• Search

    Day 1 Transcript: Holocaust Denial on Trial

    Part I: Initial Proceedings (1.1 to 9.23)

        1996 I. No. 113
      2  Royal Courts of Justice
      3  Strand, London
      4  Tuesday, 11th January 2000
      6  Before:
    10  Claimant -and-
    13  Defendants
    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)

    .           P-1

      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 —-

    .           P-2

      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

    .           P-3

      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
    14  understanding.
    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

    .           P-4

      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
    11  that?
    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

    .           P-5

      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

    .           P-6

      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.

    .           P-7

      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

    .           P-8

    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
      6  length.
      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

    .           P-9

      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
      7  reached.
      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

    .           P-10

      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
    14  cheek.
    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
    25  exhaustion.
    26  Your Lordship may remember that Mr Kimber and

    .           P-11

      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
    14  advice.
    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

    .           P-12

      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

    .           P-13

      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

    .           P-14

      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

    .           P-15

      1  happened over the last 32 years on my writing desk in my
      2  apartment off Grosvenor Square. That is what is at stake
      3  here.
      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

    .           P-16

      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,

    .           P-17

      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

    .           P-18

      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

    .           P-19

      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

    .           P-20

      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
    21  leadership.
    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.

    .           P-21

      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
      5  why.
      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
    22  doors.
    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

    .           P-22

      1  precisely the ugly consequence that had flowed from it in
      2  1992.
      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
    26  action.

    .           P-23

      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

    .           P-24

      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
    23  minutia.
    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

    .           P-25

      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
    22  years.
    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

    .           P-26

      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
    26  speech.

    .           P-27

      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
    19  country.
    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

    .           P-28

      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
    10  that.
    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

    .           P-29

      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
      7  witnesses.
      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

    .           P-30

      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

    .           P-31

      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
    17  purposes.
    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

    .           P-32

      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
      7  day”.
      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

    .           P-33

      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
    26  topic.

    .           P-34

      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

    .           P-35

      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
      8  Lord?
      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
    12  about.

    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
    18  interrogation?
    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.

    .           P-36

      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
    17  Conventions).
    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
    24  History.
    25  I would say further by way of preamble, my Lord,
    26  that the speaker whose recorded voice we are about to

    .           P-37

      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
    18  case.
    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.

    .           P-38

      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
    11  running.
    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

    .           P-39

      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

    .           P-40

      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
      9  ignorance”.
    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

    .           P-41

      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
    17  talking.
    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

    .           P-42

      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
    21  spies”.
    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

    .           P-43

      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?

    .           P-44

      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

    .           P-45

      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

    .           P-46

      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

    .           P-47

      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
    21  disfavour.
    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

    .           P-48

      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

    .           P-49

      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
    14  student.
    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

    .           P-50

      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

    .           P-51

      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

    .           P-52

      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
    24  them.
    25  I merely made a mental note that I had to be on
    26  the look-out for trouble. Such trouble had already begun

    .           P-53

      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
    13  Bormann.
    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

    .           P-54

      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
    15  action.
    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

    .           P-55

      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
      8  papers.
      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
    16  1997.
    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

    .           P-56

      1  formidable opponent who could not, however, be called
      2  anti-Semitic. I would have to be destroyed by other
      3  means.
      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
    14  disapprove.
    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
    20  registration.
    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

    .           P-57

      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

    .           P-58

      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.

    .           P-59

      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

    .           P-60

      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

    .           P-61

      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
      5  importance.
      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
    19  those.
    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

    .           P-62

      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

    .           P-63

      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
    10  then.
    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

    .           P-64

      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

    .           P-65

      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
    15  accordingly.
    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

    .           P-66

      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

    .           P-67

      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

    .           P-68

      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

    .           P-69

      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

    .           P-70

      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
    23  course.
    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

    .           P-71

      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

    .           P-72

      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

    .           P-73

      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

    .           P-74

      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

    .           P-75

      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.

    .           P-76

      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
      9  action.
    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

    .           P-77

      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

    .           P-78

      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

    .           P-79

      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

    .           P-80

      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
    18  epithet.
    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

    .           P-81

      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

    .           P-82

      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
    24  Munich.
    25  Your Lordship will see from the information
    26  which came from Munich which is in the Defendants’

    .           P-83

      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

    .           P-84

      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
    13  so.
    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.

    .           P-85

      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.

    .           P-86

    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?

    .           P-87

      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,

    .           P-88

    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,

    .           P-89

      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
    14  Poland.
    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

    .           P-90

      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

    .           P-91

      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
    19  liquidation”.
    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

    .           P-92

      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

    .           P-93

      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?

    .           P-94

      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

    .           P-95

      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
    15  unchallengable.
    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

    .           P-96

      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

    .           P-97

      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
      6  rubbish.
      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

    .           P-98

      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

    .           P-99

      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

    .           P-100

    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

    .           P-101

      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
    21  calling.
    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

    .           P-102

      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
      9  January.
    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)

    .           P-103