The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit//transcripts/day002.06


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day002.06
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   -- media accounts, rather than the American
publishers?
   A.   This is true, my Lord, and it is very unsatisfactory
that
        we are not going to be able, as I understand it, to
        question Professor Lipstadt about what contact she may
        have had.
                  If I may state at this point also, one would
        have liked to have seen in her discovery, had her

.                                      P-148



        discovery been complete, and I am going to submit her
        discovery was incomplete, any correspondence that she
        might have had or any communications she might or
might
        not have had with the publishers' concerns, St Martins
        Press, or with the people who were putting pressure on
the
        publishers, because the Second Defendant was certainly
        instantly quoted as an authority on the reasons why
the
        book should be suppressed.
   Q.   Yes, but you are entitled to make applications for
        discovery, but let us focus on your evidence. If you
want
        to make that application we can deal with that at the
        beginning or the end of the day.
   A.   It is not an application, my Lord, it is an
allegation.
        I was informed by the second Defendants' lawyers when
your
        Lordship will have seen that I succeeded in obtaining
an
        order that the Second Defendant should be required to
        swear a list on affidavit.  When that occurs, as your
        Lordship is aware, I am not allowed to go behind the
        affidavit until the trial of the action.  I was
repeatedly
        reminded of this by the defendants' solicitors, who
said
        you will be able to cross-examine Professor Lipstadt
when
        the time comes, on her affidavit, and, of course, now
we
        will not.
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   That is not the last time I shall refer to that, my
Lord.
        I find it an unfortunate state of affairs.

.                                      P-149



                  So the book anyway in the United States did
not
        appear.  The just proceeds of that book not appearing
were
        denied to me. But not only the just proceeds of that
book
        but as it seems now all future books, because all the
        publishers with whom I previously dealt in the United
        States have pointed to that episode in grief and
terror
        and said we cannot afford that to happen to us. The
        chairman of the St Martin's Press was obliged to
resign
        six weeks later over the scandal and nobody wanted to
go
        through that again.
   Q.   Yes.  So that is your evidence about the effect of
what
        has been published by these Defendants.  Now --
   A.   Specific details, yes, my Lord, of course, there is a
        long-term effect in this country as well.
   Q.   -- describe that.
   A.   The book, which has been published by the First and
Second
        Defendants has been not just sold through the normal
        outlets, it has been placed on the Internet on two
        different website locations.  I have no way of knowing
        whether they are active participants in that or not
        because we cannot cross-examine them on that. I, the
        Defendant, but the book has been made available in
other
        words to 200 million Internet users.  They can
download it
        free, the entire book, and review probably regardless
of
        whatever injunction your Lordship sees fit to make at
the
        end of this trial that book will continue in
perpetuity in

.                                      P-150



        cyber space.  The book has been donated to very large
        numbers of university libraries around the world.  One
of
        my correspondents at the University of Durham has
found no
        fewer than three copies in Durham University library
with
        library plate gummed into the front saying "donated by
        Friends of Durham University History Society".  There
is
        no such Society.  So it has been actively propagated
by
        who knows whom.  The book is relied on as a source.
It is
        an authoritative source by people who wish to attack
me
        further.  So it has an ongoing rolling effect far
beyond
        the effect it has just on the one customer who picks
it up
        at his local Barns & Noble or Waterstones bookshop, my
        Lord.
                  Of course, the book is a very much more
serious
        libel -- vehicle for a libel then a newspaper.  When
        newspapers have libeled me or defamed me in the past
and
        people have come to me wringing their hands in grief
as
        you will see from one of the speeches I made. I said,
fear
        not because today is already Monday and what appeared
        yesterday is already wrapping fish and chips or being
        flushed down the drains in some paper processing
plant.
        Whereas books go into libraries.
                  But simultaneously, as your Lordship will
have
        seen from the witness statement of Professor Evans,
when
        he went to the British Library and asked to obtain a
copy
        of my book he was told that it had mysteriously been
put

.                                      P-151



        in the pornographic book section and was not freely
        available.  The book which I have on the desk in
front, my
        book "Hitler's War".
                  It is quite ingenious campaign, my Lord, I
would
        aver that on the one side my book is being suppressed
and
        squirreled away, hidden out of sight so people cannot
see
        what I actually wrote. Pressure is put on publishers
so
        they do not publish my books and simultaneously a
campaign
        is launched by very well qualified writers and very
gifted
        writers, armed with ammunition from all around the
world
        in an attempt to defame me which I then cannot answer.
                  Has your Lordship further questions on ----
   Q.   Not on that aspect, and I do not want to impose any
kind
        of rigid pattern to your evidence if you do not want
it to
        emerge in that way?
   A.   My Lord, I find it is very useful that you ask me
these
        questions because it is like an examination in chief.
   Q.   I hoped you might. Yes, that is what it is really
intended
        to be.  What I was going to suggest you deal with now,
is
        the plea of justification because that is obviously
the
        main issue.  If it is not inconvenient to you it would
be
        most helpful to me if you were to deal perhaps quite
        briefly with the various allegations that are put
against
        you in the Defendant's summary of case, because I
think
        everybody agrees that superseded the original defence,
we
        discussed that at pretrial review?

