Day 1 Transcript: Holocaust Denial on Trial
Part I: Initial Proceedings (1.1 to 9.23)
1 IN THE ROYAL COURTS OF JUSTICE
1996 I. No. 113
QUEEN’S BENCH DIVISION
2 Royal Courts of Justice
3 Strand, London
4 Tuesday, 11th January 2000
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY
9 B E T W E E N: DAVID JOHN CAWDELL IRVING
10 Claimant -and-
11 (1) PENGUIN BOOKS LIMITED
12 (2) DEBORAH E. LIPSTADT
14 The Claimant appeared in person
15 MR RICHARD RAMPTON Q.C. (instructed by Messrs Davenport Lyons and Mishcon de Reya) appeared on behalf of the First and
16 Second Defendants
17 MISS ROGERS (instructed by Davenport Lyons) appeared on behalf of the First Defendant Penguin Books Limited
18 MR ANTHONY JULIUS (of Mishcon de Reya) appeared on behalf of
19 the Second Defendant Deborah Lipstadt
21 (Transcribed from the stenographic notes of Harry Counsell & Company,
Clifford’s Inn, Fetter Lane, London EC4
22 Telephone: 020-7242-9346)
23 PROCEEDINGS – DAY ONE
1 Tuesday, 11th January 2000.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving and Mr Rampton, I am conscious that
3 this court is not capable of accommodating all who would
4 like to be here.
5 MR RAMPTON: Including counsel, my Lord!
6 THE CHAIRMAN: Including counsel — you have rather more space
7 than some of the people at the back. All I can say is
8 that we have done our best to find a court that can
9 accommodate the technology and is physically big enough to
10 cope with all the bundles.
11 I would like to be able to say that we could try
12 to find another court where everybody could be found a
13 place to sit down, but I just do not think it is
14 possible. I will make enquiries, but it is very desirable
15 that everybody who wants to be here should be here and
16 I am afraid they are not. So I will make enquiries, but
17 I think we will probably have to stay here, so I hope
18 everyone will put up with the discomfort and I am sorry
19 about it.
20 Mr Irving, I have a copy of your opening
21 statement. Are there any other preliminary matters that
22 need to be discussed and decided before you embark on it?
23 MR IRVING: My Lord, I did address a letter to you within the
24 last few days recommending that before I embark on my
25 opening statement, with your Lordship’s permission, we
26 address one or two procedural matters —-
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I thought there might be.
2 MR IRVING: — covering the opening phase and also how, with
3 the agreement of the Defendants, we propose to structure
4 the hearing of this action.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
6 MR IRVING: The most interesting part of the action in the
7 light of history is, undoubtedly, the Holocaust and
8 Auschwitz and is also, I think we all apprehend, the most
9 complicated to prepare. By agreement between the parties,
10 we propose to divide the action into these two phases, but
11 basically all the rest followed by Auschwitz, if I have
12 understood the proposals also made by the Defendants in
13 this connection?
14 MR RAMPTON: I think that is a misunderstanding. I had
15 supposed that we were going to do Auschwitz first, and if
16 that causes Mr Irving a difficulty — I am not saying
17 whose fault the understanding is, but misunderstanding,
18 however, it undoubtedly is — we have scheduled our
19 Auschwitz expert, Professor van Pelt, it to be here for
20 the last week in January which is about when I expected to
21 start my cross-examination.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So what is being proposed, that the whole
23 case should be divided, as it were, into two?
24 MR RAMPTON: No, I do not think so — well, in two, yes. What
25 is proposed by us (and which Mr Irving has agreed to,
26 though it appears there is a misunderstanding about the
1 timing of it) was that Auschwitz should be dealt with as a
2 discrete or separate topic.
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: With the Claimant’s evidence and then the
4 Defendants’ evidence.
5 MR RAMPTON: The Claimant gives his evidence, I would then
6 cross-examine him and immediately following that or his
7 own re-examination, I would call the Auschwitz expert for
8 the Defence, Professor van Pelt, who can be cross-examined
9 by Mr Irving.
10 I had expected that process to start at the end
11 of this month. From what Mr Irving has just said, it now
12 appears that he has thought that Auschwitz would come at
13 the end of the case which is contrary to my
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am a bit surprised that there should be
16 such a fundamental disagreement.
17 MR RAMPTON: I hear it now for the first time with surprise.
18 I utter no word or criticism or blame. I do not know how
19 it comes about. It may be that I should have when I have
20 found out what has happened. But it is extremely
21 inconvenient from our expert’s point of view and he is not
22 resident in this country. He is in Canada.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: On the other hand, Mr Irving must really be
24 free as Claimant to take his own course, unless agreement
25 can be reached to some other effect.
26 MR RAMPTON: I do not know there is much to be gained by having
1 a discussion about that particular topic in front of your
2 Lordship now. It seems to me we have to go back to the
3 drawing board and work out a schedule which suits both
4 sides. But, as matters presently stand, it would cause us
5 a great deal of difficulty as we thought we had an
6 agreement that we could start that topic first, but there
7 it is.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I think it is right that we do
9 want to spend time discussing this in open court unless
10 and until it proves to be necessary. Do you agree with
12 MR IRVING: I agree, my Lord, except that I would remark that
13 I received on Friday evening after close of business about
14 6,000 pages of document relating to van Pelt’s evidence,
15 though I am surprised that they would imagine they could
16 launch straight into the preparation of the Auschwitz
17 section of the hearing without not giving us time to
18 examine each and every one of these documents and have
19 them examined.
20 On the other hand, I agree, we do not have to
21 discuss it in open court. I am perfectly prepared to have
22 Professor van Pelt come over in the middle of whatever
23 else is going on and we can take him as a separate
24 entirety. He is certainly an extremely interesting
25 witness to be heard.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: My view really is this at the moment, that
1 you are the Claimant, you have a right to take the case
2 all in one bite or in two bites, whichever you like, and
3 if it is to be two bites, then the parties will have to
4 try to reach agreement and, if necessary, I can decide it.
5 MR IRVING: My Lord, we will try to reach an agreement behind
6 the scenes with the Defendants in this matter.
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Will you try? I do realize you are wrestling
8 with a pretty enormous burden as a litigant in person.
9 MR RAMPTON: That I entirely understand and it gives rise again
10 in an entirely neutral way to this small problem: my
11 cross-examination of Mr Irving will consist in some
12 considerable degree of reference to Professor van Pelt’s
13 report and underlying documents, particularly the
14 blueprints and the contemporaneous journal. I cannot
15 judge when Mr Irving will finish his evidence-in-chief,
16 but as soon as he does, then (as with him) I must be free,
17 I believe, to cross-examine in whichever order I see fit.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of course.
19 MR RAMPTON: Therefore, as I say, I expected him to finish his
20 evidence-in-chief probably towards the end of January by
21 which time I would start straightaway with Auschwitz.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: What I would like to do at some stage (and I
23 think now is not the right time) is to work out an
24 anticipated programme. I am not going to say anything
25 about time limits at the moment, but this is the kind of
26 case where it may become necessary to keep the thing
1 within sensible bounds.
2 MR RAMPTON: Absolutely, yes.
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: But I do not think now is the time because
4 I have not the feel for how it is going to go and I do not
5 think it is right to ask Mr Irving to estimate anything at
6 the moment.
7 MR IRVING: We all have constraints imposed on us, my Lord, by
8 the fact that we have witnesses coming from overseas who
9 have to fit in their visits here with their own academic
10 time-tables. For this reason, I am showing a great degree
11 of flexibility over the timetable and i am sure the
12 Defendants will show the same courtesy.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: In a day or two’s time, I think, if we spend
14 half an hour — perhaps if you would both like to think
15 about it before then — trying to work out how we hope we
16 will make progress, and then do our level best to stick
17 whatever programme we have decided on.
18 MR IRVING: Very well, my Lord.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think that would be sensible.
20 MR IRVING: I think that is probably the only advance
21 procedural matter which I wished to address at this stage,
22 my Lord, and with your Lordship’s permission, I will now
23 commence with my opening statement.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can I just raise one small topic with you,
25 which is that you wrote, I think, that you are intending
26 to show a couple of video clips.
1 MR IRVING: I do not think we will get to that today, my Lord.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Right. I was not clear why they should form
3 part of your opening. That is the only…
4 MR IRVING: They do not form part of the opening, my Lord.
5 There are immediately following it.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Right. If there is no objection, there is no
7 objection. There is not.
8 MR IRVING: One of the video clips I wish to show largely
9 because it contains about 20 minutes of the Second
10 Defendant talking on television and, as I understand, the
11 Second Defendant will probably not be giving evidence in
12 person, and I thought it was fair that we should hear her
13 in her own words explaining her position
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
15 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, before Mr Irving opens his case, can
16 I say this in advance? I say it now and I hope I will not
17 need to say it again. So far as the introduction of
18 evidence by Mr Irving is concerned, there will be only two
19 grounds on which I shall ever object, since this is a case
20 which is being tried without a jury; the first is that it
21 is a waste of time and the second is that it is designed
22 to catch the public eye and is not relevant to the case.
23 My Lord, those are the only two matters, otherwise I am
24 happy to leave it to your Lordship. There may be whole
25 areas which are not really much to do with the case, but
26 if Mr Irving wants to go down those roads, then subject to
Part II: David Irving’s Opening Statement (9.24 to 86.26)
1 case management, I have no objection.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It appeared to me, having now spent quite a
3 lot of time with the papers, in a curious way it is a case
4 that does not depend to a very great extent on the oral
5 evidence which is an unusual feature of a case of this
7 MR IRVING: My Lord, in this particular video which I wish to
8 show, there are passages which show the Second Defendant
9 making certain statements on which I wish to rely and also
10 Professor van Pelt standing in a certain position in the
11 site of Auschwitz making certain statements upon which
12 I wish also to rely.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: There is no objection taken, so I would not
14 dream of preventing you doing it.
15 MR IRVING: Yes, and that is the reason why I wish particularly
16 to show those videos. I know videos are a sore point
17 between us because we discussed this at the pretrial
18 hearing. Your Lordship will remember that I am concerned
19 about the state of commercially edited videos where there
20 have been cross-cuttings —-
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
22 MR IRVING: — and things cut out, and so on.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. Now do open the case.
Section 9.24 to 36.12
24 MR IRVING: May it please your Lordship, this is my opening
25 statement in the matter of David Irving v. Penguin Books
26 and Deborah Lipstadt. I appear as a litigant in person
1 and the Defendants are represented by Richard Rampton and
2 Miss Rogers of counsel and by Mr Anthony Julius.
3 My Lord, there were originally three other
4 Defendants as well who can be characterised here as
5 booksellers, which your Lordship will observe that they no
6 longer figure in this action, a settlement having been
8 This is an action in libel arising from the
9 publication by the First Defendant of a book entitled
10 “Denying the Holocaust” written by the Second Defendant,
11 Professor Lipstadt.
12 As your Lordship is aware, the work complained
13 of has attracted considerable attention, both in this
14 country and in the United States and elsewhere since it
15 was first published in 1993. Your Lordship will have
16 before you my Statement of Claim in which I set out the
17 grounds for my complaint, the consequence of which I am
18 asking that the Defendants be ordered to pay damages of an
19 amount which I will venture to suggest, and I will invite
20 your Lordship to issue an injunction against further
21 publication of this work and also order that the
22 Defendants should make the usual undertakings.
23 My Lord, it is almost 30 years to the day since
24 I last set foot in these Law Courts, and I trust that your
25 Lordship will allow me to digress for two or three
26 minutes, being (in my submission) something of
1 an historian, on the history of those events because there
2 are not without relevance to the proceedings upon which we
3 are about to embark.
4 The occasion of that visit to this building was
5 an action heard before Lawton J, which became well-known
6 to law students as Cassell v. Broome & Another. It too
7 was a libel action and I am ashamed to admit that I was
8 the “Another”, having written a book on a naval operation,
9 “The Destruction of Convoy PQ17. That was the only
10 actively fought libel action in which I became engaged in
11 30 years of writing. There were two reasons for this
12 abstinence; my Lord, first, I became more prudent about
13 how I wrote and, second, I was taught to turn the other
15 The man who taught me the latter lesson was my
16 first publisher. He had signed up my first book, “The
17 Destruction of Dresden” which was eventually published in
18 1963. I had been approached in about 1961 by this
19 gentleman, a well-known English publisher, Mr William
20 Kimber. When I visited him in his offices (which were on
21 a site which has long since been built over, buried by a
22 luxury hotel, the Berkeley in Belgravia) I found him
23 surrounded by files and documents, rather as we all are in
24 this courtroom today, my Lord, and he wore an air of
26 Your Lordship may remember that Mr Kimber and
1 his author, Mr Leon Uris, had become involved through a
2 book which Mr Uris had written, entitled “Exodus”, in a
3 libel action brought by a London doctor who had been
4 obliged to serve at Auschwitz. That case was also heard
5 before Lawton J. There was one other similarity that
6 closes this particular circle of coincidence: like me
7 now, Mr Kimber was, in consequence, also obliged to spend
8 two or three years of his life wading, as he put it, “knee
9 deep” through the most appalling stories of atrocities and
10 human delegation.
11 That day he advised me never, ever, to become in
12 involved in libel litigation. I might add that, with one
13 exception that I shall later mention, I have heeded his
15 There have since been one or two minor legal
16 skirmishes which have not involved much “bloodshed”.
17 There was an action against an author which I foolishly
18 started at the same time as the PQ17 case and, having lost
19 the latter, i was obliged for evident reasons to abandon
20 it on relatively painless conditions; and a more recent
21 actions against a major London newspaper who put into my
22 mouth, no doubt inadvertently, some particularly offensive
23 words which had, in fact, been uttered by Adolf Hitler.
24 That newspaper settled out of court with me on terms that
25 were eminently acceptable, my Lord.
26 I have often thought of Mr Kimber’s predicament
1 since the 1960s and, more particularly, the last three
2 years. I have been plunged into precisely the same “knee
3 deep” position ever since I issued the originating writs
4 in this action in September 1996.
5 My Lord, by the way, does your Lordship actually
6 require to see the writs today?
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, not at all; if I need to look at any
8 document, I will just mention that I would like to look at
9 it — certainly not the writs. Thank you.
10 MR IRVING: If I am late with the bundles and papers upon which
11 this court relies, I can only plead this in mitigation,
12 knee deep.
13 I have never held myself out to be a Holocaust
14 expert, nor have I written books about what is now called
15 the Holocaust. If I am an expert in anything at all, I
16 may be so immodest to submit that it is in the role that
17 Adolf Hitler played in the propagation of World War II,
18 and in the decisions which he made and the knowledge on
19 which he based those decisions.
20 As a peripheral matter to that topic on which
21 I have written a number of books, I inevitably
22 investigated the extent to which Hitler participated in or
23 had cognisance of the Holocaust. That was the sum total
24 of my involvement as a book author up to the launching of
25 these writs.
26 Since then, because of the tactics chosen by the
1 Defendants, my Lord, I have been obliged willy-nilly to
2 become something of an expert through no desire of my own.
3 To my utmost distaste, it has become evident that it is no
4 longer possible to write pure history, untrammelled and
5 uninfluenced by politics, once one ventures into this
6 unpleasant field.
