Day 32 Transcript: Holocaust Denial on Trial
Part I: Initial Proceedings (1.1 to 5.19)
1 IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
1996 I. No. 113
QUEEN’S BENCH DIVISION
2 Royal Courts of Justice
3 Strand, London
4 Wednesday, 15th March 2000
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY
9 B E T W E E N: DAVID JOHN CAWDELL IRVING
10 Claimant -and-
11 (1) PENGUIN BOOKS LIMITED
12 (2) DEBORAH E. LIPSTADT
14 The Claimant appeared in person
15 MR RICHARD RAMPTON Q.C. (instructed by Messrs Davenport Lyons and Mishcon de Reya) appeared on behalf of the First and
16 Second Defendants
17 MISS HEATHER ROGERS (instructed by Davenport Lyons) appeared on behalf of the First Defendant Penguin Books Limited
18 MR ANTHONY JULIUS (of Mishcon de Reya) appeared on behalf of
19 the Second Defendant Deborah Lipstadt
21 (Transcribed from the stenographic notes of Harry Counsell
& Company, Clifford’s Inn, Fetter Lane, London EC4
22 Telephone: 020-7242-9346)
23 (This transcript is not to be reproduced without the written permission of Harry
Counsell & Company)
25 PROCEEDINGS – DAY THIRTY-TWO
1 <(Day 32)
3 (10.30 a.m.)
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, before you say what you want to
5 say and before Mr Rampton starts, can I just say this.
6 I certainly do not intend to have a sort of inquest about
7 why yesterday was abortive. I was a bit surprised, as you
8 may have gathered. I have looked at the transcript of day
9 30 and I can see how the misunderstanding arose. I think
10 it was then contemplated we would have two days of closing
11 submissions and it has not worked out like that. The
12 reason I mention it is simply this. Having looked again
13 at both sets of written closing submissions — for which
14 I am very grateful, a lot of work has gone into them
15 obviously — there are one or two points that I think
16 I ought to put really to both sides. I will do that
17 whenever it is convenient to you both. I will either do
18 it before or during or after, whichever you find
19 convenient — probably after, I suspect.
20 MR RAMPTON: After, I would suggest.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: After your public statement, but I do not
22 want to do it. That is what I am really telling you.
23 MR RAMPTON: I would also suggest, perhaps, because they are
24 not things in which the majority of people in this room
25 are going to be closely interested, we could also deal
26 with these five points after.
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Which five?
2 MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving’s five points.
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: The Muller document standard of proof,
4 section 5 etc.
5 MR RAMPTON: They are partly matters of law and partly matters
6 of detail.
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Subject to Mr Irving, I entirely agree about
8 that. Mr Irving, these are the nitty-gritty, are they
10 MR IRVING: I did not want to be wrong-footed by leaving them
11 out. I want to draw your Lordship’s attention to the fact
12 that there are these final loose ends that need to be tied
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I certainly agree. We ought to spend a few
15 minutes on the Muller document.
16 MR IRVING: Except for the one point, my Lord, point 4 on that
17 list. Having reconsidered the matter, I do consider I am
18 entitled to make slightly broader use of the material
19 which was in the bundle E matters on the basis that I have
20 set out there, that they might go to aggravated damages
21 and they certainly go to explaining my state of mind when
22 I am alleged to have made certain remarks about the bodies
23 or persons concerned.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: What I will do — I know the Defendants are
25 not very happy about this but I think I am going to do it
26 anyway unless Mr Rampton wants to try and dissuade me —
1 is to let you make your closing submissions along the
2 lines of the written document. I am bound to say that
3 I think a lot of it goes beyond what the evidence
4 establishes, and also goes beyond what you are really
5 entitled in any event to rely on by way of aggravated
6 damages against the Defendants because, of course, you
7 have to prove the Defendants’ involvement in the
8 conspiracy. But I am going to let you do it, unless
9 Mr Rampton continue tries to dissuade me.
10 MR RAMPTON: No, I have no objection.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think it is the right thing to do in this
12 particular case.
13 MR RAMPTON: I agree. Miss Rogers has dealt with it very
14 succinctly and, in my submission, very effectively on
15 paper. It is in your Lordship’s hands at the end of all
16 this. If this were a Jury case, it would be entirely
17 different, but it is not. We are confident that we can
18 leave it happily to your Lordship. I would also add
19 this. It does seem to me, and I will say this, that the
20 more of that kind of speculative fantasy Mr Irving spins
21 in a public court in this country, the more harm he does
22 his own cause. I only say that at this stage.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is as may be.
24 MR IRVING: Be that as may be, my Lord, of course, I would be
25 perfectly entitled in my closing speech to put to the
26 court the matters that I would have put to the Defendants
1 had they had the courage to go into the witness box. That
2 is the kind of material that I would have put to them.
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, I am not sure that is actually right,
4 as a matter of law, but I am taking a liberal approach.
5 Say what you have indicated you intend to say in due
7 MR IRVING: I will certainly tighten it up. I shall not go to
8 such lengths.
9 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, I will then read, if I may, what your
10 Lordship has in writing. I start by observing that your
11 Lordship will notice, as I read it, that there are one or
12 two stylistic changes that I have made overnight. They
13 are merely stylistic. They do not touch the substance of
14 what I have to say.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I will keep my mouth shut and I will not
16 interrupt you, but there are the points that I want to
17 raise with you at the end of your statement.
18 MR RAMPTON: If your Lordship would rather do it now?
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, it is better at the end.
Part II: Rampton’s Closing Argument (5.20-49.23))
20 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, I start with this, that if one had read
21 some of the media reports of this trial, which I realize
22 that your Lordship probably has not, one might have
23 supposed that Mr Irving had been dragged into this court
24 to defend his freedom of expression as an historian.
25 In fact, of course, that is not so. The history
26 of the matter is quite the reverse. Professor Deborah
1 Lipstadt, an America academic, wrote a book called
2 “Denying the Holocaust”, which was first published in the
3 United States in 1993. It was then republished by Penguin
4 Books in this country in 1994. The book contained
5 trenchant criticisms of Mr Irving’s historiographical
6 methods and his political views and associations.
7 Mr Irving then issued legal proceedings claiming
8 aggravated damages for libel and an injunction against
9 Professor Lipstadt and Penguin. This trial has taken
10 place only because they decided to defend their right to
11 publish the truth.
12 The principal accusations made against Mr Irving
13 by Professor Lipstadt in her book were, in summary:
14 first, that Mr Irving deliberately falsified history in
15 order to make it conform with his ideological leanings and
16 political agenda, and, in particular, in order to
17 exonerate Adolf Hitler of responsibility for the Nazi
18 persecution of the Jews.
19 Second, that in order to achieve his objective,
20 Mr Irving distorted historical evidence and manipulated
21 historical documents.
22 Third, that Mr Irving had become one of the most
23 dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial.
24 Last, that he himself held extremist views and
25 allied himself, with other right-wing extremists, in
26 particular Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites.
1 My Lord, those were undoubtedly serious charges
2 and, had they been untrue, Mr Irving would clearly have
3 been entitled to a large sum of money and an order of the
4 court preventing the Defendants from repeating their
5 accusations. But, as it turns out on the evidence before
6 this court, the accusations are true, in every significant
8 Mr Irving had in the past claimed that there was
9 a chain or series of documents which showed that Hitler
10 was innocent of the persecution of the Jews, and in
11 particular their mass-murder during the War; indeed, that
12 he was, in fact, “the best friend the Jews ever had in the
13 Third Reich.
14 ” The Defendants decided to put that claim to
15 the test. They asked a professional historian, Professor
16 Richard Evans of Cambridge University, to investigate it.
17 His findings were astonishing. Upon
18 examination, virtually every single one of the links in
19 Mr Irving’s chain crumbled in his hands, revealing a
20 falsification of history on massive scale. Equally
21 revealing was the discovery that each of Mr Irving’s
22 falsifications led to the same end: the exculpation of
24 In addition, in order to test Mr Irving’s
25 historiography by reference to his work on a topic other
26 than Hitler — in a sense, a control sample — Professor
1 Evans examined a number of successive editions of one of
2 Mr Irving’s most successful works, his book on the Allied
3 bombing of Dresden in February 1945. Here again Professor
4 Evans found deliberate falsification on a grand scale, all
5 of it tending to the same result: a gross inflation of
6 the numbers of German civilians killed in those raids.
7 The long written submission of the Defendants
8 which is before your Lordship contains a detailed account
9 of Professor Evans’ findings and the evidence which
10 supports them. By the Defendants’ estimate, there are, in
11 relation to Hitler alone, as many as 25 major
12 falsifications of history, as well as numerous subsidiary
13 inventions, suppressions, manipulations and
14 mistranslations employed to support the major
15 falsifications. If those relating to Auschwitz, Dresden
16 and other matters are added in, the number goes well over
18 My Lord, in order to illustrate the
19 extraordinary nature and extent of these falsifications,
20 I will give but two examples.
21 On the evening of 9th November 1938, and through
22 the night until the following morning, there was an orgy
23 of violence and destruction against Jews and Jewish
24 property throughout Germany. This was
26 It had been prompted by the assassination in
1 Paris of a German diplomat by a young Polish Jew. The
2 Nazi leadership in Berlin exploited it to the full. It
3 was orchestrated by the SA and the SS, and the police were
4 ordered, by Hitler, not to intervene.
5 Mr Irving has described this pogrom in various
6 places, but most particularly in his book “Goebbels:
7 Mastermind of Third Reich”, which was published in 1996,
8 where he devotes a whole chapter to it. In summary, his
9 account of it is that the whole thing was initiated and
10 orchestrated by Goebbels, without Hitler’s knowledge or
11 participation; and that when, in the early hours of 10th
12 November 1938, Hitler found out what Goebbels had done, he
13 was “livid with rage” and took immediate steps to put a
14 stop to it. This account purports to be based partly on
15 the postwar testimony of former Nazis, but principally on
16 the contemporary documents. On examination of those
17 documents, Mr Irving’s account turns out to be
18 completely bogus. His use of two of those documents will
19 suffice to illustrate the point.
20 On page 276 of his Goebbels book, Mr Irving
21 writes this:
22 “What of Himmler and Hitler? Both were totally
23 unaware of what Goebbels had done until the synagogue next
24 to Munich’s Four Seasons Hotel was set on fire around 1
25 am. Heydrich, Himmler’s national chief of police, was
26 relaxing down in the hotel bar; he hurried up to Himmler’s
1 room, then telexed instructions to all police authorities
2 to restore law and order,; protect Jews, and Jewish
3 property, and halt any ongoing incidents. I emphasise the
4 last part of that sentence, to restore law and order,
5 protect Jews, and Jewish property, and halt any ongoing
7 The reference given by Mr Irving in his book as
8 his source for this is a telex sent by Heydrich at 1.20 am
9 on 10th November 1938. In fact, so far from ordering “all
10 police authorities to restore law and order, protect Jews
11 and Jewish property, and halt any ongoing incidents”, it
12 read as follows:
13 “(a) Only such measures may be taken as do not
14 involve any endangering of German life or property (e.g.
15 synagogue fires only if there is no danger of the fire
16 spreading to the surrounding buildings).
17 (b) The shops and dwellings of Jews may only be
18 destroyed, not looted. The police are instructed to
19 supervise the implementation of this order and to arrest
21 (c) Care is to be taken that non-Jewish shops in
22 shopping streets are unconditionally secured against
24 (d) Foreign nationals may not be assaulted even
25 if they are Jews.”
26 That was what Heydrich stayed at 1.20 a.m. on
1 10th November 1938.
2 Then, on page 277 of his book, after a colourful
3 account of Hitler’s supposedly furious intervention,
4 Mr Irving writes this: “At 2.56 am Rudolf Hess’s staff
5 also began cabling, telephoning, and radioing instructions
6 to gauleiters and police authorities around the nation to
7 halt the madness”, and I emphasise those words.
8 The source given by Mr Irving for this is a
9 report made by the Nazi Party Court about the pogrom in
10 February 1939. It records this order from Hess’s office,
11 made on Hitler’s authority. This shows that, in truth,
12 all that the order forbade was the continuing of arson
13 attacks on Jewish shops. Synagogues, houses, apartments,
14 cemeteries, and, in particular, Jewish people were left to
15 the mercy of the continuing violence.
16 As your Lordship knows, there was an aftermath
17 of Reichskristallnacht. Mr Irving describes one aspect on
18 page 281 of Goebbels in these terms:
19 “Hess … ordered the Gestapo and the party
20 courts to delve into the origins of the night of violence
21 and turn the culprits over to the public prosecutors”.
22 Thus Mr Irving gives the impression that those
23 who had perpetrated the violence were to be brought to
24 justice and properly punished.
25 Nothing could be further from the truth. As the
26 contemporary documents, and in particular the Party Court
1 report of February 1939, which Mr Irving himself used as a
2 principal source for his account of Reichskristallnacht,
4 First, the Ministry of Justice ruled, on 10th
5 November 1938, that those who had “merely” caused damage
6 to Jewish shops, synagogues and the like should not be
7 prosecuted at all.
8 Second, other more serious offences, such as
9 looting, rape, assault, murder and the destruction of
10 Jewish homes for selfish motives were to be referred to
11 the Party Court, which would first decide whether any of
12 the offenders should be referred to the ordinary criminal
13 courts or acquitted by order of the Fuhrer.
14 Third, in the event, as was no doubt intended,
15 the proceedings of the Party Court were a farce. Of 16
16 cases dealt with in the report of February 1939, 14 were
17 disposed of with little more than a rap on the knuckles
18 for the culprits, including 13 cases of murder involving
19 the deaths of 21 Jews. The two cases which were referred
20 to the criminal courts were sexual offences against Jewish
21 women – not because of their gravity, however, but because
22 the offenders had been guilty of “racial defilement”
24 Finally, the reason the Party Court gave for its
25 leniency in the other 14 cases was that the criminals were
26 in fact “only carrying out the unclearly expressed but
1 properly recognized will of the leadership” – that is,
3 Mr Irving knows all of this, but suppresses it
4 entirely in his book.
5 The second striking example, amongst many, of
6 Mr Irving’s shocking falsification of history relates to
8 By the beginning of 1943, many of Europe’s Jews
9 had already been murdered. Hungarian Jews, however, of
10 whom there were perhaps 600 to 700,000, had, so far,
11 escaped the destruction. The reason was that the ruler of
12 Hungary, Admiral Horthy, although Hitler’s ally, had
13 steadfastly refused to deliver up Hungary’s Jews. There
14 was much agitation about this in Berlin. Eventually, on
15 16th and 17th April 1943, Hitler and his Foreign Minister,
16 Ribbentrop, summoned Admiral Horthy to Klessheim, near
17 Salzburg, in order to put pressure on him to surrender the
18 Hungarian Jews into Nazi hands. The notes of the meetings
19 were taken by a man called Paul Schmidt and are agreed by
20 Mr Irving, who used them for his own accounts of these
21 meetings, to be very reliable.
22 According to Schmidt’s notes at the first
23 meeting on 16th April, Horthy protested at the Nazi
24 leader’s demands. “But they” (the Jews) “can hardly be
25 murdered or otherwise eliminated”, he said. Hitler’s
26 response was palliative: “There is no need for that”, he
1 said, and added that they could be sent to remote work
2 camps or down the mines.”
3 The next day, 17th April 1943, Hitler’s and
4 Ribbentrop’s demands became a good deal cruder. Horthy
5 again protested that he “surely couldn’t beat the Jews to
6 death”. Ribbentrop replied that they “must either be
7 annihilated or taken to concentration camps. There is no
8 other way”. Hitler then followed up with this:
9 “Where the Jews are were left to themselves, as
10 for example in Poland, gruesome poverty and degeneracy had
11 ruled. There were just pure parasites. One had
12 fundamentally cleared up this state of affairs in Poland.
13 If the Jews there didn’t want to work, they were shot. If
14 they couldn’t work, they had to perish. They had to be
15 treated like tuberculosis bacilli, from which a healthy
16 body could be infected. That was not cruel”, said Hitler,
17 “if one remembered that even innocent natural creatures
18 like hares and deer had to be killed so that no harm was
19 caused. Why should one spare the beasts who wanted to
20 bring us Bolshevism once more? Nations who did not rid
21 themselves of Jews perished”.
22 Mr Irving’s account of this exchange in his 1977
23 edition of “Hitler’s War” (at page 509) is extraordinary.
24 First, as an invented pretext for Hitler’s remarks, he
25 introduces the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, which did not in
26 fact begin until two days later. Then, immediately
1 following Hitler’s brutal assertion of the need to kill
2 the Jewish “beasts”, Mr Irving adds this:
3 “Horthy apologetically noted that he had done
4 all he decently could against the Jews: ‘But they can
5 hardly be murdered or otherwise eliminated’, he
6 protested. Hitler reassured him: ‘There is no need for
7 that’. But just as in Slovakia, they ought to be isolated
8 in remote camps where they could no longer affect the
9 healthy body of the public; or they could be put to work
10 in the mines, for example. He himself did not mind being
11 temporarily excoriated for his Jewish policies, if they
12 brought him tranquillity. Horthy left unconvinced.”
13 As, my Lord, will immediately be apparent, this
14 was a quite brazen piece of manipulation: as Mr Irving
15 knew perfectly well, because he was familiar with
16 Schmidt’s notes, this exchange had, in fact, occurred on
17 the previous day (16th April), not 17th. It is apparent,
18 therefore, that Mr Irving quite deliberately transferred
19 it to 17th April in order to mitigate the chilling impact
20 of Hitler’s stark observation about the need to kill the
21 Jewish “beasts”.
22 The account given in the 1991 edition of
23 “Hitler’s War” (at pages 541 to 542) is no better. True,
24 the spurious reference to the Warsaw uprising has been
25 removed. But so, too, has Hitler’s repellant analogy
26 between the need to kill animals which cause damage and
1 the need to kill the Jewish “beasts”. And the brazen
2 transfer that Hitler’s palliative remark on 16th April to
3 this meeting on 17th is perpetuated.
4 My Lord, these two examples are but the tip of a
5 large iceberg imposed of numbers of other equally
6 egregious falsifications by Mr Irving in his written work
7 and in his public utterances.
8 I conclude here, my Lord, with this, that the
9 Defendants say, on this part of the case: “Case proved:
10 Mr Irving is, as was proposed at the outset of this trial,
11 a liar”.
12 My Lord, it might be thought that that would be
13 enough to dispose of Mr Irving’s claim, given the emphasis
14 he places on the damage to his reputation as an historian
15 which he says was caused by Professor Lipstadt’s book.
16 But the evidence in the case has covered a lot of other
17 topics as well, and I shall, therefore, briefly mention
18 them too.
19 Until 1988, Mr Irving had accepted the
20 historical reality of Holocaust, but denied that Hitler
21 authorized it or, until late on in the War, knew anything
22 much about it. This position, for an historian, was
23 described by Sir John Keegan, the well-known military
24 historian, who was called on subpoena to give evidence in
25 this court by Mr Irving, it was described as “perverse”
26 and as “defying reason.” Dr Peter Longerich, a
1 distinguished historian of the period, who gave expert
2 evidence for the Defendants, called it “absolutely
4 And so it was, for reasons which can be stated
5 quite shortly.
6 The Holocaust – that is the systematic mass
7 murder of millions of Jews, gypsies and others – took
8 place in stages.
9 The first stage, beginning in the autumn of
10 1941, after Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union,
11 consisted of mass shootings carried out specially-formed
12 SS groups and their local allies. This continued through
13 into 1942 and resulted in the deaths of up to 1.5 million
14 Jews living in Russia and the Baltic states.
15 The second stage, which began in December 1941
16 and continued through into 1943 or later, consisted of the
17 gassing of the Jews of the Warthegau and Poland. This
18 resulted in the deaths of probably as many as 2.6 million
19 Jews (300,000 in the Warthegau and 2.3 million in
21 The third stage, beginning with mass
22 deportations to the East in the autumn of 1941, culminated
23 in the deaths by gassing, mostly at Auschwitz, of Jews
24 from Central, Western and Southern Europe. This stage
25 lasted until late 1944. Reliable recent estimates of the
26 numbers gassed at Auschwitz/Birkenhau give a figure of
1 about 1.12 million.
2 Thus the total achievement of this horrendous
3 exercise in systematic mass murder was probably somewhere
4 between five and six million innocent lives.
5 The whole of this gigantic operation was
6 orchestrated by Heinrich Himmler, the Reichsfuhrer SS, and
7 his able subordinates, such as Heydrich, Globocnik and
9 As Dr Longerich explained in court, Hitler and
10 Himmler were long-time intimate associates. Himmler had
11 been with Hitler during the 1923 putsch and Hitler
12 appointed him Reichsfuhrer SS in 1929. Throughout the
13 War, and certainly while the Holocaust was underway, they
14 met frequently, sometimes two or three times a week, often
15 for hours at a time and often alone together. It is,
16 therefore, wholly inconceivable that during the whole
17 three and a half years for which the killing lasted,
18 Himmler could, or indeed would, have concealed from Hitler
19 the enormous, systematic operation that he was directing.
20 This becomes all the less credible when it is
21 remembered, as the documents show, that Hitler was the
22 mainspring and driving force of Nazi anti-Jewish policy
23 from 1923 onwards and that his anti-Semitism became
24 noticeably more radical, if that were possible, from the
25 date that he declared war on America (11th December 1941).
26 Thus, leaving aside all the specific evidence to
1 be found in the contemporary documents, including
2 documents written by Himmler himself, which, fairly read
3 by an open-minded, careful historian, plainly implicate
4 Hitler, the overall picture is compelling: the Holocaust
5 could not possibly have happened without Hitler’s
6 knowledge and authority. It takes only a moment’s light
7 reflection to realize that the contrary idea is both
8 absurd and perverse: suppose, say, in July 1942, when
9 Himmler went to Lublin and Auschwitz to review and advance
10 the mass killing in Poland, and on his return had lunch
11 with Hitler (as he did) that Hitler, previously in a state
12 of complete ignorance, and in any case opposed to any
13 Final Solution that involved any more than deportation of
14 the Jews to Siberia or Central Africa after the War, had
15 suddenly found out what Himmler was doing. What, one
16 wonders, would have happened to Himmler? Well, of course,
17 it didn’t, not then or at any time thereafter.
18 In 1988 Mr Irving’s position changed
19 dramatically. Not only did Hitler not know about the
20 Holocaust, the Holocaust did not happen (which is why, of
21 course, Hitler did not know about it).
22 The question is why? Why this change in
23 Mr Irving’s position? The one-word answer is: Leuchter.
24 In April 1988, Mr Irving went to Canada, for reasons best
25 known to himself, to give expert evidence at the trial in
26 Toronto of a man called Ernst Zundel, a dedicated
1 Holocaust denier, and since 1988, one of Mr Irving’s
2 staunchest allies and promoters. While he was in Toronto,
3 he met a man called Fred Leuchter, also proffered by
4 Zundel, but rejected by the Canadian court, as an expert
5 witness. Leuchter was, it seems, some kind
6 of consultant on execution facilities in the USA. He’d
7 been to Auschwitz and Birkenau to seek “scientific”
8 evidence of the existence of homicidal gas chambers. He
9 made a report on his findings.
10 Mr Irving gave this report a cursory reading.
11 His conversion was instantaneous. Even as he gave
12 evidence to the Canadian court, the Holocaust had suddenly
13 never happened.
14 In June 1989, Mr Irving gave a press conference
15 in London, triumphantly announcing the English publication
16 of the Leuchter Report, with a foreword written by
17 himself. In his foreword, Mr Irving trumpeted the virtues
18 of the Report, with particular emphasis on the chemical
19 analysis of the samples which Leuchter had brought back
20 from Auschwitz/Birkenau. “Forensic chemistry” proclaimed
21 Mr Irving, “is an exact science”.
22 And, my Lord, indeed so it is. Fred Leuchter
23 had taken samples from the remains of the gas chambers and
24 one sample from the delousing facility in the women’s camp
25 at Birkenau. The samples from the gas chambers showed
26 small, but significant, traces of cyanide, the active
1 element in the Zyklon-B pellets used for the gassings, the
2 sample from the delousing facility, relatively high
3 traces. Therefore, concluded Leuchter, the “gas chambers”
4 could never have been gas chambers, because, according to
5 Leuchter, the concentration of hydrogen cyanide needed to
6 kill humans was higher than that needed to kill lice.
7 The Leuchter report (as Mr Irving has accepted
8 during this trial) was riddled with numerous errors of
9 various kinds, but this error was colossal. As the
10 material contained in the Leuchter report itself showed,
11 the concentration of hydrogen cyanide required to kill
12 humans is, in fact, some 22 times lower than that required
13 to kill lice. Thus, so far from disproving the existence
14 of homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz, the Leuchter
15 Report actually succeeded in proving the opposite.
16 Despite this, Mr Irving continued to cling, and
17 still clings, to Leuchter’s “forensic chemistry” as the
18 flagship of his Holocaust denial. In consequence,
19 Mr Irving has, ever since 1988, used the Leuchter Report
20 as the foundation not only for his denial of the existence
21 of any homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz, but also,
22 quite illogically, for the existence of any gas chambers
24 In the end, at the trial of this action,
25 Mr Irving has been driven, in the face of overwhelming
26 evidence presented by Professor Robert Jan van Pelt,
1 Professor Christopher Browning and Dr Longerich, to
2 concede that there were indeed mass murders on a huge
3 scale by means of gassing at Chelmno in the Warthegau and
4 at the Reinhardt camps of Belzec, Treblinka and Sobibor;
5 and even that there were “some gassings” at Auschwitz.
6 His last remaining defence against the evidence
7 showing that the crematoria at Birkenau were used to
8 murder vast numbers of Jews by means of Zyklon B was to
9 make the slippery concession that the gas chambers —
10 known as Leichenkeller I at crematoria II and III at
11 Birkenau — were, indeed, gas chambers, but for gassing
12 only (I quote Mr Irving’s words) “objects and cadavers”.
13 This last proposition is ludicrous. If this
14 were not such a serious matter, it would be hilarious.
15 For the evidence, clearly explained by Professor van Pelt,
16 is that the gas-tight doors in Leichenkeller I at both
17 those crematoria were equipped with thick glass spyholes,
18 protected by metal grilles. Why, it was asked of
19 Mr Irving, should these be required for the observation of
20 the gassing of lice-infested “objects” and corpses? Faced
21 with this, Mr Irving retreated to the position that
22 Leichenkeller I had been intended to serve an alternative
23 purpose as an air-raid shelter. This last refuge will be
24 dealt with shortly below. Meanwhile, Professor van Pelt
25 also explained that when the plans of crematoria II and
26 III were redesigned in late 1942 and early 1943, the
1 corpse-slides or chutes appearing on the original plans
2 were removed, and the entrance to the basement moved to
3 the other side of the building. Thus, if the re-design
4 was intended to facilitate the gassing of corpses, people
5 who are already dead, it had only succeeded in compelling
6 those who were carrying the corpses to negotiate a series
7 of small rooms, narrow passages, and staircases to reach
8 the gassing-space. Moreover, the plans were re-designed
9 at that time so as to change the way in which the doors of
10 the gassing-space opened from inwards to outwards, thus
11 further impeding the carrying of corpses into the space.
12 Mr Irving’s air-raid shelter proposal is equally
13 absurd. It is obvious that the Leichenkellers could never
14 have served as air-raid shelters for an inmate population
15 of 100,000 or more, even if it thought likely that the SS
16 should have wanted to protect the inmates against
17 air-raids. Therefore, if the Leichenkellers were ever
18 intended to be used as air-raid shelters, they must have
19 been intended for the SS. In fact, crematoria II and III
20 are about one and a half miles from the nearest SS
21 barracks. The picture of SS personnel running from their
22 barracks, round the perimeter wire, in full gear, one and
23 a half miles to the crematoria, under a hail of bombs, is
24 just plain daft.
25 Mr Irving’s concession that Leichenkeller I was
26 indeed a gas chamber is, of course, entirely inconsistent
1 with his continued adherence to Leuchter’s chemical
2 analysis as being conclusive evidence that Leichenkeller I
3 never was a gas chamber. It is also wholly inconsistent
4 with his final line of defence, which is
5 that Leichenkeller I could never have been a gas chamber
6 because the remains of the roof that can be seen at
7 Birkenau do not show the holes through which the gas
8 pellets were thrown.
9 This last line of defence, which emerged at a
10 very late stage in Mr Irving’s Holocaust denial, is, in
11 any case, easily demolished. In the first place,
12 Professor van Pelt, who has subjected the remains of the
13 roof of Leichenkeller I at crematorium II to careful
14 examination (which Mr Irving has never done), told the
15 court that the remains are so fragmentary that they do not
16 allow any firm conclusions to be drawn as to the existence
17 or non-existence of the holes. Second, if, as Mr Irving
18 accepts, Leichenkeller I was a gas chamber (for whatever
19 purpose) it would always have needed apertures for
20 inserting the Zyklon-B, since it never had any windows and
21 only one gas-tight door. Third, even if Mr Irving were
22 right that it was used for gassing objects and corpses,
23 the concentration of hydrogen cyanide required for this
24 would have been comparatively high, with the consequence
25 that the need for tight fitting apertures which could be
26 opened and closed quickly and easily, would, for the
1 protection of those throwing in the pellets, have been all
2 the greater. Finally, leaving aside all the mass of
3 eyewitness testimony, there is a coincidence between two
4 pieces of independent evidence which demonstrates
5 conclusively the existence of these holes or apertures.
6 In 1945, a former inmate of Auschwitz, David Olere, an
7 artist, drew the ground plan of Leichenkeller I in
8 crematorium III. This drawing shows a zigzag alignment of
9 the gassing columns in Leichenkeller I. These are the
10 columns which would have ended in the apertures through
11 which the gas pellets were inserted. It happens that that
12 zigzag alignment is precisely matched by an aerial
13 photograph taken by the Allies in 1944, which was not
14 released to the world until 1979. There can, therefore,
15 be no possibility of any cross-contamination
16 between Olere’s drawing and the aerial photograph. No
17 doubt recognizing this, Mr Irving sought to suggest at
18 this trial that the aerial photograph had been faked by
19 the CIA. Professor van Pelt, however, explained to the
20 court that he had had the photograph tested by Dr Nevin
21 Bryant at NASA and that the result of those tests showed
22 conclusively that the photograph was authentic.
23 In the light of Mr Irving’s concession that
24 Leichenkeller I was indeed a gas chamber and of the fact
25 that it is clear that it was never intended for the
26 gassing of corpses or other inanimate objects, or for use
1 as an air-raid shelter, the stark conclusion can only be
2 this: It must have been used for gassing people, live
4 One residual shred of this aspect of Mr Irving’s
5 Holocaust denial remains. He disputes the numbers of
6 people murdered at Auschwitz/Birkenau. This last
7 barricade of Mr Irving’s is based on three
8 distinctly unstable legs.
9 The first leg is the so-called “death books”
10 released in recent years from the archive in Moscow.
11 These are incomplete. They show a total of some 74,000
12 recorded deaths from various causes. They relate,
13 however, and could only ever relate, to the deaths of
14 prisoners registered upon arrival at Auschwitz, that is to
15 say, those destined to be accommodated in the camps at
16 Auschwitz and, more particularly, Birkenau, as workers
17 (for a time at least).
18 There was, however, a preliminary process at
19 Auschwitz, which involved separating those deemed to be
20 fit for work from the rest. This was called “selection”.
21 The vast majority, including the old, young children, and
22 mothers with small children, were “the rest”. They were
23 gassed immediately without ever being registered; their
24 deaths were never recorded.
25 There is a great deal of eyewitness evidence
26 about this from both sides, perpetrators and surviving
1 victims. This evidence is confirmed by photographs taken
2 by the SS during the so-called “Hungarian action” in the
3 course of which, over a matter of months, some 400,000
4 Hungarian Jews were gassed, in the summer of 1944. Thus,
5 once again, eyewitness evidence is corroborated by
6 contemporary documentary evidence.
7 In the result, the fact that the “death books”
8 fail to record the deaths of perhaps 1 million people
9 killed on arrival is unsurprising and inconsequential.
10 The second leg of Mr Irving’s last barricade
11 consists of German police radio messages decoded by the
12 British during the war. Some of these came from
13 Auschwitz, and of course none mentioned gassings. For
14 exactly the same reasons as the death books make no
15 reference to those murdered on arrival, it is not
16 reasonable to expect that the radio messages from
17 Auschwitz would: people who were not registered on
18 arrival at Auschwitz because they were not destined for
19 work in the camp but, instead, for immediate death in the
20 gas chambers, would obviously not be mentioned in messages
21 about recorded deaths.
22 The last leg in the barricade is Mr Irving’s
23 contention that Auschwitz did not have sufficient
24 incineration capacity for all the corpses of those whom it
25 is generally held by historians were killed there. As
26 Professor van Pelt convincingly demonstrated, by reference
1 to a letter of 28th June 1943, from Karl Bischoff, the
2 head of the building programme at Auschwitz, to Berlin,
3 the potential incineration capacity at Auschwitz/Birkenau
4 at that time far exceeded any possible mortality rate
5 amongst the registered inmates from “natural”
6 causes, including the possibility of a repeat of the
7 typhus epidemic which had struck the camp in 1942. This
8 means that the incineration capacity must have been
9 calculated and built, as it was in due course, to
10 accommodate the mortal remains of the hundreds of
11 thousands of people who were gassed on arrival.
