Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 151 - 155 of 217

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I find that a very difficult question to answer. I am not
 2a moral philosopher.
 3 MR IRVING:     Do you not later on in your report say that it is
 4totally wrong for me to suggest that Dresden would now be
 5a war crime if it was repeated?
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not think you say that, you say that it is a
 7certified war crime, I do not believe it has been
 8certified as a war crime. That is not to say that
 9I approve of it, but we are not really dealing here with
10the moral issues or with what happened. We are dealing
11with your presentation. In my view, this selection of
12illustrations is imbalanced.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     Well, go to the next book then, "Nuremberg, the Last
14Battle", where once again you find fault with my selection
15of illustrations, although on this occasion I have
16included victims of what can loosely be called the
17Holocaust. I have obtained from a German sale an original
18soldier's album from the Balkans showing these German
19soldiers brutally stringing up obviously defenceless
20civilians and hanging them. They are the most brutal
21photographs I have ever seen. They are nightmare
22photographs. Yet here too you find fault with what I have
23done.
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Let me just read your captions: "Punished",
25headline, "... snapshots from a German soldier's photo
26album. The daily routine of a cruel warfare in the

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 1Balkans. A German soldier is found mutilated. The German
 2troops take reprisals stringing up the men folk in the
 3village like washing on a line. One by one, a chair
 4kicked away ... (reading to the words) ... and then
 5painful death by strangulation. For crimes like these,
 6German Generals are executed at Nuremberg ..."
 7     Second heading: "And unpunished. No Allied
 8General is ever called to account for the appalling fire
 9raids on Japan, above, or Dresden, left and below. In
10each of these 1945 raids about 100,000 innocent civilians
11are burned alive", and we know that that is a grossly
12exaggerated figure, "in what is now only universally
13recognised as a crime against international law" which
14I do not believe it is.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     We will leave that one -- we will not chase
16that one.
17 MR IRVING:     Professor, you are not an expert on international
18law. I have a lot of evidence that it is, my Lord, but I
19am not going to put it to the court.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     We will not chase that one. I think it is
21not the point.
22 MR IRVING:     Yes, but on the photographs here again, it seems I
23just cannot do right. My Lord, you do not have the
24photographs in front of you, do you?
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No, but I think this is not an unimportant
26point, I think I can get them quite easily. I know

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 1exactly the ones that are being referred to.
 2 MR IRVING:     Yes. It is a whole page of photographs, snapshots
 3from a soldier's album showing the reprisals they have
 4taken against these people in a Balkan village.
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, you do make it clear that they are reprisals for what
 6you call the mutilation of a German soldier.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     And I do have to admit that I have not published the most
 8gruesome photographs for obvious reasons of taste.
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That did not stop you publishing the photographs of the
10victims of the Hamburg bombing raid.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Believe me, the ones that I did not publish in the
12Nuremberg book were unpublishable.
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     What I am trying to establish here is that you are trying
14to set up an equivalence between the two sides in order to
15diminish the importance of the Nazi extermination of the
16Jews.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     If an author has ----
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     And, indeed, I mean, in some sense, I think these captions
19and illustrations do have the effect of suggesting that
20what the Allies did was worse than what the Germans did.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Worse?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Because they got away with it scott-free.
24 MR IRVING:     If an author has sincerely held views ----
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     And because the pictures are more -- have larger numbers,
26more gruesome, and so on.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     If an author has sincerely held views on the morality of
 2what both sides did in World War II, by way of killing
 3innocent people and civilians, is this grounds for him to
 4be held up to public ridicule and opprobrium and obloquy?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     This is systematic distortion, I think, in your
 6presentation of these pictures, the selection that you
 7make.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is not the systematic distortion that practised by those
 9who have suppressed the evidence of crimes that the Allies
10committed during World War II? I do not really want to go
11far down this particular road, his Lordship will not allow
12us.
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am not here to defend the bombing of Dresden and the
14bombing of Hamburg, goodness knows. I do not think that
15these have been suppressed at all. There has been an
16enormous amount of debate and discussion about these and
17passionately argued on both sides.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     What about an author's right to write about it if he has
19these views sincerely, can he do so without fear ----
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I think an author has ----
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     --- of being labelled a Holocaust denier?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, I think an author has a view to try to maintain a
23certain balance when talking about the atrocities, to use
24that word, committed on both sides.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     And I do not think you do that.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have I not had a record ever since my very first book
 2of speaking out against this kind of air warfare right up
 3to the present day in Kosovo, and does this not entitle me
 4to adopt a kind of moral equivalency between the two
 5crimes, although, obviously, there is no comparison on
 6scale?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, but what you are doing is to try to establish, both
 8in terms of numbers as I am arguing in this action and in
 9terms of the atrocities, the impression to your readership
10and your audience that the allied bombing of German cities
11was as bad as or worse than the Nazi killing of Jews in
12Auschwitz and elsewhere. That is really what this is
13about.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     In a few pages' time you say, "On one particular night we
15only killed 17,000 people by burning them alive in 20
16minutes", is that right?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Could you point me to that passage?
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     Page 114.
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Line 5, you are suggesting that killing 17,600 people by
21burning them alive in the space of 20 minutes is in some
22way, I do not know, not a crime?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No. What I say here is that ----
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Read it out, would you, Professor Evans,
25since that suggestion is being put?
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     

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