Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day003.11 Last-Modified: 2000/07/29 Q. That not evidence, that is an absence of evidence? A. It is evidence in a very powerful sense. . P-92 Q. It is a negative piece of evidence? A. I hate to remind you of the basic principle of English law that a man is innocent until proven guilty; am I right? Q. Hitler is not on trial, alas. A. Is Hitler somehow excluded from this general rule of fair play? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think that is a slightly -- THE WITNESS: Mr Rampton talks about absence of evidence not counting, all the world's archive are effectively now open to us, there has not come forward any collateral evidence and as for a 22 year-old SS man's word being believed when he has the power of life and death over thousands of Jews who have just been ordered shot, this SS man obviously has more front than Selfridges, he is going around saying, yes, we have orders, I have orders, do not come critising me, that is what is going on here. That is the way I read that and that is the way any responsible historian should read it. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us move on. You accept a lot what is in here? A. -- I do indeed. Q. But you do not accept that particular -- A. Certainly not to the degree -- Q. As it was reflecting the reality? A. -- that one general's recollection of what a 22 year old SS man told him in Riga should be taken discounting the . P-93 negative evidence as Mr Rampton calls it of all the world's archives. MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving, I am not going to take you up on that; you can argue with my experts about that if you like. I am interested in the way you write your books. Both in the Nuremberg book, and we will not need to look at them, because we are looking for a black hole, both in the Nuremberg book and in the Goebbels book you mention, either in the text or in a footnote, or both, the Bruns, call it what you like? A. Yes, I consider my duty to draw everyone's attention to this report. Q. But nowhere in either of those books do you mention either of these exchanges that Bruns reported he had with Altemeyer? A. You are repeating yourself, I will repeat the answer. Q. You repeat your answer, yes, please. A. No, I did not. Q. No, you did not. You actually have done this with the Altemeyer passages; may I show you? Can you find, please, file D3(i), I think it is tab 27 that I want. I will tell you where to look in a moment, Mr Irving, I just want to remind you and his Lordship of what Bruns actually said on Altemeyer's return with an order from Berlin after the shootings had been reported. "Here is an order, just issued, prohibiting mass shootings on that scale from . P-94 taking place in the future." That is your translation of the German. A. Yes. Q. It is one that I agree with. A. This is from my introduction? Q. Yes, but then it goes on, does the sentence reported by General Bruns: "They are to be carried out more discreetly." That is the full text of General Bruns' words as a report of what he was told by Altemeyer. Will you please look at page 415 of the document which is at tab 27 which is a written introduction by you in the Journal of Historical Review, to your new edition of "Hitler's War". At the end of that article there are some footnotes on page 415. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Why are we looking at it there as opposed to in the copy? A. That is what I am wondering. MR RAMPTON: Copy of which book? MR JUSTICE GRAY: We have the whole of "Hitler's War". MR RAMPTON: It is not in the book. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I thought you said it was. MR RAMPTON: No. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I thought this was the introduction to the 1991 edition. MR RAMPTON: Well, I do not think it is. It is an edition I have not got, that is why. That is why we have it . P-95 separately. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I follow. THE WITNESS: We also have a date on that, January 1989. Q. Two dates '76 and '89. A. That answers the point. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Two editions. MR RAMPTON: Anyhow, if you look at the footnotes in the right hand column on page 415, footnote 7 says this: "The most spine chilling account of... methodical mass murder of these Jews [that is the Berlin Jews] at Riga is in ... 1158 in file etc. in the Public Record Office, Major General Bruns, an eyewitness, describes it to fellow generals in British captivity in April 25th 1945 unaware that hidden micro phones are recording every word. Of particular significance his qualms about bringing what he had seen to the Fuhrer's attention and the latter's [that is Hitler's] renewed orders that such mass murders were to stop forthwith"? A. Yes. Q. As an account of what Bruns is recorded as having said that is completely dishonest, is it not? A. Does it say that the Bruns account is the only source for that final paragraph, that final sentence? Q. It purports to be an account of what Bruns said, does it not, Mr Irving? A. It references the Bruns' file as the source of that . P-96 material in the main text, and it adds the comment: "Of particular significance his qualms about bringing about what he has seen to the Fuhrer's attention and the latter's renewed orders that such mass murders were to stop forthwith". In other words, that was of particular significance. Q. Of particular significance in the Bruns's eyewitness testimony. A. I do not say that. