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Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day020.21
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   MR IRVING:  On the foot of page 214 you have, metaphorically
        speaking, raised your eyebrows at the fact that one of
        Hitler's doctors recorded in his diary the fact that
        Hitler had described his future biographer in terms that
        appeared to fit me, if I can put it like that?
   A.   Yes.  An interesting ----
   Q.   Yes, a very simple question.
   A.   --- put.
   Q.   If that diary does exist then I am perfectly justified to
        quote that whole passage, am I not?
   A.   Yes, it is an interesting comment on your attitude of your
        mission.
   Q.   A comment on my attitude?
   A.   Yes, what you conceive was your mission.
   Q.   If you had got that diary first, you being admittedly not
        English but Welsh, I suppose you would still feel yourself
        qualified by Hitler as being an Englander?
   A.   I think that Germans, unfortunately, do include the Welsh
        amongst the English, yes.
   Q.   Yes, unfortunately.  You would have quite happily have
        quoted that, would you now, if you were writing a
Hitler
        biography and you came into possession of that diary,
you
        too would quote it, would you not?

.          P-188



   A.   I would have been too embarrassed I think.
   Q.   Too embarrassed?
   A.   Yes.  I certainly would not want to give the
impression
        that all these things the Doctor says would apply to
me.
   Q.   Well, some of them do not of course?
   A.   It is a very tempting quotation, but I think I would
have
        added that after the end of it "this is not me".  He
        records Hitler saying: "Perhaps an Englishmen will
come
        one day who wants to write an objective biography of
me.
        It has to be an Englishman who knows the archives and
        masters the German language, and that is why you are
        getting the diaries, Mr Irving, the doctor said."  I
think
        I would have said:  Well, I am not going to fit the
bill.
        I am not, as a biography of Hitler, his ambassador in
the
        afterlife.
   Q.   Does this explain to you why so often I manage to get
hold
        of these unusual documents, and there was no kind of
        bribery or promising involved?  These people just
turned
        this material over to me?
   A.   Does what explain?
   Q.   This kind of episode that I ended up with the good
        fortune.
   A.   You have to give a little more detail.
   Q.   Let us move on.
   A.   I am not sure what you mean by that.
   Q.   The foot of page 216.

.          P-189



   A.   The fact that you are English I do not think makes a
great
        deal of difference.
   Q.   No, but the fact that I knew the archives and I have
taken
        the trouble to learn the language as an Englishman?
   A.   Well, obviously it would be pointless if you did not
know
        any German.
   Q.   At the foot of page 216 you state, again without any
        evidence, that there was massive intimidation of the
        electorate in the 1938 plebiscite?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Do you have any proof of that?
   A.   Yes, this is the context where you simply say that
Hitler
        had risen from nobody, become the admired and
respected
        leader of two great nations.  Just five years after
1933
        he got 49 million Germans to vote for him which was
99.8
        per cent of electorate.  In my response to your
questions
        of 4th January 2000, your written questions, I have
two
        whole pages accompanied by a considerable amount of
        documentation of the intimidation which took place in
the
        plebiscite of 1938.  I am not sure -- would it save
the
        court's time if I could just refer to this without
        actually going through it?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think so to begin, and then if with
        Mr Irving wants to follow it up then he can.
   MR IRVING:  Perhaps I can just ask you in general:  Was
there
        any evidence that there was not a secret ballot?

.          P-190



   A.   Yes, there was.  Yes.
   Q.   In what way do you have that evidence?  Is it
contemporary
        evidence?
   A.   Well, there are reports on the plebiscite, official
        reports from electoral authorities which I quote on
page
        2:  "Members of the Election Committee marked all the
        ballot papers with numbers.  During the ballot itself
a
        voters' list was made up."
   Q.   This is was well-known, is it not, but that is not
        intimidation, is it?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do not keep interrupting, Mr Irving.  It
        destroys the whole object of the exercise.
   A.   The ballot papers were handed out in numerical order.
        Therefore, it was possible afterwards with the aid of
this
        list to find out the persons who cast no votes.  The
        Gendarmerie stationed in the Bavarian village of
Elsass
        reported that the ballot papers of people regarded as
        unreliable had been marked.  Reports from the XR
        leadership of the Social Democrats, so-called day
reports,
        who have numerous instances, they have a whole section
        which I include here in the documents on the lack of
        secrecy in the voting.
   MR IRVING:  Is this evidence of intimidation?
   A.   No.  It is evidence of lack of secrecy in the voting,
        which is what you asked the question about.
   Q.   Is there evidence of intimidation?

.          P-191



   A.   Yes, there is evidence of intimidation.  Do you want
me to
        go through it?  I list it again here and provide
        documentation.
   Q.   The fact that ballot papers are marked, just as they
are
        in England, and numbered, is not evidence of
intimidation
        of any kind of hanky-panky, is it?
   A.   No.  It is evidence of lack of secrecy of the ballots,
as
        the source I quote says, it was possible with the aid
of
        this list to find out the persons who cast no votes.
   Q.   Yes, but how would this lead to a 99.8 per cent vote?
   A.   Ah, because there was enormous -- because, of course,
        people suspected that, well, this is one element in a
        number of elements in these elections.  People
obviously,
        I think, quite clearly suspected that if they cast a
"no
        vote", and rightly suspected if they cast a "no vote",
it
        would be identified as theirs and they would suffer
the
        consequences.  In addition, there was a huge effort in
        which agents of the Nazi Party and various other
        organisations known as Schleppe or people who drag,
really
        carriers or draggers of voters to the polls, went
round on
        a number of occasions asking people to vote, sending
them
        written warnings if they did not, going to visit them,
and
        then later on, and I quote a number of examples,
        physically maltreating those who did not vote, taking
them
        off to lunatic asylums, expelling the Catholic Bishop
of
        Rottenburg from his diocese when he refused to take
part

