Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 166 - 170 of 181

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    I will give an example in this direction, but first
 1of all I will ask a question, if I may. Witness, have you
 2ever listened to the wire or tape recordings of the
 3proceedings at Nuremberg and compared them with the blue
 4volumes, the printed text?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, I have not.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Now I will answer your question. I have done precisely
 7that for one entire day and compared the blue volumes with
 8the testimony given by a man whose biography I wrote,
 9Field Marshal Milsch, and that was sufficient to put me
10off those transcripts for life.
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, first of all, I think I would like to see an
12accurate transcript and the inaccurate transcript, and
13secondly, Mr Irving, you have just criticised me for
14making sweeping statements about your work on the basis of
15reading a selection of it, and here you are, having read
16one day's transcript of the Nuremberg trials, and
17condemning the lot.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, if you find one source is polluted, would you not
19tend to go to a different well spring and drink from
20somewhere else, put it like that? You would not just say,
21well, just this one cupful of water had the strichnine in
22it but the rest is probably OK? Would you put it like
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not think that is a very happy comparison.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you familiar with the bound volumes, the American
26printed volumes, of the documents that were used at

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 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you noticed one distinguishing feature about the
 4selection of documents that is made? Would I be right in
 5saying that the documents that are printed are purely the
 6documents used for the prosecution and that not one single
 7Defence document has been printed in those 46 volumes?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I think that is right, yes.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     You think that is right?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Does this suggest to you that this might possibly lead to
12a skewed or distorted version of history if one was to
13write history relying extensively or partly or to any
14significant extent on a corpus of evidence where only the
15prosecution case was in print and the Defence case was not
16represented at all?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     As far as exhibits are concerned?
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I think you are quite right in saying, if you relied on
20the Nuremberg documents exclusively, and you did read
21anything else, then of course that would be very
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     I refer you back to your paragraph 2.3.7 where you refer
24admonishingly (if the word exists) to the major
25documentary collections that have been generally available
26to historians for decades, tons of captured German

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 1documents to prepare their indictments in the Nuremberg
 2trials and many of these were printed in the published
 3record of the trials. You do not mention the fact that
 4the only ones printed are the prosecution documents, do
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     The point I am trying to make, Mr Irving, in this
 7paragraph, is simply that there was an enormous amount of
 8material available for studying the Third Reich and its
 9policies in the Second World War. That is all I am trying
10to make. I am not making any statements about how
11reliable any of these documentary recollections might be.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, but just on the basis of the last two or three
13minutes of cross-examination, it does appear that I have
14applied a more critical mind to these document collections
15than you have, and you are the scholar and I am the
16amateur. You are the gentleman and I am the player.
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That may appear to you. It certainly does not appear to
18me. It is very, very general. It is a very general
19paragraph, vast new masses of documents, both official and
20private in provenance have become available, widely
21available to scholars. This is not an area of history
22like the 5th century when historians had to make do with
23sparse and obscure source material. I am simply trying to
24make the point to help the court reach an assessment of
25this case, that this is an area where there is an enormous
26mass of material available. That is all I am trying to

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 1say. You know, I am trying to say it as briefly as I can,
 2to keep the report short. I do not then want to go into a
 3great long disposition about how much is reliable and how
 4much is not.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     You are saying that this paragraph is waffle, really, is
 6it not?
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think we have spent enough time on this
 8paragraph, Mr Irving, I am going to say just this as
 9well. I have some sympathy with you because, after all,
10these first 70 to 100 pages are there, and they contain
11material which I fully understand you regard as
12offensive. I am not saying you are right to regard them
13as being offensive, and that is why you are going through
14them, but in the end the bit that matters starts about
15page 106.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     The detailed criticisms?
17 MR IRVING:     You are absolutely right, my Lord, but I would
18regard this part of the cross-examination as going to the
19credibility of the witness.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes. Well, in parts I think it has, and
21again I cannot absolutely stop you.
22 MR IRVING:     My Lord, you can stop me at any time.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I can. What I mean is that I am not going to
24stop you because I think some at any rate of these
25questions based on these passages are probably
26legitimate. If I give you another hint, and it is only a

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 1hint at this stage, that I am not really finding this of
 2any particular value to the task I have to perform, then
 3perhaps you would pass on through it a bit more rapidly.
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Perhaps I can help too?
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Well ----
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     At least one of the questions which Mr Irving has asked is
 7already dealt with in my responses to his written
 8questions, so we are going ----
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     He has not had a chance to look at those.
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I know. I think that is the problem.
11 MR IRVING:     At the risk of testing your Lordship's patience,
12still on page 33, three lines from the bottom: "This is
13not an area of history like the 5th Century when
14historians have to make do with sparse and obscure
15resource material to reconstruct what happened."
16     Is this not precisely what we have been
17struggling to do for the last five weeks in this
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, I do not think so.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     We have been struggling to reconstruct what happened not
21on the Eastern Front where we agree the documentation is
22there, but what happened, for example, to the Jews from
24 MR RAMPTON:     My Lord, I must intervene again. I think
25Mr Irving really has a misconception about what this case
26is about. We have not been struggling to reconstruct that

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