Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 161 - 165 of 181

<< 1-5181 >>
    I am asking you a question though and I think
 1I am entitled to because I want to know how you are
 2putting your case. Are you making it an allegation which
 3is part of your case that these particular microfiche did
 4not have frame numbers, so that that was the reason why
 5you could not accurately refer?
 6 MR IRVING:     To be perfectly frank, my Lord, it is 12 years
 7since I wrote the book and I cannot remember. But that
 8would be one logical reason why I did not give frame
 9numbers where normally I do give frame numbers, as your
10Lordship is aware.
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     But you did not provide the dates, did you, for when the
12testimony was given, for example, which would be helpful
13to the reader?
14 MR IRVING:     That again I cannot tell you without looking at the
15book. Would you go to page 32, please, paragraph 2.3.6?
16You have been very harsh about just about every other
17Hitler historian have you not? Every Hitler biography,
18you do not find words of praise for any of them?
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Not a lot, no.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Joachim Fest is overblown and over-praised?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     This is not "every other" of course. There have been
22scores, hundreds, of Hitler biographies.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     These are the major ones.
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     These are the leading ones, that is right, yes.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     These are the main ones. You describe Joachim Fest, his
26book as being overblown and overpraised?

.   P-161

 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     You describe John Toland's work as hopelessly inaccurate.
 3You are relatively kind about Alan Bullock, which is,
 4I suppose, you call his book "for the time very credible"
 5which is a kind of back handed complement, is it not?
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It was written about five years after the war, I think,
 7immediately after the war.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     You do not have nice words to say about anybody really,
 9apart from Ian Kershaw on the next page.
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That is true.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Now that you know that he wrote to us, apologising that
12his knowledge of German was very limited ----
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not know that, Mr Irving, because I have not seen the
14document that you are referring to.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     If I tell you that he wrote us a letter apologising that
16he could not give evidence for this case because his
17knowledge of German was too limited, would you accept ----
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, I will not. I will have to see the letter before
19I accept it.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     If anybody wrote a letter saying that his knowledge of
21German was very limited, would you say that he could not
22have a thorough knowledge of the archival material which
23is what you say in lines 2 and 3?
24 MR RAMPTON:     I do think in this particular instance, most of
25time I have not intervened because I know that Mr Irving
26is not a professional advocate and he gives evidence all

.   P-162

 1the time while he is cross-examining, which I would never
 2be allowed to do, without producing material. In this
 3case I would like to see the letter if it is to be relied
 5 MR IRVING:     We will produce the letter. There is no problem
 6about that, my Lord.
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think it is a fair request so perhaps
 8tomorrow morning you can do that.
 9 MR IRVING:     Certainly. If Mr Rampton has any criticisms to
10make of the way that I am cross-examining, I am sure that
11your Lordship would not object to him raising his
12objections at the time.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     If and when he does, then I will deal with it
14and in the meantime I am trying, as I have said many
15times, to make allowance for the fact that you are not as
16familiar as some of us are with the rules.
17 MR IRVING:     I am also trying not to lead evidence. I have
18tried to restrict it to asking questions in difficult
20     When you say in the fifth line of that page 33
21that there are hundreds of historians, so that you rather
22imply that my criticism is a bit overreaching, that
23I imply that I am the only one with a thorough knowledge,
24and of course there are hundreds of historians, would you
25accept that that applies to the situation now at the end
26of the 20th century, the beginning of the 21st century,

.   P-163

 1rather than back in the 1970s when there were relatively
 2few who had this knowledge of the archives. Is that
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, the point I am making there is that, to quote the
 5previous sentence, that simply to concentrate on
 6biographies of Hitler is to deliver a completely
 7misleading account of the state of research in the field
 8in which you work. As I say, somewhere in the report,
 9I think research in the archival material really began in
10a serious way in the 1960s and the 1970s, but of course we
11are concerned here not just with the 1977 edition of your
12book but also with the 1991 edition of your book, in which
13you make the same sweeping condemnations of professional
14historians as you did in 1977. If you think that the
15situation has change in the intervening period, then
16I think you should have said so.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     I draw attention, witness, purely to the fact that you are
18talking about there are hundreds, and that this report is
19written now of course and not in the 1970s, and would you
20in the 1970s or 1960s have said there are hundreds of
21historians who were equally capable? Would you have
22written that sentence back at the time that I wrote these
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     In the 60s I would probably have said scores, by the 70s
25probably hundreds. If you take the Institut fur
26Zeitgeschichte in Munich alone, they have a very

.   P-164

 1substantial staff, and there are many other institutes,
 2the Institute of Contemporary History in London, Yad
 3Vashim and many other institutes which were around in the
 41970s which did employ professional historians who did
 5archival work on Germany in the second world war.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Witness, what is your opinion of the Nuremberg records,
 7the printed Nuremberg volumes, the blue series and the
 8American dream series, the Nazi conspiracy and aggression,
 9would you consider them to be a source that you would
10recommend to students to use as source books?
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes. You use them yourself.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     In what respect do you suggest that I use them myself? Do
13I use them as a reference to go to, to check up on
14something, or do I use them as the basic quarry in which
15I mine for the original sources on which to write books?
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     You use them in your work. You use them in this
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you not familiar with these strictures that I place on
19the use of the transcripts of the Nuremberg trials? Are
20you not familiar with the fact that I allege that there
21are discrepancies?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Would you give me an example?
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     I can only ask you questions.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No. Do not feel inhibited to that sort of
26 MR IRVING:     

.   P-165

<< 1-5181 >>