Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day020.07 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, you have your answer. He made it all up. A. What seems to have been the case is that he had read an enormous amount about the Holocaust, and somehow persuaded himself that he had gone through it. That is a very . P-56 unusual case and that is precisely why, of course, it has given rise to such widespread debate and such a number of essays, investigations, writings and so on. MR IRVING: Was not the reason why it attracted widespread attention the fact that he was awarded literary prizes for his work, and that he was then found out to be spurious? Was that not the reason for the widespread attention? A. It was widely praised when it came out, yes, and therefore the shock when it was discovered to be spurious was all the greater. Q. You think that he is the only such case, do you? A. The only one of which I am aware. It is a rather unusual thing to do. I think one has to admit. Q. But he made a lot of money out it, did he not? A. That I cannot say. Q. Well, if he won major literary prizes for his book? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I am conscious we are still on page 152. We have about 600 pages to go. It is not a race, but we have to keep an eye on what matters and what does not. MR IRVING: I have said I will finish with the witness in two and a half days, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I want you to take your time when we get to what matters. We have not started on what matters, in my view. MR IRVING: What matters is this witness's credibility, my . P-57 Lord, and your Lordship may or may not have formed opinions about that. On page 153, half way down, line 4 of paragraph 26, you refer to the fact that I evade the question by pointing minor inaccuracies in details of these reports. Would you say that the inaccuracies that we have pointed to in the reports by Hoess and Gerstein and Verba and Bimko and Tauber were all minor? A. I am referring here to a radio interview in June 1989. Q. Yes. But what you are saying is that I pointed to minor inaccuracies in the reports of people on whom the Holocaust historians rely, the eyewitnesses, and I am just challenging whether these inaccuracies are in fact so minor. Are they not sufficiently large, in fact, to disqualify any reasonable historian from wanting to rely on that source? A. No, I do not think on the whole they are sufficiently large. One has to reach a balanced judgment, in dealing with testimony after the event, sometimes many years after the event, as to how reliable it is. Of course, that kind of testimony usually contains some inaccuracies. The fact is that one should not use that as a basis for a sweeping dismissal of all this testimony. Of course, there is a larger point here, that you yourself rely quite heavily on the postwar testimony sometimes obtained in interviews which were conducted by yourself of members of Hitler's entourage, which you do . P-58 not approach in this critical way. You do not point to inaccuracies, and generally speaking accept it as the truth. So I think you have a double standard. You wholly dismiss all the evidence of postwar testimony from the victims of Naziism and you accept the postwar testimony of the perpetrators. Q. I am not going to answer that point because this was not a question you were asked. Would you now go to paragraph 29 please? You deal there with a French woman called Marie-Claude Vaillant Couturier. Did you read her testimony at Nuremberg? Did you form an impression of her credibility? A. Yes. This is dealt with at some length on the basis of Professor van Pelt's report. Q. What was her maiden name? A. I cannot recall that. Q. Was she the daughter of Lucienne Vogal, who was one of Willi Muntzenberg's closest collaborators? A. I will accept that, if you say that. Q. You know who Willi Muntzenberg was? A. Yes. Q. Was he one of the leading commentators and agents and propagandists in, first of all, Russia and then in France? A. Indeed, yes. Q. So she came from these propagandist circles -- is that a reasonable derivation? . P-59 A. No. I do not think, because you are a daughter of a propagandist, that makes you a propagandist. Q. Did she then marry somebody called Paul Vaillant Couturier, who was the editor of Humanite? A. I will accept that that is the case. Q. Which is the Communist Party newspaper in France? A. Indeed. Q. When she was examined or cross-examined in Nuremberg by one of the defence counsel, Hans Marks, did he ask her whether she had any literary background or any training as a journalist? A. You would have to present me with the documentation, I am afraid. Q. What inference would you gather Mr Marks was trying to make from this question? A. I really cannot comment without actually seeing a transcript. Q. Is there any proof that this woman was ever in Auschwitz at all? A. Her testimony. Q. In other words, purely what she said? A. There may be some other evidence, but I am not really an expert on Auschwitz. Q. I am not only going to ask one more question. In view of that fact that she testified that at the time she was in Auschwitz she obtained records showing that 700,000 . P-60 Hungarian Jews had passed into the camp in 1944, when in fact that was the entire number of Hungarian Jews who existed, was she liable to have been testifying to something from her actual knowledge? A. Let me say the point at issue in this paragraph of my report, I should make clear, is that you rely, and I think the court has been through this already ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, we have. A. On the notes of Judge Biddle. MR IRVING: On the use I made of Judge Biddle's notes? A. -- which you misinterpret in order to discredit this witness. Q. Is it likely that Judge Biddle, being no fool, would also have seen through her on the basis of the cross-examination? