Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 186 - 190 of 217

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Initially, yes. I think that is why he went into
 2Auschwitz. I do not think that is how he came out.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     He is a kind of eyewitness with first hand experience, is
 4he?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, he is a curious and interesting figure.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     A curious and interesting figure?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     --- who seems to have been, I am trying to find my
 8references to it. It is on page 192 of my report.
 9Rassinier was a Holocaust denier who published his book
10with Grabert Verlag, which is a well-known Holocaust
11denial publishing house in Germany.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Everybody in your vocabulary is a Holocaust denier,
13Holocaust denial, right-wing extremist?
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I did not say right-wing extremist.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Let the witness finish his answer.
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     This what this trial in part is about.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is it more significance that in fact he was a left winger
18who was incarcerated in Auschwitz because of his political
19views?
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It seems that he was beaten up by a communist fellow
21prisoner for having failed to pay his respects to the
22former German communist leader Thalmann, who was in the
23camp, and that this seems to have turned him against the
24communist party, and that he seems to have been well
25treated by the an SS guard. Certainly after the war he
26defended the SS and started to deny the existence of gas

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 1chambers, asserting that the Jews are mainly responsible
 2for starting the second world war and so on.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Unlike yourself and myself, this was a man who had been in
 4Auschwitz and so possibly his word deserves some kind of
 5respect.
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am not sure he was in Auschwitz.
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Buchenwald, was he not?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Buchenwald I think.
 9 MR IRVING:     I think he was also in Auschwitz at some stage.
10Anyway he was in the German concentration camp system and
11he wrote about it.
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That is why I consider it a curious case that he had the
13views that he had.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     And I therefore did the wrong thing by writing an
15afterword to his book?
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I certainly think you did the wrong thing in writing an
17afterword to his book without actually having read the
18thing and making statements about the book in that
19afterword.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Did I say in my afterword I have read this book and find
21it jolly good?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I think one assumes it. You said things about Rassinier's
23views in your afterword which makes me assume that you are
24familiar with them.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am familiar with them to the extent that I have just
26described them to the court. He was a left winger who was

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 1sent to the concentration camp for his political views.
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     So you were familiar with his views then on the Holocaust.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     I have always known the fact that he has been a doubter
 4and I see no reason at all why I should ----
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I find it difficult to know what we are disputing here in
 6that case.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     What we are disputing is on what basis you say that my
 8views derived from Paul Rassinier?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I said ultimately. I am quite prepared to accept that
10there may have been intervening stages for his views. For
11example ----
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     If I have never read any of his books, how can my views as
13far as the death roll and anything else possibly have
14derived from Mr Rassinier? You now accept that this is
15just another of your wild and unsubstantiated assertions,
16is it not?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, because his views then became taken up into the
18general discourse of this particular -- I do not want to
19keep using the words "Holocaust denial" but I suppose it
20is unavoidable -- that they were represented by a number
21of other people.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     He just wanted to shoe horn his name in somehow, is that
23right?
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     The idea is in his book and in his work it is put forward
25by you, the same view, and it seems therefore reasonable
26to conclude that somehow it has found its way from him to

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 1you, since it has no evidential basis.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     On page 120 now -- we will leave Mr Rassinier -- at
 3paragraph 24, you say what Irving did concede in his 1992
 4speech was that there were some authorised mass shootings
 5on the Eastern Front.
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Unauthorized.
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     What page?
 8 MR IRVING:     Page 120, my Lord, of his report. You say that
 9I conceded this in 1992. Had I ever denied that there had
10been shootings on the Eastern Front? Does not the word
11"concede" imply that I was now reversing a previously
12held stand or conviction?
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No. I did not mean it to. I made it quite clear that you
14say this repeatedly, that there were unauthorized mass
15shootings of Jews behind the Eastern front.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     In other words you have used the word "conceded" as just
17another loaded word you can use to help put some spice in
18the paragraph and flavour----
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not think it is that spicey, Mr Irving.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     It was not before, but you put in a word like "concede" or
21on the next page 121, first line, "Irving agreed once more
22conceding that"?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     You have to put that in the context of what I say in the
24previous paragraph, which is where you go through the
25usual litany of stuff about casting doubt on the estimate
26of the numbers killed. You are trying to say that there

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 1was never any written order from Himmler stating that
 2Hitler decided the Final Solution and so on and so forth.
 3I am using the word "concede" here to balance out what
 4I say in the previous paragraphs. What I am saying really
 5is that your views conform to those of Holocaust deniers,
 6but in this case you do say that there are some
 7unauthorized mass shootings.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     The words Holocaust denier are becoming more and more
 9meaningless as we progress. If you look at the first on
10page 121, "Irving agreed once more", conceding (this is
111995) there again these are loaded words, Irving agreed
12once conceding that "there is no doubt in my mind that on
13the Eastern Front large numbers of Jews were massacred by
14criminals with guns, SS men, Ukranians, Lithuanians,
15whatever, to get rid of them". That is a strange kind of
16Holocaust denier.
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     What I am saying here is that Holocaust deniers, including
18Monsieur Faurisson, whom I quote on the previous page as
19saying the same kind of thing, agreeing with you, have
20always admitted or said that there were unauthorized
21massacres of Jews behind the Eastern Front. Therefore,
22that is not evidence of, as it were, not being a Holocaust
23denier. That has always been a concession they have made
24to those who have argued that the Nazis killed large
25numbers of Jews. You yourself have now of course admitted
26in the course of this trial that there were up to a

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