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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day013.19

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day013.19
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   Then the 1995 edition -- wait a minute, I have leapt ahead
        of myself.  We will come back to it, Mr Irving, when we
        have the document, but I just want to ask the question
        whether you remember on 28th November 1991 saying in an
        interview with This Week that there were 25,000 killed at
        Auschwitz and that "we (that is Allies) killed five times
        that number in Dresden in one night"?
   A.   I probably would have said four times or five times.
   Q.   Check it.
   A.   I do not know.  I would have to see what I said.
   Q.   If you did say that, what it means is that you are saying
        to the viewers on 28th November 1991 that 125,000 were
        killed at Dresden ?
   A.   I would need to know exactly the words I used in that
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Rather than leave these things dangling in
        the air.  Have we not got that somewhere?
   MR RAMPTON:  The files have been taken away to be marked up for
        another purpose which your Lordship knows, the K files.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I have probably got them here, have I not?
   MR RAMPTON:  Your Lordship probably ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I would much rather not leave points hanging
        in the air or we will forget about them.
   MR RAMPTON:  I agree.

.          P-168

   A.   If your Lordship knows can I know too?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I was going to show you my copy.  I am not
        going to keep it from you.  The whole point was to show it
        to you.
   MR RAMPTON:  I cannot tell your Lordship where to look, I am afraid.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can you tell me even the letter of the alphabet?
   MR RAMPTON:  The date is 28th November 1991.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  What is the file called?
   MR RAMPTON:  K3, says Miss Rogers.
   A.   This is a transcript of a Thames Television This Week film?
   MR RAMPTON:  No, it is a transcript of an interview with you
        This Week.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Somebody has removed my K3.
   MR RAMPTON:  What I am going to do is to read out your exact words.
   A.   I always like to see the context of what things are being said.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is going to be shown to you.
   MR RAMPTON:  I am going to show you the whole page and a half
        that I have.  I am going to read it out and if you have
        read it and say I have missed something or I am being
        selective, then please tell us.

.          P-169

                  The interviewer, whose name I know not, asked
        you: "So what is the point of quibbling about the exact
        number of Jews that were killed by Hitler?  Irving: Exact
        numbers are important.  Look at Auschwitz, about 100,000
        people died in Auschwitz.  Most of them died of epidemics
        as we know now from code breaking", that is to Hinsley
        decrypts.  "So even if we are generous and say a quarter
        of them, 25,000 were killed by hanging or shooting, 25,000
        is a crime, that's true.  25,000 innocent person executed
        by one means or another, but we killed that many people,
        burning them alive in one night, not in three years in a
        city like Faucheim.  We killed five times that number in
        Dresden in one night, equals 125,000."
   A.   We killed I think 17,000 in Faucheim in one night and five
        times that is less than 125,000.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, but that is not rally the relevant bit,
        is it?
   A.   That is precisely why I would like to see the original quote.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Let Mr Irving have a look at and see if and
        make any point you want.
   A.   I am not really going to quibble about this, because to my
        mind if I said it is 125,000 and Mr Rampton says it is
        only 100,000 in my mind, or you said only 100,000 before,
        this kind of chiselling around major catastrophes I find
        regrettable, repugnant.  I will have a quick look at it.

.          P-170

        The reason I want to look at it, my Lord, is because
        Professor Evans by suppressing one word in a quotation
        from a certain letter has totally reversed another
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You are absolutely entitled and right to ask
        to look at it.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.
   A.   Here I am going to have to say I want to hear the sound
        recording to see if I said five times or not or four
        times.  If they are going to quibble on that kind of word
        I want to what hear if I said four or five.
   Q.   It is not a quibble.
   A.   It is a quibble.
   Q.   You said yourself, Mr Irving, that the figures are exact.
   A.   That is why I think it is important I should know whether
        I said four or five.  Is that This Week recorded by the way?
   Q.   Yes, I think so.
   A.   I will listen to it at home.  I have it on tape.
   Q.   By all means do.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Please do.
   MR RAMPTON:  Mr Irving, remember the Leuchter press
        conference?  My Lord, I am sorry, I have jumped a date,
        23rd June 1989, page 11 of the table.  I have got the
        transcript here.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  What is the reference?  It is in D2

.          P-171

   MR RAMPTON:  The actual file is D2(i) tab 5, page 10.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Thank you.  Does Mr Irving have a copy?
   A.   Yes.
   MR RAMPTON:  You start at the bottom of page 9.  This is the
        question and answer session of the Leuchter press
        conference.  Does your Lordship have it?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes I have.
   MR RAMPTON:  Mr Irving, have you got it?  I am starting with
        Irving at the bottom of page 9.  "I am suggesting to you
        alternative explanations to the gas chambers, because
        obviously as the gas chamber now turns out to be phoney,
        then we have to try to explain what happened to the
        figures".  I think you probably meant the people.
                  "Now one possible reason is the large number of
        Jews that turned up in the state of Palestine which is now
        the state of Israel.  Jews in Israel did not come from
        nowhere.  Another part of them when Auschwitz was
        liberated was set out on the roads and shipped westwards
        where they ended up in cities like Dresden".
                  Pause there, Mr Irving.  What evidence do you
        have that any of the people from Auschwitz went to Dresden?
   A.   I say cities like Dresden.
   Q.   Let us read on in the light of that answer.
                  "I do not have to tell you what happened in

