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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit//transcripts/day020.22


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day020.22
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  If I may say so, if that is what you are
        planning to do for the next 550 pages of this report, I am
        not going to find that helpful.  I am sure you are going
        to find, as you indeed have already found, a number of
        instances where Professor Evans has got it wrong.  But
        I am not really helped by that.  I need to look at it in
        much broader terms than that.
   MR IRVING:  We are just coming in fact to the
        Reichskristallnacht, and I did promise that we were going
        to make substantial inroads into that today.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, but I personally think the section on
        what is called "Admiration of Hitler" is quite important,
        and you do not really seem to have grasped the nettle of
        what is being said about you by Professor Evans.  That is
        all I am inviting you to consider.
   MR IRVING:  I have looked at the Night of Long Knives.

.          P-197



   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  True you did.  I accept that.
   MR IRVING:  Which was one matter.  I thought I read your
        Lordship's mind to be that I should not deal with
every
        single episode.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We are now getting into the meat of the
        report, and certainly not every single episode.  There
we
        are.  I have said what I have said.
   MR IRVING:  Just one final matter on the plebiscite.  Do
you
        know the wording that was on the ballot?  You say this
was
        not a plebiscite for Hitler personally.  Do you know
the
        wording on the ballot form, on the ballot paper?
   A.   Well, do read it to me.  Remind me.
   Q.   Does it say words to the effect of:  I personally
approve
        of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of the greater German
Reich
        and Austria combined and approve of the union of these
two
        countries?
   A.   Yes, those are the terms in which it is put.
   Q.   It is in terms of personal approbation of Adolf Hitler
        then as a person?
   A.   Indeed the propaganda effort also emphasised that
apsect
        of it, but of course it was not purely, simply a vote
        about Hitler.  The key part of it was the union of or
the
        creation of the greater German Reich of Germany and
        Austria.
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, your Lordship does not wish me to look
at
        the Putsch of 1923 and the Hoffman episode again.  We
have

.          P-198



        been over that already with the other witnesses.  We
now
        come on to page 233 to the night of broken glass.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am sorry, Mr Irving, the last thing I
want
        to do is to prolong this, but if you remember the
heart of
        Professor Evans' report is that the chain of documents
        which you rely on as establishing that Hitler did not
have
        any knowledge of, let alone authorization for, the
Final
        Solution, can be at every link in the chain, as it
were,
        attacked.  My understanding of the structure of this
        report is that a step in the chain of reasoning, if I
can
        put it that way, does indeed start with the 1924 trial
and
        you were going to omit that altogether.
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, the chain of documents episode starts
on
        page 220.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, quite.
   MR IRVING:  That is where his heading starts.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  The first link in the chain is the 1924
        trial, is it not?
   MR IRVING:  It is the 1924 trial.  If I had appreciated
this
        witness's remarks and under cross-examination by
        Mr Rampton your Lordship will remember that we
elicited
        the fact that I was relying on a different set of
        documents on the original microfilm version of the
trial,
        I did not use the published text.
   A.   Can I just comment on that, my Lord?  They are the
same.
        The published text is the complete verbatim
transcript.

.          P-199



   Q.   Can you go back to page 230, please?  You say that
        Hofmann's testimony of Hitler's trial has little
        credibility.  Is this your view?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   You base that view you on the fact that Hofmann was a
Nazi
        party member?
   A.   Yes.  As I say, a long-standing Nazi supporter and
party
        official, tried to present Hitler in a favourable
light as
        a law-abiding citizen.
   Q.   Yes, and you suggest that I ought to have known that
fact?
   A.   Indeed I think you did know that fact, Mr Irving.
   Q.   On what document or evidence do you base your
suggestion
        that I knew that fact?
   A.   On the evidence of Hofmann.
   Q.   On the evidence of Hofmann?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   In other words, what he himself stated in this trial?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  And who was he was?
   A.   That is right, yes.  Well, he says in the course of
his
        evidence that he was -- first of all, the court says
at
        the beginning of the transcript of his evidence that
he
        had a close relationship with Hitler and was involved
in
        the Putsch, and therefore should hot be required to
give
        evidence on oath.  That is the first pointer.  Then he
        goes on to say that he was, and I quote all of this in
my
        report ----

.          P-200



   MR IRVING:  Yes, but ----
   A.   --- that he was the head of the Nazi Political
        Intelligence Unit.
   Q.   The question is ----
   A.   That he was frequently with Hitler, and that he took
part
        in the Putsch.
   Q.   The question is, what evidence do you have that that
        evidence was before me when I wrote my book on Hermann
        Goring?
   A.   Because you read the transcript, you read the
transcript
        of the trial which is where the evidence is.
   Q.   What evidence do you have that I read those pages of
the
        trial?
   A.   It is not a very long testimony and you recount what
you
        must have done, I cannot believe you did anything
else,
        was to start at the beginning of Hofmann's testimony
and
        go on to the end.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  If your case is, Mr Irving, that you did
not
        ever read Hofmann's testimony, then you should put
that
        because that would be an explanation.
   MR IRVING:  I hope that I was making that point, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You were not.  You were careful not to
put it
        quite that way.  You said:  Have you got any got
evidence
        that I had Hofmann's testimony in front of me?  If
your
        case is that you never read it, I think you should put
        that.