7 I have done my best to prepare the case that
8 follows, but I respectfully submit that I do not have any
9 duty to become an expert on the Holocaust, my Lord. It is
10 not saying anything unknown to this court. I remind those
11 present that, the Defendants having pleaded justification,
12 as they have, it is not incumbent upon me, as the
13 Claimant, to prove the wrongness of what they have
14 published; it is for them to prove that what they wrote
15 was true.
16 I intend to show that far from being a
17 “Holocaust denier” — the phrase in the title of the book
18 — I have repeatedly draw attention to major aspects of
19 the Holocaust and I have described them and I have
20 provided historical documents, both to the community of
21 scholars and to the general public of which they were
22 completely unaware before I discovered these documents,
23 and published them and translated them.
24 It will be found that I selflessly provided
25 copies of the documents, that I had at great expense
26 myself unearthed foreign archives even to my rival
1 historians, as I felt that it was important in the
2 interests of general historical research that they should
3 be aware of these documents. I am referring, for example,
4 to the Bruns Report, my Lord, which we will shall shortly
5 hear — it is the document which I provided to you
6 separately — and to the dossier on Kurt Aumeier in
7 British files, a dossier which even the Defence experts
8 admit is one of the most important historical finds since
9 the writings of Rudolph Hoss, the commandant of Auschwitz,
10 were published after the war.
11 My Lord, that actual document I quote all the
12 relevant parts in the opening statement, but I have
13 submitted the document to your Lordship as a courtesy.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you very much.
15 MR IRVING: There is one essential plea that I wish to make of
16 this court: I am aware that the Defendants have expended
17 a considerable sum of money in researching all over again
18 the harrowing story of what actually happened in what they
19 call the Holocaust.
20 I submit that, harsh though it may seem, the
21 court should take no interest in that tragedy. The court
22 may well disagree with me, and show a profound interest in
23 it, but, in my submission, we have to avoid the
24 temptations of raking over the history of what happened in
25 Poland or in Russia 50 years ago. What is moot here is
26 not what happened in those sites of atrocities, but what
1 happened over the last 32 years on my writing desk in my
2 apartment off Grosvenor Square. That is what is at stake
4 To justify her allegations of manipulation and
5 distortion, it will not suffice for Professor Lipstadt to
6 show, if she can, that I misrepresented what happened, but
7 that I knew what happened and that I perversely and
8 deliberately, for whatever purpose, portrayed it
9 differently from how I knew it to have happened.
10 That is what manipulation and distortion means,
11 and the other, though fundamental, story of what actually
12 happened is neither here nor there. In effect, this
13 enquiry should not leave the four walls of my study, my
14 Lord. It should look at the papers that lay before me and
15 not before some other magnificently funded research or
16 scholar, and at the manuscript that I then produced on the
17 basis of my own limited sources.
18 My Lord, if we were to seek a title for this
19 libel action, I would venture to suggest “Pictures at an
20 execution” — my execution.
21 Your Lordship may or not be aware that I have
22 had a reputation as an historian and as an investigative
23 writer arising from the 30 or so works which I have
24 published in English and other languages over the years
25 since 1961. I am the author of many scores of articles in
26 serious and respected newspapers, including over the years
1 in this country, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday
2 Telegraph, the Jewish Chronicle, the Sunday Express, the
3 Evening Standard, Encounter and publications of similar
4 repute in Germany. My articles have appeared in
5 newspapers ranging from Die Welt, Die Welt am Sonntag, and
6 magazines and journals like Stern, Der Spiegel, Neue
7 Illustrierte, Quick.
8 My books have appeared between hard covers under
9 the imprint of the finest publishing houses. I might
10 mention in this country the imprints of William Kimber
11 Ltd, Cassell & Company Ltd, Macmillan Limited, Hodder &
12 Stoughton, Penguin — Penguin, the First Defendants in
13 this action — and Allen Lane and others. As the Second
14 Defendant is, I understand, an American citizen, it might
15 be meritorious for me to add that my works have also been
16 published by her country’s leading publishing houses too,
17 including the Viking Press, Little, Brown, Simon &
18 Schuster, Holt, Reinhardt, Winston, St Martin’s Press and
19 a score of no less reputable paperback publishing houses.
20 Each of those published works by me contained in
21 or near the title page a list of my previous publications
22 and frequently a sample of the accolades bestowed on my
23 works by the leading names of literature and
24 historiography on both sides of the Atlantic.
25 This happy situation, namely having my works
26 published in the leading publishing houses of the world,
1 ended a year ago, a year or two ago, under circumstance
2 which I shall venture, if your Lordship permits, to set
3 out later in my remarks. Suffice it to say that this very
4 day, during the night, the Australia/Israel Review has
5 published in Sydney, Australia, a presumably well-informed
6 article (of which I have provided a copy to your Lordship;
7 I have marked the sentence on which I rely) coming as it
8 does from their corner, which provides one missing link in
9 the circumstances under which St Martin’s Press finally
10 terminated their contract to publish my book, “Goebbels.
11 Mastermind of the Third Reich”. I quote:
12 “… One of the catalysts for the case was
13 Irving’s”, they are talking about this action today,
14 “experience with American publisher, St Martin’s Press,
15 which, after being warned by Lipstadt and others about
16 Irving’s approach to history, then cancelled its agreement
17 to publish Irving’s book ‘Goebbels. Mastermind of the
18 Third Reich’ in the United States.”
19 So these Defendants have done very real damage
20 to my professional existence. May I, first of all, set
21 out the very real pecuniary damage which can be done to an
22 author in general terms, my Lord, by an attack on his
23 reputation. It is not merely that he suffers injury and
24 hurt to his feelings from unjustified attacks, whatever
25 their nature; an author, by virtue of his trade, lives a
26 precarious financial existence. A tenured professor or
1 other scholar can look forward to a brief career, lengthy
2 vacations, high rewards and eventually a pension. Perhaps
3 some members of the legal profession enjoy the same
4 fortunate expectations.
5 A writer leads a much lonelier and more
6 hazardous existence. When he first embarks on his career
7 he may write a string of works that are never published.
8 I was fortunate in this respect. When I first started
9 advertising in The Times in 1961, inviting British airmen
10 who had taken part in the principal operations of Royal
11 Air Force Bomber Command to come forward, among those who
12 contacted me was Mr William Kimber, a publisher of great
13 repute, who himself felt deeply about the ethical
14 questions raised by these saturation bombing operations.
15 I , therefore, did not have the usual problem
16 that faces most first time authors, namely that of
17 crossing the difficult threshold from being an unpublished
18 to a published author. My first book, “The Destruction of
19 Dresden” was serialised by The Sunday Telegraph and
20 attracted much critical acclaim. It was only then that
21 I took the perhaps fateful decision to become a writer.
22 If I may now advance rapidly some 20 or 30 years
23 (and I sense the court’s relief) I would repeat a brief
24 conversation I had with my accountant at a time when I was
25 earning more than £100,000 a year. My accountant, no
26 doubt with his eye on the commission involved, asked what
1 steps I had taken in anticipation of retirement. My
2 immodest reply was that I did not intend to retire, and
3 when he murmured something about pensions, I replied that
4 my books were my pension fund.
5 If I may explain that remark? If an author has
6 written a good book, it will be published and republished,
7 and on each occasion a fresh ripple of royalties reaches
8 the author’s bank account. Admittedly, the ripples become
9 smaller as the years progress, as the years recede, but if
10 he his written enough books in his 30 or 40 years of
11 creativity, then the ripples together make waves large
12 enough to sustain him into and beyond the years of
13 retirement. Indeed, they should also provide something of
14 a legacy for his children of whom I still have four.
15 That situation no longer obtains, my Lord. By
16 virtue of the activities of the Defendants, in particular
17 of the Second Defendant, and of those who funded her and
18 guided her hand, I have since 1996 seen one fearful
19 publisher after another falling away from me, declining to
20 reprint my works, refusing to accept new commissions and
21 turning their backs on me when I approach.
22 In private, the senior editors at those
23 publishing houses still welcome me warmly as a friend and
24 they invite me to lunch in expensive New York restaurants,
25 and then lament that if they were to sign a contract with
26 me on a new book, there would always be somebody in their
1 publishing house who would object; such is the nature of
2 the odium that has been generated by the waves of hatred
3 recklessly propagated against me by the Defendants.
4 In short, my “pension” has vanished, as
5 assuredly as if I had been employed by one of those
6 companies taken over by the late Mr Robert Maxwell.
7 I am not submitting that it is these Defendants
8 alone who have single handedly wrought this disaster upon
9 me. I am not even denying that I may have been partly to
10 blame for it myself.
11 Had I written books about the Zulu Wars, as the
12 Air Ministry earnestly advised me back in 1963, when my
13 book “The Destruction of Dresden” was first published,
14 I would, no doubt, not have faced this hatred.
15 Unfortunately, World War II became my area of
16 expertise. I generated a personal archive of documents, a
17 network of sources and contacts, a language ability, a
18 facility to research in foreign archives and eventually a
19 constituency of readers who expected and wanted me to
20 write only about the Third Reich and its criminal
22 What obliges me to make these sweeping opening
23 remarks is that I shall maintain that the Defendants did
24 not act alone in their determination to destroy my career
25 and to vandalise my legitimacy as an historian. That is a
26 phrase that I would ask your Lordship to bear in mind.
1 They were part of an organized international
2 endeavour at achieving precisely that. I have seen the
3 papers. I have copies of the documents. I shall show
4 them to this court. I know they did it and I now know
6 Nearly all of these villains acted beyond the
7 jurisdiction of these courts. Some of them, however,
8 acted within, and I have on one disastrous occasion tried
9 to proceed against them too.
10 I mention here (and only in a few words) that
11 one example: as the court will, no doubt, hear, I was
12 expelled in the most demeaning circumstances from Canada
13 in November 1992. I need not go into the background of
14 that event here, but I shall certainly do so later if in
15 their attempts to blacken my name further the Defendants
16 indulge in that exercise in this court.
17 Seeking to establish why Canada, a friendly
18 government of a country which I had entered unhindered for
19 30 years or more, should suddenly round upon me as
20 savagely as a rottweiler, I used all the appliances of
21 Canadian law to establish what had gone on behind closed
23 I discovered in the files of the Canadian
24 Government, using that country’s Access to Information
25 Act, a mysterious and anonymous document blackening my
26 name had been planted there for the purpose of procuring
1 precisely the ugly consequence that had flowed from it in
3 Stupid lies, among the stupid lies that this
4 anonymous document contained about me was the suggestion
5 that I had married my first wife because she was “the
6 daughter of one of General Francisco Franco’s top
7 generals” in order to ingratiate myself with the Spanish
8 fascist regime. Another suggestion was that I lived too
9 well for an author — I have lived for 32 years, over 32
10 years, in the same house off Grosvenor Square, my Lord —
11 and that to sustain such a level of living purely from my
12 income as an author was impossible; the implication being
13 that I was receiving secret cheques from Nazi fugitives in
14 South America.
15 I telephoned my first wife to ask her what her
16 father had been. She reminded me that he was an
17 industrial chemist, a dedicated enemy of the regime after
18 two of his brothers had been shot by Franco’s men. So
19 that was the true story.
20 It took over a year to establish beyond a doubt
21 who was the author of this infamous document. It turned
22 out to have been provided secretly to the Canadian
23 Government by an unofficial body based in London whose
24 name I do not propose to state in this court here, my
25 Lord, as they are not formally represented in this
1 Suffice it to say that when I applied to a judge
2 in chambers for leave to take libel action out of time,
3 the culprits made no attempt to justify their libels, but
4 pleaded that the Statute of Limitations had run, which
5 plea was allowed, though I maintain with regret, by
6 Toulson J. The mendacious body concerned then had the
7 temerity to pursue me to the threshold of the Bankruptcy
8 Court for the legal costs it had incurred in that one day
9 hearing, amounting to over £7,500. It is a rough life,
10 being an independent author, my Lord.
11 This brings us to the present case. In 1993,
12 the First Defendant (as they allow in their witness
13 statements) published “Denying the Holocaust”, the work
14 complained of, within the jurisdiction, written by the
15 Second Defendant.
16 The book purports to be a scholarly
17 investigation of the operations of an international
18 network or conspiracy of people whom the Second Defendant
19 has dubbed “Holocaust Deniers”. It is not. The phrase
20 itself, which the Second Defendant prides herself on
21 having coined and crafted, appears repeatedly throughout
22 the work and it has subsequently become embedded in the
23 vernacular of a certain kind of journalist who wishes to
24 blacken the name of some person, where the more usual
25 rhetoric of neo-Nazi, Nazi or racist and other similar
26 epithets is no longer deemed adequate. Indeed, the phrase
1 appears over 300 times in just one of the Defendants’
2 experts reports, “Holocaust denier”, 300 times in one
3 report, my Lord.
4 It has become one of the most potent phrases in
5 the arsenal of insult, replacing the N-word, the F-word
6 and a whole alphabet of other slurs. If an American
7 politician, like Mr Patrick Mr Buchanan, is branded even
8 briefly a “Holocaust denier”, his career can well be said
9 to be in ruins. If a writer, no matter how well reviewed
10 and received until then, has that phrase stuck to him,
11 then he too can regard his career as rumbling off the edge
12 of a precipice.
13 As a phrase, it is of itself quite meaningless.
14 The word “Holocaust” is an artificial label commonly
15 attached to one of the greatest and still most unexplained
16 tragedies of this century.
17 The word “denier” is particularly evil because
18 no person in full command of his mental faculties, and
19 with even the slightest understanding of what happened in
20 World War II, can deny that the tragedy actually happened,
21 however much we dissident historians way wish to quibble
22 about the means, the scale, the dates and the other
24 Yet meaningless though it is, the phrase has
25 become a part of the English language. It is a poison to
26 which there is virtually no anti-dote, less lethal than a
1 hypodermic with nerve gas jabbed in the neck, but deadly
2 all the same. For the chosen victim, it is like being
3 called a wife beater or a paedophile. It is enough for
4 the label to be attached for the attachee to find himself
5 designated as a pariah, an outcast from normal society.
6 It is a verbal Yellow Star.
7 In many countries now where it was considered
8 that the mere verbal labelling was not enough, governments
9 have been prevailed upon to pass the most questionable
10 laws, including some which can only be considered a total
11 infringement of the normal rights of free speech, free
12 opinion and freedom of assembly.
13 Germany has not had an enviable reputation in
14 any of these freedoms over the last century, my Lord.
15 True to form, in Germany it is now a criminal offence to
16 question the mode, the scale, the system or even the
17 statistics of the Holocaust. Criminal offence. No
18 defence is allowed. Some good friends of mine, I have no
19 hesitation in allowing to this court, are sitting at this
20 very moment in German prisons for having ventured to voice
21 such questions. One of them has been in prison for seven
23 In France, the situation is even more absurd.
24 Any person found guilty in France under a new law aptly
25 named an “amendment of the law on the freedom of the
26 Press” finds himself fined or imprisoned or both. This
1 law, passed in 1991, makes it a criminal offence in France
2 to challenge (the French word is contester) any war crimes
3 or crimes against humanity “as defined by the Nuremberg
4 Statute” of 1945.
5 Fifty years on, it has become a criminal offence
6 to question whether Nuremberg got it right. History is to
7 be as defined by the four victorious powers in the
8 Nuremberg trials of 1945 to 1946.
9 I respectfully submit and would, indeed, hope
10 that your Lordship would find such laws if enacted in this
11 country to be utterly repugnant. For that same reason
12 I have no hesitation in saying that some more good friends
13 of mine have been fined under precisely this French law.
