Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 196 - 200 of 215

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    Mr Irving, will you listen to me for a
 1thesis that you always write about Hitler in terms which
 2portray him favourably. Various examples are given of
 3that and various statements made by you which tend to
 4confirm are recited by Professor Evans.
 5     I personally would find it more helpful if you
 6were, perhaps to begin with, to ask a few rather more
 7general questions in which you would set out what your own
 8case is about this. I do not know, but could you not ask
 9Professor Evans whether it is not right that actually you
10are very balanced and objective in what you write about
11Hitler? I think you need to set the scene.
12 MR IRVING:     My Lord, we know precisely what the answer will be
13if I ask that. He will say he dislikes me. He has never
14read the book. He would never have read the book if he
15had not received this commission from these instructing
16solicitors. So that would be, frankly, in my submission,
17a waste of the court's time.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Then you would follow it up, would you not,
19and give some examples, and this is really what I am
20asking you for, of events, significant events, when you
21take a critical line about what Hitler said or did. That
22is what I am missing at the moment. We are just going
23down this slightly blind alley of the 99.8 per cent
24Reichstag vote, whereas one is missing your putting the
25case in rather broader terms. I am only putting it
26forward as a suggestion. You do not have to follow it,

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 1but it would help me if you were to do that.
 2 MR IRVING:     My method, my Lord, an you may think it totally
 3wrong, has been to graze through this passage and come
 4across these occasionally indigestible rocks where he
 5picks on something where I know I am right and where your
 6Lordship probably does not appreciate that I am right. By
 7virtue of this cross-examination trying to establish it
 8firmly in your Lordship's mind that out of us two experts,
 9if I can put it like that, on balance, probably I am
10better right or righter than he is.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     If I may say so, if that is what you are
12planning to do for the next 550 pages of this report, I am
13not going to find that helpful. I am sure you are going
14to find, as you indeed have already found, a number of
15instances where Professor Evans has got it wrong. But
16I am not really helped by that. I need to look at it in
17much broader terms than that.
18 MR IRVING:     We are just coming in fact to the
19Reichskristallnacht, and I did promise that we were going
20to make substantial inroads into that today.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, but I personally think the section on
22what is called "Admiration of Hitler" is quite important,
23and you do not really seem to have grasped the nettle of
24what is being said about you by Professor Evans. That is
25all I am inviting you to consider.
26 MR IRVING:     I have looked at the Night of Long Knives.

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     True you did. I accept that.
 2 MR IRVING:     Which was one matter. I thought I read your
 3Lordship's mind to be that I should not deal with every
 4single episode.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     We are now getting into the meat of the
 6report, and certainly not every single episode. There we
 7are. I have said what I have said.
 8 MR IRVING:     Just one final matter on the plebiscite. Do you
 9know the wording that was on the ballot? You say this was
10not a plebiscite for Hitler personally. Do you know the
11wording on the ballot form, on the ballot paper?
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, do read it to me. Remind me.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     Does it say words to the effect of: I personally approve
14of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of the greater German Reich
15and Austria combined and approve of the union of these two
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, those are the terms in which it is put.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     It is in terms of personal approbation of Adolf Hitler
19then as a person?
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Indeed the propaganda effort also emphasised that apsect
21of it, but of course it was not purely, simply a vote
22about Hitler. The key part of it was the union of or the
23creation of the greater German Reich of Germany and
25 MR IRVING:     My Lord, your Lordship does not wish me to look at
26the Putsch of 1923 and the Hoffman episode again. We have

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 1been over that already with the other witnesses. We now
 2come on to page 233 to the night of broken glass.
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am sorry, Mr Irving, the last thing I want
 4to do is to prolong this, but if you remember the heart of
 5Professor Evans' report is that the chain of documents
 6which you rely on as establishing that Hitler did not have
 7any knowledge of, let alone authorization for, the Final
 8Solution, can be at every link in the chain, as it were,
 9attacked. My understanding of the structure of this
10report is that a step in the chain of reasoning, if I can
11put it that way, does indeed start with the 1924 trial and
12you were going to omit that altogether.
13 MR IRVING:     My Lord, the chain of documents episode starts on
14page 220.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, quite.
16 MR IRVING:     That is where his heading starts.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     The first link in the chain is the 1924
18trial, is it not?
19 MR IRVING:     It is the 1924 trial. If I had appreciated this
20witness's remarks and under cross-examination by
21Mr Rampton your Lordship will remember that we elicited
22the fact that I was relying on a different set of
23documents on the original microfilm version of the trial,
24I did not use the published text.
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Can I just comment on that, my Lord? They are the same.
26The published text is the complete verbatim transcript.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can you go back to page 230, please? You say that
 2Hofmann's testimony of Hitler's trial has little
 3credibility. Is this your view?
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     You base that view you on the fact that Hofmann was a Nazi
 6party member?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes. As I say, a long-standing Nazi supporter and party
 8official, tried to present Hitler in a favourable light as
 9a law-abiding citizen.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, and you suggest that I ought to have known that fact?
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Indeed I think you did know that fact, Mr Irving.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     On what document or evidence do you base your suggestion
13that I knew that fact?
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     On the evidence of Hofmann.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     On the evidence of Hofmann?
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     In other words, what he himself stated in this trial?
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     And who was he was?
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That is right, yes. Well, he says in the course of his
20evidence that he was -- first of all, the court says at
21the beginning of the transcript of his evidence that he
22had a close relationship with Hitler and was involved in
23the Putsch, and therefore should hot be required to give
24evidence on oath. That is the first pointer. Then he
25goes on to say that he was, and I quote all of this in my
26report ----

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