12 Faced with this, Mr Irving’s only possible
13 response was (as ever) to challenge the authenticity of
14 the Bischoff letter. This challenge, in the end, turned
15 out to be based on nothing more than the fact that the
16 administrative reference on the letter did not contain the
17 year date. In fact, copies of this document have been
18 retained in the archive at Moscow since 1945, when the
19 Soviets liberated Auschwitz and acquired the documents
20 which the SS had forgotten to destroy. Moreover, the
21 document was used at the trial of the Auschwitz
22 commandant, Rudolf Hoess, in 1948, and again at the trial
23 of the Auschwitz architects, Dejaco and Ertl, in 1971.
24 Not unnaturally, Professor van Pelt saw no reason
25 whatsoever to doubt the authenticity of the document.
26 Amongst other reasons for rejecting Mr Irving’s proposal
1 that the document might be a postwar communist forgery, is
2 the fact that the incineration capacity shown in the
3 document — that is 4,756 corpses per 24 hours — is
4 very significantly lower than that estimated by the
5 Soviets and the Poles (both communist regimes) shortly
6 after the War. It follows that if the document were a
7 communist forgery, it would be a very strange one.
8 Mr Irving’s last challenge to the incineration
9 capacity was that the amount of coke delivered to
10 Auschwitz at the relevant time would not, in the ordinary
11 way, have been sufficient to meet the required rate of
12 incineration. As Professor van Pelt demonstrated, this
13 challenge is demolished by two considerations which
14 Mr Irving had evidently ignored: first, the procedure for
15 incineration at Auschwitz involved the simultaneous
16 incineration of up to four or five corpses even in every
17 muffle of the ovens; and, second, in consequence, the
18 corpses themselves served as fuel for the ovens, the more
19 particularly so if, as they generally did, they included
20 the comparatively well fed corpses of people recently
21 arrived on the trains and gassed on arrival.
22 Mr Irving’s Holocaust denial is thus exposed as
23 a fraud. It originated with a piece so-called scientific
24 research which, on analysis, turns out, if it has any
25 value at all, to support the overwhelming historical
26 evidence that Auschwitz was indeed a gigantic death
1 factory. Mr Irving’s later adornments to his gas chamber
2 denial also turn out to be fragile conjectures based on no
3 significant research at all: it should be noted that
4 Mr Irving has never himself been to Auschwitz to examine
5 the archeological remains or the documentary evidence
6 contained in the archive. It follows that some other
7 reason must be sought to explain his devotion, over many
8 years, and even in this court, though his case has changed
9 and changed back again throughout the trial, to the
10 bizarre idea that no significant numbers of people were
11 murdered in the homicidal gas chambers at
12 Auschwitz/Birkenau. The reasons are not far to seek.
13 As the evidence in this court has shown,
14 Mr Irving is a right-wing extremist, a racist and, in
15 particular, a rabid anti-Semite.
16 Two examples, again, amongst many, will suffice
17 to illustrate this proposition.
18 In a speech which he made at Tampa, Florida, on
19 6th October 1995 to the National Alliance, a white
20 supremacist and profoundly anti-Semitic group, Mr Irving
21 said this about the Jews:
22 “You have been disliked for 3,000 years. You
23 have been disliked so much that you have hounded from
24 country to country, from pogrom to purge, from purge back
25 to pogrom. And yet you never ask yourselves why you are
26 disliked, that’s the difference between you and me. It
1 would never occur to you to look in the mirror and say
2 “Why am I disliked, what is it the rest of humanity
3 doesn’t like about the Jewish people, to such an extent
4 that they repeatedly put us through the grinder?” And he
5 (a heckler whom Mr Irving said he had perceived to be
6 Jewish) went beserk, said Mr Irving. He said (the
7 heckler), “Are you trying to say that we are responsible
8 for Auschwitz ourselves”? And I, that is Mr Irving, said,
9 “Well, the short answer is yes”. The short answer I have
10 to say is yes … If you (the Jews) had behaved
11 differently over the intervening 3,000 years, the Germans
12 would have gone about their business and would not have
13 found it necessary to go around doing whatever they did to
14 you. Nor would the Russians, nor the Ukranians, nor the
15 Lithuanians, Estonians, Latvians, and all the other
16 countries where you’ve had a rough time. So why have you
17 never asked yourselves that question?” So much for the
19 As to the blacks (and homosexuals), Mr Irving,
20 in an entry in his private diary on 10th November 1987, on
21 the occasion of a visit to South Africa, recorded his own
23 “God works in mysterious ways, but here (that is
24 South Africa) we agree he appears to be working
25 remorselessly towards a Final Solution which may cruelly
26 wipe out not only blacks and homosexuals, but a large part
1 of the drug addicts and sexually promiscuous and
2 indiscriminate heterosexual population as well.”
3 These examples, again the tip of, I am afraid, a
4 very large iceberg, demonstrate, beyond doubt, that
5 Mr Irving is a profound racist and a radical anti-Semite.
6 But this is not the end of the story. For many years,
7 Mr Irving has travelled about the world giving vent to his
8 views at gatherings composed of, and organized by, others
9 of similar opinion.
10 Until he was banned in 1993. Mr Irving’s
11 energies were particularly devoted to the propagation of
12 his ideology in Germany, where pro-Nazi sentiment has not
13 only persisted but alas, since reunification, undergone a
14 significant revival, particularly in the East.
15 This is chilling exposed by a demonstration of
16 neo-Nazi boot boys, waving Nazi flags and chanting racist
17 slogans, which was addressed by Mr Irving at Halle in East
18 Germany in November 1991. In his diary Mr Irving
19 described his speech at this rally as “rabble rousing”, no
20 doubt for good reason. The speech was greeted with
21 enthusiasm, not least, perhaps, because he predicted the
22 recreation of a greater Germany, by the reconquest,
23 through economic power, of the former Third Reich
24 territories in the East. This speech was greeted with
25 enthusiasm and, unsurprisingly, shouts of “Sieg Heil!”.
26 Holocaust denial is forbidden in Germany
1 (notwithstanding which Mr Irving has, from time to time,
2 managed to slip in direct statements that there were never
3 any gas chambers). Elsewhere, however, it has been a
4 constant theme of Mr Irving’s public utterances. He has
5 expressed it, on numerous occasions, in terms which
6 variously attribute the blame for the Holocaust on the
7 Jews themselves, accuse Holocaust survivors of lying in
8 order to extort money from the German Government, and pour
9 scorn on the suffering of Holocaust victims, both alive
10 and dead. These utterances are often greeted with warm
11 applause and loud laughter by his audiences.
12 Given that Mr Irving has repeatedly falsified
13 history in pursuit of his obsessive desire to exonerate
14 Hitler of responsibility for the Nazi persecution of the
15 Jews and, in particular, of responsibility for the
16 Holocaust, and given that he has repeatedly denied the
17 Holocaust, without any historical foundation, and in the
18 face of overwhelming evidence that the Holocaust took
19 place on the scale and in the manner generally described
20 by reputable historians, the question now arises why
21 Mr Irving should have engaged so actively in the promotion
22 of these historical falsehoods.
23 The answers suggested by the evidence are:
24 Mr Irving is an anti-Semite; Holocaust denial, in the form
25 in which it is purveyed by Mr Irving, is an obvious
26 expression of anti-Semitism, and is music to the ears of
1 the neo-Nazis and other right-wing extremists to whom he
2 purveys it; Mr Irving is a Hitler partisan, who has
3 falsified history on a staggering scale in order to
4 “prove” Hitler’s innocence; this, like Holocaust denial,
5 is obviously very appealing to his fellow travellers —
6 after all, if the Holocaust were a “myth”, then,
7 obviously, Hitler could have no responsibility for it.
8 How far, if at all, Mr Irving’s anti-Semitism is
9 a cause of his Hitler apology, or vice versa, is quite
10 unimportant. Whether they are taken together, or
11 individually, it is clear that they have led him to
12 prostitute his reputation as a serious historian (spurious
13 though it can now be seen to have been) for the sake of a
14 bogus rehabilitation of Hitler and the dissemination of
15 virulent anti-Semitic propaganda.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Rampton, can I raise with you now the
17 points I think I need to clarify?
18 MR RAMPTON: Yes.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think it will take very long. There
20 is just one point that occurred to me as you were reading
21 out the statement, and it relates to paragraph 41, where
22 you are dealing with incineration capacity.
23 MR RAMPTON: Yes.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: The point you are making is that it is
25 strange to suggest that the Bischoff document is a
26 communist forgery, since it shows a rate of incineration
1 lower than was estimated by the Soviets and the Poles. Am
2 I right in thinking that the estimate you are there
3 talking about by the Soviets and the Poles is the estimate
4 of the total numbers killed, rather than of incineration
5 capacity or rate of incineration?
6 MR RAMPTON: No, my Lord. Well, I think that is partly right,
7 if I may say so. But also on page 207 of Professor van
8 Pelt’s report, there is rather a dense paragraph.
9 I cannot remember now off the top of my head how the
10 answers come out. There is rather dense paragraph from
11 which one can certainly work out, and I know Professor van
12 Pelt told me what the totals were by but I have forgotten
13 them. One can certainly work out that the 4,756 corpses
14 per 24 hours was significantly lower than the Russian and
15 Polish estimates for incineration. I think the Russian
16 figure was 50 per cent higher and the Polish figure about
17 30 per cent higher.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you very much. I did not know that.
19 You have given me the reference so that has dealt with
20 that. The other questions are really all rather broader
21 ones. Can I take them in what I hope is the sensible
22 order? The first one relates to deportation, and I will
23 ask Mr Irving the same question in due course. It is not
24 really clear to me what, if any, is the issue between the
25 parties as to that particular phase.
26 MR RAMPTON: No. I have never understood that there was.
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No.
2 MR RAMPTON: Dr Longerich told your Lordship, and we accept, we
3 have to, he knows a lot more about it than we do, that in
4 the beginning the transportation of the German and other
5 central European, French and Greek, Italian Jews was just
6 to the East, where they were put into ghettoes which had
7 been vacated by the murder of the Polish Jews.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: A sort of two phase deportation exercise?
9 MR RAMPTON: Yes. Then eventually, probably sometime in 1942,
10 they started killing the arrivals. There is a notable
11 document your Lordship will remember from the Gestapo at
12 Lodz, explaining how they cleared one lot and made room
13 for the other lot.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. Leaving aside the extermination, which
15 is a separate issue and I understand what Mr Irving says
16 about that, you do not understand there to be any argument
17 or dispute between the Defendants and Mr Irving as to the
18 fact that the deportation took place, and indeed also as
19 to the fact that Hitler knew about it, because it is
20 Mr Irving’s case that that was all that was involved.
21 MR RAMPTON: No question. Hitler gave the order for it. As
22 your Lordship will have seen, in one of the passages in
23 our long submission, we draw attention, I forget which
24 book it is, to a statement by Mr Irving where he says
25 Hitler was neither consulted nor knew anything about the
26 deportations. Why he should say that, I have absolutely
1 no idea, but the fact is that Hitler gave the order.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That was Hitler’s preferred solution, as
3 opposed to extermination, according to Mr Irving’s
5 MR RAMPTON: In 1941 it may or may not be so, so far as the
6 German Jews are concerned.
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
8 MR RAMPTON: So far as the rest, anyway.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I noticed something this morning which I had
10 not noticed before, which is that — have you got your
11 more detailed written submissions?
12 MR RAMPTON: Yes, I have.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Would you go to Tab 5 (i)?
14 MR RAMPTON: Yes.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: There is at page 56, paragraph 4, which seems
16 to continue over the page on page 57.
17 MR RAMPTON: Yes, it does.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: The next paragraph is 12. I see what I have
19 done. Yes, there is an 11 somewhere lurking way back.
20 MR RAMPTON: Paragraph 11 is on page 53. It has a large number
21 of subparagraphs.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. The next broad question is this. I am
23 really asking for perhaps a bit of assistance on this. It
24 is what we have called the genesis of the gassing
25 programme, or the extermination programme.
26 MR RAMPTON: Yes.
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: And what you have done, and this is your
2 (ii), is very helpfully to set out what you say are
3 gathered together from various files the various
4 documentary references which demonstrate the setting up of
5 the gassing in the Reinhardt camps and so on.
6 The slight problem I have with this way of
7 dealing with it is that one has to try to confine the
8 judgment within some sort reasonable bounds — it is going
9 to be horrifically long anyway — and I do not think it is
10 feasible to even begin to try to incorporate all those
11 references. It would just overload it.
12 MR RAMPTON: No, we were not expecting that your Lordship
13 would, of course not. It seemed to us, though, that now
14 that one — I mean, I am only a lawyer too — had the
15 chance to look at the thing with some considerable care,
16 that that table led the eye through the stages really
17 quite well; but if that is not so, then all I perhaps need
18 to do is to refer your Lordship back to the little summary
19 that I have given in this latest statement starting on
20 page 10.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, but I think the problem is what I would
22 really ideally want to aim at myself in order to give
23 anyone reading the judgment a sufficient but not
24 overextended view of what the documents show to have
25 happened is something in between the two.
26 MR RAMPTON: I think what I am being asked —-
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You will think I am by very awkward.
2 MR RAMPTON: No, of course not. I do not know how much time I
3 have, that is all. What I think I am being asked for and
4 will willingly supply — I might even get Dr Longerich to
5 write it actually — is really a chronological summary
6 with a bit more detail than I have put in here and a bit
7 less than I have put into the main submission.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think that is probably right. Really in a
9 way it perhaps will highlight the most significant
10 documents. I think it is right, I mean, as you realize,
11 I have been trying to sort of keep a tag on what the
12 evidence has revealed as it has gone on, so I think I have
13 quite a lot of them, but I suspect I am missing some of
14 the important ones and I would like to —-
15 MR RAMPTON: Yes, I mean, I do not say I have covered
16 everything either.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can I invite you to do that? Not at enormous
18 length, but I think it would be helpful.
19 MR RAMPTON: We will do it in the course of the rest of this
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: And bearing in mind, if I may suggest it, the
22 issues that arise on the genesis of the gassing as opposed
23 to Auschwitz, which I will deal with separately, seem to
24 me to be, firstly, on what scale the extermination took
25 place, and that is not really much of an issue now, as I
26 understand Mr Irving’s case.
1 MR RAMPTON: Not an issue at all.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: But also Hitler’s knowledge. So that is the
3 thing to concentrate on, and I appreciate to some extent
4 that may not any longer be as stark an issue as it was.
5 MR RAMPTON: That is covered specifically, not only with what
6 I said today in general terms, but there was an exercise
7 that I did in re-examination with Professor Longerich
8 which is referred back to in here, just that really the
9 month of July and into August 1942, which demonstrates in
10 Professor Longerich’s view, which we obviously adopt, that
11 it is inconceivable that while Himmler was supervising the
12 mass extermination of goodness knows how many people in
13 the General Government Hitler did not know about it.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. One of the things I was going to ask
15 Mr Irving is whether he accepts the concessions that you
16 attribute to him at various stages of your submission.
17 MR RAMPTON: I have given the reference to it somewhere in
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You have, indeed, but I think it is right it
20 should be put to him.
21 MR RAMPTON: I mean, what he says now, his position has changed
22 throughout the case, but really the concessions, if I may
23 say this now, which we have listed in various places in
24 this long submission are those which were first driven out
25 of him by cross-examination, no cleverness on my part, but
26 by the evidence which was presented to him, and it was not
1 selective, in cross-examination. His first reaction,
2 eventually in some case, sometimes quite quickly, was to
3 say, “Yes, are you right, it did happen”.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, but I must find out what the up-to-date
5 position is because I think it is fair to say that
6 sometimes Mr Irving has fluctuated.
7 MR RAMPTON: As I say, I do not attach much weight to what
8 I might call back tracking.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Right. If Professor Longerich can perform
10 that exercise, but also focus, if he would, on the extent
11 of Hitler’s knowledge and the reason for saying that he
12 knew about the gassing at Chelmno and all the rest.
13 The next question is a very short one and
14 I think I know what your answer is, but I will ask it all
15 the same: part of your case against Mr Irving is that he
16 is a racist, leaving aside anti-Semitism, that he is a
17 racist and you have a number of quotations from his
19 MR RAMPTON: Yes.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: How does that bear on (a) the words
21 complained of, and (b) the meanings that you seek to
23 MR RAMPTON: I suppose we seek to justify simply that he holds
24 extremist views in the written bit. In the statement of
25 case, I cannot remember. It says something —-
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: There is a bit right at the back.
1 MR RAMPTON: — rather more specific than that.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Perhaps my question really is, there is
3 nothing about racism, is there, in —-
4 MR RAMPTON: No.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: — Professor Lipstadt’s book?
6 MR RAMPTON: Perhaps I should ask her. There is some allusion
7 to it, she says.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not sure there is; if there is, I would
9 like to know what it is.
10 MR RAMPTON: But, maybe your Lordship is right, there is this
11 to be said, perhaps, if a man is and out and out racist
12 which we would propose that it is obvious from his own
13 private jottings, never mind what he says publicly, that
14 Mr Irving is, and if anti-Semitism is a form of racism,
15 which it plainly is, then it is a bit like a case where
16 you accuse a man of grievous bodily harm and at trial
17 succeed in proving that he is a murderer.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. I thought that would be your answer,
19 that anti-Semitism is just one form of racism.
20 MR RAMPTON: Yes, indeed.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: And, therefore, it is relevant, you would
22 say, by way of justification of an anti-Semitic allegation
23 that there is a general streak of racism to be perceived
24 in what Mr Irving has said and done.
25 MR RAMPTON: It is evidence of his general disposition to
26 disparage and be hostile towards people of different
1 colours, ethnic backgrounds and cultures.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. Now perhaps, for me, at any rate, the
3 most important question is to be absolutely clear about
4 what you are saying in the section which is section 9,
5 I think, or (ix) towards the back of your written
6 submission about assessing Mr Irving as an historian.
7 MR RAMPTON: Yes.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do you mind turning it up because I just want
9 to be absolutely clear about it this because I think it is
10 exceedingly important. You first refer back to your
11 historiographical criticisms, and I am right in taking it,
12 am I not, it is pretty obvious from what you there say by
13 way of criticism of Mr Irving that a number of the
14 criticisms are criticisms that he has deliberately
15 falsified the record.
16 MR RAMPTON: Every single one.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: All right, every single one. Now, you do not
18 expressly say so, but you may tell me it is implicit, that
19 when you deal with his partisanship for Hitler which is
20 (ii), you do not expressly say that that is all deliberate
21 distortion and manipulation and so on.
22 MR RAMPTON: No.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: But that I understand to be your case, am
24 I right?
25 MR RAMPTON: No, what I say is that he has sought to exculpate
26 Hitler; that he has done that by a massive falsification
1 of the underlying historical record on a large number of
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: But going beyond what you have selected or
4 Professor Evans has selected as the historical
6 MR RAMPTON: Then I say if one looks at the general evidence as
7 an objective, open-minded, careful, dispassionate
8 historian, that Hitler was, indeed, responsible, knew all
9 about it, and authorized it, the conclusion is
10 irresistible that he did. Mr Irving has shut that window,
11 as it were, and has got on with the shut window behind him
12 with the falsification of history so as to exculpate
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, so this is again another instance of
15 deliberate manipulation which kind of runs through —-
16 MR RAMPTON: It is a kind of deliberate blindness to the
17 evidence. What he does not like, he ignores.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Deliberate blindness?
19 MR RAMPTON: Yes, it is deliberate blindness. He knows about,
20 he has known for years, about report No. 51, for example.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So it is telescope to the wrong eye?
22 MR RAMPTON: Yes, and for years, despite report No. 51, until
23 we got him into this court, until he got us into this
24 court, he did not accept that Hitler sanctioned the mass
25 shootings in the East. It is that kind of phenomenon.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So that the partisanship. Then Auschwitz,
1 well I think it is pretty clear what your case is about
3 MR RAMPTON: Yes.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You do not specifically rely on the denials
5 of the Holocaust, but, presumably, you say in relation to
6 those that they are denials which Mr Irving must have
7 known were false when he made them.
8 MR RAMPTON: No, again this is a bit like the sort of general
9 refusal to accept Hitler’s knowledge. What I say about
10 that is that his denials of the Holocaust have been made
11 without any reference whatsoever to any reliable evidence.
12 They started to be made on Leichter which is an obviously
13 completely hopeless position for any kind of
14 self-respecting historian or, indeed, anybody else for
15 that matter. Then much later on down the road he adds in
16 one or two other things like the death books and the
17 decrypts. Finally, just before this trial or a year or so
18 before this trial, he comes to the runes. He has never
19 been to Auschwitz. He has never looked at any o the
20 documents or the plans. Such evidence as he knows about
21 he dismisses out of hand as being mere eyewitness
22 testimony. When he comes to see an aerial photograph
23 showing the holes in the roof, he says it is a forgery;
24 the incineration capacity document is also a forgery, and
25 so on and so forth. This means that his denial must have
26 another agenda because it cannot be the product of genuine
1 bona fide historical research and contemplation.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So his state of mind which is — and it is
3 important that I am absolutely clear what it is that is
4 being suggested in relation to the various issues that
5 have arisen in the case — this is an area where you put
6 it as being deliberately perverse blindness and acting in
7 pursuance of what is, effectively, a neoNazi agenda, is
8 that right?
9 MR RAMPTON: Yes, I put it in two ways and I will say it as
10 shortly as I can. I put it forward as evidence of
11 somebody who cannot be regarded as a serious historian,
12 because what he has done is to allow his historical
13 apparatus to be distorted by something beyond — extrinsic
14 or ulterior. Looking at the way in which he expresses
15 Holocaust denial and the audiences to whom he expresses
16 that denial and the things that he says on those
17 occasions, one is driven to the conclusion that the hidden
18 agenda, the reason for the historical incompetence, if I
19 can I call it that (though there is a much stronger word
20 that I could think of) is that he is at root deeply
21 anti-Semitic and a neo-Nazi, as your Lordship just said.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, that raises the last question that
23 I wanted to canvass with you, and it is anti-Semitism and,
24 indeed, the racism and the extremism and all the rest of
25 it. I find it a little, and I find it throughout the
26 case, bit difficult to see how, if at all, those
1 allegations against Mr Irving dovetail with the general
2 allegation that he falsifies to an extent deliberately the
3 historical record because it seems to me, and I just want
4 to know how you put it, that if somebody is anti-Semitic,
5 and leave aside racism, but anti-Semitic and extremist, he
6 is perfectly capable of being, as it were, honestly
7 anti-Semitic and honestly extremist in the sense that he
8 is holding those views and expressing those views because
9 they are, indeed, his views.
10 MR RAMPTON: Yes.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Now, it seems to me that probably, if you
12 come down to it, that the anti-Semitism is a completely
13 separate allegation which really has precious little
14 bearing on your broader and perhaps more important case
15 that Mr Irving has manipulated the data and falsified the
16 record, or do you say that they are corrected in some way
17 and, if so, how?
18 MR RAMPTON: I propose that they probably are connected. I do
19 not have to do that, but I propose that they are
20 connected, and that the link between them, I have no doubt
21 at all he is genuinely anti-Semitic and all the more
22 defamatory it is of him to say so, and it is true.
23 I propose that certainly, that he is genuinely profoundly
24 anti-Semitic. But the bridge between the Holocaust denial
25 and the Hitler apology from anti-Semitism is a very easy
26 one to build, because what more would an historian who is
1 an anti-Semite want to do in exculpation of Hitler which
2 he has been trying to do by telling lies about history for
3 years, what more would he want to do than to deny the
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, but he might believe what he is saying.
6 That is the point. That is why it is important.
7 MR RAMPTON: Believe what he is saying about what?
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: About the Holocaust.
9 MR RAMPTON: There is no way he could believe what he is saying
10 about the Holocaust if it —-
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I understand that, but that has nothing to do
12 with his anti-Semitism. I am not sure I am making my
13 point clear to you that —-
14 MR RAMPTON: No, I take a profound anti-Semite, I see that he
15 has denied the Holocaust without any historical
16 justification whatsoever.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: But I understand all of that.
18 MR RAMPTON: Then I ask myself, what is his reason for denying
19 the Holocaust because he has not got a good historical
20 one, there must be another one? And the most obvious
21 thing for a profound and genuine anti-Semite to do because
22 it suits his book is to leap into Holocaust denial without
23 any proper evidence at all, any evidence at all, and cart
24 it around the world in front of him and to audiences at
25 other anti-Semites and neofascists.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is another agenda, you would say?
1 MR RAMPTON: Yes, that is the other agenda; the promotion of
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
4 MR RAMPTON: And given that there is, as I say, absolutely no
5 historical foundation, no proper historical foundation,
6 for Holocaust denial, and given that there is evidence
7 that Mr Irving is an anti-Semite, as I say, the bridge
8 between the one and the other is very easy to build
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, thank you.
11 MR RAMPTON: And the same goes for Hitler exculpation.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you very much. Now, Mr Irving, it is
13 your turn.
14 MR IRVING: My Lord, it might be proper, perhaps, to have a
15 five-minute adjournment as the Defendants have provided to
16 me a list of objections they make to my closing statement
17 and, indeed, I think it would be fair to them if I
18 were just to review those objections and see if I ought to
19 take them on board.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not have any difficulty with that. Will
21 five minutes be enough?
22 MR IRVING: Five minutes will be enough.
23 (Short Adjournment)
Part III: Irving’s Closing Argument (49.24-209.6)
Section 49.24 to 108.7
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, Mr Irving?
25 MR IRVING: My Lord, rather like going over the top in
26 Gallipoli, but my father was in that battle so I know what
1 it is like. I will be making omissions from the text that
2 I gave your Lordship and I will indicate by saying that
3 I am omitting a sentence or a paragraph so that your
4 Lordship can follow.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is very kind.
6 MR IRVING: May it please the court. The Defendants in this
7 action, the publisher Penguin Books Limited and the
8 American scholar Deborah Lipstadt, have sought to cast
9 this trial as being about the reputation of the Holocaust.
10 It is not.
11 The world’s press have also reported it in this
12 way. Again, it is not.
13 This trial is about my reputation as a human
14 being, as an historian of integrity, and – thanks to the
15 remarks made by Mr Rampton – as a father. The Defendants
16 are saying, and have so convinced many people, that I am
17 not entitled to continue to earn a living in the way that
18 I have earned it for nearly 40 years. A judgment in my
19 favour is no more than that judgment that disputed points
20 which I have made about some aspect of the narrative are
21 not so absurd, given the evidence, as to disqualify me
22 from the ranks of historians. Under the laws of
23 defamation as they exist in this country, it could not be
24 anything else, and nor must the defence team, no matter
25 how powerful, how moneyed, or eloquent, or numerous, be
26 allowed by their tactics to skew it in any other way.
1 I may add that the points I have made do not
2 necessarily lessen the horror or the burden of guilt.
3 I have always accepted that Adolf Hitler, as Head of State
4 and government in Germany, was responsible for the
5 Holocaust. I said, in the Introduction to my flagship
6 biography, Hitler’s War (this is a reference to the 1991
8 If this biography were simply a history of the
9 rise and fall of Hitler’s Reich, it would be legitimate to
10 conclude: “Hitler killed the Jews”. But my years of
11 investigations suggested that many others were
12 responsible, that the chain of responsibility was not as
13 clear cut as that. Nothing that I have heard in this
14 Court since January 11th has persuaded me that I was wrong
15 on this account.
16 These latter points lead to another
17 consideration. Your Lordship will have heard of the –
18 largely successful – effort to drive me out of business as
19 an historian. This Court has seen the timidity, in my
20 submission, with which historians have already been
21 fraught once Holocaust is questioned, not denied,
22 questioned. One notable historian, whose name has been
23 mentioned this morning, ordered by summons by myself to
24 attend, showed himself reluctant even to confirm what he
25 had written in my favour, repeatedly, over the last 20
1 A judgment rendered against me will make this
2 paralysis in the writing of history definitive; from then
3 on, no one will dare to discuss who exactly was involved
4 in each stage of the Holocaust — rather like in Germany
5 now, you cannot do it any more — or how extensive it
6 was. From then on, discussion will revolve around “safe”
7 subjects, like sacred texts in the Middle Ages, or Marx in
8 the old Soviet Union, or the Koran in some fundamentalist
9 state today. Every historian will know that his critique
10 needs to stop sharply at the boundaries defined by certain
11 authorities. He will have a choice; accept the official
12 version, holus-bolus; or stop being an historian.
13 A judgment in my favour does not mean that the
14 Holocaust never happened; it means only that in England
15 today discussion is still permitted. My opponents would
16 still be able to say, just as now, would still be able,
17 just as now, to produce other documents if they can; to
18 expound alternative interpretations. They would be as
19 free as ever to declare that they think that I am wrong
20 and all the other things that have been said about me
21 today. They would be impeded in one way only: they would
22 not be able to say in a loud and authoritative voice that
23 I am not an historian, and that my books must be banned.
24 As a result of my work (and of this case) the Holocaust,
25 in fact, has been researched more, not less. Those who
26 (rightly) believe that these crimes should never be
1 forgotten (and I stress the word “rightly”), these crimes
2 should never be forgotten, should ask whether their case
3 is better served by a compulsory – and dead – text imposed
4 by law and intimidation, or by a live and on-going
6 Our Common Law has at its kernel an
7 “adversCourier” procedure whereby, it is believed, truth is
8 best elicited by each side putting their case as strongly
9 as possible. We have heard some pretty strong things said
10 today. I agree with English Common Law.
11 I read in The Independent, a newspaper in this
12 country, in a lengthy and deeply libellous article
13 published only last week about me, these words: “But if
14 he wins, it will open the door for revisionists to rewrite
15 any event in history without the requirement to consider
16 evidence that does not suit them and without fear that
17 they will be publicly denounced for their distortion”.
18 My Lord, in bygone days, I venture to submit,
19 such an article, published while an action was literally
20 sub judice, would have been a clear contempt. Your
21 Lordship will have noticed that I wearied, after a few
22 days, of drawing attention to the coverage of this trial
23 in the media. Allow me, however, to introduce one
24 cautionary statistic: not including the fuss about the
25 Eichmann manuscript, the British press have published no
26 fewer than 167 reports during the seven days that I was on
1 the witness stand, that is 24 per day; but just 58 reports
2 during the 20 days when the boot was on the other foot and
3 I was cross-examining Mr Rampton’s fine witnesses, that is
4 roughly three per day. That is a disparity of about eight
5 to one. I make no complaint about that. If your Lordship
6 has noticed any of these items, you will perhaps have
7 observed that the reporting in both cases is almost
8 exclusively devoted to the defence statements, or their
9 questions to me, and not to the product of the
10 examination. That is the way things are in a free
11 society. The Court, however, operates by different
12 standards, and it will not allow public sentiment, I hope,
13 to guide its verdict.
14 I believe it was Churchill who once said, “There
15 is such thing as public opinion, there is only published
16 opinion”. Given such a baleful glare from the press
17 gallery, my Lord, I am glad that her Majesty has such a
18 resolute officer presiding over this case. The outcome is
19 in your Lordship’s hands and yours alone, and I am glad,
20 I am confident that nothing that the press has written, or
21 may yet write, will deflect your Lordship from arriving at
22 a just conclusion.
23 The Defendants have sold around the world a
24 book, “Denying the Holocaust”. May I say here that I see
25 Penguin Books among the Defendants to my sorrow, as they
26 have published my own works in the past. They continuing
1 even today, however, and I stress this fact, to sell this
2 book for profit, in the knowledge that it contains very
3 defamatory allegations and that those allegations are held
4 to be untrue. It is a reckless, even foolhardy, gesture
5 which I submit, my Lord, goes to the question of
6 aggravated damages when the time comes.
7 Neither of these Defendants evidently bothered
8 even to have the manuscript professionally read for
9 libel. I say “evidently” because we do not know: they
10 have not deigned to enter the witness box themselves, no
11 executive of Penguin Books, not the author who has, I must
12 say, sat in this room for the two months that the trial
13 has continued, neither of them has deigned to enter the
14 witness box to answer even that most straightforward and
15 elementary of questions, was there a libel reading of this
16 book? Nor have they answered this question when it was
17 put to them in writing. Such a report, a libel report,
18 is, in my submission, not privileged, and I would have
19 been well prepared to argue the point; had they claimed
20 that privilege, I would have asked, “On what grounds?” If
21 a report was written, it should and no doubt would have
22 been disclosed, and it was not disclosed. So we are
23 entitled to assume that they did not bother to have the
24 book read. It does not exist, the report.
25 Whatever other limited excuses – whether of
26 sheer ignorance, or of innocent dissemination – that the
1 publisher might have (quite wrongfully) deployed for
2 publishing this malicious and deeply flawed work were
3 destroyed from the moment when they received my writ in
4 September 1996, and were thus informed, if they did not
5 know in fact already, of the nature and scope of the
6 libels it contains. And, as said, they have continued to
7 sell it, hoping no doubt to cash in on, to profit from,
8 the notoriety gained by these libel proceedings, which is
9 a textbook case of Rookes v. Barnard if there ever was
10 one, since the book they are selling still contains even
11 the several libels which they have made no attempt here to
12 justify. They have to justify their allegations — I am
13 referring, of course, my Lord, to the —-
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
15 MR IRVING: — matters they have pleaded section 5 on
16 originally. They have made no attempt to justify their
17 allegations or their defence fails — I am sorry. They
18 have to justify their allegations, or their defence fails;
19 and as your Lordship is aware, where the defamations are
20 particularly grave, a higher burden of proof falls upon
21 them than the mere balance of probabilities that is
22 normally acceptable. In both Defendants, moreover, there
23 is clear evidence of malice, both in those few documents
24 which the author of this work has disclosed — I stress
25 the word “few”; pitifully few documents have been placed
26 in my hands — and in the fact that the same firm of
1 publishers had previously distributed a work, a book, in
2 which I was variously caricatured as Adolf Hitler and
3 wearing swastika eyeglasses.
