Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 21 - 25 of 237

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    You then continue: "In general one may conclude
 1which you really rely, is it not?
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Among others.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I mean, I quote a very lengthy chunk of this because you
 5used this -- you suppressed a great deal of this in your
 6own, in your own work.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     Now, Dr Goebbles is not stating this as a fact, is he? He
 8is speculating. You have left a word out, have you not,
 9in your translation? You left out the word "wohl. I draw
10your attention to line 3 of the footnote.
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, I am sorry. I have not. I have translated that as
12"In general one may conclude", not that "one must
13conclude" ----
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     I draw attention to ----
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     And that, if I may finish, that formulation is intended to
16convey the sense of strong probability that the word
17"wohl" indicates.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     Does not "wohl" mean "perhaps"?
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, it does not. It means "probably".
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Even if it meant "probably" which I would participate ----
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     If he wanted to say "perhaps" he would have
22said "vielleicht".
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     You have left the word out, have you not?
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, I have not left it out, Mr Irving.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     "In general one may probably conclude" or "one may perhaps
26conclude" indicates speculation on his part and not

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 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, I am sorry, Mr Irving. "Im grossen kann man wohl
 3festellen", "in general, large scale", "kann" is "can",
 4right, not "may", "man", "one can", "wohl festellen", very
 5well, and it is "very well conclude".
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     "Wohl" can be translated just as "well" here,
 7can it not, "one can well" ----
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     "Conclude", yes.
 9 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     --- "suppose"?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I tried to render that slightly better, less awkward
11English by saying "one may conclude"; the "may" conveying
12the element of slight uncertainty in that use of the word
14 MR IRVING:     The meanings are, my Lord ----
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I have not left the word out.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     --- "well" "indeed" "possibly" and "probably" in that
17order or "I dare say" which is a very nice one in this
18connection. "I dare say". "I dare say one can conclude
19that 60 per cent of them must be liquidated". Does this
20indicate and element of certainty?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is probably. "Wohl" is stronger than "vielleicht". It
22indicates ----
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     But you have left a word out, have you not?
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, I have not left a word out, Mr Irving. I have
25conveyed this, I think, accurately by indicating the
26element of slight uncertainty in the sentence by saying

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 1"one may conclude" instead of "one can well conclude".
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     He is not stating it as a matter fact; he is saying, "this
 3is probably or possibly or I dare say one can say that
 4this happening"?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     He is saying,"This is probably happening".
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is this not a very weak and rusty hook on which to hang
 7page after page after page of what now follows?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is not the only statement here and it does, I think,
 9reflect the policy accurately even if the percentages can
10be argued about in the way they were put into practice.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Do you read Goebbels as talking about
12percentages in that sentence or about the fact of what is
13happening to the Jews?
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, he says, "In general one may conclude that 60 per
15cent of them may be liquidated, while only 40 per cent can
16be put to work. It is those percentages, I mean, that is
17obviously again very rough and that again may well
18indicate the element of uncertainty that he is talking
19about. I mean, I think the "wohl feststellen" expresses
20his slight vagueness about these percentages. It might
21have been 70/30 or 80/20 or some other percentages, but he
22is saying that the probability is it is about 60/40. 60
23will die, be killed, and 40 will be put to work.
24 MR IRVING:     In other words, these figures are not contained in
25the report, are they, these percentages?
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     You would have to show me the report, Mr Irving, before I

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 1could comment on that.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     But you have seen the diary that you are seeking to draw
 3major conclusions from it of the state of people's
 4knowledge, and I am drawing your attention to the fact
 5that it is not knowledge at all, it is speculation. He is
 6saying, "I dare say one can conclude" or even in the bare,
 7stripped down version you have put, "one can conclude".
 8He is making conclusions. In other words, he is
 9speculating on what is behind it. He may very well be
10right, but I am looking at the fact that you have made no
11attempt to appreciate the meaning of that word "wohl".
12"Im grossen kann man wohl feststellen" does not mean any
13degree of certainty at all on his part ----
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not put that.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     --- he is saying, "By and large I dare say one can
16conclude", is he not?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not say that, Mr Irving. I say "in general one may
18conclude" not "one must conclude" or "the fact is". I say
19"one may conclude". That is to say, the word "may" is
20permissive. It means you may conclude 60/40 or you may
21conclude something else. The probability is 60/40. It is
22what I would regard as a well informed estimate.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you now regret not having put in the word "perhaps" or
24"possible" or "dare say" in that sentence?
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Certainly not, I do not. I think my translation is
26perfectly all right there.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     Well, notwithstanding that you raise your voice and
 2interrupt me, do you agree ----
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, it makes a change from you raising your voice and
 4interrupting me, Mr Irving.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Don't let us have you both...
 6 MR IRVING:     Do you agree that it would have been better to
 7include a proper translation of the word "wohl" in that
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is a proper translation of that sentence. It is about
10the 15th time I have said that, Mr Irving.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     I have to say this because -- I am not going to move on --
12of course, you do rely on that, you agree that you rely on
13that sentence and the burden of that sentence quite
14heavily, in refuting me and suggesting that I have
15manipulated, suppressed and omitted words myself, is that
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, where is that in your description of these events
18which I deal with on the previous page?
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Over the next 27 pages you repeatedly hark back to this
20one sentence.
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Can you direct me to where I repeatedly hark back to it?
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     I have just said, over the next 27 pages.
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Can you direct me to the exact pages and line numbers in
24which I refer to it?
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     We are going to come to them bit by bit.
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     

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