The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   MR IRVING:  For the moment.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I realise for the moment.  Can I ask

.          P-123



        Professor Evans a general question?  It may be rather
        difficult for you because you may not have it all in
mind
        at the moment.  In so far as reference was made to the
        Jews in the first edition of Hitler's War 1977, and
the
        references to Jews in the second edition 1991,
        quantitatively and indeed qualitatively, I suppose,
did
        you notice a significant difference?  I have just been
        looking at the indexes in both instances.  Are the
        excisions significant?
   A.   Yes, they are.  Mr Irving himself said that he removed
all
        references to extermination camps and death factories
from
        the 1991 edition which I quote on page 100 near the
top,
        so they are significant changes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.  Sorry, Mr Irving, you are going on
to
        Goring.
   MR IRVING:  Yes.  If the witness again says that I removed
all
        reference to extermination camps and death camps, then
        I draw attention to the fact that the word
"exterminate"
        occurs 28 times in the second edition of the book, my
        Lord.
   A.   That is not quite the same thing, of course.
   MR IRVING:  Did I understand your Lordship to say that you
were
        comparing the indexes of the two volumes?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I was.
   MR IRVING:  May I draw attention to the fact that the index
of
        the 1991 edition that you have there was prepared by
the

.          P-124



        American publishing company Avon, which was highly
        inadequate, whereupon we commissioned a separate
index,
        which I can provide your Lordship.  We have that index
        available.  It is about 50 pages long of typescript,
much
        more comprehensive, and a comparison ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I follow that the index being different
may
        have been rather less detailed in one case than the
other,
        but it may be a worth while exercise to see what was
there
        in the first edition and what has come out.
   A.   The point, Mr Irving, is that you yourself, as I note
in
        paragraph 2, page 93, drew attention in your written
reply
        to the Defence, you drew attention to the 1991 index
        entries as evidence that you were not a Holocaust
denier.
        So I am puzzled as to why you should be disputing the
        accuracy of it.
   MR IRVING:  I draw attention to the pages referenced by
those
        indexes but, of course the actual index itself which
his
        Lordship is doing a statistical comparison with, he
should
        therefore use the correct index rather than this
rather
        cheap index produced by the Americans.  The third
edition
        of the book which is going to press this month has an
even
        better index being prepared.  But, once again, the
index
        is not -- can I now proceed to Hermann Goring?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.  That was my fault, sorry.
   MR IRVING:  Your question, as I understood, was purely
about
        the comparison between the indexes of the two or the

.          P-125



        actual mentions in the book?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It was more whether the index would
suggest
        that there was quite a lot that was not repeated in
the
        1991 edition gives a fair impression of whether there
were
        significant omissions and the answer that Professor
Evans
        has given is yes.
   MR IRVING:  The 1991 edition was a very truncated edition
in
        its original incarnation.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That makes it even odder.
   MR IRVING:  At page 100, please, Professor Evans, we are
        dealing now with the biography of Hermann Goring.  You
        have in the fourth line of that paragraph noted that
the
        book was published in 1989.  What conclusions do you
draw
        from that?
   A.   That you had completed it, roughly speaking, a year or
        slightly less before.
   Q.   So what you are suggesting is that by that time I had
        taken on board the Leuchter report, is that right?
   A.   Yes. That would be my assumption, the way books were
        published.
   Q.   You had my diaries available when you wrote your
report,
        or researchers had the diaries available.  Can I read
to
        you the entry in my diary of January 11th 1988, which
is
        only one line long, "January 11th 1998, 4.45 p.m.
posted
        rest of Goring by Data Post courier to New York".
Will
        you take it that that implies that the book was
completed

.          P-126



        on January 11th 1988 therefore?
   A.   Yes, though of course then you have the opportunity to
        make revisions in the proof.
   Q.   Will you accept therefore that the book was delivered
to
        the publishers three months before I first set eyes on
        Fred Leuchter or the Leuchter report?
   A.   The manuscript yes, but you do have the opportunity to
        make changes to the proof, do you not?
   Q.   And that, if I did not make such changes in proof
stage,
        therefore this would invalidate any points you seek to
        make based on the presumption that I had the Leuchter
        report information at that time?
   A.   That is an interesting point, but it does not really
        affect what I say about the Goring book.
   Q.   If you are seeking to make some kind of watershed
around
        the time that I learned of the Leuchter report as
being
        April 1988, this is significance that the Goring book
was
        completed before the watershed and delivered to
        publishers.  Are you familiar with the fact that
        publishers frown on any kind of proof stage
corrections,
        their authors' corrections, charges levied, are you
        familiar with that?
   A.   It is a matter of negotiation.  You can usually make
up to
        about 10 per cent changes.  It is matter of
negotiating
        percentages of what you are allowed to change.  It
depends
        on the publisher and so on.