14 Indeed, in 1993 or 1994, I myself was fined the sum of
15 £500 by a Paris court under this law.
16 I had given an interview to a French journalist
17 in the study of my home in London. This interview was
18 published in a reputable French journal. There were
19 complaints in Paris and I was summoned before the French
20 Magistrates and fined, along with the publisher, the
21 editor and the journalist concerned for having given this
22 interview. It is, indeed, a very sorry state of affairs.
23 My Lord, we may hear the word “conspiracy”
24 uttered during the next few days and weeks. If there has
25 been a conspiracy, it is a conspiracy against free
1 I might mention that my father fought as an
2 officer in the Royal Navy in both World Wars, both in the
3 Battle of Jutland in 1916 and in the Arctic convoys of
4 1942. Both my brothers have served with the Royal Air
5 Force. My father was an arctic explorer between the
6 wars. Admiralty charts show two island points in the
7 South Sandwich Islands named after him and his first
8 officer, my uncle.
9 I come from a service family and I find it
10 odious that at the end of the 20th century writers and
11 historians going about their own respective businesses,
12 writing books that may, indeed, have been completely wrong
13 have found themselves suddenly and vicariously threatened
14 with imprisonment or with crippling fines having expressed
15 opinions on history which are at variance with these new
16 freshly enacted laws, which have been introduced at the
17 insistence of wealthy pressure groups and other enemies of
18 the free speech for which we fought two World Wars in this
20 Your Lordship will undoubtedly hear from the
21 Defendants that I was fined a very substantial sum of
22 money by the Germany Government under these witless new
23 laws. It is no matter of shame for me, although it has
24 had catastrophic consequences, as it now makes me de facto
25 a convict with a criminal record and, as such, liable to a
26 concatenation of further indignities and sanctions in
1 every foreign country which I now wish to visit.
2 The circumstances these are these. I may say
3 here quite briefly that on April 21st 1990, nearly ten
4 years ago, my Lord, I delivered an address, quite possibly
5 ill-judged, to an audience at a hall in Munich. When one
6 agrees to attend such functions one has little way of
7 knowing in advance what kind of audience one will be
8 addressing, and has no control over the external
9 appearance of the function. I make no complaint about
11 Your Lordship will hear no doubt that in the
12 course of my speech, of which apparently no full
13 transcript survives, I uttered the following remark:
14 “We now know that the gas chambers shown to the
15 tourists in Auschwitz is a fake built by the Poles after
16 the war, just like the one established by the Americans at
17 Dachau.” Those are two concentration camps, my Lord.
18 This may well raise eyebrows. It might be found
19 to be offensive by sections of the community, and if they
20 take such offence I can assure this court that I regret it
21 and that such was not my intention. The fact remains that
22 these remarks were true. The Poles admitted it in January
23 1995, and under English law truth has always been regarded
24 as an absolute defence.
25 We shall hear, indeed, from the Defences’ own
26 expert witnesses, though perhaps the admission will have
1 to be bludgeoned out of them, that the gas chamber shown
2 to the tourists at Auschwitz was indeed built by the
3 Polish communist three years after the war was over.
4 I think it is fair to note there that at this
5 point Mr Rampton is shaking his head and I apologise if
6 I have misunderstood the evidence given by their
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You carry on with your speech.
9 MR IRVING: I do not intend to go into the question of whether
10 or not there were gas chambers at Birkenau, my Lord, some
11 five miles from Auschwitz, in these opening remarks. By
12 the time this trial is over we shall all be heartily sick
13 of the debate which has little or no relevance, in my
14 submission, to the issues that are pleaded.
15 So what are the issues that are pleaded and how
16 do I propose to address those issues in opening this case?
17 First let me emphasise that I also have no intentions, and
18 neither is it the purpose of this trial, to refight World
19 War II. I shall not argue and have never argued that the
20 wrong side won the war, for example, or that the history
21 of war needs to be grossly rewritten. I must confess that
22 I am mystified at the broad thrust which the Defendants
23 have taken in the vast body of documentation which they
24 have served upon this court and myself, another 5,000
25 pages delivered to me on Friday evening and more last
26 night. It is all something of an embarrassment to me and
1 I am being forced into positions that I have not
2 previously adopted. I have never claimed to be a
3 Holocaust historian. As I have said, I have no written no
4 book about the Holocaust. I have written no article about
5 it. If I have spoken about it, it is usually because
6 somebody has asked me a question, I have been questioned
7 about it. On such occasions I have emphasised my lack of
8 expertise and I have expatiated only upon those areas with
9 which I am familiar. In doing so I have offended many of
10 my friends who wish that history was different, but you
11 cannot wish documents away, and it is in documents that
12 I have always specialized as a writer.
13 Your Lordship will find upon reviewing my
14 various printed works that I have very seldom used other
15 people’s books as sources. I found it otiose and tedious,
16 not only because they are ill-written but because in
17 reading other people’s books you are liable to imbibe the
18 errors and prejudices with which those books are beset.
19 If, however, you go to he original documents you will
20 often find to your joy that the weight of documents you
21 have to read is pound for pound, or indeed ton for ton,
22 less than the weight of books hat you might otherwise have
23 to read upon the same subject, and you are kilometres
24 closer to the original real history.
25 As for the nature of documents, I remember that
26 in 1969 I visited Professor Hugh Trevor Roper (now Lord
1 Dacre who I am glad to say is still with us). He very
2 kindly made available to me his considerable collection of
3 several thousand original intelligence documents for my
4 biography of Adolf Hitler, and in doing so he advised me
5 as follows: When considering new documents you should ask
6 yourself three questions. If I remember correctly, my
7 Lord, those tree criteria were as follows.
8 1) Is the document genuine? (Possibly in the
9 light of the “Hitler Diaries” scandal, an unfortunate
10 pre-requisite in this case).
11 2) Is the document written by a person in a
12 position to know what he is talking about?
13 3) Why does this document exist?
14 The latter is quite interesting, as we have all
15 experienced in the archives, coming across documents
16 obviously written for window dressing or buck passing
18 It is documents in this case which I think the
19 court will find most interesting and illuminating. By
20 that I mean the documents at every level. The court will
21 have to consider not only the documents originating in
22 World War II on both sides, my Lord, but also the
23 documents that have been generated by that painful process
24 known as Discovery. It will not escape the court, my
25 Lord, when the time comes that like many personalities I
26 have kept the most voluminous records throughout my career
1 as a writer and even before it. Along with my writing
2 career I have kept a diary. Sometimes I wondered why but
3 I think the reason is basically this. If you are a
4 writer, self-employed, you need the discipline that a
5 diary imposes upon you, and you cannot in conscious enter
6 in a diary at the end of the day: “I did nothing all
8 Your Lordship will be amused no doubt to hear
9 that at one stage in the discovery process in this action
10 at the request of Mr Julius, I readily agreed to make
11 available to the Defence my entire diaries in so far as
12 they still exist. A few pages are missing. Mr Julius
13 only then learned that these diaries occupy a shelf eight
14 feet long, and that in them there are approximately or
15 probably 10 or 20 million words to be read. Mr Julius and
16 his staff have, however, risen most nobly to challenge
17 that these pages presented, and I am sure that over the
18 next few days and weeks we shall be hearing more than one
19 morsal that they have dredged out of the pages. They will
20 hold it aloft, still dripping with something or other,
21 read it to this court with a squeal of delight,
22 proclaiming that this is the philosopher’s stone that they
23 needed to justify their client’s libels all along. We
24 shall see. That is not what this trial is all about.
25 This trial is not really about what happened in the
26 Holocaust or how many Jews and other persecuted minorities
1 were tortured and put to death. The court will I hope
2 agree with me when the time comes that the issue us is not
3 what happened but how I treated it in my works of history.
4 It may be that I was totally ignorant on some
5 aspects of World War II, and I hasten to say that I do not
6 believe I was, but to be accused of deliberate
7 manipulation and distorting, and mistranslating is
8 perverse. The Defendants must show, in my humble
9 submission, first that a particular thing happened or
10 existed; second that I was aware of that particular thing
11 as it happened or existed, at the time that I wrote about
12 it from the records then before me; third, that I then
13 wilfully manipulated the text or mistranslated or
14 distorted it for the purposes that they imply.
15 I will submit that in no instance can they prove
16 this to be the case. They have certainly not done so in
17 the documents so far pleaded.
18 I readily concede that what I have read of the
19 reports submitted by the Defendants’ experts, particularly
20 those of the historians, is of the utmost interest.
21 I have to congratulate Professor Jan van Pelt for the
22 literary quality of his lengthy report on Auschwitz, which
23 will no doubt eventually see general circulation in the
24 bookstores. Indeed, I congratulated him three years ago
25 already on the first book that he published on this
1 I admit too that there are documents contained
2 in the expertise of Professor Browning of which I was not
3 aware, and which have my own perception of some aspects of
4 the Nazi atrocities on the Eastern front. For example,
5 I was not aware that the SS Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard
6 Heydrich had issued instructions to his commanders in the
7 Baltic States after Operation Barbarossa began, the
8 invasion of Russia, in June 1941, not only to turn a blind
9 eye — this was his instructions — on the anti-Jewish
10 progroms started by the local population in those
11 countries, but also actively to initiate them and to
12 provide assistance. That was unknown to me.
13 This document, however, emerged only recently
14 from the Russian archives and there can surely be no
15 reproach against me for not having known that when I wrote
16 my biography of Hitler, published in 1977, or in my later
17 works. That cannot be branded as manipulation or
18 distortion, just by way of example.
19 What is manipulation or distortion of history
20 would be this, in my submission: for example, knowing of
21 the existence of a key document and then ignoring it or
22 suppressing it entirely, without even a mention.
23 If, for example, it should turn out and be
24 proven in this very courtroom that in the spring of 1942
25 the Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler, was quoted by a senior
26 Reich Minister in writing as repeatedly saying that he
1 “wanted the final solution of the Jewish problem
2 postponed until the war is over”; and if the document
3 recording those remarkable words has been found in the
4 German archives, it would surely be classifiable as
5 manipulation or distortion if an historian were to attempt
6 to write the history of the Holocaust without even
7 mentioning the document’s existence, would it not, my
9 The Defendants have, as said, arbitrarily and
10 recklessly decided to label me a “Holocaust denier”.
11 Their motivation for doing so we shall shortly hear
Section 36.13 to 52.15
13 My Lord, before I continue to address the court
14 on this point in my opening statement, may I take this
15 opportunity to read to the court, with your Lordship’s
16 permission, and into the record, a two-page document which
17 I shall refer to over the coming weeks as the Walter Bruns
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I do not see why you should not; I have
20 not read it myself. This is the document you handed in?
21 MR IRVING: It is the document I gave you, my Lord. It is an
22 eye witness description. I do so because perceptions
23 matter. I want at this late hour to leave a firm
24 perception in the minds of all those present about where
25 I stand. It is a document which first came into my hands
26 some time before 1985.
1 I should say, my Lord, by way of introduction,
2 that this document (which is in my discovery) was
3 originally a British top Secret document. Top Secret is
4 only one rung lower than Ultra-secret; some several steps
5 above Secret and Most Secret, in other words. It is the
6 classification given to the British decoded intercepts.
7 It was top Secret because it is the record of an
8 interrogation which was obtained by methods that were
9 illegal, I understand, under the Conventions.
10 Enemy prisoners of war (in this case German)
11 were brought into British prison camps, treated lavishly,
12 well-fed, reassured by their relaxed surroundings, and
13 gradually led into conversation, unaware that in every
14 fitting and appliance in the room were hidden microphones
15 capable of picking up everything. (That was the
16 illegality; you are not allowed to do that under the
18 Released to the British archives only a few
19 years ago were all of these reports, but I had already
20 obtained several hundred of them 15 or 20 years earlier.
21 I consider these transcripts to be an historical source
22 which, if properly used and if certain criteria are
23 applied, can be regarded as part of the bedrock of Real
25 I would say further by way of preamble, my Lord,
26 that the speaker whose recorded voice we are about to
1 hear, as reproduced in this typescript, was on November
2 30th 1941, the day of the episode he narrates, a Colonel
3 in the German Army Engineers Force (the sappers or
4 Pioniere). He was commanding a unit based at Riga, the
5 capital of Latvia. He had learned to his vexation that it
6 was intended by the local SS unit to round up all the
7 local Jews, including “his Jews” in the next day or two
8 and to liquidate them.
9 I read from this document before I do so, my
10 Lord, it is of interest to see that, purely by coincidence
11 and chance, Mr Rampton has picked on precisely the same
12 day in the statement which I understand that he is to make
13 following upon mine.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not quite following. Picked on the same
15 day as being what?
16 MR IRVING: The same episode and the same day as an example of
17 my treatment of documents, so it is a very interesting
19 I read from the document itself. It is
20 headed: “Top secret. CSDIC (UK)” which is Combined
21 Services Detailed Interrogation Centre UK”. “GG Report.
22 If the information contained in this report is required
23 for distribution, it should be paraphrased so that no
24 mention is made of the prisoners’ names, nor of the
25 methods by which the information has been obtained”
26 because, of course, it was illegal.
1 “The following conversation took place between
2 General-Major Bruns”, his full name was Walter Bruns. At
3 this time he was at the Heeres-Waffenmeisterschule which
4 was an army school, an armament school, in Berlin,
5 “captured at Gottingen on April 8th 1945, and other
6 Senior Officer Prisoners of War whose voices could not be
7 identified”. In other words, it is a conversation between
8 this General and various other prisoners overheard by
9 hidden microphones on April 25th 1945. “Information
10 received: 25 April 1945″, in other words, the war is still
12 “Translation: Bruns: As soon as I heard those
13 Jews were to be shot on Friday, I went to a 21 year old
14 boy and said that they had made themselves very useful in
15 the area under my command, besides which the Army MT park
16 had employed 1500 and the ‘Heeresgruppe’ 800 women to make
17 underclothes of the stores we captured in Riga; besides
18 which about 1200 women in the neighbourhood of Riga were
19 turning millions of captured sheepskins into articles we
20 urgently required: ear protectors, fur caps, fur
21 waistcoats, etc. Nothing had been proved, as of course
22 the Russian campaign was known to have come to a
23 victorious end in October 1941!” Sarcasm there. “In
24 short, all those women were employed in a useful
25 capacity. I tried to save them. I told that fellow
26 Altenmeyer(?) whose name I shall always remember and who
1 will be added to the list of war criminals: ‘Listen to
2 me, they represent valuable manpower!’ ‘Do you call Jews
3 valuable human beings, sir?'” That was the answer. “I
4 said: ‘Listen to me properly, I said valuable manpower. I
5 didn’t mention their value as human beings’. He
6 said: ‘Well, they’re to be shot in accordance with the
7 Fuhrer’s orders!’ I said: ‘Fuhrer’s orders?’ ‘Yes’,
8 whereupon he showed me his orders. This happened at
9 Skiotawa()?) eight kilometres from Riga, between Siaulai
10 and Jelgava, where 5,000 Berlin Jews were suddenly taken
11 off the train and shot. I didn’t see that myself, but
12 what happened at Skiotawa(?) – to cut a long story short,
13 I argued with the fellow and telephoned to the General at
14 HQ, to Jakobs and Aberger(?) and to a Dr Schultz who was
15 attached to the Engineer General, on behalf of these
16 people”. It is a bit incoherent the way that people talk
17 when they are gossiping with each other. “I told him:
18 ‘Granting that the Jews have committed a crime against
19 the other peoples of the world, at least let them do the
20 drudgery; send them to throw earth on the roads to prevent
21 our heavy lorries skidding’. ‘Then I’d have to feed them!’
