Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day019.10 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think I said that myself and I do rather take that view. He did. You know my view of it. You are . P-85 a litigant in person and you are, if I may say so, handling your task extremely well, but one of the things that you do learn is to take hints if you are doing it professionally . I understand how difficult it is for you because there is stuff in those first 150 pages which you understandably take fierce objection to. MR IRVING: It sets my teeth on edge, a lot of it. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is not going to bulk very large in my thinking. MR IRVING: Your Lordship knows how your Lordship is thinking but, with respect, I do not. You have a poker face and a complete mask like demeanour which keeps me totally in the dark. People ask me when I go home how have you done and I say I not know. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is probably best. Anyway, I have given the hint yet again. Mr Rampton is going shortly to ask me to make a ruling about it and, if I have to make a ruling, you know the way I am thinking at the moment, so let us get on. MR IRVING: Can we leap forward to page 47 of your report, please? Harsh words on John Charmley now, a right wing historian at the University of East Anglia. A. What is harsh about that? He is right-wing. I do not think he makes any secret of that. He is a former colleague of mine. Q. Does that disqualify somebody if they are right-wing? . P-86 A. No, certainly not. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is enough about Mr Charmley. On to your next point. I am not being flippant at all, but there is nothing there for you, Mr Irving, I do not think, so come on. MR IRVING: Can I ask your Lordship to go to page 26 of the little bundle, please? Recently received, but if your Lordship feels it is irrelevant, then I shall move on. MR JUSTICE GRAY: He pays you a warm tribute and wishes you well in your libel action. MR IRVING: Can I take you to page 49, please? A. I am just saying that I quote Professor Charmley and saying that he admires Mr Irving in my report. MR IRVING: My Lord, if I am referred to as some kind of pariah in the academic community whose views are worth nothing, I find myself ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is not the way I approach it. I am trying to find a way round this problem because I can see you are not going to take my hint. I have seen plenty of evidence, you have shown me a lot of evidence, from very distinguished people like Lord Trevor-Roper paying you tributes and, as a military historian, I certainly accept the evidence that I have heard about the number of people who have a very high regard for you. But in the end it is not as a military historian that you are appearing really in this trial. You are appearing for the very specific . P-87 detailed criticisms of your approach made by Professor Evans, and those are what matter. MR IRVING: You are talking about assassinations, is this right Professor? A. Sorry, where is this. Q. On page 49, and the suggestion which is implicit in that paragraph that the British did not carry out assassinations, that I should not have hinted that we did, and Irving's claim that the democracies had no hesitation about killing their foreign opponents. Do you accept that the British did carry out assassinations in World War II? A. I am describing Trevor-Roper's view of your work, and I am recounting what he says in a section that is about your reputation as an historian, where I try and lay out what your reputation amongst professional historians has been and is. I am not responsible for justifying every last detail of what every historian I quote has written about your work. Q. Do you reference the assassination of Chancellor Dollfuss in 1934? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am sorry, I am not going to go into the assassination of the Austrian Chancellor in 1934. It has nothing to do with this case at all. You have to move on, Mr Irving. I really am not going to let this case grind almost to a halt on peripheral material. MR IRVING: I am moving on. A 700 page report has been dumped . P-88 on me by this expert witness in which he has used this material to blacken my name and set my teeth on edge. It has been very widely quoted and I do not know what your Lordship is attending to or not. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not attending to other historians' views about the issues I have to decide. In the end they are for me to decide, apart from those who have provided reports. MR IRVING: Move to page 57, please. I have leapt 20 questions there, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do realize you have. I recognize that. MR IRVING: 2.5.29, please. The allegation that I invented sources by Mr Charles Sydnor. A. Once again, this is still in a section that is discussing your reputation amongst other historians. Q. So you feel quite comfortable in throwing these kinds of reports or allegations or opinions of other historians at me to criticise my reputation without investigating how true they were? A. It is not a central part of my report, Mr Irving. I am simply trying to establish that some historians have been extremely critical of your methods. That includes particularly Sydnor and Brozsat. I am aware of the fact that you replied to Sydnor and I dealt with that in my response to the written questions which you submitted. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do you adopt Sydnor's criticism? This is . P-89 Mr Irving's problem and I am not unsympathetic towards it. You recite the criticisms that Sydnor makes and then you in some way seem to rather disavow them when you come to give evidence. Are you saying that what Sydnor said is a justified criticism? Or are you simply giving it as background, as it were, to your own criticisms? That is his problem as you, I am sure, understand. A. I can see the problem. Q. If you say well, no, I am not making that any part of my case, then it may be that Mr Irving will feel we can forget about Mr Sydnor. MR IRVING: Yes. We could do that with a whole number of my critics. A. What I am saying, trying to be as precise about it as possible, is that it seems to me that Sydnor is an authoritative critic, but of course I cannot say that every one of his criticisms is justified. It is not in the end part of my case at all. I am not taking up these points and making them in my own treatment of your work. I make a whole set of separate points about your work. This is to do with your reputation amongst historians. MR IRVING: Can I draw your attention to the middle sentence where you say: "In his efforts to present Hitler in a humane light", which is one of the allegations against me, "Irving, wrote Sydnor, manipulated sources, invented incidents" -- that is a pretty serious allegation -- . P-90 "(such as Hitler's supposed rebuke of the Judge Freisler at the conspirators' trial) and once more, as so often, failed to give proper documentary references". Professor, in your work at the Institute of History in Munich though my papers, did you not find the papers of Hitler's Adjutant Schaub? A. Mr Irving, you did not respond to that criticism in your reply to Professor Sydnor in Central European History. MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, but, I think, Mr Irving, you may not have heard or digested what Mr Irving said. He said: "It is not in the end part of my case at all. I am not taking up these points and making them in my own treatment of your work. I make a whole set of separate points about your work". I understand that really to mean that it is what appears from about page, I do not know, 120 onwards which Professor Evans relies on and he does not rely, unless they happen to be in both, on the criticisms by Syndor. I would have thought that that is sufficient for you to be able to say, "Well, right, I can forget about the recitations of other historians' views and get on to what matters". MR IRVING: Except that I would have submitted, my Lord, that in every single instance where he has produced such an episode, I am able to justify myself, as, for example, and this is not without significance as far as his credibility . P-91 as a witness is concerned and his credit worthiness. I will take him to one further episode and then we will skip another 20 pages. (To the witness): Page 59. You applaud, shall we say, John Lukacs' attack on me, is that right, for having invented sources and all the usual allegations? A. No, I do not applaud it. I am summarizing it as part of a discussion of your reputation amongst historians. Q. Right. He writes: "Mr Irving's factual errors are beyond belief. He says that '40 per cent of the prisoners in southern France turned out to be Russians" as one example of how erroneous and factually erroneous I am? A. Yes. Q. Can we go very rapidly to make progress, not just to the review which we will have a look at, but to page 23 of bundle F? A. Yes. Q. Is that a telegram from General Devers to General Marshal and General Eisenhower? A. Yes. Q. Does the sentence that has been ringed on it say: "Prisoners captured are between 1,500 and 2,000 of which about 40 per cent are Russians"? A. Yes, if I just explain that this telegram was issued on 17th August. It notes that the 6th Army Corp. were ashore by 1800 hours. "They occupied all small towns in this . P-92 area which they say delineated by map references, and they are advancing on Toulon which the 3rd Division expects to reach by the morning and landing operations were continuing. The prisoners captured are between 1500 and 2,000 of which about 40 per cent are Russians". So the first point is that -- well, there are many points -- the document does not say that 40 per cent of the prisoners in southern France turned out to be Russians. It just says that 40 per cent of the prisoners taken in a small area of southern France, Near Toulon, in the first few hours of an American landing were Russians. It does not say the Russians were volunteers. So it seems to me that this is an egregious misinterpretation of this document. You are blowing up a small report into a large generalization. Q. This is the report by the Commanding General in command of the entire sector, the entire landing operation, in southern France. I do not really want to spend more time on this than to say that, quite clearly, the reference in my book depended solely on this telegram from Eisenhower's personal papers. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Professor Evans, it is right, is it not? I mean, this is from the Advanced Detachment of Allied Forces Headquarters for the attention, for his eyes only, to Generals Marshall and Eisenhower. It can hardly be a reference to some little skirmish. I mean, it must be a . P-93 global report. Is Mr Irving not entitled to make the point? A. My Lord, he is talking about a few hours of a landing in a relatively small area with 1500 and 2,000 captured prisoners which is really a very small number. I do think it is a manipulation of this source to generalize about 40 per cent of the prisoners in southern France which must refer, surely, to the whole of the southern half of France over the whole period in which the fighting was going on. MR IRVING: No I think you will find ---- A. I think this is a classic example of ---- Q. --- before the words ---- A. --- of Mr Irving's blowing up a small source into a large generalization. Q. I think you will find that before the words "40 per cent" the phrase is "in the initial phase of the attack 40 per cent", but he has cut those words out? A. If you present me with the document, I would be happy to concede that if he has manipulated that. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is a very good illustration of the problems we run into. You have not got the war between the Generals here, have we?
Site Map ·
What's New? ·
© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012
Home · Site Map · What's New? · Search Nizkor