4 The very worst of the libels are so blatant that
5 neither Defendant has insulted the intelligence of this
6 Court by offering any justification to them. They hope
7 instead to divert the court’s attention by reference to
8 distant and notorious matters of history and by calling me
9 a racist. In consequence, for 30 days or more of this
10 Court’s time, we have had to rake over the embers of what
11 may be one of the greatest crimes known to Mankind: a
12 harrowing, time-wasting, needless effort, which has
13 yielded even now few answers to great questions and
14 mysteries which even the world’s finest academics have so
15 far not managed to unravel.
16 I come now to one of the first of these
17 unanswered and unjustified libels which will come as a
18 surprise to many people in this courtroom because there is
19 no reference to it in Mr Rampton’s summary. On page 14 of
20 the book, the Defendants published one of the gravest
21 libels that can be imagined for a respectable English
22 citizen who lives a very public life, namely that I
23 consort with the extremist anti-Semitic Russian group
24 Pamyat, with violent anti-Israeli murderers, with
25 extremist terrorists, and with Louis Farrakhan, a Black
26 Power agitator who is known to be acting in the pay of a
1 foreign power, namely the Libyan dictator. This is not
2 just the simple allegation of associating with
3 “extremists”, the kind of people who use fountain pens to
4 deliver their extremism, about which they have made so
5 much. The words on page 14 are as follows – and I make no
6 apology, my Lord, for reminding the Court of them, the
7 Second Defendant wrote:
8 “The confluence between anti-Israel,
9 anti-Semitic, and Holocaust denial forces was exemplified
10 by a world anti-Zionist conference scheduled for Sweden in
11 November 1992. Though cancelled at the last minute by the
12 Swedish government, scheduled speakers included black
13 Muslim leader, Louis Farrakhan, Faurrison, Irving”, that
14 is me, “and Leuchter. Also scheduled to participate were
15 representatives of a variety of anti-Semetic and
16 anti-Israel organisations, including the Russian group
17 Pamyat, the Iranian-backed Hizbollah and the
18 fundamentalist Islamic organization Hamas”.
19 Now, that whole statement was a reckless lie.
20 It appears from their discovery to have been based on a
21 press release issued by the jewish Telegraph Agency in New
22 York which neither that agency or the Defendants made any
23 attempt to verify. The Court will have noticed in one of
24 my bundles the letter which I sent to every Scandinavian
25 Embassy at the time, anxiously denying this allegation. I
26 have pleaded, as your Lordship is aware, that the innuendo
1 was that I was “thereby agreeing to appear in public in
2 support of and alongside violent and extremist speakers,
3 including representatives of the violent and extremist
4 anti-Semitic Russian group Pamyat … the Hizbollah …
5 the Hamas … Farrakhan … who is known as a Jew-baiting
6 black agitator … and he is known as an admirer of Hitler
7 and who is in the pay of Colonel Gaddafi”.
8 And “that the true or legal innuendo of the word
9 ‘Hizbollah’ is that used to refer to and describe a known
10 international terrorist organization … in the Lebanon,
11 also known as Hizbollah whose guerrillas kill Israel
12 citizens and soldiers … provoking retaliation, and which
13 organization has been determined by President Clinton …
14 as being among the enemies of peace and, whose officials
15 and armed activists are now being hunted down by the …
16 Israeli army”.
17 As for the Hamas, much the same, I set out in
18 paragraph 12 of my statement of claim that “the true or
19 legal unnuendo of the words ‘Hammas’ is that of an Islamic
20 fundamentalist terrorist organization similar in nature to
21 the Hizbollah”.
22 I submitted to your Lordship at the beginning of
23 this trial a representative selection of news reports from
24 reputable, reliable outlets, including the BBC, on the
25 murderous nature of the organizations involved, concerned.
26 In my pleadings I also argued that by these
1 allegations I had “been brought into hatred, ridicule,
2 contempt, risk of personal injury and/or assassination”.
3 I know, my Lord, the law of defamation has no concern for
4 people’s personal safety, but it certainly has concern for
5 their reputation; and the allegation that I was consorting
6 with the violent extremist body who goes around with
7 machine guns and bombs and bullets is substantially more
8 serious, in my view, than the allegation that I consort
9 with people who use their fountain pens to disseminate
10 crack pot ideas.
11 In my pleadings — the nature of the libel, and
12 the damage that it caused, hardly needed arguing in detail
13 here. Put in into domestic context, if the Defendants, if
14 the Defendants, had equally untruthfully stated, for
15 example, in a Channel 4 television documentary (and there
16 is a reason why I say that) that I had consorted with
17 Ulster loyalist death squads who were part of a conspiracy
18 to murder Roman Catholic nationalists, itself a grave
19 accusation which would also put me at risk of
20 assassination, and if the Defendants made no attempt to
21 justify that libel, then I respectfully submit that your
22 Lordship would have no hesitation giving judgment in my
23 favour. I submit there is no difference fundamentally
24 between these examples.
25 Now, I was going to say that the Defendants have
26 relied on section 5 of the Defamation Act, but
1 I understand from what Mr Rampton said yesterday that they
2 are not relying on that section 5 at all, my Lord.
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, I do not think that is quite right. I
4 think what he said was that they say they do not need
5 section 5, that is their primary position, but that if
6 they do need it, then, indeed, they rely on it. So do not
7 assume that it has disappeared out of the picture because
8 it has not.
9 MR IRVING: In that case, I will leave it as I originally
10 wrote. I am aware that your Lordship is also capable, of
11 course, of putting something in section 5 if you consider
12 it to come under section 5.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I probably would be, but that I believe to
14 Mr Rampton’s position.
15 MR IRVING: This is not the place to make a submission, but my
16 position is that there is no common sting between those
17 allegations. They are totally different kinds of
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Elaborate on that later.
20 MR IRVING: In other words, they accuse a respectable
21 Englishman of consorting with terrorists and murderers,
22 and then plead the relative insignificance of the
23 accusation when it turns out to be a reckless lie. And
24 there are other incendiary lies which they have stuffed
25 into that particular sand-bucket, section 5 of the
26 Defamation Act, in the hope that they will sputter out:
1 the Defendants repeated the story in that book – first
2 published in Izvestia – that I placed a portrait of Adolf
3 Hitler over my desk. For that lie — I have had hundreds
4 of journalists visiting me over the 30 years and never
5 once has that picture occurred to any of them for there is
6 no such picture. For that lie too they have offered no
7 justification. I read incidentally recently in Literary
8 Review that Lloyd George had signed photographs of both
9 Hitler and Mussolini on display, and that was a British
10 Prime Minister. The only signed paragraph in my
11 apartment, as many journalists have observed, is one of
12 Sir Winston Churchill.
13 So I submit that your Lordship should not accept
14 the Defendants’ contention, if they wish to stand by it,
15 that these allegations should be disregarded on the basis
16 of section 5. Even if they could sufficiently justify
17 their claim that I deliberately bent history in favour of
18 Hitler, and I do not believe they can, I submit that they
19 have not, it would still “materially injure the
20 plaintiff’s reputation”, which is the word of the Act,
21 section 5, to say that I had a portrait of Hitler above my
22 desk. The claims which they do seek to justify suggest
23 that I am culpably careless and (perhaps unconsciously)
24 sympathetic to Hitler; bad enough, bad enough, but having
25 a portrait of that man — I am sorry, having a portrait of
26 that man above my desk implies a full-hearted 100 per cent
1 conscious commitment to that man, which is very
3 I have provided your Lordship on an earlier
4 occasion in one bundle a number of passages quoted from
5 AJP Taylor’s works, a very famous English historian and
6 writer. Taylor himself accepted that they inevitably
7 improved Hitler’s image — the words that Taylor had
8 written — maybe he did not originate the actual mass
9 murders himself, wrote Taylor; maybe he did slip into war
10 with Britain rather than planning it; maybe the Anschluss
11 with Austria was more a stroke of good fortune, which he
12 grasped, rather than long planned as a take-over; maybe
13 the Nazis did not burn down the Reichstag building in
14 1933. These views of Taylor have been criticised as being
15 wrong, even as being too sympathetic to Hitler. But
16 everybody would accept that to suggest that Taylor had a
17 portrait of Hitler “over his desk” would suggest something
18 far worse. So it should be for me to0.
19 Again, for the purpose of section 5, the
20 allegation that I bend history in favour of Hitler because
21 I am said to admire him, and that I consort with other
22 people holding such views, is a very different kettle of
23 fish from stating, as the Defendants do, that I consort
24 with people who are widely regarded as violent and
25 murderous terrorists.
26 I continue now from the bottom of the page:
1 My Lord, the Court will be aware from the very
2 outset I argued that this hearing should not, effectively,
3 leave the four walls of my study, where I wrote my books;
4 and that what actually happened 50 or 60 years ago was of
5 less moment to the issues as pleaded. The matter at
6 issue, as pleaded by the Defendants, is not what happened,
7 but what I knew of it, and what I made of it, at the time
8 I put pen to paper. We had some argument on that matter,
9 my Lord. To take crude example: neglecting to use the
10 Eichmann memoirs, releases to us only a few days ago, had
11 they contained startling revelations – which they did not
12 – could not have been held against me because they were
13 not available to me in the 1960s, 1970s or 1980s. But
14 your Lordship took a different view and I respectfully
15 submit that it was wrong.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: May I interrupt you again? I do not think
17 that is right. I think everybody agrees that the Eichmann
18 memoirs, because they have surfaced so late, really have
19 no bearing on this trial at all.
20 MR IRVING: I gave that as a particularly crude example of why
21 what mattered was what happened in the walls of my study
22 as I wrote, what was on my desk, so to speak, and not what
23 actually happened.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I see.
25 MR IRVING: Your Lordship took a different view, and
26 I respectfully submit that it was wrong. The Defendants
1 have invested a sizeable fortune in reresearching the
2 Holocaust, and possibly for that reason we have all been
3 dragged through that vast and inhuman tragedy yet again,
4 because of the money spent on it now, and again quite
5 needlessly, in my submission. It would have sufficed for
6 their purposes if they could have proved, on the basis of
7 the total disclose of my files which I made to them and
8 their experts, that I had indeed “distorted, misstated,
9 misquoted and falsified”, their words. Fearing or
10 finding, however, that they were unable to prove wilful
11 fraud, in effect, in my submission, they have fallen back
12 on the alternative plea in the tort of negligence: that
13 “Mr Irving ought to have known”. I respectfully submit
14 that this unsettle change of defence should not have been
15 allowed to them, it should not have been available to
16 them, as it was not pleaded at the outset. It has to be
17 specifically pleaded, in my submission, my Lord, at the
19 If my submission on the law is, however, wrong,
20 then your Lordship must ask what effort would have been
21 reasonable on the part of an individual historian, acting
22 without institutional support like that of Yad Vashem, and
23 with the doors of the archives increasingly being slammed
24 against him because of the activities of the bodies to
25 which I shall shortly refer. What it would have been
26 reasonable to expect me to do to find out what happened?
1 These Defendants have reportedly spent some $6 million,
2 and 20 man-years or more, in researching this case: this
3 blinding and expensive spotlight has been focused on the
4 narrowest of issues, yet it has still generated more noise
5 than illumination. I heard the expert witnesses who were
6 paraded before us use phrases like the “consensus of
7 expert opinion” as their source so often – in fact, I did
8 a check, the word “consensus” occurs 40 times in the daily
9 transcripts of this trial – that I began to wonder what
10 the archives were for. I suggest that these experts were
11 more expert in reporting each other’s opinions and those
12 of people who agree with them than in what the archives
13 actually contain and what they do not contain which is
14 equally important.
15 The phrase “Holocaust denier”, which the Second
16 Defendant boasts of having invented, is an Orwellian
17 stigma. It is not a very helpful phrase. It does not
18 diminish or extend thought or knowledge on this tragic
19 subject. Its universal adoption within the space of a few
20 years by media, academia government and even academics
21 seems to indicate something of the international endeavour
22 of which I shall shortly make brief mention. It is, in my
23 submission, a key to the whole case. Perhaps this court
24 should raise its gaze briefly from the red and blue files
25 and bundles that are around the court room of documents
26 for a brief moment, and re-read George Orwell’s appendix
1 to “1984”, which seems very relevant to this case.
2 From the witness box, with its revelations of
3 the “consensus of opinion”, and “moral certainty”, and the
4 mass male voice choir of the “social sciences” that we
5 heard about from Professor Funke, on which the Defendant’s
6 German expert, Professor Hajo Funke, relies for his
7 certainty, his certainty, as to what is right-wing
8 extremism, we seem hear more than a vague echo of
9 Orwellian Newspeak — a language that moulds minds, and
10 destroys reputations and livelihoods.
11 Orwell was wrong in one point: he thought it
12 would take the forces of the State to impose Newspeak:
13 Professor Lipstadt and her reckless publishers Penguin
14 Books Limited — I shall justify that adjective — have
15 sought to impose it through the machinery of the literary
16 and media establishments. Only the Royal Courts of
17 Justice here in London, independent and proud, can protect
18 the rights of the individual from now on. And those
19 rights include the right, as Lord Justice Sedley recently
20 put it in another Court in this building, of any person to
21 hold to, and to preach, unpopular views, perhaps even
22 views that many might find repellent.
23 My Lord, I have not hesitated myself to stand
24 here in the witness box and to answer questions.
25 Mr Rampton rose to the occasion, and he, or indeed I, may
26 yet regret it. Your Lordship will recall that, when
1 I brought a somewhat reluctant and even curmudgeonly
2 Professor Donald Watt, who is not the Professor
3 I mentioned earlier incidentally, doyen of the diplomatic
4 historians, into the witness box, he used these words:
5 “I must say, I hope that I am never subjected
6 to the kind of examination that Mr Irving’s books have
7 been subjected to by the defence witnesses. I have a very
8 strong feeling that there are other senior historical
9 figures, including some to whom I owed a great deal of my
10 own career, whose work would not stand up, or not all of
11 whose work would stand up, to this kind of examination”.
12 I am not throwing myself on the charity of this
13 court, my Lord, but I am asking that the court should be
14 reasonable in the standards that it sets. That
15 effectively is a line that Professor Watt has supported me
16 in. It is fair to say, of course, that I had to subpoena
17 Donald Watt.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I am aware.
19 MR IRVING: When I invited him to mention some names, of
20 course, he declined. What he was saying was that whatever
21 mistakes or whatever unconventional interpretations of
22 mine, the Defendants have revealed with their
23 multi-million dollar research, and I am going to admit
24 some mistakes that I have made, not many, this does not
25 invalidate me as an historian, or my historical methods
26 and conclusions.
1 Your Lordship will find that Professor Watt
2 continued by suggesting that simply by facing the
3 challenge of the views that I had put forward, “and basing
4 them on historical research rather than idealogical
5 conviction,” this had resulted in other historians
6 devoting an “enormous burst of research” to the Nazi
7 massacres of the Jews, an area which can now in
8 consequence support journals and conferences. He said,
9 “This, I think, is a direct result of the challenge which
10 Mr Irving’s work posed and the consistency and the effort
11 which he has put into maintaining it in public”. In other
12 words, I forced the others to do their homework finally at
13 last. In other words, Watt stated that, far from being a
14 Holocaust denier, my work has directly increased
15 historical research into, and the understanding of, the
17 The German Professor Eberhard Jaeckel made the
18 same controversial — and he is no friend of mine, of
19 course — point in his essay in the book published by the
20 Us Holocaust Memorial Museum a year or two ago, namely
21 that before my book Hitler’s War was published in 1977,
22 the first edition, there had been virtually no meaningful
23 research into the tragedy at all. Professor Hans Mommsen,
24 Professor Raul Hilberg, Professor Gordon C Craig, these
25 and many others have more or less supported my claim to be
26 regarded as a serious historian. I of course say things
1 like that with the utmost personal distaste. I do not
2 believe in blowing my own trumpet. The outcome of my
3 research, my books, and my speaking is therefore that
4 people in general are more, and not less, aware of the
5 horrors of the Holocaust, and they are certainly better
7 One of the most damaging accusations which Mr
8 Rampton has repeated again this morning, is that I, the
9 plaintiff, driven by my obsession with Hitler, distort,
10 manipulate and falsify history in order to put Hitler in a
11 more favourable light, thereby demonstrating a lack of the
12 detachment, rationality and judgment necessary for an
14 I submit that, in assessing whether I am an
15 historian who “distorts, manipulates and falsifies” your
16 Lordship should give most weight to my avowedly historical
17 written works. Your Lordship will be thoroughly aware of
18 why I am saying this. I suggested my speeches, very
19 occasional lapses of taste in them, lapses of taste
20 Mr Rampton has identified and mentioned repeatedly,
21 I think three altogether, are relevant purely as
22 background material. Of those written historical works,
23 I submit that your Lordship give most weight to my
24 flagship work Hitler’s War. I ask that your Lordship read
25 (again, if your Lordship has already done so) the
26 introduction to the 1991 edition. This was published well
1 after the year when the Defendants (wrongly) assert that
2 I “flipped over” to become what they call a Holocaust
4 I have always differed from my colleagues in my
5 profession in insisting on using original documents,
6 including where possible the authors’ drafts of books or
7 memoirs rather than the heavily edited West German
8 editions, later rewritings, or posthumous adaptations. I
9 also make use of many more unpublished original documents
10 than my historian colleagues, in my belief. In the 1960s
11 and 1970s, I must add, of course, that was much more
12 difficult than it is today.
13 I differ too from others, in making copies- and
14 I am going to emphasise this quite a lot- of the original
15 documents which I unearth freely available to others
16 as soon as my own works are complete, and in fact often
17 before that time, as the panne, the accident, the mishap
18 which Professor Harold Deutsch’s book showed. Your
19 Lordship will remember that Harold Deutsch got there first
20 and used it before me, and I was accused of plageurising
21 his book, because I gave him the materials before I used
22 them. As page 14 of Hitler’s War shows, I donate these
23 records regularly to publicly accessible archives and
24 I also make them available on microfilm. There are nearly
25 200 such microfilms in my records, nearly half a million
26 pages. I also devote time to corresponding with and
1 assisting other historians and researchers. If,
2 therefore — this is the important point — some of my
3 interpretations are controversial, I also do all that is
4 possible to let other people judge for themselves. This
5 speaks strongly against the accusation, levelled against
6 me again today by Mr Rampton, that I distort, manipulate
7 and falsify history.
8 On Hitler and the Holocaust I wrote these words,
9 and this is in the 1991 edition, after the time when
10 I supposedly became a denier obsessed with Hitler and with
11 exonerating him.
12 Page 2: My conclusions … startled even me.
13 Hitler was a far less omnipotent Fuhrer than had been
14 believed, his methods and tactics were profoundly
16 Page 4: … the more hermetically Hitler locked
17 himself away behind the barbed wire and mine fields of his
18 remote military headquarters, the more his Germany became
19 a Fuhrer Staat without a Fuhrer. Domestic policy was
20 controlled by whoever was most powerful in each sector –
21 by Goring, Lammers, Bormann, Himmler.
22 Page 17: If this biography were simply a
23 history of the rise and fall of Hitler’s Reich, it would
24 be legitimate to conclude “Hitler killed the Jews”. He
25 had after all created the atmosphere of hatred with his
26 speeches in the 1930s; he and Himmler had created the SS;
1 his speeches, though never explicit, left the clear
2 impression that “liquidate” what was he meant.
3 At pages 17 to 18: For a full length war
4 biography, I wrote, I felt that a more analytical approach
5 to the key questions of initiative, complicity and
6 execution would be necessary. Remarkably, I found that
7 Hitler’s own role in the “Final Solution”, whatever that
8 was, had never been examined.
9 At page 38: Every document actually linking
10 Hitler with the treatment of the Jews invariably takes the
11 form of an embargo, and I maintain that position, despite
12 everything we have heard for the last two months.
13 This is the famous “chain of documents”, of
14 course, notwithstanding everything we have heard in court,
15 I still adhere to this position.
16 At page 19 it is plausible to impute to him, to
17 Hitler, that not uncommon characteristic of heads of
18 state, a conscious desire “not to know”, what the
19 Americans now call, I believe, plausible deniability. But
20 the proof of this of course is beyond the powers of a
22 At page 21 I write: … dictatorships are
23 fundamentally weak … I concluded, the burden of guilt
24 for the bloody and mindless massacres of the Jews rests on
25 a large number of Germans (and non-Germans), many of them
26 alive today and not just on one “mad dictator”, whose
1 order had to be obeyed without question.
2 The similarity with the thesis propagated by
3 Dr Daniel Goldhagen of the University of Harvard in his
4 worldwide best seller book, “Hitler’s Willing
5 Executioners”, will surely strike everybody in this
6 court. I am saying the burden falls on a large number of
7 Germans and not just on that one madman’s. Note the word
8 “just”. I do not say “not on the madman”, I say not just
9 on him.
10 Allow me to rub this point in: What I actually
11 wrote and printed and published in my flagship study
12 Hitler’s War was that Hitler was clearly responsible for
13 the Holocaust both by virtue of being head of state and by
14 having done so much by his speeches and organisation to
15 start it off.
16 Where I differed from many historians was in
17 denying that there was any documentary proof of detailed
18 direction and initiation of the mass murders by Hitler,
19 and I am glad to say two months in that respect has not
20 brought us any closer. The view was considered to be
21 heretical at the time. But this lack of wartime
22 documentary evidence for Hitler’s involvement is now
23 widely accepted. Indeed, on the narrower matter of the
24 lack of wartime documentary evidence on the gas chambers,
25 your Lordship was already good enough to grant as follows
26 in an exchange between your Lordship and myself and
1 Professor Evans.
2 I said: If his Lordship is led to believe by a
3 careless statement of the witnesses that there is a vast
4 body of wartime documents, namely about gas chambers, this
5 would be unfair, would it not, because you, Professor
6 Evans, are not referring to wartime documents, you are
7 referring to postwar documents?
8 Professor Evans at this point replies: I am
9 referring to all kinds of documents.
10 I insist, this is me: You are not referring to
11 wartime documents?
12 Evans says: I am referring to documents
13 including wartime documents, the totality of the written
14 evidence for the Holocaust which you deny.
15 Irving then says: Are you saying there is a
16 vast quantity of wartime documents?
17 You see, I am a bit persistent on this matter.
18 Evans says: What I am saying is that there is a
19 vast quantity of documents and material for all aspects of
20 the Holocaust.
21 At this point your Lordship was good enough to
22 say: I expect you would accept, Professor Evans, just to
23 move on, the number of overtly incriminating documents,
24 wartime documents, as regarding gas chambers is actually
25 pretty few and far between?
26 That is how it was left.
1 To summarise, in Hitler’s War I differed from
2 the other historians in suggesting that the actual mass
3 murders were not all or mainly initiated by Hitler.
4 I pointed out that my sources were consistent with another
5 explanation: A conscious desire “not to know” (a kind of
6 Richard Nixon kind of complex) to which I referred, I
7 believe, on three occasions during the hearings here.
8 I submit that I have not distorted, manipulated
9 and falsified. I have put all the cards on table; I made
10 the documents available to all comers, on microfilm and in
11 the archives, and I have pointed to various possible
13 I further submit that, while certainly “selling”
14 my views, I have been much less manipulated that those
15 historians, including some whom you heard in this court,
16 my Lord, whose argument has an important part been simply
17 this — that I ought not to be heard, because my views are
18 too outlandish or extreme. Disgracefully, these scholars
19 cleared from the sidelines as I have outlawed, arrested
20 harassed, and all but “vernichtet” destroyed as a
21 professional historian; and they have put pressure on
22 British publishers to destroy my works. This is a
23 reference to MacMillan Limited, to which we will come
25 To assist your Lordship in deciding how
26 outlandish and extreme these views of mine are, I allow
1 myself to quote from AJP Taylor’s The War Lords, published
2 by Penguin — the First Defendants in this action — in
3 London in 1978. Of Adolf Hitler Taylor wrote.
5 “… it was at this time that he became really a recluse, settling down in an
6 underground bunker, running the war from the front. (at pages 55-57).
8 Precisely same kind of image I generated from my
9 own sources.
11 “He was a solitary man, though he sometimes accepted, of course, advice from
12 others, sometimes decisions [my emphasis]. [he accepted decisions from others] It is,
13 I think, true, for instance, that the terrible massacre of the Jews”.
15 This is AJP Taylor who “was inspired more by
16 Himmler than by Hitler, though Hitler took it up”. (At
17 pages 68-70).
18 These quotations are from the foreword of AJP
19 Taylor’s own flagship work, The Origins of the Second
20 World War, published in 1963:
22 “Little can be discovered so long as we go on attributing everything that happened
23 to Hitler. He supplied a powerful dynamic element, but it was fuel to an existing
24 machine… [later on he writes] He have counted for nothing without the support and
25 co-operation of the German people. It seems to be believed nowadays that Hitler did
26 everything himself, even driving the trains and filling the gas chambers unaided. This
1 was not so. Hitler was a sounding-board for the German nation. Thousands. Many hundred
2 thousand, Germans carried out his evil orders without qualm or question.”
4 What I wrote, with less felicity of style than
5 Professor Taylor, was a reasonable interpretation of the
6 information available to me at the time. I might add that
7 my words are often accepted, quoted, and echoed by other
8 historians far more eminent than me. (including the
9 government’s Official Historians like Professor Frank
10 Hinsley, in his volumes on British intelligence) who
11 specifically footnotes and references my works. Some may
12 regard my interpretations as not the most probable. But
13 they are never perverse. For the Defendants to describe me
14 as one who manipulates, distorts, and falsifies it would
15 be necessary for them to satisfy your Lordship that
16 I wilfully adopted perverse and ridiculous
17 interpretations. But I have not and they have not
18 satisfied your Lordship either, I submit.
19 The Defendants’ historiographical criticisms
20 I now turn to some of the particular matters
21 which exercised your Lordship, in the list of points at
23 As a preamble I would say that I trust your
24 Lordship will be bear in mind that the task facing an
25 historian of my type — what I refer to as a “shirtsleeve
26 historian”, a shirtsleeve historian working in the field,
1 from original records — is very different from the task
2 facing the scholar or academic who sits in a book-lined
3 study, plucking handy works of reference from his shelves,
4 printed in large type, translated into English, provided
5 with easy indices and often with nice illustrations too.
6 Your Lordship will recall that while researching
7 the Goebbels Diaries in Moscow for the first week in June
8 1992 I had to read those wartime Nazi glass microfiches
9 plates through a magnifier the size of a nailclipper, with
10 a lens smaller than a pea. The Court will appreciate that
11 reading even post-war microfilm of often poorly reproduced
12 original documents on a mechanical reader is tedious, time
13 consuming, and an unrewarding business. Your Lordship
14 will be familiar with the reason why I saying this. There
15 were certain matters which we dealt with. Notes have to be
16 taken in handwriting when are you sitting at a reader.
17 There are no “pages” to be xeroxed. In the 1960s xerox
18 copies were nothing like as good as they are now, as your
19 Lordship will have noticed from the blue-bound volumes
20 brought in here from my own document archives. Mistakes
21 undoubtedly occur: the mis-transcription of difficult
22 German words pencilled in Gothic or Sutterlin-style
23 handwriting, a script which most modern German scholars
24 find unreadable anyway; mistakes of copying are made;
25 mistakes of omission (i.e. a passage is not transcribed
26 when you are sitting at the screen because at the time it
1 appears of no moment). These are innocent mistakes, and
2 with a book the size of Hitler’s War which currently runs
3 to 393,000 words, they are not surprising.
4 Your Lordship may recall another exchange I had
5 with Professor Evans: may I emphasise here that there is
6 no personal animus from me towards Professor Evans at all.
7 I thought he gave his evidence admirably.
8 IRVING: Professor Evans, when your researchers
9 were researching in my files at the Institute of History
10 in Munich, did they come across a file there which was
11 about 1,000 pages long, consisting of the original
12 annotated footnotes of Hitler’s War which were referenced
13 by a number to a every single sentence in that book?
14 ANSWER: No.
15 IRVING: It was not part of the original corpus,
16 it was part of the original manuscript, but it was chopped
17 out because of the length.
18 EVANS: No, we did not see that.
19 IRVING: Have you seen isolated pages of that in
20 my diary (sic) in so far as it relates to episodes which
21 were of interest, like the Reichskristallnacht?
22 EVANS: No, I do not to be honest, recall, but
23 that does not mean to say that we have not seen them.
24 IRVING: You say my footnotes are opaque
25 because they do not always give the page reference. Do you
26 agree that, on a page which we are going to come across in
1 the course of this morning, of your own expert report, you
2 put a footnote in just saying “see Van Pelt’s report”, and
3 that expert report is 769 pages long, is it not?
4 So from this exchange it is plain that I was not
5 just a conjurer producing quotations in my books,
6 producing quotations and documents out of a hat; I made my
7 sources and references available in their totality to
8 historians, even when they were not printed in the book.
9 The allegation that the mistakes are
10 deliberate — that they are manipulations, or
11 distortions — is a foul one to make, and easily disposed
12 of by general considerations, which I ask your Lordship to
13 pay particular attention to. If I intended deliberately
14 to mistranscribe a handwritten word or text on which the
15 defence places such reliance, I would hardly on the
16 deliberate nature of the mistranscription, I would hardly
17 have furnished copies of the original text to my critics,
18 or published the text of the handwritten document as a
19 facsimile in the same work (for example, the famous
20 November 30th 1941 note, which is illustrated as a
21 facsimile in all editions of Hitler’s War); nor would
22 I have placed the entire collection of such documents
23 without restriction in archives commonly frequented by my
25 If I intended to mistranslate a document, would
26 I have encouraged the publication of the resulting book,
1 with the correct original quotation in the German
2 language, where my perversion of the text would easily
3 have been discovered? Yet like all my other works both,
4 Hitler and Goebbels have appeared in German language
5 editions with a full and correct transcription of the
6 controversial texts. Is that the action of a deliberate
8 As for the general allegation that the errors of
9 exaggeration or distortions that were made were “all” of a
10 common alignment, designed to exonerate or exculpate Adolf
11 Hitler, the test which I submit your Lordship must apply
12 should surely be this: if the sentence that is complained
13 of be removed from the surrounding paragraph or text (and
14 in each book there are only one or two such sentences of
15 which this wounding claim is made) does this in any way
16 alter the book’s general thrust, or the weight of the
17 argument that is made?
18 An example of this test is the wrong weight
19 which I gave to the contents of the 1.20 am telegram
20 issued by SS-Gruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich on
21 Kristallnacht. I think Mr Rampton referred to that this
22 morning. It is a famous telegram, printed in the Nuremberg
23 volumes, five pages long or so. Would such an error have
24 been committed wilfully by me, given the risk that it
25 would inevitably be exposed? Is it not far more likely on
26 the balance of probabilities that in the process of
1 writing and rewriting, and of cutting and of cutting and
2 condensing, the Goebbels manuscript, the author, that is
3 me, gradually over the eight years lost sight of the full
4 content and the thrust of the original document? Your
5 Lordship should know, if not then I say so now, that that
6 book witness through five successive drafts and retypes
7 over eight years, filling eventually four archives boxes,
8 a total of eight cubic feet of manuscript, all of which I
9 disclosed to the Defendants by way of discovery. St
10 Martin’s Press, my American publishers, particularly asked
11 that these early chapters of the book should be trimmed
12 back in length.
13 These general considerations disposed of the
14 defence arguments on the “Policeman Hoffman” evidence as
15 rendered in the 1924 Hitler treason trial. For the
16 limited purposes of writing a biography of — my Lord,
17 these are points you have asked me to address specifically
18 in your list of issues. I say that because those who
19 listen to Mr Rampton’s speech will not have heard them
20 referred to and may be puzzled as to why I am addressing
21 them. For the limited purposes of writing a biography of
22 Hermann Goring — not of Hitler — I relied on the
23 thousands of typescript microfilmed pages of the
24 transcript of this trial. So far as I know, nobody had
25 ever used them before me at that time. Now the handy,
26 printed, bound, indexed, cross-referenced edition, which
1 Professor Evans drew upon had not appeared at that time.
2 The printed edition appeared in 1988, two years ago.
3 Eleven years after my Goring biography was published. In
4 other words, even more years after I wrote it by Macmillan
5 Limited. I extracted — with difficulty — from the
6 microfilmed pages of the original transcript the material
7 I needed relating to Hitler and Goring and I was not
8 otherwise interested in that man Hofmann at all. I do not
9 consider the printed volume on the trial which is now
10 available shows that I made meaningful errors, if so, they
11 certainly were not deliberate.
12 The Kristallnacht in November 1938 is a more
13 difficult episode in every way. I do not mean in that
14 sense, my Lord, that it is difficult for me personally.
15 It is a difficult episode to reconstruct from the material
16 available to us. As said, I clearly made an error over
17 the content (and reference number) of the 1.20 a.m.
