Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day001.10 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 I took these two borrowed plates straight from Moscow to Munich to the Institute of History (the Institut fur Zeitgeschichte), where I knew they had a microfiche printer and reading machine, together with the institute's Dr Zirngiebel who was an expert in the archives, we inserted the appropriate lenses in the microfiche printer . P-78 for a microfiche of this magnification, and I printed out two copies of each of the 100 or so documents contained on the two microfiche. There was no secrecy about this. I at once sent two of those pages upstairs to the experts in the Institute of History itself, and two more to the German Federal Archives with the written request that they formally identify these pages as being in the handwriting of Dr Joseph Goebbels. This was a necessary part of the agreement with the Sunday Times who were being no less cautious than I. The other principal reason that I borrowed these glass plates temporarily from the Russian Archives was in order to put them to London forensic experts for the purposes of authentication. I mentioned the use of forensic experts before. We are doing it again. In the same manner that others had tested the Adolf Hitler diaries and I had tested the Canaris diaries, the Sunday Times quite properly wished to have final proof that the glass plates were indeed of wartime manufacture. We are dealing after all with the KGB archives. Namely, that the glass was wartime origin and that the photographic emulsion was of wartime chemicals. My Lord, the court may marvel at these precautions that we as non-scholars took, but it seemed perfectly natural to me and to the officers of the Sunday . P-79 Times. After all, not only were large sums of money involved, but the reputation of myself and the reputation of a major international newspaper group. We wished to be absolutely certain. On my return from Moscow and Munich to London in June 1992, therefore, the two glass plates were sent their separate ways, heavily wrapped and protected; one to Agfa photographic laboratory which tested the age of the emulsion in a non-constructive manner, and the other to the Pilkington Glassworks whose laboratory specialists carried out similar tests on the age of the glass. Their reports are part of my discovery, and these confirmed that the tests were appropriate under the circumstances. My Lord, if I may just anticipate by a few paragraphs what happened to those two glass plates subsequently. I returned to Moscow at the end of June. The glass plates were brought out to Moscow personally by a courier of the Sunday Times. As soon as the tests on them were complete and handed to me standing outside the archives building, as my diary records, and within three minutes I had taken them back into the archives building and replaced them in the box where they have been for the last 47 years. This is of course a matter that is very much in contention, my Lord. That is why I have gone into it in such detail. What follows is not strictly relevant to the . P-80 glass plates, but it is relevant to this case and is best inserted here because of its chronology. When I returned to London with the remaining diaries which the Sunday Times had requested, an awkward situation had developed. Our secrecy had been compromised by an astute reporter of The Independent, a Mr Peter Pringle, who was based in Moscow at the time I was using the archives. He too has submitted a written witness statement for the Defendants. He stalked me into the KGB archives, confronted me and learned from Dr Bondarev of my work on the Goebbels Diaries. The resulting scoop in The Independent sent the press world about its ears. Before I returned to London on July 4th 199 h entire Fleet Street press and the broadcast media fell over themselves to print stories about the diaries and my own participation. In order to blacken the name of the Sunday Times and its somewhat unpopular editor, I was described with every possible epithet. It is of relevance to this action, in my submission, my Lord, because the same organizations which had gone to great lengths to furnish the Defendants here with the materials they needed to blacken my name and the book "Denying the Holocaust", now applied heavy pressure to Andrew Neil and The Times Newspapers Limited to violate their contract with me and to pay me nothing of the moneys which were due to me under the contract. Under this . P-81 pressure, which Mr Neil described to me at the time as the worst that he had experienced in his life, the Sunday Times having in fact paid me the first installment welshed on the rest of the payments. I was forced to sue them in these same courts for breach of contract. The financial consequences of this violation of the contract, in round terms about œ65,000, were serious for me. When I reviewed all the clippings, when I read all the statements made by these various bodies and boards and campaigns and agencies and organizations attacking my name, both during my absence in Moscow and upon my return, I could only say, sadly, from a lengthening experience: "The gang's all here". The same gang whom I loosely describe as the traditional enemies of free speech, were to be seen in the following days behind the metal police barricades, police barricades thrown up outside my apartment, screaming abuse at me and other leaseholders in our building, spitting, harassing passers by, holding up offensive placards and slogans, including one reading in a most