Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day002.13 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 A. Oh, in retrospect, good Lord, yes! In retrospect, you could look out of the back of the truck as it goes trundling down the highway of history and you say, "I wish . P-209 I never get to know him", but we have all met people like that, my Lord. This should not be held against me. People change. There is one particular gentleman called Mr Althans, Ewald Althans, who figures in this correspondence. He was a German character who I got to know when he was a student. I first met him, I think, in 1989 and my first impressions of him which I have recorded in my diary was that he was a very forceful, energetic, forthright and fearless young man. It subsequently turned out he held opinions that could be really categorised as extreme, that he was, in fact, an agent of the German government and an agent provocateur because he testified to that effect when he finally got his comeuppance. I bitterly regret ever having made his acquaintance, and certainly if he came anywhere near me I would say, "Go away". If he came to my front door, I would pretend I was not in. Well, if that can be held against me, my Lord, then I think this is an unjust society. These things happen. People change as you get to know them. They become different from the way they were when you first knew them. Q. So you are saying really, are you, that you want to be judged by what you said rather than by what people you may have been at the same meeting with? A. My Lord, I am very satisfied to be judged on what I . P-210 have said verbally which is recorded in great abundance in the transcripts. I am very satisfied to be judged on the basis of what I have written to any of these gentlemen, but I do not think I should be judged on the basis of what they may have said either to me or to others. That is their own affair. Frequently, I have had cause to reprimand them privately and say, "Do not do it". For example, I remember one trip I made to South Africa. The South Africans are a different people from us. They have different attitudes to us. I visited South Africa on a speaking tour and I went to Johannesburg Airport to pick up my assistant who was to accompany me and I warned her; I said, "You will find the people here in Johannesburg treat coloured people in a manner which is totally repugnant to us, but I must request you not to say anything about it because we are their guests", but that is as far as you can go. Q. The last topic, is there anything you want to add? A. No, my Lord -- unless you wanted to ask me about any specific names that they have mentioned? You do not? Q. Well, I was not proposing to, but if you want to say anything about, for example, Mr Zundel who is, perhaps, more important than most of the others. A. Mr Zundel, I can speak about very briefly. I first met Mr Zundel, Z-U-N-D-E-L, who is a German of Canadian extraction who has been in constant hot water for the last . P-211 10 or 15 years, but is sill in the eyes of the law blameless, in other words, he has not been convicted on anything he has been accused of which is a matter not to be taken lightly, of course. A lot of accusations have been made against him, but he has so far not been found guilty of anything. I first heard about him before 1986 in the most disparaging terms. In 1986, I conducted around the world lecture tour, and coming up from Australia and Fiji to Vancouver, I was met at Vancouver Airport in Colombia, in Canada, by a man who introduced himself in the car to me as Mr Douglas Christie. I said, "But you are the barrister for Mr Zundel, are you not, in the hearings in Toronto?" He said, "Yes, I am. I am chairing the meeting tonight". I was so shocked by this that I telephoned my tour organizer in Australia immediately and said, "I am afraid I cannot allow Mr Christie to act as chairman of tonight's meeting". My hostility to Mr Zundel at that time was so pronounced I would not even allow his barrister to come near me, in other words. I then flew across to Toronto where I was to speak and I was picked up at Toronto Airport by two gentlemen who drove me down town, and half way down the Queen Elizabeth Highway into Toronto, one of the gentlemen turned to the other and said, "Ernst, I think we will put Mr Irving off at his hotel first". I said, "Do you mind . P-212 if I ask who you are?" and he said, "Yes, I am Ernst Zundel". I am afraid I was terribly shocked to be found sitting in the same car with him because the blackening of his name at that time had gone to such an extent that not only did I not want to be associated with his barrister, but not with him either. Now I say that, having got to know him over the next two or three years, you realize that the reputation he had and the man he was were two different things. He was an enbattled person, coming under, I will not even say the same kind of attack as I have, he came under the most vicious kind of attack which included the burning down of his house and a constant onslaught and violent and physical assault, and he was bearing himself up with more fortitude than taste; and you had to realize that he was a man with a certain intellect, a certain sense of humour and execrable private opinions. That is the only way that I can characterize him. Q. Yes. A. I repeatedly said this, my Lord. I have sent him messages and letters and I have said that, frankly, your opinions are off the wall -- in fact, they are off the map. The correspondence has been in the discovery for the Defendants and they could have seen it and, no doubt, it has alarmed them because it does not confirm the picture that they would have wished to portray. . P-213 Q. But you agreed to give evidence at his trial? A. I thought it was my duty as an historian, as a public citizen, to give evidence. I did not realize at the time the odium that would accrue. In fact, the element of odium, I think, would have been impossible in this country. I think it would have been almost a contempt for witnesses to be subjected to the kind of onslaught