Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 156 - 160 of 237

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    Mr Irving, I have already said that I have a general level
 1Nazism, and historiography. I am not a specific expert on
 2Auschwitz. I am not a specific expert on the bombing
 3war. You could have many different levels of expertise.
 4You could have someone who spends his whole life studying
 5the history of a single village in 20th century Germany.
 6If you want to know about the method of operation of gas
 7chambers in Auschwitz, you ask an expert on that. My
 8level of expertise is at a fairly general level. I have
 9made that quite clear.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     So the answer is no?
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am not the world's greatest expert on every issue which
12is discussed in these documents. I do not pretend to be.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     The short answer is no. I do not mean that in any
14derogatory sense.
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am sure you do mean it in a derogatory sense, Mr Irving.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Come on.
17 MR IRVING:     When did the battle of the Ruhr start as it is
18referred to----
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Let me just try and get across the point of what I am
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     If you do not know, just say so.
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Mr Irving, this is not "Who wants to be a millionaire".
23I am not going to stand here and be quizzed by you on
24names, facts and dates.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Professor Evans, come on.
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I want to try and explain what I put in my report.

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     If I may say so, just confine yourself to a
 2brief answer to the specific point.
 3 MR IRVING:     Would you agree that the battle of the Ruhr started
 4around March 5th 1943, with a series of very heavy violent
 5air raids on the Ruhr, coupled with air raids on
 6Nuremberg, which is a city that the Nazis felt very fond
 7of, and that this battering of the German cities continued
 8throughout March and April 1943?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     This may very well have formed the back drop to the
11conversation between Hitler and Horthy? You should not
12therefore dismiss it in the way you do in paragraph 14.
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, I do not dismiss it. It is Hitler who dismisses it.
14He says the attacks themselves have been irritating but
15wholly trivial: "Die Angriffe selbst seien zwar storend,
16abere ganzlich belanglos".
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     If he refers in paragraph 17 to the effect of this bombing
18war, we know what the effects are because we have seen the
19photograph on women and children, then no doubt, although
20he is trying to act to his foreign visitors there to say
21this too we can take on the chin, in fact it is deeply
22upsetting and grieving him?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I cannot see that it is, when he describes them as
24irritating but wholly trivial.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, if I am meant to be following
26this, I am afraid you have lost me completely.

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 1 MR IRVING:     Paragraph 17, my Lord, page 452.
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not see any mention there.
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     What is the suggestion? That because of the
 4allied bombing raids Hitler was adopting a particular
 5policy towards the Hungarian Jews? That is an enquiry,
 6Mr Irving. I do not know what you are suggesting.
 7 MR IRVING:     For some reason the witness has put in his
 8paragraph 14 on page 451, he has dismissed the importance
 9of the bombing raids and Hitler's particular feelings
10during the discussion with Horthy.
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, my Lord, this is a comment on the 1991 edition of
12Hitler's War. In the 1977 edition Mr Irving tries to make
13the Warsaw uprising as the trigger for Hitler's outburst
14to Admiral Horthy, even though the uprising started after
15they met. So he has withdrawn that in 1991. In 1991 he
16says, "in Hitler's warning to Horthy that the "Jewish
17Bolsheviks" would liquidate all Europe's intelligentsia,
18we can identify the Katyn episode. That is a massacre of
19Polish officers by Russians. A propaganda windfall about
20which Goebbels had just telephoned him. Hitler warmly
21approved Goebbels' suggestion that Katyn should be linked
22in the public's mind with the Jewish question. But the
23most persuasive argument used to reconcile Hitler with the
24harsher treatment of the Jews was the bombing war from
25documents and target maps found in crashed bombers he knew
26that the British air crews were instructed to aim only at

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 1the residential areas, only one race murdered, he lectured
 2to quailing Horthy, and that was the Jews. It was they
 3who had provoked this war and given it its present
 4character against civilians, women and children." These
 5are wholly bogus claims by Mr Irving. The word Katyn is
 6not mentioned at all in the Horthy Ribbentrop Hitler
 8 MR IRVING:     Would Hitler ----
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     "The source says that it is not that the British air crews
10are instructed to aim only at the residential areas, but
11to aim at them as well. Hitler describes these in the
12conversations with Horthy, when he is describing these air
13raids on Frankfurt, where the British bombers are
14instructed to destroy residential areas as well as
15industrial targets, Hitler says the attacks themselves
16have been irritating but wholly trivial". Now, if Hitler
17says that they are irritating but wholly trivial, it is
18very unlikely that he is so worked up into a passion about
19this that he indulges in an unusual outburst of
20anti-Semitism. That is all.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you think Hitler was not worked up by the air raids
22on the Ruhr, on Nuremberg and elsewhere? Have you ever
23read Heiber's War Conferences, the verbatim stenographic
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     The attacks themselves had been irritating but wholly

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can I get a word in edgeways? You have just
 2had quoted to you, Mr Irving, what Hitler himself appears
 3to have said at the time so do you want really to pursue
 4this any further?
 5 MR IRVING:     They are trivial, yes.
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Do you want to pursue this any further?
 7 MR IRVING:     At the risk of being lectured for repetition the
 8fact that Adolf Hitler tells of visiting foreign
 9dignitaries, effectively these British air raids are
10trivial, does not mean to say that he regarded them as
11trivial. Any more than if Winston Churchill had said in
121940 to Roosevelt, these air raids on London are trivial
13and Britain can take it.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Your suggestion is that Hitler was wanting to
15take reprisals on the Hungarian Jews because he was
16alarmed at the effect the allied bombing raids on Germany
17were having?
18 MR IRVING:     My Lord, it is not as simple as that.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     What is wrong with that?
20 MR IRVING:     It was all in the background of his mind. He is
21dealing with these Hungarians who are being obstreperous.
22They are not towing the line in the way that he expects
23all these visiting dignitaries to do to the Nazi dictator
24so all these things were welling up within him. He knows
25about Katyn. There is no question he knows about Katyn at
26this time. Any suggestion to the contrary is rubbish. He

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