Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 32: Electronic Edition

Pages 206 - 210 of 222

<< 1-5221-222 >>
    It is plain to me from what I know that
 1spoken at his trial.
 2     My Lord, there remain one or two minor matters,
 3in my view. The Defendants alleged that I wilfully
 4exaggerated the Dresden death roll in my 1963 book "The
 5Destruction of Dresden", and that I had no basis for my
 6figures. I have satisfied this court, I believe, that at
 7all times (A) I set and published the proper upper and
 8lower limits for estimates that I gave, giving a wide
 9range of figures which necessarily decreased overall over
10the years as our state of information improved, and that
11(B) I had an adequate basis for the various figures which
12I provided in my works at the material times. It has to
13be said that authors have little or no control over the
14content of books that are sub-licensed by their main
15publisher to other publishers. Revisions are not
16encouraged for costs reasons.
17     I have always been aware of the highly charged
18political nature of the figures quote for this event, the
19bombing of Dresden. The highest figure of 250,000, which
20I mentioned in my books only as the maximum ever alleged,
21was given, for example, by the German Chancellor
22Dr Comrade Ardenau in a West German official government
23publication which I showed the court. The lowest figures
24only became available in a book published in 1994 by
25Fredrich Reichardt. A copy of this book was provided to
26me in 1997. By that time I had already published the

.   P-206



 1latest updated version of my book which is now called
 2"Apocalypse 1945, The Destruction of Dresden", in which
 3I had lowered the death roll still further on the basis of
 4my on investigations and considerations. This was the
 5first edition over which I, not the publisher, had total
 6control, as it appeared under my own imprint.
 7     In 1965, as the court is aware, I received
 8written estimates of 140,000 and 180,000 dead from a
 9rather anxious Soviet zone citizen, Dr Max Funfack, who
10claimed to have received them about nine days after the
11raid from the City Commandant and the Chief Civil Defence
12Officer respectively, both of them his personal friends.
13That being so, there was no reason why I should have
14revised the 135,000 estimate which I had earlier received
15from Hans Voigt, a city official charged with drawing up
16death lists when I was researching my first book in 1961.
17     In 1966 I received the police final report of
18March 1945. While still remaining sceptical about it for
19the reasons stated, for example, the officer was
20responsible for Dresden's ARP and it was too early to
21achieve any kind of overall final figure, the number of
22refugees killed was also an imponderable. I took the
23correct action, however. I sent to letter to The Times
24within a few days of finding the new documents, that is
25July 1996, within a few days of finding the new documents
26in the mail on my return from a trip to the United

.   P-207



 1States. Not only that, but at my own expense I had the
 2letter reprinted and sent to hundreds of historians and
 3the like. One hopes that the expert witnesses whom we saw
 4in the witness stand on behalf of the Defence would have
 5had the same integrity to do the same kind of thing.
 6     As for the Goebbels diaries, the Defendants, as
 7I understand it, do not now seek to justify their claim
 8that I broke an agreement with the Moscow archives in
 91992.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I do not think that is right, but do not take
11time on it because I think I know what the case is.
12 MR IRVING:     They have withdrawn witness reports of the Russian
13archivists and will provide me no opportunity to
14cross-examine them. I was prepared to pursue those
15cross-examinations most vigorously. I produced a witness
16statement from Mr Peter Millar of the Sunday Times, my
17colleague in Moscow, and I made him available for
18cross-examination. He confirmed that there was no verbal
19or written agreement, as I had also stated in my various
20replies, so therefore I could not have broken it. The
21Defendants have left no satisfactory evidence before the
22court that refutes this, in my submission.
23     Mr Millar also confirmed to the court that he
24did not agree that my conduct gave rise to significant
25risk of damage to the plates. The plates had been
26withheld from historians by the Russians for 55 years or

.   P-208



 1more. That figure of course is wrong. It is 48 years at
 2that time, I am sorry. The plates have been withheld from
 3historians for 48 years or more. By my actions I made
 4this historically very important materials available to
 5the world, and I placed copies of them in the appropriate
 6German archives at my own expense.
 7     My Lord, I make submission now on the Heinrich
 8Muller document.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I do not think I would read that out if
10I were you. I think that is not the best way of dealing
11with it.
12 MR IRVING:     No. I will leave it as a written submission.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Have you seen what -- I am sure you have seen
14it because I have a copy of a letter to you with
15attachments.
16 MR IRVING:     I have seen it, my Lord, yes.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     In the light of those attachments and
18including Professor Longerich's really quite helpful
19account of his investigations, what is your submission?
20 MR IRVING:     I am not challenging the authenticity of the
21document, my Lord, but I am asking that attention be paid
22to the fact that it is highly unsatisfactory that I am not
23provided in good time, in a timeous manner, with the file
24dated that I needed in order to go behind the document and
25establish whether there was anything which would undermine
26the purport that the defendants were seeking to attach to

.   P-209



 1that document.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     You mean the other documents in the same
 3file?
 4 MR IRVING:     Like in the case of the Schlegelberger document,
 5which enabled the Defendants to attack the meaning of the
 6Schlegelberger document, because they had documents
 7relating to it in the same file which enabled them to
 8narrow it down and say this is clearly a reference to the
 9Mischlinge.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Sorry, we are talking about the Muller
11document, are we not?
12 MR IRVING:     We are talking about the Muller document. I am
13saying that, had I had the other documents in the same
14file ----
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     What has it got to do with Mischlinge?
16 MR IRVING:     I could have gone behind the Muller document, using
17the other documents in the same file.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     You mean as you did with Schlegelberger?
19 MR IRVING:     As they did with Schlegelberger.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, I follow. I am not quite sure,
21Dr Longerich wrote to Dr Aaron Reich, as I understand it,
22to see what other documents there were in the file, but
23I do not know what the result was, or indeed when the
24question was asked. You do not know either?
25 MR IRVING:     I asked the question and I was given a totally
26fictitious file number in the German Federal archives.

.   P-210


<< 1-5221-222 >>