Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day001.06 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I see the time. I think probably we will adjourn. My recollection of this document is . P-43 (which I have not seen as a document before) that it is relied on by the Defendants for the reference to the Fuhrer's orders on page 1, is that right? MR RAMPTON: And also the one on page 2. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Towards the end. MR IRVING: I have no objection to that, my Lord. The reason why I rely on it now will become plain as we continue after lunch. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of course. Yes, I am not stopping you; it is just that now it is after 1 o'clock. Yes, Mr Rampton? MR RAMPTON: Can I ask your Lordship's indulgence? I too have written an opening statement. Your Lordship has not seen it. It is very short, comparatively speaking. Can I hand it up so that your Lordship can read it over the lunch? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. Mr Irving has had a copy? MR RAMPTON: Yes. It is only by that route that the press can have copies of it. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not know whether we are going to manage to get to your speech today in a way -- if we did, yes. MR RAMPTON: That is why. Once this court has read it, then it is a public document. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I will look at it over the adjournment. MR RAMPTON: I am grateful. (Luncheon adjournment) (2.00 p.m.) MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, Mr Irving? . P-44 MR IRVING: My Lord, when we adjourned I just completed reading out to what you I was calling the Bruns Report ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. MR IRVING: --- which was an eyewitness account by a German General (unaware he was being overheard) of a mass shooting of Jewish civilians which he had witnessed in Riga on a particular Sunday which I maintain was November 30th 1941. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. MR IRVING: He had said, you will recall, that one of the gunmen had called out: "'Here comes a Jewish beauty. I can see it all in my memory: a pretty woman in a flame coloured chemise." I understand Mr Rampton to say that he is going to rely on the last sentence which is a reference to the Fuhrer and the order. I will now continue. My Lord, permit me a word about the credentials of that particular document. It is authentic. It comes from the British archives. A copy can be found in the Public Record Office this very day, if anyone wishes to go and see it. First: is the General describing something he had really seen? I mention this because later, on his sworn oath in the witness stand in Nuremberg, this same General claimed only to have heard of this atrocity; yet there can surely be no doubt of the verisimilitude. It . P-45 does not take university level textual analysis to realize that if a General says: "I can see her in my mind's eye now, a girl in a flame-red dress", this is a man who has been there and seen it with his own eyes. This document has, in my submission, considerable evidentiary value. It is not self- serving. The General is not testifying in his own interest. He is merely talking, probably in a muffled whisper, to fellow prisoners at a British interrogation centre, and he has no idea that in another room British experts are listening to and recording every word. We also have the original German text of this document, I might add, my Lord. So to what purpose do I mention this? Well, firstly, because I shall later on in these proceedings add further unknown documents from the same superb British archives -- that is the Public Record Office -- documents that go to the events of this one day, November 30th 1941, documents which show Adolf Hitler taking a most remarkable stand on this atrocity. But I also adduce this document for the following reason which is immediately of importance, given the title of the book: "Denying the Holocaust". I adduce this document for the following reason: if an historian repeatedly refers to this document, the Bruns Report; if he quotes from it; if he immediately writes as soon as he finds it showing it to fellow historians, both Jews and . P-46 non-Jews alike, and in writing draws their attention to the existence of this document, and its fellow documents, all of which were hitherto unknown to them; if, moreover, that historian reads out this document in public, with its awful, infernal descriptions of the mass killings of Jews by the Nazis on the Eastern front on multiple speaking occasions; if this historian, speaking to audiences even of the most extreme hues of left and right, heedless as to their anger, insists on reading out the document in full, thus "rubbing their noses in it", so to speak; if continues to do so over a period of 15 years again and again right up to the present date, and if he quotes that document in the text and references that document in the footnotes of all his most recent works, beginning with the "Hitler's War", the biography, the republication in 1991, through "Goebbels. Mastermind of the Third Reich" in 1996 and "Nuremberg, the Last Battle" in 1997, if all these things are true, then is it not a libel of the most grotesque and offensive nature to brand that same historian around the world as a "Holocaust denier" when he has not only discovered and found and propagated this document and brought it to the attention of both his colleagues and his rivals and his foes, regardless of their race or religion, and to countless audiences? This is not an isolated example, my Lord. In Introduction to my biography of Adolf Hitler, "Hitler's . P-47 War", which was published by The Viking Press in America and by Hodder & Stoughton in the United Kingdom and later by Macmillan, we shall find that I have drawn specific and repeated attention of the reader to the crimes that Adolf Hitler