Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 71 - 75 of 217

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not accept the concept of traditional enemies of free
 2speech, to start with. I do not accept that there is a
 3concerted campaign. No, I have not seen evidence for
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you familiar with the number of times I have been
 6invited to speak at universities over the last 10 years
 7and the university has then come under pressure to cancel
 8the invitation?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am not, no, but I can quite believe that that is the
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Has this happened to other historians like John Charmley?
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not regard you as an historian, Mr Irving. Let me
13make a distinction between universities and other venues.
14By appearing at a university and speaking in a university,
15I think you lay a claim to being an academic or being a
16scholarly historian which you receive an endorsement from
17by the fact that you appear at a university.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am careful not to create the impression that I am a
19scholar. Nothing would frighten me more.
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I think you try and give that impression in your books.
21You may have a different definition of "scholarship" from
22the one that I have. There is a distinction to be made,
23surely, if you take United States of America where nobody
24stops you from going around making speeches wherever you
25want to apart from universities.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you familiar that I have lectured at the National

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 1Archives in Washington?
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     On what occasion?
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     About five years ago on Hermann Goring.
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am not familiar, no.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you familiar with the fact that I have lectured at
 6Harvard on Adolf Hitler at the invitation of the Master of
 7Harvard, Dr Richard Hunt?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     On what occasion was that?
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     This was 1977, I lectured on Hitler's War.
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, I am familiar with the fact that you have talked to
11many academic institutions in the 1970s, including my own
12college in Cambridge, I believe.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     Indeed. I have spoken at Caius and I have spoken at
14various other colleges around the world until the problems
15arose. Are you familiar with the fact that these problems
16were generated by outside organisations?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I would have to be provided with evidence of that,
18I think.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you familiar with the fact that I was in the
20University of Cork in Southern Ireland?
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, how is it going to help me that
22you were addressing the University of Cork? We really
23must keep an eye on the ball. We have spent a very long
24time deal with these preliminary passages and I can
25understand why, for forensic purposes you are
26concentrating on those earlier passages, but in the end we

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 1must get to the specific criticisms because on that really
 2Professor Evans is hanging his case against you. It
 3stands or falls by that.
 4 MR IRVING:     I agree, but we have just this witness say, "I do
 5not consider you to be a historian", and then it turns out
 6that large numbers of academic bodies consider me to be a
 7historian whom they would willingly hear, were it not for
 8the violence that is threatened if I do attend. This is
 9the reason that I mentioned that fact, my Lord.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes.
11 MR IRVING:     Go to page 44 of your report, please, 2.5.6. Do
12you accept that the Board of Deputies of British Jews in
131919 acknowledge that I am "one of the world's most
14thorough researchers and an exciting and readable
15historian"? You put it in quotation marks.
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I think I can accept that, yes.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     So you did ----
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I would not dispute the fact that you are a thorough
19researcher. I have not disputed that in this case.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     You agree that that report does exist?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I accept your word for it. I have not seen it myself.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you accept that the report is currently lodged in
23the files of the Canadian government where it was placed
24by an organization with the intention of getting me denied
25access to Canada?
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That I would require evidence, I think particularly with

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 1the intention. Since I have not seen the report, I am
 2only citing it second hand here, for the purposes of
 3talking about your reputation as an historian, as
 4a researcher, I am not concerned with any other aspects of
 5the report which, as I say, I have not read myself.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     On paragraph 2.5.8 on the same page, once again you are
 7coming down pretty heavily on the historical profession,
 8are you not? I wonder sometimes what your colleagues say
 9in your common room when you go back to Caius about the
10way you are blackening the name of historians whom you
11disagree with.
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Could you point out to me the blackening of historians'
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     You are saying that those with the general knowledge have
15been kind to me, whereas those who are experts like
16yourself are rightly rude -- is that the burden of that?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No. Let me read you the sentence. I am making a
18distinction between different kinds of historians with
19difference kinds of expertise in reviewing and commenting
20on your work. I quote here: "Those with a general
21knowledge have mostly been quite generous to Irving, even
22where they have found reason to criticise him or disagree
23with his views; but they have also seldom been entirely
24uncritical of Irving's work and his methods". Is that
25blackening their name?
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can I draw your attention to footnote 34?

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     That is the New Statesman 1977. Is that not ten years
 3before I published my biography on Winston Churchill?
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That, I take it, is a review of your book on Hitler.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, so my views on Churchill are neither here nor there
 6in such context.
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     They appear in your work on Hitler.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can I ask you now to turn to page 45, where there is once
 9again reference to my attempt to show that Hitler urged
10restraint in the Reichskristallnacht?
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you consider this to be a completely ludicrous version
13of history, that Hitler was the restraining influence that
14night? Is this your conclusion?
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes. It depends exactly what you mean by "restraint" but
16I think I am summarizing what Hinton Thomas says in that
17review there. I think that is probably his phrase.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     But you devoted quite a lot of this report -- my Lord, I
19think this is something we can dwell on for a moment or
20two, which is the Kristallnacht?
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     We are certainly going to have to spend some
22time on Kristallnacht. Whether this is the right context
23to do it I do not know, because in the end, as I say quite
24often, it is Professor Evans' views and his criticisms
25that matter, not what other historians may have felt.
26 MR IRVING:     

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