Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 161 - 165 of 217

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     That was the big fire storm, was it not, that summer?
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, that is right.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Operation Gomorrah, the British call it?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, it is 48,000 in the captions of Hitler's War which
 6I cite on page 109.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is 48,000 a number that you had seen regularly in
 8connection with air raid victims in Hamburg, that
 9operation, the fire storm raids?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No. I go into this in the same paragraph, that the
11probable number, the generally agreed number is between
1235,000 and 40,000, that 74,000, or nearly twice 74,000 as
13you put in a letter to The Spectator in 1989, is a wild
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     So you rely entirely on that letter to The Spectator, do
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, 50,000, I do not know where you get the figure from.
18It is plucked out of the air of 48,000.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     So in 1989 you say he put it far higher than I did,
20claiming that, while 74,000 people had died at
21Auschwitz, "nearly twice as many died in the July 1943
22RAF Dacken Hamburg"?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That is right.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     That is the quotation from my letter to The Spectator, is
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.

.   P-161

 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can we have a look at that letter to The Spectator; it is
 2worth having a look at?
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Where do we find it?
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is in your bundle.
 5 MR IRVING:     It is not in my letter. I do not know. If we
 6are lucky, it is in the bundle.
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Well, I think we will get it from E12, page
 8312, will we not?
 9 MR IRVING:     I do want to see it.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, I think that is fair.
11 MR IRVING:     Otherwise, I can tell you from memory what the
12actual quotation is.
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I have to see it, I am afraid.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     You have to see it, you are afraid?
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     Otherwise, I will tell you from memory and I will bring
17the letter in tomorrow. There is only one word missing.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can anyone on the Defendant's side help?
19 MR RAMPTON:     We are trying, my Lord; it is a chase to find
20Irving's documents.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     The trouble is if we come back to it then we
22have to start all over again, that is the problem.
23 MR RAMPTON:     I agree. Let me put it like this. If the word
24"as" was in after the word "many", would that change the
25meaning of that sentence?
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, of course it would.

.   P-162

 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     If it said, "nearly twice as many as died in the July 1943
 2air raid", would that change the meaning?
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, of course. That would make it 30, 37, is that
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would it totally deflate the point of the whole paragraph
 6and the paragraph before, as far as exaggerating air raid
 7figures goes?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, it would not, because you describe, you give the
 9number as nearly 50,000 on page 441 of Goebbels.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is not the commonly accepted figure for these series of
11air raids on Hamburg 48,000?
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No. It is between 35,000 and 40,000.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     On page 2, I am sorry, the next page, 112, line 2, you say
1431,647 dead had been found?
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     And you are familiar with the pictures of what it looked
17like inside bunkers?
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, indeed.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     The flat tyres, the little heaps of ash which had been
20human beings? Have you seen the photographs on the
21streets of the heaps ash?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Indeed I have. I take it that that is why official German
23estimates at the time put the total as somewhat higher at
2435,000 or even 40,000.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     And you have never seen a figure of 48,000?
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Only in your work.

.   P-163

 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you read the official history of the strategic air
 2offensive against Germany by Nobel Frankland and Martin
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, but I am relying here on work produced in Hamburg by
 5Hamburg historians.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     You do accept, though, that if my version of that
 7quotation is correct and you accidently or otherwise
 8omitted the word "as", your entire argument that I have
 9doubled the number of people is unjustified and you are
10going to have to withdraw that, are you not?
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, because, as I say here, I cite it from Eatwell.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     So we will put the blame on Professor Eatwell?
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, if indeed the word "as" is missing.
14 MR RAMPTON:     We cannot find it in the Eatwell documents. I am
15sorry, it is not in the Evans' documents.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     In Eatwell book?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No. It is in an article.
18 MR RAMPTON:     We will check that.
19 MR IRVING:     I have the actual original Spectator letter at
20home. I know that, my Lord, I was looking at it last
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Bring it in if you would not mind. We are
23not going to be able to track it down today.
24 MR IRVING:     If your Lordship thinks it is relevant.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think in fairness to you, if Professor
26Evans has misinterpreted what you said, I think it is

.   P-164

 1right that I should know that. I do not think this is a
 2point that is at the heart of the case, but in fairness to
 3you, you ought to have the opportunity to show it to me.
 4 MR IRVING:     It is at the heart of the allegation that I happily
 5double air raid figures to make a point.
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Well, that is one aspect of a broader point
 7that Professor Evans is making ----
 8 MR IRVING:     Yes.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     -- about what is described, rather
10inappropriately, as moral equivalence.
11 MR IRVING:     Also it is useful at various other levels all the
12way down to how easy it is to make simple errors that can
13totally innocently reverse the meaning of a document.
14This literally reverses the meaning of that particular
15document, the one word.
16     So all the rest of that paragraph about the
17probable number, therefore, is between 35,000 and 40,000
18(I am on page 112 like 7), "Irving's wildly invariably
19categorical statements of 48,000", just like today I still
20say 48,000, nearly 50,000 or nearly twice 74,000, that of
21course is the wrong bit, is it not?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     If that is that true of course it is wrong, yes, and I
23would withdraw it.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I really think we have probably got
25everything we possibly could out of that paragraph.
26 MR IRVING:     

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