.          P-192



        in the vote; dismissal of a street warden in
Steischlinger
        for telling people his boss had said that people could
        vole whichever way they wanted, which the boss of
course
        denied.  There was someone who was identified as
voting
        "no" in another community, according to a by day
report,
        was identified dragged through the local pubs of the
brown
        shirts and put a sign on her back saying "I am
traitor"
        and spat at her.  There were numerous arrests of known
        opponents of the regime before the vote, 250 people
who
        were thought to be opponents of the regime were
arrested
        in Leipzig before the vote and then released just in
time
        to go to polls.  So that it is quite clear what the
        intimidatory effect of that was.
   Q.   Are those kinds of measures sufficient to get a 99.8
per
        cent turn out in favour of Adolph Hitler, do you
think?
   A.   That is a different, that is a somewhat different
        question.  What I say is that I think it is clear that
        there is no, I do not know of any democratic and free
        election in which anyone has got 99.8 per cent of the
        vote.
   Q.   Would you agree there was a mass ----
   A.   Had the election been free, what the vote would have
been
        is another matter.  It is a matter for conjecture.
What
        I am saying, in other words, is that the difference
        between whatever the result would have been in a free
        election and the amazing 99.8 per cent is the result
of

.          P-193



        intimidation, pressure, lack of secrecy of the ballot.
   Q.   Would you agree there was a massive propaganda effort
to
        lead to this huge turn out?
   A.   There was indeed a massive propaganda effort, yes.
   Q.   And that there was in that respect as much carrot as
        intimidation by your account?
   A.   I do not think propaganda is carrot.  It is
propaganda.
   Q.   Would you agree that in fact the overwhelming majority
of
        the German people were by that time, in April 1938,
        dazzled by Hitler, I suppose that is the correct word,
his
        achievements, full employment?
   A.   No.  Well ----
   Q.   National unification, the Czar land, all these great
        achievements, and that this is one reason why 99.8 per
        cent of people could easily be persuaded to sign "yes"
to
        Adolf?
   A.   I think if you read the SD and by day reports
carefully it
        is clear that fairly soon after 1933 there was quite
        widespread grumbling and discontent.  That is a
slightly
        different matter from what people thought about the
union
        of Germany and Austria.  I think, for what it is
worth,
        that ----
   Q.   There was a plebiscite, was there not?
   A.   May I finish, Mr Irving?  That in the vote a
plebiscite on
        the union of Germany and Austria in 1938, in a wholly
free
        election, it is more than likely that there would have

.          P-194



        been a "yes".  In other words, the majority of people
in
        Germany and Austria were in favour of unions, but I do
not
        think it is 99.8 per cent.
   Q.   Yes, but what you think of course is not evidence.
   A.   I do not think -- I mean can you name me any free,
fully
        free, fair and secret election in which any side has
99.8
        per cent of the vote?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We are going rather ----
   MR IRVING:  We are going round in circles.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  --- long.  That is the Anschluss vote.  I
did
        not realize that.
   A.   Yes.
   MR IRVING:  It was not an election, my Lord.  It was a
        plebiscite.
   A.   There was a Reichstag election at the same time.  What
you
        say, Mr Irving, is that he got 49 million Germans to
vote
        for him, which is 99.8 per cent of electorate.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can I just ----
   MR IRVING:  Can I ask you, are you familiar with the
wording of
        the vote?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, will you listen to me for a
        moment, because I think we probably have spent long
enough
        on the 99.8 per cent.  There is a danger I think, and
this
        is designed to help you, that we are missing the wood
for
        the trees.  The whole of this section of the report,
which
        I think myself is quite important, is on the theme or
the

.          P-195



        thesis that you always write about Hitler in terms
which
        portray him favourably.  Various examples are given of
        that and various statements made by you which tend to
        confirm are recited by Professor Evans.
                  I personally would find it more helpful if
you
        were, perhaps to begin with, to ask a few rather more
        general questions in which you would set out what your
own
        case is about this.  I do not know, but could you not
ask
        Professor Evans whether it is not right that actually
you
        are very balanced and objective in what you write
about
        Hitler?  I think you need to set the scene.
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, we know precisely what the answer will
be
        if I ask that.  He will say he dislikes me.  He has
never
        read the book.  He would never have read the book if
he
        had not received this commission from these
instructing
        solicitors.  So that would be, frankly, in my
submission,
        a waste of the court's time.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Then you would follow it up, would you
not,
        and give some examples, and this is really what I am
        asking you for, of events, significant events, when
you
        take a critical line about what Hitler said or did.
That
        is what I am missing at the moment.  We are just going
        down this slightly blind alley of the 99.8 per cent
        Reichstag vote, whereas one is missing your putting
the
        case in rather broader terms.  I am only putting it
        forward as a suggestion.  You do not have to follow
it,

.          P-196



        but it would help me if you were to do that.
   MR IRVING:  My method, my Lord, an you may think it totally
        wrong, has been to graze through this passage and come
        across these occasionally indigestible rocks where he
        picks on something where I know I am right and where your
        Lordship probably does not appreciate that I am right.  By
        virtue of this cross-examination trying to establish it
        firmly in your Lordship's mind that out of us two experts,
        if I can put it like that, on balance, probably I am
        better right or righter than he is.

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