Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 86 - 90 of 181

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 1 MR IRVING:     But the reason I am saying that, of course, is to
 2give your Lordship a foretaste of what I would have said,
 3had I been able to sink my teeth into Professor Levin when
 4the time came.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I follow that, but I think perhaps the best
 6time to do that is later on, not now.
 7 MR IRVING:     You worked for many years in Germany, is that
 8correct, Professor? Five years in Germany?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     On and off, yes, over the years. I have been going to
10Germany for shorter and extended periods since 1970.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     And you have worked a great deal in the German archives?
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     For your book on capital punishment?
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     And other books, yes.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     And you have worked a great deal in the Nazi archives, I
16mean the records of the Nazi period, the Third Reich?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Less so, but I have done work mainly in the Ministry of
18Justice files.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Ministry of Justice files?
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     And in regional archives.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Who was the Minister of Justice -- Guttner?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Guttner until 1941, yes.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Until he died and then Schlegelberger took over?
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Acting Minister, yes.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     Took over as acting Minister. Are you familiar at all,
26have you researched at all, on the files of the SS? The

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 1Himmler files, Schiffbootverlastung of Himmler, and so on?
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No. I am familiar with the Dienst Tagebuch, I have to say
 3mainly for the purposes of this case.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     You had to read it, in other words, had to look into it?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I had to look at it, yes.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     You would recognize the Himmler documents if you saw them
 7either in photocopy or in the original, would you? You
 8would know what their layout was? This is what I am
 9getting at. We have heard a certain amount of discussion
10in court about what -- do they all have a kind of standard
11layout and kind of address on the right and ----
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That I could not say.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. Could not say. So your expertise then does not
14really extend into document analysis, shall I say, looking
15at the document and saying to yourself, how high up is
16this document, or who is it written by, or is it authentic
17even?
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I think I have a general expertise in reading documents,
19yes, but I am not a specialist in the SS or its archive.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would I be right in saying that very rarely would one
21expect to come across a forged document either in the
22Bundesarchiv or in the British archives? Have you ever
23come across an instance where a document has had
24questionable integrity?
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Those are two rather different things. I think that with
26a forged document you need to be very clear about why it

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 1is forged, who has forged it, and why, what the motives
 2might have been and what kind of opportunity they had.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     My question was, have you ever come across a forged
 4document in one of the western archives, in the United
 5States or in Britain or in Germany?
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Would you like to tell me what you mean by a "forged
 7document".
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     Well, a document that was clearly not written during the
 9war years and has been inserted there for some ulterior
10purpose?
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Not what it purports to be?
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Not what it purports to be.
13 MR IRVING:     Yes.
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Not to my recollection, no.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     I have to say I have not either. Would you have the same
16expectations of Eastern European archives?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That is a very difficult question to answer. I have
18worked in East German archives, but one has to -- I mean,
19both in the Communist Socialist Unity Party archives and
20in the archives of East German Communist Ministries, but
21also, of course, as you know, the major German State
22archive, the Reich archive, was in East Germany for many
23years, and my impression of that and other State archives
24is that they were somewhat neglected. So I do not -- and
25that they were run by professional archivists. It is a
26rather different matter working in Party archives or as I

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 1did on one occasion in the East ----
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Did you ever work in the Moscow archives?
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I have not worked in the Moscow archives.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you ever worked in any other Eastern European
 5archives?
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, just in East German archives.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     From your knowledge as an historian, do you know of
 8instances where documents have been forged by Eastern
 9European archives for Cold War purposes in order to sink a
10West German Minister or something like that?
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Not from my direct knowledge of archival material, no.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you familiar at all, have you read the newspapers
13about the Demjanjuk case, Ivan Demjanjuk?
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I followed it as any other citizen, newspaper reader, did,
15yes.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would it be correct to say that at one stage he was
17incriminated on the basis of an identity card which later
18turned out to have been forged?
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am not an expert in this area, Mr Irving. I mean,
20I will accept for the purposes of argument that that was
21so.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you suggested anywhere in your report that I have
23gained improper advantages because of my Nazi or neo-Nazi
24views from members of Hitler staff in obtaining records or
25papers that they would not have made available to other...
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not think I -- I certainly did not use the word

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 1"improper".
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Well, that I had an edge on the others?
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I may well have done so, yes, because that seems to me
 4that in some way that you were more acceptable to the
 5former members' widows and so on of Hitler's entourage
 6than other historians were.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you have any basis for that, apart from just envy?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not think I am envious of you, Mr Irving.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     But, I mean, the fact that I got hold of records that the
10historical establishment did not get must have aroused a
11certain amount of envy and acrimony?
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Not in me.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     Not in you. You referred to it in this oblique way in
14your expert report -- I cannot put my finger on the actual
15passage -- you admitted or you stated that, yes, you had
16implied that I had benefited from my aura?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am just trying to find the passages where I deal with
18this.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Perhaps I can continue just by asking in general terms.
20You have read a lot transcripts of my interviews with
21Hitler's staff, the Adjutants, we call them, is that
22right?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That is right.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     And you may have heard tape recordings of some of them,
25because the tape recordings have all survived, 30 years
26ago?

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