Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 19: Electronic Edition

Pages 101 - 105 of 217

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     On that issue, Mr Irving, can I just before
 2we embark on it so that we do not misunderstand one
 3another, I have got now a definition from the Defendants
 4of what they mean by "Holocaust denial" and you have
 5cross-examined about that and I bear in mind the points
 6you have made. I have all the statements that the
 7Defendants say you made which they rely on as amounting to
 8Holocaust denial. I have the context of the denials so
 9that I can see any points you have to make on context, you
10have given your evidence about what you meant.
11     I am just wondering where we go with the
12evidence on it. Is it not in the end a question for me to
13look at what you have said or you are reported as having
14said and making up my mind whether you constitute a
15Holocaust denier in the sense the Defendants define that
16term?
17 MR IRVING:     This is true, but I am trying to organize that word
18in the order of things. This is a useful paragraph to
19look at because in this paragraph, my Lord, he states that
20Holocaust denier is the central allegation against me in
21Lipstadt's book, in the book by the Second Defendant.
22I was going to ask whether he does not agree that the
23allegations about manipulation, distortion and deliberate
24mistranslation are far more serious for a professional
25historian.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Well, that is a perfectly fair question.

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, the answer is I say a central allegation, not the
 2central allegation.
 3 MR IRVING:     Well, nit-picking aside, will you now answer the
 4question? Would you not agree that the allegation about
 5manipulation, distortion and deliberate mistranslation of
 6original records are far more serious to be slapped on a
 7professional historian like myself or a professional
 8writer like myself, if you do not like the word
 9"historian"?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, I describe it as a central allegation because it is
11not the only one. It does, to my mind, as it were,
12contain within it the allegation that you manipulated,
13falsified history, and it is an allegation to which in
14your plea to the court, your written submission to the
15court initially, you take extremely strong exception, so
16I felt it necessary to go into it.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     By what -- I cannot really question ----
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am not sure you have answered the question
19quite.
20 MR IRVING:     I beg your Lordship's pardon?
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I do not think that the Professor has
22answered your question quite.
23 MR IRVING:     It is important.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think it is an important question and I
25think it is worth spending a few moments on.
26 MR IRVING:     Because they have not exactly put these ones in

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 1section 5, so I am entitled to ask how serious these
 2allegations are as seen by an acknowledged historian who
 3is an expert witness on the matter.
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Professor Evans, it is an fair question.
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
 6 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     In the end, the sting or the main sting, as it is
 7sometimes called, against Mr Irving is that he has
 8manipulated data and so come to deny the Holocaust in the
 9sense ----
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Or the other way round, that he is denying the Holocaust
11and, therefore, manipulated data.
12 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Yes, I follow that.
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     The two are bound up together, my Lord, and I am trying to
14unpack them here. So certainly, of course, the allegation
15that he has manipulated data is in that sense the crucial
16allegation in Lipstadt's book.
17 MR IRVING:     Professor, are they not separate allegations? They
18are four separate allegations, are they not? He
19manipulates, he distorts, he mistranslates and, on top of
20all that, he denies the Holocaust?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, I think they are bound -- I mean, you can separate
22them out, and they are also very closely connected.
23I think the burden of the charges put forward in Professor
24Lipstad's book is that Holocaust deniers, by definition,
25as it were, manipulate and falsify history, falsify the
26data.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     But if you were to take for a moment ----
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Let the Professor finish his answer.
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, I had, my Lord.
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     You had finished?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
 6 MR IRVING:     If you were to wrench the Holocaust denial
 7allegation out of the book and just leave the rest of it,
 8the manipulation, the distortion and the mistranslation,
 9that would still be a pretty serious allegation to make of
10an historian, would it not?
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Indeed, yes.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     You could not say, "Well, it is OK because we do not
13accuse him of Holocaust denial which is the big one"?
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Indeed, yes.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, it would be a very serious allegation if it were made
16against any historian ----
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     --- in order to prettify the image of Adolf Hitler in
19history he deliberately distorted. These are serious
20allegations ----
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, absolutely. I agree.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     --- to make? Yes. It would render him virtually
23unpublishable in the world of serious writers?
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     What do you think the Second Defendant meant and the First
26Defendant in publishing it when they describe me as being

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 1the most dangerous spokesman for Holocaust denial, the
 2word "dangerous"?
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, I think what was meant by that was that you more than
 4people like, well, I think it is because you had a
 5reputation for being a serious historian in the 1970s,
 61980s, and that, therefore, that gives you a certain
 7authority which is not the case with, say, Professor
 8Faurisson, exProfessor Faurisson, or the other Holocaust
 9deniers, Arthur Butts, and so on.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     So did I suddenly go mad or something that changed me from
11being a translator who did not distort and did not
12manipulate, and I suddenly abandoned all my principles and
13methods and everything I had taught myself and I suddenly
14went wrong in some way? Is this what the allegation is?
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, I have just described what I think the allegation is.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     Apparently, you say that until the 1970s or 1980s I was
17OK?
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, I did not say that. I was talking about your
19reputation.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Reputation?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Even in that case, and when one goes into it (as I did)
22and we have been over that, there are some historians who
23had pointed out in the 1970s and 80s that you did engage
24in distortion and manipulation. Nevertheless, I think,
25and I have tried to convey this in talking about your
26reputation, that you did have quite a widespread

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