The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit//transcripts/day020.17


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day020.17
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   Q.   So a journalist does or does not have an interview with
        me, which he then passes on to a magazine which publishes
        it, which you say has contacts with the HIAG and out of
        that connection you say I had contacts with the HIAG.  In
        other words, if I gave an interview to the Tablet,
would I
        have contacts with the Pope?  Is what you are
suggesting?
   A.   I think that is very different.  This is the house
        magazine of the Waffen SS Veterans Association, Mr
Irving.
   Q.   It is exactly the same, is it not?

.          P-150



   A.   It is not exactly the same.
   Q.   If a journalist comes and speaks to me and asks me for
an
        interview, and I give him an interview, and he then
passes
        that interview on to a magazine which is called Der
        Freiwillige, which I have never heard of from start to
        finish, and you say that that is the house magazine of
        HIAG, which may or may not be true, and you say this
is
        evidence of me having contacts (in the plural) with
HIAG?
   A.   Yes.  I assume that someone must have set up the
interview
        and that then you must have had the interview.  Is
this in
        the court's record, because I have a photocopy of this
        here.  This is another one of my written answers.  I
am
        not quite sure why we are going through all these
written
        answers to your written questions, I do not accept
that
        you were not aware of who was doing the interview or
where
        it was going to be published.
   Q.   But you are suggesting that I have contacts with HIAG,
        which is a pretty serious and almost indeed a
repugnant
        allegation to make.  You are saying I do not have just
the
        one contact through a journalist but I have contacts
in
        the plural with them.  You have already withdrawn the
        previous part of this sinister allegation about being
a
        contact with a sinister denier, Mr Remer, and it turns
out
        that this contact too just turns out to be an
interview
        with a journalist?
   A.   I do not think it is just a journalist, Mr Irving,

.          P-151



        otherwise why would he have adopted what appears to be
        ----
   MR IRVING: What you think is neither here nor there.  It is
not
        evidence.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Please, Mr Irving, there is no point in
        asking questions if you constantly interrupt the
answers.
        I expect you have forgotten what the question is; I
have
        certainly forgotten.
   A.   Yes.  This is not just any old journalist who then
gives
        you an interview and then kind of hawks it around
until he
        somehow, by some extraordinary chance, comes across
the
        house magazine of the Waffen SS Veterans Association
and
        manages to find a spot for it there.  This is clearly
        somebody who is acting on behalf of this organization
and
        its house magazine who comes and interviews you.
   MR IRVING:  Then you invite two further questions.  Have
you
        found in my private diaries, to which of course you
had
        complete access for the purposes of this trial, any
        suggestion of any contact between myself and the HIAG
or
        any of its officials whatsoever?
   A.   No, I have not.  That does not mean to say of course
that
        there were not any.
   Q.   Have you found in all my files of correspondence, to
which
        of course you have also had complete access by way of
        discovery, any suggestion of contact between myself
and
        the HIAG whatsoever?

.          P-152



   A.   No, but it is the sort of thing you would like to keep
        quiet, is it not?
   Q.   The sort of thing I would like to keep quiet?  Are you
        suggesting that I have destroyed ----?
   A.   You have just denied all knowledge of this magazine
and
        this interview, and you describe it as "some
journalist"
        who came to you without your knowing what the source
was
        and where he was going to place the interview.
   Q.   By your reference to "the sort of thing I would like
to
        keep quiet", are you alleging that I have destroyed
        materials instead of properly discovering them?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I did not understand that to be the
        allegation.
   A.   No.
   MR IRVING:  Because it is a very serious allegation to
make.
        In fact, it is a criminal charge.
   A.   I am not saying you destroyed materials, Mr Irving.
   MR IRVING:  Destroying evidence instead of producing it for
        discovery.
   A.   I have no evidence that you have destroyed any.
   Q.   You have no evidence whatsoever that I have destroyed
        material, rather than produce it for discovery?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  He did not say that.
   MR RAMPTON:  What he said was it does not appear in the
diary
        and he is not surprised it does not, considering what
a
        tainted piece of information it is.

.          P-153



   MR IRVING:  That is not what he said.  We were talking
about
        the letters.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  As a matter of fact, it is, Mr Irving,
but
        I am not going spend time reading back the transcript
to
        you because I am very anxious that we move on.
   MR IRVING:  The witness has referred to the obituary of
General
        Remer.  Can I ask that his Lordship be shown the
actual
        text of the obituary to General Remer which I
published?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  If there is a reason for my doing so,
yes.
   MR IRVING:  Because he says I published an obituary of him
        praising him.  In fact, I made it quite plain that he
is a
        reprobate and an unreconstructed Nazi, and I think
that
        words like that should be before the court.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, I suppose, yes, if you want me to
look
        at it.
   MR IRVING:  Unless your Lordship wishes to move on, in
which
        case we can move on.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No.  If you say that is wrong, I had
better
        look at it.
   A.   May I just read it then? It is quite short.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:    Yes, do.
   A.   General Remer is dead.  "Famed German Army General
Otto
        Ernzt Remer, who was forced into exile by Bonn in
1994,
        died in Spain 1985 on October 4th.  Born in
Brandenborg on
        December 18, 1912 Remer played the key role in
crushing
        the uprising against Adolf Hitler by disgruntled
officers

