Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day032.12 Last-Modified: 2000/07/25 Professor Lipstad accuses me of error or falsification, but is apparently unable to spot a fake even at a relatively close range. She admitted (in a recent interview with Forward) that she used memoirs of the spurious Auschwitz survivor Benjamin Wilkomirski in her teaching of the Holocaust to her defenceless students, according to Professor Peter Novick who has written a book on this. Those "memoirs" have now been exposed, worldwide, as fraudulent. Wilkomirski was never anywhere near Auschwitz. In fact, he was in Switzerland. When it turned out that Wilkomirski have never been near the camp . P-139 or in Poland for that matter, but had spent the war years in comfort living with his adopted Swiss family, she acknowledged that this "might complicate matters somewhat", but she insisted that the Wilkomirski "memoirs" would still be "powerful" as a novel. It may seem unjust to your Lordship that it is I who have had to answer this person's allegation that I distort and manipulate historical sources. We have Professor Lipstadt's handwritten notes, however, in the rather meagre discovery, evidently prepared for a talk delivered to the Anti-Defamation League in Palm Beach, Florida, in early 1994, which again is meagre but substantive evidence of her connection with the Anti-Defamation League. In these, if I read her handwriting correctly - and she appears to be relying on something Lord Bullock had just said - she states that my aim seems to be to de-demonize Hitler; and that I had said that Roosevelt, Hitler and Churchill were all equally criminal. This is hardly "exonerating" any of them. Summarising Hitler's War (the 1977 edition) she calls me merely an "historian with a revisionist bent" which is rather like AJP Taylor - and she adds, and this seems significant - "Irving denies that Hitler was responsible for the murder of European Jewry. Rather, he claims that Himmler was responsible. But he does not deny its occurrence. Had she stuck with that view, of course, of . P-140 my writings, which is a very fair summary of my views, both then and now, she and we would not find ourselves here today. But she was led astray, my Lord. She fell in with bad company, or associates. These things happen. We know that, in conducting her research for the book, she spoke with the Board of Deputies, the Institute of Jewish Affairs, the Anti-defamation League and other such worthy bodies, since she thanks all of them in her introduction. My Lord, I have given a list of the bodies she thanks in an affidavit which is contained in my bundle based on the introduction to her book. Some time in 1992 her book was complete in its first draft, and Professor Lipstadt sent it to the people who were paying her, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. We do not know what was in the book, since I cannot question the second Defendant and she has not disclosed the early draft, with Professor Yehuda Bauer's scribbles on it, as he said, in her sworn list of documents. The early draft was clearly discoverable but it has not been provided to us. We do know however what was not in it. We know that there was no mention of his Hizbollah and Hamas and Louis Farrakhan and the November 1992 terrorists in Stockholm, or of the lie about my speaking on the same platform with them. In fact, we also know that in this first draft I was merely mentioned in passing. This is a . P-141 book about denying Holocaust and I am only mentioned in passing. This is evident from the letter which Professor Yehuda Bauer wrote back to her, congratulating her on November 27th 1992. Bauer complained that the book lacked the "worldwide perspective" and said, "Irving is mentioned, but not that he is the mainstay of Holocaust denial today in Western Europe" which is where all the misery then began of course. Somehow therefore I had to be shoe horned into the text before publication. Professor Bauer urged her too not to write things inadvertently that might convince the reader that there was something to what revisionists or deniers said, although that is hardly a true scholar's method, to suppress mention of opposing arguments. In a letter to Anthony Lerman, of the Institute of Jewish Jewish Affairs, (the same Mr Lerman who would spread later the lying word that I had supplied the trigger mechanism for the Oklahoma City bomb) Lipstadt revealed that there was an earlier incarnation of the book. Now, that earlier incarnation, to use her words, has also not been disclosed in her sworn list of documents. She had been ordered to swear an affidavit on her list, my Lord, which is why there is a sworn list, because of discrepancies previously. When I made a subsequent complaint about deficient discovery, her solicitors reminded me that I could not go behind her . P-142 affidavit under the rules until she presented herself for cross-examination, which I think is, if I may say so, my Lord, deceptive. Had they intended not calling this witness to the witness stand, they should not have written that to me. This chance of cross-examining the witness has been denied to me. Professors Lipstadt spent of that last month of 1992 therefore putting me into the book, whereas I had only previously been mentioned, and thus putting herself into this court room today. They were the weeks after the spectacular success of the global campaign to destroy my legitimacy, which culminated with getting me deported in manacles from Canada on November 13th, 1992. "I am just finishing up the book" she wrote to Lerman on December 18th "and, as you can well imagine, David Irving figures into it quite prominently". She pleaded with Lerman to provide, indeed to fax