Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 66 - 70 of 181

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     If it was hanging on your wall, it gives the right
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     If it was not hanging on the wall, if it was occasionally
 4shown to visitors as something of a trophy, like Robert
 5Harris, who is a good friend, would that be right?
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, if you are saying that it was not looking down upon
 7him as he worked from the wall above his desk, then
 8I suppose you would be right.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Given your expert evidence, as you have, in your report,
10and having read the expert evidence of Professor Eatwell
11and Professor Levin, you are quite content to level at me
12also the charge of anti-Semitism, is that right?
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, it is not right. I do not describe you as an
14anti-Semitic, unless you can show me a passage in my
15report where I do.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you consider me to be an anti-semite from all that you
17know, from the books that I have written and that you have
18read, or statements that I have made?
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not want to speculate about your state of mind.
20However, I do cite numerous statements of yours which
21I regard as anti-semitic.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can you categorize these statements in some way, or would
23you prefer, without being specific -- I mean, are these
24just statements critical of the Jewish people, or specific
25Jews like Simon Wiesenthal or particular Jews, or is there
26a general animosity that you detect in me towards the

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 1Jewish? How would you define "anti-Semitism"? I think
 2that is the question I am going to ask first. How would
 3you define "anti-Semitism" for the purposes of this trial?
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, I am not an expert in that area, but anti-Semitism
 5can be defined very simply. There are numerous different
 6ways you can define anti-Semitism. There are different
 7levels and degrees of anti-semitism.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     You just called me anti-semitic, so you must know what you
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     There are different levels and degrees of anti-Semitism
11and so on. It does seem to me that in your writings, and
12I quote numbers of them in my report, you do blame the
13Jews for the Holocaust, you try to pin responsibility for
14their misfortunes in the Third Reich on themselves. You
15use language in describing Jews in the present day that
16I regard as anti-Semitic.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     All of those things. Anti-Semitism obviously at its most
19basic is hostility to hatred of and contempt for Jews, but
20it is also a political ideology, which involves a belief
21in a conspiracy, that Jews are conspiratorial in some way,
22that they are conspiring to undermine whatever it might
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     A kind of common endeavour? How do you define conspiracy
25in that respect?
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     A secret combination or behind the scenes.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     And none of these allegations should ever be levelled at
 2any people, right? True or false? One should never say
 3these things? Is that what are you saying?
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, I am not saying that should never be said, true or
 5false, but it should not be said if it is false.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     If it is true, then it cannot be called anti-Semitism, it
 7would just be called foolishness, perhaps, to make the
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well I have to say that I believe that belief in the world
10of Jewish conspiracy to do whatever it might be, whether
11it is to suppress the works of David Irving or undermine
12Germany in the 1930s, is a fantastic belief that has no
13grounds of reality.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are we talking here in the hypothetical or have you some
15reason for suggesting that I believe there is a world
16Jewish conspiracy to undermine my writings, Professor?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It seems to me from what you have said in your opening
18statement that you do believe there is some kind of
19conspiracy, but leaving that aside, I come back to the
20fact in my report I do quote a number of instances of
21views, interpretations and language which I regard as
22anti-Semitic in your writings and particularly your
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are the Jews, either as a people or their elected or
25unelected leaders, in some way immune from criticism? Is
26there to be no criticism for whatever reason?

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Certainly not. That is not the case at all.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     If one criticises either the Jewish people or the leaders
 3for specific matters, is that ipso facto anti-Semitism?
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, certainly not.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     So there are circumstances in which, wisely or otherwise,
 6one would be entitled to criticise a body of Jews for a
 7particular action without it necessarily being
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, individual Jews certainly, or groups. I think it
10becomes more problematical when you start defining Jews as
11a race or a world community.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     I can never understand the difference between calling them
13a religion or a race and I do not want to get into that
14region. I have never made any distinction. If, for
15example, one was to point to the fact that most of the
16leadership of the Hungarian government at the time of the
17anti-government uprising in 1956 was Jewish, would that be
18an anti-Semitic remark?
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am not an expert on the Hungarian uprising.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     But, if it was so, if they were perceived to be Jewish,
21put it that way, by the public, would it be anti-Jewish to
22point to this element?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     You have a number of hypotheticals there. You would have
24to show first of all that they were perceived to be that
25way by the public, which is rather difficult.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Let us move on to the NKVD if it was stated that a large

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 1proportion, a disproportionate number of the leading
 2officers of the NKVD, the Soviet Secret Police, were
 3Jewish would that be an anti-semitic remark to point that
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Again, I am not an expert on the NKVD.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     But if? We are looking at the word "if".
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is very hypothetical. You would have to show concrete
 8sound evidence that (a) they were Jewish and (b) that they
 9were acting in some kind of conspiracy or action because
10they were Jewish.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, I think I am going to intervene
12because I think we are making very, very slow progress.
13Professor Evans certainly deals with anti-Semitism and you
14can direct questions to him as to whether there is any
15justification for a charge against you of anti-Semitism.
16But I think discussing whether it is anti-semitic to say
17that officers in the NKVD are Jewish is really not helping
18me at all.
19 MR IRVING:     If he is going to describe somebody as being
20anti-semitic, I wanted to know what criteria he set.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     We know what criteria the Defendants set and
22I think one can assume that that is the target at which
23they are aiming, if I can put it that way.
24 MR IRVING:     To my mind, to be an anti-Semitic, you have to be
25mindlessly anti-Jewish.

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