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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit//transcripts/day003.09


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day003.09
Last-Modified: 2000/07/29

   Q.   Where they are?
   A.   Have to remain in the East, have to remain in the west.
        It is a pretty meaningless sentence as it is.
   Q.   In that paragraph it is by no means meaningless, is it?
   A.   Yes, but now I would certainly replace it with the decodes
        instead and, in fact, in the latest edition I have.  That
        sentence is out and is replaced by absolute diamond
        evidence, the decodes, showing that I am right all the
way
        down the line.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Am I right in thinking that the entry in
the
        log was one of what you have described as the "chain
of
        documents"?

.          P-74



   A.   This particular one, I never referred to, not the
"haben
        zu bleiben".  It is totally immaterial and
unimportant.
        My Lord, people imagine that books are written in a
very
        precise, military kind of way, but they are written in
an
        extraordinarily ramshackle way.  They go back and
forth
        across the Atlantic with all sorts of different people
        setting their hands to them, including lawyers and
readers
        and experts and sub-editors and publicity people, and
it
        is a miracle that anything finally comes off the end
of
        the line.
   MR RAMPTON:  Mr Irving, you thought it sufficiently
important
        an event, and it is in the context of an order from
        Hitler, according to you, the Jews are to stay where
they
        are, it is a coder showing, not only did Hitler say
that
        they are not to be killed, not to be liquidated, an
        explicit order, but they are actually to stay where
they
        are, they are not to be shunted around from one place
to
        another and they are certainly not to be brought to
places
        of execution.  That is why it is there, is it not?
   A.   No.  It is there purely because it was the next entry
in
        the Himmler telephone log as I had misread it at the
time.
   Q.   And is sufficiently important in your mind for you to
put
        an asterisk footnote, is it not?
   A.   Saying that the facsimile of November 30 telephone
        conversation is reproduced as a facsimile.
   Q.   I imagine the reason you did not -- I do not know what
the

.          P-75



        verb is from "facsimile" -- you did not reproduce a
        facsimile of the note of 1st December is that you will
say
        that is because it was not sufficiently legible on the
        copy?
   A.   This is what you imagine, is it?  Is your imagination
what
        you are leading as evidence now?
   Q.   Yes.  I am asking you, what is the reason why -- you
had a
        lot of pictures in the second edition, did you not?
   A.   In the 1991 edition?
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Why did you not put a facsimile of this message in?
   A.   I had something like 3,000 pictures to draw upon,
        Mr Rampton, and it is a judgment call which
photographs
        you use.  One facsimile of a first line document where
an
        order is going out, "the transport of Jews not to be
        liquidated" is for more important than a meaningless
        sentence like "had to remain".
   Q.   Now, I want to go to, if I may ----
   A.   But I would like just to round up that argument
between us
        by saying that I do not think that you have
established
        that I have deliberately manipulated or deliberately
        distorted or deliberately mistranslated anything.  It
is a
        sin of omission.  The sin of omission is that I should
        sometime five years down the road, having realized the
        misreading, it should have occurred to me that one
word

.          P-76



        had been misinterpreted or misread and that I should
take
        that out of the 500,000 other words.
   Q.   I will be clear about it, Mr Irving, I will lay it out
for
        you.  You can deny it.  It is not my function at this
        stage to persuade his Lordship that I am right.  That
        comes later on.  You invented a Hitler order.  You
        deliberately inflated it into an order to protect the
        whole of the Jews?
   A.   I have not invented a Hitler order, Mr Rampton.  I
have
        hypothesized the Hitler order in the way that a
scientist
        should and I have then supported the hypothesis with
        evidence.
   Q.   Mr Irving, this is one occasion on which a "yes" or
"no"
        will do.  You invented it in the sense that you made
an
        hypothesis (and I do not say it is an unreasonable
        hypothesis) you made it into a categorical assertion
of
        fact.  Now, do you agree with that or not?
   A.   Yes, in the introduction.
   Q.   And do you agree with that as being an irresponsible,
        deliberately deceptive manner for a historian to
proceed?
   A.   Quite the contrary on the basis of evidence that I
have
        led this morning from my little bundle.
   Q.   When did you have those Jeckhelm messages?
   A.   The intercepts?
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   Within the last four weeks I have seen the originals.

.          P-77



   Q.   You did not have them at the time when you wrote this
        book?
   A.   No, but if you have a clean mind when you set out to
write
        a book, untrammelled by what you have seen on the TVs
and
        on the movies or read in other people's book like that
by
        Mr Kershaw, if you start out with a clean mind and you
        read documents that meet your criteria, you are
probably
        going to be nudged in the correct path that you arrive
at
        the right conclusions.
   Q.   It may happen, Mr Irving, from time to time in life
that
        you tell what you intend to be a lie and subsequent
        events, that wonderful friend hindsight shows that you
        were telling the truth all along.  Mr Irving, we are
not
        using hindsight.  I am concerned with your state of
mind
        when you wrote these books.
   A.   You a tell a lie and it turns out to be the truth all
        along?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Tell what you intend to be a lie.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, you tell what you intend to be a lie and
it
        turns out to be the truth.
   A.   Why would I intend something to be a lie?
   Q.   Because you are trying to exonerate, exculpate Adolf
        Hitler.
   A.   Well, this is your opinion, Mr Rampton, and I do not
think
        that this can be sustained on the evidence.
   Q.   No.  There are four limbs to this which you can say,
"Yes,