to her urgently, materials from "your files". Your Lordship may think that this haste to wield the hatchet compares poorly with the kind of in-depth years long shirt sleeved research which I conducted on my biographical subjects. "I think that he (in other words Irving) is one of the most dangerous figures around", she added, pleading the urgency. It was a spectacular epiphany, this court might think, given that only three weeks earlier the manuscript barely mentioned me, as Bauer himself had complained. . P-143 From being barely mentioned to being one of the most dangerous figures around. Lerman faxed his materials to her from London a few days later. We do not know precisely what, and it is a complete extent, as here too the defendants' discovery is only fragmentary, and these items were provided to me, again only in response to a summons. That is an outline of the damage, and the people, including specifically the Defendants in this action, who were behind it. Mr Rampton suggested at a very early stage that I had brought all of this on my myself, that I even deserved it. He was talking about the hate wreath that was sent to me upon the death of my oldest daughter. We shall see. My Lord, I now come to Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Auschwitz has been a football of politicians and statesmen ever since World War II. The site has become, like the Holocaust itself, an industry, a big business in the most tasteless way, the Auschwitz site. The area, I am informed, is overgrown with fast food restaurants, souvenir and trinket shops, motels and the like. As Mr Rampton rightly says, I have never been to Auschwitz and Mr Rampton knows the reason why. The Auschwitz authorities said they would not allow me to visit the site and they would not allow me into their archives, and they . P-144 have every reason to know why they do not want to allow a David Irving to get his hands on their papers. Under Prime Minister Josef Cyrankiewicz (who had been prisoner number 62,993) it was known at its opening in 1948 as a monument to the martyrdom of the Polish and other peoples. Auschwitz was overrun by the Red Army in January 1945. The last prisoner had received the tattooed number 202,499. Informed by Colonel General Heinz Guderian, the chief of the German Army general staff, that the Russians had captured Auschwitz, Hitler is recorded by the stenographers as saying merely "yes". The court might find it significant that he did not prick up his ears and say something like, "Herr Himmler, I hope you made sure the Russians will not find the slightest trace of what we have been up to". (Or even, "I hope you managed to get those holes in the roof slab of crematoria No. II cemented over before you blew it up".) I will shortly explain the significance of that. When the name of SS General Hans Kammler, the architect of the concentration camps, was mentioned to him a few days later by Goebbels, it was evident that even Kammler's name meant little to Hitler because Goebbels commented on the fact. How many had died at Auschwitz? We still do not know with certainty, because the tragic figure has become an object of politics, too. Professor Arno Mayer, the . P-145 Professor of European history at the University of Princeton, a scholar of considerably greater renommee than Professor Evans, and himself a Jew, expressed the view in one book that most of the victims of the camp died of exhaustion and epidemics. He said: "From 1942 to 1945 more Jews died, at least in Auschwitz and probably everywhere else, of 'natural' causes of death than of 'unnatural'. The Russians who captured the camp did not at first make any mention in their news reports of gas chambers. There is a famous report published in the first day or two in February 1945 in Pravda. Moreover, as we saw on the newsreel, which I showed on the first day of this trial, even the Poles, with access to all the records, claimed only that "altogether nearly 300,000 people from the most different nations died in the Auschwitz concentration camp". This is the news reel trial of the trial of the Auschwitz officials. "300,000 people from the most different nations died in the Auschwitz concentration camp". It concluded that the camp now stood as a monument of shame to the lasting memory of its 300,000 victims. In both cases gassing was not mentioned. The New York Times quoted the same figure 300,000 when the trial began in 1947. The figure gradually grew however. The Russians set up an inquiry including some very well-known names, including the . P-146 experts who had examined the Nazi mass graves at Katyn, and even the notorious Lysenko. They announced that 4 million had been murdered at Auschwitz. Under the Polish communists, a monument to "4 million dead", with those words on it, was duly erected, a number which was adhered to until the 1990s even under Franciszek Piper, one of the later (but still communist) directors of the Auschwitz State Archives. After the communist regime ended that figure was brought down to 1.5 million, and then to 750,000 by the acknowledged expert Jean-Claude Pressac. The Defendants' own expert Peter Longerich spoke of one million deaths there from all causes, and then in response to cross-examination by myself and to your Lordship's enquiries, Dr Longerich confirmed that he included all non homicidal deaths, deaths "from other causes", including epidemics and exhaustion in that overall figure of 1 million. Perhaps I should pause there and say that these figures seem appalling figures but, if it is one million or 300,000 or whatever the figure is, each of them means that many multiples of one individual. I never forget in anything I have said or written or done the appalling suffering