Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 216 - 220 of 237

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 1 MR IRVING:     On the expert report?
 2 MR RAMPTON:     No, in the letter.
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Dr Sperling's letter.
 4 MR IRVING:     My Lord, as a result of the shock, the offices ----
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think Dr Sperling comes up with a figure of
 660,000.
 7 MR IRVING:     Yes.
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, but you say that it is 120 to 150, Mr Irving.
 9 MR IRVING:     "After weighing all democratic factors and
10technical numeral inferences, most probability is attached
11to a figure of 60,000 losses", yes. In West Germany at
12that time the tendency was throughout to quote low figures
13for air raids by the Allies, by the British on German
14cities. This was a very, very clear tendency which
15existed from the end of the war onwards. If I can draw
16one very simple parallel here. When I visited Dresden in
171990 on February 13th to my astonishment the whole of the
18city centre was turned into a huge funeral procession with
19millions of candles descending on the city centre in
20commemoration of the air raid. Something like that never,
21ever happened in Western German. In Western German the
22effect of Allied air raids on the cities was played down
23for reasons of greater politics.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     So the government statistician is giving a
25politically correct figure?
26 MR IRVING:     My impression on the reason why he said, "We are

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 1inclined to play it down to 60,000", I weighted that in a
 2manner which arose from the fact that I was familiar with
 3the West German tendency to minimalize air raid
 4casualties?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am sorry, he did not say "we are inclined to play it
 6down" or weighting it. He said: "After weighing up all
 7demographic factors and technical numeral inferences most
 8probability is attached to a figure of 60,000 losses",
 9which we know to be a very considerable exaggeration,
10since the generally accepted agreed documented figure is
11around 25,000 to 35,000.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is 60,000 still within my bracket, if I can put it like
13that, of 35,000 to 250,000?
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That bracket, but of course in many places you say it is
15between 100,000 and 250,000, in many editions of the book.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     The final matter I want to deal with before turning you
17over to Mr Rampton again with many thanks, is the
18allegation that I sat on the information of the real
19figures for six or seven weeks before turning them over in
20the famous letter to The Times?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Where is this?
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     This is page 546 or thereabouts.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am not sure that is the right reference.
24 MR IRVING:     Unless your Lordship has a better one?
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think there must be a better one.
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     This is Schlussmeldung.

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 1 MR IRVING:     I if I can summarize in two lines again what
 2happened. Simultaneously the West German authorities and
 3the East German authorities provided me with high quality
 4documents, giving very specific figures, and the question
 5is: When did I receive these documents and when did
 6I make use of them?
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, I remember the point, but I do not think
 8that is where it is dealt with i Professor Evans'
 9report.
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     547.
11 MR IRVING:     Paragraph 3: "Simultaneously on 13th May the West
12German archivist, Dr Brobart, drew my attention to the
13discovery of a document that confirmed the authenticity of
14the final report."
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     Right?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     This gives a figure of predicted current death roll of
1818,375, predicted figure, death roll of 25,000 and a
19figure of 35,000 missing.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     And the criticism is he top of 549.
22 MR IRVING:     It gets very critical indeed on paragraph 7 on
23548: "Irving was forced to make a humiliating climb
24down".
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes. That is not a criticism.
26 MR IRVING:     The word "humiliating" seems slightly critical, my

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 1Lord. The allegation also that I disclosed none of my
 2correspondence with Corgi. But I am probably not going to
 3deal with that. I am just going to deal with the
 4allegation that I sat on things for weeks.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Put your question about that.
 6 MR IRVING:     Professor Evans, when were the two documents on the
 7basis of your expert report, the East German version and
 8the West German version, mailed to he me?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     13th May and you replied on 16th May.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Which document are you referring to?
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     The Dresden city archivist informed you of the existence
12of the authentic final report of the Dresden authorities,
13the police authorities, on the death roll on 5th April
141966, and you replied that you continued to believe in the
15authority of the daily command signed by Grosse which gave
16a figure of 200,000.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can I halt you there for a moment and ask, did they
18actually send the document to me or did they just say:
19"We have found a document"?
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Then they sent a document to you on 27th May asking for
21your opinion.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     27th May.
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     And the West Germans sent you a copy on 13th May. So you
24had a copy in your hands by the time you replied to the
25West German authorities on 16th May.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     So what did the West German send to me on May 13th, a

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 1letter saying: "We have found a document" or did they send
 2the document?
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It confirms discovery, yes, they had ----
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     You appreciate the difference?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes. I appreciate the difference. Yes. Giving a full
 6account of what was in the document.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     What do you mean by a "full account"?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, I summarize it on paragraph 3 in page 547. It seems
 9pretty full to me with the figures.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Everybody knew what the Tagesbefehl was and
11there are they saying that actually it says 35,000?
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     The final situation report, it says 25.
13 MR IRVING:     So what do you say was in the letter from the West
14German archivists, the first one 13th May? He drew my
15attention to the discovery of a document, is that correct?
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That is right. Then it goes on to summarise a letter in
17the rest of that paragraph.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     I wrote back saying: "Please send me a copy of the
19report", is that right?
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, and saying that you would give the facts on 16th May,
21saying you realized the implications of the document and
22you were going to give the facts fullest prominence in
23England and Germany to counter what you now said was the
24false impression given by the Tagesbefehl 47 which you
25had said only a few weeks previously to the East Germans
26you continued to believe in. "We have to delay

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