Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 23: Electronic Edition

Pages 126 - 130 of 237

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    I am going to ask you questions. Is it right that the
 1Munich in the 1960s from the General for a sum of 50,000
 2deutschemarks?
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I will accept if you say that, yes.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is it right that the Institute then learned to their
 5consternation that the diaries were written on postwar
 6paper?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is clear that the diaries were, in short -- that what
 8Engel did -- I am trying to find the place here -- is that
 9he seems to have sort of made up another version of the
10diaries or used a copy of the diaries after the war to
11answer questions which are put to him, and that he added
12in some extra, some additional notes, and then somehow the
13originals got lost, so that what exists is a sort of
14hybrid which consists partly of original material and
15partly of copied out and partly of the later editions, and
16the problem is trying to disentangle these things.
17     What one can say is that there is some original
18material there and then some material written down from
19memory. So they have to be treated with a considerable
20amount of caution, particularly where dates are concerned,
21as I make clear in the editions to my report where he
22reports a conversation on 2nd October 1941 which can, in
23fact, be dated to 2nd November 1941.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would a genuine diary do that?
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I have already explained the status of the diary which was
26copied by Engel with some additions, so it is not a

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 1question of being genuine or fake. It is a question of a
 2kind of hybrid document.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would why he copy dates wrongly in his own diary?
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, we all make mistakes.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     A slip of the pen, I suppose.
 6 MR IRVING:     I beg your pardon?
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     A slip of the pen, could be?
 8 MR IRVING:     Are there many such slips of the pen?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     There seem be a number, yes, and it is also, of course, in
10shorthand, shorthand notes. And Engel, in fact, went to
11the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich twice to
12read out his shorthand notes for copying, and so there are
13a lot of opportunities for error there in all these
14various processes.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is it not likely that, in fact, he tried to reconstruct
16years later what had happened and when and that in that
17process he got the dates wrong?
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Not entirely, no. I mean, it is very difficult to second
19guess exactly what went on.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you familiar with the passage in the Engel diary dated
21November 24th 1942 where he describes a heated conference
22between Hitler and Goring over the Battle of Stalingrad at
23a time when Goring was, in fact, nowhere near Hitler's
24headquarters but was on a shopping expedition i Paris?
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     There are many instances like that, but if one looks at it
26patiently, I think one can disentangle them and to track

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 1down the right date as we have done in once instance that
 2we had time to do.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you seen several items of correspondence from me to
 4the Institute in which I have drawn their attention to
 5genuine entries in genuine diaries, like Walter Hayhol or
 6the widow of Schmunt, which makes the entries in the Engel
 7diary completely impossible?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, and if you check them against the Himmler
 9Diensttagebuch, you can also find some misdating there as
10well.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     How can ----
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That does not mean, however, that the whole diary has to
13be dismissed. Responsible historians do not dismiss whole
14sources just because of complex problems of this sort.
15You have to find out how the sources came into being and
16then try to track down what went on there. The point,
17since we seem to have got on to the Adjutants on a kind of
18larger scale, the point that I make in my report is, of
19course, that because you find Engel's diary/memoirs,
20I think one should call it, in many ways embarrassing, you
21dismiss it altogether just simply as a forgery which is
22completely irresponsible.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     How can one have the slightest confidence in a diary ----
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Whereas the very similar diaries/memoir of Friedrich van
25Owan you treat quite uncritically because he says he was a
26neo-Nazi after all and says what you like.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     You say that I treat it uncritically. Have you seen the
 2reference in the Goebbels biography to the faults that are
 3contained in the Owan diary and the evidence has quite
 4obviously been constructed postwar? There is this very
 5lengthy footnote in my Goebbels biography.
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     If you point it me to?
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     I will point it out later on because I do not want to be
 8distracted from this.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Right, we have dealt with Engel, have we not?
10What about your second reference?
11 MR IRVING:     I want to ask one summary question. How can one
12have the slightest confidence in a diary of a man who has
13repeated mistaken dates, invented fictitious events ----
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     You have asked that question, Mr Irving. You
15have asked that question.
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     And the answer is through the use of painstaking objective
17scholarship of a kind which you seem unfamiliar with,
18Mr Irving.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you aware that I am the person who has exposed the
20Engel diary as being suspect?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is suspect now, is it? Not completely falsified?
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     And that until I did so, the Institute of History had not
23the slightest idea that these pages had been faked?
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is not at all -- it has no relevance at all to what
25I am saying.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     What is the next name?

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     What we are dealing with here is the point that while the
 2Adjutants said that the subject of extermination of the
 3Jews was not mentioned in so many words in Hitler's
 4headquarters, it is not legitimate to draw from that the
 5conclusion that they thought that Hitler did not know
 6about it which is the conclusion that you draw. On page
 7632, for example, we have Karl-Jesco vo Puttkamer who
 8says, "I can state with certainty that Dr Dietrich knew
 9nothing of such things", and we are talking here about the
10press spokesman Otto Dietrich. "Because of Dietrich's
11sensitive nature, Hitler would have completely oppressed
12him with the knowledge of it", talking about the
13extermination of the Jews, "and Hitler, who knew precisely
14this quality in Dr Dietrich, took care, alone on these
15grounds, not to initiate him." Thus, what Puttkamer says
16is that Hitler knew but did not tell Dietrich.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     So that is the second one?
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That is the second one. That is, of course, a sentence
19omitted by Mr Irving. He writes about this. Thirdly,
20633, Wilhelm von Bruckner: "Hitler never talked in my
21presence about the so-called Final Solution of the 'Jewish
22question' or 'extermination of the Jews'. This applied
23equally to the whole of Hitler's entourage". Then
24Bruchner added: "These questions were probably left to
25the close and competent circle, to which Dietrich", again
26talking about him, "did not belong". That is another one

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