Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 91 - 95 of 217

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    Can I draw your attention to the middle sentence
 1"(such as Hitler's supposed rebuke of the Judge Freisler
 2at the conspirators' trial) and once more, as so often,
 3failed to give proper documentary references".
 4     Professor, in your work at the Institute of
 5History in Munich though my papers, did you not find the
 6papers of Hitler's Adjutant Schaub?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Mr Irving, you did not respond to that criticism in your
 8reply to Professor Sydnor in Central European History.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No, but, I think, Mr Irving, you may not have
10heard or digested what Mr Irving said. He said: "It is
11not in the end part of my case at all. I am not taking up
12these points and making them in my own treatment of your
13work. I make a whole set of separate points about your
14work".
15     I understand that really to mean that it is what
16appears from about page, I do not know, 120 onwards which
17Professor Evans relies on and he does not rely, unless
18they happen to be in both, on the criticisms by Syndor.
19I would have thought that that is sufficient for you to be
20able to say, "Well, right, I can forget about the
21recitations of other historians' views and get on to what
22matters".
23 MR IRVING:     Except that I would have submitted, my Lord, that
24in every single instance where he has produced such an
25episode, I am able to justify myself, as, for example, and
26this is not without significance as far as his credibility

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 1as a witness is concerned and his credit worthiness.
 2I will take him to one further episode and then we will
 3skip another 20 pages. (To the witness): Page 59. You
 4applaud, shall we say, John Lukacs' attack on me, is that
 5right, for having invented sources and all the usual
 6allegations?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, I do not applaud it. I am summarizing it as part of a
 8discussion of your reputation amongst historians.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Right. He writes: "Mr Irving's factual errors are beyond
10belief. He says that '40 per cent of the prisoners in
11southern France turned out to be Russians" as one example
12of how erroneous and factually erroneous I am?
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can we go very rapidly to make progress, not just to the
15review which we will have a look at, but to page 23 of
16bundle F?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is that a telegram from General Devers to General Marshal
19and General Eisenhower?
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Does the sentence that has been ringed on it say:
22"Prisoners captured are between 1,500 and 2,000 of which
23about 40 per cent are Russians"?
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, if I just explain that this telegram was issued on
2517th August. It notes that the 6th Army Corp. were ashore
26by 1800 hours. "They occupied all small towns in this

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 1area which they say delineated by map references, and they
 2are advancing on Toulon which the 3rd Division expects to
 3reach by the morning and landing operations were
 4continuing. The prisoners captured are between 1500 and
 52,000 of which about 40 per cent are Russians".
 6     So the first point is that -- well, there are
 7many points -- the document does not say that 40 per cent
 8of the prisoners in southern France turned out to be
 9Russians. It just says that 40 per cent of the prisoners
10taken in a small area of southern France, Near Toulon, in
11the first few hours of an American landing were Russians.
12It does not say the Russians were volunteers. So it seems
13to me that this is an egregious misinterpretation of this
14document. You are blowing up a small report into a large
15generalization.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     This is the report by the Commanding General in command of
17the entire sector, the entire landing operation, in
18southern France. I do not really want to spend more time
19on this than to say that, quite clearly, the reference in
20my book depended solely on this telegram from Eisenhower's
21personal papers.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Professor Evans, it is right, is it not? I
23mean, this is from the Advanced Detachment of Allied
24Forces Headquarters for the attention, for his eyes only,
25to Generals Marshall and Eisenhower. It can hardly be a
26reference to some little skirmish. I mean, it must be a

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 1global report. Is Mr Irving not entitled to make the
 2point?
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     My Lord, he is talking about a few hours of a landing in a
 4relatively small area with 1500 and 2,000 captured
 5prisoners which is really a very small number. I do think
 6it is a manipulation of this source to generalize about 40
 7per cent of the prisoners in southern France which must
 8refer, surely, to the whole of the southern half of France
 9over the whole period in which the fighting was going on.
10 MR IRVING:     No I think you will find ----
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I think this is a classic example of ----
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     --- before the words ----
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     --- of Mr Irving's blowing up a small source into a large
14generalization.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     I think you will find that before the words "40 per cent"
16the phrase is "in the initial phase of the attack 40 per
17cent", but he has cut those words out?
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     If you present me with the document, I would be happy to
19concede that if he has manipulated that.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is a very good illustration of the
21problems we run into. You have not got the war between
22the Generals here, have we?
23 MR IRVING:     No, I have not got it here with me, my Lord, but we
24have a much more serious problem with this witness, and
25this is that he has repeatedly relied on documents which
26are not in the H1 series ----

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am sorry, but the fact remains they were not
 2volunteers. Russians who joined the German armies were in
 3many cases, effectively, forced to do so.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     They were called Hilsswillige, were they not?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     They were not volunteers.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     "Hiwis", is that right?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That, of course, is a classic piece of Nazi rhetoric.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is it not true that they joined with the intention of
 9fighting the Bolsheviks and then found they had been sent
10to another front?
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Not in all cases, not at all, no. They were -- Russian
12prisoners of war in Germany were in extremely difficult
13conditions. Some 3 million were, effectively,
14deliberately left to starve and die by the Germans in the
15course of war, and the alternative to being pressed into
16the German Army was quite clear to many of them.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     John Lukacs has published a book recently, has he not?
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, may I just try to help you because
19I do see your problem and I am actually sympathetic with
20it. If I tell you that my approach to these opening
21paragraphs, pages, where the views of other historians
22about your work are recited at length and in a very
23critical vein, if I tell you my attitude to them is going
24to be that they count for virtually nothing, so far as
25I am concerned, when I come to judge the criticisms made
26of you by Professor Evans, and I go a little bit further

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