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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit//transcripts/day020.23


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day020.23
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   Q.   Does this render him incapable of speaking under oath the truth?
   A.   Can you show to me the passage in your book where you
        mention these facts which is necessary for an assessment
        of the reliability of his evidence?
   Q.   Does it render him incapable of speaking truth under oath
        in a case like this?
   A.   As the court recognized, he did not speak the truth under
        oath.  It dispensed him of having to take the oath because

.          P-206

        he was regarded as a biased witness.
   Q.   When you translate the passage, "Es ist ein schones
        Zeichen von Ihnen, wenn Sie zu Gunsten Ihres Fuhrers
        aussagen", you translated that as:  It is a nice testimony
        to you, that you are speaking out on behalf of your
        leader."  What is the German for "testimony"?
   A.   I can put a nice sign of you, that is fine, it just does
        not sound quite right in English.
   Q.   What is the German for "testimony"?  Is it "zoitnes"?
   A.   Something like that, yes.
   Q.   So you have mistranslated a word there?
   A.   No, I disagree.  I am trying to find something that
reads
        reasonably well in English.  I think the meaning is
the
        same.  Can you just to point to me the page?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I cannot find it.
   MR IRVING:   Page 230, paragraph 2, the last line.
   A.   Yes, if you want to do it literally it is a beautiful
sign
        of you when or if you speak out in favour of your
leader.
   Q.   That would be a bit wooden.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It reflects well on you?
   A.   It reflects well on you.  It is a nice testimony to
you.
        I do not mean by using the word -- may I just fish, Mr
        Irving?  I do not mean by using the word "testimony"
it
        has anything to do with the testimony he has given.
   MR IRVING:  But it would be a bit wooden, would it not,
that
        translation if you were to translate it with sign and
all

.          P-207



        the rest of it?
   A.   Yes, it would.  "It is a beautiful sign of yours".  I
am
        trying to steer a course here between -- we have
spoken
        about this before.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is a free translation, but it is an
        entirely accurate one.
   MR IRVING:  You appreciate the point I am trying to make,
your
        Lordship?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I do, but I am afraid I am not very
impressed
        by it.
   MR IRVING:  Not impressed by it?  The fact that one is
inclined
        to take liberties in a literary sense with a sentence
in
        order to make it more legible.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  As long as you get the flavour of what is
        being said right.
   MR IRVING:  Is not the correct translation of that sentence
        "good for you, good for you that you are speaking out
on
        before of your leader"?
   A.   No.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Not quite.
   A.   If I may say so, the judge was obviously rather
pompous
        and says it in this rather kind of convoluted pompous
way,
        not in that colloquial manner.
   MR IRVING:  Is it not exactly the same as when his Lordship
        says things like, "You have done rather well, Mr
Irving",,
        for example, as his Lordship did yesterday, we take it
at

.          P-208



        face value and it is not something to be taken all
that
        literally?
   A.   What he says is, "It is a beautiful sign of you when
you
        or it is a nice testimony to you or good for you", if
you
        want to put it colloquially, "it is not just good for
you
        or you have done well; it is good for you that you are
        speaking out on behalf of your leader", that is what
he is
        saying, your leader.  It is quite clear the presiding
        judge regards ----
   MR IRVING:  But he is not actually saying ----
   A.   --- regards -- may I finish, Mr Irving?  May I just
        finish?
   Q.   But you carry on and on and on?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, come on.  This is a witness
who is
        trying to answer a point you have made and let he him
        finish, if he can remember where he had got to.
   A.   It is quite clear the judge knows from the start to
finish
        that Hofmann, that Hitler is Hofmann's leader and he
        treats the evidence accordingly.
   MR IRVING:  Is it not just a throw away remark by his
Lordship
        in this case to put this witness at his ease, and that
is
        exactly what happens again and again and again in the
        courtroom, and you have put all this pompous
significance
        on to it in order to try to undermine the value of
this
        police sergeant who is doing his job?
   A.   First of all, I agree of course that it is intended to

.          P-209



        make, it is a nice comment, the judge is trying to be
nice
        to Hofmann.  After all, Hofmann whose has not been
treated
        very well.  He has not been allowed to present
evidence on
        oath.  He has been told that he is too heavily
involved in
        the whole thing, but he says, "it is your leader", and
it
        is quite clear to anybody who reads this rather brief
        section of testimony that everybody is perfectly well
        aware that this man's evidence is tainted, because
Hitler
        is his leader, not just because of that statement, but
        also because, as he says, he was with Hitler
frequently,
        he was head of the political section of the Nazi
party's
        Intelligence Unit, participated in the Putsch,
accompanied
        Hitler for most of the evening of the Putsch.
   Q.   But cutting to the bottom line, is there any reason to
        believe that this witness made the whole story up?  Is
        there any reason, any subjective or objective reason
why
        we should accept that he made the whole story up?
   A.   Which story?
   Q.   The story about how he had been a witness of Hitler,
        ticking off this lieutenant and throwing him out of
the
        party?
   A.   There is a serious reason to distrust that testimony.
   Q.   Purely on the basis of the fact he was a Nazi ----
   A.   I do not think it was taken very seriously by the
court,
        and I think that a responsible author has to present
this
        particular problem to the readership.  If you want to
make