18 telegram from Heydrich. It was an innocent error. It was
19 a glitch of the kind that occurs in the process of
20 redrafting a manuscript several times over the years. The
21 Court must not overlook that by the time was completed in
22 1994 and 1995 and as I described in the introduction to
23 that book, Goebbels, the Mastermind of the Third Reich, by
24 that time I had been forcefully severed from both my own
25 collection of documents in German institutions and from
26 the German Federal archives in Koblenz. On July 1st 1993,
1 my Lord when I attended the latter archives in Koblenz
2 explicitly for the purpose of tidying up loose ends on the
3 Goebbels manuscript, I was formally banned from the
4 building in the interests of the German people I was told,
5 for ever on orders of the minister of the interior — that
6 is one of the gravest blows that has been struck at me in
7 my submission by this international endeavour to which
8 I shall shortly refer.
9 The allegation of the Defendants in connection
10 with the Kristallnacht is that in order to “exonerate
11 Hitler” I effectively concocted or invented, a false
12 version of events on that night, namely that Adolf Hitler
13 intervened between 1 and 2 a.m. in order to halt the
14 madness. I think that is a fair summary of the charge
15 against me. I submit that their refusal to accept this,
16 my version, is ingrained in their own political
17 attitudes. There is evidence both in the archives and in
18 the reliable contemporary records like Ulrich von Hassell,
19 the diaries of von Hassell, Alfred Rosenberg and Hellmuth
20 Groscurth, and in the independent testimonies. By which I
21 mean independent from each other, testimonies of those
22 participants whom I myself carefully questioned, or whose
23 private papers I obtained — I mention here Nicolaus von
24 Below, Hitler’s adjutant. Another adjutant, Bruckner,
25 Julius Schaub, Karl Wolff and others — which the Court
26 has seen, to justify the versions which I rendered. It
1 therefore was not an invented story. It may well be that
2 my critics were unfamiliar with the sources that I used
3 before they made their criticisms. The dishonesty lies
4 not with me, for printing the “inside” story of Hitler’s
5 actions that night, as far as we can reconstruct them
6 using these and other sources; but with those scholars who
7 have studiously ignored them, and in particular the Rudolf
8 Hess “stop arson” telegram of 2.56 am, which was
9 issued “on orders from the highest level”, which the
10 Defendants’ scholars are agreed or testified is a
11 reference to Hitler.
12 Your Lordship may well have marvelled to hear
13 the Defendants’ witnesses dismiss this message from Rudolf
14 Hess — like the Schlegelberger Document, referred to
15 later — as being of no consequence.
16 The Kristallnacht diaries of Dr Goebbels, which
17 I obtained in Moscow in 1992, some years after I first
18 drafted the episode for my biography, substantially bore
19 out my version of events, in my submission, namely that he
20 and not Hitler was the prime instigator, and that Hitler
21 was largely unaware and displeased by what came about, or
22 by the scale of what came about, would be a fairer way to
23 put that. Your Lordship will recall that Professor
24 Phillippe Burrin, a Swiss Holocaust historian for whom all
25 the witnesses expressed respect when questioned by me,
26 comes to the same conclusion independently of me. Now he
1 (and I have given the quotation at the foot of page).
2 Now, he is manifestly not a “Holocaust denier” either.
3 The Court will also recall that the witness Professor
4 Evans admitted that unlike myself he had not read all
5 through the available Goebbels Diaries. It is a massive
6 task. A mammoth task. He had not had the time, he said,
7 and we must confess a certain sympathy with that
8 position — for an academic, time is certainly at a
9 premium. But reading all of the available Goebbels
10 Diaries is however necessary, in order to establish and
11 recognize the subterfuges which this Nazi minister used
12 throughout his career as diarist, in order to conceal when
13 he was creating what I call alibis for his own wayward and
14 evil behaviour.
15 I drew attention to this historiographical
16 conundrum several times in the book, my Goebbels
17 biography, the fact that Goebbels Diaries were not
18 trustworthy. I discussed both in my scientific annotated
19 German language edition of the 1938 diaries and in my full
20 Goebbels biography which your Lordship has read, a
21 characteristic example from this same year, 1938, although
22 the one episode which most deeply harrowed and unsettled
23 him that year was his affair with the Czech actress, Lida
24 Baarova, an affair which drove him to the brink of
25 resignation, divorce, and even suicide, neither her name
26 nor any of those events figures explicitly in the diary at
1 all, unless the pages be read particularly closely, when
2 certain clues can be seen. That is an example …
3 The Goebbels diary is sometimes a very deceitful
4 document; it must be recognized as such and treated very
5 gingerly indeed. It is the diary of a liar, a
6 propagandist. The fact that it was evidently written up
7 not one, but two or even three days later, after the
8 Kristallnacht episode, calls for additional caution in
9 relying on it for chronology and content.
10 My Lord, your Lordship will notice that I have
11 not dealt specifically with the number of the issues you
12 put in your list. I hope your Lordship does not take
13 umbrage with that, but I felt that I dealt with them
14 adequately in my cross-examination.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is entirely a matter for you.
16 MR IRVING: If this was wrong of me then all I can say is
17 culpa mea (sic) but I now continue with the various
18 narratives of the Nazi shooting of the Jews in the East.
19 There is little dispute between the parties on
20 what actually happened in my view. This is the shootings
21 of the Jews in the East by the Nazis and their
22 collaborators. There is little dispute between the
23 parties on what actually happened in my view, and your
24 Lordship is aware that I have given these atrocities due
25 and proper attention in the various biographies I have
26 written; I however add the one caveat, that they are not
1 intended to be reference works on the Holocaust, but just
2 orthodox biographies.
3 I believe that I was the first historian
4 anywhere in the world to discover and make use of the
5 CSDIC reports relating further details to these killings,
6 particularly the Bruns Report, and I made these reports
7 available to many other historians. I should explain to
8 the people who are not familiar with them that these CSDIC
9 reports are eavesdropping reports on Nazi prisoners that
10 we British made using hidden microphones. It took — it
11 takes many days to read them. There are thousands and
12 thousands of pages in these files. Over the last twenty
13 years I have read these horrifying narratives out
14 repeatedly to public audiences, they describe the killings
15 of the Jews in the most horrifying detail, including
16 “right-wing” audiences. This fact alone entitles me to
17 express my contempt at those who would describe me as a
18 “Holocaust denier”.
19 We have seen the Defendants scrabbling around at
20 the end of the Bruns Report for its seizing on its
21 third-hand reference by this SS murderer and braggart in
22 Riga, Altemeyer, to an “order” that he claimed to have
23 received to carry out such mass shootings more
24 circumspectly in future. But we know from the late 1941
25 police decodes — we British were reading the SS and
26 police messages passing between Berlin and the front. We
1 know from the late 1941 police decodes, which is a much
2 firmer source-document in my view than a snatch of
3 conversation remembered years later, in April 1945, we
4 know precisely what orders had gone from Hitler’s
5 headquarters, radioed by Himmler himself to the SS mass
6 murderer, SS Obergruppenfuhrer Friedrich Jeckeln, stating
7 explicitly that these killings exceeded the authority that
8 had been given by himself, Himmler, and by the
9 Reichsssicherheitshauptamp (the RSHA). We know that the
10 killing of all German Jews stopped at once, for many
11 months upon the receipt of that message. When I first
12 translated the word “Judentransport” a word which I
13 emphasise again can mean “transportation of the Jews”, as
14 “transports of Jews”, in the plural, in the 1970s, being
15 unaware of the surrounding context of data which helps now
16 to narrow down the purport to the one Riga-bound trainload
17 from Berlin. I was thus inadvertently coming closer to
18 the truth, not further from it; because the liquidation of
19 all the trainloads from Germany was halted next day,
20 December 1st 1941, by the order radioed from Hitler’s
21 headquarters (whether initiated by Himmler or Hitler seems
22 hair-splitting in this context).
23 As I stated under cross-examination, I did not
24 see the Schulz-Dubois document when I wrote my books and
25 I have not seen it since; having now read Professor Gerald
26 Fleming tells us about it, I confess that I would be
1 unlikely to attach the same importance as does learned
2 counsel for the Defendants, to what the famously anti-Nazi
3 Abwehr Chief Wilhelm Canaris allegedly told Lieutenant
4 Schulz-Dubois of Hitler’s reaction. The British decodes of
5 the SS signals, to which I introduced the Court, and the
6 subsequent events (the actual cessation for many months of
7 the liquidation of German Jews) in my submission speak
9 Your Lordship asked in your list of questions
10 for my comments on the reference in Hitler’s table talk of
11 October 25th 1941. Well, your Lordship is familiar with
12 the Defendants’ argument and with mine. My extract from
13 this document which I used was based originally on the
14 original Weidenfeld translation, in fact, I used the
15 original Weidenfeld translation into English, as is well
16 known, in disagreement with the Defendants’ experts I
17 still maintain and others have followed me in this
18 (notably Professor Phillippe Burrin, who translates
19 Schrecken as “the ominous reputation”) in that context,
20 that the appropriate translation here for the word
21 “schrecken” is indeed “rumour” and not “terror”, a word
22 which makes for a wooden and uncouth translation anyway.
23 Ladies and gentlemen, it will make no sense,
24 unfortunately, this passage, unless you see the document.
25 A relevant passage from the SS Event Report from
26 activities in the rear of the eastern front, dated
1 September 11, 1941 front (provided by the Defendants),
2 shows that this is precisely what was meant: “The rumour
3 that all Jews are being shot by the Germans had a salutary
4 effect”. The Jews were now fleeing before the Germans
5 arrived. The rumour! To accuse me of wilful
6 mistranslation and even worse distortion when (a) I used
7 the original (sic) Weidenfeld translation, not at that
8 time having received the original German from Switzerland,
9 and (b) the word “rumour” gives precisely the nuance, the
10 correct nuance that the surrounding history shows the word
11 was meant to have, this accusation seems to me an
12 excessively harsh judgment on my expertise.
13 The next in line is the Goebbels diary entry for
14 November 22nd, 194: Again, I just pick out what seems to
15 matter to me in that particular entry here, for the
16 purposes of today’s submissions.
17 This diary entry, my Lord, includes a fair
18 example of how dishonest the reporting by Goebbels was
19 when it comes to his meetings with Hitler. He records
20 “the exceptional praise” of Hitler for the weekly
21 newsreel produced by his ministry, the propaganda
22 ministry; in fact Hitler was forever criticising this very
23 product of the Goebbels ministry, as the diary of
24 Rosenberg shows. Goebbels then continues, here is the
25 quote: “With regard to the Jewish problem too the Fuhrer
26 completely agrees with my views. He wants an energetic
1 policy against the Jews, but one however that does not
2 cause us needless difficulties.” Goebbels diary entry
3 continues: “The evacuation of the Jews is to be done city
4 by city”. So it is still not fixed when Berlin’s turn
5 comes; but when it does, “the evacuation should be carried
6 out as fast as possible”. In other words, he had not got
7 his way. He had been agitating once again that the
8 evacuation should start but Hitler had not come into line.
9 “Still not fixed when Berlin’s time comes”. Hitler then
10 expressed the need for “a somewhat reserved approach” in
11 question of mixed marriages — that is marriages between
12 Jews and non-Jews. What do you do with them? Are you going
13 to keep them in Germany or deport them? Hitler’s view was
14 the marriages would die out anyway by and by, and they
15 should not go grey worrying about it.
16 Now I have suggested that on the balance of
17 probabilities Hitler was alluding to the public unrest
18 when he said he wanted a policy that does not cause us
19 needless difficulties. I have suggested on a balance of
20 probabilities Hitler was alluding to the public unrest
21 caused by the suicide a few days earlier of the popular
22 actor Joachim Gottschalk and his family. Apart from
23 “needless” becoming “endless”, in an irritating typo
24 which hardly amounts to manipulation, in other words, in
25 the original German, the original translation started off
26 as “causing us needless difficulties”, which is correct,
1 and somehow it became “endless difficulties” is an
2 irritating typo which hardly amounts to “manipulation”.
3 This passage bears out what I have always said of Hitler.
4 While Goebbels was the eternal agitator, as witness his
5 anti-Semitic leading article published in Das Reich only a
6 few days before, November 16th 1941, Hitler was (even by
7 Goebbels own account) for a reserved approach towards the
8 Jewish problems; and he was doing so, even as the
9 trainloads of Jews were heading eastwards from Bremen and
10 Berlin, for example to the conquered Russian territories
11 and the Baltic states. Your Lordship will not need
12 reminding of the curious British decodes, which revealed
13 the provisioning of the deportation trains with tonnes of
14 foods for the journey. These are messages which we
15 British decoded, which reveal the provisioning of the
16 deportation trainloads of Jews with tonnes of food for the
17 journey, stocks of many weeks food for after they arrived
18 and even deportees’ appliances, “Gerat”, appliances. So
19 the evacuation at this time evidently meant just that to
20 very many Reich officials, and no more.
21 My Lord —-
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Press on. Let us get as far as the
23 Schlegelberger document, shall we, on the next page.
24 MR IRVING: Jolly good, yes, good point.
25 Mr Rampton went to some effort and expense to
26 suggest that I suppressed vital information from the newly
1 discovered Goebbels diary, December 13th 1941. In this
2 day’s entry Goebbels reported on various things and he
3 reported on Hitler’s rhetoric to the Gauleiters, speaking
4 on December 12th 1941 in Berlin, the Nazi governors.
5 Anybody who is as familiar as I am with Hitler’s speeches,
6 and with Goebbels’ diary entries relating to be them will
7 effortlessly recognize this entire passage as being usual
8 the Hitler gramophone record about his famous 1939
9 “prophecy”. It was part of his stock repertoire when
10 speaking to the Party old guard — they had carried him
11 into power, the Party old guard had carried him into power
12 and they expected to hear from him that he had not
13 abandoned the hallowed Party programme. I can understand
14 the temptation for the younger generation of scholars,
15 unfamiliar with Hitler’s rhetoric, to fall greedily upon
16 such freshly discovered morsels as though they were the
17 answer to the great Holocaust mystery: None of the
18 witnesses to whom this item was put by myself, or by
19 counsel for the Defendants, was able to identify any part
20 of this passage which was out of the ordinary for Hitler.
21 Even if I had read that far on that day’s glass
22 plate in the Moscow archives, and even if I had seen those
23 lines of diary entries, some 20 pages after the page where
24 I in fact stopped reading for that that day — and I must
25 emphasise again that I did not read that far on that day
26 because that did not come within my remit, I doubt that
1 I would have attached any significance to them other than
2 adding this list to the occasions — adding this entry to
3 the list of occasions on which Hitler harked back, for
4 whatever reason, to his famous “prophecy” of 1939.
5 I have read again the printed version of the
6 meeting of the generalgouvernenent, the Polish
7 authorities, the German occupation authorities in Poland,
8 Hans Frank, on December 16th 1941. It is significant to
9 see the amount of space taken, even in this abridged
10 published version, by the typhus epidemic sweeping through
11 the region, the climax of which was expected to come in
12 April 1942. Hans Frank states that he has begun
13 negotiation with the purpose of deporting the Jews to the
14 East, and he mentions the big Heydrich conference which is
15 set down for January 1942 on this topic in Berlin. Then
16 comes the sentence which pulls the rug out from beneath
17 the Defendant’s feet, in my submission: Hans Frank
18 says: “For us the Jews are exceptionally damaging mouths
19 to feed. We’ve got an estimated 2.5 million here in the
20 Generalgouvernement, perhaps 3.5 million Jews now, what
21 with all their kinfolk and hangers-on. We cannot shoot
22 these 3.5 million Jews, we cannot poison them, but we will
23 be able to do something with them which somehow or other
24 will have the result of destroying them, in fact, in
25 conjunction with the grander measures still to be
26 discussed at Reich level”. I think that is a fair
1 translation of that passage.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is not complete, but it is fair.
3 MR IRVING: Ah, your Lordship says it is not complete. This is
4 an extract taken from a seven or eight page printed
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, it is what Frank says he was told in
7 Berlin that I think perhaps is not there, but, anyway,
8 press on.
9 MR IRVING: I would — well, I will press on. The December
10 18th 1941 diary entry by Himmler reads, this is the diary
11 entry made by Himmler, it is an agenda for his meeting
12 with Hitler on December 18th 1941, Himmler jotted down the
13 words “Judenfrage”, Jewish question, and next to that in
14 German the words “als partisanen auszurotten”, Himmler
15 had, as I pointed out to the Court, repeatedly referred in
16 earlier documents to the phrase “Juden als Partisanen”.
17 This was nothing new or sensational therefore, and the
18 words he was recording were, in my submission, not
19 necessarily Hitler’s but more probably his own stereotype
20 phrase. The correct pedantic translation, is in any
21 case “Jewish problem, to be wiped out as being
22 partisans”. Not “like partisans”, which would have been
23 “wie partisanen”. There can be no equivocating about
24 this translation of “als”. Wie is a comparison, als is an
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think that probably is a convenient
1 moment. 2 o’clock.
2 (Luncheon adjournment)
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Schlegelberger, Mr Irving.
4 MR IRVING: Before Schlegelberger, my Lord, on December 16th
5 1941, there was a meeting in Poland which Hans Frank
6 referred to discussions he had in Berlin, in the course of
7 which he said in Berlin the people asked us —-
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Liquidate them yourselves, something like
9 that, was it not?
10 MR IRVING: He said to the people in Berlin: “Imagine that we
11 are housing these people in nice little housing estates
12 here in the Baltic, in the Eastern territories. We tell
13 them we cannot handle it here, liquidate them yourselves.
14 My submission on that is that this is a reference to the
15 Gauleiters from the Ostland whom he had met in Berlin, on
16 whom the Jews being deported were going to be dumped, and
17 they had made that remark to him, it is remiss of me not
18 to have put that in this closing submission. I looked at
19 that text again actually three or four days ago and my
20 attention was drawn to the sentence before the remark
21 about “liquidate them yourselves”, in which it becomes
22 quite plain he is referring to the Gauleiters of the
23 Eastern territories by inference on whom these people are
24 going to be dumped.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, thank you very much.
26 MR IRVING: I now come to the Schlegelberger document, which is
1 another most difficult piece of historical paper for my
2 opponents. It is a document — I would explain for the
3 benefit of those who do not know it — which comes in a
4 file of the German Ministry of Justice.
5 In late March or early April 1942, after seeing
6 Germany’s top civil servant who reported only to Hitler,
7 Franz Schlegelberger, who was acting as Minister of
8 Justice, dictated this famous memorandum, the
9 Schlegelberger Document as we call it here in this
10 courtroom, upon which all Holocaust historians, and the
11 Defendants’ experts witnesses in this case have hitherto
12 turned enough blind eyes to have won several battles of
13 Trafalgar. For many years after the war it vanished, this
14 document, but that is another story. Asked about this
15 specific document after a lecture in the German Institute,
16 here in London in November 1998, Dr Longerich, who is now
17 the Defendants’ expert witness, who had the function of
18 chairman, rose to inform the audience at that meeting that
19 the speaker was not prepared to answer questions from
20 David Irving. It is a genuine document, the one I was
21 going to ask him about, the Schlegelberger Document, and
22 he refers in one breath both to Hitler and the Solution of
23 Jewish Problem. Confronted with it in the witness box,
24 he, Longerich, and his fellow experts have argued either
25 that it was totally unimportant, notwithstanding its
26 content, or that it concerned only the Mischlinge, the
1 mixed race Jews, and not the Final Solution in any broader
2 sense. Ingeniously in fact, Dr Longerich even tried to
3 suggest it may have originated in 1940 or 1941 and not in
4 1942 at all. The document has them, in other words, in a
5 breathless panic.
6 The document’s own contents, and this is the
7 wording of the actual document, it is only very short, the
8 document’s own contents destroys their latter argument.
9 In the first sentence, it says: “Mr Reich Minister
10 Lammers informed me that the Fuhrer had repeatedly
11 declared to him that he wants to hear that the Solution of
12 the Jewish Problem has been adjourned (or postponed) until
13 after the war”. That that is the broader Final Solution
14 is plain from the second sentence which follows. It
15 shows, namely the Mischling question, the mixed race
16 question, was something totally different: “Accordingly”,
17 the memorandum continues, “the current deliberations have
18 in the opinion of Mr Lammers purely theoretical value”.
19 Those deliberations were, as my opponents themselves have
20 argued, solely concerned with what to do with the
21 Mischlinge and the like. The document is quite plain. It
22 was dictated by a lawyer, so presumably he knew what he
23 was writing. There is no room for argument. My opponents
24 have pretended for years that the document effectively
25 does not exist. So much for the Schlegelberger Document.
26 I have dealt at length in my statements in the
1 witness box, my Lord, again, and while cross-examining the
2 witnesses with the other contentious items or issues,
3 namely the Goebbels Diary entries for March 27th and May
4 30th 1942, the Himmler minute of September 22, 1942 and
5 this note, Himmler’s note, for this meeting with Hitler on
6 December 10th 1942.
7 My Lord, I have nothing to add to what I said in
8 the witness box under cross-examination on that matter,
9 and your Lordship may find it unsatisfactory that I do not
10 specifically summarize it in a neat and handy index for
11 your Lordship in my closing speech, and once again may I
12 mea culpa . Also the meetings with Antonescu and with
13 Horthy in April 1943, the deportation and murder of the
14 Jews in Rome in October 1943, Himmler’s speeches on
15 October 4th and 6th, 1943, and May 15th and 24th, 1944,
16 Hitler’s speech on May 26th, 1944 and Ribbentrop’s
17 testimony and evidence from his cell in Nuremberg.
18 I contend, in each case, that my use of these items is
19 quite proper.
20 The only mistake which I do admit is that in the
21 conference between Hitler and Horthy in April 1943,
22 I transposed two dates from April 16th to April 17th,
23 1943. I do not agree that the Defendants are entitled to
24 make the kind of capital out of that error which they have
25 sought to do.
26 I must mention one document and that is the
1 report, or Meldung, No. 51, which Mr Rampton has referred
2 also to this morning, submitted by Himmler to Hitler
3 through their respective adjutants, and dated December
4 29th, 1942. The Defendants, quite properly, have made
5 great play with this document, claiming that it is clear
6 proof that Hitler was apprised by Himmler, by virtue of
7 this document, of the murder of over 300,000 Jews on a
8 transparent pretext in Russia in the previous three
9 months. The document was submitted to Hitler according to
10 the notation on it. Your Lordship will remember that
11 I established from the same files — that is why the
12 context of the document is so important to know what else
13 is in the same files — that Hitler’s was apprised by,
14 I am sorry, your Lordship will remember that I established
15 that on the same day, December 1942, which was at the
16 height of the Battle of Stalingrad, and in exactly the
17 same manner as this document, a document of precisely the
18 same general character, namely Meldung No. 49, had to be
19 vorgelegt or submitted to Hitler not once but twice. In
20 other words, there were two such notations on it, which is
21 a clear indication he was not reading them on the first
22 occasion, on that occasion at least, if at all. If I may
23 draw an analogy, which I used before with which the Court
24 may well be familiar, sometimes if a series of briefs put
25 to a fashionable and expensive Counsel he is obliged to
26 read them fully and properly, normally, and he draws a
1 hefty fee for doing so; but in fact he does not read
3 MR RAMPTON: I never heard that.
4 MR IRVING: In fact, in law, as in history, the fact that a
5 document — I am not referring, of course, to Mr Rampton,
6 it is to somebody else — in law, as in history, the fact
7 that a document has been “put to” somebody does not mean
8 that somebody has read it, unless there is a collateral
9 evidence of feedback, and in this case there was no such
11 Another issue of interest to your Lordship is my
12 references to Marie Valliant-Couturier. My references to
13 her seem to have been quite justified — I know that is
14 not of issue — from what we know of her and her full
15 testimony in the Nuremberg tribunal in 1946. She had
16 married the editor of l’Humanite, she and her father were
17 bosom friends of Willi Munzenberg, author of the
18 propaganda about the Reichstag Fire — a founder member
19 and of one the most accomplished progagandists of the
20 Comintern. It is evident from the way, and this is what is
21 relevant, it is evident from the way that the hard-pressed
22 defence counsel Marx conducted this cross-examination of
23 her at Nuremberg that he was implying to the tribunal that
24 she had never even been at Auschwitz. Your Lordship will
25 remember that she described to the tribunal a
26 beating-machine used by the SS to administer corporal
1 punishment. Her testimony is riddled with such
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can you just help me about this? You say
4 that hard-pressed defence counsel conducted his
5 cross-examination on her, implying she had not even been
6 in Auschwitz. I have no recollection of seeing anything
7 about that at all. Is that my memory playing me false?
8 MR IRVING: Under cross-examination, I put this to a witness,
9 well one of the witnesses, my Lord, I put this to the
10 witness that Marx had asked her about her literary career,
11 that she had been a journalist in a previous existence.
12 He asked the questions in a certain way, that counsel do
13 ask if they are asking, trying to elicit from her the fact
14 that it was purely fantasy in that she had never been
15 there, and this is in the transcripts, my Lord.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Perhaps we could just dig out the reference,
17 not you whilst you are on your feet; Miss Rogers may be
18 willing to. Thank you very much.
19 MR IRVING: Your Lordship will remember that she described to
20 the IMT, to the tribunal, a beating-machine. I am sure
21 you Lordship remembers that.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I do remember that.
23 MR IRVING: All of us who have been to public schools have fond
24 recollections of beating-machines and beatings — used by
25 the SS to administer corporal punishment. Her testimony
26 is riddled with such absurdities, and when the experienced
1 American Judge Biddle jotted down his sceptical comment on
2 this witness in his notes, which I used, even as she was
3 still speaking, he meant it — and I certainly took it
4 that way — to be a reference to all that he had heard
5 (and largely disbelieved) up to that point. That is the
6 way I took it.
7 Kurt Aumeier dossier: Kurt Aumeier was like
8 Rudolf Hoess, a very high-ranking official at Auschwitz
9 concentration camp. I found the Kurt Aumeier dossier by
10 conducting a systematic, “shirtsleeve” examination of the
11 Public Records office files in 1992. Any one of the
12 scholars introduced by the Defendants as witnesses could
13 have found it equally readily. At first I intended to
14 transcribe and publish the document myself, as a bit of a
15 scoop, properly annotated, like the 1938 Goebbels
16 Diaries. Instead I drew the attention of several scholars
17 to it, including, to the best my recollection, both Sir
18 Martin Gilbert and Dr Gerald Fleming. I had often sent
19 them both documents which I had found which I knew would
20 interest them, documents relating to the Holocaust. When
21 I abandoned the publication idea, I drew the attention of
22 other scholars to it, including Professor Robert Van Pelt,
23 the expert witness in this case, in a very lengthy letter
24 written to him in May 1997. In his letter I identified to
25 him numerous archival references of interest to his
26 special subject, including the Aumeier dossier. Not
1 receiving from Van Pelt a reply, I published that letter
2 in full in a 1997 newsletter, and I posted it on my
3 website. Numerous correspondents utilized an e-mail link
4 to Professor Van Pelt on that page, and the Defendants’
5 solicitors eventually asked me to “deactivate” the link.
6 My long letter to him in May 1997 had been mailed to
7 Professor Van Pelt from Chicago with proper postage,
8 addressed to his correct postal address at the university,
9 and it was never returned to me. Professor Van Pelt
10 claimed here not to have received it, and he suggested in
11 his report that I told people about it only when the
12 Defendants’ legal team of researchers found the file in
13 the PRO quite recently. This is absurd. They found the
14 Aumeier file not least because it was included in my
15 Discovery (both in the general Judenfrage archive box, and
16 as item No. 2066). I did not know until two years later
17 that he was to be a witness in this case.
18 As for the Aumeier dossier’s content, his
19 manuscripts suggest, or confirm, the extent, or the
20 existence rather, of limited-scale gassings at Auschwitz.
21 The figures are unreliable, and many of the other details
22 conflict with those provided by the equally flawed
23 writings of the Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Heoss. This
24 is, in my submission, the most likely reason why the
25 Defendants have not relied heavily on either the source
26 nature of the defence, because I would have cross-examined
1 them on the flaws, my Lord, nor, for that matter, have
2 they made any use of the loudly trumpeted Eichmann memoirs
3 prised out of the Israeli Government archives. I submit
4 that the reason that they have not made any use of it is
5 because in the entire document, which of course only
6 recently came into our hands, although this former
7 SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer is writing with brutal frankness,
8 he describes the most appalling spectacles that he has
9 seen, including one instance where a child’s brains that
10 have been blown out by a bullet are splattered on his
11 coat, he does not refer even once to being shown a gas
12 chamber during the official guided tours as
13 executioner-in-chief, so to speak, of the Auschwitz and
14 Birkenau camps. So the Eichmann’s memoirs are interesting
15 not so much for what they do say as to what is not in
17 I heard what Professor Evans and learned counsel
18 had to state about General Kurt Daluege, the chief of
19 police in Germany, as a source for the criminal statistics
20 of 1932. The Defendants have been unable to locate the
21 figures that I quoted in the Daluege lecture which I used
22 as one source. Nor did they appear to notice that it was
23 in fact a lecture to the recently formed Interpol.
24 Professor Evans not to have looked in the other three
25 sources listed for that one sentence in my book, which
26 included two reputable works of history, and so his
1 strictures are really quite meaningless. For reasons
2 known to the court, since 1993 I have no longer had access
3 to the German Institute from which those sources are
4 housed. I do not invent statistics, and it is clear by
5 inference at least that the data which I gave came from
6 one of the other three sources and not from the lecture.
7 That is the best that I can say on that matter.
Section 108.8 to 209.6
8 I now come to the thorny matter of Hitler’s
9 knowledge of the Final Solution. This became the most
10 controversial issue, both in this courtroom and stretching
11 far back into my writing career, and I wish, just because
12 of this, that I picked upon a different biographical
13 subject. It certainly was not of my choice that this
14 controversy arose. Your Lordship will remember that, when
15 I wrote my first book, the Air Ministry advised me in
16 future to write about the Zulu wars, because of the
17 controversies that would arise.
18 Because of the inescapable conclusion that
19 Hitler had probably not ordered, or been aware of until
20 relatively late, of the ultimate fate of the European
21 Jews, the ones who had been deported, I forfeited, as my
22 US agent predicted, in that book Hitler’s War, perhaps
23 half a million dollars, or more, of lucrative sublicencing
24 deals with major corporations, the Reader’s Digest,
25 paperback houses, reprints, the Sunday Times in this
26 country and so on.
1 After I completed — and this is important —
2 a first draft of that book in about 1969 or 1970,
3 I realized that there was this totally inexplicable and
4 unexpected gap in the archives, namely no evidence showing
5 Hitler’s personal involvement. I hired a trusted friend,
6 a historian, well known to this court, Dr Elke Frohlich of
7 the Institute of History in Munich, to go through all the
8 then available German archives again, with the specific
9 task of looking for documents linking Hitler with the
10 Final Solution. She did a conscientious and excellent
11 job, working for me in the files of the Nuremberg State
12 Archives, the Institut fur Zeitgeschichte, the Berlin
13 Document Centre, the Bundesarchives and the military
14 archives in Freiburg – in this connection I should have
15 added, of course. Her resulting research materials, my
16 correspondence with her, the index cards and photocopies,
17 form a part of my Discovery in this action. It was she,
18 for example, who produced for me the then unpublished
19 diary entry of the Governor-General Hans Frank, the one
20 that I just dealt with, it was actually a meeting
21 transcript of December 13th, 1941. It was currently being
22 edited by her colleagues at the Institute and she provided
23 me with a privileged copy of that.
24 I would incidentally, my Lord, rely on this
25 episode, namely hiring a historian to prove that I had got
26 it wrong at my own expense as one further instance of my
1 integrity as an independent historian. Inherently
2 dissatisfied with the results of my own research, I hired
3 and paid out of my own pocket for this second opinion,
4 acting as an avocatus diaboli, to trawl once more, and
5 with a net of finer mesh, across the same fishing grounds
6 for documents that might in fact destroy me, destroy my
7 then still tentative hypothesis. In a similar step, which
8 I think I took to appease the now worried American
9 publishers, I wrote in December 1975 to four or five of
10 the major international Jewish historical research
11 institutions — I remember writing to the Institute in
12 New York, and to the Wiener library in this country and to
13 the equivalent bodies — appealing for “evidence proving
14 Hitler’s guilt in the extermination of Jews”. That is
15 from the actual letter I sent. All of these enquiries by
16 me drew a blank, except for one. As I summarised in a
17 letter to the Sunday Telegraph on June 19th 1977, “all
18 offered their apologies except Professor Raul Hilberg, who
19 is the author of the standard history on the subject, who
20 honourably conceded that he too has come to the view that
21 Hitler may not have known”. This actual letter is my
22 discovery and was available to the Defendants. This
23 letter to me was December 12th, 1975.
24 The other institutions stated that that too had
25 no such evidence, or that did not reply.
26 So I did what I could to establish the truth of
1 that particular allegation.
2 My Lord, I now come to what I call the
3 international endeavour to destroy my legitimacy as an
4 historian, and the participation, in my submission, of the
5 Defendants in that particular endeavour. I have
6 abbreviated it and much of what I have put in the pages
7 which I supplied to your Lordship I shall not read out.
8 I shall say when I am not going to read out what follows,
9 not because it is not true but because your Lordship has
10 probably quite rightly questioned the strict relevance of
11 it to the matter before the court.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I think that is sensible, if I may say
14 MR IRVING: If it does not appear to be immediately relevant,
15 then it is because I shall rely on it in the other matters
16 that I put, namely the aggravated damages aspect and the
17 fact that, if I am accused of certain postures or uttering
18 certain tasteless remarks, these momentary lapses are not
19 justified, but explicable on the basis of what I had been
20 through, if I can put it like that.
21 Before I proceed to the problems with the
22 accepted version of the history of Auschwitz, I turn first
23 to the submission that your Lordship will allow me to make
24 on the 30 year international endeavour by a group of
25 organizations to destroy my legitimacy as an historian.