22 I said: ‘The little amount of food they receive, let’s
23 assume 2 million Jews – they got 125 grammes of bread a
24 day – we can’t even manage that, the sooner we end the war
25 the better’. Then I telephoned, thinking it would take
26 some time. At any rate, on Sunday morning”, that is
1 November 30th 1941, “I heard that they had already started
2 on it. The Ghetto was cleared. They were told: ‘You’re
3 being transferred: take along your essential things.’
4 Incidentally, it was a happy release for those people, as
5 their life in the Ghetto was a martyrdom. I wouldn’t
6 believe it and drove there to have a look”.
7 The person he is talking to says: “Everyone
8 abroad knew about it; only we Germans were kept in
10 Bruns continues his narrative: “I’ll tell you
11 something: some of the details may have been correct, but
12 it was remarkable that the firing squad detailed that
13 morning – six men with tommy-guns posted at each pit; the
14 pits were 24 meters in length and 3 metres in breadth –
15 they had to lie down like sardines in a tin with their
16 heads in the centre'”, like that in the pit.
17 “‘Above them were six men with tommy-guns who
18 gave them the coup de grace”, who shot them. “When I
19 arrived those pits were so full that the living had to lie
20 down on top of the dead; then they were shot and, in order
21 to save room, they had to lie down neatly in
22 layers. Before this, however, they were stripped of
23 everything at one of the stations – here at the edge of
24 the wood were the three pits they used that Sunday and
25 here they stood in a queue one and-a-half kilometres long
26 which they approached step by step – a queuing up for
1 death. As they drew nearer they saw what was going on.
2 About here they had to hand over their jewellery and
3 suitcases. All good stuff was put into the suitcases and
4 the remainder was thrown on a heap. This was to serve as
5 clothing for our suffering population – and then a little
6 further on they had to undress and, 500 metres in front of
7 the wood, strip completely; they were only permitted to
8 keep on a chemise or knickers. They were all women and
9 small two-year old children. Then all those cynical
10 remarks! If only I had seen those tommy-gunners, who were
11 relieved every hour because of over-exertion, carry out
12 their task with distaste, but no, nasty remarks like:
13 ‘Here comes a Jewish beauty!’ I can still see it all in
14 my memory: a pretty woman in a flame-coloured chemise.
15 Talk about keeping the race pure: at RIGA they first
16 slept with them and then shot them to prevent them from
18 “Then I sent two officers out there, one of
19 whom is still alive”, in April 1945, “because I wanted
20 eye-witnesses. I didn’t tell them what was going on, but
21 said: ‘Go out to the forest of Skiotawa(?), see what’s up
22 there and send me a report’. I added a memorandum to
23 their report and took it to Jakobs myself. He said: ‘I
24 have already two complaints sent me by Engineer
25 “Bataillone” from the Ukraine’. There they shot them on
26 the brink of large crevices and let them fall down into
1 them; they nearly had an epidemic of plague, at any rate a
2 pestilential smell. They thought they could break off the
3 edges with picks, thus burying them. That loess there” —
4 that is a kind of ground — “was so hard that two Engineer
5 ‘Bataillone’ were required to dynamite the edges; those
6 ‘Bataillone’ complained. Jakobs” — he was the engineer
7 general in charge of the pioneer corps — “had received
8 that complaint. He said: ‘We didn’t quite know how to
9 tell the Fuhrer'”, Adolf Hitler. “‘We’d better do it
10 through Canaris’, the Chief of the German Intelligence.
11 “So Canaris had the unsavoury task of waiting
12 for the favourable moment to give the Fuhrer certain
13 gentle hints. A fortnight later I visited the
14 Oberburgermeister, or whatever he was called then,
15 concerning some over business. Altenmeyer(?)” who was the
16 man on the spot “triumphantly showed me: ‘Here is an
17 order just issued, prohibiting mass shootings on that
18 scale from taking place in future. They are to be carried
19 out more discreetly’. From warnings given me recently,
20 I knew that I was receiving still more attentions from
22 Then his interlocutor says to him: “It’s a
23 wonder you’re still alive”. Bruns says: “At Gottingen, I
24 expected to be arrested every day”.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I see the time. I think probably
26 we will adjourn. My recollection of this document is
1 (which I have not seen as a document before) that it is
2 relied on by the Defendants for the reference to the
3 Fuhrer’s orders on page 1, is that right?
4 MR RAMPTON: And also the one on page 2.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Towards the end.
6 MR IRVING: I have no objection to that, my Lord. The reason
7 why I rely on it now will become plain as we continue
8 after lunch.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of course. Yes, I am not stopping you; it is
10 just that now it is after 1 o’clock. Yes, Mr Rampton?
11 MR RAMPTON: Can I ask your Lordship’s indulgence? I too have
12 written an opening statement. Your Lordship has not seen
13 it. It is very short, comparatively speaking. Can I hand
14 it up so that your Lordship can read it over the lunch?
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. Mr Irving has had a copy?
16 MR RAMPTON: Yes. It is only by that route that the press can
17 have copies of it.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not know whether we are going to manage
19 to get to your speech today in a way — if we did, yes.
20 MR RAMPTON: That is why. Once this court has read it, then it
21 is a public document.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I will look at it over the adjournment.
23 MR RAMPTON: I am grateful.
24 (Luncheon adjournment)
25 (2.00 p.m.)
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, Mr Irving?
1 MR IRVING: My Lord, when we adjourned I just completed reading
2 out to what you I was calling the Bruns Report —-
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
4 MR IRVING: — which was an eyewitness account by a German
5 General (unaware he was being overheard) of a mass
6 shooting of Jewish civilians which he had witnessed in
7 Riga on a particular Sunday which I maintain was November
8 30th 1941.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
10 MR IRVING: He had said, you will recall, that one of the
11 gunmen had called out: “‘Here comes a Jewish beauty.
12 I can see it all in my memory: a pretty woman in a flame
13 coloured chemise.” I understand Mr Rampton to say that he
14 is going to rely on the last sentence which is a reference
15 to the Fuhrer and the order.
16 I will now continue.
17 My Lord, permit me a word about the credentials
18 of that particular document. It is authentic. It comes
19 from the British archives. A copy can be found in the
20 Public Record Office this very day, if anyone wishes to go
21 and see it.
22 First: is the General describing something he
23 had really seen? I mention this because later, on his
24 sworn oath in the witness stand in Nuremberg, this same
25 General claimed only to have heard of this atrocity; yet
26 there can surely be no doubt of the verisimilitude. It
1 does not take university level textual analysis to realize
2 that if a General says: “I can see her in my mind’s eye
3 now, a girl in a flame-red dress”, this is a man who has
4 been there and seen it with his own eyes.
5 This document has, in my submission,
6 considerable evidentiary value. It is not self-serving.
7 The General is not testifying in his own interest. He is
8 merely talking, probably in a muffled whisper, to fellow
9 prisoners at a British interrogation centre, and he has no
10 idea that in another room British experts are listening to
11 and recording every word. We also have the original
12 German text of this document, I might add, my Lord.
13 So to what purpose do I mention this? Well,
14 firstly, because I shall later on in these proceedings add
15 further unknown documents from the same superb British
16 archives — that is the Public Record Office — documents
17 that go to the events of this one day, November 30th 1941,
18 documents which show Adolf Hitler taking a most remarkable
19 stand on this atrocity.
20 But I also adduce this document for the
21 following reason which is immediately of importance, given
22 the title of the book: “Denying the Holocaust”. I adduce
23 this document for the following reason: if an historian
24 repeatedly refers to this document, the Bruns Report; if
25 he quotes from it; if he immediately writes as soon as he
26 finds it showing it to fellow historians, both Jews and
1 non-Jews alike, and in writing draws their attention to
2 the existence of this document, and its fellow documents,
3 all of which were hitherto unknown to them; if, moreover,
4 that historian reads out this document in public, with its
5 awful, infernal descriptions of the mass killings of Jews
6 by the Nazis on the Eastern front on multiple speaking
7 occasions; if this historian, speaking to audiences even
8 of the most extreme hues of left and right, heedless as to
9 their anger, insists on reading out the document in full,
10 thus “rubbing their noses in it”, so to speak; if
11 continues to do so over a period of 15 years again and
12 again right up to the present date, and if he quotes that
13 document in the text and references that document in the
14 footnotes of all his most recent works, beginning with the
15 “Hitler’s War”, the biography, the republication in 1991,
16 through “Goebbels. Mastermind of the Third Reich” in
17 1996 and “Nuremberg, the Last Battle” in 1997, if all
18 these things are true, then is it not a libel of the most
19 grotesque and offensive nature to brand that same
20 historian around the world as a “Holocaust denier” when he
21 has not only discovered and found and propagated this
22 document and brought it to the attention of both his
23 colleagues and his rivals and his foes, regardless of
24 their race or religion, and to countless audiences?
25 This is not an isolated example, my Lord. In
26 Introduction to my biography of Adolf Hitler, “Hitler’s
1 War”, which was published by The Viking Press in America
2 and by Hodder & Stoughton in the United Kingdom and later
3 by Macmillan, we shall find that I have drawn specific and
4 repeated attention of the reader to the crimes that Adolf
5 Hitler committed.
6 How did all this happen? I shall invite the
7 court to hear expert evidence on the relationship between
8 the world’s Jewish communities and the rest of us, given
9 by a professor of sociology at a leading American
10 university who has published a number of book-length
11 studies on the topic.
12 The Jewish community, their fame and fortunes,
13 play a central role in these proceedings. It will not
14 surprise the court, I suppose, that among the allegations
15 levelled against me by the Defendants by their experts is
16 the adjective of “anti-Semitic”.
17 This adjective is both the most odious and the
18 most overworked of epithets. Almost invariably it is
19 wielded by members or representatives of that community to
20 denigrate those outside their community in whom they find
22 It does not matter that the person whom they
23 label as anti-Semitic has conducted himself towards that
24 community in an irreproachable manner until then; it does
25 not matter that he has shown them the same favours that he
26 has shown to others; it does not seem to matter either
1 that that same community who thus labels him or her has
2 conducted against him an international campaign of the
3 most questionable character in an attempt to destroy his
4 legitimacy, the economic existence upon which he and his
5 family depends.
6 If he defends himself against these attacks, he
7 is sooner or later bound to be described as anti-Semitic.
8 It has become a ritual. No doubt the English
9 people, who in 1940 found it necessary to defend
10 themselves against the Germans, would by the same token
11 earn the title of anti-German. Is a person who defends
12 himself ultimately and wearily and after turning the other
13 cheek for 20 or 30 years ipso facto no better than the
14 most incorrigible kind of ingrained anti-Semite with whom
15 we are probably all familiar? I submit that he is not.
16 This court will find that, like most Englishmen,
17 I have had dealings with both English and foreign Jews
18 throughout my professional life.
19 There were, to my knowledge, no pupils of the
20 Jewish faith at the minor Essex Public School that
21 I attended (in common with our present Home Secretary)
22 from 1947 to 1956. In fact, I was surprised when I
23 recently heard the suggestion that there had been one.
24 I encountered many Jewish students when I
25 attended London University, however. I would like to
26 commemorate here the name of my flat mate at Imperial
1 College, Mike Gorb, who died tragically in a
2 mountaineering accident. I regarded as a good friend
3 another senior student, Jon Bloc. There was one student,
4 a Mr Peter L, who began agitating against me for the views
5 that I profounded while at University, views I can no
6 longer remember; and I have to confess that I found his
7 agitation both perplexing and irritating because it all
8 seemed rather petty and spiteful at the time.
9 As my own witness statement recalls, at the time
10 of the Anglo-Israeli-French “police action” in Suez in
11 1956, I joined student demonstrations on behalf of the
12 Israelis, though for the life of me now I cannot remember
13 why. It is the kind of thing you do when you are a
15 My Lord, when my first book was published, “The
16 Destruction of Dresden” in 1963, I became uncomfortably
17 aware that I had somehow offended the Jewish community.
18 I did not at the time realize why and I do not fully
19 realise why even today. Whatever the reason, their
20 journalists were in the spearhead of the attack on me. As
21 other books appeared, this polarisation among the English
22 critics became more pronounced. I remember the name of
23 Mr Arthur Pottersman, writing for a tabloid newspaper —
24 the Daily Sketch — as being one of the few vicious
25 critics, not of Dresden book but of my person.
26 My publisher, Mr William Kimber, to whom I
1 have earlier referred, recommended to me the services of
2 his lawyer, Mr Michael Rubinstein, a name with which the
3 older members of this court may perhaps be familiar — a
4 very well known lawyer at the time. Mr Kimber said to me
5 in his drawling, affable voice: “You will like Michael.
6 He is very Jewish but a very Christian kind of a Jew,
7 rather like Jesus Christ”. You remember that kind of
8 thing. It is the kind of inexplicable sentence that one
9 remembers even now, nearly 40 years on down the road.
10 I found Michael an enormously capable, energetic and
11 likeable person – indeed, very English, his advice always
12 sound, and he stood by me as legal adviser for the next 20
13 years, two decades. He had a rhinoceros hide, as
14 I remarked once in my diary — a remark seize upon by the
15 Defendants as evidence of my anti-Semitism.
16 I also form the long term friendship (which
17 exists to this day) with well-known writers like the
18 American David Kahn, an expert on code breaking. Being an
19 author dealing with American and British publishers,
20 I frequently came into contact with the Jewish members of
21 the publishing profession.
22 The editor of “Hitler’s War” for the Viking
23 Press was Stan Hochman who became, as the correspondence
24 and for all I know also my diaries show, a good friend;
25 Peter Israel, who purchase “Uprising”, which was my book
26 on the 1956 Hungarian uprising, was editorial director at
1 Putnam’s, and so on.
2 The discovery documents, my Lord, show that
3 there was also some kind of relationship between myself
4 and our own George Weidenfeld which was the usual kind
5 love/hate relationship that exists between authors and
6 publishers. George published several of my books,
7 including my biographies of top Nazis like Field Marshal
8 Erhard Milch and Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, and I do not
9 believe that he made a loss on those operations. But
10 behind my back, I learned that he had made unhelpful
11 remarks about me, and I had occasion to write him one or
12 two terse letters about that. But I believe we are still
13 friends and my relations with the present Managing
14 Director of Weidenfeld & Nicholson are of the very best.
15 But those are all individuals, my Lord.
Section 52.16 to 59.19
16 Even as I speak of Weidenfeld, it reminds me
17 that during the 1960s and 1970s I became vaguely aware of
18 forces gathering to oppose me. George had originally
19 bought the rights to publish my biography of “Hitler’s
20 War”. At some stage Weidenfeld’s repudiated the
21 contract. Publishers can always find an excuse, a
22 loophole to do so if they want, and I was not unhappy as
23 it gave me the chance to offer it to an equally
24 prestigious Publishing House, Messrs Hodder & Stoughton,
25 for an even larger fee.
26 At the Frankfurt book fair on October 13th 1973
1 — my diary entry relates the whole of this — George
2 Weidenfeld sat next to me at dinner and lamented after a
3 few cocktails his mistake in “tearing up” the contract for
4 “Hitler’s War”. When I asked him why he had done so, he
5 explained: “I had to do so. I came under pressure from
6 three Embassies. One of them was a NATO power”, which
7 I took to be Germany, “one of them was France and the
8 other was Israel”.
