Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 131 - 135 of 217

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    In other words, I should have done what an establishment
 1that somebody as powerful as Goring could have
 2been unfamiliar with what was going on, should I?
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It seems to me a responsible historian should comment on
 4that statement, yes.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     He should just have said, the documents suggest this but
 6common sense suggests differently? Is it perverse not to
 7make such a comment, just to leave the documents to speak
 8for themselves?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     What we are dealing with here is the allegation that you
10are a Holocaust denier, and my point there simply that
11what you are saying in the Goring book is not incompatible
12with your being a Holocaust denier, although in your reply
13to the Defence you say that it is.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can we go on to page 106? We have now crossed the 100
15mark. Professor, will you accept that I have let you off
16a lot of hooks which I considered were buried in the first
17100 pages?
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That risks undoing the good that you have
19just pointed out you have done as he will ask what hooks
20and then we will be back.
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I promise not to ask that, my Lord. I will not accept
22it.
23 MR IRVING:     Page 106, halfway down paragraph 1, the second
24paragraph on the page, you say, "Within a couple of years,
25however, Irving was declaring himself to be an expert on
26the subject".

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     When have I declared myself to be an expert? We are
 3talking here about the mid 1980s, are we not? Within a
 4couple of years Irving was declaring himself to be an
 5expert on the Holocaust?
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I take that to be 1988, actually.
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     1988.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It is within a couple of years of 1986, and
10that is Zundel.
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I follow it on by talking about Zundel, where you were
12appearing as an expert witness.
13 MR IRVING:     Was I appearing as an expert witness on the
14Holocaust or as an expert witness on Adolf Hitler's role
15in directing the Third Reich?
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     As I recall, you were appearing as an expert witness on
17the Second World War.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     So, in other words, not an expert on the Holocaust?
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I think that is included. The point in any case is that
20you were asked on the numbers killed in the Holocaust, you
21gave your opinion as I quote it there, and therefore you
22are lending the imprimatur of your expertise to those
23views. If you did not have any expertise on the numbers
24killed in the Holocaust, presumably you would have said
25that you did not have any expertise.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Defence counsel is there putting something to me and

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 1asking me for a comment, and I begin my reply, the last
 2three lines on that page with, "I am not familiar with any
 3documentary evidence of any such figure".
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No. You have the emphasis wrong. "I am not
 5familiar with any documentary evidence". I think that is
 6fair, Mr Irving, if you read on.
 7 MR IRVING:     For the purpose of what I am saying, my Lord, it is
 8I am not familiar. I am not claiming to be a Holocaust
 9expert?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Mr Irving, here you claim in the witness box in that
11particular trial, "I am not familiar with any documentary
12evidence of any such figure of 6 million, it must have
13been of the order of 100,000 or more but to my mind it was
14certainly less than the figure which is quoted, 6
15million", and so on. You were giving that testimony as an
16expert. In August 1988 you told an audience in Toronto,
17"I have now begun over the last few months going around
18the archives with a completely open mind looking for the
19evidence myself because of Auschwitz, just to take that
20one cardinal tent pole of the case, if Auschwitz itself
21was not an extermination factory, what is the evidence
22that it was"? You claimed that you were looking in 40
23different government and private archives to see what they
24had on Auschwitz. You were writing a book on Auschwitz
25according to one of your speeches.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can halt your flood there and say----

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     He is answering the question.
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am trying to answer your question. You said that this
 3final book you claimed you were writing on Auschwitz would
 4pull off a coup even more spectacularly than exposing the
 5Hitler diaries as a fake, and all that seems to me to be
 6evidence that you were proclaiming yourself to be an
 7expert on the Holocaust. You said you had been fined in a
 8German court. In 1992 you said you had been fined in a
 9German court for uttering an opinion, a sincerely held
10opinion, "an opinion, I would venture to add, which I hold
11as an expert on the Third Reich", and the opinion was that
12the gas chambers shown to tourists in Auschwitz was a
13fake. That seem to me to constitute a claim for expertise
14on the Holocaust. You are writing a book about Auschwitz.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     I did not say that I am an expert on the Holocaust, did
16I? I said I am an expert on the Third Reich, is that
17right?
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     You were claiming expertise by saying that you were doing
19an enormous amount of research on Auschwitz.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Excuse me. Is it not right I did not say I am doing it, I
21have begun recently visiting the archives, is that right?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Indeed, and you have ----
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is that immediately? Does one become an instant expert by
24visiting the archives? Is that the inference one is
25giving?
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     You said that your opinion that you were fined for in

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 1Germany you held as an expert on the Third Reich, which of
 2course includes the policy of exterminating the Jews,
 3although you may not think so.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Proceeding to page 107, paragraph 3, it is your
 5contention, am I right in understanding, that somebody who
 6seeks to suggest that the figures have been exaggerated is
 7a Holocaust denier?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, that is clearly not true. It is a matter of
 9emphasis. As you know, estimates of the figures have
10varied between about 5.1 and 6.1 or over 6 million.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     In the individual operations ----
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     So the person who, like Raul Hilberg, whose opinion
13I respect, would say that it is in the sort of low 5
14millions would no doubt think that claims of over 6
15million were exaggerated, but that does not make him a
16Holocaust denier.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am talking about the component atrocities like their
18shootings and so on.
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are these figures absolutely cast in stone or is it
21possible that any of these individual figures have been
22exaggerated by the officers concerned?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     These are -- we are talking about the Einsatzgruppen
24report, is that right?
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, the body counts by the Einsatzgruppen.
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     

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