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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit//transcripts/day019.10


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day019.10
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think I said that myself and I do rather
        take that view.  He did.  You know my view of it.  You are

.          P-85

        a litigant in person and you are, if I may say so,
        handling your task extremely well, but one of the things
        that you do learn is to take hints if you are doing it
        professionally .  I understand how difficult it is for you
        because there is stuff in those first 150 pages which you
        understandably take fierce objection to.
   MR IRVING:  It sets my teeth on edge, a lot of it.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is not going to bulk very large in my
        thinking.
   MR IRVING:  Your Lordship knows how your Lordship is thinking
        but, with respect, I do not.  You have a poker face and a
        complete mask like demeanour which keeps me totally in the
        dark.  People ask me when I go home how have you done and
        I say I not know.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is probably best.  Anyway, I have
given
        the hint yet again.  Mr Rampton is going shortly to
ask me
        to make a ruling about it and, if I have to make a
ruling,
        you know the way I am thinking at the moment, so let
us
        get on.
   MR IRVING:  Can we leap forward to page 47 of your report,
        please?  Harsh words on John Charmley now, a right
wing
        historian at the University of East Anglia.
   A.   What is harsh about that?  He is right-wing.  I do not
        think he makes any secret of that.  He is a former
        colleague of mine.
   Q.   Does that disqualify somebody if they are right-wing?

.          P-86



   A.   No, certainly not.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is enough about Mr Charmley.  On to
your
        next point.  I am not being flippant at all, but there
is
        nothing there for you, Mr Irving, I do not think, so
come
        on.
   MR IRVING:  Can I ask your Lordship to go to page 26 of the
        little bundle, please?  Recently received, but if your
        Lordship feels it is irrelevant, then I shall move on.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  He pays you a warm tribute and wishes you
        well in your libel action.
   MR IRVING:  Can I take you to page 49, please?
   A.   I am just saying that I quote Professor Charmley and
        saying that he admires Mr Irving in my report.
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, if I am referred to as some kind of
pariah
        in the academic community whose views are worth
nothing,
        I find myself ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is not the way I approach it.  I am
        trying to find a way round this problem because I can
see
        you are not going to take my hint.  I have seen plenty
of
        evidence, you have shown me a lot of evidence, from
very
        distinguished people like Lord Trevor-Roper paying you
        tributes and, as a military historian, I certainly
accept
        the evidence that I have heard about the number of
people
        who have a very high regard for you.  But in the end
it is
        not as a military historian that you are appearing
really
        in this trial.  You are appearing for the very
specific

.          P-87



        detailed criticisms of your approach made by Professor
        Evans, and those are what matter.
   MR IRVING:  You are talking about assassinations, is this
right
        Professor?
   A.   Sorry, where is this.
   Q.   On page 49, and the suggestion which is implicit in
that
        paragraph that the British did not carry out
        assassinations, that I should not have hinted that we
did,
        and Irving's claim that the democracies had no
hesitation
        about killing their foreign opponents.  Do you accept
that
        the British did carry out assassinations in World War
II?
   A.   I am describing Trevor-Roper's view of your work, and
I am
        recounting what he says in a section that is about
your
        reputation as an historian, where I try and lay out
what
        your reputation amongst professional historians has
been
        and is.  I am not responsible for justifying every
last
        detail of what every historian I quote has written
about
        your work.
   Q.   Do you reference the assassination of Chancellor
Dollfuss
        in 1934?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am sorry, I am not going to go into the
        assassination of the Austrian Chancellor in 1934.  It
has
        nothing to do with this case at all.  You have to move
on,
        Mr Irving.  I really am not going to let this case
grind
        almost to a halt on peripheral material.
   MR IRVING:  I am moving on.  A 700 page report has been
dumped

.          P-88



        on me by this expert witness in which he has used this
        material to blacken my name and set my teeth on edge.
It
        has been very widely quoted and I do not know what
your
        Lordship is attending to or not.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am not attending to other historians'
views
        about the issues I have to decide.  In the end they
are
        for me to decide, apart from those who have provided
        reports.
   MR IRVING:  Move to page 57, please.  I have leapt 20
questions
        there, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I do realize you have.  I recognize that.
   MR IRVING:  2.5.29, please.  The allegation that I invented
        sources by Mr Charles Sydnor.
   A.   Once again, this is still in a section that is
discussing
        your reputation amongst other historians.
   Q.   So you feel quite comfortable in throwing these kinds
of
        reports or allegations or opinions of other historians
at
        me to criticise my reputation without investigating
how
        true they were?
   A.   It is not a central part of my report, Mr Irving.  I
am
        simply trying to establish that some historians have
been
        extremely critical of your methods.  That includes
        particularly Sydnor and Brozsat.  I am aware of the
fact
        that you replied to Sydnor and I dealt with that in my
        response to the written questions which you submitted.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do you adopt Sydnor's criticism?  This is