execrable taste, "Gas Irving". They can be seen in the newspaper photographs. From the photographs of this demonstration it appeared that representatives of every ethnic and other minority were present in these. It was the most disagreeable experience. On my second visit to Moscow, as your Lordship will find from the relevant passages of my diary, I found . P-82 frostier atmosphere. The boxes which I had so readily been provided with on my previous trip were said to be missing and not found. For three or four days I was unable to do anything and then one box was released to me which I devoured rapidly. On the last day but one it became plain that I had jealous and envious rivals in Munich to thank for the difficulties that the Russians were now making. Dr Bondarev's secretary came into the reading room and said there were allegations that I had stolen the glass plates. I assured her that while I borrowed some heavy glass plate which had been in my custody was at that time back in the archives and nothing was missing, which was true. I also voluntarily wrote a statement which was handed to Dr Bondarev. Your Lordship will find this document in both Russian and English, in my handwriting, is in discovery both of myself and of the Defendants as an exhibit to the report by Professor Tarasov. Professor Tarasov is to be giving evidence before your Lordship, and I shall examine him with particular pleasure. Dr Bondarev's secretary came back a few minutes later and said that this declaration was just what they required. She vouchsafed to me the information came from Munich. Your Lordship will see from the information which came from Munich which is in the Defendants' . P-83 discovery that the Institut fur Zeitgeschichte faxed to Moscow a particularly hateful letter about me in an attempt to destroy my relationship with the Russians. However, I already had all the documents that had been on my shopping list, either in long hand or by dictating them on to a hand-held dictate recorder or typed on to my portable typewriter, or as photocopies of a few pages of November 1938, or as photographic prints obtained from the glass microfiche. I have collected several hundred pages of the most important Goebbels Diaries entries that have been missing ever since the end of the war, and I see no reason not to be proud of this achievement. It is indicative of he general attempt to blacken my name and to silence me, that when I spoke to a meeting organised by my private supports' club, I suppose you would call it, the Clarendon Club, on evening of July 4th 1992, my return from Moscow that day, the hall in Great Portland Street was subjected to violent demonstrations outside which required a very large police presence to protect the members of my audience. This will be one of the photographs in the bundle I shall shortly be submitting to your Lordship. Later on that year when I addressed a third meeting at a West End hotel, there were even more violent demonstrations. Such demonstrations do not occur spontaneously. Somebody has to pay for the printing and the bill posting and the bus rentals. I might mention . P-84 that on one of the days that followed I was violently attacked by three men who identified themselves to me as Jews when I was having a Sunday lunch at a public restaurant in Mayfair with my family. They had laid an ambush for me. I only recently learned that on the Monday after my return from Moscow, my long time publishers, Macmillan Limited, seeing the clamour and coming under pressure from unnamed members of the Jewish community (I have the internal memorandum), panicked and issued secret instructions for the destruction of all remaining stocks of my books without ever informing me that they had done so. This particularly repulsive act by a publisher, July 6th 1992, reminiscent of the Nazis in 1933, cost me of course many tens of thousands of pounds in lost royalties. At the same time as they were taking these secret decisions to destroy all of my books, at a cost to themselves of hundreds of thousands of pounds, my editor at Macmillan has continued to write ingratiating letters expressing interest in the early delivery of my Goebbels' biography. It was altogether a most unhappy period. My Lord, I am coming towards the end as you can see. I can add one further brief example of how different is my attitude of such documents as the Goebbels Diaries from the attitude of my rivals and the scholars. . P-85 Dr Ralf Gunther Reuth approached me saying that he was preparing a five-volume abridged edition of the other Goebbels Diaries for Piper Verlag in Germany at this time and he had nothing for 1938. There were large gaps in the other years too. I foolishly allowed him to have photocopies of some of the most important passages which until that moment had been exclusive to myself and my, as yet, unpublished Goebbels' biography. The thanks that I received for this generous act were scant indeed. I provided copies to the German Federal Archives entirely of the entire Goebbels diary extracts that I brought back from Moscow. I did that on July 1st 1993. Ten minutes later the Director of the Archives informed me in extreme embarrassment that on the instructions of the German Federal Minister of the Interior I was permanently banned from the self-same archives forthwith and in perpetuity, which is to my knowledge the only time that such a sanction has ever been applied to an historian. He explained that this decision had been taken, "in the interests of the German people".
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