Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day002.14 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 MR RAMPTON: Except for the feeling that I am being boiled alive. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That I have tried to do something about. The air conditioning was supposed to be on. I do not know . P-218 whether it actually was over the midday adjournment -- it was. I just do not see that we can solve any of these problems. MR RAMPTON: Perhaps the authorities at least might pretend that it was mid summer instead of Siberia, we might be a little bit more comfortable. Cross-examined by MR RAMPTON, QC. Q. Mr Irving, to be serious (and I am sorry to be a little bit facetious) Mr Irving will need some files. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I think it is best to do that first before you start. MR RAMPTON: Yes, I agree. D2(i) and (ii), a copy of his opening ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Would you prefer to have your own copies? A. No, my Lord, they are not marked up. MR RAMPTON: Those are the first two transcript files. Eventually, but perhaps not now, and Mr Irving's own writing, his books. Those are the two, just (i) and (ii) are the only ones that are needed and a copy of the opening to start with. (To the witness): Mr Irving, there is an elegiac story that you told us just now -- I do not mean that sarcastically at all; it is perfectly true it is -- you blame that appalling note on the wreath on Deborah Lipstadt's book, is that right? A. I think I was quite careful to say that it is difficult to . P-219 quantify and difficult to be precise, but one thing leads to another which thereupon leads to another and in that respect the book has created and generated a climate of hatred. Q. If what the book said about you is true, then it would not, perhaps you would agree, be the book's fault but yours, would it not? A. I do not think any man can ever be expected to receive a wreath from hateful people like that and have it said it is his own fault. Q. Let us take a step back in time (and I promise you, as I have before, both publicly and privately, that I am going on to Auschwitz this week, to give you time to get your head round it). In 1977, when the first edition of Hitler's War was published, you accepted the Holocaust in all its essential details in its ordinary sense, did you not, its generally understood sense? A. Would you tell the court what you mean by the ---- Q. Yes, I will. The systematic mass murder of millions of Jews by the Nazi regime during the Second World War. A. I do not accept the word "systematic", but for the rest of it, then that is an accurate precis. Q. Including the continuous, if not systematic, though it is difficult to distinguish the two, perhaps, use of homicidal gas chambers in institutions like Auschwitz? A. Continuous? . P-220 Q. Yes, over a period of time. A. It is not a word that I used. Q. No, not daily on a continuous basis, but for a long period of time, something like, I think, 22 months you accepted that Auschwitz used homicidal gas chambers to kill very large numbers of Jews, did you not? A. I certainly did not say 22 months. Q. No, let us try to get to the point. In your 1977 edition, Auschwitz was characterized, I am not quoting, I am paraphrasing, as one of the extermination camps, was it not? A. That is correct. Q. In the 1991 edition, it had become, am I not right, merely a slave labour camp? A. That is correct -- well, I did not say "merely". I said a slave labour camp. Q. "Merely" is my word. A. You appreciate one has to be precise what I agree to. Q. Yes. A. Otherwise it will be used against me later on. You said, "It was merely a slave labour camp". Q. You can be certain that I do not conduct litigation in that way and that if I did his Lordship would sit on me quite hard. So have no fear of silly little Perry Mason traps like that. A. I am very glad to hear it. . P-221 Q. Until 1988 you accepted the Holocaust, however it be precisely defined (and I am not quibbling about minutia) in its generally understood sense, that is to say, a mass killing of Jews by the Nazis during World War II, did you not? A. I did not use the word "Holocaust" but I did quite definitely accept that the Nazis engaged in mass killing of Jews during World War II. Q. Do you accept that most people in the western world now and perhaps all over the world, I know not, when the word "Holocaust" is used mean the systematic mass murder of millions of Jews by the Nazi regime? A. I do not think that they ponder one moment to define what they are thinking about. They associate pictures with words. When the word "Holocaust" is used, they are thinking of people behind barbed ward, they are thinking of pits will bulldozers pushing bodies into them. It is visual images that are conjured up. They are not using legal definitions which can later on be bandied in a libel action. I think it is pictures that are conjured up by the word. Q. No, we are not looking for legal definitions, Mr Irving. We are looking for -- I give you the card straightaway so that you can think about it while I ask you more questions -- what people would have understood you to mean when later you denied the Holocaust, do you understand? Do you . P-222 remember my original question was it might be thought eventually that the catastrophe or the misfortune you described at the end of your evidence-in-chief had been brought on you by what you have said yourself. Do you understand that? Do you understand, perhaps put it this way, that if you use a word ---- A. This is very similar to saying that the catastrophe that befell the Jewish people was brought on them by themselves, and you can say to each of those sentences, each