Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 51 - 55 of 201

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     Can we just look finally on the von Below and if we just
 1doing to draw your attention to: "For a long time Hitler
 2did not really place much trust in him", that is Goebbels,
 3"but then after a while he began to on matters of
 4importance, because Goebbels had the knack of putting
 5things forward, putting forward his things in a very
 6logical and penetrating manner, Hitler was in some way a
 7sucker for this whole kind of act. There is no doubt
 8about that."
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Yes.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]      Is that an unusual picture of Hitler, that he could be
11taken in by members of his staff, do you think, or taken
12advantage of from your expertise as an ----
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Yes.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]      --- historian on the Third Reich?
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Yes, it is somewhat unusual, yes.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]      Have you heard it before by other authors, that Hitler was
17not such a strong man after all, that he was taken
18advantage of?
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      I do not think "taken advantage of" is a phrase that other
20authors would use. I mean, there is sort of glimmering of
21-- I mean, this is not to be dismissed entirely, as it
22were. It is clear, I think, it is general agreement, that
23the Reichskristallnacht was initially Goebbels' idea.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]      And, overall, looking at the von Below interview, now that
25they are in front of you completely transcribed and
26translated, in general, is it a proper interview or has it

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 1been deliberately skewed in some way by the man asking the
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Well, as has been remarked several times now, the initial
 4question there is very much a leading question.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]      Or picking up on something previously said during that
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      You would have to show me that before I could accept
 8that. In any case, it is a leading question.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]      So I do not want to go over that because we have been over
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Subject to that, it is an account which bears
12out what Mr Irving writes in Goebbels?
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      No, I am not -- not entirely, no, my Lord.
14 MR IRVING:     Can I ask you to have a look at the Aberstein
15telegram of the previous evening?
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Pause a moment. It is really the top of page
17277, I suppose?
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Of Goebbels?
19 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]      Of Goebbels. I mean, I will read it to you. It is two
20lines. "According to Luftwaffe adjutant Nicolaus von
21Below, Hitler phoned Goebbels, 'What's going on?' he
22snapped, and, 'Find out'".
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Yes, now, in his memoirs von Below says something rather
24different, that he conducted his phone conversation with
25Goebbels on his own from his living room, so that
26contradicts what he says in the interview. In other

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 1words, if he conducted the phone conversation on his own
 2from his living room, he could not have heard what Hitler
 3was saying to Goebbels on the phone. That is at page 258,
 4paragraph 6, of my report.
 5 MR IRVING:     Will you accept that I have the original typescript
 6of von Below's memoirs that he wrote in 1947 and I was
 7relying on that and not on a later published work. When
 8were the memoirs published? In 1980?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      In 1980 in Meinz, yes.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]      So how could I have possibly made use of that in 'The
11Warpath' which was published in 1977?
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Well, I would say that von Below said, for what it is
13worth, I quote him on paragraph 9 of page 260, that he
14objected to your claim that he had provided you with
15unpublished contemporary manuscripts and letters and
16checked through pages of your manuscripts. He remembered
17"some visits by Irving during which I answered his
18questions. But I must decidedly reject his more
19far-reaching claims as not corresponding to the truth".
20 Q. [Mr Irving]      So what is von Below saying there, that he did not provide
21me with any manuscripts?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      I assume that is what he is saying, yes.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]      He provided me with no letters, wartime letters?
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      If one is to believe him, that is what he is saying.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]      If one is to believe the printed word and that he did not
26revise the manuscript then it was written by me, is that

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 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      That is what he says, I think, yes.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]      Now, Professor, you or your researchers have had access to
 4my files in the Institute of History, have you not?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Yes.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]      Have you seen in the correspondence file between myself
 7and Colonel von Below the covering letters with which I
 8sent the chapters to him and which I thanked him for
 9having returned the chapters to me, chapters which
10included in the files are all his marginal comments on
11precisely this chapter?
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Provide me with copies and I will look at this again.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]      Your researchers have worked in the archives, is that
14right, on the Irving collection?
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      That is right, yes.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]      And you have had my personal files of correspondence with
17people like von Below containing all these matters and you
18prefer to believe what a book published in 1980 says
19rather than the evidence of your eyes, namely the chapters
20amended in his handwriting?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Provide me with copies of those chapters and I will
22comment on that. I have not seen them, no.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     You have not?
24 MR IRVING:     You have not seen them?
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      No.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]      Did you or your researchers bother to look in these files

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 1of correspondence between myself and Adolf Hitler's
 2private staff?
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Can you name the files, give me core numbers of the
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]      Will you answer my question? Did you or your researchers
 6bother to look at my files of correspondence?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Well, I have already said that we did not see them,
 8I mean, accepting for the moment your claim that there are
 9such files.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]      But you are quite happy to repeat ----
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     If they are in the discovery ----
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      If they are in the discovery, we can see them.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I do not know how difficult it is to dig them
14out. I know there has been a massive amount of discovery.
15 MR IRVING:     My Lord, they are no longer in my discovery, of
16course, because I have given the originals to the
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I thought you were saying you had disclosed
19them in this action, your correspondence with von Below?
20 MR IRVING:     No, my Lord, I did not. With respect, I did not
21say that. I said that these researchers have had access
22in the Institute at Munich to all my private files in
23which I have correspondence with Hitler's personal staff
24which I donated to the Institute because of its historical
25significance. It contains voluminous correspondence with
26Colonel von Below, including the chapters which he

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