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Read it through to yourself again. MR RAMPTON: Read it through. MR JUSTICE GRAY: And consider that answer, Mr Irving. A. Of the particular significance his qualms about bringing what he had seen to the Fuhrer's attention and the latter's renewed orders that such mass murders were to stop forthwith. I see no objection to that as being an encapsulated version of Bruns's report -- may I read out from the Bruns' report the sentences on which I would rely? MR RAMPTON: No, you may not, Mr Irving. I would like you to read the whole of that footnote and I shall repeat my question, and we will have a "yes" or "no" if you please. A. You will not let me read out these sentences in the Bruns report on which I rely? MR JUSTICE GRAY: In a moment. Just do what Mr Rampton is asking at the moment. . P-97 A. Very well. "The most spine killing account --" MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, read it to yourself. MR RAMPTON: Yes, I did not mean. A. Well, because I am accused of being a Holocaust denier it is interesting that I am repeatedly saying this kind of thing, including in journals like this. You do not me read it out loud? Q. I would like you to read it yourself. A. You do not want public to hear what I wrote. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It has just been read out. A. Yes, I have read it. MR RAMPTON: You have read it. Now I will repeat my question; do you not agree that read as a whole, as one most read it as a whole, not selecting those little bits which one would rather ignore, and you are relying on the ones you want to be heard, reading that as whole, do you not agree that that is a singularly dishonest account of what Bruns was recorded as having said? A. I do not agree. Q. Why? A. Can I now draw attention to the sentences in the Bruns Report on which I rely? Q. Whatever you wish in answer to my question. A. I will summarize them and you can tell me if it is a false summary. They had difficulty, he did not want to write the report himself, he persuaded a junior army officer to . P-98 go down the road and have a look and come back and write up what he had seen. The question then was who is going to bring it to the Fuhrer's attention; they work out a way to bring to the Fuhrer's attention involving Vice- Admiral Canaris, shortly the orders come back, such mass murders have to stop. Am I totally wrong in drawing the perfectly justified inference that as a result of this army officer's report being drawn to the Fuhrer's attention the orders come, which we have seen in the intercepts that such mass murders have to stop. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, can I put it to you straight, as it were, because this is the suggestion. A. Yes. Q. That what you have said as being of particular significance, namely the renewed orders that such mass murders were to stop forthwith, totally perverts the sense of Bruns' conversation in captivity because Bruns makes clear that Altemeyer said that the killings were to continue? A. I think I have explained the reason why I discounted that part of his remark, my Lord, this was the... Q. Yes, but are you giving particular significance to a proposition which is the opposite of what one finds in the document? A. The decision of the little man on the spot in Riga is of no significance to the argument that Hitler had given the . P-99 order quite clearly that such killings had to stop. Q. Yes. A. Have I made it plain, my Lord. Q. Yes, you have. A. Thank you. I think that -- MR RAMPTON: Do you think, Mr Irving, that if General Bruns were here today he would think what you have done with what he said was fair and honest? A. -- taken in elements, stage by stage, yes. Q. Do you? I see. You said it again in that same file you have got there, I think it is at -- it is at tab 30, this is a paper, I think, presented by you at the Institute of Historical Review, a talk given by you? A. A talk? Q. Yes, a talk, in October 1992, and the passage which matters is again an account of the Bruns evidence on page 24, ignore the stamped number at the bottom of page, 24 of the article. I think this is an answer to a question very likely. Yes, it is. It is in the bottom part of the left-hand column on that page' does your Lordship have it? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I have. MR RAMPTON: This is the last thing, my Lord, I do before the adjournment if that is convenient. "But other reports unfortunately have the ring of authenticity. Most of these SS officers, the gangsters that carried out the mass shootings were I think acting . P-100 from the meanest of motives. There was a particular SS officer in Riga who is described in the report by Bruns in which Bruns said the difficulty for us was how to decide to draw what he had seen what we had seen to the Fuhrer's attention, and eventually they sent a lieutenant down the road and got him to write what he saw and they sent this report signed by the lieutenant up to the Fuhrer's headquarters through Canaris. Two days later the order comes back from Hitler 'these mass shootings' [in quotes notice, Mr Irving] these mass shootings have to stop at once so [and this is now you again] Hitler intervened to stop it." As a quotation from the evidence of General Bruns those words in quotes: "These mass shootings have got to stop at once", is a complete perversion, is it not, of what Bruns actually said? A. What is the difference? Q. He said these mass shootings have got to stop at once, they have to be done more discreetly? A. The 22 year old SS man allegedly said that to Bruns -- Q. That is what Bruns is reported as having told his fellow officers? A. -- yes.
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