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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit//transcripts/day019.11


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day019.11
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   MR IRVING:  No, I have not got it here with me, my Lord, but we
        have a much more serious problem with this witness, and
        this is that he has repeatedly relied on documents which
        are not in the H1 series ----

.          P-94

   A.   I am sorry, but the fact remains they were not
        volunteers.  Russians who joined the German armies were in
        many cases, effectively, forced to do so.
   Q.   They were called Hilsswillige, were they not?
   A.   They were not volunteers.
   Q.   "Hiwis", is that right?
   A.   That, of course, is a classic piece of Nazi rhetoric.
   Q.   Is it not true that they joined with the intention of
        fighting the Bolsheviks and then found they had been sent
        to another front?
   A.   Not in all cases, not at all, no.  They were -- Russian
        prisoners of war in Germany were in extremely difficult
        conditions.  Some 3 million were, effectively,
        deliberately left to starve and die by the Germans in the
        course of war, and the alternative to being pressed into
        the German Army was quite clear to many of them.
   Q.   John Lukacs has published a book recently, has he not?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, may I just try to help you because
        I do see your problem and I am actually sympathetic with
        it.  If I tell you that my approach to these opening
        paragraphs, pages, where the views of other historians
        about your work are recited at length and in a very
        critical vein, if I tell you my attitude to them is going
        to be that they count for virtually nothing, so far as
        I am concerned, when I come to judge the criticisms made
        of you by Professor Evans, and I go a little bit further

.          P-95

        than that, and say it is my view that it is in every way
         -- this is not a criticism of Professor Evans personally
         -- unfortunate that they are there because they could be
        taken to indicate a preconception about the validity of
        the criticisms.
   MR IRVING:  I think they are grossly prejudicial, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Does that satisfy you that you really are
not
        going to lose by not spending long, in fact I hope no
        longer, on these other historians' views?
   MR IRVING:  But you do accept my belief that they are
grossly
        prejudicial ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I chose my words with a certain amount of
        care.  They are capable of giving rise to the
impression
        that there was a preconception that there were
justified
        criticisms about you.  In the end, I think Professor
Evans
        accepts that he has justify his own criticisms in his
own
        terms and as a matter of his own beliefs.
   A.   Yes.
   MR IRVING:  Can you turn to page 63?  We are now moving on
to
        publishers.  I will not deal with any more historians
        then.  2.5.38, can you accept that, in fact, my main
        publishers in that era were Macmillan and Hutchinsons
and
        not Penguin?  They were my major hard back publishers.
   A.   Yes, I mention publishing house -- your books are
        published by a variety of mainstream publishing
houses,
        including Penguin Books, Macmillan, Hodder and
Stoughton,

.          P-96



        HarperCollins, Grafton Books and Corgi paperbacks.
   Q.   But they ceased publishing me, did they not?
   A.   I think that is correct, yes.
   Q.   Are you implying they ceased publishing me because of
        inherent faults in my works or because of some other
        reason?  Do you have any knowledge one way or the
other?
   A.   I am trying to see where I describe this.  You have no
        longer been published -- since the late 1980s you have
no
        longer been published by major houses, but instead you
        have brought out your books under your own imprint.
   Q.   You are aware, in fact, that Macmillans continued
        publishing me until 1992?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Are you suggesting that Macmillans and Hutchinsons and
the
        other major hard back publishers ceased publishing
because
        they found faults in my work?
   A.   I mean, one has to kind of guess really, I think,
because
        I have not had access to any documentation which they
        have, but, as you know, the normal process among
        publishers of non-fiction is to have manuscripts and
books
        submitted to referees for comment, and it may well be
that
        that is the reason why they did not.  I mean, your
views
        have changed on a number of matters.
   Q.   Have you any reason to ----
   A.   Or did change in a number of matters, particularly on
the
        Holocaust in the late 1980s, and I think it is not

.          P-97



        unreasonable to see a connection between the change of
        your views that took place in 1988 when I think you
became
        a Holocaust denier, and the fact that within four
years
        major publishing houses were not publishing your work
any
        longer.
   Q.   Is it in your knowledge of the publishing industry
normal
        for publishers to come under outside pressure?
   A.   It depends what you mean by "outside pressure".  As
        I said, publishers commonly send manuscripts and books
out
        to a variety of referees who report on them.  In a
sense,
        if they get adverse reports from those referees, I
guess
        that is outside, that is some kind of outside
        contribution.
   Q.   You have no knowledge of Macmillan ever having sent
any of
        my recent and final books out to outside referees, do
you?
   A.   I do not know whether you have submitted your
manuscripts
        to them or not.  This is only a very brief reference
here
        in a few lines.
   Q.   Have you ever heard of a major publisher ordering the
        total destruction of an author's works under the
effect of
        outside pressure?
   A.   Under the threat of legal action.
   Q.   No, not under threat of legal action?
   A.   That is outside pressure.
   Q.   Under threat of political pressure?
   A.   Not to my knowledge, no.  That is not to say it has
not

.          P-98



        happened.
   Q.   On page 63 you refer to the fact that reputable
historians
        do not get themselves arrested and deported and all
the
        rest of it.  Is that correct?
   A.   Yes, I think so.  Yes.
   Q.   Is Salman Rushdie a reputable historian?
   A.   No, he is a novelist.
   Q.   Is he reputable?
   A.   He is a novelist.
   Q.   Blamed for his own misfortune?
   A.   He is a novelist. I am not talking about novelists.  I
am
        talking about reputable historians.
   Q.   Is it reputable to abandon your principles in order
not to
        get arrested and deported?
   A.   I find that a difficult question.  I mean, that is so
        hypothetical.  I am not quite sure who you are
referring
        to.
   Q.   Well, you used the word "reputable".
   A.   All I am saying here ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, this is getting you nowhere.
   A.   All I am saying here is that, as I say:  "It is
impossible
        to think of any historian of any standing at all who
has
        been subjected to so many adverse legal judgments",
and
        also who has ----
   Q.   Are you aware there has been only one adverse ----
   A.   --- experienced so many difficulties.

