Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day018.08 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 MR IRVING: You would have preferred the criticisms to be stated more loudly perhaps, or more criticisms and fewer bits of admiration, as you call it? A. I would not presume to dictate to you what you write in your books, Mr Irving. Q. Oh? But this is precisely what you have done in your expert report, is it not? You have said "I disagree entirely with his standpoint". You do not like where I put my pointer on the scale, so to speak, is that correct? A. My criticisms are concerned with your historical method. Q. Are you aware that the Second Defendant said that my admiration of Hitler went so far, by imputation, by inference, that I had a portrait of Adolf Hitler hanging . P-64 on my wall in my study? A. I do in fact cite I think in my report a book by Robert Harris called "Serving Hitler" where I think he mentions something like that, if I can find the place where it is. Q. I can save you time perhaps by showing you the only portrait of Hitler which is in my possession. Can I show you this and you can see it from there? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Page 212, I think. MR IRVING: My Lord, can your Lordship also see it? It is a post card on which Adolf Hitler sketched his own likeness and which was given to me by his private secretary and so it has a certain intrinsic value. Would you accept that this is what Robert Harris is probably referring to? A. It may well be, I do not know. Let me quote from Robert Harris: "Looking down upon him (that is you) as he worked from the wall above his desk was a self-portrait of Hitler". MR JUSTICE GRAY: What is being put is that the self- portrait that he was writing about was the post card. A. That may well be. I do not know. You would have to ask Mr Harris about that, but his work seems to be an accurate work, as far as I am concerned. I do not recall Mr Irving raising objections to that sentence in it. MR IRVING: But you accept that to describe that as being a portrait of Adolf Hitler hanging on my wall gives the wrong impression, does it not? Would that be right? . P-65 A. If it was hanging on your wall, it gives the right impression. Q. If it was not hanging on the wall, if it was occasionally shown to visitors as something of a trophy, like Robert Harris, who is a good friend, would that be right? A. Well, if you are saying that it was not looking down upon him as he worked from the wall above his desk, then I suppose you would be right. Q. Given your expert evidence, as you have, in your report, and having read the expert evidence of Professor Eatwell and Professor Levin, you are quite content to level at me also the charge of anti-Semitism, is that right? A. No, it is not right. I do not describe you as an anti-Semitic, unless you can show me a passage in my report where I do. Q. Do you consider me to be an anti-semite from all that you know, from the books that I have written and that you have read, or statements that I have made? A. I do not want to speculate about your state of mind. However, I do cite numerous statements of yours which I regard as anti-semitic. Q. Can you categorize these statements in some way, or would you prefer, without being specific -- I mean, are these just statements critical of the Jewish people, or specific Jews like Simon Wiesenthal or particular Jews, or is there a general animosity that you detect in me towards the . P-66 Jewish? How would you define "anti-Semitism"? I think that is the question I am going to ask first. How would you define "anti-Semitism" for the purposes of this trial? A. Well, I am not an expert in that area, but anti-Semitism can be defined very simply. There are numerous different ways you can define anti-Semitism. There are different levels and degrees of anti-semitism. Q. You just called me anti-semitic, so you must know what you meant. A. There are different levels and degrees of anti-Semitism and so on. It does seem to me that in your writings, and I quote numbers of them in my report, you do blame the Jews for the Holocaust, you try to pin responsibility for their misfortunes in the Third Reich on themselves. You use language in describing Jews in the present day that I regard as anti-Semitic. Q. Yes. A. All of those things. Anti-Semitism obviously at its most basic is hostility to hatred of and contempt for Jews, but it is also a political ideology, which involves a belief in a conspiracy, that Jews are conspiratorial in some way, that they are conspiring to undermine whatever it might be. Q. A kind of common endeavour? How do you define conspiracy in that respect? A. A secret combination or behind the scenes. . P-67 Q. And none of these allegations should ever be levelled at any people, right? True or false? One should never say these things? Is that what are you saying? A. No, I am not saying that should never be said, true or false, but it should not be said if it is false. Q. If it is true, then it cannot be called anti-Semitism, it would just be called foolishness, perhaps, to make the allegations? A. Well I have to say that I believe that belief in the world of Jewish conspiracy to do whatever it might be, whether it is to suppress the works of David Irving or undermine Germany in the 1930s, is a fantastic belief that has no grounds of reality. Q. Are we talking here in the hypothetical or have you some reason for suggesting that I believe there is a world Jewish conspiracy to undermine my writings, Professor? A. It seems to me from what you have said in your opening statement that you do believe there is some kind of conspiracy, but leaving that aside, I come back to the fact