.          P-89



        Mr Irving's problem and I am not unsympathetic towards
        it.  You recite the criticisms that Sydnor makes and
then
        you in some way seem to rather disavow them when you
come
        to give evidence.  Are you saying that what Sydnor
said is
        a justified criticism?  Or are you simply giving it as
        background, as it were, to your own criticisms?  That
is
        his problem as you, I am sure, understand.
   A.   I can see the problem.
   Q.   If you say well, no, I am not making that any part of
my
        case, then it may be that Mr Irving will feel we can
        forget about Mr Sydnor.
   MR IRVING:  Yes.  We could do that with a whole number of
my
        critics.
   A.   What I am saying, trying to be as precise about it as
        possible, is that it seems to me that Sydnor is an
        authoritative critic, but of course I cannot say that
        every one of his criticisms is justified.  It is not
in
        the end part of my case at all.  I am not taking up
these
        points and making them in my own treatment of your
work.
        I make a whole set of separate points about your work.
        This is to do with your reputation amongst historians.
   MR IRVING:  Can I draw your attention to the middle
sentence
        where you say:  "In his efforts to present Hitler in a
        humane light", which is one of the allegations against
me,
         "Irving, wrote Sydnor, manipulated sources, invented
        incidents" -- that is a pretty serious allegation --

.          P-90



         "(such as Hitler's supposed rebuke of the Judge
Freisler
        at the conspirators' trial) and once more, as so
often,
        failed to give proper documentary references".
                  Professor, in your work at the Institute of
        History in Munich though my papers, did you not find
the
        papers of Hitler's Adjutant Schaub?
   A.   Mr Irving, you did not respond to that criticism in
your
        reply to Professor Sydnor in Central European History.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, but, I think, Mr Irving, you may not
have
        heard or digested what Mr Irving said.  He said:  "It
is
        not in the end part of my case at all.  I am not
taking up
        these points and making them in my own treatment of
your
        work.  I make a whole set of separate points about
your
        work".
                  I understand that really to mean that it is
what
        appears from about page, I do not know, 120 onwards
which
        Professor Evans relies on and he does not rely, unless
        they happen to be in both, on the criticisms by
Syndor.
        I would have thought that that is sufficient for you
to be
        able to say, "Well, right, I can forget about the
        recitations of other historians' views and get on to
what
        matters".
   MR IRVING:  Except that I would have submitted, my Lord,
that
        in every single instance where he has produced such an
        episode, I am able to justify myself, as, for example,
and
        this is not without significance as far as his
credibility

.          P-91



        as a witness is concerned and his credit worthiness.
        I will take him to one further episode and then we
will
        skip another 20 pages.  (To the witness):  Page 59.
You
        applaud, shall we say, John Lukacs' attack on me, is
that
        right, for having invented sources and all the usual
        allegations?
   A.   No, I do not applaud it.  I am summarizing it as part
of a
        discussion of your reputation amongst historians.
   Q.   Right.  He writes:  "Mr Irving's factual errors are
beyond
        belief.  He says that '40 per cent of the prisoners in
        southern France turned out to be Russians" as one
example
        of how erroneous and factually erroneous I am?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Can we go very rapidly to make progress, not just to
the
        review which we will have a look at, but to page 23 of
        bundle F?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Is that a telegram from General Devers to General
Marshal
        and General Eisenhower?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Does the sentence that has been ringed on it say:
         "Prisoners captured are between 1,500 and 2,000 of
which
        about 40 per cent are Russians"?
   A.   Yes, if I just explain that this telegram was issued
on
        17th August.  It notes that the 6th Army Corp. were
ashore
        by 1800 hours.  "They occupied all small towns in this

.          P-92



        area which they say delineated by map references, and
they
        are advancing on Toulon which the 3rd Division expects
to
        reach by the morning and landing operations were
        continuing.  The prisoners captured are between 1500
and
        2,000 of which about 40 per cent are Russians".
                  So the first point is that -- well, there
are
        many points -- the document does not say that 40 per
cent
        of the prisoners in southern France turned out to be
        Russians.  It just says that 40 per cent of the
prisoners
        taken in a small area of southern France, Near Toulon,
in
        the first few hours of an American landing were
Russians.
        It does not say the Russians were volunteers.  So it
seems
        to me that this is an egregious misinterpretation of
this
        document.  You are blowing up a small report into a
large
        generalization.
   Q.   This is the report by the Commanding General in
command of
        the entire sector, the entire landing operation, in
        southern France.  I do not really want to spend more
time
        on this than to say that, quite clearly, the reference
in
        my book depended solely on this telegram from
Eisenhower's
        personal papers.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Professor Evans, it is right, is it not?
I
        mean, this is from the Advanced Detachment of Allied
        Forces Headquarters for the attention, for his eyes
only,
        to Generals Marshall and Eisenhower.  It can hardly be
a
        reference to some little skirmish.  I mean, it must be
a

.          P-93



        global report.  Is Mr Irving not entitled to make the
        point?
   A.   My Lord, he is talking about a few hours of a landing
in a
        relatively small area with 1500 and 2,000 captured
        prisoners which is really a very small number.  I do
think
        it is a manipulation of this source to generalize
about 40
        per cent of the prisoners in southern France which
must
        refer, surely, to the whole of the southern half of
France
        over the whole period in which the fighting was going
on.
   MR IRVING:  No I think you will find ----
   A.   I think this is a classic example of ----
   Q.   --- before the words ----
   A.   --- of Mr Irving's blowing up a small source into a
large
        generalization.
   Q.   I think you will find that before the words "40 per
cent"
        the phrase is "in the initial phase of the attack 40
per
        cent", but he has cut those words out?
   A.   If you present me with the document, I would be happy to
        concede that if he has manipulated that.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is a very good illustration of the
        problems we run into.  You have not got the war between
        the Generals here, have we?

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