Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day020.09 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 MR IRVING: I do not want, but I wish to make some comments on this. Your Lordship will remember that on November 4th when we had the pretrial review, I expressed grave misgivings about the use of edited broadcast programmes with all the, I will not say the chicanery that has gone into it, but all the clever cross-cutting and, unless we see the transcript of the whole programme or, at any rate, very substantial excerpts which are clearly indicative that nothing has been put in or nothing has been cut out, . P-75 I would be very hesitant about allowing this kind of material which may be prejudicial to be put in in this form. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, you say that, but if I read to you one of the extracts ---- MR IRVING: Yes, please do. MR JUSTICE GRAY: --- it is in these terms: "To me, the Anne Frank's diaries are a romantic novel, rather like 'Gone With the Wind' and I would not read something like that". MR IRVING: As a source, yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: How can the context really affect what you are saying which is that it is all made up? MR IRVING: I am not saying that at all, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Oh, I thought you were saying... MR IRVING: That is certainly not the point of what I am making. The Anne Frank diary, I am sure that your Lordship, like myself, has never had the pleasure of reading that particular work, but I have read a great deal about it, including the official Dutch investigation into it. I had lots of newspaper articles about it and I am quite familiar with its genesis; the way it started off first as a fragmentary diary, it was then rewritten by her in captivity because she had nothing else to do and then, as she grew up, she then rewrote it as a novel. That is what I am saying there, but to take just that one sentence and to hang on that the imputation that . P-76 I am saying the whole thing is a pack of lies, which your Lordship just put on it, I think is a very adventurous forward step. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, do we have the ---- MR RAMPTON: My Lord, I really do think this is becoming the most frightful waste of time. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, at least it is relevant. MR RAMPTON: I know. MR JUSTICE GRAY: We have spent two days on the wholly peripheral matters. MR RAMPTON: I have been as patient as I possibly can be, but now I really cannot sit here any longer because I have in my hand a piece of paper taken from Mr Irving's website, or through his website, on 7th February of this month of an interview that he gave to something called CNN, which is a satellite news station, and he was interviewed on 16th January. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I have that. I have read that. MR RAMPTON: This year. MR IRVING: Here we go again. It is another very heavily cross-cut and edited broadcast. MR RAMPTON: Well, I just read these four lines: "Interviewer to Irving: Did you say that the Anne Frank diary was a forgery? Irving: Guilty. Interviewer: Is it a forgery? Irving: No". MR IRVING: Absolutely right. Absolutely right. Before 1979 . P-77 I was of the opinion that it was a highly suspect document for precisely the reasons I have set out, namely the father said the handwriting was the same the whole way through. He produced expert evidence in court to that effect in order to win a libel action. The handwriting was partly in ball point ink. So the conclusions there are absolutely plain. After 1980 we had the German Government investigation which confirmed that the ball point ink was there and it was not until the Dutch carried out their authoritative tests that I was perfectly satisfied I had been wrong with that belief. I have made not the slightest hesitation in admitting that I was wrong, which is absolutely the right way to handle the matter. But to take things out of chronology, which is what this witness has been doing, and to imply that by calling it a novel I am suggesting that the diary is in some way a pack of lies, is I think very unjust and not borne out by the evidence when it is presented in the proper sequence. But I repeat what I said about the prejudicial nature of producing fragments of very heavily edited sound bites from American or German or Danish television programmes. Your Lordship is familiar with how these programmes are concocted. The scissors play an important part. A. My Lord, may I make three points? . P-78 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. A. The first is when you describe something, when one describes something, as a novel, one surely implies that it is fictional, it is not telling the truth. I do think that is a significant use of words. Secondly, in my report on page 156 I quote an interview in 1993: "Interviewer: Are you aware that the Dutch Centre for War Documentation has made a full report about this?" that is to say the allegations of falsification and so on in the diaries. "Irving: Doesn't surprise me. Interviewer: And they say it's - they have made public all the diaries, and they examined the handwriting, and all there is to know about it. Irving: Doesn't surprise me. A lot of money is at stake. The Anne Frank Foundation is a very wealthy political organization in Amsterdam. Interview: We're talking about the Dutch State War Documentation Centre here. We're not talking about the Anne Frank Foundation. We're talking about a public institution. Irving: But I'm talking about the financial interests which are at stake here." I think, Mr Irving, the clear implication of that is that the full report of the Dutch Centre for War Documentation is a falsification and is not reliable in any sense. The third point I want to make ---- . P-79 MR IRVING: Why have you not ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, there are three points. A. And If I can make my third point, is that again in 1993, his Lordship has already quoted part of this interview that you gave, saying that you would not read it, you read certain passages and so on. "We have samples of Anne Frank's real handwriting in postcards which she wrote to friends in 1940 and 1939. They were recently auctioned in an auction house in the United States about two years ago. That handwriting is totally different from the handwriting in the diaries. They are as different as chalk and cheese and the extraordinary finding is that some of the pages of the diaries have been written in ball point pen which is a pen that didn't exist in Anne Frank's lifetime". 