that has been inflicted on people in the camps like Auschwitz. I am on the side of the innocents of this world. As for the overall death roll of the Holocaust, . P-147 what meaning can one attach to the figures? The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg found that the policy pursued resulted in the killing of 6 million Jews, of which 4 million were killed in the extermination institutions, but the 6 million figure derives, as the American chief prosecutor Jackson recorded in his diary in June 1945, from a back of the envelope calculation by the American Jewish leaders with whom he met in New York at that time. Professor Raul Hilberg puts the overall Holocaust figure at one million or less. Gerald Reitlinger had the figure at 4.6 million, of which he said about 3 million were conjectural, as it was not known how many Jews had escaped into the unoccupied part of the Soviet Union. The Israeli prime minister's office, we are told by Norman Finkelstein, recently stated that there were still nearly one million living survivors. There are doubts not only about the precise figures but about specific events. The same Nuremberg tribunal ruled on October 1st 1946 that the Nazis had attempted to utilise the fat from bodies of victims in the commercial manufacture of soap. In 1990 historian Shmuel Krakowski of Yad Vashem announced to the world's press that that too had been a Nazi propaganda lie. Gradually the wartime stories have been dismantled. As more documents have been found, widely stated propositions have been found to be doubtful. For a long time the confident . P-148 public perception was that the Wannsee protocol of the January 20th 1942 meeting at the Interpol headquarters in Berlin, Wannsee, recorded the actual order to exterminate the European Jews. Yehuda Bauer, the director now of Yad Vashem, the world's premier Holocaust research institution in Israel -- one of the correspondents of the second Defendant you remember -- has stated quite clearly: "The public still repeats time after time the silly story that at Wannsee the extermination of the Jews was arrived at". In his opinion Wannsee was a meeting but "hardly a conference", and he even said: "Little of what was said there was executed in detail". Despite this, your Lordship has had to listen to this "silly story" all over again from the expert witnesses. Surely, my critics say, there must now be some evidence of a Hitler order. Back in 1961 Professor Raul Hilberg, one of Yehuda Bauer's great rivals for the laureate, one of my correspondents, asserted in "The Destruction of the European Jews", his book, that there had been two such orders, one in the spring of 1941, and the other soon after. By 1985, after I had corresponded with him and I had begun voicing my own doubts, Hilberg was back pedalling. Hilberg went methodically through his new edition of his book, excising the allegation of a Hitler order. It is not as though he did not mention the Hitler . P-149 order. He actually went through a book, taking every reference to it out. "In the new edition", as Professor Christopher Browning, another of our expert witnesses here for the defence, who testified before this court, said, "all references in the text to a Hitler decision or Hitler order for the Final Solution had been systematically excised. Buried at the bottom of a single footnote stands the solitary reference: 'Chronology and circumstances point to a Hitler decision before the summer ended (1941)'". "In the new edition", Browning repeats, scandalized, "decisions were not made and orders were not given". Your Lordship will find my exchange with Professor Browning as to whether he had indeed written those words in 1986 on day 17. You will find too that he regretted that he could not recall the events clearly of 15 years ago, which invited a rather obvious riposte from me about the probably similar memory deficiencies in the eyewitnesses on whom he had on occasions relied. The director of the Yad Vashem archives has stated that most survivors' testimonies are unreliable. There is a quotation from him. "Many", he writes, "were never in the places where they claim to have witnessed atrocities, while others relied on second-hand information given them by friends or passing strangers". It is the phenomenon that I have referred to as cross-pollination. Your Lordship may have been as startled as I, I confess, . P-150 was, upon learning the degree to which the case for the mass gassings at Auschwitz relies on eyewitness evidence, rather than on any firmer sources. Your Lordship will remember perhaps the exchange I had with Professor Donald Watt, professor emeritus at the London School of Economics, a distinguished diplomatic historian, early on in the trial, about the value of different categories of evidence. I will just summarize that. I asked him, I said, Professor I was not going to ask you about-- -- MR JUSTICE GRAY: He said it all depends, did he not, really? Is that unfair as a summary? MR IRVING: Well, my Lord, I draw your eyes straight down to the second line from the bottom. Professor Watt answers all of that, saying: The Bletchley Park intercepts, in so far as they are complete, are always regarded as the most reliable because there is no evidence that the dispatcher was aware that his messages could be decoded by us (by the British), and therefore he would put truth in them". This supports my view, my Lord, that eyewitness evidence is less credible than forensic evidence and the Bletchley Park intercepts. I do not completely ignore eyewitness evidence, but I feel entitled to discount it when it is contradicted by the more reliable evidence which should then prevail.
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