of your writings.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     All the rest. I am afraid I was not properly listening to
16your answer in response to his Lordship's question. Who
17picked these instances? Was it picked in committee with
18the Defendants? Did they say, why not go for
19Reichskristallnacht, pick on Dresden too, he is weak on
20that? Did you have a free hand?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I had a free hand and I picked them myself.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     No suggestions were made from the Defence upon instructing
23solicitors?
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Not to my recollection, no.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     Happened to pick on Reichskristallnacht and happened to go
26to Dresden, although not very familiar with my work

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 1previously?
 2 MR RAMPTON:     My Lord, in fairness to the witness, Mr Irving
 3probably was not listening, often one does not listen very
 4carefully when cross-examining, there was an earlier
 5answer to the effect that what started the topics listed
 6at paragraph 4 of the contents page on the second page was
 7the very first item in that entry, "Irving's chain of
 8documents" and thing leads to another, therefore.
 9 MR IRVING:     Well, the chain of documents, of course, refers
10specifically to Hitler's responsibility for the Final
11Solution.
12 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, but it includes, for example, eight or nine
13examples, just as an example, Reichskristallnacht, which
14in itself is an enormous subject.
15 MR IRVING:     It does not include Dresden and it does not
16include ----
17 THE WITNESS:     No. As I explained in the report, I thought that
18it was not really sufficient just to look at the chain of
19documents. The reason for that was that it might be
20arguable, as a number of your reviewers have indeed
21argued, that you were, as it were, unsound on that one
22issue, but sound on everything else. So I decided to look
23at Dresden because that is the book which established your
24reputation and has probably sold more than -- correct me
25if I am wrong -- any other of your books.
26     So that seemed to be one of your strongest

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 1books, if not your strongest book, so I decided to look at
 2that as well. I did not want to confine myself, in other
 3words, simply to the chain of documents relating to
 4Hitler's responsibility or, you would argue,
 5non-responsibility for the Final Solution.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Could it be that you set out with the belief that I had
 7used these methods that you describe as sheer depth of
 8duplicity and of distortion and the rest, and that you had
 9preconceived that notion, then you picked on three or four
10roads by which to arrive at that particular Rome, so to
11speak?
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, that is not the case at all; as I describe in the
13report, I had very little knowledge of your work and I was
14aware of your reputation as having been somebody who was
15in many cases, in many areas, a sound historian, and I was
16rather surprised at the results that I found. I described
17that all in my report and that was an honest description
18of my reaction.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you going to be prepared to eat your words if we take
20each one piece by piece and find out that you were
21misjudging me?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Let us see.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Then we shall come to that ----
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can I ask you this, Professor Evans? Did you
25consider Mr Irving the military historian, if you follow
26what I mean by that? It is not really your subject, as

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 1I understand your evidence this morning?
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, it seems to me that he is a military and political
 3historian.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     I do not doubt that, but I just wondered whether you have
 5considered as a separate aspect of his historical writings
 6his writings on military as opposed to political history?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, because they do not really relate to this case.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     Well, I thought that might be your answer, yes.
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Obviously, though, it is enormously -- as you can see,
10this is a 740 page report.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am well aware of that.
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It took an enormous amount of time and effort to do and
13there is simply a limited amount of time available.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes. No, it is not a criticism at all.
15I just wanted for myself to know. Thank you.
16 MR IRVING:     So if somebody had mentioned the name "David
17Irving", would you have said to yourself, "Oh, yes, that
18is the Holocaust historian"?
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     You would have said, "That is the specialist in Third
21Reich personalities" or "The specialist in Naval war" or
22what? Would anything have occurred to you?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, you have written on a variety of subjects, of
24course, but they have mostly been, with the exception,
25I think, of the book on Hungary in 1956, books about
26Germany and the Second World War and aspects of German

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 1politics, German personalities, biographies of leading
 2German figures and aspects of the war.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     You say on page 20 -- my Lord, now at the top of page 20
 4of his report -- "That is precisely why they are so
 5shocking. Irving has relied in the past, and continues to
 6rely in the present, on the fact that his readers and
 7listeners, reviewers and interviewers lack", well,
 8"expertise" you say there. You are saying that everyone
 9who reads my books, effectively, are ignorant and so they
10cannot spot how duplicitous I am. Is that what you are
11saying?
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Let me read the sentence: "Irving has relied in the past,
13and continues to rely in the present, on the fact that his
14readers and listeners, reviewers and interviewers lack
15either the time, or the expertise, to probe deeply enough
16into the sources he uses for his work to uncover the
17distortions, suppressions and manipulations to which he
18has subjected them".
19     Let me carry on just in the next sentence, if
20I may: "The late Martin Broszat and the American
21historian Charles W Sydnor, Jr., whose work is referred to
22below, are virtually the only previous historians to have
23gone some way down this road".
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     I said in about six lines what you have said in 12, that
25roughly what I said was right, that they were so
26ignorant ----

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