1993, Mr Irving. MR IRVING: Yes, and, quite clearly, the parts that are written in ball point ink in the diaries cannot have been written by the girl who wrote the postcards, am I right? A. You are saying some of the pages -- that simply is not the case. Q. But some of the pages were written in ball point pen, is that correct? A. No. As I understand it, there were stylistic emendations. There are not whole pages written in ball point ---- Q. Do you have any evidence for the words "stylistic . P-80 emendations"? A. --- pen. Well, this is -- yes, the report of the Dutch Centre for War Documentation which is summarized in their introduction to their Critical Edition which you dismiss as being the product of financial manipulation by the Anne Frank Foundation, whereas a few minutes ago, Mr Irving, you just said that you had accepted that report ---- MR IRVING: I do totally. A. --- in 1989 when it came out ---- Q. And I did and I always have done. A. --- and here you are in 1993 saying that you do not accept it. I cannot accept what you are saying there. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I think we have now had enough evidence on the Anne Frank diaries. I think we will move on to the next topic. MR IRVING: My Lord, he made now points. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I have got to introduce some control. We have spent this morning so far dealing with pages, I think you started at 128, is that right, and we have now got to 156. MR IRVING: If this expert report was not so flawed ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: So we have spent nearly two hours dealing with very subsidiary points. We still have not got on to the guts of this report. MR IRVING: If this expert report was not so flawed and bias, then I would not have been bogged down in the marshes, . P-81 shall we say, before we came to the real materials. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I have made my ruling. You are going to have the opportunity to answer questions in cross- examination. We are moving on to the this next topic, and I am afraid I am going to have to be much more firm with you than I have been up until now. MR IRVING: If the witness could possibly answer more briefly, then we would not spent so much time on these matters. MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, that is not fair. MR IRVING: I advance with the utmost trepidation, my Lord, because I have no idea where ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, advance and then see whether the trepidation was justified. MR IRVING: One never knows whether the mines are dummies or not. Page 158, the end of paragraph 34, you complain that I state that the witness Hoss made statements which contain egregious anachronisms, inconsistencies and other generally implausible passages. Do you not accept that that is so then? A. Let me -- where are we? Yes. Let me read the paragraph. We are talking about the memoirs of Rudolf Hoss, the Kommandant of Auschwitz, and the interrogations of Rudolf Hoss which were made in Polish captivity. In your book on Nuremberg you allege, I say, that Hoss was "manhandled" by those who arrested him and kept without sleep until he confessed. You term this "torture". You say: "Hoss's . P-82 confessions contain many deliberate errors to make it clear they were untrue. His memory is patchy about days and places, and about the events of four or five years earlier. There were many inconsistencies in his account. He signed a confession in English although he had no reading knowledge of English. He frequently changed his testimony about numbers. Hoss wrote his memoirs in Polish captivity 'as a means of postponing his fate'. His statements, Irving charges, contained 'egregious anachronisms, inconsistencies and other generally implausible passages". Q. Will you now answer the question? A. So I am trying to summarize your views there. Q. Do you dispute the fact that his statements contain these inaccuracies and implausible statements? A. I do not think there is -- well, first of all, I do not think there is any evidence that there are deliberate errors to make it clear that what he said was untrue. Secondly, I think one has to distinguish between the interrogations and the memoirs. Hoss says in his memoirs that he was manhandled and very badly treated. Q. Where did he write the memoirs? A. He writes his memoirs in Polish captivity, and the confessions, well, the first of his confessions which, admissions, statements, which resulted from interrogations was, therefore, discounted. What I am referring to here . P-83 are the memoirs. Q. I only have two questions to ask. Would a confession or a statement obtained by these means ever be accepted by a British court of law? A. I have already said, this is only one statement, the first statement. The memoirs that he wrote were certainly not obtained under duress. They were written in captivity under the imminent prospect of death and, to my mind, that makes them more likely to be honest. Q. Would you answer the question? Would it be acceptable in a British court of law, this kind of statement? A. I am trying to explain the context. The statement which he made under duress, the first of his statements, was not used. Q. If he was such a reliable witness and so convincing, why was he not called by the prosecution at Nuremberg when he was actually in the building in a cell? MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is a question to which this witness cannot possibly know the answer. MR IRVING: On page 160 at line 4 of paragraph 36: "Irving casts doubt on almost all testimony at the Nuremberg War" -- is that an exaggeration, that I doubt almost all the testimony produced at Nuremberg? A. That is not what I say. Q. Well, you say that I say it does not fit my arguments; I say it was obtained by torture and threats? . P-84 A. No, no, I do not, Mr Irving. I say: "Irving casts doubt on almost all testimony at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials or during the prior interrogations if it does not fit his arguments, alleging it was obtained by torture and threats". Those are my precise words.
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