Holocaust Denial on Trial, Skeleton Argument of the Claimant (long): Electronic Edition, by Adrian Davies

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184.This peripheral issue (it has nothing to do with Hitler's policy towards the Jews) was introduced by the Defendants in November 1999, at a time when the Claimant was struggling under the weight of preparing as a litigant in person for a heavy trial. It arises out of the first of Irving's books, which he began writing in 1960, and published as long ago as 1963, and which was not substantially revised until the 1996 edition. During the intervening thirty-three years, Irving had little control over the text, which was in the hands of sub-licensees. Some of the figures which Gray J cites in his chronologies are from jacket blurbs, over which the author had no control whatsoever.
185.In November 1999, the Defendants must have known that there was no possibility of Irving going back in any detail to his 1963 material in time for a trial fixed for 11 January 2000. Lipstadt later explained the Defendants' tactics in the Jerusalem Post of 6 June 2000:--
"There was always the possibility that Irving would drop out, and some of the pre-trial strategy was designed to keep pressure on him, in the hope that he would give up."
186.1.86, Irving is said to have falsified the death toll in Dresden. See e_g at 1.3.124:--
"He [Irving] also testified that his claims had been based on estimates as high as 250,000 which he had received from a great many individuals. Irving neither identified the individuals nor disclosed the letters."
187. Irving had donated his records to the Dresden city archives in 1965. Microfilm copies were disclosed to the Defendants. Among evidence thus disclosed and produced to the Court were letters from Hanns Voigt, a wartime Dresden city official in charge of maintaining death lists, who gave his best estimate of the death roll at 135,000, the figure used by Irving; and a letter from Dr Max Fünfack, a wartime medical officer in Dresden, stating that General Mehnert, the city commandant and Professor Fetscher, chief of the city's civil defence, had at that time given him death roll figures of around 140,000. Mr Irving also produced a book with a foreword by Dr Konrad Adenauer, Germany's post-war Chancellor, with this footnote: "The attack on the city on Dresden, which was filled with refugees on 13 February 1945 alone cost about 250,000 dead," and a report by US Air Force medical officers Desaga and Hurd, in the records of the US Strategic Bombing Survey, giving a similar figure. "The most badly damaged town, in their opinion, is Dresden with an estimated casualty list of 250,000." Prof. Evans was cross-examined on these two sources on Day 23, 21 February 2000, pages 197 et seq.
188. It is submitted that Irving fairly used the material available to him between 1960 and 1963 on this side issue.
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