Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day013.16 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. ---- "Which I received today. Your compliments on my English are undeserved but Cassell's Dictionary being rather a help, I think I had better continue writing in English". Then I am afraid it gets harder and harder. Is there anything in that letter which betrays a good reason not to accept the evidence of Mr Miller, given that he is not after all writing under the heel of the communists of East Germany? A. This is the second letter, not the first letter of course. Q. No, but answer my question. I cannot read the first letter. It is blank. Is there anything about that letter which makes you suspicious of his veracity? A. His veracity? Q. Yes. A. I do not think he is deliberately lying, no. Q. No. so there is no reason to suspect his good faith? A. Yes. Q. Is there any reason to suspect that he is not telling what is accurate? A. He is telling me what his recollection is of the events to the best of his ability, given what he admits is a poor recollection of details. . P-140 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Names. A. Well, names, etc. MR RAMPTON: Names, and the effect of his evidence is twofold. First, that the amount of dead persons that they had managed to count by I think the middle of March was 30,000. A. I would say may well be the result of cross pollination from the fact that this was the figure which was always stated in the western media and in the East German media. Q. He writes in the middle of March 1945, "Our task was almost completed. The town was free of corpses. My records at the clearing staff showed 30,000. If you assume that the amount of dead, completely burnt, etc. would reach 20 per cent, the total figure of victims will not exceed 36,000". Then he goes on to explain in quite a lot of detail in the second letter how it was impossible that 68,000 corpses could have been burnt in the Altmarkt, does he not? A. Are you referring to the second letter of February 25th? Q. Yes, February 25th, PS, which is set out on page 539 to 40 of Evans' report. A. There is nothing on this letter of February 25th by nature of a PS, and there is no reference to those figures. Q. Well, then poor Professor Evans must have made it up. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well come on, no. In a post script typed a day later. . P-141 MR RAMPTON: Yes. A. It is not on these pages I have here. MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. I suspect that is the explanation. A. Again, I can only talk in generic terms and say that I collected several thousand letters of this nature when I wrote the book, far more material than I could possibly use, and I would be looking for specific pointers in an instinctive way as to which letters were written. I think it is acceptable, it is common knowledge that some people have better memories than others. Some people have better short term or long term memories than others. They can be the same age, but their memory differs from person to person. I would have been looking for people who had specific information about specific events rather than more general information. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am sorry, Mr Irving, for interrupting, but I cannot understand how you could get more specific information then the information from Mr Miller, whose job it was to compile records, that his records at the clearing staff showed 30,000 corpses. A. That is the only specific information contained in it. Q. What more can you want than that? A. If I was to sit down and type an index card on that letter, that is all it would contain. I would say, it says he was a member Aufrollungskommando based on such and such a place, recalls figure 30,000. Against that I would . P-142 set the fact, well, this is the figure which all the West German Press says, this is the figure that the East German Press says, it does not really advance the cause of our knowledge. I would clearly recognize that as being an echo of what this man is reading in the press, my Lord, at that time. Q. So he is a liar, then? A. No, a liar is somebody who wilfully ---- Q. But he says, "My records at the clearing staff showed 30,000 corpses". That is a lie if what he really means is, "I read in the press the other day that it is 30,000". A. I agree. I think he is fantasizing slightly. MR JUSTICE GRAY: He is fantasizing? A. Yes. We remember that Ada Bimko also remembered seeing 4 million in the Auschwitz record that she read. MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving, we know, with the wonderful benefit of 20.20 hindsight, that, so far from Mr Miller being a fantasist, he actually got the figure more or less spot on, did he not? A. His figure compares very closely with the figure contained in the police chief's report. Q. And in the genuine TV 47, and in Reichert's book, and everywhere else you want to look, the true figure is somewhere between 25 and 35,000 at the maximum, is it not? A. Except for the fact that, if you look at that little . P-143 passage sideways on the letter, page 2, he says, "by the way, the figures of dead were reported every day to a central air defence staff in Berlin". Now, I am quite familiar with those records and there is no such figures reported from Dresden over that period. It is that kind of thing that would have lit a little alarm light in my brain. That is exactly the kind of place that I was looking for data like this, and had there been daily reports coming from this Aufrollungskommando in Dresden, I would have seen them. Q. Now I wonder ---- A. I admit 20.20 hindsight is very nice, but we are not blessed with it. Q. No. I only said that in the poor man's defence. For all I know, he is sitting in Ingoldstadt on the Donnau, reading books of this case. You accuse him