.          P-210



        use of Hofmann's evidence you simply have to say that
he
        is heavily involved in the Putsch, he is a Nazi party
        supporter and is regarded as such by the court.
   Q.   Your final criticism is that I do not give proper
source
        notes for this, is that correct?
   A.   Yes.  Where is this?
   Q.   Well, that I failed to provide a proper footnote
        reference.  It is the bottom of page 230.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Is that a serious criticism or is just your irritation
        that you had to go and look in the index of your
printed
        edition of this trial?
   A.   Well, it is more than that.  I think that you have
made it
        deliberately difficult for people to go and check it
out.
   Q.   I have made it deliberately difficult?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   In what way?
   A.   Do you want to have a look at the footnote reference
which
        you provide or do not provide?
   Q.   Is it not correct that I give the reference as being
        microfilm version of the trial of the Bavarian people
        against Adolf Hitler and others?
   A.   Yes, that is 8,000 pages, as you said, Mr Irving.  I
do
        think that simply referring to an 8,000 page
collection
        does make it difficult.  You could, for example,
easily
        have put the day on which it occurred and given a
frame

.          P-211



        number, if there are frame numbers, or a real number,
if
        there are real numbers.  There are ways in which you
can
        be more precise.
   Q.   Will you take it from me that the American publisher
        William Morrow asked me to cut 2,000 lines out the
proofs
        of this book.  In other words, at proof stage, they
said,
        Mr Irving, please cut 2,000 lines out of this book.
Can
        you accept that?
   A.   I would have to see the documentary evidence of that.
   Q.   Very well.  If that was the case, what are the first
        places that you would be tempted to make the cuts?
   A.   I agree of course in the footnotes.
   Q.   In the footnotes?
   A.   But in that case I think you still have to abbreviate
        footnotes.  You have to provide footnote references
which
        will enable other people to go and check up what you
have
        written.  You could have, you know, done this in such
a
        way as to achieve that object.
   Q.   So, in summary, on the case of this policeman Hoffmann
        your allegations against me rest on the statement that
        I ought to have known, or ought to have noticed, there
was
        a Nazi party member and I ought to----
   MR RAMPTON:  No, my Lord, he did not say "ought to", he
said
        "must have", which is quite different.
   A.   Yes.  He did know.
   MR IRVING:  Very well.  In that case I have to ask again,
on

.          P-212



        what evidence----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We have been all over that, Mr Irving,
        really.
   MR IRVING:  Do you have any evidence that I did know?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, Mr Rampton has just reminded
you
        that you accepted that you had read the whole of the
trial
        evidence, including Hoffmann.
   MR IRVING:  Has your Lordship any idea of how many words
there
        are on 8,000 pages of transcript?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You have just been through that point.
   MR IRVING:  Yes, but the fact that one reads 8,000 pages of
        transcript with no doubt many millions of words does
not
        mean to say that one knows everything that is stated
about
        every person in that transcript.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, what I am going to suggest is
that
        you read the transcript of the last 20 minutes again
        perhaps, if you have time between now and tomorrow,
and
        I think you will understand why I think you will not
do
        any good to your case by going all over it again.
   MR IRVING:  Well ----
   A.   The answer to your question, Mr Irving, is no, my case
        against you here does not rest solely on that.
   MR IRVING:  On Hoffmann?
   A.   On the fact that you suppressed your knowledge of the
bias
        in his testimony.  I also, as you know, say that you
        manipulate what he said.

.          P-213



   Q.   What is your evidence for the fact that he was biased
in
        his testimony?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think that question has been asked and
        answered sufficiently.
   MR IRVING:  Except that he stated it as a fact, and of
course
        it is an opinion.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  In a sense it is perhaps neither.  It is
an
        inference from all the circumstances.
   MR IRVING:  A possible bias, this is true.  We now pass to
        Reichskristallnacht, page 233.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, I accept that it is slightly
my
        fault that we spent the last 20 plus minutes on the
1924
        trial, but frankly I think it was vital that you did
        address that.  But, having got to ten past 4, would it
be
        sensible to start on Kristallnacht tomorrow morning?
   MR IRVING:  It would be sensible, my Lord.  Perhaps I can
wave
        a little flag and say I shall reserve the right to
come
        back to Hoffmann on a later occasion with more
material,
        as your Lordship obviously attaches more significance
to
        it than I do.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Only because is it one of the chain of
        documents.
   MR IRVING:  I intend dealing with the chain of documents in
        sequence on a different occasion, I think.  It makes
more
        sense.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can I say in advance that I am going to
have

.          P-214



        to rise just a little bit early tomorrow, say about
        4 o'clock rather than 4.15. 10.30 tomorrow.

(The witness withdrew).
(The court adjourned until the following day)

.          P-215


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