26 I use that phrase for a reason. I submit that I am
1 entitled to draw these documents to your Lordship’s
2 attention, because these bodies, acting with that secret
3 and common purpose, compiled dossiers and reports on me
4 with the intention of destroying me. That did so,
5 exercising no proper care for accuracy, and, as is evident
6 from the second Defendant’s, discovery, Professor
7 Lipstadt’s discovery, and from the introduction to her
8 book, in which she explicitly acknowledges the assistance
9 provided by many of these bodies, she drew upon these
10 tainted well springs as the source for much of the poison
11 that she wrote about me. We shall hear that, buried in
12 the files of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Toronto, is a
13 document now also in Mrs Lipstadt’s files — that sent it
14 to her — which forms something of a blueprint for the
15 attempt to destroy my name. A researcher for the Centre,
16 an anonymous researcher for the Centre, commissioned to
17 investigate — why was a person in Toronto commissioned to
18 investigate my life? I do not know — to investigate my
19 life in detail, recommended in that compilation after
20 referring to my thorough archival research and general
21 historical insight as follows:
22 “Given this accurate version of reality, it is
23 all the more clear why this activities must be curtailed,
24 and why this alleged legitimacy must be eradicated”.
25 This document is from Professor Lipstadt’s own
1 I have been subjected, since at least 1973 and
2 probably before then, to what would be called in warfare a
3 campaign of interdiction. I know of no other historian or
4 writer who has been subjected to a campaign of
5 vilification even 1/10th as intense. The book “Denying the
6 Holocaust” was the climax of this campaign. There exist,
7 as I have said in my opening speech, various bodies in
8 this country, and around the world, who have at heart the
9 interests of special groups. I make no protest about that
10 but many other Englishmen have noticed, or found out,
11 usually by chance, that these bodies keep files on us,
12 which that use to our disadvantage if that believe we are
13 a danger to their interests. To give one particularly
14 gross example, under the cover provided by the United
15 States First Amendment, the Jewish Telegraph Agency
16 accused me in 1995 of having supplied the trigger
17 mechanism for the Oklahoma City bomb. That item was
18 picked up by the American press and then faintly echoed by
19 the British press. It was only months later that I found
20 out who started that particular lie.
21 But regrettably this has become a campaign to
22 defame people whom they regard as a danger. A number of
23 special bodies exist solely for this purpose. Professor
24 Kevin MacDonald, of the University of California at Long
25 Beach, a sociologist who is the world’s leading expert on
26 these things, expressed forceful opinions to this court in
1 this expert report, on which he offered himself for
2 cross-examination, it has to be said, and I urge your
3 Lordship not to disregard the substance of what he had to
5 These bodies will not endear themselves, if
6 found out, to the victims of their campaigns.
7 Mr Rampton made much of Mr Ernest Zundel’s gross
8 and ill considered reference to the Judenpack, as
9 anti-Semitic a word as one might wish to hear. Mr Rampton
10 labels this man as an extremist, and anti-Semitic in
11 consequence. This court, of course, has been told nothing
12 by Mr Rampton of what, if any, remarks or incidents
13 preceded the outburst by Mr Zundel that was very briefly
14 quoted. We do know, and I can so inform this court, that
15 his home has been torched and burnt to the ground. Such
16 violent incidents certainly cannot excuse the violent
17 remarks but that can explain them — a difference.
18 Because that do not like what he writes or publishes,
19 these bodies have attempted to destroy this life with
20 criminal prosecution in an attempt to have him deported or
22 Going on down the page, my own experience at the
23 hands of these self-appointed censors has not been so very
24 different. It began in 1963 when agents of Searchlight
25 raided my home and were caught red handed in this criminal
26 attempt. Ever since then that publication has tweaked my
1 tail with a stream of defamatory articles, a 37 year
2 onslaught to which, as a good Christian, I turned the
3 other cheek. In fact, the man who runs that magazine
4 turns out to have been one of the producers of the film
5 which has been put to the court, one of the editors.
6 It might be said, and I have turned the page
7 now, my Lord, that the real Defendants in this case are
8 not represented in this court but their presence has been
9 with us throughout like Banquo’s ghost. These are the
10 people who commissioned the work complained of and
11 provided much of the materials used in it. I understand
12 that provided considerable funds for the defence.
13 I know very little about these bodies, but I am
14 aware that the anti-defamation league of the B’nai Brith,
15 which is an American body, has a 50 million dollar annual
16 budget, substantially greater than an author commands
17 whose livelihood has been destroyed by their activities.
18 When your Lordship comes to consider such things as costs
19 and damages, I would respectfully submit that you bear
20 these things in mind.
21 We have them to thank for the spectacle that has
22 been presented in this court room since January. Without
23 their financial assistance, it is unlikely that Mr Rampton
24 and this defence team and his instructing solicitors could
25 have mounted this colossal onslaught on my name.
26 Further down, for over three years this
1 well-funded team sitting opposite me, next to me, has
2 drilled down deep into my private papers, burrowed on a
3 broad front into the archives of the world and a
4 multi-pronged attack trying to establish that what I have
5 written over the last 35 or more years is distorted or
6 mistranslated in pursuance of an agenda, namely the
7 exoneration of Adolf Hitler, trying to dig up every little
8 morsel of dirt on me that that can.
9 My book Hitler’s War was published by the Viking
10 Press in New York and by Hodder and Stoughton in this
11 country in 1977. That is when what can be seen as the
12 coordinated attack on the book began. The Viking Press
13 was and is one of that nation’s most reputable publishers
14 and in fact I believe they are owner of the first
15 Defendant company in this case.
16 Turning the page now, the Anti-defamation League
17 issued a report with more fervour than accuracy, saying:
18 “David Irving is the nom de plume of John Cawdell” —
19 this not true, I hasten to say, do not get it wrong, it is
20 totally untrue — “a revisionist historiographer of Adolf
21 Hitler, particularly regarding Hitler’s role in and
22 knowledge of the mass extermination of European Jewry.
23 His major premise”, says the Anti-defamation League, “is
24 that Hitler was largely oblivious to the large scale
25 killings of Jews in the death camps”.
26 I carry on: The agent’s report — this is a
1 report put out in 1977.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I wonder, Mr Irving, really whether one might
3 just go to the middle of page 35 without doing any
4 injustice to your case.
5 MR IRVING: Yes. When I then began my lecturing activities
6 around the United States in the early 1980s, speaking at
7 private functions, schools and universities, the
8 headquarters of the ADL sent out a secret circular, a
9 “Backgrounder”, in 1983, to all their local agents. The
10 backgrounder, dated July 6th 1983, began with the words,
11 “British author David Irving has been of concern to ADL,
12 as well as to the Jewish community generally, since the
13 1977 publication of his book Hitler’s War”, and it
14 indicated that it was the controversy over Hitler and the
15 Jews that was the reason. We have heard of similar such
16 circulars being generated by them on other famous names.
17 In my case the ADL instructed its”regional offices”:
18 “Should he surface in your region, please
19 notify the Fact Finding Department and your Civil Rights
21 It is quite plain that the ADL were not
22 concerned with promoting civil rights. I am mentioning
23 them because of course that collaborated very closely with
24 the Second Defendant in the preparation of the book that
25 is the subject of this trial.
26 It is quite plain that the Anti-defamation
1 League were not concerned with promoting civil rights, but
2 in abrogating one of the most basic rights of all, the
3 right to freedom of speech.
4 Further down, correspondence with my literary
5 agent showed by 1984 that already the international smear
6 campaign was inflicting substantial financial damage on
7 me. It was at precisely this time, 1984 — I will not
8 comment on the year — that the Second Defendant, then
9 teaching in the Near Eastern Languages Centre of the
10 University of California at Los Angeles, Professor
11 Lipstadt, offered her services to Yehuda Bauer in
12 Jerusalem, a very well known Israeli Professor. She
13 attached “A proposal for research: The Historical and
14 Historiographic Methodology of the Holocaust
15 revisionists”. This was the genesis of the book that we
16 are complaining about. I ask your Lordship to note that
17 on page 38 of the synopsis prepared by the Second
18 Defendant, which is in my bundle E at page 38, The Second
19 Defendant, Professor Lipstadt, mentioned my name in the
20 following words: “They [the deniers] also find it
21 expedient to associate themselves with those such as David
22 Irving who do not deny that the Holocaust took place but
23 seek to shift the blame to others.”
24 To conclude this, on the matter of her
25 employment: on May 31, 1988 Professor Lipstadt was
26 awarded and additional agreement for research on this
1 topic by the Vidal Sassoon Centre for the study of
2 Anti-Semitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. So
3 at all material times, the book was being commissioned by
4 that University in Jerusalem. This research, it should be
5 added, was what finally bore fruit as the book complained
6 of, “Denying the Holocaust”. The publisher at that time
7 was to be Mr Robert Maxwell, who was liaising with
8 Professor Yehuda Bauer.
9 Briefly summarizing the next page: During this
10 period the international campaign against me achieved some
11 ugly successes. I was illegally deported from Austria.
12 The Austrian government had to pay me compensation when it
13 was overturned.
14 The Second Defendant’s discovery — lower down
15 that page — which included such correspondence with, and
16 items from, the Anti-Defamation League as she has seen fit
17 to provide, throws some interesting lights on the ADL.
18 When a local newspaper, The Daily Pilot, published in
19 Orange County, south of Los Angeles, a report on a
20 function of the Institute of Historical Review, about
21 which we have heard much from the Defence in the last few
22 weeks. The anti-Defamation League was horrified as the
23 regional office reported, to find that the reporter in the
24 newspaper, and I quote “seems to find an air of legitimacy
25 surrounding the group”. That word “legitimacy” again;
26 remember they were going to destroy my legitimacy? The
1 reporter, Mr Bob Van Eyken, who had evidently not got the
2 message, even described the IHR members as “neatly dressed
3 … evoking a sense of reasoned dignity”. This clearly
4 clashed with the skinheaded, jackbooted extremist
5 stereotype that the ADL, like the expert witnesses in this
6 case, wished to promote for the IHR and other “right-wing”
7 groups. This material, though clearly discoverable in
8 this action, was withheld from discovery by the Second
9 Defendant until a summons was issued to produce all her
10 correspondence with the ADL.
11 We know that the Second Defendant has had
12 extensive dealings with the Anti-Defamation League, the
13 ADL, this American body. Even from her own limited
14 discovery, about the deficiencies in which I still have
15 more to say, we know that Professor Lipstadt was provided
16 with smear dossiers by them. She thanks them in her
17 Introduction. She made not attempt to verify the contents
18 of this material with me as the victim (or, so far as this
19 court knows, with any others), but she recklessly
20 published it raw and unchecked. A 25-cent phone call to
21 me would have saved her endless trouble. Instead she
22 preferred to rely on these sheets like the “confidential”
23 and defamatory four-page item dated October 23rd 1986,
24 headed: “Profile on Dave Irving”, evidently coming from
25 another Canadian body. Characteristically, the “profile”
26 was disclosed to me by her solicitors without any covering
1 letter from its author or custodian and shorn of any
2 identifying material; I wrote more than once in vain
3 asking for the missing pages to be provided.
4 It is quite evident that the Anti-Defamation
5 League, who were in cahoots with the Second Defendant, set
6 itself the task of destroying my career, in consort with
7 other similar organisations around the world, many of
8 whom, if not all, collaborated with the Second Defendant
9 in writing her book. The pinnacle of their achievement
10 came in 1996, when the Second Defendant, as she herself
11 boasted to The Washington Post, was among those who put
12 pressure on St Martin’s Press Incorporated, who had been
13 one of my United States publishers for some 15 years, to
14 violate their publishing agreement with me and abandon
15 publication of Goebbels, my Goebbels biography, “Goebbels,
16 Mastermind of the Third Reich”.
17 For a few days, these enemies of free speech
18 stepped up the pressure. They publicised the private home
19 addresses of St Martin’s Press executives on the
20 Internet. They staged street addresses in Manhattan.
21 They organised a walkout by the publisher’s staff. When
22 SMP refused to be intimidated, Professor Lipstadt wheeled
23 out the rhetoric: to Frank Rich, a syndicated columnist
24 of The New York Times, she accused me of being a repeat
25 killer, if I can put it like that: “What David Irving is
26 doing … is not the destruction of live people, but the
1 destruction of people who already died. It’s killing them
2 a second time. It’s killing history”. This was not far
3 distance from the outrageous claim on page 213 of her
4 book, to which no justification has been pleaded to my
5 knowledge, that I justified the incarceration of Jews in
6 Nazi concentration camps. Quoted by The Washington Post
7 on April 3rd 1996, Professor Lipstadt stated:
8 “They … don’t publish reputations, they
9 publish books”, referring to St Martin’s Press. “But
10 would they publish a book by Jeffrey Dahmer on man-boy
11 relations? Of course the reputation of the author
12 counts. And no legitimate historian takes David Irving’s
13 work seriously.”
14 We have heard quoted in this Court two tasteless
15 remarks I am recorded as having made, about Chappaquiddick
16 and about the Association of Spurious Survivors, and I do
17 not deny that those words were tasteless. But bad taste
18 is not what is in the pleadings, while express malice is:
19 and the odiousness of Professor Lipstadt’s comparison, in
20 a mass circulation newspaper of record, of a British
21 author with Jeffrey Dahmer, a madman who had recently
22 murdered and cannibalised a dozen homosexuals in the
23 mid-West of the USA, in surely compounded by the fact that
24 Lipstadt had at that time not read a single book that
25 I had written, let alone the manuscript of Dr Goebbels
26 that she had joined in trying to suppress. It is clear
1 that neither she nor the ADL was concerned with the
2 merits, or otherwise, of the Goebbels biography. They
3 wanted it put down, suppressed, ausgerottet: and me with
5 Having, like St Martin’s Press, thoroughly read
6 it, the major US publisher Doubleday Inc. had selected
7 this book as their May 1996 choice for History Book of the
8 Month. But that deal depended on the SMP contract, and
9 thus it too collapsed. The financial losses inflicted on
10 me by this one episode in April 1996 were of the order of
11 half a million dollars, which might seen proper reward for
12 the eight years’ hard work that I had invested in writing
13 this box, and hauling it through its five draft versions.
14 The book never appeared in the United States.
15 From the publication of Hitler’s War onwards,
16 the attitude of the print media to me changed. A
17 strategically placed review written in one afternoon, by
18 one man furnished with the appropriate dossier on me,
19 could go a long way to destroy the product of six or eight
20 years’ research, as we have just seen. That was why these
21 dossiers had been created.
22 To the right journalists or writers, such as the
23 Second Defendant, these dossiers were on tap. A fax from
24 Professor Lipstadt to the Institute of Jewish Affairs in
25 London, or to the ADL in New York, or to the Simon
26 Wiesenthal Centre in Toronto, and we have got these faxes
1 from her discovery, released to her a cornucopia of filth,
2 which she had no need to check or verify, because in the
3 United States such writings are protected by the authority
4 of the First Amendment to the US Constitution, the
5 laudable name of the freedom of speech, or by the
6 authority of New York Times v. Sullivan, which
7 effectively declares to libellers that it is open season
8 on any public figure.
9 I turn the page, my Lord.
10 This Court will surely not take amiss of me that
11 I refused to be intimidated by these truly “Nazi” methods,
12 and that I have on a few occasions used perhaps tasteless
13 language around the world about perpetrators. The
14 violence against me spread around the world, and always it
15 was orchestrated by the same organizations.
16 Turn the page.
17 In England, a parallel campaign was launched by
18 the Board of Deputies, and by other organizations which we
19 know to have collaborated with the Defendants in producing
20 this libellous book. This kicked into high gear after my
21 own imprint published an abridged edition of the Leuchter
22 report in 1989. Pressure was put on the World Trade
23 Centre in the City of London to repudiate our contract for
24 the press conference. A picket, a muscle man picket, was
25 staged outside our own front door to prevent journalists
26 from attending when the conference was switched to my own
1 harm. The Board arranged an early day motion in the House
2 of Commons, as a privileged way of smearing my name —
3 publishing a smear on my name. On June 30th of that year
4 the Jewish Chronicle, which is one of the newspapers that
5 has reported this entire proceedings most fairly, in my
6 view (and I wish to put that on record) revealed that
7 representations had been made to my principal British and
8 Commonwealth publisher, Macmillan Limited, to drop me as
9 an author.
10 Macmillan had already published several of my
11 books and they were under contract to publish several
12 more. I had no fears that they would succumb to this
13 intimidation. They had informed me that Hitler’s War was
14 running so successfully that they intended to keep it
15 permanently in print. I am entitled to mention this
16 background, as I have mentioned the Board’s other
17 clandestine activities against me, because it was said by
18 Mr Rampton that I later made one tasteless remark in
19 public about the Board of Deputies. If somebody attacks,
20 using secret and furtive means, the very basis of the
21 existence of my family then it may be at least
22 understandable that I speak ill of them.
23 Lower down the next paragraph: Secretly, on
24 July 17th 1991, the Board of Deputies wrote to the
25 President of the German Office for the Protection of the
26 Constitution (which is their MI5), a body of which we
1 heard greatly admiring words from Professor Funke in the
2 witness box; this English board urged that they take steps
3 to stop me, a British citizen like no doubt the members of
4 the Board, from entering Germany.
5 Germany is a country on whose publishers and
6 archives I have been heavily dependent, as this Court is
7 aware. We have only the BfV’s reply, dated August 9th
8 1991, to the Board of deputies. I retrieved a copy of
9 this letter. If your Lordship is wondering how I come
10 into possession of documents like that, I retrieved a copy
11 of this letter from the files of the Prime Minister of
12 Australia; so the same Board in London had evidently also
13 sent its dossiers to its collaborators in Canberra and, no
14 doubt, other countries, in its efforts to gag me
15 worldwide. That is an indication of the worldwide
16 networking that went on, this secret common enterprise, of
17 which the Second Defendant is a party, to destroy my
18 legitimacy as an historian and to deprive me of free
19 speech, of which the Defendants have made themselves the
20 willing executioners.
21 As is evident from a letter from the Austrian
22 Ambassador dated June 22nd 1992, the Board also applied
23 pressure on that country to ensure that I did not enter,
24 or that if I did I would be arrested. The same kind of
25 thing happened in Argentina.
26 Lower down the page towards the end: On
1 December 6th 1991, an Internal Office Memo from
2 Macmillan’s files — my own publisher in London — records
3 that “quite a number of people” had commented unfavourably
4 to Macmillan’s about them publishing my books, and one
5 person, who was an unnamed Professor of Politics at
6 Oxford, who had evidently learned nothing from the book
7 burning episodes of Nazi Germany, stated “that they would
8 be more inclined to publish with us [Macmillan] if we were
9 not publishing Irving”. (The Oxford professor of politics
10 was probably, in my view, Professor Peter Pulzer,
11 identified by Professor Lipstadt in her books as such and
12 quoted by The Independent at the time).
13 This campaign had been coordinated. In some of
14 its members, it seems that the illiberal spirit of
15 Dr Goebbels lived on behind the Board of Deputies’
16 facade. Meeting behind locked doors at their headquarters
17 in December 1991, December 12, a body identified as the
18 “Education and Academic Committee of the Holocaust
19 Educational Trust, registered as a charitable body, held a
20 conference, including point 6:
21 “David Irving: Concern was voiced over the
22 publication of the second edition of Hitler’s War”. This
23 is 1991, 14 years after the first edition. “There was
24 debate over how to approach Macmillan publishers over
25 Goebbels Diary”. That was the other book they were going
26 to publish of mine. “It was agreed to await new[s] from
1 Jeremy Coleman before deciding what action to take.”
2 We know more of this meeting from the statement
3 to this Court by my witness Dr John Fox, who was present
4 at this cabal in his capacity as editor of The British
5 Journal of Holocaust Education. He testifies as follows:
6 “As an independently-minded historian, I was
7 affronted by the suggestion concerning Mr David Irving
8 […] At a certain point in the meeting, attention turned”
9 — do you wish to suggest I move on?
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. I am reading around what you are reading
11 out to me.
12 MR IRVING: Yes. “At certain point in the meeting, attention
13 turned to the subject of Mr Irving and reports that the
14 publishing company of Macmillan would be publishing his
15 biography of Goebbels. Mr Ben Helfgott … turned to me,
16 the only non-Jew present at the meeting, and suggested
17 that ‘John'”, John Fox, “‘could approach Macmillan to get
18 them to stop publication’. I refused point-blank to accede
19 to that suggestion, arguing that in a democracy such as
20 ours one simply could not do such a thing. That amounted
21 to censorship …
22 Nevertheless, as the Committee minutes make
23 plain, it was planned by some to consider further action
24 about how best to scupper Mr Irving’s publishing plans
25 with Macmillan”.
26 The clandestine pressure on Macmillan’s began at
1 once. My editor at Macmillan’s, Roland Philipps, noted in
2 an internal memorandum of January 2nd 1992 that they
3 should reassure prospective authors that they had turned
4 down many other book proposals from me, and had no plans
5 to continue publishing me after Goebbels. It was not the
6 bravest of postures to adopt, you might think. The
7 memorandum continues: “If this helps you to reassure any
8 prospective authors we are happy for you to say it
9 (although not too publicly if possible)”. The desire of
10 Macmillan’s to stab in the back, for this stab in the back
11 to be secret from their own highly successful author,
12 myself, is understandable. In fact, their ultimate stab
13 in the back was to come in the summer of 1992.
14 In May 1992, meanwhile, we find Deborah Lipstadt
15 providing a list of her personal targets, victims,
16 including now myself to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum
17 in Washington; she advised the Museum to contact Gail Gans
18 at the Research Department of the ADL (about whom we have
19 heard) in New York City for additional names, and to “tell
20 her I told you to call her”. This establishes that the
21 Defendants consider that that museum, which is a US
22 taxpayer-funded body, was actively participating in their
23 network, and the museum duly provided press clippings from
24 London newspapers relating to me, which have now turned up
25 in the Defendants’ files.
26 The attempts to suffocate my publishing career
1 continued. I mention a second arm of this attack. Since
2 my own imprint, my own publishing imprint, which I had set
3 up myself some years earlier, would not be intimidated as
4 easily as Macmillan’s, or indeed at all, the hostile
5 groups applied pressure to major bookselling chains
6 throughout Britain to burn or destroy my books and in
7 particular the new edition of Hitler’s War. Some of the
8 press clippings reporting this nasty campaign are in my
9 discovery. They include reports of a sustained campaign
10 of window smashing of the branches of Waterstone’s
11 bookstores in the biggest Midlands cities, after
12 complaints were made by local groups.
13 Waterstones informed one Newcastle newspaper
14 that they were taking books off public shelves “following
15 a number of vandal attacks on book stores across the
16 country”. The Nottingham Waterstones took the book off
17 display after a brick was thrown through its window. The
18 campaign clearly coordinated from London. None of this
19 was reported in the national press, but one would have
20 thought that these groups would have recognized the bad
21 karma in any campaign of smashing windows or burning
23 I wrote privately to Tim Waterstone, the head at
24 that time of Waterstones, guaranteeing to indemnify his
25 chain for their costs of any uninsured claims. But he
26 refused to be intimidated by the campaign and, my Lord,
1 that is one reason why I took the names of four
2 Waterstones branches off the list of Defendants in this
3 action at a very early stage.
4 I am turning the page now, my Lord:
5 Demonstrations organized outside by property, violent
6 demonstrations, police were frequently called. The same
7 newspaper reported — this is halfway down that following
8 page — that the Anti-Nazi League and its parent body, the
9 Board of Deputies, were applying pressure to The Sunday
10 Times to violate its contract with me which was the
11 contract to obtain the Goebbels diaries from the Moscow
12 archives. Again, the reason why I mention all of this may
13 be apparent, it is when I make remarks about by my
14 critics, occasionally using vivid language, I sometimes
15 had reason. As an indication of the pressure —-
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I am just wondering, and I am
17 sorry to interrupt you and I am not going to stop you at
18 all, but reading on to about page 54, you describe, do you
19 not, the continuation of what you see as being this really
20 worldwide attempt to close you down as an historian and
21 attacks on your house and pressure of various kinds being
22 brought to bear all over the world. I just wonder whether
23 there is any particular benefit — tell me if you there is
24 — in reading out the next seven or so pages? If there
25 is any particular point you want to make, do, but I feel
26 myself we could probably move on to the middle of page
2 MR IRVING: I will move on to 51, my Lord. When I found out –
3 too late – that this fake evidence had been planted on
4 Canadian files, which resulted in my being deported from
5 Canada in handcuffs on November 13th 1992, I was angered
6 and astounded that a British organisation could be
7 secretly doing this to British citizens. It turned out
8 from these files that academics with whom I had freely
9 corresponded and exchanged information, including Gerald
10 Fleming, had been acting as agents and informants for this
11 body. I submit (which is why I am reading this out) that
12 these are the bodies that collaborated directly or
13 indirectly with the Defendants in the preparation of the
14 book and that the Defendants, knowing of the obvious
15 fantasy in some of what they said, should have shown
16 greater caution in accepting their materials as true.
17 There was an immediate consequence of this fake
18 data planted on Canadian files. One data report recorded
19 the “fact” that I had written 78 books denying the
20 Holocaust which, of course, is totally untrue. In August
21 1992 a docket was placed on Canadian immigration files
22 about me saying, among other things, this is a secret
23 file, “Subject David Irving is Holocaust denier, may be
24 inadmissible” to Canada with the result, of course, that
25 precisely that happened. I was arrested on October 28th
26 at Vancouver, making a speech on freedom of speech,
1 deported permanently from Canada on November 13th causing
2 me great financial damage and loss. Access to the Public
3 Archives of Canada was as essential for my future research
4 as access to the PRO in Kew or to those archives in Italy.
5 My Lord, this goes, of course, to the damage that has been
6 caused to me by this general libel at being called a
7 Holocaust denier. That is one proof of the direct and
8 immediate cost of the pernicious label “Holocaust
9 denier”. And the same thing, they made the same attempt
10 to get me banned from the United States but failed.
11 Page 54, my Lord. I now come to Macmillan’s
12 final stab in the back. The hand on the blade was
13 Macmillan’s but the blade hade been forged and
14 fashioned by all the Defendants in this courtroom, and by
15 their hidden collaborators overseas.
16 On July 4th 1992, as this Court knows, I had
17 returned Moscow with the missing entries of the Goebbels
18 Diaries exclusively in my possession, having gone there on
19 behalf of The Sunday Times. This hard-earned triumph
20 caught my opponents unawares. Newspapers revealed that
21 the Anti-Defamation League and its Canadian collaborator,
22 the League of Human Rights, sent immediate secret letters
23 to Andrew Neil at The Sunday Times demanding that he
24 repudiate their contract. On Sunday, 5th, the London
25 Sunday newspapers were full of the scoop – and also with
26 hostile comment. On Monday, July 6th, The Independent
1 newspaper reported under the headlines “Jews attack
2 publisher of Irving book”, that a UK body which it
3 identified as “the Yad Vashim Trust” with which we, of
4 course, were we familiar, was piling pressure on to
5 Macmillan’s to abandon its contract with me to publish
6 Goebbels, failing which they would urge booksellers not to
7 stock or promote it.
8 Macmillans finally took fright that same day, as
9 I only now know. After their directors inquired, July 6th
10 1992, in an internal memo, how many of my books were still
11 in their stocks, and having been given totals of several
12 thousand copies of all three volumes of my Hitler
13 biography, representing a value of several hundred
14 thousand pounds, my own editor, Roland Philipps, on July
15 6th issued the secret order reading: “Please arrange for
16 the remaining stock of [David Irving’s Hitler biographies]
17 to be destroyed. Many thanks”. Book burning. They
18 prepared a “draft announcement”, but it was not released.
19 Although still a Macmillan author, I was not told. The
20 royalties due to me on the sale of those books were books
21 were lost and destroyed with them. The Defendants’
22 campaign to destroy my legitimacy as an historian, of
23 which the book published by the Defendants became an
24 integral part, had thus reached its climax.
25 My Lord, I now pass over the next pages to page
1 The same thing happened in Australia. I spoke
2 in the Munich. Final paragraph: Opponents released —
3 I am sorry, yes. Opponents released to Australia
4 television the heavily edited version of Michael Schmidt’s
5 1991 video tape of me addressing the crowd at Halle about
6 which we have heard from Mr Rampton this morning, the Sieg
7 Haels and the rest of it. As edited, it omitted my
8 visible and audible rebuke to a section of the crowd for
9 chanting Hitler slogans. Grotesque libels about me
10 swamped the Australian press, printed by various
11 organisations including the New South Wales Board of
12 Deputies and various newspapers. One example was an
13 article by a lecturer in politics. He wrote: “Irving has
14 a history of exciting neoNazi and skinhead groups in
15 Germany which had burned migrant hostels and killed people
16 … Irving has frequently spoken in Germany at rallies…
17 under the swastika flag … himself screaming the Nazi
18 salute…” This is how these stories begin.
19 Unsurprisingly, Australia then banned me too. I was t6 be
20 refused a visa, they announced, on February 8th 1993 as
21 I was a “Holocaust denier”. They had thus adopted the
22 phrase that the Second Defendant, Professor Lipstadt,
23 prides herself in having invented.
24 This new and very damaging ban on visiting
25 Australia made it impossible for me to work again in the
26 National Library of Australia in Canberra. At great
1 personal expense I appealed to the Australian Federal
2 Court. The Court declared the Minister’s refusal of a
3 visa illegal. The government in Canberra therefore
4 changed the law in February 1994 to keep me out. We note
5 from Professor Lipstadt’s own discovery that the
6 immigration minister faxed the decision to keep me out
7 direct to one of her source agencies that same afternoon.
8 The same kind of thing happened.
9 In July 1994, as the resulting fresh legal
10 actions which I started against the Australian government
11 still raged, the Second Defendant was invited by
12 Australian organisations, all expenses paid to visit their
13 country; she was hired to tour Australia, and to slander
14 my name and my reputation and add her voice to the
15 campaign to have me refused entry. The court, my Lord,
16 you will probably remember the Australian TV video which
17 I showed entitled “The Big Lie” in the early days.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
19 MR IRVING: Broadcast in July 1994, it showed both the expert
20 witness, Professor van Pelt, and Mr Fred Leuchter. It
21 showed Fred Leuchter standing on the roof of crematorium
22 No. II, about which we are going to hear more, crematorium
23 No. II at Auschwitz which van Pelt declared to be the
24 centre of the Nazi genocide, and the Second Defendant
25 being interviewed while still in Australia (and refusing
26 once again to debate with the revisionists, just as she
1 has obstinately refused to go into the witness stand here
2 and be questioned). Thus I found myself excluded from
3 Australia. We have had now Germany, Canada, South Africa,
4 Australia, New Zealand as well, I lost the ability to
5 visit my hundreds of friends down under and my own
6 daughter too, who is an Australian citizen; and I lost all
7 the bookshop sales that this ban implied in Australia –
8 where my Churchill biography had hit the No. 1 spot in the
9 best seller lists earlier.
10 Over the page: My lecturing engagements in the
11 British Isles came under similar attack. I had often
12 spoken to universities and debating societies, including
13 the Oxford and Cambridge Unions, in the past, but now in
14 one month, in October 1993, when I was invited to speak to
15 prestigious bodes at three major Irish universities, I
16 found all three invitations cancelled under pressure and
17 threat of local Jewish and anti-fascist organisations.
18 The irony will not elude the court that these Defendants,
19 on the one hand, have claimed by way of defence that
20 I speak only to the far right and neo-Nazi element, as
21 they describe it, and yet it turns out that their own
22 associates are the people who have done their damnedest to
23 make it impossible for many others to invite me.
24 The Second Defendant, Deborah Lipstadt, had
25 meanwhile made progress with her book. She told her
26 publisher that she had written a certain statement with
1 the marketing people in mind. In other words, sometimes
2 money mattered more than content, in my submission.
3 She had revealed in September 1991 in a letter:
4 “I have also spoken to people in England who have a large
5 cache of material on David Irving’s conversion to denial”.
6 We do not know who the people are, but we can, of course,
7 readily suspect who in this case those people were. She
8 is once again not presenting herself for
9 cross-examination, so there are many things we cannot ask
10 her about, including and I would have asked her, in fact,
11 most tactfully the reasons why she was refused tenure at
12 the University of California and moved downstream to the
13 lesser university, in my submission, in Atlanta where she
14 now teaches religion.
15 In the light of Mr Rampton’s strictures on my
16 now famous little ditty — your Lordship will remember the
17 little ditty which I am supposed to have hummed to my nine
18 month old daughter, the racist ditty, which went around
19 the press because Mr Rampton issued a press release —
20 supposedly urging my nine month old little girl not to
21 marry outside her own people, I should also have wanted to
22 ask questions of Professor Lipstadt’s views on race had
23 she gone into the witness box. We know that she has
24 written papers, and delivered many fervent lectures, on
25 the vital importance of people marrying only within their
26 own race. Quotation: (“We know what we fight
1 against…”, she wrote, “intermarriage and Israel-bashing,
2 but what is it we fight for?”) She has attracted, in
3 fact, much criticism from many in her own community for
4 her implacable stance against mixed marriages, marrying
5 outside their own race. In one book Professor Lipstad
6 quotes a Wall Street Journal interview with a Conservative
7 rabbi, Jack Moline, whom she called “very brave” for
8 listing 10 things that Jewish parents should say to their
9 children: “No. 1 on his list”, she wrote (in fact it was
10 No. 3) “was ‘I expect you to marry Jews’.” She considered
11 that to be very brave. My one little ditty which I hummed
12 to my nine month old daughter, Jessica, was a perhaps
13 tasteless joke. Professor Lipstadt’s repeated
14 denunciation of mixed marriages addressed to adults was
15 deadly serious.