of those points, the answer is yes. Q. I do not think ---- A. But between each of those alphas and omegas there are very many intervening stages which you are leaving out. Q. That may be so. I do not think you are perhaps quite answering my question. A. I thought that was a very comprehensive one, sir. Q. Let us go back to your opening yesterday. You made noisy complaint, if I may call it that, about being branded a "Holocaust denier", did you not? A. Oh, yes, yes. Q. You finished up by calling it a verbal Yellow Star? A. Among my remarks I called it a verbal Yellow Star. I did not finish up by calling it that. Q. No. "A poison to which there is virtually no antedote, less lethal than a hypodermic with nerve gas jabbed in the neck but deadly all the same. For the chosen victim, it . P-223 is like being called a wife beater or a paedophile. It is enough for the label to be attached for the attachee to find himself designated as a pariah, an outcast from normal society. It is a verbal Yellow Star". What did you mean by "it"? A. The phrase "Holocaust denier". Q. Exactly. Now, then I would like you to look at some of the things that you have said publicly or, at any rate, semi-publicly. You have those two files there, the ones with the pink spines on them. Can we start, please, with the one which is, if I can find it, it is D2(i). Can you please turn to tab 9 which is the transcript of a speech you made at the Travelodge at the Airport Inn in Calgary, Alberta, on 29th September 1991. I myself quoted some part of this, I think, yesterday in opening for the Defendants. Can you please turn to page 4? If you think I am reading anything out of context, you must say so because then I will go back and start again. MR JUSTICE GRAY: So take your time if you need it, Mr Irving. A. My Lord, I read the whole of this speech in the small hours of this morning in view of the fact that ---- MR RAMPTON: Then can I start, please, halfway down the page, five lines above the paragraph break? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Sorry, I missed the page. MR RAMPTON: Page 4, my Lord. There is a sentence which begins with the last word on the line "For", after the words "in . P-224 one or two dramatic points". Do you have it? A. I have that. Q. "For example, until 1988, I believed that there had been, until 1988, I believed that three had been something like a Holocaust. I believed that millions of people had been killed in factories of death. I believed in the gas chamber. I believed in all the paraphernalia of the modern Holocaust". Now, what was "all the paraphernalia of the modern Holocaust" that you believed in up to 1988? A. The words that I had set out in the previous four lines, the factories of death. Q. Yes. A. The gas chambers. Q. Yes? A. Like everybody else in this room, I believed in them up to that point. Q. Then comes this: "But 1988, when I came to Canada and gave evidence in the trial of Ernst Zundel as an historian, I met there people who knew differently and could prove to me that the story was just a legend"? A. "That that story was just a legend". Q. Quite right, thank you, "that that story", that is to say the Holocaust story in which you previously believed, "was just a legend. I changed my mind I've now revised the Hitler book so that all references to Auschwitz and the gas chamber and all the factories of death", so that would . P-225 include Sobibor, Treblinka ---- A. Mr Rampton, you have inserted some words there. After, where you read out "to prove that that story was just a legend", you then verbally inserted the words "in other words, the story of the Holocaust". Q. Yes. A. Or something like that, and that is not in there. Q. Fair enough. A. That story was referring to the paraphernalia. Q. You corrected my reading quite rightly, I said "the story", you said "that story". What does that mean in that context? A. The paraphernalia, the equipment, the factories of death and the gas chambers. Q. Yes, and the killing of millions of people? A. No. Q. Really? A. We have repeatedly made quite plain that the Nazis killed large numbers of people. Q. "I believed millions of people had been killed in factories of death". A. You see, this is why you said "the story" instead of "that story". You were trying to sweep up the whole of that sentence, including the millions of people, when it is quite plain that I am talking about the latter part of the sentence which is the paraphernalia. . P-226 Q. Mr Irving, we will get nowhere if we argue about trivia of that kind. What you had believed in ---- A. It is not trivia, Mr Rampton, with respect, because a few days down the line you will read back to me the transcript and say, "But you agreed on January 12th that this was what you were referring to", and that is why I am going to be sticking on each one of these points, Mr Rampton. Q. Let us get it straight. The story that you had believed in until 1988 was, amongst other things, that millions of people had been killed in factories of death by the use of gas chambers. I am paraphrasing the penultimate and the propenultimate lines of the previous ---- A. I am sorry, but that is not an accurate paraphrase. You just said, "I believed that millions of people had been killed in the gas chambers" and that is exactly what that sentence does not say. It says: "I believed that millions of people had been killed in factories of death. I believed in the gas chamber". Can you not see the difference between those two sentences? Q. No, I am afraid I cannot. You tell me the difference. A. I believed that millions of people have been killed. Q. In factories of death? A. In factories of death. I believed in the gas chambers.
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