Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 26 - 30 of 181

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    Sometimes the document itself will give you a clue. We
 11942, relating to the Umsiedlung of 20,000 Jews from
 2Reslatosk. Just from that sentence, it was not plain what
 3the word "Umsiedlung" meant, but two pages later, as
 4Professor Browning correctly pointed out, the 20,000 are
 5referred as anschossen, shot. So there is no question
 6there, is there?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I would not really want to comment on it without actually
 8having the document in front of me.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Later on in the same paragraph we have the sentence that
10half the inhabitants of the village of X were shot and the
11after were umgesiedelt to a neighbouring village in which
12case the word quite clearly has a different meaning, does
13it not, in the same paragraph?
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Again I really do not want to comment without having the
15document in front of me.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Take it from me it is right. We went through
17it and it is obviously right.
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am afraid have not read the transcripts for that
19particular day.
20 MR IRVING:     So it seems it is possible to have the most glaring
21inconsistencies even within the same document as to what
22the meaning of a word is?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Words may be used in different senses, yes, and certainly
24as euphemisms in some senses and not as in others. If you
25use an euphemism, well, almost by definition, in other
26circumstances it going to have its actual real meaning.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     So it is a minefield then, the translation of documents,
 2or it is either a minefield or a sweet shop, a candy
 3store, depending on which way you are looking at it. If
 4you want to go into those documents with an evil intent or
 5with a perverse intent, then you can fix a meaning which
 6just fits the meaning you want, is that correct?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, if you are referring to yourself, yes. I mean,
 8I would not do that.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Well, I am ----
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     What is sauce for the goose is source for the
11gander. In a way, I understand why you are asking these
12questions. I understand the point you are making.
13 MR IRVING:     I am just rubbing it in, my Lord, the fact that, as
14Professor Evans rightly said, if this applies to myself, I
15could distort the document one way, but, of course, if it
16applies to a left wing historian or a Marxist, they could
17distort exactly the same document the other way, and he
18was quite right to point this out.
19     (To the witness): We will leave the matter of
20meanings of words because we cannot do that really at this
21point without having a little bundle of documents to look
22at which I shall bring on Tuesday, I think, which will be
23a bundle of documents about the "Ausrotten", so you might
24like to prepare yourself intellectually for the word
25ausrotten and what it means.
26     Professor, you are in charge of this magnificent

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 1team of stallions who have been preparing the defence, is
 2that correct? You were the leading, the chief expert
 3witness, am I right?
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, I some research assistants. I have helped the defence
 5in suggestion as to whom should be called as expert
 6witnesses, but not all the expert the witness have been
 7called at my suggestion. I certainly have not been in
 8charge of them in the sense that I have directed them what
 9to write.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Of course, you would not dictate to them what to write,
11but have you dictated what field of research they should
12apply their minds to in connection with this defence?
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Not dictated, no. I suggested to the defence that certain
14witnesses might be called to cover certain fields and
15then, of course, there were lengthy discussions as to how
16this should be made more precise and exactly what areas
17should be covered and by whom and so on. Not all of my
18suggestions were accepted, of course.
19 MR RAMPTON:     Can I just sound a warning note? We are getting
20towards forbidden territory.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     We are on privilege.
22 MR IRVING:     I certainly would not have asked him privileged
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No, you are the right side of the
25boundary, but Mr Rampton was putting down a marker.
26 MR IRVING:     I was going to ask here, did you look specifically

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 1for left orientated experts or right-wing orientated
 2experts? I mean, you did not ask Professor Faurisson, for
 3example, did you, to give evidence?
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I would not consider him an expert.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     You would not consider him an expert?
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, I think he is a charlatan.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     You are right; he was stripped of his Professorship, was
 8he not, by the University of Lyons or Lille, one of the
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is more his work that I am concerned with and I do not
11think it is reputable work. My only concern in suggesting
12the names of expert witnesses was that they should be
13experts in their particular fields.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. So a right winger is a charlatan and a left winger
15is acceptable. Would that have been your standard?
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Not at all, no. Had, for example, Professor Hilgrubber
17still been alive, he was a decidedly right-wing historian,
18but I consider him a reputable expert in certain fields of
19Second World War.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     What about Professor Hans Monson? Might he have come up
21with the wrong answers, perhaps?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I really do not want to get into discussions of whom we
23might have called, and we did not.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Well, I do not think you are actually being
25asked the question in that way, and I think it is a
26legitimate question. What is the answer?

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     What was the question?
 2 MR IRVING:     Might you have called Professor Dr Hans Monson of
 3the University of Fulkum(?) who is an acknowledged expert
 4on this field?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     But -- in the end, he has not been called.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     But you would not have considered calling him?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That is such a hypothetical question; I mean, I would have
 8considered calling him. There are many people whom
 9I would have considered calling but we did not in the end
10consider calling them.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can I ask you the question this way which
12I do not think infringes any privilege. Have you gone out
13of your way to recommend historians who have a particular
14point of view which happens to coincide with your own?
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No.
16 MR IRVING:     But you have had your knives out in the past for
17right wing historians or Nazi historians, have you not?
18In your book "In Defence of History" you make minced meat
19of some historians?
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I think it is also right to point out that I have very
21heavily criticised some left wing historians as well. If
22you take my book "In Defence of History", for example,
23there is some very sharp criticism of the Marxist
24historian, David Abraham, there; there is some sharp
25criticism of the Marxist historian, Christopher Hill. So
26I do not think I direct my criticisms only at historians

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