.          P-99



   Q.   --- legal judgment against me, and that this was in
        Germany in January 1993?  Are you aware what that
judgment
        was for?
   A.   I thought you had an adverse legal judgment against
you in
        the case of your book on the Convoy of PQ17, I think
it
        was called.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, we are certainly not going to go
into
        that.
   MR IRVING:  Are you aware of what the adverse legal
judgment in
        Germany in January 1993 was for?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Would you tell the court?
   A.   I think it was for Holocaust denial, was it not?
   Q.   No, it was not for Holocaust denial.  It was for
saying
        that the gas chamber at Auschwitz (i) which is shown
to
        the tourists is a fake.
   A.   Without seeing a copy of the judgment, I could not
confirm
        that.  That is not my understanding of what the
judgment
        was.
   Q.   Those are the words complained of and that is what I
was
        fined on.  Will you comment ----
   A.   Well, if I have copy of judgment in front of me, then
        I will, then I will be prepared to comment on that.
   Q.   Would you go to page 66 of your report?  We now come
to
        Irving and Holocaust denial.
   A.   Yes.

.          P-100



   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  On that issue, Mr Irving, can I just
before
        we embark on it so that we do not misunderstand one
        another, I have got now a definition from the
Defendants
        of what they mean by "Holocaust denial" and you have
        cross-examined about that and I bear in mind the
points
        you have made.  I have all the statements that the
        Defendants say you made which they rely on as
amounting to
        Holocaust denial.  I have the context of the denials
so
        that I can see any points you have to make on context,
you
        have given your evidence about what you meant.
                  I am just wondering where we go with the
        evidence on it.  Is it not in the end a question for
me to
        look at what you have said or you are reported as
having
        said and making up my mind whether you constitute a
        Holocaust denier in the sense the Defendants define
that
        term?
   MR IRVING:  This is true, but I am trying to organize that
word
        in the order of things.  This is a useful paragraph to
        look at because in this paragraph, my Lord, he states
that
        Holocaust denier is the central allegation against me
in
        Lipstadt's book, in the book by the Second Defendant.
        I was going to ask whether he does not agree that the
        allegations about manipulation, distortion and
deliberate
        mistranslation are far more serious for a professional
        historian.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, that is a perfectly fair question.

.          P-101



   A.   Well, the answer is I say a central allegation, not
the
        central allegation.
   MR IRVING:  Well, nit-picking aside, will you now answer
the
        question?  Would you not agree that the allegation
about
        manipulation, distortion and deliberate mistranslation
of
        original records are far more serious to be slapped on
a
        professional historian like myself or a professional
        writer like myself, if you do not like the word
        "historian"?
   A.   Well, I describe it as a central allegation because it
is
        not the only one.  It does, to my mind, as it were,
        contain within it the allegation that you manipulated,
        falsified history, and it is an allegation to which in
        your plea to the court, your written submission to the
        court initially, you take extremely strong exception,
so
        I felt it necessary to go into it.
   Q.   By what -- I cannot really question ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am not sure you have answered the
question
        quite.
   MR IRVING:  I beg your Lordship's pardon?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I do not think that the Professor has
        answered your question quite.
   MR IRVING:  It is important.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think it is an important question and I
        think it is worth spending a few moments on.
   MR IRVING:  Because they have not exactly put these ones in

.          P-102



        section 5, so I am entitled to ask how serious these
        allegations are as seen by an acknowledged historian
who
        is an expert witness on the matter.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Professor Evans, it is an fair question.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   In the end, the sting or the main sting, as it is
        sometimes called, against Mr Irving is that he has
        manipulated data and so come to deny the Holocaust in
the
        sense ----
   A.   Or the other way round, that he is denying the
Holocaust
        and, therefore, manipulated data.
   Q.   Yes, I follow that.
   A.   The two are bound up together, my Lord, and I am
trying to
        unpack them here.  So certainly, of course, the
allegation
        that he has manipulated data is in that sense the
crucial
        allegation in Lipstadt's book.
   MR IRVING:  Professor, are they not separate allegations?
They
        are four separate allegations, are they not?  He
        manipulates, he distorts, he mistranslates and, on top
of
        all that, he denies the Holocaust?
   A.   No, I think they are bound -- I mean, you can separate
        them out, and they are also very closely connected.
        I think the burden of the charges put forward in
Professor
        Lipstad's book is that Holocaust deniers, by
definition,
        as it were, manipulate and falsify history, falsify
the
        data.

.          P-103



   Q.   But if you were to take for a moment ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Let the Professor finish his answer.
   A.   Well, I had, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You had finished?
   A.   Yes.
   MR IRVING:  If you were to wrench the Holocaust denial
        allegation out of the book and just leave the rest of
it,
        the manipulation, the distortion and the
mistranslation,
        that would still be a pretty serious allegation to
make of
        an historian, would it not?
   A.   Indeed, yes.
   Q.   You could not say, "Well, it is OK because we do not
        accuse him of Holocaust denial which is the big one"?
   A.   Indeed, yes.
   Q.   Yes, it would be a very serious allegation if it were
made
        against any historian ----
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   --- in order to prettify the image of Adolf Hitler in
        history he deliberately distorted.  These are serious
        allegations ----
   A.   Yes, absolutely.  I agree.

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