Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 16 - 20 of 217

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    And, of course, in academic and scholarly discussions, one
 1puts aside political aspects and concentrates on the
 2issues.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     But it is a commonly held view, even among Jewish
 4academics, that the Holocaust is being abused for
 5political purposes now. Are you aware of the writings of
 6Norman Finglestein, for example? Do you have any opinion
 7about his qualifications as an academic or as a writer?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I have -- I am eagerly awaiting his book. He has written
 9an article and a couple of reviews which I think give some
10foretaste, but I would not want to make a judgment on
11these views.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you, by any chance, read what he wrote in The Times
13Literary Supplement, I believe it was, in January,
14suggesting that the whole of the Holocaust propaganda
15campaign started around about the time of the 1967 June
16war?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I think that both Finglestein and Peter Novic, whose book
18I have read with great interest, and Tim Cole.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you identify Peter Novic, University of ----
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     The University of Chicago, yes, and another similar book
21by Tim Cole of the University of Bristol, I think -- are
22talking about the public presentation of the
23Holocaust ----
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are they ----
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     --- and the political ----
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     --- Holocaust deniers in your book?

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, they are not because they are not, they are certainly
 2not denying that i happened in the terms in which
 3I described it in my report. They are talking about the
 4public presentation of history, as in these memorial
 5plaques that you have illustrated. That, I think, is a
 6different thing from the scholarly working up of history.
 7None of them would fall into any of the four, or satisfy
 8any of four, conditions that I have laid down for
 9Holocaust denial. They do not minimise the numbers. They
10do not deny the use of gassing to kill large numbers of
11Jews. They do not deny that is systematic, and they do
12not claim that the evidence was invented or fabricated.
13They are talking about something quite different which is
14the public presentation and use which, indeed, of course,
15by its very nature is going to be subject to political
16influences.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. They are all American academics, are they?
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No. Tim Cole is a British academic. Finglestein, I am
19not sure, I think he is American.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. Would they be able to propagate their views safely
21in this country or in France or in Germany, do you think,
22without fear of either losing their academic privileges or
23even arrest and prosecution?
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, I do not think that is a question
25that is really going to help in this case, if I may say
26so.

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 1 MR IRVING:     My Lord, I am just trying to establish that
 2Holocaust deniers, if I can adopt the witness's phrase, do
 3not have it easy to propagate their views, and if the
 4debate seems lopsided, it is because, on the one hand,
 5people refused to debate and, on the other hand, the
 6people are arrested and locked away.
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, but you had rather veered off Holocaust
 8deniers to the historians who take the view that there has
 9been some politicization of the Holocaust from 1967
10onwards.
11 MR IRVING:     In that case, may I just revert very briefly to
12Professor ----
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I mean, my answer is yes, if that helps. I mean, Dr Cole
14has not suffered at all from his book and Professor
15Novic's book is about to be published in this country.
16 MR IRVING:     You have expressed words of distaste for Professor
17Faurisson who, of course, is no longer a Professor?
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Where do I do this?
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     When you were last standing and the witness box on
20Thursday. I mentioned his name. You said you did not
21consider him to be an academic and you ----
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I think -- I am not sure I said that. I would have to see
23the transcript.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. Are you aware of the damage that was inflicted on
25Professor Faurisson for holding his principles and views,
26for holding to his principles as a Holocaust denier?

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am aware that he was deprived of his university post,
 2most certainly, yes.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you turn, please, to page 57 of the bundle, the
 4little bundle? I am very sorry, it is at bundle E, my
 5Lord.
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, I know.
 7 MR IRVING:     The global bundle. I am afraid that you may not
 8have the photographs there.
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I only have 55 pages, I am afraid.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     So have I.
11 MR IRVING:     In that case I will produce two pages to you. That
12is Professor Faurisson after he was taught a lesson for
13his principles and views. Is this the way you think
14academics should be dealt with?
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Most certainly not, no.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     Thank you very much. The reason I am asking that, my
17Lord, is evident because I wish to bring to the attention
18of the court the dangers that befall somebody in public
19life who is accused of being a Holocaust denier.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Do it, by all means. I am not quite sure
21that I see how that advances your case here.
22 MR IRVING:     Oh, very definitely, my Lord, I submit. I have
23already suggested it in connection with the Hamas and
24Hisbollah allegation; I have been exposed to very severe
25risks. In connection with being accused of being a
26Holocaust denier, I have been exposed to the risk of what

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 1happened to Professor Faurisson. His jaw was smashed so
 2badly, it was wired together for six weeks and he had acid
 3poured in his eyes, and he was a man slightly older than
 4myself.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think I have tried to explain to you
 6earlier that all this sort of thing can be relevant to
 7damage, but it has to be linked to the Defendants.
 8 MR IRVING:     I shall be making a submission on damages later on.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Just bear in mind that that is the way I am
10seeing it.
11 MR IRVING:     As this witness did refer to Professor Faurisson in
12terms of rebuke, I thought it appropriate to show him
13photographs of what happened to people who stick to their
14principle at the other end of the scale.
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not think you can make me responsible for what
16happened to Professor Faurisson.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     No. Witness, you have read or your researchers have read
18very large parts of my diaries and private papers and
19lectures and speeches?
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you at any time in any of those readings come across
22any evidence whatsoever that I was associated with the
23Hamas or the Hisbollah terrorist leaders or with Lewis
24Farakan, the notorious black American anti-semite?
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, that was not what I was asked to do, so we did not
26read them for that purpose.

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