.                                      P-152



   A.   Yes.
   Q.   I think it is a convenient summary of the allegations
that
        are made against you and can you deal with it briefly
or
        at greater length.  It is a matter for you.  I have no
        doubt you will be cross-examined about it anyway, but
        would it be appropriate to go through --
   A.   If I can find it in this bundle.
   Q.   -- the topics.  I have it in a separate file.  I do
not
        know whether if you have it in the same form I have,
the
        Defendant's summary of case?
   MR RAMPTON:  We have it.  Does your Lordship have it in a
        separate file?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.  That may be something I did and
have
        forgotten about.
   MR RAMPTON:  It is in the pale green thing.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Have you got it?
   A.   I have the summary of the Defendants case, yes.
   Q.   Well, as you recall it is divided into sections, and
the
        first section, which is quite a short one, is the
        allegation that is made against you by the Defendants
that
        you are what is called a "Holocaust denier".
   A.   My Lord, I think I led, or at any rate I gave my reply
to
        that allegation in my opening statement yesterday at
some
        length, and I am not sure there is very much more I
can
        add to that in chief, so to speak.  Perhaps the ----
   Q.   Can I just put a little bit of flesh on the bones of
that?

.                                      P-153



   A.   Yes.
   Q.   The way the Defendants put their case is to quote
quite a
        large number of, mostly speeches, that you have made?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Usually in North America, and to say that you have
denied
        that there were any Jews killed in gas chambers at
        Auschwitz and so on, and refer to Auschwitz in
dismissive
        terms.  The first question, I suppose, is to what
extent
        you accept that you are accurately quoted.  I am not
        asking you to go into the detail of it, but do you
accept
        that you have said that sort of thing, in general,
whether
        the quotation is accurate?
   A.   In general, those quotations are accurate, my Lord.
Of
        course, I am quite unhappy about the use of word
        "holocaust" without having had it very closely
defined.
        It is a very elastic expression.
   Q.   You state what you understand it to mean?
   A.   The Holocaust was the tragedy that befell the Jewish
        people during World War II.  I would set it as broadly
as
        that.  One could even set if more broadly and say the
        Holocaust was whole of World War II and that the
people
        who died and suffered in that Holocaust were not
        necessarily confined to the Jewish religion, but any
        number of innocents, whether gypsies, homosexuals, the
        people in Coventry, the people in Hiroshima.  I think
it
        is otiose to try and define the Holocaust just the way
you

.                                      P-154



        wish to define it in order to snare somebody, which
        appears to be what happens in a case like this.  They
set
        it as wide as they want when it is a concern, for
example,
        of taking money from the Swiss banks.  I will justify
that
        statement in a moment, and they set it very narrowly
when
        they then try to snare a writer who is dangerous to
them,
        as they put it.
                  The reference to the Swiss Bank is justified
as
        follows.  I have in my files and I can produce it to
your
        Lordship if you wish probably five or ten whole page
        advertisements inserted in the newspapers around the
        world, and your Lordship may well have seen them,
inviting
        people in entitled to compensation for their suffering
in
        the Holocaust to come forward, and for the purposes of
        that advertisement those people are defined as any
person
        who was persecuted in Germany during the periods of
the
        Third Reich, or in Nazi occupied territories, by
virtue of
        his religion or by virtue of being a minority.  He did
not
        have to be in a concentration camp.  He did not have
do
        work in a slave labour factory.  The mere fact of
being
        within the frontiers of those countries justified that
man
        to Holocaust compensation.  That, of course, is, in my
        submission, an offensively wide description of the
word
        and I think that the two line description I gave, the
        Holocaust is -- I would prefer to see it defined for
the
        purposes of this court, this trial, the Holocaust is
the

.                                      P-155



        tragedy that befell -- that undoubtedly befell the
Jewish
        people during the Third Reich, not even just during
World
        War II.
   Q.   Well, do not let us be too bothered about labels, but
can
        I just ask you this; I understand what are you saying
        about the Holocaust being a term you could apply to
the
        World War II generally, but if you take it as meaning,
for
        the purposes of this question anyway, a systematic
        programme of exterminating Jews, conducted by the Nazi
        regime --
   A.   My Lord, I think the difference --
   Q.   -- can I just ask you this, do you accept that there
was
        any such programme first; leave aside the issue of gas
        chambers?
   A.   -- no, I do not.  I think this is the defect, with
        respect, in your Lordship's definition.  The
systematic
        programme to exterminate the Jews is the cause,
whereas
        the Holocaust, the word "Holocaust" as I would see it
is
        the effect, the result, the tragedy that results.
When we
        are looking at the Holocaust we are looking at the
        victims.  We are looking at the mass graves.  We are
        looking at the people being machine gunned into pits.
The
        Holocaust in my submission is not the machinery which
        produced the result, it is the suffering and not the
        murderer, shall we say.
   Q.   So I want to be clear on this, because it is obviously

.                                      P-156



        important.
   A.   It is very important indeed, my Lord.

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