Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 186 - 190 of 215

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    Well, let us take the full sentence there, not as a
 1never resorted to the assassination of foreign opponents;
 2who never intended to harm the British Empire and wanted
 3peace with Britain after June 1940, and who attacked the
 4Soviet Union in 1941 only as a preventative measure."
 5This is Sydnor. This is in a section in which I am
 6commenting and begins in the middle of page 210. I am
 7recounting a number of authors who have considered that
 8your position is extremely favourable to Hitler. I think
 9here again I am trying to -- I am in a slight difficulty
10that I am quoting the views of other authors -- I am
11trying to establish that it is not merely a quirk of
12Professor Lipstadt that she says that you are an admirer
13of Hitler, because this is a view that has been adopted by
14a number of other writers. If you want me to say whether
15Hitler was a monster or not ----
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     That was the question.
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     --- if you want to put in those terms, yes, he was a
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, he was a monster.
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is undeniable.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     We now turn the page, the specific allegations are that
22I said that he never resorted to the assassination of
23foreign opponents. Is that correct? Is that a true
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     This is what Sydnor says, how Sydnor says you portray
26Hitler. He is not ----

.   P-186

 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     But you have quoted him.
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, I am quoting him.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can I ask you on the basis of your knowledge as an
 4historian of that period ----
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am not quoting Sydnor as saying that all these things
 6are entirely wrong.
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is where we get into difficulties, is it
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     What we want to concentrate on, Mr Irving,
11I think is really where Professor Evans states his own
13 MR IRVING:     Rather than the views of other people about views
14of other people.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Rather than the views of other people.
16 MR IRVING:     Yes.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It is not your fault that you pick up these
18references to other historians because they are there to
19be picked up, but what is going to help me is when you
20tackle Professor Evans about his views about your
21portraying Hitler in a favourable light rather than more
23 MR IRVING:     Yes. On the facing page -- I will try to move
24forward and your Lordship will appreciate that I am
25abandoning good points there. I am doing it willingly in
26the cause of making court progress.

.   P-187

 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes. I have tried to say that I understand
 2why you are being distracted, as it were, by these
 3references to other historians. That is not your fault.
 4 MR IRVING:     On the foot of page 214 you have, metaphorically
 5speaking, raised your eyebrows at the fact that one of
 6Hitler's doctors recorded in his diary the fact that
 7Hitler had described his future biographer in terms that
 8appeared to fit me, if I can put it like that?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes. An interesting ----
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, a very simple question.
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     --- put.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     If that diary does exist then I am perfectly justified to
13quote that whole passage, am I not?
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, it is an interesting comment on your attitude of your
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     A comment on my attitude?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, what you conceive was your mission.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     If you had got that diary first, you being admittedly not
19English but Welsh, I suppose you would still feel yourself
20qualified by Hitler as being an Englander?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I think that Germans, unfortunately, do include the Welsh
22amongst the English, yes.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, unfortunately. You would have quite happily have
24quoted that, would you now, if you were writing a Hitler
25biography and you came into possession of that diary, you
26too would quote it, would you not?

.   P-188

 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I would have been too embarrassed I think.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Too embarrassed?
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes. I certainly would not want to give the impression
 4that all these things the Doctor says would apply to me.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Well, some of them do not of course?
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is a very tempting quotation, but I think I would have
 7added that after the end of it "this is not me". He
 8records Hitler saying: "Perhaps an Englishmen will come
 9one day who wants to write an objective biography of me.
10It has to be an Englishman who knows the archives and
11masters the German language, and that is why you are
12getting the diaries, Mr Irving, the doctor said." I think
13I would have said: Well, I am not going to fit the bill.
14I am not, as a biography of Hitler, his ambassador in the
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     Does this explain to you why so often I manage to get hold
17of these unusual documents, and there was no kind of
18bribery or promising involved? These people just turned
19this material over to me?
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Does what explain?
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     This kind of episode that I ended up with the good
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     You have to give a little more detail.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     Let us move on.
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am not sure what you mean by that.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     The foot of page 216.

.   P-189

 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     The fact that you are English I do not think makes a great
 2deal of difference.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     No, but the fact that I knew the archives and I have taken
 4the trouble to learn the language as an Englishman?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, obviously it would be pointless if you did not know
 6any German.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     At the foot of page 216 you state, again without any
 8evidence, that there was massive intimidation of the
 9electorate in the 1938 plebiscite?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you have any proof of that?
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, this is the context where you simply say that Hitler
13had risen from nobody, become the admired and respected
14leader of two great nations. Just five years after 1933
15he got 49 million Germans to vote for him which was 99.8
16per cent of electorate. In my response to your questions
17of 4th January 2000, your written questions, I have two
18whole pages accompanied by a considerable amount of
19documentation of the intimidation which took place in the
20plebiscite of 1938. I am not sure -- would it save the
21court's time if I could just refer to this without
22actually going through it?
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think so to begin, and then if with
24Mr Irving wants to follow it up then he can.
25 MR IRVING:     Perhaps I can just ask you in general: Was there
26any evidence that there was not a secret ballot?

.   P-190

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