Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 22: Electronic Edition

Pages 16 - 20 of 207

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    Let me just read back here. I am afraid this might
 1require ----
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Professor Evans, if this is a point that you
 3do not really place much reliance on, I think I would say
 4so.
 5 MR IRVING:     Again it is an allegation that I have relied on the
 6book, and the wrong date in the book. In fact, of course,
 7I have relied on the correct date from other sources.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It does appear to me, Mr Irving, that whether
 9you actually relied on the book is, in a sense, a bit of a
10side issue. Even if you have not, the criticism that is
11made of you, and you have not really addressed it, is that
12you are content to cite a source who Professor Evans says
13is anti-semitic and not a worth while source for a
14reputable historian to use.
15 MR IRVING:     Let me address that point now, my Lord, by way of a
16response to your Lordship. This is to say that there may
17be some historians with a political bent who will
18disregard entirely evidence coming from people of whose
19politics they disprove. If we were to do that with all
20sources, of course, we would be left without a very large
21body of historical documentation, for example, the works
22of all the Nazi war criminals, somebody like Rudolf Hoess,
23Kommandant of Auschwitz, who clearly was not very
24pro-Semitic, to disregard the writings as somebody on the
25basis of the fact that they have expressed anti-semitic
26views, or racist views, or any other views of which the

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 1researcher personally disapproves, is a very poor
 2criterion for selectivity of documentary materials, in my
 3submission, my Lord.
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, I see. Would you like to comment very
 5briefly on that? Turn that into a question, if you see
 6what I mean, and give your answer.
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not think anybody suggested that Rudolf Hoess was an
 8historian.
 9 MR IRVING:     Very well, if that is your answer. Now will you go
10down to page 309 and the justification for my having dealt
11with that previous matter at such length, my Lord, is the
12first line of paragraph 1, "another instance of Irving's
13poor scholarship is". In other words, you are saying that
14all the aforegoing is evidence of my poor scholarship?
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Indeed, yes.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     Although you now admit that I did not use the book, I have
17not got the book?
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Do we have to go over this all over again, Mr Irving? I
19have already given my answer about five times to that.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     I think I have made my point. Page 312, line 6 of your
21report?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     My Lord, I necessarily have to leap forward onto little
24mountain peaks like this, because otherwise we will get
25bogged down in the minefield.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     As long as they are mountain peaks. You also

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 1must explain to me in what context if you go to the middle
 2of a paragraph. We are on now the testimony of
 3Shirmeister and Fritsche.
 4 MR IRVING:     Professor Evans, you objected to the fact that
 5I have mentioned the figure of 91 deaths in the
 6Reichskristallnacht in the previous paragraphs, or are you
 7going to insist that we look for the actual references?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, it is not a very important point, Mr Irving.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can you allow me to decide what is important?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No. Please, I think I am entitled to say what points in
11my report I regard as important, and what I do not regard
12as important. You may disagree with that. That is
13another matter. But I am perfectly entitled to say that.
14This is not a particularly important point ----
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you agree you spent an entire page describing this?
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Will let me speak, please, Mr Irving? I am getting very
17fed up with these constant interruptions. I will read
18this out, OK?
19     "In the War Path, published in 1978, Irving
20gave the official figure of 91 killed, arrived at by the
21Nazis themselves. Of course, this figure is still far too
22low, and does not account for suicides, of which there
23were 680 by Jews during or shortly after the pogrom in
24Vienna alone. Others were killed after their transport to
25the concentration camps. However, many other historians
26have quoted the figure of 91 deaths, and Irving's account

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 1in 1978 at least gives some insight into what happened
 2during the pogrom".
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Will you please now stop? That is all we need?
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     This is intended to comment relatively favourably, or to
 5sort of find some redeeming features in the account you
 6gave in 1978. It is not a very important criticism.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     You say it is not an important criticism. You devote an
 8entire paragraph, an entire page, to the suggestion that
 9my entire portrayal is designed to diminish the suffering
10of the Jews. You pick on the figure of 91 and it turns
11out many other historians have quoted precisely the same
12figure.
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Mr Irving, let us read on a bit, shall we?
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Just read on, Mr Irving. Let me try and get
15some sort of sense into this. If you read that page, I do
16not think Professor Evans is criticising your use of the
17figure of 91. What I think he is saying is (and he is
18being critical here) that after you used that figure in
19'The Warpath', you then reduced it when you came to
20publish your book on Goebbels. Now, I take that to be the
21gist of the criticism. It is probably not the most
22important criticism made, but that is the criticism. So
23let us address that rather than something that is not
24being criticised.
25 MR IRVING:     I will address it briefly because I do not think it
26is a just criticism. Are you suggesting that in the book

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 1on Goebbels I left the final death roll at 35?
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, in the book on Goring published in '89, the book on
 3Goebbels '96, you cite a figure of 35 or 36 basing it on
 4an early incomplete report by Heydrich.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     You are suggesting that I left it at that figure?
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     And I cite Goring page 237, if you want to have a look at
 7that?
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, show him the passage where you
 9bump the figure up again.
10 MR IRVING:     My Lord, you are one who has brought this matter up
11and I am not prepared to answer that at short notice, but
12I will look into it and I will bring the figure and the
13source material out.
14     The point that I was making with that is that on
15several previous occasions he has criticised my figure of
1691 in the Goebbels book, and here he says, "Well, lots of
17other historians have had the same figure"?
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     And my point, Mr Irving, as his Lordship has quite
19correctly said, that reduce the figures to 35 or 36 in
20your later work.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     On page 309?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Going back?
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. Do you rely on the testimony of Schirmeister and
24Fritzsche and the fact that page numbers and dates are
25wrong as being one more instance of David Irving's poor
26scholarship?

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