committed. How did all this happen? I shall invite the court to hear expert evidence on the relationship between the world's Jewish communities and the rest of us, given by a professor of sociology at a leading American university who has published a number of book-length studies on the topic. The Jewish community, their fame and fortunes, play a central role in these proceedings. It will not surprise the court, I suppose, that among the allegations levelled against me by the Defendants by their experts is the adjective of "anti-Semitic". This adjective is both the most odious and the most overworked of epithets. Almost invariably it is wielded by members or representatives of that community to denigrate those outside their community in whom they find disfavour. It does not matter that the person whom they label as anti-Semitic has conducted himself towards that community in an irreproachable manner until then; it does not matter that he has shown them the same favours that he has shown to others; it does not seem to matter either . P-48 that that same community who thus labels him or her has conducted against him an international campaign of the most questionable character in an attempt to destroy his legitimacy, the economic existence upon which he and his family depends. If he defends himself against these attacks, he is sooner or later bound to be described as anti- Semitic. It has become a ritual. No doubt the English people, who in 1940 found it necessary to defend themselves against the Germans, would by the same token earn the title of anti-German. Is a person who defends himself ultimately and wearily and after turning the other cheek for 20 or 30 years ipso facto no better than the most incorrigible kind of ingrained anti-Semite with whom we are probably all familiar? I submit that he is not. This court will find that, like most Englishmen, I have had dealings with both English and foreign Jews throughout my professional life. There were, to my knowledge, no pupils of the Jewish faith at the minor Essex Public School that I attended (in common with our present Home Secretary) from 1947 to 1956. In fact, I was surprised when I recently heard the suggestion that there had been one. I encountered many Jewish students when I attended London University, however. I would like to commemorate here the name of my flat mate at Imperial . P-49 College, Mike Gorb, who died tragically in a mountaineering accident. I regarded as a good friend another senior student, Jon Bloc. There was one student, a Mr Peter L, who began agitating against me for the views that I profounded while at University, views I can no longer remember; and I have to confess that I found his agitation both perplexing and irritating because it all seemed rather petty and spiteful at the time. As my own witness statement recalls, at the time of the Anglo-Israeli-French "police action" in Suez in 1956, I joined student demonstrations on behalf of the Israelis, though for the life of me now I cannot remember why. It is the kind of thing you do when you are a student. My Lord, when my first book was published, "The Destruction of Dresden" in 1963, I became uncomfortably aware that I had somehow offended the Jewish community. I did not at the time realize why and I do not fully realise why even today. Whatever the reason, their journalists were in the spearhead of the attack on me. As other books appeared, this polarisation among the English critics became more pronounced. I remember the name of Mr Arthur Pottersman, writing for a tabloid newspaper -- the Daily Sketch -- as being one of the few vicious critics, not of Dresden book but of my person. My publisher, Mr William Kimber, to whom I . P-50 have earlier referred, recommended to me the services of his lawyer, Mr Michael Rubinstein, a name with which the older members of this court may perhaps be familiar -- a very well known lawyer at the time. Mr Kimber said to me in his drawling, affable voice: "You will like Michael. He is very Jewish but a very Christian kind of a Jew, rather like Jesus Christ". You remember that kind of thing. It is the kind of inexplicable sentence that one remembers even now, nearly 40 years on down the road. I found Michael an enormously capable, energetic and likeable person - indeed, very English, his advice always sound, and he stood by me as legal adviser for the next 20 years, two decades. He had a rhinoceros hide, as I remarked once in my diary -- a remark seize upon by the Defendants as evidence of my anti-Semitism. I also form the long term friendship (which exists to this day) with well-known writers like the American David Kahn, an expert on code breaking. Being an author dealing with American and British publishers, I frequently came into contact with the Jewish members of the publishing profession. The editor of "Hitler's War" for the Viking Press was Stan Hochman who became, as the correspondence and for all I know also my diaries show, a good friend; Peter Israel, who purchase "Uprising", which was my book on the 1956 Hungarian uprising, was editorial director at . P-51 Putnam's, and so on. The discovery documents, my Lord, show that there was also some kind of relationship between myself and our own George Weidenfeld which was the usual kind love/hate relationship that exists between authors and publishers. George published several of my books, including my biographies of top Nazis like Field Marshal Erhard Milch and Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, and I do not believe that he made a loss on those operations. But behind my back, I learned that he had made unhelpful remarks about me, and I had occasion to write him one or two terse letters about that. But I believe we are still friends and my relations with the present Managing Director of Weidenfeld & Nicholson are of the very best. But those are all individuals, my Lord.
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