9 It is right that I should state here, and the
10 correspondence shows, that he later denied having said
11 this, but I took a very detailed diary note that same
12 night, which is in my discovery, the bundle of which — it
13 is marked “Global” — we shall look at briefly over the
14 next few days, if your Lordship pleases.
15 So it became gradually evident (and I have to
16 emphasise that I cannot pin down any particular year in
17 which I finally realized that I was being victimized by
18 this hidden campaign) that I was the target of a hidden
19 international attempt to exclude me, if it could be done,
20 from publishing further works of history.
21 It did not affect my attitude towards the Jews
22 in the way that people might expect it to. I did not go
23 on the stump, up and down the land, vituperating against
25 I merely made a mental note that I had to be on
26 the look-out for trouble. Such trouble had already begun
1 in November 1963 when a three-man squad of burglars,
2 evidently at the commission of the English body to whom
3 I earlier made reference, my Lord, was caught red-handed
4 by the police, whom I had alerted, as they raided my North
5 London apartment, disguised as telephone engineers and
6 equipped with stolen GPO passes. There is a reason why
7 I mention this.
8 The leader of that gang (whose name I shall not
9 mention as he is not represented in this court) told the
10 police that he had hoped to find my secret correspondence
11 with Hitler’s henchman, Mr Martin Bormann! Perhaps
12 I ought to add that there is no secret correspondence with
14 I mention this episode for a reason, my Lord.
15 This gentleman subsequently became editor of a left wing
16 “Anti-Fascist” machine called “Searchlight”, and he has
17 made it his lifelong task over the intervening 30 years to
18 take his malicious revenge upon me for the criminal
19 conviction which he earned as a result of his felony.
20 His magazine repeatedly inveighed against me,
21 reporting sometimes true, often part true, but usually
22 totally fictitious rumours about my activities and alleged
23 “Nazi” connections around the world in an attempt to
24 blacken my name.
25 I will not say that the rumours are all untrue,
26 my Lord. They never are. I believe Mr Winston Churchill
1 once famously said: “The world is full of the most
2 dreadful stories and rumours about me, and the damnable
3 thing about them is that most of them are true!” At
4 least, so rumour has it.
5 But the untrue ones about me are the ones that
6 have a habit of surfacing again and again with their
7 original polish undimmed. I mention this case, as the
8 Defendants here seek to rely heavily on the outpouring of
9 this troubled soul, the editor of “Searchlight”.
10 The court might wonder why I took no action
11 against this journal or, indeed, any of the other parties
12 who had defamed me over the years. One of the things that
13 Mr Rubinstein, like Mr Kimber, my publisher, dinned into
14 me very early on was to avoid at all costs taking libel
16 My Lord, I am sure I do not need to labour the
17 reasons why in this opening statement. Suffice it to say
18 that I had already realized by 1970, at the time of the
19 “Convoy PQ17” libel action — that is Broome v. Cassell
20 — that libel actions are time consuming, costly and
21 vexatious, and are indeed in the words of the cliche “to
22 be avoided like the plague”.
23 Besides, this particular magazine had no assets,
24 so any type of litigation would have been quite
25 pointless. I might add that only once in recent years
26 have I been forced to take action in this jurisdiction
1 under the Defamation Act against a major national
2 newspaper four or five years ago, which resulted in an
3 immediate settlement out of court which I can only
4 describe as most satisfactory. The terms of this
5 settlement are covered by the usual Court Order, though
6 I fancy they are known to the Defendants here who asked
7 for, and were given, full disclosure of the relevant
9 It will become evident to this court from the
10 evidence that I lead over the next few days, my Lord, that
11 the international community started to intensify its
12 campaign to destroy me and to truncate my career as an
13 author either before or at about the same time as The
14 Viking Press and other publishers published my well-known
15 biography of Adolf Hitler, “Hitler’s War”, which was
17 The court will be shown at least one internal
18 document, dated April 1977, which I have identified as
19 emanating from the Washington files of the so-called
20 Anti-Defamation League, a part of the B’nai Brith, in the
21 United States, which reveals quite unabashedly how they
22 tried to pressure television producers to cancel
23 invitations to me to discuss “Hitler’s War” book on their
24 programmes. It failed. The programme in question went
25 ahead and the ADL noted, aghast, in a secret memorandum
26 that I was well versed in the matters of history, a
1 formidable opponent who could not, however, be called
2 anti-Semitic. I would have to be destroyed by other
4 This is a document in my discovery. By various
5 entirely legal means, I obtained several such disturbing
6 documents from within their files.
7 From them and, in particular, from their details
8 registered out the Data Protection Act in this country, it
9 appears that these bodies, which are also embedded in our
10 society in Britain and elsewhere, have seen their task,
11 unbidden, as being to spy upon members of our society, to
12 maintain dossiers on us all, and to deploy those dossiers
13 when necessary to smite those of us of whom they
15 As the court will see, the dossiers are
16 explicitly designed to hold such material on the subjects’
17 personal lives, criminal records, credit delinquencies,
18 marital difficulties, dietary habits and even sexual
19 proclivities. That is what we know from their details of
21 It is not anti-Semitic to reveal this. The
22 spying and smearing by these bodies goes on against fellow
23 Jew and non-Jew alike. The Jewish writer, Noam Chomsky,
24 relates that he found, quite by chance, that they were
25 “monitoring” (for that is the word they use) him too.
26 Several of our own most notable personalities
1 have already commented on this unsavoury element of
2 British life. In an article in a UK magazine, the writer,
3 Mr Auberon Waugh, remarked upon how he too inadvertently
4 found that such a file was being kept on him.
5 May I add that these “dossiers” provided by this
6 London body to the Canadians, to the Anti-Defamation
7 League, and to various similar bodies in Australia, South
8 Africa and elsewhere, have been drawn upon heavily and
9 without question by the Defendants in this action, which
10 my justification, I submit, for drawing your Lordship’s
11 attention to this disturbing and sleazy background.
12 When I attempted to take the libel action
13 against the London-based body that I have mentioned, its
14 Director, Mr Michael Whine, admitted in an affidavit that
15 his body had taken upon itself to “monitor” — here is
16 that word again — my activities, as he called them, for
17 many years. He also freely admitted that when secretly
18 called upon by his Canadian associates in 1992 to provide
19 them with a smear dossier for the purposes of destroying
20 my presence in Canada by planting it in government files
21 in Ottawa, he willingly agreed to do so.
22 This is how that file turned up in Canadian
23 Government resources; which in turn is how it came into my
24 hands, years later, through lengthy “Access to Information
25 Act” procedures; otherwise I would never have known why I
26 found myself being taken in handcuffs aboard an Air Canada
1 flight in 1992, after 30 years as an honoured visitor in
2 that country and deported, an event to which the
3 Defendants make gleeful reference in their book “Denying
4 the Holocaust”.
5 I may be rather naive, but this kind of thing
6 offends me as an Englishman, as no doubt the idea will
7 offend many of those present in court 37 today. The
8 notion that a non-Governmental body, unofficial body,
9 equipped evidently with limitless financial resources, can
10 take it upon itself to spy upon law-abiding members of the
11 community for the purpose of destroying them is one that
12 I find discomfiting.
13 I have never done it to my fellow human beings.
14 I can think only of the wartime Gestapo and its offshoots
15 in Nazi-occupied Europe as a body engaged in similar
16 practices. It is an offensive and ugly comparison, I
17 warrant, and one that I have never made before, but in a
18 legal battle of this magnitude, I consider it necessary to
19 use ammunition of the proper calibre.
Section 59.20 to 86.26
20 My Lord, I will now come to the matter of the
21 glass microfiche plates containing the diaries of the Nazi
22 propaganda Minister, Dr Joseph Goebbels. Your Lordship
23 will have seen from the Statement of Claim that the
24 Defendants have accused me of having improperly obtained
25 these glass plates from the Moscow — it was in 1992 — or
26 damaged them.
1 May I set out some of the antecedents of this
2 matter? Your Lordship will, perhaps, remember the
3 widespread newspaper sensation that was caused by the
4 revelation at the beginning of July 1992 that I had
5 succeeded in retrieving from the former KGB archives in
6 Moscow the long last diaries of Dr Joseph Goebbels, a
7 close confidant of Adolf Hitler and his propaganda
8 minister and, indeed, his successor as Reich Chancellor.
9 I may see here that scholars have been searching
10 for a number of diaries ever since the end of World War
11 II. I would mention here only the example of the diaries
12 of Hitler’s Intelligence Chief, Vice-Admiral Wilhelm
13 Canaris, in the search for which I was concerned in the
14 1960s and 1970s. (The Canaris diaries offered to myself
15 and Messrs William Collins Limited on that occasion turned
16 out to be fake, which I established by the use of the
17 appropriate forensic laboratory in the City of London,
18 Messrs Hehner & Cox).
19 Forensic tests are to play quite a large part in
20 these current proceedings too.
21 In writing my own biographies of the leading
22 Nazis, I have attached importance to primary sources, like
23 the original diaries which they wrote at the time. When I
24 have found these documents, as many scholars know, I have
25 invariably and without delay donated them (or copies of
26 them) either to the German Federal Archives in Koblenz or
1 to the Institute fur Zeitgeschichte, which is the
2 Institute of Contemporary History in Munich. In the case
3 of the Goebbels’ diaries, after I retrieved them from
4 Moscow, I additionally gave a set of copies to the
5 archives of Monchen-Gladbach, his home town, where they
6 maintain a collection of Goebbels’ documents, the
7 municipal archives.
8 In fact, the only items which I consider to be
9 of greater source value than diaries, which are always
10 susceptible to faking or tampering, are private letters.
11 In my experience, once a private letter has been posted by
12 its writer, it is virtually impossible for him to retrieve
13 it and to alter its content.
14 If I may take the liberty of enlightening the
15 court at this point by way of an example, I would say that
16 I had earlier also found the diaries of Field Marshal
17 Rommel; some I retrieved in shorthand from the American
18 archives and I had them transcribed. Those in typescript
19 turned out to have been altered some months after one
20 crucial battle (“Crusader”) to eradicate a tactical error
21 which the Field Marshal considered he had made in the
22 Western desert. But the hundreds of letters he wrote to
23 his wife were clearly above any kind of suspicion.
24 On a somewhat earthier plane, while the diaries
25 of the Chief of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, which have in
26 part been recently retrieved from the same archives in
1 Moscow, yield little information by themselves, I have
2 managed to locate in private hands in Chicago the 200
3 letters which this murderous Nazi wrote to his mistress,
4 and these contain material of much larger historical
6 Until my career was sabotaged, therefore, I had
7 earned the reputation of being a person who was always
8 digging up new historical evidence; that was until the
9 countries and the archives of the world were prevailed
10 upon, as we shall see, to close their doors to me!
11 After I procured these 600 pages of manuscripts
12 written by Adolf Eichmann when I visited Argentina in
13 October 1991, the German Federal Archives grudgingly
14 referred to me in a press release as a Truffle-Schwein,
15 which I hope is more flattering than it sounds.
16 We are concerned here, however, primarily with
17 the diaries of Dr Joseph Goebbels of which the Defendants
18 made mention in their book. This is the inside story on
20 I begun the search for these diaries, in fact,
21 30 years earlier. In my discovery are papers relating to
22 the first search that I conducted for the very last
23 diaries which Dr Goebbels dictated, in April 1945 — right
24 at the end of his life. Since there was no time for them
25 to be typed up, Dr Goebbels had the spiral-bound shorthand
26 pads buried in a glass conserving jar in a forest
1 somewhere along the road between Hamburg and Berlin.
2 Chance provided me in about 1969 with the
3 “treasure map” revealing the precise burial place of this
4 glass jar, and with the permission of the Communist East
5 German Government, I and a team of Oxford University
6 experts, equipped with a kind of ground penetrating radar
7 (in fact, a proton magnetometer) mounted a determined
8 attempt to unearth it in the forest.
9 We never found that particular truffle.
10 Unfortunate, the topography of such a forest changes
11 considerably in 20 years or more and, despite our best
12 efforts, aided by the East German Ministry of the
13 Interior, Communist Ministry of the Interior, and a
14 biologist whose task would be to assess the age of the
15 fungi and other biological materials found in and around
16 the jar, we came away empty-handed. This is nothing new.
17 Field work often brings disappointments like that.
18 Twenty-five years later, however, now back in
19 1992, I had the conversation which was to lead to the
20 retrieval of the Goebbels’ diaries in Moscow, and
21 indirectly to our presence here in these courts today.
22 In May 1992, I invited long time friend, a
23 leading historian at the Institut fur Zeitgeschichte, to
24 have lunch with me at a restaurant in Munich. We had been
25 good friends since 1964, nearly 30 years, and she is still
26 in the Institute’s employ today. As my diaries show, this
1 friend and colleague, Dr Elke Frohlich, had dropped
2 several hints during the previous 12 months that she had
3 traced the whereabouts of the missing Goebbels’ diaries.
4 We all knew, my Lord, those of us who had
5 engaged in research into Hitler, Goebbels and the Third
6 Reich, that Dr Goebbels had placed these diaries on
7 microfiches — that is photographic glass plates — in the
8 closing months of the War to ensure that they were
9 preserved for posterity. But they had vanished since
11 His Private Secretary, Dr Richard Otte, whom I
12 had questioned over 20 years previously in connection with
13 our search in the forest in East Germany, had told us
14 about these glass plates. So we knew they existed. I
15 should mention that he was actually one of the small
16 burial party who had hidden the glass jar, but he was
17 unable to accompany us as at that time he was still in
18 West German government employment. We could only presume
19 that the glass plate microfiches were either destroyed in
20 Berlin in the last weeks of the war or that they had been
21 seized by the Red Army.
22 During this lunch-time conversation in Munich in
23 May 1992, Dr Elke Frohlich revealed to me that the latter
24 supposition was correct. She had seen them herself a few
25 weeks previously — she had held them in her hands — on a
26 visit to the archives in Moscow. My Lord, you can imagine
1 the thrill that kind of thing gives an historian to have
2 something like that.
3 My recollection of the conversation at this
4 point is that she continued by saying that the Institute’s
5 Directors were unwilling to fund a further expedition to
6 procure these diaries.
7 Now that I have seen some of the documents
8 provided to the Defendants in this action by the Russians
9 and by the Institute, it is possible that my recollection
10 on this point is wrong, namely, that the Institute were
11 not willing to pay for it.
12 My recollection of the following is, however,
13 secure. Dr Frohlich informed me that the Director of the
14 Russian archives, the “trophy” archives, as they were
15 known, Dr Bondarev, was in a serious predicament, as he
16 was faced with the economic consequences of the collapse
17 of the Soviet Empire; he had no longer the financial means
18 necessary for the upkeep of the archives and the payment
19 of his staff.
20 The plates, in my view, were seriously at risk.
21 Dr. Frohlich indicated that if I were to take a sufficient
22 sum of foreign currency to Moscow, I could purchase the
23 glass plates from Dr Bondarev. It was clear from her
24 remarks that Dr Bondarev had already discussed this
25 prospect with her.