.          P-127



   Q.   Have you any evidence that the manuscript that I
delivered
        to the publisher in January 1988 was different from
that
        subsequently published in 1989?
   A.   No, I do not.
   Q.   In other words, the Goring book counts as a pre
watershed
        book and there is no evidence to the contrary?
   A.   Unless what you are telling me is that the watershed
might
        have been slightly earlier than the Leuchter report,
which
        is a very interesting point.  What I have to say about
the
        Goring book does not really depend on that.  That is,
if
        you like, an assumption on my part which may have been
        wrong.  What is important about it is that you point
to it
        as evidence that you are not a Holocaust denier, and
        I examine it briefly on pages 100 to 103, and point
out
        that what you say in the book is not incompatible with
        Holocaust denial.
   Q.   Yes, but at the time you wrote that you presumed that
        I was post watershed, so speak, and that was why you
        confidently adopted these interpretations.
   A.   No.  I adopted the interpretation on the basis of what
        I read.
   Q.   Do you know of any evidence that Hermann Goring was
aware
        of the goings on in Auschwitz, the mass extermination
in
        gas chambers which is part of the Holocaust story?
   A.   Oh goodness.
   Q.   Any documentary evidence?

.          P-128



   A.   I have not presented any documentary evidence for the
        court.  I am not really concerned with that issue.
What
        I am concerned with in this section are your views on
the
        Holocaust as exemplified by the Goring book.
   Q.   Did I not write in the Hermann Goring book on pages
343 to
        9, this is your second line at page 101, that in the
        winter of 1941 to 42 Goring heard rumours of mass
killings
        in the East, which is of course what we all accept
        happened, that there were these mass killings?
   A.   The operative word there I think is "rumours".
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   You continue:  The surviving documents provide no
proof
        that these killings were systematic, they yield to no
        explicit orders from above and the massacres
themselves
        were carried out by the local Nazis, by no means all
of
        German, points which I think you have now admitted are
        wrong.
   Q.   Now that we have access since 1988 when this
manuscript
        was delivered to the police decodes, we are able to
        establish with much greater detail, is this not
correct,
        precisely how these things happened?
   A.   Yes, but part of my point is that in 1977 in Hitler's
War
        you took a rather different attitude to these matters.
   Q.   Different altitude in which direction?
   A.   You accepted much more that there was systematic mass
        murder of Jews.

.          P-129



   Q.   On the Eastern Front, the shootings or altogether?
   A.   Altogether.
   Q.   In other words, at that time I accepted the whole
package
        uncritically?
   A.   Oh, I do not know whether it was uncritical or not.
You
        seem to accept a large part of it, certainly that
there
        were mass murders of many millions of Jews, including
the
        use of gas.  I think you did accept that in 1977, and
        there really is not any evidence in the Goring book
that
        you accept it there.
   Q.   You appreciate that, when I wrote the Hermann Goring
book,
        I did so on the basis of his as yet unpublished
diaries
        and other documents to which I had had very limited or
        exclusive access like the entire transcripts of his
        conferences and documents like that, which other
        historians had not seen, and therefore I was probably
        entitled to express a view of my own on the basis of
those
        documents?
   A.   No.  It is a matter of how you comment on these
things.
        If you cite, as you do on page 469, Goring claiming
under
        interrogation that the extermination camps were merely
        propaganda, I always thought he said there were places
        where people were put to useful work, you do not
actually
        comment on that, you just seem to accept that.
   Q.   In other words, I should have done what an
establishment
        historian would do and immediately pooh-pooh the
notion

.          P-130



        that somebody as powerful as Goring could have
        been unfamiliar with what was going on, should I?
   A.   It seems to me a responsible historian should comment
on
        that statement, yes.
   Q.   He should just have said, the documents suggest this
but
        common sense suggests differently?  Is it perverse not
to
        make such a comment, just to leave the documents to
speak
        for themselves?
   A.   What we are dealing with here is the allegation that
you
        are a Holocaust denier, and my point there simply that
        what you are saying in the Goring book is not
incompatible
        with your being a Holocaust denier, although in your
reply
        to the Defence you say that it is.
   Q.   Can we go on to page 106?  We have now crossed the 100
        mark.  Professor, will you accept that I have let you
off
        a lot of hooks which I considered were buried in the
first
        100 pages?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That risks undoing the good that you have
        just pointed out you have done as he will ask what
hooks
        and then we will be back.
   A.   I promise not to ask that, my Lord.  I will not accept
        it.
   MR IRVING:  Page 106, halfway down paragraph 1, the second
        paragraph on the page, you say, "Within a couple of
years,
        however, Irving was declaring himself to be an expert
on
        the subject".

.          P-131



   A.   Yes.
   Q.   When have I declared myself to be an expert?  We are
        talking here about the mid 1980s, are we not?  Within
a
        couple of years Irving was declaring himself to be an
        expert on the Holocaust?
   A.   Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I take that to be 1988, actually.
   A.   1988.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is within a couple of years of 1986,
and
        that is Zundel.
   A.   I follow it on by talking about Zundel, where you were
        appearing as an expert witness.
   MR IRVING:  Was I appearing as an expert witness on the
        Holocaust or as an expert witness on Adolf Hitler's
role
        in directing the Third Reich?
   A.   As I recall, you were appearing as an expert witness
on
        the Second World War.
   Q.   So, in other words, not an expert on the Holocaust?
   A.   I think that is included.  The point in any case is
that
        you were asked on the numbers killed in the Holocaust,
you
        gave your opinion as I quote it there, and therefore
you
        are lending the imprimatur of your expertise to those
        views.  If you did not have any expertise on the
numbers
        killed in the Holocaust, presumably you would have
said
        that you did not have any expertise.
   Q.   Defence counsel is there putting something to me and

.          P-132

        asking me for a comment, and I begin my reply, the last
        three lines on that page with, "I am not familiar with any
        documentary evidence of any such figure".

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