Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Judgment: Electronic Edition, by Charles GrayTable of Contents
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The alleged risk of damage to the plates
13.134 It is clear to me that, according to what Lipstadt wrote in Denying the Holocaust and the Summary of the Defendants' case, her allegation was that the risk of damage arose on the occasion of the second removal of plates from the archive. According to Lipstadt, it was the transport of the plates to England and the testing which took place here, followed by the return journey to Moscow, which gave rise to the risk of damage. It was this which caused "serious concern in archival circles" about significant damage to the plates. I do not consider that the evidence bears out the allegation that any real risk of significant damage did arise. According to the unchallenged evidence of Irving, the plates were at all times securely packaged. When they were in possession of others, I see no reason to suppose that they were at risk. Showing one plate at a meeting in Munich does not appear to me to give rise to a risk of damage. When Irving left the plates in Munich, whilst he made an excursion to Rome, they were left in the hotel safe. In England the tests were carried out in reputable laboratories belonging to Kodak and Pilkington. I am satisfied that the physical interference was minimal and caused no risk to the integrity of the plates. The emulsion of the plates was not tested. Irving may well be right in his comment that the plates were safer whilst in his custody than they were in the archive. Accordingly I do not accept that the allegation of risk of damage to the is made out in relation to their removal from the archive to be taken to England for testing.
13.135 But the Defendants advanced an argument that, on the occasion of the first removal on 10 June, the plates were put at risk when they were left during the afternoon hidden behind a wall on some waste ground a short distance from the archive. I am satisfied that the plates were carefully wrapped in cardboard and plastic thereby eliminating the risk of physical damage. So the only risk which might be said to arise was if someone came across the plates by chance and removed them. Bearing in mind how far this is removed from the risk of which Lipstadt wrote and the unlikelihood of a passer-by showing interest in a package consisting of a couple of pieces of glass, I am not prepared to find that the allegation of risk to the plates is proved.