16 Professor Lipstad accuses me of error or
17 falsification, but is apparently unable to spot a fake
18 even at a relatively close range. She admitted (in a
19 recent interview with Forward) that she used memoirs of
20 the spurious Auschwitz survivor Benjamin Wilkomirski in
21 her teaching of the Holocaust to her defenceless students,
22 according to Professor Peter Novick who has written a book
23 on this. Those “memoirs” have now been exposed,
24 worldwide, as fraudulent. Wilkomirski was never anywhere
25 near Auschwitz. In fact, he was in Switzerland. When it
26 turned out that Wilkomirski have never been near the camp
1 or in Poland for that matter, but had spent the war years
2 in comfort living with his adopted Swiss family, she
3 acknowledged that this “might complicate matters
4 somewhat”, but she insisted that the Wilkomirski “memoirs”
5 would still be “powerful” as a novel. It may seem unjust
6 to your Lordship that it is I who have had to answer this
7 person’s allegation that I distort and manipulate
8 historical sources.
9 We have Professor Lipstadt’s handwritten notes,
10 however, in the rather meagre discovery, evidently
11 prepared for a talk delivered to the Anti-Defamation
12 League in Palm Beach, Florida, in early 1994, which again
13 is meagre but substantive evidence of her connection with
14 the Anti-Defamation League. In these, if I read her
15 handwriting correctly – and she appears to be relying on
16 something Lord Bullock had just said – she states that my
17 aim seems to be to de-demonize Hitler; and that I had said
18 that Roosevelt, Hitler and Churchill were all equally
19 criminal. This is hardly “exonerating” any of them.
20 Summarising Hitler’s War (the 1977 edition) she calls me
21 merely an “historian with a revisionist bent” which is
22 rather like AJP Taylor – and she adds, and this seems
23 significant – “Irving denies that Hitler was responsible
24 for the murder of European Jewry. Rather, he claims that
25 Himmler was responsible. But he does not deny its
26 occurrence. Had she stuck with that view, of course, of
1 my writings, which is a very fair summary of my views,
2 both then and now, she and we would not find ourselves
3 here today.
4 But she was led astray, my Lord. She fell in
5 with bad company, or associates. These things happen. We
6 know that, in conducting her research for the book, she
7 spoke with the Board of Deputies, the Institute of Jewish
8 Affairs, the Anti-defamation League and other such worthy
9 bodies, since she thanks all of them in her introduction.
10 My Lord, I have given a list of the bodies she
11 thanks in an affidavit which is contained in my bundle
12 based on the introduction to her book.
13 Some time in 1992 her book was complete in its
14 first draft, and Professor Lipstadt sent it to the people
15 who were paying her, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
16 We do not know what was in the book, since I cannot
17 question the second Defendant and she has not disclosed
18 the early draft, with Professor Yehuda Bauer’s scribbles
19 on it, as he said, in her sworn list of documents. The
20 early draft was clearly discoverable but it has not been
21 provided to us. We do know however what was not in it.
22 We know that there was no mention of his Hizbollah and
23 Hamas and Louis Farrakhan and the November 1992 terrorists
24 in Stockholm, or of the lie about my speaking on the same
25 platform with them. In fact, we also know that in this
26 first draft I was merely mentioned in passing. This is a
1 book about denying Holocaust and I am only mentioned in
2 passing. This is evident from the letter which Professor
3 Yehuda Bauer wrote back to her, congratulating her on
4 November 27th 1992. Bauer complained that the book lacked
5 the “worldwide perspective” and said, “Irving is
6 mentioned, but not that he is the mainstay of Holocaust
7 denial today in Western Europe” which is where all the
8 misery then began of course.
9 Somehow therefore I had to be shoe horned into
10 the text before publication. Professor Bauer urged her
11 too not to write things inadvertently that might convince
12 the reader that there was something to what revisionists
13 or deniers said, although that is hardly a true scholar’s
14 method, to suppress mention of opposing arguments. In a
15 letter to Anthony Lerman, of the Institute of Jewish
16 Jewish Affairs, (the same Mr Lerman who would spread later
17 the lying word that I had supplied the trigger mechanism
18 for the Oklahoma City bomb) Lipstadt revealed that there
19 was an earlier incarnation of the book.
20 Now, that earlier incarnation, to use her words,
21 has also not been disclosed in her sworn list of
22 documents. She had been ordered to swear an affidavit on
23 her list, my Lord, which is why there is a sworn list,
24 because of discrepancies previously. When I made a
25 subsequent complaint about deficient discovery, her
26 solicitors reminded me that I could not go behind her
1 affidavit under the rules until she presented herself for
2 cross-examination, which I think is, if I may say so, my
3 Lord, deceptive. Had they intended not calling this
4 witness to the witness stand, they should not have written
5 that to me. This chance of cross-examining the witness
6 has been denied to me.
7 Professors Lipstadt spent of that last month of
8 1992 therefore putting me into the book, whereas I had
9 only previously been mentioned, and thus putting herself
10 into this court room today. They were the weeks after the
11 spectacular success of the global campaign to destroy my
12 legitimacy, which culminated with getting me deported in
13 manacles from Canada on November 13th, 1992.
14 “I am just finishing up the book” she wrote to
15 Lerman on December 18th “and, as you can well imagine,
16 David Irving figures into it quite prominently”. She
17 pleaded with Lerman to provide, indeed to fax to her
18 urgently, materials from “your files”. Your Lordship may
19 think that this haste to wield the hatchet compares poorly
20 with the kind of in-depth years long shirt sleeved
21 research which I conducted on my biographical subjects.
22 “I think that he (in other words Irving) is one of the
23 most dangerous figures around”, she added, pleading the
24 urgency. It was a spectacular epiphany, this court might
25 think, given that only three weeks earlier the manuscript
26 barely mentioned me, as Bauer himself had complained.
1 From being barely mentioned to being one of the most
2 dangerous figures around.
3 Lerman faxed his materials to her from London a
4 few days later. We do not know precisely what, and it is
5 a complete extent, as here too the defendants’ discovery
6 is only fragmentary, and these items were provided to me,
7 again only in response to a summons.
8 That is an outline of the damage, and the
9 people, including specifically the Defendants in this
10 action, who were behind it. Mr Rampton suggested at a
11 very early stage that I had brought all of this on my
12 myself, that I even deserved it. He was talking about the
13 hate wreath that was sent to me upon the death of my
14 oldest daughter. We shall see.
15 My Lord, I now come to Auschwitz Concentration
17 Auschwitz has been a football of politicians and
18 statesmen ever since World War II. The site has become,
19 like the Holocaust itself, an industry, a big business in
20 the most tasteless way, the Auschwitz site. The area,
21 I am informed, is overgrown with fast food restaurants,
22 souvenir and trinket shops, motels and the like. As
23 Mr Rampton rightly says, I have never been to Auschwitz
24 and Mr Rampton knows the reason why. The Auschwitz
25 authorities said they would not allow me to visit the site
26 and they would not allow me into their archives, and they
1 have every reason to know why they do not want to allow a
2 David Irving to get his hands on their papers. Under
3 Prime Minister Josef Cyrankiewicz (who had been prisoner
4 number 62,993) it was known at its opening in 1948 as a
5 monument to the martyrdom of the Polish and other
7 Auschwitz was overrun by the Red Army in January
8 1945. The last prisoner had received the tattooed
9 number 202,499. Informed by Colonel General Heinz
10 Guderian, the chief of the German Army general staff, that
11 the Russians had captured Auschwitz, Hitler is recorded by
12 the stenographers as saying merely “yes”. The court might
13 find it significant that he did not prick up his ears and
14 say something like, “Herr Himmler, I hope you made sure
15 the Russians will not find the slightest trace of what we
16 have been up to”. (Or even, “I hope you managed to get
17 those holes in the roof slab of crematoria No. II cemented
18 over before you blew it up”.) I will shortly explain the
19 significance of that. When the name of SS General Hans
20 Kammler, the architect of the concentration camps, was
21 mentioned to him a few days later by Goebbels, it was
22 evident that even Kammler’s name meant little to Hitler
23 because Goebbels commented on the fact.
24 How many had died at Auschwitz? We still do not
25 know with certainty, because the tragic figure has become
26 an object of politics, too. Professor Arno Mayer, the
1 Professor of European history at the University of
2 Princeton, a scholar of considerably greater renommee than
3 Professor Evans, and himself a Jew, expressed the view in
4 one book that most of the victims of the camp died of
5 exhaustion and epidemics. He said: “From 1942 to 1945
6 more Jews died, at least in Auschwitz and probably
7 everywhere else, of ‘natural’ causes of death than of
9 The Russians who captured the camp did not at
10 first make any mention in their news reports of gas
11 chambers. There is a famous report published in the first
12 day or two in February 1945 in Pravda. Moreover, as we
13 saw on the newsreel, which I showed on the first day of
14 this trial, even the Poles, with access to all the
15 records, claimed only that “altogether nearly 300,000
16 people from the most different nations died in the
17 Auschwitz concentration camp”. This is the news reel
18 trial of the trial of the Auschwitz officials. “300,000
19 people from the most different nations died in the
20 Auschwitz concentration camp”. It concluded that the camp
21 now stood as a monument of shame to the lasting memory of
22 its 300,000 victims. In both cases gassing was not
23 mentioned. The New York Times quoted the same figure
24 300,000 when the trial began in 1947. The figure
25 gradually grew however. The Russians set up an inquiry
26 including some very well-known names, including the
1 experts who had examined the Nazi mass graves at Katyn,
2 and even the notorious Lysenko. They announced that 4
3 million had been murdered at Auschwitz. Under the Polish
4 communists, a monument to “4 million dead”, with those
5 words on it, was duly erected, a number which was adhered
6 to until the 1990s even under Franciszek Piper, one of the
7 later (but still communist) directors of the Auschwitz
8 State Archives. After the communist regime ended that
9 figure was brought down to 1.5 million, and then to
10 750,000 by the acknowledged expert Jean-Claude Pressac.
11 The Defendants’ own expert Peter Longerich spoke of one
12 million deaths there from all causes, and then in response
13 to cross-examination by myself and to your Lordship’s
14 enquiries, Dr Longerich confirmed that he included all non
15 homicidal deaths, deaths “from other causes”, including
16 epidemics and exhaustion in that overall figure of 1
18 Perhaps I should pause there and say that these
19 figures seem appalling figures but, if it is one million
20 or 300,000 or whatever the figure is, each of them means
21 that many multiples of one individual. I never forget in
22 anything I have said or written or done the appalling
23 suffering that has been inflicted on people in the camps
24 like Auschwitz. I am on the side of the innocents of this
26 As for the overall death roll of the Holocaust,
1 what meaning can one attach to the figures? The
2 International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg found that
3 the policy pursued resulted in the killing of 6 million
4 Jews, of which 4 million were killed in the extermination
5 institutions, but the 6 million figure derives, as the
6 American chief prosecutor Jackson recorded in his diary in
7 June 1945, from a back of the envelope calculation by the
8 American Jewish leaders with whom he met in New York at
9 that time. Professor Raul Hilberg puts the overall
10 Holocaust figure at one million or less. Gerald
11 Reitlinger had the figure at 4.6 million, of which he said
12 about 3 million were conjectural, as it was not known how
13 many Jews had escaped into the unoccupied part of the
14 Soviet Union. The Israeli prime minister’s office, we are
15 told by Norman Finkelstein, recently stated that there
16 were still nearly one million living survivors.
17 There are doubts not only about the precise
18 figures but about specific events. The same Nuremberg
19 tribunal ruled on October 1st 1946 that the Nazis had
20 attempted to utilise the fat from bodies of victims in the
21 commercial manufacture of soap. In 1990 historian Shmuel
22 Krakowski of Yad Vashem announced to the world’s press
23 that that too had been a Nazi propaganda lie. Gradually
24 the wartime stories have been dismantled. As more
25 documents have been found, widely stated propositions have
26 been found to be doubtful. For a long time the confident
1 public perception was that the Wannsee protocol of the
2 January 20th 1942 meeting at the Interpol headquarters in
3 Berlin, Wannsee, recorded the actual order to exterminate
4 the European Jews. Yehuda Bauer, the director now of Yad
5 Vashem, the world’s premier Holocaust research institution
6 in Israel — one of the correspondents of the second
7 Defendant you remember — has stated quite clearly: “The
8 public still repeats time after time the silly story that
9 at Wannsee the extermination of the Jews was arrived at”.
10 In his opinion Wannsee was a meeting but “hardly a
11 conference”, and he even said: “Little of what was said
12 there was executed in detail”. Despite this, your
13 Lordship has had to listen to this “silly story” all over
14 again from the expert witnesses.
15 Surely, my critics say, there must now be some
16 evidence of a Hitler order.
17 Back in 1961 Professor Raul Hilberg, one of
18 Yehuda Bauer’s great rivals for the laureate, one of my
19 correspondents, asserted in “The Destruction of the
20 European Jews”, his book, that there had been two such
21 orders, one in the spring of 1941, and the other soon
22 after. By 1985, after I had corresponded with him and I
23 had begun voicing my own doubts, Hilberg was back
24 pedalling. Hilberg went methodically through his new
25 edition of his book, excising the allegation of a Hitler
26 order. It is not as though he did not mention the Hitler
1 order. He actually went through a book, taking every
2 reference to it out. “In the new edition”, as Professor
3 Christopher Browning, another of our expert witnesses here
4 for the defence, who testified before this court, said,
5 “all references in the text to a Hitler decision or
6 Hitler order for the Final Solution had been
7 systematically excised. Buried at the bottom of a single
8 footnote stands the solitary reference: ‘Chronology and
9 circumstances point to a Hitler decision before the summer
10 ended (1941)'”. “In the new edition”, Browning repeats,
11 scandalized, “decisions were not made and orders were not
12 given”. Your Lordship will find my exchange with
13 Professor Browning as to whether he had indeed written
14 those words in 1986 on day 17. You will find too that he
15 regretted that he could not recall the events clearly of
16 15 years ago, which invited a rather obvious riposte from
17 me about the probably similar memory deficiencies in the
18 eyewitnesses on whom he had on occasions relied.
19 The director of the Yad Vashem archives has
20 stated that most survivors’ testimonies are unreliable.
21 There is a quotation from him. “Many”, he writes, “were
22 never in the places where they claim to have witnessed
23 atrocities, while others relied on second-hand information
24 given them by friends or passing strangers”. It is the
25 phenomenon that I have referred to as cross-pollination.
26 Your Lordship may have been as startled as I, I confess,
1 was, upon learning the degree to which the case for the
2 mass gassings at Auschwitz relies on eyewitness evidence,
3 rather than on any firmer sources. Your Lordship will
4 remember perhaps the exchange I had with Professor Donald
5 Watt, professor emeritus at the London School of
6 Economics, a distinguished diplomatic historian, early on
7 in the trial, about the value of different categories of
8 evidence. I will just summarize that. I asked him, I
9 said, Professor I was not going to ask you about—-
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: He said it all depends, did he not, really?
11 Is that unfair as a summary?
12 MR IRVING: Well, my Lord, I draw your eyes straight down to
13 the second line from the bottom. Professor Watt answers
14 all of that, saying:
15 The Bletchley Park intercepts, in so far as they
16 are complete, are always regarded as the most reliable
17 because there is no evidence that the dispatcher was aware
18 that his messages could be decoded by us (by the British),
19 and therefore he would put truth in them”.
20 This supports my view, my Lord, that eyewitness
21 evidence is less credible than forensic evidence and the
22 Bletchley Park intercepts. I do not completely ignore
23 eyewitness evidence, but I feel entitled to discount it
24 when it is contradicted by the more reliable evidence
25 which should then prevail.
26 I mention the forensic evidence and that brings
1 us seamlessly to the Leuchter report.
2 I am criticised by the Defendants for having
3 relied initially on what is called the Leuchter report,
4 1988. At the time they levelled their criticism at me the
5 Defendants appeared to have been unaware that subsequent
6 and more able investigations were conducted by both
7 American and Polish researchers. The tests were in other
8 words replicated.
9 First, the Leuchter report. In 1988 I was
10 introduced by defence counsel at the Canadian trial of
11 Ernst Zundel to the findings made by a reputable firm of
12 American forensic analysts of samples extracted from the
13 fabric of various buildings at Auschwitz and Birkenau by
14 Fred Leuchter, who was at that time a professional
15 American execution technology consultant. These and his
16 investigations at the Maidanek site formed the backbone of
17 his engineering report. Since there have been tendentious
18 statements about why the Leuchter report was not admitted
19 in evidence at that trial in Canada I have studied the
20 transcripts of that trial. It emerges that engineering
21 reports are not generally admissible under Canadian rules
22 of evidence unless both parties consent. In this case the
23 Crown did not consent. As Mr Justice Thomas explained,
24 “I get engineering reports all the time (that is in civil
25 cases). That does not make them admissible, because they
26 have prepared reports. They (the witnesses) go in the
1 box, they are qualified experts and they testify”. So the
2 non-admission of the report by Mr Justice Thomas was no
3 reflection on the worth of the report or on the
4 qualifications of the witness.
5 My Lord, I have to go in some detail into the
6 Leuchter report because of the criticisms levelled at me
7 for having been swayed by it.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. I do not disagree with that.
9 MR IRVING: Mr Leuchter testified on April 20th and 21st 1988
10 as an expert in gas chamber technology. He had inspected
11 the three sites (Auschwitz/Birkenau and Maidanek) in
12 February 1988 and he had taken samples which were
13 subsequent sent for analysis by a qualified analytical
14 chemist in the United States, a Dr James Roth of Cornell
15 University, who was not told where the samples had come
16 from. His firm Alpha Laboratories, were told on the test
17 certificates only that the samples were from brickwork.
18 Mr Justice Thomas ruled that Leuchter would give oral
19 evidence but that the report itself should not be filed.
20 He held further that Mr Leuchter was not a chemist or a
21 toxicologist, which are findings, of course, that he is
22 quite entitled to make, but he agreed that Mr Leuchter was
23 an engineer because he had made himself an engineer in a
24 very limited field.
25 A summary of the rest of the judge’s findings
26 was that Leuchter was not capable in law of giving the
1 expert opinion that there were never any gassings or
2 exterminations carried on in the facilities from which he
3 took the samples. For the same reasons he was not capable
4 of testifying regarding the results of the analysis,
5 because he was not a toxicologist in other words. He was
6 restricted to testifying as to the actual extraction of
7 the samples from the buildings and his own observations on
8 the feasibility of the buildings that he had examined
9 being used as gas chambers.
10 So the Defendant was wrong to write on page 164
11 of her book, “The judge ruled that Leuchter could not
12 serve as an expert witness on the construction and
13 function of the gas chambers”. To give evidence in a
14 criminal trial Mr Leuchter must have been accepted as an
15 expert witness. Further, Professor Lipstadt stated on
16 pages 164 of her book, and 165, “The judge’s finding as to
17 Leuchter’s suitability to comment on questions of
18 engineering was unequivocal”. In fact, the judge’s
19 findings referred only to his lack of qualifications to
20 testify on the results of the laboratory tests for cyanide
21 and iron, because that was Dr Roth’s area, and he himself
22 (Roth) gave testimony on those matters. On page 169
23 Professor Lipstadt insists: “The exposure to the elements
24 lessen the presence of the hydrogen cyanide … Nor did
25 Leuchter seem to consider that the building had been
26 exposed to the elements for more than 40 years so that
1 cyanide gas residue could have been obliterated. He also
2 took samples from a floor that had been washed regularly
3 by museum staff”. Dr Roth however testified under oath
4 that the formation of Prussian blue, which is a cyanide
5 compound, was an accumulative reaction, that it augmented
6 with each exposure to the gas, and that it did not
7 normally disappear — in other words, could not be just
8 washed away — unless physically removed by sand blasting
9 or grinding down.
10 Roth seems then to have changed his mind, to
11 judge by the television film “MR DEATH” which I believe is
12 shortly to be shown on Channel 4, and upon which film both
13 I and learned counsel in the current action partially
14 rely. Zundel’s counsel comments, “He (Roth) obviously is
15 frightened now”, and no wonder, considering what
16 subsequently was inflicted on Mr Leuchter. Your Lordship
17 will remember that, in order to destroy Roth’s absurd
18 argument, which was quoted to the court by Mr Rampton,
19 learned counsel, that the Prussian blue stain would have
20 penetrated only a few microns into the brickwork.
21 I showed a photograph of the stain penetrating right
22 through the brick work to the outside face of one of the
23 cyanide fumigation chambers, where it has been exposed to
24 sun, wind and rain for over 50 years, and where it is
25 still visible, as deep and blue as ever today.
26 Crematorium II has been protected from these outside
1 elements. It is possible to crawl beneath the famous
2 roof, the one we were hearing about, the one with the no
3 holes. You can crawl beneath it even now — about which
4 roof I shall have more to say — but neither Jan Sehn,
5 nor Fred Leuchter, nor James Roth nor Germar Rudolf, nor
6 any of the subsequent investigations have found any
7 significant traces of cyanide compounds present in the
8 fabric of this building, despite the eyewitness accounts
9 of that same chamber having been used for the gassing of
10 half a million people with cyanide. Moreover, the wood
11 grain of the original wooden formwork (or moulds) can
12 still be seen on the face of the concrete, which is
13 evidence that it has not been sandblasted or grounded
15 Now, my Lord, this takes us to the famous roof
16 of Leichenkeller No. 1 of crematorium No. II at
18 I referred earlier to the expert witness on
19 Auschwitz and Birkenau in this case, Professor Robert van
20 Pelt. He has made unequivocal statements both here and
21 elsewhere about crematorium II at Birkenau. To him it was
22 the factory of death, the mass gassing chamber of
23 Birkenau. He did not mince his language. In the new
24 television film MR DEATH we saw him and we heard him, as
25 the film camera showed Fred Leuchter descending into the
26 hole which was broken post-war through the collapsed
1 concrete roof slab and reinforcing bars of Leichenkeller I
2 (morgue No. 1) of crematorium II and we heard him uttering
3 these words, quoting off the sound track:
4 “Crematorium II is the most lethal building of
5 Auschwitz. In the 2,500 square feet of this one room,
6 more people lost their lives than any other place on this
7 planet. 500,000 people were killed. If you would draw a
8 map of human suffering, if you created a geography of
9 atrocity, this would be the absolute centre.”
10 The court will recall that on ninth day of this
11 action I cross-examined this witness most closely about
12 this statement and I offered him a chance to change his
13 mind about the pivotal importance of crematorium II and
14 its underground Leichenkeller No. I (morgue No. 1) the
15 chamber which van Pelt alleged had been a mass gassing
17 IRVING: Very well. You say: This is quoting
18 him from his report —-
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You need not read the whole of it. He
20 confirms that it is Leichenkeller I at crematorium II
21 where he says the 500,000 were killed.
22 MR IRVING: Thank you, my Lord. The expert witness could
23 hardly have been clearer in his answer.
24 At page 53, I then asked him to identify the
25 buildings referred to on the aerial photographs of
26 Birkenau and crematorium II, so that there could later be
1 no doubt as to which precise building he had just agreed
2 was the factory of death at Auschwitz,
4 The great problem about accepting that this
5 building was an instrument for mass murder is that the
6 evidence produced by Professor van Pelt relies on three
7 “legs”, if I can borrow Mr Rampton’s word, a handful of
8 eyewitnesses, a few architectural drawings, and a slim
9 file of documents.
10 The eyewitnesses, in my submission, have turned
11 out —-
12 MR RAMPTON: No, I am sorry, that is one error that cannot be
13 allowed to pass. There is a fourth leg, forensic chemical
14 analysis both in 1945, 1988 and 1994.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Just to elaborate that, of Leichenkeller I
16 and crematorium II?
17 MR RAMPTON: Yes, Leichenkeller I at crematorium II by the
18 Krakov forensic laboratory in December 1945, which found
19 traces of cyanide on the ventilation covers by
20 Mr Leuchter’s analysts.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Ventilation covers from where?
22 MR RAMPTON: From Leichenkeller I in crematorium II. If one
23 looks at the report, it is as clear as anything. Leuchter
24 himself, of course, in 1988, and Professor Markowitz at
25 Krakov in 1994.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you.
1 MR RAMPTON: They are all in the evidence.
2 MR IRVING: My Lord, I will ask your Lordship when the time
3 comes to look at that forensic evidence and to ask
4 yourself the obvious question, what is the proof that
5 these items came from that building?
6 MR RAMPTON: Leuchter is certainly proof, because Mr Irving
7 relies on him.
8 MR IRVING: Then we have to look at the actual figures and the
9 concentrations. If I can now continue with my three legs,
10 my three-legged argument?
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, do. Eyewitnesses?
12 MR IRVING: The eyewitnesses have turned out to be liars,
13 particularly those who testified to the SS guards opening
14 manhole covers on top of the flat roof of Leichenkeller
15 No. I (mortuary No. 1), and tipping tins of Zyklon B
16 pellets in through the holes. One witness was David
17 Olere, an artist who drew sketches years later in Paris,
18 to which Mr Rampton has also referred, obviously intending
19 to sell them. His sketches show flames and smoke belching
20 from the crematorium chimney of crematorium No. II, which
21 goes purely to the credibility of the witness, which was
22 quite impossible. He portrays the victims. Your Lordship
23 will remember that I asked Professor van Pelt to calculate
24 the length, the path, from the furnace doors to the top of
25 the chimney, and how long that flame would have had to
26 be. He portrays the victims of the Nazi killers mostly as
1 nubile young females, all naked and sketched in a
2 pornographic way, often clutching naked teenaged children
3 to their breasts. It was Olere I invite the court to
4 remember, who told Jean-Claude Pressac that the SS made
5 sausage in the crematoria out of human flesh (a passage
6 which Mr Van Pelt did not inform us of in his expert
7 report). Another witness is Ada Bimko, who proved at the
8 Belsen trial that she too had lied. Entering another gas
9 chamber building at Auschwitz she said she had “noticed
10 two pipes which I was told contained the gas. There were
11 two huge metal containers containing gas”. She evidently
12 did not know that the “gas” supposed to have been used,
13 Zyklon-B, was actually in pellet form, not cylinders.
14 Distorting her account too, van Pelt omitted also this
15 part of her testimony. Dr Bendel, another of van Pelt’s
16 eyewitnesses, stated that at crematorium IV the people
17 crowded into the gas chamber found the ceilings so low
18 that the impression was given that the roof was falling on
19 their heads. This too was untrue, as the court has seen
20 how high these ceilings were in the computer-generated
21 “walk through”. The court will find that in my
22 cross-examination of van Pelt I destroyed the worth of
23 each supposed eyewitness after eyewitness in the same way,
24 if I can summarize it like that.
25 Let us first look for those holes that they
26 talked about. My Lord, your Lordship will remember that
1 I had the big photograph of that roof photographed from a
2 helicopter quite recently, standing here for some days or
3 weeks. The roof pillars beneath the roof were blown up in
4 1945, and the reinforced concrete slab pancaked downwards
5 into the morgue basement, starred but otherwise intact.
6 By the word “starred” I mean what happens to a pane of
7 reinforced glass that has been hit by a stone.
8 Van Pelt suggested that the Zyklon-B
9 introduction holes in the roof of Leichenkeller I were not
10 much larger in diameter than tennis balls, but the
11 evidence of his eyewitnesses, Henry Tauber and Michal
12 Kula, was that they were closer to the size of manholes —
13 “70 centimetres square”. Kula testified that the wire
14 mesh columns that he had made were of that cross section
15 and three metres (ten feet) tall. One witness said that
16 the concrete covers on top of the roof above these holes
17 had to be lifted off “with both hands,” with two hands.
18 As the ceiling height in Leichenkeller I was 2.40 metres,
19 60 centimetres of each column, which is 3 metres tall,
20 would have had to extend through the holes in the concrete
21 ceiling with about six inches poking up outside. As
22 Professor van Pelt admits in his report, the part I was
23 about to read out when your Lordship stopped me, there is
24 no trace of those holes in the roof today. I am sorry, I
25 was wrong. He did say that. He says it later on.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: What did I stop you reading?
1 MR IRVING: You did not. I made a mistake, my Lord. As he
2 admits in his report, there is no trace of those holes in
3 the roof today. The underside of that roof, which can be
4 inspected and photographed from beneath even today, is
5 intact. Even if one could lose sight of the much smaller
6 three inch diameter holes in the pancaked concrete roof of
7 which van Pelt spoke, and I do not accept that they were
8 that small, one could not possibly have lost sight of four
9 holes as large as manholes. Those holes would be
10 perfectly obvious today on the ground that Auschwitz to
11 any observer using the naked eye, without the slightest
12 possible doubt as to their location, because, of course,
13 Professor van Pelt told us where each hole was supposed to
14 be. It was right next to the supporting columns.
15 Professor van Pelt accepts that those holes are
16 not in that roof slab now.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not sure that is right, is it? I think
18 what he says was that the state of the collapsed roof is
19 so poor now that you simply cannot see where those holes
20 would have been if they were there, which is a slightly
21 different thing.
22 MR RAMPTON: Not only that, my Lord. I sit here, I listen to,
23 quite frankly, a continuous misrepresentation of the
24 evidence of my witness.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us concentrate on this one.
26 MR RAMPTON: I will, but this is serious. Van Pelt said a
1 number of things. He said, first of all, the fragmentary
2 condition of the roof prevents any kind of assessment one
3 way or the other. Then he says, anyway, even if it did
4 not, it is the wrong part of the roof. The third, of
5 course, is that there is no evidence on Mr Irving’s side
6 of the court one way or the other. Mr Irving has not been
8 MR IRVING: May I now continue with preferably fewer
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, I think that is not fair. Mr Rampton
11 I think has been restrained.
12 MR IRVING: My Lord, restraint is what I showed.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: There are the odd things which I have noticed
14 which I do not think are quite borne out. I think the
15 best thing is not to interrupt you, but that is quite an
16 important misstatement of van Pelt’s evidence.
17 MR IRVING: I will come to the alleged misstatement in a
18 moment. Of course, I sat with the utmost restraint this
19 morning —-
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You did.
21 MR IRVING: — while numerous things were said. My Lord, I put
22 to your Lordship at the time photographs of the underside
23 of that roof. To say that the underside of that roof is
24 fragmented is a gross distortion of what one could see
25 with one’s own eyes. The underside of that roof was as
26 pristine as the concrete which is in this room today,
1 every inch of the underside of that roof which can be
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I remember the photograph quite well and
4 quite how much of the roof it shows and which bit of the
5 roof, it is impossible, I think, on the evidence to say.
6 MR IRVING: I did, as your Lordship will know, make one very
7 grand offer and very generous offer to the Defendants in
8 this case saying, “Come back with photographs of those
9 holes and I will stop the case within 24 hours because my
10 position will be indefensible”. I made that offer, not
11 once, but twice. It is in the transcript. They did not
12 take it up, and that would have saved —-
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Press on.
14 MR IRVING: It reminds me of the early days in this action when
15 every time I was making a killer point, Mr Rampton was up
16 and it is happening again. Professor van Pelt: In his
17 expert report, and for this honesty I give him full
18 credit, he writes: “Today, these four small holes” —
19 this is his expert report which he provided in this case
20 — he did not have to write this, my Lord, but he put it
21 in and it is a great testimony to his honesty, I think –
22 “that connected the wire-mesh columns and the chimneys
23 cannot be observed in the ruined remains of the concrete
24 slab. Yet does this mean they were never there? We know
25 that after the cessation of the gassings in the fall of
26 1944 all the gassing equipment was removed, which implies
1 both the wire-mesh columns and the chimneys. What would
2 have remained would have been the four narrow holes and
3 the slab. What would have remained would have been the
4 four narrow holes and the slab. While there is no
5 certainty in this matter, it would have been logical to
6 attach at the location where the columns had been some
7 formwork at the bottom of the gas chamber ceiling, and
8 pour some concrete in the hole and thus restore the
10 That is why I listened with relative patience,
11 my Lord, to Mr Rampton’s interruption because it very
12 largely bears out what I said. The point at which he rose
13 to his feet was when I said van Pelt accepted those holes
14 are not in that roof slab now. I think that his
15 interruption was ill-called for.
16 Professor van Pelt thus asserts, without any
17 evidence at all, that late in 1944, with the Russian Army
18 winding up to launch their colossal final invasion only a
19 few miles away on the River Vistula, the Nazi-mass
20 murderers would remove the “Zyklon introduction columns”
21 and then fill in the holes in the ceiling, as he says, to
22 “restore the slab” (before dynamiting the pillars
23 supporting it anyway). He again asserted when
24 I cross-examined him on January 25th as follows: “It would
25 have been logical to attach”, he then reads out what he
26 said, “pour some concrete in the hole and thus restore the
2 How would this have been more logical than
3 completely removing the roof of Leichenkeller 1 just as
4 the Nazis had removed the roof of Leichenkeller 2,
5 identified by Professor van Pelt as the “undressing
6 rooms”, as shown in the aerial photographs taken on
7 December 21st 1944 that one can see on page 15 of this
8 book “The Holocaust Revisited”, the book published by the
9 CIA. The originals of this photograph were shown to
10 Professor van Pelt in court. I showed them to him. To
11 believe his version, we would have to believe that the
12 Nazis deliberately created relics, architectural relics,
13 of Leichenkeller No. 1 to confound later generations of
14 tourists and Holocaust researchers.