26 Dr Frohlich added that the glass plates were in
1 fragile condition and needed to be rescued before they
2 came to serious harm. I recall that she said: “If you
3 are going to do this deal with the Russians, you will have
4 to take a lot of silk paper with you from England to place
5 between the glass plates. The plates are just packed into
6 boxes with nothing between them”. My Lord, when I provide
7 you with bundles of photographs later on, there were
8 photographs of the actual plates in the cardboard boxes.
9 I asked how much money we were talking about,
10 and either she or I suggested a figure of US$20,000.
11 I immediately contacted my American publishers in New York
12 who seemed the most immediate source of money. I informed
13 them of this likely windfall and asked if we could
14 increase the cash advance on my Goebbels’ manuscript
16 My manuscript of the Goebbels’ biography was at
17 that time complete and undergoing editing by myself. It
18 was already ready for delivery to the publishers.
19 The American publisher responded
20 enthusiastically at first, and upon my return from Munich
21 to London I began negotiations through intermediaries with
22 the Russian archivist, Dr Bondarev. (Dr Bondarev will
23 not, unfortunately, be called by either party in this
24 action as a witness. He seems to have vanished. He is
25 certainly no longer employed by the “trophy” archives).
26 The first intermediary I used was a
1 Russian-language specialist employed by Warburg’s Bank in
2 Moscow. He undertook the preliminary negotiations with Dr
3 Bondarev. I instructed him to tell Bondarev as openly as
4 was prudent of my intention to come and look at the glass
5 plates, and also to make it quite plain that we were
6 coming with a substantial sum of hard currency. Many
7 American institutions were currently engaged in the same
8 practice — it is important I should say this — as I knew
9 from the newspapers.
10 At about this time, it became plain that the
11 German Government was also keen to get its hands on these
12 glass plates. Naturally, I desired to beat them to it,
13 first, because of professional pride and the desire to
14 have an historical scoop and, secondly, years of working
15 with the German Government Archives had proven both to me
16 and many scholars that as soon as high-grade documents
17 like these dropped into their hands they vanished for many
18 years while they were assessed, catalogued and indexed.
19 Sometimes they were even squirreled away for later
20 exploitation by the Chief Archivists themselves (the
21 “Hossbach Papers” were a case in point).
22 These vital Nazi diaries would, therefore,
23 vanish from the public gaze possibly for five or 10
24 years. My fears in this respect had been amply confirmed
25 by events, I would submit, because many of those glass
26 plates which I saw in Moscow in 1992 have since vanished
1 into the maw of the German Government and the Munich
2 Institut fur Zeitgeschichte, and they are still not
3 available even now.
4 I considered, therefore, that I should be
5 rendering to the historical community the best service by
6 doing the utmost that I could to extract those glass
7 plates or, failing that, copies of them or, failing that,
8 copies of the maximum number of pages possible, by hook or
9 by crook, from the KGB archives before a wind of change
10 might suddenly result in the resealing of all these Soviet
11 former archives (and once again this apprehension has been
12 largely confirmed by the attitude of the Russian Archive
13 Authorities, who have resealed numbers of these files and
14 made them once again inaccessible to Western historians).
15 The second intermediary upon whom I relied was
16 the former KGB Officer, Mr Lev Bezymenski. I have known
17 mr Bezymenski for many years, about 35 years, and over
18 these years we have engaged in a fruitful exercise of
19 exchanging of documents. I would hasten to add that the
20 documents which I furnished to Mr Bezymenski were entirely
21 of a public-domain nature.
22 Mr Bezymenski, however, in return extracted from
23 secret Soviet archives for me vital collections of
24 documents, for example, their diplomatic files on Sir
25 Winston Churchill and the private papers of the Commander
26 in Chief of the German Army, Colonel-General Werner von
1 Fritsch. From the Russian archives I obtained, via
2 Mr Bezymenski, Fritsch’s personal writings during and
3 about the “Bloomberg-Fritsch scandal” of 1938, which had
4 historic consequences for Germany, for Hitler and,
5 ultimately, for the whole world. I immediately donated a
6 complete set of those Fritsch papers to the German
7 Government archives where they can still be seen.
8 Dr Bezymenski, unfortunately, turned out to be
9 something of a “double agent”.
10 Fearing that Dr Bondarev was not properly
11 getting my message, I asked Mr Bezymenski to approach him
12 on my behalf and inform him that there were certain
13 documents he held in which I was interested, and that
14 I was coming as a representative of the Sunday Times, well
15 armed with foreign currency. Mr Bezymenski enquired what
16 those documents were. I refused to tell him and he
17 replied: “You are referring to the Goebbels diaries
18 I presume”. This I affirmed and ten minutes after this
19 phone call from me in London and Mr Bezymenski in Moscow,
20 I receive a phone call from Dr Frohlich in Munich
21 complaining bitterly that I revealed our intentions to Mr
22 Bezymenski. Instead of acting as I had requested, my
23 friend had immediately sent a fax to the Institut fur
24 Zeitgeschichte to alert them to what I was “up to”. This
25 set the cat among the pigeons, and the Institut fur
26 Zeitgeschichte left no stone unturned to prevent the
1 Russians from providing me with diaries or other material,
2 for reasons which this court can readily surmise.
3 I had in the meantime approached the Sunday
4 Times after my American publishers got cold feet, and
5 I succeeded in persuading a Mr Andrew Neil that I could
6 obtain Goebbels Diaries from the Moscow archives, and that
7 I was by chance one of the very few people capable of
8 reading the handwriting.
9 Two years previously, in 1990, my Italian
10 publisher, Mondadori, had commissioned me to transcribe
11 the handwritten 1938 diary volume of Dr Goebbels, a copy
12 of which they had purchased from a Russian source. So the
13 diaries were in the process of being purchased. I was
14 thus acquainted with the difficult handwriting of the Nazi
15 propaganda Minister. At that time there were probably
16 only three or four people in the world who were capable of
17 deciphering it. The negotiations with Andrew Neil
18 proceeded smoothly, that is between me and Mr Neil. He
19 did express at one stage enough nervousness at the
20 prospect of entering into another “Nazi diaries” deal.
21 Your Lordship will remember that his newspaper group had
22 been made to look foolish for the purchase and publication
23 in 1983 of the Adolf Hitler diaries.
24 I pointed out that I had warned them writing
25 once ahead in 1982 that the Hitler Diaries were fakes, and
26 I added: “I am offering the Sunday Times the chance t
1 rehabilitate itself”.
2 Armed with the prestige and the superior
3 financial resources of the Sunday Times, I went to Moscow
4 in June 1992, and negotiated directly with Dr Bondarev and
5 his superior, Professor Tarasov, who was at that time the
6 overall head of the Russian Federation Archival System.
7 Dr Bondarev expressed willingness to assist us, although
8 there could no longer be any talk of the clandestine
9 purchase of the plates which we had originally hoped for,
10 since Mr Bezymenski let the cat out of the bag. I say
11 “clandestine”, but of course I understand that the same
12 archives had sold off many other collections of papers,
13 for example, to the Hoover Institution in California and
14 US publishing houses, publishing giants, and to my
15 colleague the late John Costello as well. My own little
16 deal was not to be.
17 My Lord, professor Tarasov is to be one of the
18 witnesses in this case called question by the Defence.
19 Your Lordship will be able to study the documents
20 exhibited to his witness statement. I confess that I fail
21 to the relevance of very many of them, but no doubt we
22 shall see that difficulty removed by Mr Rampton in due
24 The Moscow negotiations were not easy. We
25 negotiated directly with Professor Tarasov for access to
26 the glass plates. The negotiations were conducted in my
1 presence by Mr Peter Miller, a freelance journalist
2 working for the Sunday Times, who spoke Russian with a
3 commendable fluency. He will also be giving evidence in
4 this action on my behalf, my Lord. With my limited
5 “O” level Russian I was able to follow the gist in
6 conversation and also to intervene speaking German after
7 it emerged that Professor Tarasov had studied and taught
8 for many years at the famous Humboldt University in
9 Communist Berlin.
10 By now both Dr Bondarev and Tarasov were aware,
11 if they had not been aware previously, that these Goebbels
12 Diaries were of commercial and historical value. The
13 negotiations took far longer than I had expected.
14 I produced to Professor Tarasov copies of the Soviet
15 editions of my books which had been published years
16 earlier, and I donated to him as well as to the Archives
17 staff later copies of my own edition of the biography of
18 Hitler’s War.
19 This established my credentials to their
20 satisfaction, and Tarasov gave instructions that we were
21 to be given access to the entire collection of Dr Goebbels
22 Diaries. It was evident to me when I finally saw the
23 glass plates that the diaries had hardly been examined at
24 all. It seemed to me, for example, from the splinters of
25 glass still trapped between the photographic plates, that
26 there had been little movement in the boxes of plates for
1 nearly 50 years. The boxes were the original boxes. The
2 brown paper round them in some parts was still the
3 original brown paper. The plates were in total disarray
4 and no attempt had been made to sort them. I have seen no
5 work of history, Soviet or otherwise, that is quoted from
6 them before I got them. My Lord, my excitement as an
7 historian getting my hands on original material like this
8 can readily be imagined.
9 The moot point is that there is a dispute as to
10 the nature of the Russian permission. This alleged
11 agreement is one of the issues pleaded by the Defendants
12 in this action. It is difficult for me to reconstruct
13 seven years later precisely whether there was any verbal
14 agreement exceeding a nod and a wink or what the terms
15 were or how rigid an agreement may have been reached.
16 There is no reference to such an agreement in my
17 contemporary diaries. Certainly the Russians committed
18 nothing to paper about such an agreement. Professor
19 Tarasov’s word was law, and he had just picked up the
20 phone in our presence and spoken that word to
21 Dr Bondarev.
22 My own recollection at the time was that the
23 arrangement was of a very free-wheeling nature, with the
24 Russians being very happy and indeed proud to help us in
25 the spirit reigning at that time of Glasnost and
26 Perestroika, and the extreme co-operativeness between West
1 and East. They were keen to give us access to these
2 plates which they had hitherto regarded as not being of
3 much value.
4 Tarasov did mention that the German Government
5 were also interested in these plates, and that they were
6 coming shortly to conduct negotiations about them.
7 I remember clearly, and I think this is also shown in the
8 diary which I wrote on that date, that Dr Tarasov
9 hesitated as to whether he should allow us access without
10 first consulting the German authorities. I rather
11 mischievously reminded Dr Tarasov of which side had won
12 the war, and I expressed astonishment that the Russians
13 were now intending to ask their defeated enemy for
14 permission to show to a third party records which were in
15 their own archives, and this unsubtle argument appears to
16 have swayed him to grant us complete access without
17 further misgivings.
18 There was no signed agreement either between the
19 Russian authorities and us or at that time between the
20 Russians and the German authorities, my Lord.
21 I would add here that I was never shown any
22 agreement between the Russian and the German authorities,
23 nor was I told any details of it, nor of course could it
24 have been in any way binding upon me.
25 We returned to the archives the following
26 morning, Mr Miller and I, to begin exploiting the
1 diaries. Miller went off on his own devices. I had
2 brought a German assistant with me to act as a scribe. My
3 Lord, her diary is also in my discovery, and I admit that
4 I have not yet found time to read it. I have got an odd
5 aversion to reading other people’s diaries, unless it is
6 by way of my business. I must admit that I was rather
7 perplexed by the chaotic conditions that I found there,
8 that is in the Russian archives. There were no technical
9 means whatever of reading the diaries, the glass plates.
10 The Nazis had reduced them to the size of a small postage
11 stamp on the glass plates. I should have photographs of
12 them brought to you, my Lord.
13 Fortunately, Dr Frohlich had alerted me about
14 this possibility, the lack of technical resources, and
15 I had bought at Selfridges a 12-times magnifier, a little
16 thing about the size of a nail clipper, with which by
17 peering very hard I could just decipher the handwriting.
18 It was even more alarming to someone accustomed to working
19 in Western archives with very strict conditions on how to
20 handle documents, and cleanliness and security, to see the
21 way that the shelves and tables and chairs were littered
22 with bundles of papers. At one stage the Archivist
23 (I think it may be one of the ladies who is coming to give
24 evidence for the Defendants) brought in bottles of red
25 wine and loads of bread and cheese which was scattered
26 among the priceless papers on the tables for us to
1 celebrate at the end of the week. That would have been
2 unthinkable in any Western archive building.
3 My German assistant had worked with me in the US
4 National Archives previously. We spent the first day
5 cataloguing and sifting through all the boxes of glass
6 plates and identifying which plates were which,
7 earmarking, figuratively speaking, the glass plates which
8 were on my shopping list to be read copied. Very rapidly
9 we began coming across glass plates of the most immense
10 historical significance, sections of the diaries which
11 I knew had never been seen by anybody else before. I was
12 particularly interested in the Night of the Broken Glass,
13 November 1938, the Night of the Long Knives, June 1934.
14 I also found the glass plates containing the missing
15 months leading up to the outbreak of World War II in 1939,
16 diaries whose historical significance in short need not be
17 emphasised here.
18 Given the chaotic conditions in the archives,
19 I took the decision to borrow one of the plates overnight
20 and bring it back the next day so that we could photograph
21 its contents. I shall argue about the propriety of this
22 action at a later data. I removed the plate. Its
23 contents were printed that night by a photographer hired
24 by the Sunday Times whose name was Sasha, and the glass
25 plate was restored to its box the next morning without
26 loss or damage.
1 The Sunday Times editor, Andrew Neil, was
2 coincidentally in Moscow at this time, and I showed him
3 one of the glass plates at his hotel, the Metropol. He
4 stated: “We really need something spectacular to follow
5 the Andrew Morton book on Princess Diana and this is it”.
6 The next day, Dr Bondarev formally authorized the
7 borrowing of two more such plates anyway. So it was clear
8 to me that nobody would have been offended by my earlier
10 I returned to London and over the next few days
11 a contract was formalized by myself and the Sunday Times
12 under which the newspaper was to pay me £75,000 net for
13 procuring the diaries, transcribing them and writing three
14 chapters based on the principal extracts from the Goebbels
15 diaries. The contract with the Sunday Times contained the
16 usual secrecy clauses. Nobody was to learn of the nature
17 of the contract or its contents or the price or the
18 existence of the diary.
19 For reasons beyond my knowledge, the Sunday
20 Times when it came under extreme pressure from
21 international and British Jewish organisations,
22 subsequently put it about that I had only been hired to
23 transcribe the diaries, with the implication that they had
24 obtained them on their own initiative. I was not,
25 however, just a hired help. This was my project. Which I
26 took to them and which they purchased, as the documents
1 before this court make plain.
2 It may be felt that £75,000 would have been a
3 substantial reward for two weeks work. My response would
4 be that it was for 30 years plus two weeks work. We are
5 paid for our professional skills and expertise and
6 experience and reputation, for our track record in short.
7 I returned to London with arrangements to revisit Moscow
8 in two or three weeks time.
9 My Lord, the court will find that I have
10 stipulated, in what I believe is known in legal terms as
11 an admission, that I carried with me two of the glass
12 plates from the Moscow archives to the Sunday Times in
13 London, informally borrowing them in the same manner as
14 previously, namely those vital records containing the
15 1934, “Night of the Long Knives”. The reasons for doing
16 I have already hinted at earlier, the fear that they would
17 either vanish into the maw of the German Government, or be
18 resealed by the former Soviet Archives, or be sold off to
19 some nameless American trophy hunter and thus never see
20 the light of day again.
