Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 191 - 195 of 215

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, there was. Yes.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     In what way do you have that evidence? Is it contemporary
 3evidence?
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, there are reports on the plebiscite, official
 5reports from electoral authorities which I quote on page
 62: "Members of the Election Committee marked all the
 7ballot papers with numbers. During the ballot itself a
 8voters' list was made up."
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     This is was well-known, is it not, but that is not
10intimidation, is it?
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Do not keep interrupting, Mr Irving. It
12destroys the whole object of the exercise.
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     The ballot papers were handed out in numerical order.
14Therefore, it was possible afterwards with the aid of this
15list to find out the persons who cast no votes. The
16Gendarmerie stationed in the Bavarian village of Elsass
17reported that the ballot papers of people regarded as
18unreliable had been marked. Reports from the XR
19leadership of the Social Democrats, so-called day reports,
20who have numerous instances, they have a whole section
21which I include here in the documents on the lack of
22secrecy in the voting.
23 MR IRVING:     Is this evidence of intimidation?
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No. It is evidence of lack of secrecy in the voting,
25which is what you asked the question about.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is there evidence of intimidation?

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, there is evidence of intimidation. Do you want me to
 2go through it? I list it again here and provide
 3documentation.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     The fact that ballot papers are marked, just as they are
 5in England, and numbered, is not evidence of intimidation
 6of any kind of hanky-panky, is it?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No. It is evidence of lack of secrecy of the ballots, as
 8the source I quote says, it was possible with the aid of
 9this list to find out the persons who cast no votes.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, but how would this lead to a 99.8 per cent vote?
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Ah, because there was enormous -- because, of course,
12people suspected that, well, this is one element in a
13number of elements in these elections. People obviously,
14I think, quite clearly suspected that if they cast a "no
15vote", and rightly suspected if they cast a "no vote", it
16would be identified as theirs and they would suffer the
17consequences. In addition, there was a huge effort in
18which agents of the Nazi Party and various other
19organisations known as Schleppe or people who drag, really
20carriers or draggers of voters to the polls, went round on
21a number of occasions asking people to vote, sending them
22written warnings if they did not, going to visit them, and
23then later on, and I quote a number of examples,
24physically maltreating those who did not vote, taking them
25off to lunatic asylums, expelling the Catholic Bishop of
26Rottenburg from his diocese when he refused to take part

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 1in the vote; dismissal of a street warden in Steischlinger
 2for telling people his boss had said that people could
 3vole whichever way they wanted, which the boss of course
 4denied. There was someone who was identified as voting
 5"no" in another community, according to a by day report,
 6was identified dragged through the local pubs of the brown
 7shirts and put a sign on her back saying "I am traitor"
 8and spat at her. There were numerous arrests of known
 9opponents of the regime before the vote, 250 people who
10were thought to be opponents of the regime were arrested
11in Leipzig before the vote and then released just in time
12to go to polls. So that it is quite clear what the
13intimidatory effect of that was.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are those kinds of measures sufficient to get a 99.8 per
15cent turn out in favour of Adolph Hitler, do you think?
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That is a different, that is a somewhat different
17question. What I say is that I think it is clear that
18there is no, I do not know of any democratic and free
19election in which anyone has got 99.8 per cent of the
20vote.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you agree there was a mass ----
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Had the election been free, what the vote would have been
23is another matter. It is a matter for conjecture. What
24I am saying, in other words, is that the difference
25between whatever the result would have been in a free
26election and the amazing 99.8 per cent is the result of

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 1intimidation, pressure, lack of secrecy of the ballot.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you agree there was a massive propaganda effort to
 3lead to this huge turn out?
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     There was indeed a massive propaganda effort, yes.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     And that there was in that respect as much carrot as
 6intimidation by your account?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not think propaganda is carrot. It is propaganda.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you agree that in fact the overwhelming majority of
 9the German people were by that time, in April 1938,
10dazzled by Hitler, I suppose that is the correct word, his
11achievements, full employment?
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No. Well ----
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     National unification, the Czar land, all these great
14achievements, and that this is one reason why 99.8 per
15cent of people could easily be persuaded to sign "yes" to
16Adolf?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I think if you read the SD and by day reports carefully it
18is clear that fairly soon after 1933 there was quite
19widespread grumbling and discontent. That is a slightly
20different matter from what people thought about the union
21of Germany and Austria. I think, for what it is worth,
22that ----
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     There was a plebiscite, was there not?
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     May I finish, Mr Irving? That in the vote a plebiscite on
25the union of Germany and Austria in 1938, in a wholly free
26election, it is more than likely that there would have

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 1been a "yes". In other words, the majority of people in
 2Germany and Austria were in favour of unions, but I do not
 3think it is 99.8 per cent.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, but what you think of course is not evidence.
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not think -- I mean can you name me any free, fully
 6free, fair and secret election in which any side has 99.8
 7per cent of the vote?
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     We are going rather ----
 9 MR IRVING:     We are going round in circles.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     --- long. That is the Anschluss vote. I did
11not realize that.
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
13 MR IRVING:     It was not an election, my Lord. It was a
14plebiscite.
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     There was a Reichstag election at the same time. What you
16say, Mr Irving, is that he got 49 million Germans to vote
17for him, which is 99.8 per cent of electorate.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can I just ----
19 MR IRVING:     Can I ask you, are you familiar with the wording of
20the vote?
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, will you listen to me for a
22moment, because I think we probably have spent long enough
23on the 99.8 per cent. There is a danger I think, and this
24is designed to help you, that we are missing the wood for
25the trees. The whole of this section of the report, which
26I think myself is quite important, is on the theme or the

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