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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day019.08

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day019.08
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   Q.   Is it not true that the phrase that I use is "the
        traditional enemies of free speech"?
   A.   Not always, no.  You refer to "our traditional enemies" on
        a number of occasions.
   Q.   Is it not obvious that one is the short form of the other?
   A.   No.
   Q.   "Our traditional enemies" is three words and "the
        traditional enemies of free speech" is five or six words.
        One is the short form of the other?
   A.   I quote on page 168 "our traditional enemies", "our old
        traditional enemies", and so on.
   Q.   Yes, but you appreciate that when you are speaking you do
        not use again and again and again exactly the same phrase,
        you modify it slightly.  Sometimes you use the long form
        and sometimes you use the short form?
   A.   Well, I have gone through a number of your speeches,
        Mr Irving, and you do use exactly the same phrases on a

.          P-67

        number of ----
   Q.  "The traditional enemies of free speech"?
   A.   --- because you speak in a number of different places,
         "our traditional enemies".
   Q.   And "the traditional enemies of free speech".
   A.   You have used both of those formulations.
   Q.   Yes, and "the traditional enemies of free speech", as I
        formulated them both in public and on my website, include
        the people who are trying to censor the Internet, is that
   A.   I think, Mr Irving -- correct me if I am wrong -- you have
        taken to talking about the traditional enemies of free
        speech more recently.  In the early 1990s, it was -- you
        were much more inclined to talk about our traditional enemies.
   Q.   Do you have any evidence, any kind of statistical
        evidence, for that or that just a gut feeling you have
        that makes you say that?
   A.   That is just an impression I have on looking at and
        reading your speeches and your writings.
   Q.   But you have no evidentiary basis for that apart from your
   A.   That is my impression from having read your material.
   Q.   Will you now answer my question and say, is it true that
        on my website and elsewhere I have listed as the
        traditional enemies of free speech, governments, trades

.          P-68

        unions and people who are censoring the Internet?
   A.   Again, Mr Irving, we are back to the problem ----
   Q.   And there are separate dossiers on each of those people?
   A.   --- that we need to look at that page of your website
        where you ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We are going to have to pause until somebody
        has been able to find it.  I do not mean pause altogether,
        I mean come back to it.
   MR IRVING:  I have one more question.
   A.   All I can say is that when I checked out, the list
        provided of some traditional enemies of free speech, there
        were virtually all Jewish.
   MR RAMPTON:  Can I intervene because it involves a technical
        problem which is beyond me.  Could I ask Miss Rogers to
        explain it?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Would you mind, Miss Rogers?
   MS ROGERS:  My Lord, what happens is if you click on the
        website, there is what is called down a pull down menu
        which lists the organizations under a heading, but I am
        told -- I cannot do it-- by others as well it is not
        possible to print the pull down menu.
   MR IRVING:  On Mackintosh it is.
   MS ROGERS:  What one could do, one could either type out the
        list, or perhaps your Lordship, with assistance, could go
        on Mr Irving's website and have a look and see the list.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I will do that.  Is it possible to give me a

.          P-69

        reference to where I will find it on the website?
   A.   It is very easy, my Lord, to find it on the website.  It
        is a very clearly organised website.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Right, thank you very much, Miss Rogers.  I
        am not surprised you ----
   MR IRVING:  So that each of these particular things has a
        dossier, right?  Each of these organisations, the
        Anti-Defamation League, the Board of Deputies, each of
        them has a dossier?
   A.   Right.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, shall we leave it that I will
        a look, and I know what the question is, whether they
        mostly Jewish organizations or whether they are not.
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, you are just going to have a look at
        menu, are you not, is that correct?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am not going to browse generally
        the Internet.  No, I did not mean that in any way
        critically of it.  I just am not going to; there is
        else to be doing.
   MR IRVING:  Because there are 53 megabytes of information
        that and I have idea which particular part of the
        you are going to get lost in.
                  (To the witness):  Do you accept that there
        concerted campaign by the traditional enemies of free
        speech to refuse to debate with people like me?

.          P-70

   A.   I do not accept the concept of traditional enemies of
        speech, to start with.  I do not accept that there is
        concerted campaign.  No, I have not seen evidence for
   Q.   Are you familiar with the number of times I have been
        invited to speak at universities over the last 10
        and the university has then come under pressure to
        the invitation?
   A.   I am not, no, but I can quite believe that that is the
   Q.   Has this happened to other historians like John
   A.   I do not regard you as an historian, Mr Irving.  Let
        make a distinction between universities and other
        By appearing at a university and speaking in a
        I think you lay a claim to being an academic or being
        scholarly historian which you receive an endorsement
        by the fact that you appear at a university.
   Q.   I am careful not to create the impression that I am a
        scholar.  Nothing would frighten me more.
   A.   I think you try and give that impression in your
        You may have a different definition of "scholarship"
        the one that I have.  There is a distinction to be
        surely, if you take United States of America where
        stops you from going around making speeches wherever
        want to apart from universities.
   Q.   Are you familiar that I have lectured at the National

