Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 76 - 80 of 217

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    Oh dear. I will see how far I get with this one
 1then.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It is for me to make up my mind, when I know
 3what the criticisms are and I know what your answer is,
 4whether I think it is well founded.
 5 MR IRVING:     The allegation is that I have been perverse, if I
 6may put it like that, in suggesting that Hitler was a
 7restraining influence that night of all nights. It turns
 8out -- would you turn to page 48 of your little bundle
 9please, which is F?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Is that the one with the pictures?
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     That is the one with the pictures. On Thursday we found
12out that you knew who Professor Burrin, a Frenchman, was.
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Burrin, a Swiss, I believe.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     You said that yes, he is an academic, an acceptable
15historian with the highest credentials. Is it right that
16he is Professor of International History at the Graduate
17Institute of International Studies in Geneva?
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I will accept your word for it.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. If we go to page 57 of his work, which I have
20extracted in that bundle for your Lordship, do we not find
21there that he expresses precisely the same view as I do?
22In fact, two years before I did in my Goebbels biography,
23so it cannot be derivative in the slightest way, he seems
24to have been surprised by the extent of the destruction,
25Hitler?
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Page 57? Do you mean that?

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Page 48 of the bundle, my Lord, which is page 57 of the
 2book Hitler and the Jews, the Genesis of the Holocaust.
 3By Philip Burrin, who is an intentionalist historian.
 4Would you explain what an intentionalist historian is in
 5the great debate?
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It is not a functionalist historian. I think
 7I know the answer.
 8 MR IRVING:     Very good.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Thank you.
10 MR IRVING:     Your Lordship has grasped it quicker than I ever
11did.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Let us get on.
13 MR IRVING:     Page 57 on this book?
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am not sure I would describe Burrin as an out and out
15intentionalist in his book on Hitler and the Jews.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     "Whilst Hitler could only have endorsed the concept of
17exacting reprisals, namely on the Jews, he seems to have
18been surprised by the extent of the destruction . Soon he
19will be able to gauge its impact. (Jump a sentence) In
20each case Hitler covered for Goebbels who did not derive
21the hoped for benefits from the affair." Is this
22Professor perverse, do you think, for adopting that on the
23basis of----
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I have to say I do not agree with that interpretation.
25I do not agree at all.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, but you would not describe him as perverse?

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It really comes down to how he has arrived at that, the
 2methods he has used to arrive at that conclusion.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Of course, he did not have the Goebbels diaries then.
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Without looking at this in detail, it is very difficult to
 5say.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     My criticisms of what you have to say about the
 8Reichskristallnacht depend to a large extent on the
 9methods you have used to arrive at the conclusions you
10arrive at. I think this is only a brief -- if I recall
11rightly and I may be wrong -- paragraph in a work which
12is almost entirely devoted to the wartime. It is part of
13a very brief broad summary.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     So what are you saying is that this view that Hitler was
15taken by surprise by it and that he covered for Goebbels
16but did nothing else, it is not perverse when it is stated
17by a professor of international history, but it is
18perverse when it is stated by David Irving?
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     First of all, he does say that Hitler authorized the
20holding of spontaneous demonstrations, whatever that
21means. He was surprised by the extent of the
22destruction. I do not accept either of those points of
23view but, as I say, I do not know to what extent this
24rests on his own research, or to what extent this is just
25a very brief summary. I suspect this is just a single
26paragraph. Knowing what I recall of the book, it is

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 1nearly all about the years 1939, 1940, particularly 41 and
 242.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     It is a pretty revolutionary statement for a Professor to
 4make though, is it not, at that time, to come out you and
 5say that he thought that Hitler was not behind the
 6Kristallnacht?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not think he says that.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     It is not exactly a throw away line, is it?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     He says that -- it is speculative , is it not -- he could
10only have endorsed the concept of exacting reprisals. I
11have to say simply I do not agree with that point of view.
12It really comes down to how you arrive at that and the
13documentary basis for it.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Moving on to the next paragraph in the middle of that page
1545 back in your report, you refer to my omitting key
16passages of this kind from his discussion of documents
17such as Hitler's Political Testament. Is this Hitler's
18Political Testament that I am holding in my hand?
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Let me say I do not refer to that. I am referring to Sir
20Martin Gilbert review and I am saying what he says. In
21all this passage I am simply trying to summarise what
22other historians have said.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I know.
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not necessarily endorse every single point they have
25made. I am trying to establish reputation.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     You have created a problem. You understand

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 1that, Professor Evans?
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     And I am trying to find the way through it without any
 4unfairness to Mr Irving. Obviously the views of Sir
 5Martin Gilbert command enormous respect, but I say again
 6in the end it is for me to look at the evidence in huge
 7detail, as we are going to have to, and then look at the
 8criticisms, look at your answer and make up my own mind.
 9Obviously it is of importance to note what Sir Martin
10Gilbert and these others say, but in the end it cannot
11impact very much on my decision.
12 MR IRVING:     In my submission, this witness has relied very
13heavily on sources of a particular colour, if I can put it
14like that, and the reliability which I would challenge,
15then surely I am entitled seriatim to take these sources
16until your Lordship has really run out of patience.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I do not see why you have to take it that
18far, in a way. I have made my view pretty clear.
19I understand why you are doing this. Professor Evans
20possibly regrets one or two sections of his report for
21that reason. Maybe he does not, I do not know. What I am
22anxious to do, I make no secret of this, is to get on to
23the specific criticisms and see how much there is in
24them. Take it rapidly, if you would, Mr Irving.
25 MR IRVING:     I will put on seven league boots. Did Sir Martin
26Gilbert rely on this book, Hitler's Political Testament?

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