in my report I do quote a number of instances of views, interpretations and language which I regard as anti-Semitic in your writings and particularly your speeches. Q. Are the Jews, either as a people or their elected or unelected leaders, in some way immune from criticism? Is there to be no criticism for whatever reason? . P-68 A. Certainly not. That is not the case at all. Q. If one criticises either the Jewish people or the leaders for specific matters, is that ipso facto anti-Semitism? A. No, certainly not. Q. So there are circumstances in which, wisely or otherwise, one would be entitled to criticise a body of Jews for a particular action without it necessarily being anti-Semitism. A. Yes, individual Jews certainly, or groups. I think it becomes more problematical when you start defining Jews as a race or a world community. Q. I can never understand the difference between calling them a religion or a race and I do not want to get into that region. I have never made any distinction. If, for example, one was to point to the fact that most of the leadership of the Hungarian government at the time of the anti-government uprising in 1956 was Jewish, would that be an anti-Semitic remark? A. I am not an expert on the Hungarian uprising. Q. But, if it was so, if they were perceived to be Jewish, put it that way, by the public, would it be anti-Jewish to point to this element? A. You have a number of hypotheticals there. You would have to show first of all that they were perceived to be that way by the public, which is rather difficult. Q. Let us move on to the NKVD if it was stated that a large . P-69 proportion, a disproportionate number of the leading officers of the NKVD, the Soviet Secret Police, were Jewish would that be an anti-semitic remark to point that out? A. Again, I am not an expert on the NKVD. Q. But if? We are looking at the word "if". A. It is very hypothetical. You would have to show concrete sound evidence that (a) they were Jewish and (b) that they were acting in some kind of conspiracy or action because they were Jewish. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I think I am going to intervene because I think we are making very, very slow progress. Professor Evans certainly deals with anti-Semitism and you can direct questions to him as to whether there is any justification for a charge against you of anti-Semitism. But I think discussing whether it is anti-semitic to say that officers in the NKVD are Jewish is really not helping me at all. MR IRVING: If he is going to describe somebody as being anti-semitic, I wanted to know what criteria he set. MR JUSTICE GRAY: We know what criteria the Defendants set and I think one can assume that that is the target at which they are aiming, if I can put it that way. MR IRVING: To my mind, to be an anti-Semitic, you have to be mindlessly anti-Jewish. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is something we will probably have to . P-70 debate at the end of the case, but I do not think now is the time to debate it with Professor Evans. MR IRVING: Having read all the documents that have been placed at your disposal, this I am sure I can ask you ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes you can. MR IRVING: My Lord, with respect, you do not know what I am about to ask him. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do. Go on, ask him. MR IRVING: Are you aware of the fact that a number of Jewish bodies and organizations over the last 20 years have attempted prevent me from publishing books, delivering speeches, attending lectures and functions at universities and the like? A. I am aware that you allege this, yes. Q. Having read the documents, having read the letters that are in discovery, having read the papers that I have obtained by various legal proceedings belonging to a certain British body and their equivalent bodies in the United States and Canada? A. My report is concerned with your work as an historian. What I should say is that there is an enormous amount of material that is at the disposable of the Defence in this case. I have not read it all. I have read the material which is relevant to my particular report which is concerned with your work as an historian. I have not read systematically through the mass of material which is . P-71 relevant to the political aspects of the case, and other matters such as that. Q. My Lord, this question now goes to the first Defendant and I am going to ask the witness, do you teach about fascism to your students? A. Yes. Q. Are you familiar with this kind of book, Fascism For Beginners? A. I know that series, yes. Q. Is it a commendable series? A. Not very, I have to say, no. Q. Can I put to you, if I may, you have it already in the little bundle, if you turn to the 9th page of the little bundle will you find the front page of that book in there. A. Yes. Q. Fascism for Beginners written by Stuart Hood and Litzer Janz, who is the artist I believe. Would you turn to the next page and tell me who distributes this book in the United Kingdom, Canada, Europe and Asia? A. The Penguin group. Q. The Penguin Group does. Is that the first Defendant in this case Penguin Books Limited? A. I believe so, yes. Q. Would you turn to page 11, The Spread of Neo Fascism? Is this a chapter on the spread of fascism through Britain? . P-72 A. I am prepared to accept your statement that it is, yes. Q. It talks about how the these various parties, including a party called the Austrian Freedom Party, which obviously has no hope of ever coming to power ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, what possible relevance has this got to this case?
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