Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 86 - 90 of 217

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    I think I said that myself and I do rather
 1a litigant in person and you are, if I may say so,
 2handling your task extremely well, but one of the things
 3that you do learn is to take hints if you are doing it
 4professionally . I understand how difficult it is for you
 5because there is stuff in those first 150 pages which you
 6understandably take fierce objection to.
 7 MR IRVING:     It sets my teeth on edge, a lot of it.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It is not going to bulk very large in my
10 MR IRVING:     Your Lordship knows how your Lordship is thinking
11but, with respect, I do not. You have a poker face and a
12complete mask like demeanour which keeps me totally in the
13dark. People ask me when I go home how have you done and
14I say I not know.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is probably best. Anyway, I have given
16the hint yet again. Mr Rampton is going shortly to ask me
17to make a ruling about it and, if I have to make a ruling,
18you know the way I am thinking at the moment, so let us
19get on.
20 MR IRVING:     Can we leap forward to page 47 of your report,
21please? Harsh words on John Charmley now, a right wing
22historian at the University of East Anglia.
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     What is harsh about that? He is right-wing. I do not
24think he makes any secret of that. He is a former
25colleague of mine.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Does that disqualify somebody if they are right-wing?

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, certainly not.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is enough about Mr Charmley. On to your
 3next point. I am not being flippant at all, but there is
 4nothing there for you, Mr Irving, I do not think, so come
 6 MR IRVING:     Can I ask your Lordship to go to page 26 of the
 7little bundle, please? Recently received, but if your
 8Lordship feels it is irrelevant, then I shall move on.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     He pays you a warm tribute and wishes you
10well in your libel action.
11 MR IRVING:     Can I take you to page 49, please?
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am just saying that I quote Professor Charmley and
13saying that he admires Mr Irving in my report.
14 MR IRVING:     My Lord, if I am referred to as some kind of pariah
15in the academic community whose views are worth nothing,
16I find myself ----
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is not the way I approach it. I am
18trying to find a way round this problem because I can see
19you are not going to take my hint. I have seen plenty of
20evidence, you have shown me a lot of evidence, from very
21distinguished people like Lord Trevor-Roper paying you
22tributes and, as a military historian, I certainly accept
23the evidence that I have heard about the number of people
24who have a very high regard for you. But in the end it is
25not as a military historian that you are appearing really
26in this trial. You are appearing for the very specific

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 1detailed criticisms of your approach made by Professor
 2Evans, and those are what matter.
 3 MR IRVING:     You are talking about assassinations, is this right
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Sorry, where is this.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     On page 49, and the suggestion which is implicit in that
 7paragraph that the British did not carry out
 8assassinations, that I should not have hinted that we did,
 9and Irving's claim that the democracies had no hesitation
10about killing their foreign opponents. Do you accept that
11the British did carry out assassinations in World War II?
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am describing Trevor-Roper's view of your work, and I am
13recounting what he says in a section that is about your
14reputation as an historian, where I try and lay out what
15your reputation amongst professional historians has been
16and is. I am not responsible for justifying every last
17detail of what every historian I quote has written about
18your work.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you reference the assassination of Chancellor Dollfuss
20in 1934?
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am sorry, I am not going to go into the
22assassination of the Austrian Chancellor in 1934. It has
23nothing to do with this case at all. You have to move on,
24Mr Irving. I really am not going to let this case grind
25almost to a halt on peripheral material.
26 MR IRVING:     I am moving on. A 700 page report has been dumped

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 1on me by this expert witness in which he has used this
 2material to blacken my name and set my teeth on edge. It
 3has been very widely quoted and I do not know what your
 4Lordship is attending to or not.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am not attending to other historians' views
 6about the issues I have to decide. In the end they are
 7for me to decide, apart from those who have provided
 9 MR IRVING:     Move to page 57, please. I have leapt 20 questions
10there, my Lord.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I do realize you have. I recognize that.
12 MR IRVING:     2.5.29, please. The allegation that I invented
13sources by Mr Charles Sydnor.
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Once again, this is still in a section that is discussing
15your reputation amongst other historians.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     So you feel quite comfortable in throwing these kinds of
17reports or allegations or opinions of other historians at
18me to criticise my reputation without investigating how
19true they were?
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is not a central part of my report, Mr Irving. I am
21simply trying to establish that some historians have been
22extremely critical of your methods. That includes
23particularly Sydnor and Brozsat. I am aware of the fact
24that you replied to Sydnor and I dealt with that in my
25response to the written questions which you submitted.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Do you adopt Sydnor's criticism? This is

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 1Mr Irving's problem and I am not unsympathetic towards
 2it. You recite the criticisms that Sydnor makes and then
 3you in some way seem to rather disavow them when you come
 4to give evidence. Are you saying that what Sydnor said is
 5a justified criticism? Or are you simply giving it as
 6background, as it were, to your own criticisms? That is
 7his problem as you, I am sure, understand.
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I can see the problem.
 9 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     If you say well, no, I am not making that any part of my
10case, then it may be that Mr Irving will feel we can
11forget about Mr Sydnor.
12 MR IRVING:     Yes. We could do that with a whole number of my
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     What I am saying, trying to be as precise about it as
15possible, is that it seems to me that Sydnor is an
16authoritative critic, but of course I cannot say that
17every one of his criticisms is justified. It is not in
18the end part of my case at all. I am not taking up these
19points and making them in my own treatment of your work.
20I make a whole set of separate points about your work.
21This is to do with your reputation amongst historians.
22 MR IRVING:     Can I draw your attention to the middle sentence
23where you say: "In his efforts to present Hitler in a
24humane light", which is one of the allegations against me,
25"Irving, wrote Sydnor, manipulated sources, invented
26incidents" -- that is a pretty serious allegation --

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