Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 46 - 50 of 222

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    No, again this is a bit like the sort of general
 1bona fide historical research and contemplation.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     So his state of mind which is -- and it is
 3important that I am absolutely clear what it is that is
 4being suggested in relation to the various issues that
 5have arisen in the case -- this is an area where you put
 6it as being deliberately perverse blindness and acting in
 7pursuance of what is, effectively, a neoNazi agenda, is
 8that right?
 9 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, I put it in two ways and I will say it as
10shortly as I can. I put it forward as evidence of
11somebody who cannot be regarded as a serious historian,
12because what he has done is to allow his historical
13apparatus to be distorted by something beyond -- extrinsic
14or ulterior. Looking at the way in which he expresses
15Holocaust denial and the audiences to whom he expresses
16that denial and the things that he says on those
17occasions, one is driven to the conclusion that the hidden
18agenda, the reason for the historical incompetence, if I
19can I call it that (though there is a much stronger word
20that I could think of) is that he is at root deeply
21anti-Semitic and a neo-Nazi, as your Lordship just said.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Well, that raises the last question that
23I wanted to canvass with you, and it is anti-Semitism and,
24indeed, the racism and the extremism and all the rest of
25it. I find it a little, and I find it throughout the
26case, bit difficult to see how, if at all, those

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 1allegations against Mr Irving dovetail with the general
 2allegation that he falsifies to an extent deliberately the
 3historical record because it seems to me, and I just want
 4to know how you put it, that if somebody is anti-Semitic,
 5and leave aside racism, but anti-Semitic and extremist, he
 6is perfectly capable of being, as it were, honestly
 7anti-Semitic and honestly extremist in the sense that he
 8is holding those views and expressing those views because
 9they are, indeed, his views.
10 MR RAMPTON:     Yes.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Now, it seems to me that probably, if you
12come down to it, that the anti-Semitism is a completely
13separate allegation which really has precious little
14bearing on your broader and perhaps more important case
15that Mr Irving has manipulated the data and falsified the
16record, or do you say that they are corrected in some way
17and, if so, how?
18 MR RAMPTON:     I propose that they probably are connected. I do
19not have to do that, but I propose that they are
20connected, and that the link between them, I have no doubt
21at all he is genuinely anti-Semitic and all the more
22defamatory it is of him to say so, and it is true.
23I propose that certainly, that he is genuinely profoundly
24anti-Semitic. But the bridge between the Holocaust denial
25and the Hitler apology from anti-Semitism is a very easy
26one to build, because what more would an historian who is

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 1an anti-Semite want to do in exculpation of Hitler which
 2he has been trying to do by telling lies about history for
 3years, what more would he want to do than to deny the
 4Holocaust?
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, but he might believe what he is saying.
 6That is the point. That is why it is important.
 7 MR RAMPTON:     Believe what he is saying about what?
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     About the Holocaust.
 9 MR RAMPTON:     There is no way he could believe what he is saying
10about the Holocaust if it ----
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I understand that, but that has nothing to do
12with his anti-Semitism. I am not sure I am making my
13point clear to you that ----
14 MR RAMPTON:     No, I take a profound anti-Semite, I see that he
15has denied the Holocaust without any historical
16justification whatsoever.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     But I understand all of that.
18 MR RAMPTON:     Then I ask myself, what is his reason for denying
19the Holocaust because he has not got a good historical
20one, there must be another one? And the most obvious
21thing for a profound and genuine anti-Semite to do because
22it suits his book is to leap into Holocaust denial without
23any proper evidence at all, any evidence at all, and cart
24it around the world in front of him and to audiences at
25other anti-Semites and neofascists.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is another agenda, you would say?

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 1 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, that is the other agenda; the promotion of
 2anti-Semitism.
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes.
 4 MR RAMPTON:     And given that there is, as I say, absolutely no
 5historical foundation, no proper historical foundation,
 6for Holocaust denial, and given that there is evidence
 7that Mr Irving is an anti-Semite, as I say, the bridge
 8between the one and the other is very easy to build
 9indeed.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, thank you.
11 MR RAMPTON:     And the same goes for Hitler exculpation.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Thank you very much. Now, Mr Irving, it is
13your turn.
14 MR IRVING:     My Lord, it might be proper, perhaps, to have a
15five-minute adjournment as the Defendants have provided to
16me a list of objections they make to my closing statement
17and, indeed, I think it would be fair to them if I
18were just to review those objections and see if I ought to
19take them on board.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I do not have any difficulty with that. Will
21five minutes be enough?
22 MR IRVING:     Five minutes will be enough.
23 (Short Adjournment)
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, Mr Irving?
25 MR IRVING:     My Lord, rather like going over the top in
26Gallipoli, but my father was in that battle so I know what

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 1it is like. I will be making omissions from the text that
 2I gave your Lordship and I will indicate by saying that
 3I am omitting a sentence or a paragraph so that your
 4Lordship can follow.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is very kind.
 6 MR IRVING:     May it please the court. The Defendants in this
 7action, the publisher Penguin Books Limited and the
 8American scholar Deborah Lipstadt, have sought to cast
 9this trial as being about the reputation of the Holocaust.
10It is not.
11     The world's press have also reported it in this
12way. Again, it is not.
13     This trial is about my reputation as a human
14being, as an historian of integrity, and - thanks to the
15remarks made by Mr Rampton - as a father. The Defendants
16are saying, and have so convinced many people, that I am
17not entitled to continue to earn a living in the way that
18I have earned it for nearly 40 years. A judgment in my
19favour is no more than that judgment that disputed points
20which I have made about some aspect of the narrative are
21not so absurd, given the evidence, as to disqualify me
22from the ranks of historians. Under the laws of
23defamation as they exist in this country, it could not be
24anything else, and nor must the defence team, no matter
25how powerful, how moneyed, or eloquent, or numerous, be
26allowed by their tactics to skew it in any other way.

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