Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 156 - 160 of 181

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    If the duplicity is there but has been inadvertent, then
 1innocent interpretation to be placed on that kind of
 2activity, would it not?
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That is so convoluted that I find it very difficult to
 4follow.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It is really quite straightforward.
 6 MR IRVING:     The genuine deceiver would not simultaneously place
 7the clue to his deceit in the public domain, would he?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Ah well, let me make two points there. One is that in the
 9end you are not going to be able to keep them out of the
10public domain. That is going to be very difficult and, of
11course, a number of the documents which you misinterpret
12and manipulate are in the public domain anyway.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you say that I misinterpreted and distorted them
14deliberately? Is this your contention?
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, that my contention. You know there is a difference
16between, as it were, negligence, which is random in its
17effect, i.e. if you are simply a sloppy or bad historian,
18the mistakes you make will be all over the place. They
19will not actually support any particular point of view.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Like the example I gave of the waiter who always gives
21wrong change but only in his favour. That is not random?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes. The waiter sometimes gives too much change. That is
23random.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     I have never yet met a waiter who has given me too much
25change.
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     On the other hand, if all the mistakes are in the same

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 1direction in the support of a particular thesis, then I do
 2not think that is mere negligence. I think that is a
 3deliberate manipulation and deception. Let me give a
 4parallel.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     A short parallel, please.
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     All right, a short parallel.
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No, as long as you like. We are now on
 8something which is central and important.
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Thank you. I refer to this in my report. There was a
10very bitter controversy nearly 20 years ago now over a
11young Marxist historian in America called David Abraham,
12who wrote a book about the support of industrialists and
13agricultural pressure groups for the Nazis in the late
14Weimar Republic and he was accused of massive
15falsification and manipulation of the source material.
16And in his reply he admitted that his German had been bad,
17he had researched very quickly and he had made a lot of
18mistakes but he claimed that it had been simple
19incompetence and mere negligence and that his mistakes
20counted in many cases against him. Then indeed he was
21able to show one or two instances of this, but his critics
22I think succeeded in showing that the general tendency of
23his mistakes was to exaggerate the support that
24industrialists gave to the coming of a Nazi government.
25Therefore, I think quite rightly, they were able to, as it
26were, convict him of manipulating the evidence. So I

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 1think there is a distinction to be made there that is
 2really quite a clear one.
 3 MR IRVING:     That is a fair example to give and I am sure his
 4Lordship was quite right to allow you to develop it at
 5length. Did this Abraham simultaneously donate his entire
 6research materials to a public domain archive where all
 7his critics could immediately catch him out?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     They were already in archives, most of which had wide
 9access.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     That is how he was caught out?
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Indeed, yes.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would it make sense for somebody who had limited and
13privileged access to papers by virtue of having read
14Heinrich Himmler's very difficult handwriting, for
15example, simultaneously to make records available to his
16potential critics if he was going to act in a deliberately
17deceitful way?
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Let me say there is a number of instances where I think
19that you have made it very difficult, deliberately
20difficult, for other researchers to track down the sources
21of what you say.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     I would like one example, please?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     One example is the testimony of Police Officer Hoffmann in
24the 1924 Hitler trial, where you simply refer to microfilm
25transcripts. Another one would be in your references to
26Ingrid Wecker to source some of your views on the

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 1Reichskristallnacht. There are others which I detail in
 2the report which do make it very time consuming and very
 3difficult to track down.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Obviously I cannot answer your points here because
 5I cannot lead evidence, but will you take it, Professor,
 6that we have dealt with, not the Wecker matter, but we
 7have dealt with the microfilm matter quite extensively
 8under cross-examination. I am sure his Lordship will look
 9that up in due course. On the microfilm of the Hitler
10treason trial in 1924, my Lord, we dealt with that. I can
11remind your Lordship that Professor Evans was using the
12printed edition of the trial and I was using the original
13three microfilms of the 8,000 pages or so of the
14transcripts.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am afraid I do not have that, to be honest,
16in my mind at the moment.
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     The printed edition is a complete edition of the
18microfilm.
19 MR IRVING:     The printed edition appeared, did it not, several
20years after the microfilms did?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Oh, yes.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     Relatively recently.
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     You could have been more precise in your references.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     Am I not right in saying the printed edition appeared
25several years after my Hermann Goring biography was
26published and so I could not possibly have referenced it

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 1from the printed edition?
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am not saying you should have referenced the printed
 3edition. I am simply saying first of all the printed
 4edition is the same as the microfilm edition because you
 5disputed that in cross-examination, and secondly I am
 6saying that you made it difficult to consult your source,
 7which is the microfilm edition, because you did not give
 8any precise reference.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you looked at the microfilms of that treason trial?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No I have not. I have seen the printed edition.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you familiar with whether they have frame numbers or
12not?
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     You do not give the frame numbers.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     No, but would you accept that, if they do not have frame
15numbers then you cannot give frame number references?
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     If that is the case, yes, but you can of course be helpful
17to the reader by pointing to roughly where it comes.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Are you putting, Mr Irving, that these
19microfiche did not have frame reference numbers?
20 MR IRVING:     I had to leave it exactly the way I said it my
21Lord.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     What is the answer to my question?
23 MR IRVING:     I put to the witness the possibility that it had no
24frame numbers in which case I would not have been able to
25quote them.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     

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