.          P-154



        and disaffected aristocrats on July 20th 1924 .
        Originally sent by the plotters to arrest propaganda
        minister Dr Goebbels, he learned that Hitler had
survived
        the bomb, recognised His Master's voice on the phone,
and
        acted swiftly against the plotters. His troops put
them to
        death by firing squad in Berlin a few hours later.
        Described by baffled newspaper men as an
unreconstructed
        Nazi, Remer remained loyal to the old cause.  In 1950
he
        founded the socialist Reichs party.  In March 1952 he
was
        jailed for three months for slandering the July 1944
        plotters as traitors.  The SRP was banned.  He allowed
his
        name to be used by German revisionists publishing the
        Remer despatch in 1994, sentenced to two years jail
        despite his medals for heroism, advancing years and
        illness.  He was wheelchair bound and breathed with an
        oxygen pump.  He took refuge in Spain.  The Spanish
        government resisted repeated demands by German
prosecutors
        for his extradition, saying that his "offences" did
not
        exist as such under Spanish law.  He is survived by
his
        widow Marie Oberstein."
   MR IRVING:  So I draw attention to the fact that he founded
        this neo-Nazi party, the Reichs party, and I say that
he
        was described as an unreconstructed Nazi, and you left
        that out in the references that you published in your
        report.
   A.   By baffled newspaper men.

.          P-155



   Q.   Yes.
   A.   I think the tenor of that obituary is positive, that
is my
        reading of it.
   Q.   Proceed now to paragraph 15, please, on page 198, the
last
        sentence on that line.  You say that the activities
which
        led to the imprisonment of my friend Gunter
        Deckert included translating a lecture".
   A.   Yes, I have got this.
   Q.   Are you aware of the fact that Gunter Deckert served a
        seven year prison sentence for translating that
lecture?
        Do you approve of that?
   A.   I am not sure what the question is meant to elucidate.
   Q.   Just answer the question.  Are you aware that he
served a
        seven year prison sentence?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is a fair enquiry.  So what?
   MR IRVING:  It goes indirectly to the political situation
in
        Germany where all the historians are encouraged to
write
        history one way, and they are sent to prison for seven
        years if they breathe a word in the other direction or
if
        they even translate a lecture, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I do not think that has anything to do
with
        this case.
   A.   Deckert is not an academic historian.  He is Federal
        Chairman of the National Democratic Party, which is an
        extreme right-wing political organization in Germany
in
        the early 1990s.  He has a number of convictions for

.          P-156



        incitement to racial hatred, insulting the memory of
the
        dead, slandering the Chairman of the Central Council
of
        Jews in Germany, and other similar offences.  The
        activities which led to his imprisonment, I say,
included
        translating a lecture.
   MR IRVING:  Are you answering the question or just making a
        speech?
   A.   I am, because you have misrepresented what I said in
my
        report yet again Mr Irving.  The activities which led
to
        his imprisonment included translating a lecture given
in
        1991 by Fred Leuchter, denying existence of gas
chambers
        at Auschwitz.  Then I quote you, "Dear Gunter", you
write
        to him, "I am shocked about what the police state has
done
        to you yet again".  You describe him as a freedom
fighter
        and so on, defender of this great cause, which
presumably
        is the cause of Holocaust denial.
   Q.   You say, "presumably is Holocaust denial"?
   A.   What else?
   Q.   Is this just your interpolation?
   A.   What is this great cause that you write about or speak
        about?
   Q.   I am only going to ask you one question.  Do you
approve
        of people being imprisoned for translating?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, you do not need to answer that
question.
   MR IRVING:  Exactly.  I do not really want to ask questions
        about Deckert here.  I think this is not the
appropriate

.          P-157



        place to ask questions about Deckert.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Then we can move on.
   MR IRVING:  I was rather shocked that he was allowed to
        continue just reading out the whole of that paragraph.
In
        paragraph 16 you summarize.  You say: "In general,
        therefore, Irving's close association with virtually
all
        the most prominent Holocaust deniers in several
different
        countries demonstrates once more that he is to be
counted
        amongst their number".  How many have you actually
dealt
        with in this chapter?  About five people?
   A.   Goodness.  Do you really want me to count, Mr Irving?
   Q.   Of the order of five or ten?  I am not counting their
        fathers, just the actual people.
   A.   I think the senior Hancock is a Holocaust denier.
Eleven,
        I think.
   Q.   Eleven.
   A.   There are not very many of these people.
   Q.   There are not very many, exactly, and we have already
        discovered that I had no contact with Mr Ahmed Rami,
who
        is paragraph 13.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We have dealt with Mr Rami.
   MR IRVING:  I am just saying, my Lord.  I am just knocking
some
        off this 13.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We not going to go back through all of
them.
   MR IRVING:  We have discovered that General Remer in fact
was
        only talked to once.  This is the quality of the
evidence

.          P-158



        I am up against.  This grandiose closing sentence,
        "Irving's close association with virtually all the
most
        prominent Holocaust deniers".
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  This is cross-examination, Mr Irving, not
a
        speech.  So move on to your next question, if you
would?
   MR IRVING:  Then on page 200, you conclude at 3.6.1.:  "Not
        everyone who has studied Irving's writings and
speeches in
        the 1990s has reached the conclusion that he has
become a
        consistent and undeviating Holocaust denier".  You
then
        mention one or two cases, do you not, and immediately
bang
        them on the head for it?
   A.   Well, I felt it fair to mention that.  I did not want
to
        suppress that fact.
   Q.   Do you accept what they say?
   A.   No, I do not.
   Q.   Halfway down that paragraph you say:  "Moreover, in the
        course of his conversation with Rosenbaum", now he is a
        Jewish writer, is that correct?
   A.   That had not occurred to me actually.  If you say he is
        Jewish, I do not usually think about whether people are
        Jewish or not when I read their writings.

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