21 I took these two borrowed plates straight from
22 Moscow to Munich to the Institute of History (the Institut
23 fur Zeitgeschichte), where I knew they had a microfiche
24 printer and reading machine, together with the institute’s
25 Dr Zirngiebel who was an expert in the archives, we
26 inserted the appropriate lenses in the microfiche printer
1 for a microfiche of this magnification, and I printed out
2 two copies of each of the 100 or so documents contained on
3 the two microfiche.
4 There was no secrecy about this. I at once sent
5 two of those pages upstairs to the experts in the
6 Institute of History itself, and two more to the German
7 Federal Archives with the written request that they
8 formally identify these pages as being in the handwriting
9 of Dr Joseph Goebbels. This was a necessary part of the
10 agreement with the Sunday Times who were being no less
11 cautious than I.
12 The other principal reason that I borrowed these
13 glass plates temporarily from the Russian Archives was in
14 order to put them to London forensic experts for the
15 purposes of authentication. I mentioned the use of
16 forensic experts before. We are doing it again. In the
17 same manner that others had tested the Adolf Hitler
18 diaries and I had tested the Canaris diaries, the Sunday
19 Times quite properly wished to have final proof that the
20 glass plates were indeed of wartime manufacture. We are
21 dealing after all with the KGB archives. Namely, that the
22 glass was wartime origin and that the photographic
23 emulsion was of wartime chemicals.
24 My Lord, the court may marvel at these
25 precautions that we as non-scholars took, but it seemed
26 perfectly natural to me and to the officers of the Sunday
1 Times. After all, not only were large sums of money
2 involved, but the reputation of myself and the reputation
3 of a major international newspaper group. We wished to be
4 absolutely certain.
5 On my return from Moscow and Munich to London in
6 June 1992, therefore, the two glass plates were sent their
7 separate ways, heavily wrapped and protected; one to Agfa
8 photographic laboratory which tested the age of the
9 emulsion in a non-constructive manner, and the other to
10 the Pilkington Glassworks whose laboratory specialists
11 carried out similar tests on the age of the glass. Their
12 reports are part of my discovery, and these confirmed that
13 the tests were appropriate under the circumstances.
14 My Lord, if I may just anticipate by a few
15 paragraphs what happened to those two glass plates
16 subsequently. I returned to Moscow at the end of June.
17 The glass plates were brought out to Moscow personally by
18 a courier of the Sunday Times. As soon as the tests on
19 them were complete and handed to me standing outside the
20 archives building, as my diary records, and within three
21 minutes I had taken them back into the archives building
22 and replaced them in the box where they have been for the
23 last 47 years. This is of course a matter that is very
24 much in contention, my Lord. That is why I have gone into
25 it in such detail.
26 What follows is not strictly relevant to the
1 glass plates, but it is relevant to this case and is best
2 inserted here because of its chronology. When I returned
3 to London with the remaining diaries which the Sunday
4 Times had requested, an awkward situation had developed.
5 Our secrecy had been compromised by an astute reporter of
6 The Independent, a Mr Peter Pringle, who was based in
7 Moscow at the time I was using the archives. He too has
8 submitted a written witness statement for the Defendants.
9 He stalked me into the KGB archives, confronted me and
10 learned from Dr Bondarev of my work on the Goebbels
11 Diaries. The resulting scoop in The Independent sent the
12 press world about its ears. Before I returned to London
13 on July 4th 199 h entire Fleet Street press and the
14 broadcast media fell over themselves to print stories
15 about the diaries and my own participation. In order to
16 blacken the name of the Sunday Times and its somewhat
17 unpopular editor, I was described with every possible
19 It is of relevance to this action, in my
20 submission, my Lord, because the same organizations which
21 had gone to great lengths to furnish the Defendants here
22 with the materials they needed to blacken my name and the
23 book “Denying the Holocaust”, now applied heavy pressure
24 to Andrew Neil and The Times Newspapers Limited to violate
25 their contract with me and to pay me nothing of the moneys
26 which were due to me under the contract. Under this
1 pressure, which Mr Neil described to me at the time as the
2 worst that he had experienced in his life, the Sunday
3 Times having in fact paid me the first installment welshed
4 on the rest of the payments. I was forced to sue them in
5 these same courts for breach of contract. The financial
6 consequences of this violation of the contract, in round
7 terms about £65,000, were serious for me.
8 When I reviewed all the clippings, when I read
9 all the statements made by these various bodies and boards
10 and campaigns and agencies and organizations attacking my
11 name, both during my absence in Moscow and upon my return,
12 I could only say, sadly, from a lengthening experience:
13 “The gang’s all here”. The same gang whom I loosely
14 describe as the traditional enemies of free speech, were
15 to be seen in the following days behind the metal police
16 barricades, police barricades thrown up outside my
17 apartment, screaming abuse at me and other leaseholders in
18 our building, spitting, harassing passers by, holding up
19 offensive placards and slogans, including one reading in a
20 most execrable taste, “Gas Irving”. They can be seen in
21 the newspaper photographs. From the photographs of this
22 demonstration it appeared that representatives of every
23 ethnic and other minority were present in these. It was
24 the most disagreeable experience.
25 On my second visit to Moscow, as your Lordship
26 will find from the relevant passages of my diary, I found
1 frostier atmosphere. The boxes which I had so readily
2 been provided with on my previous trip were said to be
3 missing and not found. For three or four days I was
4 unable to do anything and then one box was released to me
5 which I devoured rapidly. On the last day but one it
6 became plain that I had jealous and envious rivals in
7 Munich to thank for the difficulties that the Russians
8 were now making. Dr Bondarev’s secretary came into the
9 reading room and said there were allegations that I had
10 stolen the glass plates. I assured her that while
11 I borrowed some heavy glass plate which had been in my
12 custody was at that time back in the archives and nothing
13 was missing, which was true. I also voluntarily wrote a
14 statement which was handed to Dr Bondarev.
15 Your Lordship will find this document in both
16 Russian and English, in my handwriting, is in discovery
17 both of myself and of the Defendants as an exhibit to the
18 report by Professor Tarasov. Professor Tarasov is to be
19 giving evidence before your Lordship, and I shall examine
20 him with particular pleasure.
21 Dr Bondarev’s secretary came back a few minutes
22 later and said that this declaration was just what they
23 required. She vouchsafed to me the information came from
25 Your Lordship will see from the information
26 which came from Munich which is in the Defendants’
1 discovery that the Institut fur Zeitgeschichte faxed to
2 Moscow a particularly hateful letter about me in an
3 attempt to destroy my relationship with the Russians.
4 However, I already had all the documents that had been on
5 my shopping list, either in long hand or by dictating them
6 on to a hand-held dictate recorder or typed on to my
7 portable typewriter, or as photocopies of a few pages of
8 November 1938, or as photographic prints obtained from the
9 glass microfiche. I have collected several hundred pages
10 of the most important Goebbels Diaries entries that have
11 been missing ever since the end of the war, and I see no
12 reason not to be proud of this achievement. It is
13 indicative of he general attempt to blacken my name and to
14 silence me, that when I spoke to a meeting organised by my
15 private supports’ club, I suppose you would call it, the
16 Clarendon Club, on evening of July 4th 1992, my return
17 from Moscow that day, the hall in Great Portland Street
18 was subjected to violent demonstrations outside which
19 required a very large police presence to protect the
20 members of my audience. This will be one of the
21 photographs in the bundle I shall shortly be submitting to
22 your Lordship. Later on that year when I addressed a
23 third meeting at a West End hotel, there were even more
24 violent demonstrations. Such demonstrations do not occur
25 spontaneously. Somebody has to pay for the printing and
26 the bill posting and the bus rentals. I might mention
1 that on one of the days that followed I was violently
2 attacked by three men who identified themselves to me as
3 Jews when I was having a Sunday lunch at a public
4 restaurant in Mayfair with my family. They had laid an
5 ambush for me.
6 I only recently learned that on the Monday after
7 my return from Moscow, my long time publishers, Macmillan
8 Limited, seeing the clamour and coming under pressure from
9 unnamed members of the Jewish community (I have the
10 internal memorandum), panicked and issued secret
11 instructions for the destruction of all remaining stocks
12 of my books without ever informing me that they had done
14 This particularly repulsive act by a publisher,
15 July 6th 1992, reminiscent of the Nazis in 1933, cost me
16 of course many tens of thousands of pounds in lost
17 royalties. At the same time as they were taking these
18 secret decisions to destroy all of my books, at a cost to
19 themselves of hundreds of thousands of pounds, my editor
20 at Macmillan has continued to write ingratiating letters
21 expressing interest in the early delivery of my Goebbels’
22 biography. It was altogether a most unhappy period.
23 My Lord, I am coming towards the end as you can
24 see. I can add one further brief example of how different
25 is my attitude of such documents as the Goebbels Diaries
26 from the attitude of my rivals and the scholars.
1 Dr Ralf Gunther Reuth approached me saying that
2 he was preparing a five-volume abridged edition of the
3 other Goebbels Diaries for Piper Verlag in Germany at this
4 time and he had nothing for 1938. There were large gaps
5 in the other years too. I foolishly allowed him to have
6 photocopies of some of the most important passages which
7 until that moment had been exclusive to myself and my, as
8 yet, unpublished Goebbels’ biography. The thanks that
9 I received for this generous act were scant indeed.
10 I provided copies to the German Federal Archives entirely
11 of the entire Goebbels diary extracts that I brought back
12 from Moscow. I did that on July 1st 1993. Ten minutes
13 later the Director of the Archives informed me in extreme
14 embarrassment that on the instructions of the German
15 Federal Minister of the Interior I was permanently banned
16 from the self-same archives forthwith and in perpetuity,
17 which is to my knowledge the only time that such a
18 sanction has ever been applied to an historian. He
19 explained that this decision had been taken, “in the
20 interests of the German people”.
21 I mention these facts, my Lord, to show that it
22 was not just one single action that has destroyed my
23 career, but a cumulative, self-perpetuating, rolling
24 onslaught from every side engineered by the same people
25 who have propagated the book which is at the centre of the
26 dispute, which is the subject of this action, my Lord.
Part III: Discussion of the Scope of the Label “Denier” (87.1 to 89.14)
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you very much, Mr Irving. Can I before
2 I ask Mr Rampton to open the Defendants’ case just ask you
3 to go back, if you would, to page 18 which is where you
4 are dealing with what I think you accept is at the heart
5 of the action, namely the accusation that you are a
6 “Holocaust denier”.
7 MR IRVING: Yes.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Towards the end of page 18, in fact perhaps
9 one can pick it up at the beginning of that last
10 paragraph, you say this: “This trial is not really about
11 what happened in the Holocaust or how many Jews and other
12 persecuted minorities were tortured and put to death”.
13 Certainly as I see it, and I believe as he Defendants see
14 it, that is right. This trial is not concerned with
15 making findings of historical fact. But you then go on to
16 set out what you say the Defendants need to establish for
17 the purposes of their plea of justification, and you say
18 that they need to establish, first, that a particular
19 thing happened or existed; secondly that you were aware of
20 that particular thing as it happened or existed at the
21 time that you wrote about it from the records then before
22 me, and then that you wilfully manipulated the text.
23 There was just one thing I wanted to put to you
24 so that one is clear about it. You are saying, are you,
25 that it has to be shown that you had actual knowledge of
26 the particular fact or event?
1 MR IRVING: My Lord, I do not have an astute legal brain, but
2 I am trying to make it easy for the court by establishing
3 very early on what the ground rules are going to be.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, that is why I am raising this with
5 because I think it is a very fundamental question.
6 MR IRVING: It is a very fundamental point, my Lord, and I am
7 indebted to you for having appeared to have grasped
8 precisely the point I am trying to make.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can I just put to you this and then complete
10 your answer. The Defendants may be saying that whether or
11 not they can actually prove that you specifically knew of
12 the particular fact, it was there available in the
13 historical records. They may be saying, and I believe
14 they are saying, that you shut your eyes to it.
15 MR IRVING: That is a different allegation, I would
16 respectfully submit, my Lord, by saying that what they are
17 saying there is that I am a rotten historian or a lazy
18 historian or an indolent historian or that I am
19 lethargic. That is not the words they have used. They
20 have said that I manipulated, that I distorted. That is
21 why I think I am entitled to press for my narrower
22 definition, my Lord.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. That puts it very clearly. Thank you
24 very much indeed. That completes your opening?
25 MR IRVING: That completes my opening statement, my Lord.
26 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, before I read what everybody has anyway,
Part IV: Richard Rampton’s Opening Statement (89.15 to 101.12)
1 I might just respond to what your Lordship has just said
2 to Mr Irving in this way, by saying your Lordship has it
3 right. It is not that he is indolent. It is not that he
4 falls into error. It is that he deliberately perverts the
5 course of this particular episode in European history,
6 including what happened at Auschwitz.
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So you are putting the case that Mr Irving
8 not only ought to have known but did in fact know what the
9 historic records showed?
10 MR RAMPTON: I do not know whether he did or whether he did
11 not, but what is certain is that he leapt on to the sink
12 of the Auschwitz battleship campaign without even opening
13 the front of the fire.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
15 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, Mr Irving calls himself an historian.
16 The truth is, however, that he is not an historian at all
17 but a falsifier of history. To put it bluntly, he is a
18 liar. Lies may take various forms and may as often
19 consist of suppression or omission as a direct falsehood
20 or invention, but in the end all forms of lying converge
21 into a single definition, wilful, deliberate misstatement
22 of the facts.
23 Mr Irving has used many different means to
24 falsify history, invention, misquotation, suppression,
25 distortion, manipulation and not least mistranslation, but
26 those all these techniques have the same ultimate effect,
1 falsification of the truth. Moreover, the lies which the
2 Defendants in this case will show that Mr Irving has told,
3 concern an area of history in which perhaps it behoves any
4 writer or researcher to be particularly careful of the
5 truth, the destruction of the Jews by the Nazis during
6 World War II, the Holocaust, and Adolf Hitler’s role in
7 that human catastrophy, or, as Mr Irving would have it,
8 alleged catastrophe, for Mr Irving is nowadays a Holocaust
9 denier. By this I mean that he denies that the Nazis
10 planned and carried out the systematic murder of millions
11 Jews, in particular, though by no means exclusively, by
12 the use of homicidal gas chambers, and in particular,
13 though by no means exclusively, at Auschwitz in Southern
15 This was not, however, always so. In 1977 the
16 first edition of Mr Irving’s book Hitler’s War was
17 published. In that edition Mr Irving accepted that the
18 Holocaust, as generally understood, had occurred. He was
19 not willing, however, to accept that Adolf Hitler had any
20 real or direct responsibility for what happened or that he
21 knew anything very much about it until it was too late.
22 Mr Irving went to considerable lengths to
23 achieve his exoneration of Hitler. At this stage I take
24 but one example of many to illustrate Mr Irving’s
25 disreputable methods. In late November 1941 a train load
26 of about a thousand Jews was deported from Berlin to Riga
1 in Latvia, as part of a process which had been initiated
2 earlier that year in accordance with Hitler’s wishes to
3 empty the Reich of its Jews.
