Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 41 - 45 of 222

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    I mean, what he says now, his position has changed
 1selective, in cross-examination. His first reaction,
 2eventually in some case, sometimes quite quickly, was to
 3say, "Yes, are you right, it did happen".
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, but I must find out what the up-to-date
 5position is because I think it is fair to say that
 6sometimes Mr Irving has fluctuated.
 7 MR RAMPTON:     As I say, I do not attach much weight to what
 8I might call back tracking.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Right. If Professor Longerich can perform
10that exercise, but also focus, if he would, on the extent
11of Hitler's knowledge and the reason for saying that he
12knew about the gassing at Chelmno and all the rest.
13     The next question is a very short one and
14I think I know what your answer is, but I will ask it all
15the same: part of your case against Mr Irving is that he
16is a racist, leaving aside anti-Semitism, that he is a
17racist and you have a number of quotations from his
18speeches.
19 MR RAMPTON:     Yes.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     How does that bear on (a) the words
21complained of, and (b) the meanings that you seek to
22justify?
23 MR RAMPTON:     I suppose we seek to justify simply that he holds
24extremist views in the written bit. In the statement of
25case, I cannot remember. It says something ----
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     There is a bit right at the back.

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 1 MR RAMPTON:     --- rather more specific than that.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Perhaps my question really is, there is
 3nothing about racism, is there, in ----
 4 MR RAMPTON:     No.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     --- Professor Lipstadt's book?
 6 MR RAMPTON:     Perhaps I should ask her. There is some allusion
 7to it, she says.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am not sure there is; if there is, I would
 9like to know what it is.
10 MR RAMPTON:     But, maybe your Lordship is right, there is this
11to be said, perhaps, if a man is and out and out racist
12which we would propose that it is obvious from his own
13private jottings, never mind what he says publicly, that
14Mr Irving is, and if anti-Semitism is a form of racism,
15which it plainly is, then it is a bit like a case where
16you accuse a man of grievous bodily harm and at trial
17succeed in proving that he is a murderer.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes. I thought that would be your answer,
19that anti-Semitism is just one form of racism.
20 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, indeed.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     And, therefore, it is relevant, you would
22say, by way of justification of an anti-Semitic allegation
23that there is a general streak of racism to be perceived
24in what Mr Irving has said and done.
25 MR RAMPTON:     It is evidence of his general disposition to
26disparage and be hostile towards people of different

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 1colours, ethnic backgrounds and cultures.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes. Now perhaps, for me, at any rate, the
 3most important question is to be absolutely clear about
 4what you are saying in the section which is section 9,
 5I think, or (ix) towards the back of your written
 6submission about assessing Mr Irving as an historian.
 7 MR RAMPTON:     Yes.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Do you mind turning it up because I just want
 9to be absolutely clear about it this because I think it is
10exceedingly important. You first refer back to your
11historiographical criticisms, and I am right in taking it,
12am I not, it is pretty obvious from what you there say by
13way of criticism of Mr Irving that a number of the
14criticisms are criticisms that he has deliberately
15falsified the record.
16 MR RAMPTON:     Every single one.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     All right, every single one. Now, you do not
18expressly say so, but you may tell me it is implicit, that
19when you deal with his partisanship for Hitler which is
20(ii), you do not expressly say that that is all deliberate
21distortion and manipulation and so on.
22 MR RAMPTON:     No.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     But that I understand to be your case, am
24I right?
25 MR RAMPTON:     No, what I say is that he has sought to exculpate
26Hitler; that he has done that by a massive falsification

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 1of the underlying historical record on a large number of
 2occasions.
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     But going beyond what you have selected or
 4Professor Evans has selected as the historical
 5criticisms?
 6 MR RAMPTON:     Then I say if one looks at the general evidence as
 7an objective, open-minded, careful, dispassionate
 8historian, that Hitler was, indeed, responsible, knew all
 9about it, and authorized it, the conclusion is
10irresistible that he did. Mr Irving has shut that window,
11as it were, and has got on with the shut window behind him
12with the falsification of history so as to exculpate
13Hitler.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, so this is again another instance of
15deliberate manipulation which kind of runs through ----
16 MR RAMPTON:     It is a kind of deliberate blindness to the
17evidence. What he does not like, he ignores.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Deliberate blindness?
19 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, it is deliberate blindness. He knows about,
20he has known for years, about report No. 51, for example.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     So it is telescope to the wrong eye?
22 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, and for years, despite report No. 51, until
23we got him into this court, until he got us into this
24court, he did not accept that Hitler sanctioned the mass
25shootings in the East. It is that kind of phenomenon.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     So that the partisanship. Then Auschwitz,

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 1well I think it is pretty clear what your case is about
 2that.
 3 MR RAMPTON:     Yes.
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     You do not specifically rely on the denials
 5of the Holocaust, but, presumably, you say in relation to
 6those that they are denials which Mr Irving must have
 7known were false when he made them.
 8 MR RAMPTON:     No, again this is a bit like the sort of general
 9refusal to accept Hitler's knowledge. What I say about
10that is that his denials of the Holocaust have been made
11without any reference whatsoever to any reliable evidence.
12They started to be made on Leichter which is an obviously
13completely hopeless position for any kind of
14self-respecting historian or, indeed, anybody else for
15that matter. Then much later on down the road he adds in
16one or two other things like the death books and the
17decrypts. Finally, just before this trial or a year or so
18before this trial, he comes to the runes. He has never
19been to Auschwitz. He has never looked at any o the
20documents or the plans. Such evidence as he knows about
21he dismisses out of hand as being mere eyewitness
22testimony. When he comes to see an aerial photograph
23showing the holes in the roof, he says it is a forgery;
24the incineration capacity document is also a forgery, and
25so on and so forth. This means that his denial must have
26another agenda because it cannot be the product of genuine

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