Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 181 - 185 of 215

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. So, in other words, you are criticising me for doing
 2something that you too would have done, is that correct?
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, that is to say, if the document bears, you know,
 4sustains the interpretation you put on it.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Now, moving on to the final sentence of that paragraph
 6where you mockingly have quoted where have apparently
 7said: "Hitler, according to Irving, was a 'friend of the
 8arts, benefactor of the impoverished, defender of the
 9innocent, persecutor of the delinquent'", is this not --
10my memory may be wrong and his Lordship is already looking
11it up -- a slightly mocking entry at the beginning of a
12chapter where, having set that out, I then ----
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Sorry, could I have the 1991 edition? The first section,
14the first file?
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     Has your Lordship find it?
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     109.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, I have.
18 MR IRVING:     Yes. I do not have it in front me, but my
19recollection is that the way I used that was slightly
20mockingly offsetting it against what then follows.
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not think that offsets it. This is the "popular
22dictator, friend of the arts, benefactor of the
23impoverished, defender of the innocent, persecutor of the
24delinquent. In an early Cabinet meeting in June 8th 1983
25he had come out against the death penalty for economic
26sabotage, arguing, 'I am against the death sentence

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 1because it is irreversible. The death sentence should be
 2reserved for only the gravest crimes, particularly those
 3of a political nature'", and so on. So it does not seem
 4to be a kind of ironic or sarcastic setting off.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Then is there what we call a topic sentence for what
 6follows, that having set out the topic sentence, I then
 7hang the meat on it, so speak?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not think -- I mean, it is there in black and white.
 9"Friend of the arts, benefactor of the impoverished,
10defender of the innocent, persecutor of the delinquent".
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     But do you agree that what follows then effectively hangs
12the meat on that particular topic sentence?
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, it refers back both backwards and forwards. If you
14like, it is a linking sentence.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. Can you now go forward please to page 213?
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Are you leaving the Night of the Long Knives.
17 MR IRVING:     I have left it entirely, my Lord, yes.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can I just ask one question? Professor
19Evans, it seems to me -- I may be wrong about this -- the
20sort of main point on the Night of the Long Knives is
21whether or not Hitler was in any way complicit or involved
22in the murder of 90 former associates of the Nazi Party?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, that is correct, my Lord.
24 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Mr Irving has, as I understand it, put to you that Hitler
25had nothing to do with it, it was Heydrich?
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am not sure that is what he says.

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 1 MR RAMPTON:     I think the position is in the book Hitler is
 2guilty of seven only ----
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I see.
 4 MR RAMPTON:     --- out of 82 or 90, whatever it is.
 5 MR IRVING:     Can I be more specific? He was guilty originally
 6of seven. Eventually, over the next few days he was told
 7it was 84 or 90 and in private he expressed annoyance to
 8the people who brought the message saying, "It has got out
 9of hand" and this is the evidence of the Adjutants
10Bruchner and Schaub, whose papers I quoted on various
11occasions, and, in fact, there is a letter written by
12Victor Lutze, who was the successor of Rume to Himmler
13four years later harking back to that period saying that
14the Fuhrer was very angry that so many people had been
15killed, including some of his closest friends. That is
16one sentence that sticks in his mind.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     So to that extent, I am grateful to you,
18Mr Rampton, he is disapproving what happened, and I just
19wanted to know, Professor Evans, whether in the light of
20your knowledge of what happened, whether that is an
21account you accept?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No.
23 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Can you elaborate slightly?
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Sorry. I have been asked to keep my answers short.
25 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     I know. It is very difficult to get it right.
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, Hitler was directly responsible for these murders and

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 1these crimes.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Thank you. I am sorry, Mr Irving.
 3 MR IRVING:     In that case I will just have to re-examine briefly
 4on that. You say he is directly responsible. Do you have
 5any evidence whatsoever for that statement on the basis of
 6your admittedly flimsy reading on the matter?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, certainly. I mean I quote this in footnote 11 of
 8page 209.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Other authors. Had any of them had access to the private
10diaries of Dr Joseph Goebbels covering the Night of the
11Long Knives which I had?
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, Kershaw's Hitler certainly and Fry's National
13Socialist Rule in Germany, both of those. The third book
14I mention there is not really about that, but about the
15legal proceedings after 1945 concerned with trying to
16bring the perpetrators to justice.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you read Kershaw's Hitler in this respect?
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, I cite it there.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would it surprise to you notice that he has made no use
20whatsoever of the new Goebbels' diaries, and corresponded
21with him about this?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     In the entire book?
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I would have to check that up. I find that difficult to
25believe.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can we now ----

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It depends what you mean by the "new Goebbels' diaries".
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Well, the ones that I found in Moscow, the ones that
 3I brought back from Moscow in 1992.
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not think that is right, Mr Irving.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Well, I shall leave my question as it was, that
 6I corresponded with him about that and does it not
 7surprise you to hear that he told me he had not made use
 8of them?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It does because that is not my understanding. You would
10have to show me the letter before I could accept that.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, but we are going to make progress now, please, to
12page 213. We are now dealing with the assassination, with
13various things on which I appear to have exonerated
14Hitler. Beginning with the previous page: "Charles
15Sydnor found that I portrayed Hitler not as a monster but
16as a fair-minded statesman of considerable chivalry."
17     Would you have portrayed Hitler as a monster,
18Professor Evans? Do you think that Hitler should be
19portrayed as monster?
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I think I am summarizing Sydnor there.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, but I am asking you. Do you think that Hitler should
22be portrayed as a monster? In other words, am I to be
23criticised for not portraying Hitler as a monster?
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, let us take the full sentence there, not as a
25monster but as a fair-minded statesman of considerable
26chivalry, who never resorted", and so and so forth: "Who

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