4 On 30th November 1941, as his daily log records,
5 Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS, was at the Wolf’s
6 lair, Hitler’s headquarters in East Prussia. Mr Irving’s
7 account of this visit, so far as it concerns the fait of
8 the Jews, is as follows. This is in Hitler’s War 1977 at
9 page 332:
10 “On November 30th 1941 Himmler was summoned to
11 the Wolf’s lair for a secret conference with Hitler at
12 which fait of Berlin’s Jews was clearly raised. At 1.30
13 p.m. Himmler was obliged to telephone from Hitler’s bunker
14 to Heydrich the explicit order that Jews were”, and this
15 is in the author’s italics, “not to be liquidated”. The
16 next day Himmler telephoned SS overall General Oswald
17 Pohl, overall chief of the concentration camp system with
18 the order: “Jews are to stay where they are”. That is
19 what Mr Irving wrote.
20 In the introduction to that edition of the book
21 at page 14, anticipating what the reader would find in the
22 text, Mr Irving wrote this:
23 “The incontrovertible evidence is that Hitler
24 ordered on November 30th 1941 that there was to be “no
25 liquidation” of the Jews (without much difficulty I”, that
26 is Mr Irving “found in Himmler’s private files his own
1 handwriting note on this)”.
2 Thus the reader was led to believe, first, that
3 as early as 30th November 1941 Hitler had issued an order,
4 faithfully passed on by Himmler to the relevant
5 authorities, that there was to be no liquidation of any
6 Jews, and that all Jews were to stay wherever they happen
7 to be; and second that there was incontrovertible evidence
8 of this in handwritten notes by Himmler which Mr Irving
9 had found in Himmler’s private files. Mr Irving had
10 evidently read Himmler’s notes, and Mr Irving’s German was
11 then, as it is now, very good. So what did the notes
12 actually say?
13 The relevant part of the note for 30th November
14 1941 reads as follows:
15 “Judentranport aus Berlin. Keine Liquidierung”.
16 That is the German entry by Himmler. The unambiguous
17 meaning of those words in English is: “Jew transport” the
18 word is singular, “Jew transport from Berlin no
20 Thus so far from being a general prohibition
21 against the liquidation of the Jews, it was merely an
22 order from Himmler to Heydrich that the particular train
23 load of Berlin Jews in question was not to be killed on
24 arrival in Riga.
25 The matter gets worse. What was the evidence
26 that Himmler’s order to Heydrich was derived from
1 instructions given to him by Hitler at a secret conference
2 at which the fait of Berlin’s Jews was clearly raised?
3 The answer is none. This was pure invention by
4 Mr Irving. Indeed, the fact is, as Mr Irving later
5 discovered, that Himmler did not meet Hitler until an hour
6 after he telephoned this order to Heydrich.
7 Thus the matter gets worse still. I repeat
8 Mr Irving’s words:
9 “And the next day Himmler telephoned SS General
10 Oswald Pohl, overall chief of the concentration camp
11 system, with the order ‘Jews are to stay where they are’.”
12 What does Himmler’s note of his telephone call
13 to General Pohl on 1st November 1941 actually say? It
14 says this:
15 “Verwaltungsfuhrer des SS haben zu bleiben”.
16 Does this mean, as Mr Irving told his English
17 readers, Jews are to stay where they are? No, it does
18 not. It means administratively leaders of the SS are to
19 stay where they are. Nor is there in this day’s entry in
20 the Himmler log any reference to the Jews whatsoever.
21 I repeat, Mr Irving had, as he proudly announced, read the
22 Himmler log and he has very good German.
23 One asks the question: Does not this single
24 example condemn Mr Irving as a liar, whose utterances
25 about this awful episode in European history can never be
26 taken seriously? In fairness it should be pointed out
1 that in the 1991 edition of Hitler’s War Mr Irving
2 corrected, though by implication only, the assertion that
3 Himmler’s order to Heydrich of 30th November 1941 “no
4 liquidation” applied to Jews generally, and accepted that
5 it applied only to a single trailer of Jews from Berlin.
6 But did he withdraw his imaginative assertion that
7 Himmler’s instruction to Heydrich was derived from an
8 order given to him by Hitler, or that Himmler’s log for
9 1st December 1941 read, “Jews are to stay where they
10 are”? No he did not. He wrote on page 427:
11 “On November 30th 1941 Himmler was summoned to
12 the Wolf’s lair for a secret conference with Hitler at
13 which the fate of a train load of Berlin Jews was clearly
14 raised. At 1.30 p.m. Himmler was obliged to telephone
15 from Hitler’s bunker to Heydrich the explicit order that
16 these Jews were not to be liquidated, and the next day
17 Himmler telephoned SS General Oswald Pohl, overall chief
18 of the concentration camp system, with the order, ‘Jews
19 are to stay where they are’.”
20 Thus was repeated and preserved a monstrous
21 distortion of the evidence in Mr Irving’s own hands. It
22 is true that he printed a facsimile of Himmler’s log for
23 30th November 1941 in both editions of the book, but he
24 never printed the entry for 1st December 1941,
25 “administrative leaders of the SS are to stay where they
26 are.” One wonders rhetorically why not?
1 So, my Lord, I pass on to Mr Irving and
2 Holocaust denial. Between the publication of the first
3 edition of Hitler’s War in 1977 and its second edition in
4 1991, Mr Irving’s views about the Holocaust underwent a
5 sea change. In the 1977 edition he accepted it as an
6 historical truth in all its essentials, systematic mass
7 murder of Jews in purpose built extermination factories,
8 but in the 1991 edition all trace of the Holocaust in this
9 sense has disappeared. Auschwitz, for example, has been
10 transformed from a monstrous killing machine into a mere
11 slave labour camp.
12 What are the reasons for this astounding
13 volte-face? The principal reason can be expressed in one
14 word Leuchter. In 1988 a man of German origin, Ernst
15 Zundel, was put on trial in Canada for publishing material
16 which, amongst other things, denied the existence of
17 homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz. In defence of this
18 charge Mr Zundel’s lawyers recruited a man called Fred
19 Leuchter who seems to have made his living as some kind of
20 consultant in the design of execution facilities in the
21 USA. Mr Leuchter was duly despatched to Auschwitz to seek
22 evidence of the use, or otherwise, of homicidal gas
23 chambers. He took some samples from various parts of the
24 remains of Auschwitz which he later had analysed in
25 America and then wrote a report describing his findings
26 and summarizing his conclusions. These were that there
1 were never any homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz.
2 Unfortunately for Mr Zundel, Mr Leuchter’s
3 report was declared inadmissible by the Canadian judge on
4 the grounds that Mr Leuchter had no relevant expertise.
5 Now it happens that Mr Irving also gave evidence
6 for Mr Zundel at that trial. In the course of that visit
7 he had read the Leuchter report. Shortly thereafter he
8 declared himself convinced that Leuchter was right and
9 that there never any homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz.
10 So enthused was he by the Leuchter report that he
11 published it himself in this country, with an appreciative
12 forward written by him and introduced it to the public at
13 a press conference in London, at which he declared that
14 the validity of Leuchter’s laboratory reports was
16 So it was that the Leuchter report became the
17 main weapon in Mr Irving’s campaign to “sink the
18 battleship Auschwitz”, as he calls it. The essence of
19 this campaign is that the Holocaust symbolized by
20 Auschwitz is a myth legend or lie, deployed by Jews to
21 blackmail the German people into paying vast sums in
22 reparations to supposed victims of the Holocaust.
23 According to Mr Irving, the Leuchter report
24 is “the biggest calibre shell that has yet hit the
25 battleship Auschwitz” and has “totally exploded the
26 legend”. Unfortunately for Mr Irving, the Leuchter report
1 is bunk and he knows it. It was comprehensively debunked
2 in court in Canada. It has been comprehensively
3 demolished since by people who have written to Mr Irving,
4 and perhaps not least by Professor van Pelt in his report
5 made for the purposes of this case. This is not the
6 moment to describe all the many means by which the
7 Leuchter report is demolished, but one simple example can
8 be given because it is derived from the internal evidence
9 of the Leuchter report itself, and must have been apparent
10 to anyone with an open and thoughtful mind.
11 One of the main reasons that Mr Leuchter
12 advanced in his report for his conclusion that there were
13 no homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz, was that it was to
14 be expected that any residual traces of hydrogen cyanide,
15 the killing agent in the Zyklon B pellets used by the SS,
16 should be very much higher in those parts of the remains
17 of Auschwitz which were identified as gas chambers for
18 killing people than in those parts which are known to have
19 been used for killing lice.
20 Leucther’s report recorded very small traces of
21 hydrogen cyanide in the gas chamber remains and relatively
22 large traces in the delicing remains. Therefore, said
23 Mr Leuchter, the alleged gas chamber remains could
24 obviously never have been gas chambers at all. But the
25 report itself contained the seeds of its own destruction,
26 for it revealed that concentration of hydrogen cyanide
1 required to kill humans was approximately 22 times lower
2 than that required to kill lice, 300 parts per million as
3 against 6,666 parts per million for lice. This was
4 internal evidence obvious to any interested reader, which
5 Mr Irving certainly was, that the Leuchter report was
7 So why did Mr Irving ignore this and all other
8 stupidities in the Leuchter report? Why did he embrace it
9 with such wholehearted enthusiasm? The answer must be
10 that he wanted it to be true. After all, if the Holocaust
11 never happened, then Hitler cannot have ordered it or
12 known about it. Thus, as Mr Irving himself said of the
13 second edition of Hitler’s War, “You won’t find the
14 Holocaust mentioned in one line, not even in a footnote.
15 Why should you? If something didn’t happen, then you
16 don’t even dignify it with a footnote.”
17 So, finally, my Lord, why has Mr Irving resorted
18 to these lies, distortions and misrepresentations and
19 deceptions in pursuit of his exoneration of Adolf Hitler
20 and his denial of the Holocaust? One can often derive a
21 fair picture of a man’s true attitudes and motives from
22 what he says and from the kind of people he associates
23 with and speaks to. Mr Irving has done a lot of public
24 speaking over the years. The evidence for the Defendants
25 in this case will show that his audiences will often
26 consist of radical right-wing neo-facist, neo-Nazi groups
1 of people, groups like the National Alliance, a neo-Nazi,
2 white supremacist organisation in the USA, the DVU,
3 perhaps the most radical right-wing party in Germany,
4 gatherings of so-called revisionists, in truth largely
5 Holocaust deniers, the extreme right-wing British National
6 Party and so on.
7 What sorts of things has Mr Irving said on these
8 occasions which might be thought to betray his underlying
9 motives and attitudes? It is not possible in a relatively
10 short statement of this kind to catalogue all the most
11 telling instances of this kind, but it is perhaps possible
12 to give the flavour of some of Mr Irving’s thinking by
13 reference to two short examples from the same speech.
14 In September 1991 Mr Irving spoke to an audience
15 in Calgary, Alberto. He complained about pressure from
16 Jewish people and Jewish bodies designed to prevent him
17 from speaking. He said:
18 “And it’s happening now. They’re zeroing in on
19 the university, ‘Nazism not welcome here, self-professed
20 moderate facist'”. Mr Irving went on: “I strongly object
21 to that word “moderate”. That remarked provoked some
22 laughter and it may be that it was not meant to be
23 entirely serious.
24 On the same occasion, however, he said something
25 which, though somewhat facetiously worded, conveys a
26 message about his true views and attitudes which can only
1 be taken seriously. It was this:
2 “I don’t see any reason to be tasteful about
3 Auschwitz. It’s baloney. It’s a legend. Once we admit
4 the fact that it was a brutal slave labour camp and large
5 numbers of people did die, as large numbers of innocent
6 people died elsewhere in the war, why believe the rest of
7 the baloney? I say quite tastelessly in fact that more
8 women died on the back seat of Edward Kennedy’s car at
9 Chappaquiddick than ever died in a gas chamber in
10 Auschwitz. Oh, you think that’s tasteless. How about
11 this. There are so many Auschwitz survivors going around,
12 in fact the number increases as the years go past which is
13 biologically very odd to say the least, because I am going
14 to form an Association of Auschwitz survivors, survivors
15 of the Holocaust and other liars for the A-S-S-H-O-L-S”,
16 pronounced no doubt “asshols”.
17 This last inspiration was also greeted by
18 laughter, but it was laughter of an altogether different
19 kind. It was the laughter of mockery, mockery of the
20 suffering of others, people whom on this and other
21 occasions Mr Irving has accused of lying about their
22 Holocaust experiences, of forging Auschwitz tattoos on
23 their arms, of deserving both contempt and the attention
24 of psychiatrists.
25 My Lord, this is obviously an important case,
26 but that is not however because it is primarily concerned
Part V: Discussion of Trial Schedule and Adjournment (101.13 to 103.26)
1 with whether or not the Holocaust took place or the degree
2 of Hitler’s responsibility for it. On the contrary, the
3 essence of the case is Mr Irving’s honesty and integrity
4 of as a chronicler — I shy away from the word
5 “historian” — of these matters, for if it be right that
6 Mr Irving, driven by his extremist views and sympathies,
7 has devoted his energies to the deliberate falsification
8 of this tragic episode in history, then by exposing that
9 dangerous fraud in this court the Defendants may properly
10 be applauded for having performed a significant public
11 service not just in this country, but in all those places
12 in the world where anti-Semitism is waiting to be fed.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I would have suggested — that is
14 the opening statements out of the way, as it were —
15 I would have suggested we might viewed those two videos
16 but we do not have the equipment.
17 MR IRVING: We do not have the equipment unfortunately.
18 I think we will have the equipment first thing tomorrow.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Whenever. The fact is we cannot do it now.
20 MR RAMPTON: No, we cannot, my Lord.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am just wondering where we go immediately.
22 MR RAMPTON: Perhaps the answer might be home.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: If needs be, yes. It seems to me rather
24 difficult to start on the evidence without knowing whether
25 we are taking Auschwitz separately and first, or whether
26 it is going to be the other way round. You have not
1 obviously resolved that.
2 MR RAMPTON: Can we usefully, and I mean usefully, use a little
3 bit of time now, perhaps your Lordship would adjourn until
4 tomorrow. We can then try to work out something a little
5 less jelly like than we offered your Lordship this morning
6 so far as scheduling is concerned.
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Certainly.
8 MR RAMPTON: And give a report tomorrow morning?
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. I have a fairly short statement from
10 you, Mr Irving.
11 MR IRVING: As required under the new rules.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. We will have to discuss how far one
13 needs to deal with all the issues in oral evidence.
14 I hope not by any means all of them. I think I am right
15 in saying that really I perhaps know rather less of your
16 specific answers to some of the specific criticisms than
17 I would like and at some stage I would like to be provided
18 with the answers.
19 MR IRVING: I appreciate that, my Lord, and I know
20 that — I intend not to offer very much answer to the name
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, I agree with you about that. What is at
23 the heart of the case is the manipulation allegation and
24 that involves looking, to a degree anyway, at what the
25 historical documents actually say and mean.
26 MR IRVING: I am grateful, my Lord. Our documentation on both
1 sides is very extensive.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. If there is nothing else we need to do
3 now, then perhaps it would be sensible to adjourn. If you
4 could let me know through the usual channels what you have
5 decided, that would help me, if you reach agreement.
6 MR RAMPTON: I know it would. At the moment I do not see a
7 problem with the existing plan which is to bring Professor
8 van Pelt over for the beginning of the last week in
10 MR IRVING: There is a problem, my Lord, and that is we have
11 also arranged for our gentleman to come from California.
12 We will have to iron that one out.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: This cannot be done in open court. So I will
14 leave it to you and we will resume at 10.30.
15 MR IRVING: Thank you very much, my Lord.
16 (The court adjourned until the following day)