of being a fantasist. As it turns out, his information was almost precisely accurate. A. Well I said this in response to his Lordship's suggestion that I was imputing that the man was a liar, and I thought that that was going too far, the fact that he said that they kept records, and the fact that he said, "we had 30,000", I would not---- Q. He was right. A. I would not have said that this was evidence of lying. I would suggest that this was evidence of the fact that . P-144 yes, he was telling the truth about keeping records and that he then tacked the figure of 30,000 on because he knew that was the newspaper figure. Q. I am sure he will be delighted to read that in the newspaper. Mr Irving, I am going to leap ahead, if I may. A. Perhaps one day I shall bring my entire Dresden records to court and then his Lordship can see how many thousands of pages these are selected from. This is a very easy exercise to perform, if you want just want to suggest that someone is suppressing documents. Q. My Lord, I am now turning to page 9. I am going to the early summer May 1966. Have you got that, Mr Irving? It helps to follow the chronology? A. We are back on your tabulation. Q. Yes. I do not know whether Boberacht's discovery of situation report 1404 was communicated to you. Was it? A. As I mentioned earlier today, I received both those documents in the same post on my return from abroad. Q. In May 1966? A. Yes, both the East German one and the West German one. Q. Right. Which is which of those? Boberacht is East Germany, is he? A. Boberacht was the head of the West German archives. Q. His figures were 18,375 current death roll up to 22,345, expected death roll 25, and 35,000 missing, yes? . P-145 A. Yes. Q. Whereas the one from East Germany, we do not have the figures here but I know what they are and I am sure you do. So that up to early 10th March 1945 there were 8,735 dead, 2,212 badly wounded, 13,718 slightly wounded, and 350,000 homeless and long term re-quartered, did it not? A. Yes. Q. Upon receipt of those documents you must have given this problem some very considerable thought, did you not? A. I discussed them with my London publisher. Q. You wrote a letter to The Times? A. My London publisher advised me to keep quiet about them. Q. Never mind. A. This is quite important. Q. Oh no, Mr Irving ---- A. He said, you will do yourself discredit if you let people know that there are figures that dispute yours. MR JUSTICE GRAY: But you form a judgment. You do not do what your publisher says? A. If you are dependent upon your publisher for your entire livelihood, sometimes you do, my Lord. MR RAMPTON: So much more so, Mr Irving, if I may be a little cynical for a moment, if you should go on trumpeting the 200 to 250,000 figure, and these two documents should be brought forth by somebody else. Much better to come clean to protect yourself. . P-146 A. This was one argument I used to the publisher, of course. Q. Quite right, too. You wrote to The Times. I am not going to read it out. On 7th July, it is at page 56 of this tab 2, you said that, in effect, you thought that the original TB47 figures were falsified and that you had no interest in promoting -- this is the last paragraph -- "or perpetuating false legends and I feel it is important that in this respect the records should be set straight". A. I do not refer to TB47 in this document, of course. Q. No, but that is what you mean, is it not? A. But you implied that I did. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, you do eat humble pie. One does not want to skim over this letter so quickly. In the second paragraph you do say you are to blame for all this, you got it wrong. MR RAMPTON: Yes. Quite right. A. Yes. Q. You say at the end of the third paragraph -- Mr Irving, sometimes it is not good to be too much of a trainspotter -- "Two years ago I procured from a private East German source what purported to be extracts from the police president's report" -- that is the forged TB47, is it not? A. Yes, that is correct. Q. -- "quoting the final death roll as a quarter of a million. The other statistics it contained were accurate but it is now obvious that the death roll statistic was . P-147 falsified, probably in 1945". A. Yes. Q. That is a reference to TB47. A. Yes. Q. And a recognition that it was a forgery? A. That is correct. No, that the figure was falsified. Q. Yes. I agree. A. The document was genuine but the figure was falsified. Q. Sure. That is what you do if you are a reasonably good liar or forger. You get as close to the truth as possible but falsify the crucial fact. Now, in August 1966 you were ---- A. Can I just draw your Lordship's attention to the fact that what you are looking at on that page 56 is not the actual page from The Times, which actually looked like this - --- MR JUSTICE GRAY: What is the point? A. That I went to the trouble of having 500 copies of that letter printed at my own expense. Q. I see. A. That is what you are looking at there. I wonder how many historians would actually do something like that and sent it to historians around the world to correct the error that I thought I had made. MR RAMPTON: That is what is troubling me, Mr Irving. A. I am sure. Q. No, for quite a different reason. In August 1966 an . P-148 Italian edition of your book was about to be published, was it not? A. Yes. Q. Can you please turn to page 65 of this tab? My Lord, I am now on page 10 of the tab. You wrote to your Italian publisher, a Miss Calabi on 28th August 1966: "Dear Miss Calabi, thank you for your letter. I have now written out the few alterations that are ideally necessary for my book, The Destruction of Dresden, in the light of the new documents I have obtained from Germany." Those are the two documents we have just been discussing, are they not? A. Yes.
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