Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 21: Electronic Edition

Pages 11 - 15 of 201

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     Yes. Do you think that any documents in my collection
 1attention?
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      I hope not, but it is always possible.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]      It is always possible. So, although it is possible that
 4some of my documents on which I base my book may have
 5eluded your attention, you quite boldly used these very
 6repugnant words about my writing, about having distorted,
 7manipulated and had no possible evidence, and this kind of
 8thing?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      If you can show me that there are important documents in
10your collections which run against what I have said, then
11obviously I will accept it. I said I hoped that important
12documents did not elude our attention, and I have based
13what I say here and what I write here on the most thorough
14possible research in the time available.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]      On balance, you disapprove of my method of relying to any
16great degree on the statements made either to me or to
17postwar investigators and historians and interrogators by
18the members of Adolf Hitler's private staff, is that
19correct?
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      We have been over this ground, Mr Irving.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]      Well, let us go through it again.
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      This is later testimony, sometimes given many years after
23the event, and therefore has to be treated with caution on
24those grounds alone. Other things being equal, as it
25were, one gives somewhat greater weight to contemporary
26evidence such as the Goebbels diaries. And, in addition

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 1of course, we have already discussed this, members of
 2Hitler's entourage had good reason not to tell the whole
 3truth.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]      You say that you attach great importance to Goebbels'
 5diaries. Would you look at footnote 2 on page 233 of your
 6report, please? You list there a number of these books
 7that are on your shelves in your book lined cave where you
 8do your writing, if I can put like that. Do any those
 9books show any sign of having used the Goebbels diaries?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      I do not think that is a very fair question, Mr Irving.
11The point here is simply that I am introducing the section
12on the Reichskristallnacht. I say in sentence to which
13that is a footnote: "The episode is well-known to
14historians. There have been many important and scholarly
15studies based on a painstaking examination of the original
16archival documentation. These include two accounts by
17staff members of the Institut fur Zeitgeschichte in Munich
18and other detailed studies", and so on. This is simply an
19indication to the court of the fact that this is a
20well-known episode about which historians are writing.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]      Do you accept that every single item you refer to on that
22page, including all the books and all the well-known
23studies, and the work of historians at the institute, all
24emerged before I brought back the Goebbels diaries from
25Moscow relating to precisely this episode? Therefore they
26are, to that degree, superseded, they are old hat?

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      I would not describe them as old hat, Mr Irving, and in
 2any case the point I am making there is that this has been
 3the subject of many studies over many years. This is not
 4something that has suddenly emerged into our knowledge
 5with the Goebbels diaries.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]      Now, you have relied in your footnote 1 on Hermann Graml
 7(who I know personally). He wrote that book in 1956, did
 8he not?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Indeed, yes, that is right.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]      Are you aware of the fact that I submitted my entire
11chapter on this Reichskristallnacht to Hermann Graml for
12his, not clearance, but for his edification and for him to
13comment on at the time I wrote the book?
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      No, I am not, no.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]      But would you have expected to find that in the
16correspondence put before you in the discovery process?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      I did not, no. If it is there, it is there. You can show
18it to me.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]      Again the second source in footnote 1 is 1957 which is,
20what, 33 years old?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Indeed. I am trying to establish here, Mr Irving, the
22fact that this is a well-known episode in history which
23has been studied over many years by many historians. I am
24not saying that all these books are absolutely right or
25that they are the last word or that they are up-to-date.
26I am saying they are works by scholars which in their day,

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 1if you like, were advances of knowledge.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]      And these scholars have nothing to learn from us
 3revisionists then?
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      It depends what you mean by "revisionists".
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]      If somebody brought back from Moscow the Goebbels'
 6diaries, would that not be a contribution to the
 7historical debate?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      That is something different. You do not have to be a
 9revisionist to bring back the Goebbels diaries from
10Moscow.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, I expect you will come shortly,
12will you not, to what it is in Goebbels diaries that you
13say casts important light on the events of
14Reichskristallnacht?
15 MR IRVING:     I am laying the groundwork for the
16cross-examination, my Lord. I am establishing what this
17expert's credentials are for this particular matter.
18Professor Evans, you have worked for five years in
19Germany?
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      On and off over a period of about 30 years, yes, if you
21totted up all the times I had been there, I have not done
22it, but it would come to, I do not know, five, six years.
23It is difficult to say.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]      But do you think that your knowledge of German is
25sufficient to understand all the vernacular and all the
26slang phrases and all the nuances?

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Mostly, yes. I would not say it was absolutely perfect.
 2It is impossible for any foreigner to enter totally 100
 3per cent into the inside of a language.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]      Would you say that I having worked in Germany for 39 years
 5on and off would have possibly a better knowledge of
 6German than yourself?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      It is possible and I do not dispute the fact you have a
 8very good knowledge indeed of German, Mr Irving.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]      Is it right that the sources that you have relied upon by
10way of preference are largely war criminals who were
11properly convicted at Nuremberg and elsewhere for their
12activities, whereas not one of Adolf Hitler's personal
13private staff was ever convicted as a war criminal?
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      No, I do not think that is true.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]      Which part is not true, that not one of Adolf Hitler's
16staff ----
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      No, no. The fact that I have relied on these sources and
18in any case that -- I mean, relied, for example, on the
19Goebbels' diaries.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]      Was Karl Wolff a war criminal?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      He was sentenced in 1964.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]      Was Max Jutner a war criminal?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Now, I am not sure, but in any case the point here ----
24 Q. [Mr Irving]      I am just commenting on the odd feature that you rely on
25Nazi war criminals and ----
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     

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