Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 20: Electronic Edition

Pages 176 - 180 of 215

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    Are you familiar with the excellent paper on the murder of
 1General Schleicher that was published by the Institute of
 2History about 35 years ago, giving the entire background
 3of the case?
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I thought you did not read work by other historians,
 5Mr Irving.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     For some historians I make exceptions?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Ah, so you do read work by other historians?
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     This was a documentation. You appreciate the difference
 9between a documentation and a book? Two lines from the
10bottom you say: "Hitler personally marked crosses against
11the names of scores of people on the night in question".
12What evidence do you have for that?
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That is what I understand from my reading. I agree,
14I cite in footnote 11 the sources which I have used for my
15extremely brief account of this.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     So this is one of those cases where the historian has sat
17in his book lined cave and taken four books off a shelf
18and written a fifth, effectively?
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     He has not really added to our knowledge?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not think -- oh, you mean me?
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, if you can show that they are wrong or somebody can
24show that they are wrong, then I would be quite happy to
25accept that.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     If you can take it from me that Field Marshal Milch

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 1described to me personally, sitting at the Execution
 2Council, together with Himmler and the other leading
 3members of that gang, watching as Himmler read out a list
 4of names and they personally approved and wrote little
 5ticks against the names of those to be liquidated which
 6were handed out through the door to the flunkers who
 7ordered it carried out, that this was the way the
 8Execution Council took place, and that Hitler was nowhere
 9near, would you accept that version? It is contained in
10one of the books you have read, the rise and fall of the
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, Mr Irving. That is a recollection a long time after
13the event. It is not a contemporary document. You
14yourself would be the first to impugn the reliability of
15that source if that source if it said something you did
16not like.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you accept that Milsche kept diaries throughout that
18episode and also that Milsche would hardly relate
19something to me which under circumstances could be taken
20as counting against himself if he was a participant in or
21an eyewitness of this Execution Council?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, this is getting rather hypothetical. If you present
23to me documents that demonstrate that what I say here is
24wrong, I will be quite happy to accept it.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     That is not the way it works, Professor.
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I thought it was the way it worked.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     You are saying here in an expert report which you now
 2concede is written on rather flimsy evidence that Hitler
 3personally ----
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not think I did that at all, Mr Irving.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     --- marked crosses against the names of scores of people?
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think if you are wanting to say that there
 7is documentary support for what you write, Mr Irving, and
 8for what Professor Evans criticises, you really ought to
 9be equipped to show Professor Evans what you rely on. For
10example, I mean, did you record what General Milsche was
11telling you about the absence of Hitler, and so on?
12 MR IRVING:     I wrote a whole book about it, my Lord. I wrote
13his biography. He provided his private diaries to me and
14that has been in discovery and in evidence to the Defence
15throughout this case, and I really do not want to hold up
16the matter by producing evidence for that. I have
17only been delayed by the fact that the witness has
18admitted that his evidence for these assertions was based
19on -- his own concession -- very limited sources.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes.
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not think so I said that.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I do not think he did, but the point is that
23it is not terribly satisfactory to have cross-examination
24by assertion, if you follow me.
25 MR IRVING:     Yes.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Sometimes I think it is going to be necessary

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 1to give chapter and verse for what you are asserting.
 2 MR IRVING:     Yes.
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     And I know that makes life difficult for you.
 4 MR IRVING:     It is a flimsy assertion against an even flimsier
 5submission by the witness, if I can put like that. The
 6final sentence there, witness, Professor Evans, is you
 7say, you have quoted where I say: "Hitler ordered state
 8pensions provided for the next of kin of the people
 9murdered in the Night of the Long Knives, as June 30th
1019934 came to be known"?
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you have any reason to challenge that statement?
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, I do not.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     You have held it up there for the delectation of his
15Lordship and others as those it is slightly incredible?
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, I am giving your views on Hitler here. This is the
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     Should I have cut that out then?
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     You describe Hitler as a dictator by consent, he had an
20act of rare magnanimity in ordering state pensions, he was
21a "friend of the arts, benefactor" -- I am quoting you
22here -- "benefactor of the impoverished, defender of the
23innocent, persecutor of the delinquent" ----
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     We will come to that one in a minute.
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     --- this is what I am trying to establish here.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     But are you suggesting, therefore, that if Adolf Hitler in

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 1this rather odd act of generosity, I suppose, ordered
 2bloated pensions provided to the widows of those he has
 3just murdered that I should somehow suppress this because
 420 years later Professor Evans is going to stand in a
 5witness box and say, "This is evidence of Mr Irving's
 6admiration for Hitler" that I should not have mentioned
 7it, therefore.
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It seems to me that it is evidence of your admiration for
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     And you would not, therefore, have mentioned this
11document; you would have pretended this document did not
12exist? Is that the way you would work?
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not understand the question there.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     I cannot understand -- let me put it ----
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Oh, I see what you mean.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     If you were writing a biography of Hitler, would you have
17left this document out?
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Which document?
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     The reference to the pensions.
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, I would have to see the document before I could
21answer that question.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     If you were writing a biography of Hitler and you came
23across a document which said: "The Fuhrer has ordered
24pensions paid to the next of kin of those executed in the
25Night of the Long Knives", would you have left it out?
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, of course not.

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