Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 206 - 210 of 237

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    But you like Walter Weidauer, do you not, who is the Mayor
 1and turned it into a socialist jewel?
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I thought it was the British who destroyed the palaces.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     No. The main parts were left and the central opera and
 4all the rest were there waiting to be rebuilt?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Which they have been of course, starting with the
 6Communists who began rebuilding them. I do not think the
 7fact that someone is a communist totally disqualifies what
 8he has to say.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Does the fact that Walter Weidauer on page 515of your
10report described Hans Voight as being a virulent fascist,
11does that qualify what he has to say?
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It does seem that Voight was actually thrown out of the
13GDR as a neo-faschist or a fascist. I would put more
14credence in Voight's statement that the indices they had
15drawn up of the dead reached the number of 40,000. That
16seems to me to be more reliable than his then further
17rather wild estimates of 135. He has no source at all for
18the 135, whereas for his 40,000 he does. Of course when
19Voight says that the Russians closed down his office and
20struck off the first digit to arrive at their number of
2135, I think that is just expressing Voight's resentment at
22his treatment by the Russians and the East Germans.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you any evidence at all for this so-called treatment
24and so-called throwing out of East Germany? Did the East
25Germans normally throw people out of their country or did
26they in fact build a wall and barbed wire minefields to

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 1stop people leaving?
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That was in 1961.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     But you have no evidence at all for this alleged throwing
 4out of Voight?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am trying to find it. Well, it is Weidauer's
 6description of him.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     The one who calls him a virulent fascist?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you call people fascist in your time?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No actually, not unless I really thought they were. I do
11not use it as a general term of abuse.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     At page 518 you use other words like ecstatic and mounting
13excitement and breathlessly to describe the way that
14I went about my research, is that right, frantic
15marketing?
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It appears to be, yes, particularly to the Provost of
17Coventry Cathedral.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     On page 520 now, from the first sentence of the letter
19dated January 19th, which you omit, is it not plain that
20I did contact the Funfacks?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Point me to this, please.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     You said that I made no attempt to contact the Funfacks.
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Where is this?
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     Page 520. You have quoted part of that letter, but in
25fact you have missed out the first sentence.
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     28th February, let us have a look.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     He writes to me and the first sentence is: "You were so
 2exceedingly kind as to send my wife a copy of your book
 3about the destruction of Dresden. The book has arrived
 4safely and we thank you very much."
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, so this is a letter from -- you had sent him the
 6book, yes.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     But then you had not actually ----
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Why would I send Funfack a book if not to contact him?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That is not really what I mean.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is not it true that with 20-20 hindsight that we all now
12have, thank God, although in some of us our eyesight is
13failing, we can perceive where figures are accurate and
14figures are not accurate?
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Let me just deal with the previous point. You sent him a
16book which is fine, but the point is that you do not, you
17describe him in the book and he is replying to you here
18really in relation to the book which you sent to him, you
19are describing him as Dresden's Chief Medical Officer or
20Deputy Chief Medical Officer, whereas he says he was not;
21he was just a specialist in neurology. He says: "I have
22only ever heard the numbers third hand", and you describe
23him as being a kind of first-hand source. So he has a
24number of objections in the letter to what you say in the
25book.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     That is not the point.

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     What I say here is on your rely to Funfack you had not in
 2fact tried to contact Funfack to establish whether these
 3things were true or not before you wrote the book.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     That is not what you write though, is it? In paragraph 5,
 5page 520, you say: "From his reply on 28th February to
 6Funfack's letter, it is clear that Irving had in fact made
 7no effort whatsoever to contact Funfack"?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, it is quite clear what that means from the context of
 9the previous quotation and description.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It depends what you mean by "had".
11 MR IRVING:     Yes. Do you agree that Dr Funfack living, as he
12did, behind Iron Curtain in one of the most Stalinist of
13the Eastern European states, Eastern Germany, had every
14good reason to be apprehensive when he was contacted by
15somebody living in the West and sending him presents and
16gifts and visiting him, and this is very evident indeed
17from the reference he makes in the letters to me about how
18he is doing everything now through the authorities, and
19that he had exceedingly unpleasant visits from members of
20the Ideological Committee of the City Commission and
21things like that? Is it not quite plain that the
22situation of terror they were living in?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     He is actually suggesting that you contact the
24authorities; not that you contact him through the
25authorities but that you contact the authorities with
26reference to getting further work. I do believe you

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 1yourself visited East Germany and visited Dresden under
 2the Communist regime.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Did you, Professor, every have any contact yourself with
 4Soviet citizens or citizens living in the Soviet zone of
 5Germany at that time or thereabouts?
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Not in 1965 when I was schoolboy, but certainly under the
 7GDR, yes, I was visitor on a number of occasions.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     It was a police state, was it not?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     You may describe it as such, yes, it is true.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Well, did they have an organization known as the Stazi?
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Indeed, yes.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Did they have large numbers of political prisoners in
13their jails?
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Substantial numbers, yes, that is true.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     So that somebody receiving letters from Western Germany or
16from England was, in fact he mentions in one of his
17letters that it had a stamp on the outside and this kind
18of thing; in other words, he is living in a state of ----
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     May I just ---
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     --- genteel terror, if I can put it like that?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     There is no doubt that correspondence was monitored by the
22Stazi.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     So this is one very good reason that he would have for
24denying that he had been anything at all in the Third
25Reich, is it not?
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     

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