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, we are not going to go through that again. MR IRVING: Right. At page 155 we come to the Anne Frank diary. A. Yes. Q. Was the Anne Frank diary a diary or a novel or both? A. It was a diary. Q. It was a diary. Was it one diary or was it several diaries? A. That depends what you mean. Q. In other words, did she write it and then did she rewrite . P-61 it and then did she rewrite it? A. As I understand it, it is a diary that is written through. Q. Will you accept that she wrote it, and then she rewrote it, and then she rewrote it as a novel shortly before she was kidnapped by the Nazis? A. No. Q. What is your criticism of my -- in fact, I am sorry, page 156, line 2 of paragraph 31. You object to my calling the diary a novel, do you not? A. Yes. Q. Yet, if the final version of the diary, as has been determined by the experts in Holland, is described as a novel, then that description by me is not unjustified? A. You would have to show me the document of the experts in Holland which describe it as a novel. Q. You object to the fact that I suggest that whole pages are written in ball point pen? A. Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, if you are relying, just let me say what I am going to say, on what you describe as the determination by experts in Holland that it is a novel, at some stage that will be something you ought really to put to Professor Evans. I cannot find it but I think he deals with Anne Frank and her diary as a substantive criticism. Am I wrong about that? A. Pages 156 to 7. . P-62 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I thought you came back to it. Perhaps not? A. No. MR IRVING: My Lord, clearly, the reason I am asking these questions is that I understand that I am going to be cross-examined on this. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Now is your chance. I suspect -- Mr Rampton will tell me if I am wrong -- that Professor Evans may be the right person for you to target your cross- examination on the Anne Frank diary. MR IRVING: That is precisely what I was waiting for. Every new subject I adumbrate I am frightened of being stopped. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am trying to stop you when you are on irrelevances. It seems to me Ann Frank is perhaps relevant and therefore do not take that aspect too quickly. MR RAMPTON: It is. The allegation is made against Mr Irving that without any foundation whatsoever he has alleged that the Anne Frank diaries were a fake, or are a fake. What is more, he has since admitted that he was wrong about that. MR IRVING: Well, can we elucidate this matter in my cross-examination rather than your statements from the floor? MR RAMPTON: Certainly. MR IRVING: Witness, will you go to the bundle of documents bundle F, and look at one item there, which is page 86? . P-63 A. Yes. Q. Professor Evans, are you aware of the fact that the father of Ann Frank fought a number of libel actions against people who maintained that the diary was suspect? A. Yes, I think he did. Q. I think three or four libel actions. Are you familiar from the discovery with the fact that I corresponded with the father of Anne Frank on a number of occasions? A. Yes. Q. He never of course sued me for libel, did he? Is that correct? MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is neither here nor there. MR IRVING: My Lord, in the allegations is the fact that we paid damages, or I paid damages to the father. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That may be relevant. MR IRVING: That is why I was trying to get this admission from the witness that the father never sued me for libel. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is the other way round that may be relevant. If you paid damages because you had alleged that the diary was a fake, that, I would have thought, might be relevant. MR IRVING: If your Lordship had waited, there would have been two questions, with a follow up, but we have not had an to the first one yet. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Ask the question again. MR IRVING: Witness, are you aware of any libel action brought . P-64 by the father against me? MR RAMPTON: My Lord, I do not know---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: I cannot understand what the relevance of that is. MR RAMPTON: I do not make an allegation that the father sued Mr Irving for saying that the diaries were a fake. Maybe he could have done but, as far as I know, he did not and I have never said that he did. A. I am trying to find the passage in my report which you are referring to here. MR IRVING: Can we have an answer to the question? MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, because the question, I have ruled, is irrelevant, Mr Irving. Can you please pay some attention to what view I rightly or wrongly am taking about some of your questions. Sorry, Professor Evans, you were about to say something? A. No. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, press on. You were asking the witness about page 86. MR IRVING: Are you aware that, in the course of these libel actions, a German court ordered the father of Anne Frank to subject the diaries to chemical and forensic tests? Can I have an answer, Professor? A. If you are telling me that, I will accept that that is the case, yes. They certainly were subjected to tests. Q. Were the results of these tests leaked to the German . P-65 magazine Der Spiegel in 1980? A. I will accept your view that they were. Q. Document No. 86 is a New York Post summary of what Der Spiegel has announced. Do you agree that this states that the finding is, on the second page, the result of the tests performed at the Bundescriminalamtlaboratories show that portions of the works, especially of the fourth volume, are written with ball point pen? A. That is what it says, but this is of course is third hand information. It is a reporter who is reporting another reporter's view of a report. I think, before accepting that this particular reporter is giving an accurate account, I would need to see the original report.
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