.          P-201



   MR IRVING:  If I can explain to your Lordship, my problem
is
        that the entire Hermann Goring book was written on an
old
        fashioned Xerox word processor.  I am having those
disks
        converted and I can then prove exactly what part of
the
        testimony was before me, but they have still not been
        converted yet.  It is just a technical problem.  But I
        will now put the question to the witness in this way.
                  Was there any evidence before you that I had
        read the Hofmann testimony?
   A.   The evidence of your book, yes.  You quote the
testimony
        in the book.
   Q.   Was there any evidence before you that I had read that
        part of the testimony relating to his Nazi party
        membership and to his closeness to Hitler on which you
are
        relying?
   A.   It is not a very lengthy testimony, Mr Irving.  It
takes
        about I suppose ten minutes to read it.
   Q.   Did you read this in a printed book or did you read it
on
        the microfilm?
   A.   I just said that they are the same.  I have read it in
a
        volume, a multi-volume or a very large collection of
        documentary presentation edited by people on the staff
of
        the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich.
   Q.   Can I ask you, did this printed volume have an index
with
        names in it?
   A.   I think so, yes.

.          P-202



   Q.   Do my microfilms with 8,000 pages on film have an
index
        with names on it?
   A.   No, but it is not difficult to ----
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, I am afraid I think again we are
going
        out into outer space.  In cross-examination on 31st
        January, page 61, Mr Irving said to me: "I knew
nothing
        about Hofmann's background that was not before the
court.
        I read the entire court transcript which was many
        thousands of pages which was adequate for writing a
        biography of Hermann Goring."
   MR IRVING:  Yes.  Do you accept that if some ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is why I think it is important.
   MR IRVING:  I will now clarify this matter.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think that bears out, if I may say so,
the
        correctness of what I said to you.  If your case was
that
        you had never read the testimony, then you ought to
have
        put it.  But it now turns out that actually you have
        already conceded that you read the whole thing.
   MR IRVING:  Professor Evans, when somebody reads an 8,000
page
        transcript of a trial for the purposes of writing a
        biography of a very minor character in that trial, is
he
        going, in your opinion, to pay attention to the
background
        of every single witness who gives evidence at that
trial?
   A.   Well, Mr Irving, you read the entire transcript.  You
read
        all of Hofmann's testimony, which is fairly brief.
You
        use it in your ----

.          P-203



   Q.   Would you estimate to the court how brief this
testimony
        was in terms of typescript pages?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  So it takes ten minutes to read, I think?
   A.   Yes, something like that.  I have actually read it.
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, again I intervene.  I think sometimes
        I live in a parallel universe.  I asked Mr Irving in
        cross-examination what that passage in the book was
where
        he says that Goring goggled at the exchange between
Hitler
        and the young lieutenant.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I remember.
   MR RAMPTON:  Mr Irving said:  "That was Hofmann, was it,
that
        testified about that?  Answer:  Yes.  Yes, the whole
        episode is based on Hofmann."
   MR IRVING:  The fact that the whole episode is based on
Hofmann
        does not presuppose that one has read the whole of
Hofmann
        with great detail as to his origins, his party
membership
        number and all the other matters on which Professor
Evans
        is relying.
   A.   Well, I have the typed pages here.
   Q.   The printed pages or the typescript pages?
   A.   Yes, the printed pages.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think we now know that they are the
same.
   A.   The printed version is called [German] which is the
        verbatim account of the principal proceedings before
the
        people's court at Munich 1, and Hofmann, in other
words,
        it is a verbatim account, it is the same.  Hofmann's

.          P-204



        testimony begins on this printed version, that is on
        seventh day, it begins on page 540, and goes on to
page
        545 I think, a little bit further.  It is really not
very
        long.  In any case, Mr Irving, if you read the entire
        8,000 pages you certainly must have read those handful
of
        pages.
   MR IRVING:  Will you accept that when one reads 8,000 pages
of
        a transcript of a treason trial one is not paying
        attention to the political background of the
individual
        members?
   A.   No, certainly not.  It is extremely important.  You
        present yourself as a professional historian who has
an
        extremely critical attitude towards written evidence,
        particularly in trial testimonies as it happens, and
here
        you have the testimony of somebody in an important
trial
        of Hitler in 1924, a fairly brief testimony, and this
is
        somebody who is the head of a political intelligence
        section of the Nazi party who is with Hitler a great
deal,
        who is quite clearly a Nazi party member, so closely
        associated with the Nazis and with the Putsch that the
        court actually mentions the fact; at the beginning and
at
        the end the judge congratulates Hofmann for being so
loyal
        to his Fuhrer.  This right through the evidence,
Hofmann
        makes no secret of it all in his evidence, and you
        suppress this entirely.  You present the evidence of
this
        police officer as an entirely neutral statement.  You

.          P-205



        suppress, you deliberately suppress these facts which
you
        must have known from having read this report.
   Q.   Must have known and ought to have known, is this
        sufficient evidence for you, Professor, when you write
        your books?
   A.   I cannot put myself inside your mind when you are
reading
        this stuff and say whether or not you closed your eyes
        when it came to the passages where all these things
are
        mentioned.  Even if you did that, even if you fell
asleep
        repeatedly during reading this five or six-page
account,
        I cannot really believe, it still seems to me that it
is
        more than irresponsible.  You have suppressed this
        information.  You have not presented it to the reader.
   Q.   Precisely what information have I suppressed, the fact
        that he was a Nazi party member, that he was on
Hitler's
        staff, is that what you are saying?
   A.   Yes .

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