15 The fact is that the holes are not there – at
16 least they are not visible from a distance of 0 to 4 feet
17 or when photographed from the underside of that slab.
18 Unable to point them out to us in close up at ground
19 level, the Defendants invited us to consider instead
20 either their vertical aerial photographs taken from 35,000
21 feet up, or a horizontal photograph taken from several
22 hundred yards away, past a locomotive, where three (not
23 four) unidentified objects are placed irregularly on the
24 rooftop (the fourth “object” turns out to be a window on
25 the wall behind). The Court will recall what my response
26 was to the not unexpected discovery that during building
1 works such subjects as barrels of tar were placed on a
2 large flat slab, and I will not repeat it here. The
3 notion that the high flying plane could have photographed
4 an object of 27 centimetres, let alone of tennis ball
5 size, protruding from six inches above the ground from
6 that roof is quite absurd. The four smudges seen on one
7 photograph are evidently many feet long, nothing to do
8 with these so-called holes.
9 Your Lordship will remember that on day 11
10 I brought into the Court half a dozen very large vertical
11 aerial photographs, black and white photographs, taken by
12 the Americans or the South African Air Force during 1944,
13 and invited Professor van Pelt to find those same smudges
14 on that roof, the same dots.
15 Where until this moment he had seen dots on
16 another photograph with no difficulty, the witness van
17 Pelt now pleaded poor eyesight: (“I have now reached the
18 age I need reading glasses”, he said, “and I do not have
19 them with me. I did not expect this kind of challenge”.
20 Precisely). Had he used even a microscope, he would not
21 have found the dots in the 1944 pictures I showed him.
22 Because the holes were not there and are not there, and he
23 and the Defendants know it.
24 Even if the Nazi architects who designed the
25 building had willingly agreed to the weakening of the roof
26 by having makeshift holes cut that size right through the
1 slab next to the supporting pillars – I say “makeshift”
2 because there is no provision for them in any of the
3 architectural drawings that were shown to us – we should
4 certainly expect to see those holes now. My Lord, the
5 court will recall two things:
6 Firstly, I asked the witness van Pelt if he was
7 familiar (in view of the fact that he is not qualified
8 architecturally, as it turned out) with the expression
9 “fair faced concrete finish”. He confirmed that it is
10 concrete that has been left untreated. In other words, it
11 is not covered with cement or pebble dash or tiling. He
12 confirmed also that it is the most expensive such finish
13 that an architect can specify because the concrete has to
14 be poured right first time because blemishes like holes
15 and cavities can never be retouched afterwards. Filling
16 in the holes with cement, as van Pelt suggested in an
17 extraordinary piece of naivete, would have been evident in
18 the concrete face for ever after by differences in general
19 appearance, colouring, wear and fracturing; there would
20 have been a visible “drying line” as a ring around the
21 patch, and the wood grain pattern left by the wooden
22 formwork would have been interrupted. Common sense tells
23 us all of this as well.
24 The second point is, of course, we photographed
25 the underside of that slab and there is no trace of any
26 such blemish on the concrete roof’s underside, and there
1 are supposed to have been four of those filling holes.
2 Those holes are a major problem for this entire case.
3 On two occasions I stated a challenge in Court,
4 including to the witness van Pelt, as I said earlier.
5 I challenged the Defendants to send somebody to Auschwitz
6 even now, to scrape the thin layer of gravel and dirt off
7 the topside of the roof slab where they “know” the holes
8 must be because they know where the pillars – because the
9 eyewitnesses agreed they were next to the main columns –
10 and bring back a photograph of one of the holes or
11 evidence that it had been filled in.
12 If they did, I said, I would abandon my action
13 forthwith because my position would have become quite
14 indefensible. To my knowledge, the Defendants have not
15 attempted this exercise. They know and they knew from the
16 outset that I was right about that roof. Their entire
17 case on crematorium No. II – the untruth that it was used
18 as a factory of death, with SS guards tipping canisters of
19 cyanide-soaked pellets into the building through those
20 four (non-existent) manholes – has caved in, as surely as
21 that flat roof.
22 Accordingly, the eyewitnesses who spoke of those
23 holes also lied, or bluffed, and I have called their
24 bluff. In the absence of the holes themselves, and minus
25 his “eyewitnesses”, Professor van Pelt’s only remaining
26 proofs that Leichenkeller 1 of Crematorium No.II was an
1 instrument of mass murder – a factory of death, as he
2 said, in which 500,000 Jews were gassed and cremated – are
3 these: architectural drawings (rather oddly for a
4 “professor of architecture” he calls them blueprints) and
5 wartime documents. He confirmed this to your Lordship
6 when your Lordship asked.
7 As for the wartime documents, to take them
8 first, he referred, for instance, to the – to him,
9 sinister requirement that the morgue should be vorgewarmt,
10 prewarmed, by a central heating plant.
11 In cross-examination I drew his attention to the relevant
12 section of the wartime Neufert, which is the architect’s
13 handbook or building code which was standard for the SS
14 architects, which specifies that morgues, mortuaries, must
15 have both cooling and central heating facilities to avoid
16 damage to the corpses in the kinds of extremes of
17 temperature which exist in Central Europe. Document after
18 document fell by the wayside in this manner. Mr Rampton
19 introduced the timesheet of one humble workman in March
20 1943, showing him actually concreting “the floor in the
21 Gaskammer”, the gas chamber. But Birkenau camp was full
22 of gas chambers. In his fine facsimile building of the
23 camp documents, Jean-Claude Pressac has printed drawing
24 No. 801 of November 8th, 1941, for an Entlausungsanlage
25 (delousing installation) for the prison camp, right in the
26 middle of which is a Gaskammer. He also reproduces
1 drawing No. 1293, dated May 9th 1942, of the drainage and
2 water supply of the delousing barracks, building BW5b.
3 Here too there is a Gaskammer smack in the middle of the
4 drawing. So there goes that one too.
5 The real handling capacity — my Lord, of
6 course, we did look at other documents and I am sure your
7 Lordship will attend to that particular part of the
8 transcript in detail, but I just wanted to give the
9 flavour of the problem. The real handling capacity of the
10 crematoria is also surprisingly difficult to establish,
11 notwithstanding what Mr Rampton said this morning.
12 Professor van Pelt produced a histogram on an easel for us
13 which showed truly staggering protections of cadavers to
14 be cremated in coming years; but on cross-examination the
15 witness admitted that the projection was based solely on
16 one document, the questionable “crematorium capacities”
17 document of June 28th, 1943, and that all else was
18 extrapolated backwards from that sheet of paper.
19 Mr Rampton said that, as ever, I challenge that document,
20 as though I had challenged many other documents. My Lord,
21 to my knowledge, I have challenged —-
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. If I may just intervene and say that
23 I would find it easier if there were not such an overt
24 reaction to what you are saying on the other side of the
26 MR RAMPTON: I am sorry.
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, sorry, you got to the Bischoff
3 MR IRVING: The Bischoff document. Professor van Pelt relies
4 heavily on this document. My Lord, you will notice that I
5 have given all the appropriate footnote references to
6 assist you in navigating through the transcripts, and so
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, thank you.
9 MR IRVING: Even if genuine, even if the actual paper itself is
10 genuine, the handling figures which this document gives
11 for the furnace installation in Crematorium No. II do not
12 tally with any of the figures in the specifications
13 provided by the manufacturers, the Topf Company, for this
14 type of equipment. Furthermore, the document refers to
15 some crematoria which were at that time shut down, and to
16 others that were due to be taken out of commission, which
17 is again a mystifying business.
18 I had shown the Court on the previous day that
19 this one page of paper contained not just one or two, but
20 four or five, four or even five, bureaucratic
21 discrepancies which indicated to me that the document is
22 not authentic. It was not just that the year date was
23 wrong. Any one of those flaws would normally be enough to
24 call its integrity into question: but five such flaws in
25 one document, including the wrong rank for the highest man
26 in the SS site-construction system, SS Gruppenfuhrer Hans
1 Kammler? Professor van Pelt was unable to explain these
2 flaws; he had not noticed them. The document was first
3 published in East Berlin in the 1950s, and it is now to be
4 found in the Auschwitz archives, because it was sent there
5 from East Berlin in 1981. That alone is why it now bears
6 an Auschwitz archival stamp. It did not originate there,
7 but elsewhere. Even if the flaws can be explained, and
8 the figures were genuine, there is no indication of how
9 such huge numbers of bodies were to be handled within 24
10 hours; nor of where the coke was to come from. There is
11 no — logistic problems defeat the document. (There is
12 no acceptable evidence that the Auschwitz staff found any
13 way of improving on the average coke consumption of 30 kg
14 per cadaver achieved by other camps).
15 The bottleneck in the entire crematorium II
16 “factory of death” story is however that little freight
17 elevator that was installed between that morgue, the
18 underground mortuary, Leichenkeller No. 1, as in any such
19 state-of-the-art crematorium, to haul the bodies up from
20 the basement-level morgue up to the crematorium furnaces
21 on the ground floor. We are told by the Defendants that
22 this elevator was never anything more sophisticated than
23 something like a builder’s hoist. The real elevator was
24 never delivered. It had no door, no cage, no walls – it
25 was just a platform jolting up and down that elevator
26 shaft. We do know that as finally installed it had a
1 specified load bearing capacity of 1,500 kilograms.
2 Professor van Pelt suggested that the hoist could,
3 therefore, have hauled 25 cadavers at a time. In
4 practice, as there was just a flat platform with no walls
5 or door, jolting up and down that narrow concrete elevator
6 shaft, I submit that it would have been impossible to
7 stack on to one small platform 25 naked cadavers in the
8 conditions of filth and slime, the horror, that had been
9 described by the eyewitnesses.
10 It does not bear thinking about, I agree, and
11 that is why I am not going to dwell on it. We cannot
12 produce hard figures for this part of the exercise, but
13 one thing is plain: that one elevator in crematorium II
14 was the inescapable bottleneck, and it makes plain that,
15 whatever was happening downstairs in the mortuary,
16 Leichenkeller No. 1, it was not on the huge scale, on the
17 huge scale that history now suggests.
18 In response to your Lordship’s helpful
19 questioning, Professor van Pelt stated that the wartime
20 documents to interpreted if they were to be relied on for
21 this proof. These interpretations are quite tenuous. He
22 produced to us a document referring to the special secrecy
23 to be attached to the crematorium drawings. I am sure
24 your Lordship remembers that document. It was at first
25 blush quite an interesting document. He suggested that
26 this was because of the mass gassings being carried on in
1 the buildings, in the crematorium. It stressed that this
2 was because — the document stressed that this was because
3 of the wehrwirtschaftlich importance [the importance to
4 the military economy] of the work being conducted in that
5 building or those buildings. But van Pelt confirmed under
6 my cross-examination that the homicidal Final Solution,
7 the genocide, was never regarded as being
8 wehrwirtschaftlich important, important to the economy.
9 I submitted that the reference was clearly to keeping
10 secret the ugly business of the looting by the SS of the
11 gold and valuables from the corpses being processed by the
12 building, a system which was undoubtedly of economic
13 importance to the SS.
14 Similarly, the architectural drawings seemed to
15 provide the required “proof” only when one was compared
16 with another. That was one of the other problems. As
17 Professor van Pelt said: “… we can look now at two or
18 three drawings together and … We start to observe some
19 very weird things and some modifications made between one
20 drawing and the other drawing…” Those were his words, to
21 which my comment is, is that the best level of proof that
22 is available now, even after 55 years?
23 During his slide-show, Professor van Pelt told
24 us that one cardinal piece of evidence in this drawings
25 was the relocation of an internal double-door which sealed
26 off Leichenkeller No. 1 from the interior of the building,
1 from the inside of the Leichenkeller doorframe to the
2 outside. The door was moved in the drawings from the
3 inside of the wall to the outside. I pointed out that in
4 the new layout, the doors were shown as being actually
5 rebated into the doorframe and I suggested to the witness
6 that this was indicative of a gas-tight door being fitted
7 as in any standard air raid shelter design. Air raid
8 shelter doors are routinely fitted outside the shelter, to
9 open outwards, so as to withstand blast. Neufert, which
10 is the wartime architects’ handbook, bears this out.
11 The witness seems not to have considered this
12 possibility. As Mr Rampton again mentioned, the doors
13 allegedly found around the Birkenhau and Auschwitz sites
14 subsequently are fitted with peep holes. But I say that
15 that is the standard air raid shelter design complete with
16 the obligatory peep hole that is fitted to air raid
17 shelter doors. The amendment of the drawings to provide
18 for an external door, leading from the far end of the
19 subterrranean morgue to the open air, Leichenkeller No. 1,
20 was also consonant with its dual use as an air raid
21 shelter, and I put this to the witness on Day 11, as was
22 the relocation of the main entrance staircase from the
23 back of the building to the street-side. Among the
24 architectural drawings provided to us from the Auschwitz
25 archives is one entitled “Modification of the old
26 Crematorium”, namely crematorium No. 1 in Auschwitz,
1 subtitled: “Air Raid Bunker for SS Station HQ with an
2 Operating Theatre”. So such modifications of the morgues
3 to provide air raid shelter capacity were clearly nothing
4 extraordinary. Mr Rampton made a lot of the order for the
5 doors with peep holes both during the hearings and this
6 morning, but peep holes were standard fittings, not only
7 on the gas-tight air raid shelter doors, but also on the
8 delousing facilities. Jean-Claude Pressac prints
9 photographs of two such doors on the “Canada” delousing
10 chamber at Birkenhau.
11 Looking specifically at the possible use of
12 crematorium No. II and the underground basement area as
13 being adapted for future air raid shelter use:
14 Crematorium No. II, like its mirror image Crematorium
15 No. III on the other side of the road, was originally
16 designed as a state-of-the-art crematorium, possibly not
17 just for the camp but for the whole catchment area of
18 Auschwitz which had for centuries been an area of
19 pestilence and plague. No expense was spared in its
20 design. This was German tax-payer money and they did not
21 care. The best equipment and architects were used on what
22 was clearly a permanent facility. Building the morgue,
23 the mortuary, underground, instead of above ground,
24 increased construction costs by several times, but
25 provided for keeping the morgue cool during the baking hot
26 Central European summers. Had the building been designed
1 from the start as a human slaughterhouse, it would
2 certainly not have been designed on several levels with
3 resultant handling problems. Slaughterhouses are normally
4 built on one level.
5 We saw in Professor van Pelt’s slide-show the
6 pouring of the concrete roof, the roof slab, of the
7 subterranean Leichenkeller No. II; the roof was
8 undoubtedly much the same as Leichenkeller No. 1 with a
9 six inch reinforced steel mesh. This undoubtedly made the
10 new building one of the most robust on the site:
11 certainly more robust and fireproof in an air raid than
12 the flimsy wooden horse-barracks in which the prisoners
13 and slave labour were housed.
14 We were told by Mr Rampton this morning this
15 seemed improbable to establish an air raid shelter
16 facility for the SS who were 1.5 miles away. Well, the
17 early warning posts were in Holland, and they were
18 probably 1,500 miles away. So they would provide more
19 than adequate time for the SS to gallop that 1.5 miles to
20 this building with the concrete roof.
21 The captured Bauleitung records of Auschwitz
22 housed in Moscow confirm that from mid 1942 onwards they
23 began to consider the construction at the camp of
24 shelters, splinter trenches, and other ARP, Air Raid
25 Precaution, measures. To be fair to the witness, when
26 these Moscow catalogue entries were put to Professor van
1 Pelt he seemed unfamiliar with them. After the air raids,
2 our British air raids, on Cologne, Rostock and Lubeck –
3 that was in March/April 1942 – the German High Command
4 recognized the likelihood that air raids would spread
5 across Poland and Central Europe, and they ordered the
6 construction of extended ARP facilities throughout the
7 occupied Eastern territories insofar as they can within
8 bomber range. Existing basements, this document said,
9 were to be converted into shelters, and anti-gas equipment
10 provided, and personnel trained in anti-gas warfare, as
11 gas attack was widely expected. I have given your
12 Lordship the reference. I put the document to Professor
13 Longerich and on Day 10 I said to him: “[…] the Defence
14 rely on a number of photographs of doors found scattered
15 around the compound of Auschwitz and Birkenhau, and we
16 will show that these are standard German air raid shelter
17 doors complete with peep holes”. And, my Lord, I
18 have provided photographs of such air raid shelter doors
19 in various bundles.
20 These precautions were not in vain. In May
21 1943, there was an air raid on the nearby Auschwitz Buna
22 plant. This is reflected in the Auschwitz documents. At
23 least one of the American aerial photographs that I
24 produced to the Court, the black and white photographs,
25 the big ones, and to the witness, Professor van Pelt,
26 shows a stick of heavy bombs just released by the plane
1 that took the photograph descending over the camp. By the
2 end of the war, there was also an anti-aircraft unit
3 assigned to defending the region, as shown by the
4 reference in Judge Staglich’s membership of the Flak unit
5 that manned it.
6 Your Lordship will also remember that during his
7 slide-show, van Pelt showed the court a series of most
8 interesting computer-generated “walk-through”
9 reconstructions of the interiors of Crematorium IV and V.
10 Your Lordship had actually memorized the dimensions of the
11 shutter, the wooden shutter, of 30 centimetres by 40
12 centimetres. There were also said to be steps leading up
13 to the openings. The wartime civil defence journal
14 Luftschutz shows precisely this arrangement of gas type
15 shutters and steps as a standard air raid shelter feature
16 designed for the event of gas warfare.
17 I put this fact to the witness van Pelt: “Would
18 you agree that those shutters that have been found in the
19 Auschwitz camp are, in fact, standard German air-raid
20 shutters supplied by manufacturers to a standard design?”
21 The eyewitnesses stated that thousands of
22 victims were gassed in these rooms, however, and their
23 bodies burned in large pits to the building’s rear. But
24 the contemporary air photographs taken by the Americans
25 show no such pits, nor are they evident today. Confronted
26 with what your Lordship has yourself referred to as the
1 lack of documentary evidence for the gassings, Professor
2 van Pelt could only offer the suggestion that the use of
3 gas chambers at Auschwitz and Birkenhau was a “moral
4 certainty”. Three times in his report, three times in his
5 report, he fell back upon that semi-religious phrase. The
6 available proofs certainly do not support the belief that
7 gassings there occurred on a mass scale.
8 If I can just fill in what I have not said
9 there? Of course, I do accept that there were gassings on
10 a small scale at Auschwitz in the buildings identified as
11 bunkers I and II which were houses which have since been
12 torn down.
13 I will not dwell long on the uniformly poor
14 evidentiary basis on the other extermination camps, known
15 to the Court as the Operation Reinhard camps – Belzec,
16 Sobibor and Treblinka. Here we do not have even the
17 “moral certainty” which comforted Professor van Pelt.
18 I can only challenge here the scale and the systematic
19 nature of the alleged gassing of more than one million
20 people in these centres. The Defendants’ own witness,
21 Professor Browning, admits that the documentation for
22 these camps is “scant”, that is his word, and I place
23 great weight on that admission. Here, the expert cannot
24 find even one contemporaneous document. He relies upon
25 the eyewitnesses – men of the ilk of Kurt Gerstein, Jan
26 Karski, Adolf Eichmann and Rudolf Hoss. The fictional
1 elements in their statements – your Lordship will remember
2 the “130 foot high mountain of clothes” which Professor
3 Browning in his first draft skipped over, the
4 “electrocution chambers” and the “steam chambers”, the
5 deliberately inflated death rolls which would otherwise
6 shriek their warnings to critical researchers – are either
7 ignored or suppressed in order to maintain appearances.
8 My Lord, there is an impressive (and we are both
9 agreed on this, all parties) level of documentation which
10 demonstrates that the liquidation by shooting of hundreds
11 of thousands of Jews, probably over a million, by the
12 Einsatzgruppen, but there is nothing of equivalent value
13 for the Operation Reinhard camps. One word, Why?
14 justifies the revisionist’s scepticism.
15 The Walter Fohl letter produces a similar
16 response from the experts. Found in his Berlin Document
17 Centre personnel file, this man, who is in charge of a
18 resettlement office at Krakow, is seen writing on June
19 21st 1942 to his SS comrades as follows:
20 “Every day, trains are arriving with over 1,000
21 Jews each from throughout Europe”, in Krakow, passing
22 through. “We provide first aid here, give them more or
23 less provisional accommodation, and usually deport them
24 further towards the White Sea or to the White Ruthenian
25 marshlands, where they all – if they survive (and the Jews
26 from Kurfurstendamm or Vienna or Pressburg certainly
1 won’t) – will be gathered by the end of the war, but not
2 without first having built a few roads. (But we’re not
3 supposed to talk about it).” An extraordinary document.
4 The expert witnesses, unable otherwise to
5 explain this document, dismissed it as obvious
6 “camouflage” talk. But why should Fohl use camouflage
7 when writing to his SS comrades? As I pointed out to
8 Dr Longerich, Reinhard Heydrich himself had spoken of the
9 White Sea option a few days later, on February 4th 1942 in
11 It was noticeable elsewhere that none of the
12 experts was willing to give documents their natural
13 meanings when they did not accord with their views. It is
14 a clear case of manipulation, in my view. The Ahnert
15 document, recording a meeting at the RSHA in Berlin, under
16 Eichmann, on August 28th, 1942, was another example.
17 There was talk of the need for the deportees, August 1942,
18 to be provided with blankets, shoes, eating utensils
19 before dispatch to Auschwitz. Eichmann requested the
20 purchases of barracks for a Jewish deportee camp to be
21 erected in Russia, with three to five such barracks being
22 loaded aboard every transport train. In each case,
23 because the document did not accord with their
24 “exterminationist” views, the expert had failed to pursue
25 it. Dr Longerich, who included it as an appendix in one
26 of his books, had forgotten it even existed when
1 I cross-examined him about it.
2 Coming now towards the end of my submission, my
3 Lord, the allegations of racism and anti-Semitism. I have
4 to address the allegations of racism, although I have the
5 feeling that your Lordship is not over-impressed by them.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do not get feelings one way or the other
7 about any part of the case, Mr Irving. It is a trap.
8 MR IRVING: It was a good try.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: On the other hand, it is a matter for you
10 because I am letting you say pretty much what you want to
11 say, I know because I have them now provided very
12 conveniently, exactly what it is that is relied on by way
13 of anti-Semitic statements, racist statements and so on.
14 MR IRVING: I shall definitely make some response therefore.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. I mean you can deal with them
16 generally, if you like, rather than going through them, as
17 it were, one by way. I appreciate you do not go through
18 them all.
19 MR IRVING: I have not gone through them one by one, my Lord.
20 In fact I have not even read them.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I offer you the opportunity of making general
22 answers to those submissions rather than by reading it all
23 out. It is entirely up to you.
24 MR IRVING: I do not read them all out, but I shall certainly
25 deal with my arguments. The Defendants have resorted to
26 the allegations that I am anti-Semitic and racist. It may
1 be that they are going to pay dearly for those remarks.
2 Mr Rampton’s highly paid experts have found one 1963 entry
3 in my diary, four lines written 37 years ago, about a
4 visit to my lawyer Mr Michael Rubenstein to discuss a
5 satirical magazine article which I had written, after
6 which visit I commented: “Thick skinned these Jews are”.
7 This is all that they could find from the millions of
8 words in my diaries available to them by way of
9 anti-Semitism. Twenty million words of diaries and they
10 found “Thick skinned these Jews are”. When I remarked on
11 March 2nd in court, my Lord, upon the obvious paradox that
12 an alleged anti-Semite would have retained Michael
13 Rubenstein as his solicitor and respected advisor for 20
14 years, Mr Rampton’s comment, which your Lordship may well
15 remember, was: “Many of my best friends are Jews too,
16 Mr Irving”. This stock line does not disguise the paucity
17 of his evidence against me.
18 In further support of this contention they have
19 taken isolated remarks made in lectures and speeches for
20 which they have transcribed around half a million words.
21 My Lord, I trust that your Lordship will in each case
22 consider the context in which the remarks are made.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of course.
24 MR IRVING: And also the broader surrounding countryside, if
25 I may put it like that. What I would ask your Lordship to
26 do is to take the ugliest example, whichever your Lordship
1 deems that to be, reach up for the full transcript of
2 whatever that speech was, and ask yourself why I have put
3 that remark in and see what else is in that speech. Then
4 I submit that the alleged anti-Semitic remark fails into
5 insignificance, if it is even taken to be anti-Semitic at
7 For 30 years, as I set out earlier in this room
8 this afternoon, I have found myself subjected to vicious
9 attack by bodies, acting, as they freely admit, as Jews.
10 For 30 years I endeavoured to turn the other cheek and did
11 nothing about it. I hope I succeeded. Mr Rampton drew
12 attention to the fun I poked at Simon Wiesenthal. I made
13 a joke in a public meeting about his, an explicit joke
14 I made about his other than good looks, if I can put it
15 like that. Mr Rampton called that remark “anti-Semitic”.
16 It was not. It was a joke about the man’s looks, of the
17 same genre that Mr Rampton made when he enquired
18 rhetorically of Professor Funke whether a certain
19 outer-fringe Swedish revisionist seen in one video shown
20 to the court with long blonde hair was a man or woman. It
21 is exactly the same kind of throw-away remark.
22 In view of the manner in which the two Simon
23 Wiesenthal centres have been abusing my name in their fund
24 rasing leaflets, and endeavouring to destroy my own
25 livelihood, the court might think that my fun-making,
26 while tasteless, remark was not undeserved, possibly it
1 was even rather reserved. It was not anti-Semitic.
2 Mr Wiesenthal is no more immune from criticism either as a
3 person or as a public figure than I am.
4 Searching hopefully for evidence of
5 “anti-Semitism” in me, the investigation by he Board of
6 Deputies in 1992 came up empty handed in their secret
7 report which they planted on Canadian government files.
8 They confirmed that I had dealings with my Jews in my
9 professional life, and they added that I “used this as an
10 excuse” to say that I am not an anti-Semite. These people
11 are hard to please. “He is far too clever an opponent”
12 the Board wrote in this secret report, “to openly admit to
13 being an anti-Semite”. “We endorse all condemnation of
14 anti-Semitism”, they quote me as writing in my newsletter
15 back in 1982. All of these things, including the actual
16 1992 secret intelligence report filed by he Board of
17 Deputies, were disclosed to these Defendants in my
18 discovery. The Defendants quoted a passage from a speech
19 delivered, they said, in May 1992. In fact, as my diary
20 confirms, it was delivered in May 1993. So it may be that
21 the year was not accidental, because by that time my
22 family and I had been subjected to a catalogue of insults
23 by the leaders of these various bodies. If a writer’s
24 books are banned and burnt, his bookshops are smashed, his
25 hands are manacled, his person insulted, his printers are
26 burnt down, his access to the world’s archives is denied,
1 his family’s livelihood is destroyed, his phone lines are
2 jammed with obscene and threatening phone calls, death
3 threats, his house is beset by violent, angry mobs, the
4 walls and posts around his address are plastered with
5 stickers inciting the public to violence against him, and
6 a wreath is sent to him with a foul and taunting message
7 on the death of his oldest daughter, then it ill-behoves
8 people to offer cheap criticism if the writer finally
9 commits the occasional indiscretion and lapse in referring
10 to the people who are doing it to him.
11 I singled out in this — well, I am not going to
12 comment at length on these evil allegations and slurs.
13 They lend fire and fury to the original libel complained
14 of, that is my view. I submit that the word “racism” in
15 the ears of the man in the Clapham Omnibus is about
16 Stephen Lawrence and cone heads in the Ku Klux Klan. It
17 conjures up images of murder and thuggery and violence and
18 foul-mouthed graffiti. In deliberating on the conduct of
19 the case and on the appropriate scale of damages, your
20 Lordship will no doubt bear them in mind, these
21 allegations made against me.
22 I voluntarily provided all my entire private
23 diaries to the Defendants in this action. They asked to
24 see a few pages and I said “take the lot”. Fifty-nine
25 volumes of private diaries, 20 million words on paper and
26 on disk. Mr Rampton produced from them one nineteen-word
1 ditty attached to another quite harmless one about the
2 “messica dressica” of my daughter Jessica. To find in
3 all those diaries and telephone conversations written
4 since 1959 just one nineteen-word ditty that you could
5 trot out for the media, does not suggest that I am as
6 obsessed with race and racism as learned counsel and, for
7 that matter, the newspapers that report this case too.
8 I repeat, this multi-million dollar Defence team
9 has found one nineteen-word nonsense poem, recorded in my
10 diary with other Lear- or Belloc-type rhythmic verses as
11 having been recited to my own nine-month old infant who
12 has, I am glad to say, grown into a delightful girl of six
13 now, bearing none of the traces of the poison that
14 Mr Rampton recklessly suggested that I had fed to her.
15 Fortunately, I did not sing to her “Three Blind Mice”.
16 Similarly, from my hundreds of lectures and
17 talks these very proper spaniels have sniffed out a few
18 lines of music-hall whit of the type that a Dave Allen
19 might indulge in, with Mr Trevor McDonald as one of the
20 butts. That in Mr Rampton’s words is racism. One wonders
21 which well-shielded part of the modern world is inhabited
22 by learned counsel. Can anyone go and live there?
23 The references that I have made to what is now
24 formally called the Instrumentalization of the Holocaust,
25 have also been adduced as evidence of anti-Semitism. Are
26 non-Jews disbarred from making a criticism that is made
1 increasing vocally now by others like Professor Peter
2 Novak or by Leon Weiseltier, the literary editor of the
3 New Republic who wrote on May 3rd 1993: “It is a sad
4 fact, said the principal philanthropist of the grotesque
5 Simon Wiesenthal Centre of Los Angeles, that Israel and
6 Jewish education and all the other familiar buzz words no
7 longer seem to rally Jews behind the community, the
8 Holocaust though works every time.”
9 I turn to page 89, my Lord, the third
10 paragraph. In general, I would invite your Lordship to
11 pick out one such utterance as a sample, to reach then for
12 the transcript of the entire speech, to take note of the
13 rest of its content, its clear reference to the very real
14 sufferings of the Jews, the liquidations, the Bruns report
15 and the rest, and then ask: Was the remark true? Was it
16 explicable? Was it rhetorically justified as part of the
17 skilled lecturer’s armoury?
18 Your Lordship has been told of my remarks that
19 more women died on Kennedy’s back seat than in the gas
20 chamber at Auschwitz, the one shown to the tourists. It
21 is a tasteless but quite literally true. It is, as I have
22 shown in this court, even true if the main gas chamber at
23 Birkenau is brought into the equation, crematorium (ii),
24 the factory of death, because the eyewitnesses lied about
25 that one too. The Poles have admitted that the Auschwitz
26 building and its chimney are a post-1948 fake. My
1 colourful language, my tasteless language, was a
2 rhetorical way of bringing that extraordinary revelation
3 home to audiences.
4 The audiences, I am told, are extreme audiences,
5 of extreme people, although the photographs suggest rather
6 differently. They appear rather boring middle-age kind of
8 My files confirm that I occasionally addressed
9 audiences of the Association for Free Journalism in
10 Germany, the National Democratic Party in Germany and the
11 German Peoples Union. My Lord, those four documents which
12 I have disclosed to the Defendants, they are English
13 translations of the policy leaflets, the manifestos of
14 these bodies, and in my submission they do not show them
15 to be extreme in any way. These were, furthermore, bodies
16 that were accepted at that time under Germany’s very
17 strict laws as being legal and constitutional. But the
18 court is more concerned, I believe, with have individual
19 personages than with bodies, than with the actual
20 organizations. I have not the slightest doubt that this
21 court will find that I had no meaningful contact with the
22 ugly rag-bag neo-Nazi extremists mentioned by Professor
23 Funke, people with whom, to make the point quite clearly,
24 the Defendants, their experts and their legal team seem
25 more familiar than I. Most of the names were completely
26 unknown to me and the Defence have sought, in vein, for
1 them in my diaries and papers, to which I emphasise yet
2 again I gave them complete and unlimited privileged
3 access. This has not stopped them from bringing these
4 names forward and mentioning these alleged links in the
5 open court in an attempt to smear me still further with an
6 eye particularly on the German media. I urge that this,
7 their conduct of the case, be held against them.
8 Characteristically of the weakness of their
9 case, Professor Funke listed one entry in a diary where
10 I noted “road journey with a Thomas” whose second name
11 I never learned; Funke entered the name “Dienel?” So for
12 as I know, I have never met a Dienel, but it illustrates
13 the kind of evidence that the Defence were hoping to rely
15 As for Michael Kuhnen, the documentary evidence
16 before both Professor Funke when he wrote his report and
17 before this court, is that I explicitly said I would not
18 attend any function at which he was even present. I never
19 did and I never met him.
20 By way of evidence the court has been shown a
21 number of videos. Shorn of their commercial packaging,
22 they do not amount to very much, in my submission. In
23 view of the weight attached to it by learned counsel and
24 by his witness Professor Funke, my Lord, I have
25 re-examined the raw video of Halle function of November
26 9th 1991 at which I briefly spoke, and I have timed and
1 listed the scenes that it shows. My Lord, you will see in
2 the footnote on that page that I have given the
3 appropriate breakdown referring to the time on the video.
4 Your Lordship may wish at sometime to have the
5 video back to check that these times are correct, or the
6 Defendants’ solicitors may wish to submit any corrections
7 they feel are needed.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. I will assume your time is correct
9 unless I am told otherwise.