.          P-71

        Archives in Washington?
   A.   On what occasion?
   Q.   About five years ago on Hermann Goring.
   A.   I am not familiar, no.
   Q.   Are you familiar with the fact that I have lectured at
        Harvard on Adolf Hitler at the invitation of the
Master of
        Harvard, Dr Richard Hunt?
   A.   On what occasion was that?
   Q.   This was 1977, I lectured on Hitler's War.
   A.   Yes, I am familiar with the fact that you have talked
        many academic institutions in the 1970s, including my
        college in Cambridge, I believe.
   Q.   Indeed. I have spoken at Caius and I have spoken at
        various other colleges around the world until the
        arose.  Are you familiar with the fact that these
        were generated by outside organisations?
   A.   I would have to be provided with evidence of that,
        I think.
   Q.   Are you familiar with the fact that I was in the
        University of Cork in Southern Ireland?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, how is it going to help me
        you were addressing the University of Cork?  We really
        must keep an eye on the ball.  We have spent a very
        time deal with these preliminary passages and I can
        understand why, for forensic purposes you are
        concentrating on those earlier passages, but in the
end we

.          P-72

        must get to the specific criticisms because on that
        Professor Evans is hanging his case against you.  It
        stands or falls by that.
   MR IRVING:  I agree, but we have just this witness say, "I
        not consider you to be a historian", and then it turns
        that large numbers of academic bodies consider me to
be a
        historian whom they would willingly hear, were it not
        the violence that is threatened if I do attend.  This
        the reason that I mentioned that fact, my Lord.
   MR IRVING:  Go to page 44 of your report, please, 2.5.6.
        you accept that the Board of Deputies of British Jews
        1919 acknowledge that I am "one of the world's most
        thorough researchers and an exciting and readable
        historian"?  You put it in quotation marks.
   A.   I think I can accept that, yes.
   Q.   So you did ----
   A.   I would not dispute the fact that you are a thorough
        researcher.  I have not disputed that in this case.
   Q.   You agree that that report does exist?
   A.   I accept your word for it.  I have not seen it myself.
   Q.   Would you accept that the report is currently lodged
        the files of the Canadian government where it was
        by an organization with the intention of getting me
        access to Canada?
   A.   That I would require evidence, I think particularly

.          P-73

        the intention.  Since I have not seen the report, I am
        only citing it second hand here, for the purposes of
        talking about your reputation as an historian, as
        a researcher, I am not concerned with any other
aspects of
        the report which, as I say, I have not read myself.
   Q.   On paragraph 2.5.8 on the same page, once again you
        coming down pretty heavily on the historical
        are you not?  I wonder sometimes what your colleagues
        in your common room when you go back to Caius about
        way you are blackening the name of historians whom you
        disagree with.
   A.   Could you point out to me the blackening of
   Q.   You are saying that those with the general knowledge
        been kind to me, whereas those who are experts like
        yourself are rightly rude -- is that the burden of
   A.   No.  Let me read you the sentence.  I am making a
        distinction between different kinds of historians with
        difference kinds of expertise in reviewing and
        on your work.  I quote here: "Those with a general
        knowledge have mostly been quite generous to Irving,
        where they have found reason to criticise him or
        with his views;  but they have also seldom been
        uncritical of Irving's work and his methods".  Is that
        blackening their name?
   Q.   Can I draw your attention to footnote 34?

.          P-74

   A.   Yes.
   Q.   That is the New Statesman 1977.  Is that not ten years
        before I published my biography on Winston Churchill?
   A.   That, I take it, is a review of your book on Hitler.
   Q.   Yes, so my views on Churchill are neither here nor
        in such context.
   A.   They appear in your work on Hitler.
   Q.   Can I ask you now to turn to page 45, where there is
        again reference to my attempt to show that Hitler
        restraint in the Reichskristallnacht?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Do you consider this to be a completely ludicrous
        of history, that Hitler was the restraining influence
        night?  Is this your conclusion?
   A.   Yes.  It depends exactly what you mean by "restraint"
        I think I am summarizing what Hinton Thomas says in
        review there.  I think that is probably his phrase.
   Q.   But you devoted quite a lot of this report -- my Lord,
        think this is something we can dwell on for a moment
        two, which is the Kristallnacht?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We are certainly going to have to spend
        time on Kristallnacht.  Whether this is the right
        to do it I do not know, because in the end, as I say
        often, it is Professor Evans' views and his criticisms
        that matter, not what other historians may have felt.
   MR IRVING:  Oh dear.  I will see how far I get with this

.          P-75

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is for me to make up my mind, when I
        what the criticisms are and I know what your answer
        whether I think it is well founded.
   MR IRVING:  The allegation is that I have been perverse, if
        may put it like that, in suggesting that Hitler was a
        restraining influence that night of all nights.  It
        out -- would you turn to page 48 of your little bundle
        please, which is F?
   A.   Is that the one with the pictures?
   Q.   That is the one with the pictures. On Thursday we
        out that you knew who Professor Burrin, a Frenchman,
   A.   Burrin, a Swiss, I believe.
   Q.   You said that yes, he is an academic, an acceptable
        historian with the highest credentials.  Is it right
        he is Professor of International History at the
        Institute of International Studies in Geneva?
   A.   I will accept your word for it.

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