.          P-172

        Dresden three weeks after Auschwitz was evacuated by the
        Germans.  One million refugees on the streets of Dresden
        at the time when we burnt Dresden to the ground killing
        anything between 100,000 and 250,000 of them"?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Of whom ----
   A.   Of the 1 million people on the streets of Dresden.
   Q.   One million refugees on the streets of Dresden.
   A.   One million people on the streets of Dresden.
   Q.   "One million refugees on the streets of Dresden at the
        time when we burnt Dresden to the ground killing anything
        between 100,000 to 200,000 of them."
   A.   Of them.
   Q.   The refugees?
   A.   Dresedens, the people in Dresden.
   Q.   I can well understand a degree of ----
   A.   Hyperbole.
   Q.   Sloppy expression in answer to a question.  Of course
        I understand that.  Although you say refugees, I do not
        suppose you meant that 250,000 refugees were killed in
        Dresden, any more than you meant that 250,000 refugees
        from Auschwitz were killed in Dresden?
   A.   I am giving the upper and lower limits.
   Q.   In 1989 where does the figure of 250,000 as an upper limit
        come from, Mr Irving?
   A.   It comes in the war years from the records that I saw, as

.          P-173

        the upper limit, hence the estimate that was put to Adolf
        Hitler on the morning after, but also over the intervening
        years I received very large numbers of letters from 1960
        onwards when I was writing the Dresden book, from 1960
        right up to 1989, that is almost 30 years I received
        persistent letters from people who said it cannot possibly
        have been as low as X; it must have been as high as Y.
        Nearly all of them gave as the upper limit the figure of
        250,000.  So I am stating here limits in my view; not more
        than 250,000, not less than 100,000.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  So you attach credence, do you, to letters
        like the ones you have just mentioned, giving an upper limit?
   A.   Not only to that, my Lord, I also mentioned the documents
        during the war years which also mentioned that kind of
        figure.  It is an upper limit, however improbable and a
        lower limit, however equally improbable, without setting
        the figure in between which on this occasion I consider to
        be more accurate, given as an answer to a question, a
        belligerent question, at a press conference.
   MR RAMPTON:  I think the latest figures I have from you are
        probably in the Goebbels book.  I notice, in passing, that
        in the republication of Dresden, the focal point edition
        of 1995, you say in the introduction:  "Between 50 and
        100,000", in the text, "up to 100,000".  In Goebbels you
        say, "Between 60 and 100,000 men, women and children".

.          P-174

   A.   Yes, that is having read the latest accounts that had come
        from East Germany, which I consider to be very impressive,
        which were published, I suppose, within the last three or
        four years or five years.
   Q.   Is Dr Professor Herr Reichert an East German?
   A.   My recollection is that the book was sent to me by the
        East German Government -- by the Dresden City
        Authorities.  I think it is the last item in your clip, is
        it not?  The last item I saw anyway was a letter, yes,
        just above tab 3, my Lord.  1997, yes, they sent me a copy
        of that book.  There had been several newspaper accounts
        also based on it.
   Q.   I am trying to find the Reichert's final estimate which
        I think is about 25,000.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Where is that?
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, 511 of Evans.  Dresden historian, yes,
        you can call him an East German, if you like.  I prefer
        just to call him a German?
   A.   "Central German", perhaps.
   Q.   From Dresden, a Dresdener?
   A.   500?
   MR RAMPTON:  511, paragraph 6.
   MR RAMPTON:  "Many historians accept the 35,000 figure".
        Pommerin, Sherry.  "For instance, the historian, Earl A
        Beck", who seems to be an American, "said the constant

.          P-175

        increase in estimates of the number killed in the raids
        does not comport with the facts.  Official reports justify
        an estimate of between 25,000 and 35,000 killed.  Figures
        that rose to 100 or 200,000 killed lost touch with the
        reality.  In 1994 research by the Dresden historian
        Friedrich Reichart was published, using a previously
        unused source, which convincingly reduced Bergander's
        figure of 35,000 to 25,000.  This figure", says Professor
        Evans, "can be regarded as close to definitive"?
   A.   Well...
   Q.   Well, now, Mr Irving, 100,000, 60 to 100,000 those figures
        are fantasy, are they not?
   A.   I think the answer to that is you pays your money, you
        takes your choice, and we know who is paying the money to
        Mr Evans and we know what choice he has made.
   Q.   I see.  But what about Mr Reichert?  Has he been paid by
        the international Jewish conspiracy to produce these
   A.   What an extraordinary statement!
   Q.   Well, that is what you have been asserting all through
        this case.
   A.   I do not think I have mentioned the phrase even once.  Do
        you want me to comment on Reichart's book or are you just
        making ----
   Q.   We are going to have a little trawl through your public
        utterances about the Jews tomorrow.

.          P-176

   A.   Oh, good.
   Q.   You might enjoy that.  Is it right, Mr Irving, that
        when  ----
   A.   Can we also have a bit of a trawl through the public
        utterances about the Jewish community about me?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You are perfectly entitled to.
   MR RAMPTON:  About what?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Call evidence about that, Jewish
        organizations' statements about Mr Irving.
   MR RAMPTON:  Oh well, he can, yes.
   A.   I think Reichter has done a very good job.  I have read
        the book in part.  I have been very impressed by the
        solidity of his research, particularly as he had access to
        the records to the crematorium administration and the
        cemetery administration.
   Q.   That is right, the numbers of burials, certified burials
        and so on and so forth, the numbers of bodies found since
        and all that kind of thing, the capacity for incineration
        in the Altmakt.  He is a sensible, level headed chap who
        has actually bothered to check the hard cold figures and
        the contemporaneous documentation, he is not?
   A.   Are you implying that these were documents that I was ----
   Q.   No.
   A.   --- that I suppressed when I wrote my book in 1962?
   Q.   I am implying that when you write in 1995 and 1996 figures
        as high as 100,000 you were just making it up?

.          P-177

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