.          P-78



        it is right" (which you will not) or "No, it is not
right"
        (which you will).  The second limb to this is that you
        deliberately distorted the original German so as to
        inflate one transport of Jews from Berlin into the
whole
        of the German Jews?
   A.   I am not going to respond to that because I have made
a
        response to that argument.
   Q.   Exactly.  The third step is that you did not misread
by
        accident the word "haben" as "Juden"; you knew all
along
        that it was "haben" but you wrote it in as "Jews"?
   A.   I am not going to respond to that because I have
stated my
        position very fully on that too.
   Q.   The fourth proposition is that in any event, on your
own
        account, by the time this version of the book, the
1991
        edition, comes out, you know for a certainty, even if
you
        did not before, that it was wrong and you deliberately
        chose not to change it?
   A.   On the contrary, you could use the word "deliberate"
if
        I put it in at this time.  A failure to take something
out
        is an omission, a sin of omission, and not a sin of
        commission, if I may put it that way.  I respectfully
        suggest that it was a sin of omission and a failure to
        take a word out of 500,000 words is ----
   Q.   I do not think it matters what words one uses.
   A.   --- it would be improperly and unjustly described as
being
        the kind of distortion that you are trying to impute.

.          P-79



   Q.   Indeed I do.  To allow a falsehood once told to remain
on
        the record is just as reprehensible as to have
invented it
        in the first place, is it not?
   A.   I object to the word "falsehood".
   Q.   Well, it is a false statement.
   A.   A misreading of a word which is a perfectly legitimate
        misreading of a word which, I suppose, every person in
        this room would have read that way if they had been in
        exactly the same situation.
   Q.   These books, Mr Irving, are in some sense, are they
not,
        history books?
   A.   Which books?
   Q.   These, the Hitler's War books?
   A.   They are ----
   Q.   They are meant to be?
   A.   --- works of history, yes.
   Q.   --- meant to be history books.  They are meant to be a
        history of the Second World War seen not through
Hitler's
        eyes, I do not mean that, but with an angle on it that
        perhaps others have not treated before, that is to
say,
        the Hitler angle.  Hitler is at the centre of these
books,
        is he not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   You use what in the second edition it appears by the
time
        it appears you know to be a false statement of fact
about
        history?

.          P-80



   A.   By the time the second edition appears, it is true
that
        five years earlier I had known that a word had been
        wrongly read.  If you know -- when one publishes
        successive editions of the book, if one is in the
        fortunate position that I am, you are in the position
that
        you can, if you have the chance, constantly upgrade
and
        update and polish and refine.  The latest edition that
we
        put out, before it goes to the printers, I have had it
on
        the Internet for the last six weeks, and I have
invited
        people around the world to spot errors precisely like
        that, and I have increased the reward to a present $8
per
        error.  I have had to shell out 2 or $3,000 already.
I am
        not in the least bit ashamed because one wants to turn
out
        a work that is as perfect and as error free as
possible;
        but even so, errors go in.  There is a very famous
case
        where a man did exactly the same and he offered a very
        large reward if anybody could spot a typographical
error
        in a book that he had produced, and it turned out that
the
        very title on the title page had been -- can I point
out,
        Mr Rampton, another very serious error?
   Q.   I am listening; it is just that I have to get ready
for my
        next question.  Do continue, yes.
   A.   I will continue rambling on.  There is a very serious
        error in the book "Hitler's War" which is before you,
the
        1991 edition, and this is that my name does not appear
on
        it.  That you would consider is a most serious error
that

.          P-81



        an author can face, that his name does not appear on
his
        own book.
   Q.   It depends, rather, on one's point of view, Mr Irving,
        I would have said.  Mr Irving, can we turn please to -
-
        what is that? That seems to have your name on it but
maybe
        this is the wrong edition.
   A.   Not on the jacket, but actually in the book, Mr
Rampton,
        you will not find it.
   Q.   I have not, I confess, looked, nor do I think I ----
   A.   I mean, I confess that I am the author for the
purposes of
        this action.
   Q.   Nor do I think that I will spend the court's time
doing it
        now.  Thank you very much.  Mr Irving, I want to
return to
        General Bruns.  How do you pronounce it, in fact?
   A.   Bruns, B-R-U-N-S.
   Q.   With no umlaut though?
   A.   No umlaut.
   Q.   If that is the right word.  Do you have your two-page
        English translation?
   A.   I think I know it virtually off by heart.
   Q.   I would rather you had it.
   A.   It is in my opening statement.  I have it, yes, I have
the
        opening statement version.
   Q.   Maybe I should use that.  It will make it easier for
        everybody.  I have the TRO version.
   A.   It is on page 22.  You say that Bruns' account has

.          P-82



        verisimilitude?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Account of what he said he saw?
   A.   I marked that because later on under oath in the
witness
        box in Nuremberg he said he had not been there, I find
        that hard to believe.

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