Ирвинг против Липштадт


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Judgment: Electronic Edition, by Charles Gray

Table of Contents

Case for the Defendants

5.20Evans noted that, whereas in Hitler's War it is claimed by Irving that the whole squad which was involved in the looting was disciplined by Hitler, in Goering it is just the ex-army lieutenant. The reader who seeks to resolve the inconsistency is not assisted by any footnote identifying either the police sergeant who is said by Irving to have witnessed the dismissal or the occasion when he gave his evidence (as would be conventional practice for a reputable historian). Irving says at p518 that his account is knitted together from eye-witness evidence at the trial.
5.21Evans managed to track down the identity of the police officer, who was called Hofmann. The Defendants criticise Irving for his failure to inform the reader that Hofmann was a loyal member of the Nazi party who participated in the putsch and who was on that account likely, when   testifying on his behalf at his criminal trial, to give a favourable account of the conduct of his Fuhrer in his testimony and to depict him as a law-abiding citizen.
5.22According to Evans, examination of the transcript of Hofmann's testimony reveals several inaccuracies in Irving's account. There is no support for the claim that Hitler summoned or "sent for" the former lieutenant or that either the police sergeant officer or Goering "goggled" when Hitler admonished him for raiding the Jewish shop. The admonition took place before the putsch and so cannot have formed any part of an attempt by Hitler to maintain order during it.
5.23Irving's account is also criticised for misrepresenting the nature of Hitler's concern about the raid on the Jewish shop. The record of the evidence given at the trial demonstrates that Hitler's concern was not to punish the officer for victimising a Jewish shopkeeper but rather that the incident might convey a bad impression of his new party.
5.24Evans maintained that, far from acting to protect Jewish property during the putsch, there is reliable evidence that Hitler (as he himself admitted at his trial) ordered a raid on a Jewish printing house by armed Storm Division troops, who under threat of violence stole 14.5 billion marks. This robbery is presented by Irving at p59 of Goering as a "requisition" of "funds".
5.25The Defendants maintain that in the respects which I have summarised, in his account of Hitler's reaction to the raid on the Jewish delicatessen and the evidence given at his trial, Irving persistently twists and embroiders the facts so as to exculpate Hitler and portray him as having acted sympathetically towards the Jews. Evans emphasised that it is essential for any historian to pay close attention to the background of any source he intends to quote so as to ensure that he is a reliable witness. He concluded that Irving deliberately suppressed the information as to Hofmann's background, preferring instead to present him to the reader as an objective and trustworthy source, when to Irving's knowledge he was nothing of the kind.