that I was after I gave evidence in that trial, but it happened. I wrote letters to the newspapers about it. I said, "This will be completely impossible in England". The letters were published, but there it is. If people ask me now, as they have, "Would you do it again?" I say, "No, I would not", not because I did not consider my duty to give the evidence I gave as an historian, and I understand the Judge afterwards said that he had never had such a convincing witness, but it was a mistake, because of the fact that that has been used as a reason to destroy me subsequently. Frankly, I do not seek personal destruction. If I was given the chance to do it again, if the people who have destroyed me since came to me now and said, "Mr Irving, we are prepared to put you back where you were", I would say, "Show me what I have to sign and I will do it". It is as simple as that. Q. Then, finally, I think this is the last topic that you need to deal with, the allegation that you broke an . P-214 agreement in relation to the microfiche containing the Goebbels' diaries by removing them from Moscow, or from the archive in Moscow, and risking damage to them. A. Yes. Well ---- Q. You dealt with this quite thoroughly in your opening. A. Yes, I have to be a bit careful because you have actually compounded two elements in that statement. You said by removing the glass plates and by something else. I do not know what the agreement was supposed to have been. I have dealt with this quite thoroughly in my opening statement, and I am happy to aver here on oath that what I said in my opening statement in this respect, as in other respect, is true to the best of my knowledge and belief. Ten years nearly, or eight years, have passed since that time when I was in Moscow and I obtained the diaries. You will be hearing the evidence of Mr Peter Miller who was with me at the time; and there is no written agreement either in my discovery or in the discovery produced by the Defendants who have had close collaboration with the Russian archival officials, will be able to cross-examine the Russian witnesses, and on this occasion they will be giving evidence, I understand, and I think, perhaps, we had better reserve judgment until after we have had the opportunity of hearing all that. But, to the best of my knowledge and belief, there was no agreement, and I have made the admission . P-215 (which I had to) which was quite proper about having illicitly or illegally or even improperly removed the glass plates on the archives and returned them the next day and whatever which, to my mind, not such a big deal because they allowed me to two days later anyway. Q. Well, so far as I am concerned, that is all I was going to invite you to give evidence about, leaving aside Auschwitz, but do feel free to add anything that you think has not been sufficiently covered before you are cross-examined. A. I only wanted to say that you asked me earlier about the consequences of the book. I mentioned the pecuniary consequences and I mentioned the consequences for my career, but there has also been a more intangible consequence, that I have found myself subjected to a burden of hatred which you cannot quantify, but which is quite definitely there, the blank telephone calls, the obscene messages and so on. I would give only one example, my Lord, of the kind hatred -- well, two examples: one when I was assaulted in the Book Exhibition in Chicago -- in Los Angeles which I attended with my publishing imprint a few weeks ago when a member of the Jewish community -- a very notorious member of the Jewish community; one of the most extreme members in the United States with a long criminal record -- came up to the stand and screamed that he was going to come back and kill me, . P-216 "You're a Holocaust denier" he screamed as he was led away by the police, using the phrase coined by the Second Defendant. The second one would make more sense to your Lordship if you are aware of who Philip Bullard is. Philip Bullard was the head of the Nazi Extermination Programme for the mentally and physically disabled, the Euthanasia Programme. Q. Yes, I know. A. My Lord, I had the great misfortune in September to lose my eldest daughter. After we buried her, I received a phone call from the undertakers that another wreath had come. When the wreath was delivered late that afternoon, it was a very expensive and elaborate wreath of white roses and lilies -- far more expensive than we could have afforded -- with a card attached to it saying, "Truly a merciful death", "It was truly a merciful death", signed "Philip Bullard and friends". I should mention that my daughter was disabled in all those respects. She was legless and she had been brain damaged for 18 years. I submit that this is the kind of hatred that this book has subjected me to -- something intolerable, something unspeakable, and which I would wish no other person to be subjected to. Q. Yes. A. Thank you. . P-217 Q. Is there anything you wish to add? A. Not to that, my Lord, no, and in any other respect I think that you have drawn the essentials out of my admirably, as was only to be expected. Q. Well, you will have the opportunity, obviously, to amplify your case after cross-examination, if you wish to. Now, I do not know whether we need to clear the decks before you cross-examine so that Mr Irving has the documents that you mentioned earlier on, Mr Rampton? MR RAMPTON: I do not know how best to do it. I have to say (and I will say it again; I sort of hinted at it yesterday) this is the most ghastly inconvenient and uncomfortable court I have ever been in. That is nobody's fault. I can hardly stand up. I cannot get at my documents. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I wish I thought I could do something about it. MR RAMPTON: I say that as a preliminary. The witness is miles away from the files that he needs. I can hardly see him because of this pillar and my learned junior cannot see him. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Otherwise you are pretty happy!
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