10 MR IRVING: Yes, unless otherwise informed. The raw details
11 are, when the when camera’s meter shows 170021 I am first
12 seen arriving at an unnamed hotel restaurant in Halle,
13 accompanied by Mrs Worch and by David Leigh of he Sunday
14 Observer. At 17:14:40 I am again glimpsed, 14 minutes
15 later, still at the hotel speaking to a reporter. The
16 cameraman and David Leigh then go off to film the rival
17 processions during which I am at no time seen on film. In
18 fact I remained lunching at the hotel. At 18:11:00 a
19 truck is seen being rigged as an open-air platform, and at
20 18:14:26 I am seen with two reporters watching from the
21 edge of the square. In my submission, my Lord, I do not
22 have a particularly happy look on my face at all at what
23 I am seeing.
24 At 18:16 I walk over to the platform, hands in
25 pockets and mount it. The man whom Professor Funke tells
26 us is Dienel, and I have no way of checking it one way or
1 the other, is seen to get off to the left and there is no
2 contact whatever between him and me. Mr Worch briefly
3 introduces me to the audience. I begin speaking at
4 18:16:39 and the filmed portion of my speech ends less
5 than three and a half minutes later.
6 When the off-screen chanting of slogans begins
7 at 18:18:59 I am clearly seen to interrupt my speech,
8 shake my head at them and gesticulate with my left hand to
9 them to stop, and I am clearly heard to say, “You must
10 not”, because they are shouting the “Siegheil” slogans,
11 Mein Fuhrer, and things like, “you must not always be
12 thinking of the past”. I am heard clearly to say: “You
13 must always be thinking of the past. You must not keep
14 coming out with the slogans of the past. We are thinking
15 of the future [voice emphasised] of Germany. We are
16 thinking of the future of the German people. As an
17 Englishman I have to say …”, and so on. So I am quite
18 clearly expressing extreme anger at these people who have
19 come along with their Nazi slogans.
20 Six seconds after ending my brief speech I am
21 seen to leave the platform without further contact with
22 anybody. My diary notes that I at once left by car and
23 drove back to the Rhur in Western Germany.
24 Heavily edited, for example to remove my rebuke
25 to these slogan-shouting people, whom I took and take to
26 have been agents provocateurs, this sequence was shown on
1 November 28th and 29th to British TV audiences in a “This
2 Week” programme entitled “Hitler’s Children, the New
3 Nazis”, directed by the German Michael Schmidt, Professor
4 Funke’s star witness, and with none other than Gerald
5 Gable of Searchlight listed as the consultant, and in
6 Despatches on the other channel. This indicates whose
7 hands were behind the editing. Again, heavily edited the
8 film has been shown around the world against me. This was
9 the thrice edited film to which I drew your Lordship’s
10 attention in suggesting there was evidence of dubious
12 May I again remind your Lordship of my basic
13 principle on lecturing. Unlike the Defendants who have
14 proudly stated that they refuse to debate with opponents,
15 I have expressed a readiness to attend, to address all and
16 any who are willing to listen. Your Lordship will
17 remember my letter of June 24th 1988 to my editor William
18 Morrow, Connie Roosevelt, to whom I wrote:
19 “I have been invited to speak as a guest
20 speaker at a right-wing function in Los Angeles next
21 February. They have offered a substantial fee and all my
22 expenses, and until now I have adopted a policy of never
23 refusing an invitation if the speakers meet my terms,
24 namely a free speech and a fat fee. On this occasion
25 I intend to give the audience a piece of mind about some
26 of their lunatic views.”
1 I may secondly point out that were it not for
2 the clandestine activities of the violent and extremist
3 bodies dedicated to destroy my right to free speech and
4 the rights of all audiences in the United States and
5 elsewhere, at Berkley, at Dublin, Pretoria or wherever, to
6 hear my opponents and equally dedicated to intimidating my
7 publishers and smashing bookstall windows, where it not
8 for their hate campaign I would have been able to continue
9 in the normal manner with my exemplary professional
10 career. It rings hollow that the same shabby bodies who
11 have generated the hatred against me now point their
12 crooked finger at my and abuse me using the very
13 considerable privileges afforded to them by this court, to
14 continuing to make my voice heard whenever I can. When
15 I use words to describe them in detail, which they well
16 deserve, they ring their hands lament about extremism.
17 I have pointed out that so far as Germany is
18 concerned, none of the German bodies who invited me to
19 speak was illegal or banned. In fact when first invited
20 to address the German Peoples Union I wrote to and
21 telephoned the Germany Embassy, as the documents in my
22 discovery show, and asked them specifically whether this
23 was a legal and constitutional body. The Embassy
24 confirmed in writing on July 25th 1984 that was. The
25 extremism was in the eye of beholder. The further to the
26 left the beholder squinted from, the more distant these
1 bodies may have seem from him.
2 We have heard a lot from Professor Funke, the
3 sociologist of the Free University in Berlin. My Lord,
4 I am now going to pass over the next two pages and
5 continue from the bottom of page 94. As for his
6 allegation, the allegation by Professor Funke, here in
7 court, my Lord, I also ask you to disregard those two
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I think I know why, and I think that is
10 very right and proper.
11 MR IRVING: As for his allegation here in court that I should
12 have known that various allegations were going to be
13 banned in years ahead, it is difficult for an Englishmen
14 coming from a country with deeper democratic traditions
15 than Professor Funke’s, to implant himself into the brain
16 or mindset of the authoritarian German mould where book
17 burning is now once again de rigueur, where a German
18 academic like Funke does not bat an eyelid upon hearing
19 that a teacher is still serving a seven-year jail sentence
20 imposed for chairing a lecture at which I spoke, where two
21 District Court judges who acquitted that teacher were
22 reprimanded and finally retired in disgrace by order of
23 the Minister of Justice, and where governments recently
24 have begun routinely banning fringe opposition parties and
25 circumscribing even their legal activities.
26 My general response to this attempt at “guilt by
1 association” which we have seen a lot over the last few
2 weeks, is to compare it with the worst accesses of the
3 inquisitions conducted by Senator Joseph McCarthy. In
4 Britain the courts have always viewed it as repugnant;
5 most recently I believe Morland J in another court in the
6 same building. Hollywood’s finest scriptwriters, many of
7 them Jewish, had their careers vernichtet, to use that
8 word again, by the reckless allegation that they had
9 associated with known communists. Now come these
10 Defendants levelling the mirror image of these same
11 charges at me. McCarthyism was rightly exposed for what
12 it was in more recent years and more enlightened years,
13 and these Defendants for their own purposes are seeking to
14 turn the clock back.
15 As far as the United States are concerned, apart
16 from the Institute of Historical Review, which I shall
17 deal with separately, the one organization identified by
18 learned counsel for the Defence, as I understand it, is
19 the National Alliance. First let me point out that, no
20 doubt with good reason, the Defendants have decided not to
21 call their expert on political extremism in the United
22 States, Professor Levin, and they have withdrawn his
23 expert report. I think “junked” was the word. Mr Rampton
24 used the word “junked” or “dumped” I believe. Had they
25 not I would have “debunked” it I think. We have,
26 therefore, no general expert evidence as to the nature of
1 he National Alliance, and I think I ought to emphasise
2 that matter. The court is probably as much in the dark
3 about this group as anybody else.
4 The Defence invites the court to study the
5 leaflets put about by that body at one meeting, but could
6 offer to the court not the slightest evidence that I was
7 aware of such leaflets or, for that matter, if they are
8 once again falling back on negligence, that I ought to
9 have been aware of them.
10 If, as I submit, the meetings were organized by
11 individual friends of mine acting outside whatever their
12 capacity, if any, within the National Alliance may have
13 been, there is no reason why I should have read such
14 leaflets if they were indeed on offer.
15 As for the IHR, the Institute of Historical
16 Review, I have little to add to what I have stated in my
17 various written replies and on the witness stand. It is
18 clearly unsatisfactory, though not surprising, that
19 establishment scholars feel the need to dismiss any rival
20 body of scholars or historians as extremists, merely on
21 the basis that these others propagate a different version
22 of history from their own consensus versions.
23 The officials of the IHR nearly all hold
24 academic qualifications. True they are not trained
25 historians, but then neither are some of the most famous
26 names of historians in both ancient and contemporary
1 times. It is clear from correspondence before the court
2 that I recognize he short-comings in the old IHR, and
3 I was keen to introduce them to new speakers, including
4 mainline scholars, historians like John Toland who did in
5 fact speak there, Professor Ernst Nolte and Michael
6 Beschloss. I am not and never have been an official of
7 the IHR. At most, one of many friendly advisers. As for
8 speaking engagements, my association with the IHR has been
9 the same as my association with (I use the word
10 “association” again), for example, Cambridge University
11 Fabian Society because I spoke there too, or the Trinity
12 College Dublin Lit. &Debc., or any other body of
13 enlightened people keen to hear alternative views.
14 Professor Evans in his odious attempts to smear
15 and defile my name which I hope will long haunt him in the
16 common rooms at Cambridge, called me a frequent speaker at
17 the IHR, and may I say “so what?” None of my lectures had
18 a Holocaust denial or anti-Semitic or extremist theme.
19 I spoke on Churchill, on Pearl Harbour, on Rommel, on the
20 Goebbels’ Diaries, on my Eichmann papers find, and on
21 general problems of writing history. The court has
22 learned that I have in fact addressed functions of the IHR
23 only five times in seventeen years, one lecture each
24 time. No amount of squirming by this expert witness could
25 increase that figure. It is true that I socialized before
26 or after the event with the IHR officials and their
1 wives. So what? It is true that I use their warehousing
2 facilities. So what? It is true that the IHR, along with
3 thousands of other retail outlets sell my books. So what?
4 It is true that I introduced them to subjects which some
5 members of their audience found deeply uncomfortable, for
6 example, the confessions of Adolf Eichmann, the harrowing
7 Bruns report and the Kristallnacht. I would willingly
8 read out the relevant extracts of my lectures to the IHR,
9 but my Lord, through the courtesy and industry of the
10 Defendants’ solicitors, which I have already had cause to
11 praise, your Lordship is already funded with extensive
12 transcripts of precisely those talks, and I would ask that
13 your Lordship read them or look at them with this
14 paragraph in mind.
15 I am accused of telling audiences what they want
16 to hear, and that may be partially true, but, by Jove,
17 having done so, then I used the goodwill generated like
18 that to tell them a lot of things they very much did not
19 want to hear. The Defendants would willingly overlook
20 that aspect of my association with the IHR, and I trust
21 that the court will not.
22 As for the National Alliance, an organization of
23 which the Defence makes much, once again, as an
24 Englishman —-
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You have dealt with that already.
26 MR IRVING: We have had it, but I am back again, my Lord. It
1 must have been quite late at night when I wrote this
2 part. As an Englishman I am completely unfamiliar with he
3 nature the National Alliance, its logo and its name. It
4 may be that the name means more to the Defendants and to
5 those who are financing the efforts than it means to me.
6 It certainly meant nothing to the English members of the
7 gallery on the day that it was mentioned here.
8 I have no meaningful contacts with the
9 organization as such. One or at most two of its
10 individuals members who were already on my mailing list
11 volunteered, like scores of other Americans, to organize
12 lectures for me. One was Erich Gliebe who has always
13 organized my lectures Cleveland in Ohio. On the evidence
14 of his notepaper from the year 1990 (that is ten years ago
15 now) he is also a National Alliance member. I ask the
16 court to accept that when asked about it ten years later
17 I had long forgotten receiving that one letter from him
18 with its heading and its logo. Before each lecture date
19 I mailed an invitation letter to my entire mailing list of
20 friends in each State. The audience was, therefore,
21 largely my own people, if I can put it like that. That is
22 why Mr Breeding rather superfluously welcomes the
23 strangers in his opening remarks on the Florida video tape
24 as seen. Had he told me he would also claim to do so on
25 behalf of his organization, I would have told him not to.
26 It was my function and the audience were my guests and not
2 The photographs taken at this meeting shows, as
3 the Defendants’ own agents have warranted, no formal
4 National Alliance presence, flags, arm bands or whatever.
5 The witness statement of Rebecca Gutmann has confirmed
7 Learned counsel for the Defendants has drawn
8 attention to one 18-inch wide pennant, that is my
9 estimate, displayed at the function on a side wall with
10 what they state is the National Alliance logo on it
11 visible on the video film. Its logo appears to be based
12 on the CND design. I did not notice it at the time nor
13 would I have had the faintest idea what it was if I did.
14 Evidently Mr Gliebe told me that his pals at the National
15 Alliance had had a hand in organizing my successful
16 Cleveland function, and that is why I noted in my diary
17 with a hint of surprise that it turns out that the
18 National Alliance had organized the other meeting too.
19 The court may agree that this phrase alone is
20 evidence that their involvement was (A) not manifest, and
21 (B) not known to me before. Given that the audience was
22 largely my own making, it does not seem worthy of much
23 note. I submit that this kind of defence evidence really
24 does not meet the enhanced standard of proof required by
25 law on defamation for justification of the more serious
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think you need bother with the next
2 paragraph frankly.
3 MR IRVING: In general, it is also to be stated that at
4 material times, namely when associated with those
5 individuals, they were not extremists — I take it that
6 your Lordship accepts what I said in that paragraph?
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think, frankly, that the evidence of
8 your contacts with the BNP amounts to anything.
9 MR IRVING: Thank you very much. In general, it is also to be
10 stated that at material times, namely when I was
11 associated with those individuals, they were not
12 extremists; nor has it been shown to the court that at
13 that time they were. Thus at the time I first met this
14 young man Ewald Althans in Germany late in October 1989,
15 he seemed full of promise and eager to learn. I later
16 learned that he had been to Israel for six months on a
17 German Government voluntary scheme for young Germans who
18 wished to atone. Over the two or three years that our
19 orbits occasionally intercepted I could see that he was
20 growing more extreme and provocative in his actions. He
21 also became undependable and wayward in a number of
22 non-political ways that I mentioned in court.
23 According to Der Spiegel at his 1995 trial in
24 Berlin, Althans had acted for the Bavarian security
25 authorities as a top agent until 1994 when they ended the
26 liaison. The German security authorities had, as
1 Professor Funke agreed, a record of hiring agents
3 I now come to Ernst Zundel, the next paragraph.
4 Ernst Zundel is a German born Canadian for whose own
5 particular views I hold no brief. I later learned that he
6 had apparently written some provocatively-themed books
7 with tongue-in-cheek titles on flying saucers in
8 Antarctica, and on the “Adolf Hitler that I knew and
9 loved”, which is said to be worst than outre; wild horses
10 would not make me read such books myself. I had met him
11 in 1986 and found that as a personality he was not as dark
12 as had been painted in the media. I was asked to give
13 expert evidence at his trial in Toronto in 1988 relating
14 to the Third Reich and Hitler’s own involvement in the
15 Holocaust. I did so to the best of my professional
16 abilities, and I was told that I had earned the
17 commendation of the court in doing so.
18 It is plain to me from what I know that
19 Mr Zundel has been subjected to 20-year onslaught by the
20 Canadian organizations dedicated to combatting what they
21 regard as Holocaust denial because of his dissident views,
22 which are certainly more extreme than mine. My own
23 relationship with Mr Zundel has been proper throughout,
24 and the court has not been given any evidence to the
25 contrary. At times it has even been strained because of
26 the misfortune inflicted on me in retribution for having
1 spoken at his trial.
2 My Lord, there remain one or two minor matters,
3 in my view. The Defendants alleged that I wilfully
4 exaggerated the Dresden death roll in my 1963 book “The
5 Destruction of Dresden”, and that I had no basis for my
6 figures. I have satisfied this court, I believe, that at
7 all times (A) I set and published the proper upper and
8 lower limits for estimates that I gave, giving a wide
9 range of figures which necessarily decreased overall over
10 the years as our state of information improved, and that
11 (B) I had an adequate basis for the various figures which
12 I provided in my works at the material times. It has to
13 be said that authors have little or no control over the
14 content of books that are sub-licensed by their main
15 publisher to other publishers. Revisions are not
16 encouraged for costs reasons.
17 I have always been aware of the highly charged
18 political nature of the figures quote for this event, the
19 bombing of Dresden. The highest figure of 250,000, which
20 I mentioned in my books only as the maximum ever alleged,
21 was given, for example, by the German Chancellor
22 Dr Comrade Ardenau in a West German official government
23 publication which I showed the court. The lowest figures
24 only became available in a book published in 1994 by
25 Fredrich Reichardt. A copy of this book was provided to
26 me in 1997. By that time I had already published the
1 latest updated version of my book which is now called
2 “Apocalypse 1945, The Destruction of Dresden”, in which
3 I had lowered the death roll still further on the basis of
4 my on investigations and considerations. This was the
5 first edition over which I, not the publisher, had total
6 control, as it appeared under my own imprint.
7 In 1965, as the court is aware, I received
8 written estimates of 140,000 and 180,000 dead from a
9 rather anxious Soviet zone citizen, Dr Max Funfack, who
10 claimed to have received them about nine days after the
11 raid from the City Commandant and the Chief Civil Defence
12 Officer respectively, both of them his personal friends.
13 That being so, there was no reason why I should have
14 revised the 135,000 estimate which I had earlier received
15 from Hans Voigt, a city official charged with drawing up
16 death lists when I was researching my first book in 1961.
17 In 1966 I received the police final report of
18 March 1945. While still remaining sceptical about it for
19 the reasons stated, for example, the officer was
20 responsible for Dresden’s ARP and it was too early to
21 achieve any kind of overall final figure, the number of
22 refugees killed was also an imponderable. I took the
23 correct action, however. I sent to letter to The Times
24 within a few days of finding the new documents, that is
25 July 1996, within a few days of finding the new documents
26 in the mail on my return from a trip to the United
1 States. Not only that, but at my own expense I had the
2 letter reprinted and sent to hundreds of historians and
3 the like. One hopes that the expert witnesses whom we saw
4 in the witness stand on behalf of the Defence would have
5 had the same integrity to do the same kind of thing.
6 As for the Goebbels diaries, the Defendants, as
7 I understand it, do not now seek to justify their claim
8 that I broke an agreement with the Moscow archives in
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think that is right, but do not take
11 time on it because I think I know what the case is.
12 MR IRVING: They have withdrawn witness reports of the Russian
13 archivists and will provide me no opportunity to
14 cross-examine them. I was prepared to pursue those
15 cross-examinations most vigorously. I produced a witness
16 statement from Mr Peter Millar of the Sunday Times, my
17 colleague in Moscow, and I made him available for
18 cross-examination. He confirmed that there was no verbal
19 or written agreement, as I had also stated in my various
20 replies, so therefore I could not have broken it. The
21 Defendants have left no satisfactory evidence before the
22 court that refutes this, in my submission.
23 Mr Millar also confirmed to the court that he
24 did not agree that my conduct gave rise to significant
25 risk of damage to the plates. The plates had been
26 withheld from historians by the Russians for 55 years or
1 more. That figure of course is wrong. It is 48 years at
2 that time, I am sorry. The plates have been withheld from
3 historians for 48 years or more. By my actions I made
4 this historically very important materials available to
5 the world, and I placed copies of them in the appropriate
6 German archives at my own expense.
7 My Lord, I make submission now on the Heinrich
8 Muller document.
Section 209.7 to 222.11
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think I would read that out if
10 I were you. I think that is not the best way of dealing
11 with it.
12 MR IRVING: No. I will leave it as a written submission.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Have you seen what — I am sure you have seen
14 it because I have a copy of a letter to you with
16 MR IRVING: I have seen it, my Lord, yes.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: In the light of those attachments and
18 including Professor Longerich’s really quite helpful
19 account of his investigations, what is your submission?
20 MR IRVING: I am not challenging the authenticity of the
21 document, my Lord, but I am asking that attention be paid
22 to the fact that it is highly unsatisfactory that I am not
23 provided in good time, in a timeous manner, with the file
24 dated that I needed in order to go behind the document and
25 establish whether there was anything which would undermine
26 the purport that the defendants were seeking to attach to
1 that document.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You mean the other documents in the same
4 MR IRVING: Like in the case of the Schlegelberger document,
5 which enabled the Defendants to attack the meaning of the
6 Schlegelberger document, because they had documents
7 relating to it in the same file which enabled them to
8 narrow it down and say this is clearly a reference to the
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Sorry, we are talking about the Muller
11 document, are we not?
12 MR IRVING: We are talking about the Muller document. I am
13 saying that, had I had the other documents in the same
14 file —-
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: What has it got to do with Mischlinge?
16 MR IRVING: I could have gone behind the Muller document, using
17 the other documents in the same file.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You mean as you did with Schlegelberger?
19 MR IRVING: As they did with Schlegelberger.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I follow. I am not quite sure,
21 Dr Longerich wrote to Dr Aaron Reich, as I understand it,
22 to see what other documents there were in the file, but
23 I do not know what the result was, or indeed when the
24 question was asked. You do not know either?
25 MR IRVING: I asked the question and I was given a totally
26 fictitious file number in the German Federal archives.
1 MR RAMPTON: Not by us.
2 MR IRVING: It was given by you because it was in the footnote
3 of one of your expert reports as being the source.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: As I understand it, and do not let us talk
5 over each other too much, my understanding is that first
6 time around the wrong file number was given, but then
7 later the correct file number is thought to have been
8 discovered, which then prompted Dr Longerich to write to
9 or to fax Dr Aaron Reich, asking if he could say what the
10 other documents in this file are.
11 MR IRVING: The correct file number was then notified to me
12 this last weekend, which of course gave me no time
13 whatsoever to do the kind of research that I would have
14 had to do.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Anyway, your position is you do not deny its
16 authenticity, but you do say that the provenance is
18 MR IRVING: I do say it has been improperly produced to me in a
19 manner which has made it impossible for me to attack its
20 meaning, but I have attacked its meaning nevertheless in
21 my submission.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I know you have.
23 MR IRVING: I am not seriously worried about it because I am
24 sure that your Lordship will accept what I said about the
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do you mind if I ask Mr Rampton what the
1 explanation of—-
2 MR RAMPTON: I do not see it that any criticism at all can be
3 made —-
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: When was Dr Aaron Reich asked the question?
5 MR RAMPTON: Where is that, my Lord?
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is paragraph numbered 4 on the second
8 MR RAMPTON: I think that, unless I have completely
9 misunderstood this clip of papers, I confess I have not
10 paid it a terrific lot of attention recently, there is,
11 I think, actually a page of the little clip showing that a
12 fax was sent or received — I can see. It has my own fax
13 number right at the top of it so I think it is what
14 Dr Longerich says he sent from my chambers. It looks like
15 16.48 on Friday, but unfortunately I cannot read it.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That was the problem I had which is why
17 I asked when it had been sent. Leave aside when it was
18 sent. What was the answer?
19 MR RAMPTON: I do not know when it was sent.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Sorry, what was the answer from Aaron Reich?
21 MR RAMPTON: There was one in the Washington archive as well.
22 The reply says, whatever its date may be — I can see it
23 is 10th March. It is from somebody called Anna Row. She
24 is writing to both Aaron Reich, who I think might be in
25 New York, I really do not know, and to Dr Longerich. What
26 she says is: “After some searching and help from Jurgen,
1 we were able to find a copy of the document in question.
2 The citation in Moscow is, according to the two records”
3 etc. etc., and gives the reference. “If a fax copy is
4 desired we can send it along”.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I follow all that and, as I understand it,
6 not making too much of a meal of it all, there are two
7 copies of this document, one in Moscow and another in
8 Germany, the German copy having been provided from
9 Moscow. That may or may not be satisfactory, but what
10 I was really concerned to know is what attempts, if any,
11 have been made to discover what other documents were in
12 the same file, because I think the request was not an
13 unreasonable one, that the other documents in the file
14 might cast some light on the significance of Muller.
15 MR RAMPTON: I simply do not know. If that is not addressed in
16 Dr Longerich’s note, I cannot give an answer about it
17 because I was not a party to it.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That was one of the things that I think
19 I suggested on day 30 or day 31, I cannot remember,
20 Mr Irving should be given an answer to.
21 MR RAMPTON: Plainly, I would submit, the position must be
22 this. The reason why, not including the November 1941
23 document, Mr Irving tendered the other Schlegelberger
24 documents is that, on one view of its dating, the other
25 documents might be of some relevance. I assume — this
26 is an assumption — that a distinguished and respectable
1 historian like Dr Longerich would not produce a single
2 document from a file if there were other surrounding
3 documents which, to his knowledge, had a bearing on its
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, but he does not say so, that is the
6 problem. He does not say that he has looked, or tried to
7 look and failed.
8 MR RAMPTON: In any event, since Mr Irving accepts the
9 authenticity of the document, the fact that there are not
10 any other documents around it leads nowhere.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: We do not even know that, do we? We do not
12 know whether there are other documents in the same file.
13 MR RAMPTON: There might be a source, I do not know. In fact,
14 I think I may have been guilty of not reading the message
15 carefully enough. I read paragraph 1 of Dr Longerich’s
16 note which was prepared yesterday: “I am familiar with
17 this document. A copy is available in the archival
18 collection of the Zentralstelle in Ludwigsburg. This is a
19 collection of documents which was handed over by the
20 Soviet authorities in 1969 to the Federal Republic”. It
21 begs the question, I interpose there, how on earth it is
22 that Mr Irving has never seen it. It has been there since
23 1969. “The document is accompanied by a covering page
24 with an archival reference to the file where the original
25 is kept 500.1.25. This is an archival reference from the
26 Soviet archive in Moscow. Fons” — whatever that
1 means — “security police and SD, part 1 of the
2 collection, file 25. I was in Moscow”, says Dr Longerich
3 “in 1992 for four weeks, and I looked at documents from
4 this fons extensively. At the moment I cannot remember
5 whether I saw the original of this document during my stay
6 in Moscow, but I kept notes about this day and could
7 reconstruct what I saw there. The notes are at the moment
8 in Munich”. That plainly does not suggest that he
9 believes that there are any other relevant documents in
10 that file.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It does not say one way or the other. He
12 says he cannot remember. It probably is a point of
13 absolutely no significance but, since it is something that
14 Mr Irving has raised and I did indicate that I thought he
15 ought to have an answer, I would still like such
16 information as can be obtained from Dr Longerich to be
17 communicated to him and to me.
18 MR RAMPTON: I will try again. Given that it is accepted to be
19 an authentic document, and given also that it is not
20 perhaps a document that lies at the heart of the case
21 though it has some significance obviously, I will do
22 it. That leads me to make an enquiry, if I may, of your
24 MR IRVING: Can I just finish?
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. You have some other points?
26 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, I am sorry, this is a connected enquiry,
1 if I may. That may take time. I do not know myself at
2 the moment what date judgment is likely to be because
3 obviously, if your Lordship is going to consider any
4 additional documents, they will need to be got sooner
5 rather than later.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not know either. I hope it will not be
7 as long as you might fear. That does not tell you very
8 much, does it. That is not intended to be delphic,
9 but think in terms of a small number of weeks rather than
10 a large number of months.
11 MR RAMPTON: I was not trying to put any pressure on at all.
12 For the sake of this exercise, I obviously need to know.
13 If it is going to be in three or four days time,
14 I probably will not be able to achieve it.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think that will be unlikely. That is all I
16 can do. If you can obtain it as soon as possible — if
17 you cannot, so be it. We will have to manage without.
18 MR RAMPTON: We will do what we can.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, you have listed some other
21 MR IRVING: I wish to conclude on page 104, if I may.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am so sorry. Hang on, why are you telling
23 me about that now?
24 MR IRVING: Okay, then it is wrong that I should let your
25 Lordship know.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is that not relevant only to costs? Tell me
1 if I am wrong, but that would be the way I would see it.
2 MR IRVING: Not only the costs, my Lord, there are other
3 features of part 36.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let me just read it.
5 MR IRVING: My understanding is that your Lordship was not
6 informed of what was in the offer, but that offer was made
7 under the new rules.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not see the relevance of telling me that
9 unless and until it comes to the question of costs.
10 MR IRVING: Yes. The question of costs is covered by the next
11 paragraph, which is that I do not propose asking for my
12 costs in this action.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is premature to be telling me that.
14 MR IRVING: Not at all, my Lord. This is surely the place when
15 I can put this into your Lordship’s mind and that deals
16 with it, puts it out of the way.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is true, but I would only address that
18 question once judgment had been given.
19 MR IRVING: But I do ask your Lordship to give judgment in the
20 terms and premises set out in my writ and statement of
21 claim, namely damages, including aggravated damages for
22 libel and an injunction restraining the Defendants and
23 each of them, whether by themselves or agents or otherwise
24 from further publishing or causing to be published the
25 said or similar words defamatory of myself as claimant.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. You gave me that little list of other
1 things you were going to raise today. Standard of proof
2 in graver libels, I think you know that I believe I know
3 what the law is on that so you need not trouble with it,
4 unless you want to. Is there anything you wanted to say
5 particularly, Mr Irving? I am not stopping you, I just do
6 not think it is really necessary.
7 MR IRVING: It is trite law, is it not, my Lord?
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is.
9 MR IRVING: We had this discussion earlier and I thought it
10 important — in fact it is obviously very impertinent of
11 me to draw it your Lordship’s attention.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is not at all, no. I have it in mind
13 anyway. Section 5, I think we have resolved that in an
14 earlier discussion today.
15 MR IRVING: We have dealt with 4 because I have now done it.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. Costs we have decided it is premature.
17 Now I realize time is passing but it is obviously sensible
18 to conclude everything today, and I hope I can perhaps do
19 it in this comprehensive way. You have seen that in the
20 Defendants’ detailed written submissions they recite
21 various concessions — you may not like the term but they
22 call them concessions which they say you have made about
23 such matters as shootings in the East, numbers killed,
24 whether it was systematic, whether Hitler knew about it,
25 and also in relation to deaths at the Reinhardt death
26 camps. Do you accept you did make those concessions?
1 MR IRVING: The answer is I have not seen them, but I know of
2 them. I have not had any time at all to read that big
3 thick thing.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Then I do not think it is fair to ask you to
5 give answers on the hoof. What I will ask you to do
6 though is this. If you either dispute that you ever made
7 the concessions that the Defendants say you made, or you
8 want now to reconsider —-
9 MR IRVING: Resile.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, I was trying not to use that word
11 actually — to reconsider, then would you write to me and
12 to the Defendants, shortly setting out what you say you
13 said, or what you now say?
14 MR IRVING: Yes.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Because I do not want to be under any
17 MR IRVING: Purely on the matter of concession?
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
19 MR IRVING: I will certainly do that within the next two or
20 three days.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Good. Is there anything else, Mr Rampton?
22 MR RAMPTON: Yes, there is. I should like to apologise
23 personally — I dare say I am right in thinking it was
24 directed at me — for not being able in one moment to
25 restrain my frustration. I apologise for that.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: There is no need for that.
1 MR RAMPTON: Yes. I should at my age know better. But, as
2 your Lordship will remember, it is sometimes extremely
3 difficult to restrain oneself when one can actually hear
4 the evidence of one’s own witnesses being misrepresented.
5 I am not going to do a trawl through what Mr Irving has
6 said. Your Lordship has the evidence.
7 But there is one thing which he said which
8 I really do think needs to be corrected. If this is a
9 case without this kind of high profile, I might say
10 nothing at all. Mr Irving said that Professor van Pelt
11 had no explanation for the many oddities in Bischoff’s
12 letter of 29th June 1943. That is an important document.
13 In fact, when I re-examined on 2nd February, that is day
14 14, page 3 to page 13 at the end, by reference to the
15 little clip of documents by which Mr Irving sought to show
16 the uniquely —-
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I remember that quite well, all the
18 oddities, as it were.
19 MR RAMPTON: In fact, he explained every single oddity, except
20 the missing year date in the reference.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I remember that quite well, but thank
22 you for reminding me what the reference is.
23 MR IRVING: My Lord, in view of my traditional right to the
24 last word, I would reserve the right to write your
25 Lordship a letter setting out the oddities in that
26 Bischoff letter, with a copy to the Defendants.
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. I do not think I am going to invite
2 that. I feel fairly deluged anyway with paper. I really
3 do. I have in mind both what you said were the reasons
4 why you at that stage disputed the authenticity, and
5 I know you still question the authenticity of that
6 document, but I also have in mind, in a general sense, the
7 explanations that were given by Professor van Pelt. Now,
8 anything else?
9 MR RAMPTON: I hope what I am going to say will be a joint
10 request. Because of all, as your Lordship can see, the
11 interest in this case, much of it from overseas, I would
12 ask that, perhaps a bit unusually, we could have —
13 whenever the judgment may be, that is not what I am asking
14 — some reasonable advance notice of the date.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. I am anxious for all sorts of reasons,
16 including the consideration you have just mentioned, that
17 it should happen sooner rather than later, but I do not
18 know how much notice is in practical terms really
19 required, because I will not know until quite shortly
20 before I actually finish that I am actually going to
21 finish on a particular day. I mean two or three days. Is
22 that far too short?
23 MR RAMPTON: The only thing perhaps, if I might gently suggest
24 it, is your Lordship might in fact finish before the day
25 of judgment, if you know what I mean, in other words
26 finish writing and have a fixed day, so that, even if your
1 Lordship finished before that day is reached—-
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, all right.
3 MR RAMPTON: I think a week actually would in all the
4 circumstances —-
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is what you want? Mr Irving, I do not
6 suppose you disagree with that, do you?
7 MR IRVING: I have my own reasons for wanting to have a lot of
8 advance notice please, yes.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I will do that. I think that is sensible.
10 You are going to forfeit the last word, are you?
11 (The court adjourned)