The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day019.17

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Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   Q.   Well, go to the next book then, "Nuremberg, the Last
        Battle", where once again you find fault with my selection
        of illustrations, although on this occasion I have
        included victims of what can loosely be called the
        Holocaust.  I have obtained from a German sale an original
        soldier's album from the Balkans showing these German
        soldiers brutally stringing up obviously defenceless
        civilians and hanging them.  They are the most brutal
        photographs I have ever seen.  They are nightmare
        photographs.  Yet here too you find fault with what I have
   A.   Let me just read your captions:  "Punished",
        headline,  "... snapshots from a German soldier's photo
        album.  The daily routine of a cruel warfare in the

.          P-151

        Balkans.  A German soldier is found mutilated.  The German
        troops take reprisals stringing up the men folk in the
        village like washing on a line.  One by one, a chair
        kicked away ... (reading to the words) ... and then
        painful death by strangulation.  For crimes like these,
        German Generals are executed at Nuremberg ..."
                  Second heading:  "And unpunished.  No Allied
        General is ever called to account for the appalling fire
        raids on Japan, above, or Dresden, left and below.  In
        each of these 1945 raids about 100,000 innocent civilians
        are burned alive", and we know that that is a grossly
        exaggerated figure, "in what is now only universally
        recognised as a crime against international law" which
        I do not believe it is.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We will leave that one -- we will not chase
        that one.
   MR IRVING:  Professor, you are not an expert on international
        law.  I have a lot of evidence that it is, my Lord, but I
        am not going to put it to the court.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We will not chase that one.  I think it is
        not the point.
   MR IRVING:  Yes, but on the photographs here again, it seems I
        just cannot do right.  My Lord, you do not have the
        photographs in front of you, do you?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, but I think this is not an
        point, I think I can get them quite easily.  I know

.          P-152

        exactly the ones that are being referred to.
   MR IRVING:  Yes.  It is a whole page of photographs,
        from a soldier's album showing the reprisals they have
        taken against these people in a Balkan village.
   A.   Yes, you do make it clear that they are reprisals for
        you call the mutilation of a German soldier.
   Q.   And I do have to admit that I have not published the
        gruesome photographs for obvious reasons of taste.
   A.   That did not stop you publishing the photographs of
        victims of the Hamburg bombing raid.
   Q.   Believe me, the ones that I did not publish in the
        Nuremberg book were unpublishable.
   A.   What I am trying to establish here is that you are
        to set up an equivalence between the two sides in
order to
        diminish the importance of the Nazi extermination of
   Q.   If an author has ----
   A.   And, indeed, I mean, in some sense, I think these
        and illustrations do have the effect of suggesting
        what the Allies did was worse than what the Germans
   Q.   Worse?
   A.   Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Because they got away with it scott-free.
   MR IRVING:  If an author has sincerely held views ----
   A.   And because the pictures are more -- have larger
        more gruesome, and so on.

.          P-153

   Q.   If an author has sincerely held views on the morality
        what both sides did in World War II, by way of killing
        innocent people and civilians, is this grounds for him
        be held up to public ridicule and opprobrium and
   A.   This is systematic distortion, I think, in your
        presentation of these pictures, the selection that you
   Q.   Is not the systematic distortion that practised by
        who have suppressed the evidence of crimes that the
        committed during World War II?  I do not really want
to go
        far down this particular road, his Lordship will not
   A.   I am not here to defend the bombing of Dresden and the
        bombing of Hamburg, goodness knows.  I do not think
        these have been suppressed at all.  There has been an
        enormous amount of debate and discussion about these
        passionately argued on both sides.
   Q.   What about an author's right to write about it if he
        these views sincerely, can he do so without fear ----
   A.   I think an author has ----
   Q.   --- of being labelled a Holocaust denier?
   A.   Well, I think an author has a view to try to maintain
        certain balance when talking about the atrocities, to
        that word, committed on both sides.
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   And I do not think you do that.

.          P-154

   Q.   Have I not had a record ever since my very first book
        of speaking out against this kind of air warfare right
        to the present day in Kosovo, and does this not
entitle me
        to adopt a kind of moral equivalency between the two
        crimes, although, obviously, there is no comparison on
   A.   Yes, but what you are doing is to try to establish,
        in terms of numbers as I am arguing in this action and
        terms of the atrocities, the impression to your
        and your audience that the allied bombing of German
        was as bad as or worse than the Nazi killing of Jews
        Auschwitz and elsewhere.  That is really what this is
   Q.   In a few pages' time you say, "On one particular night
        only killed 17,000 people by burning them alive in 20
        minutes", is that right?
   A.   Could you point me to that passage?
   Q.   Page 114.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Line 5, you are suggesting that killing 17,600 people
        burning them alive in the space of 20 minutes is in
        way, I do not know, not a crime?
   A.   No.  What I say here is that ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Read it out, would you, Professor Evans,
        since that suggestion is being put?
   A.   Yes, I will read that out, yes.  This refers back to a

.          P-155

        lengthy quote on the previous page where you talk
        25,000 people being killed in 25 minutes in Pforzheim
        an allied air raid in 25 minutes, and in Auschwitz
        were 25,000 killed in four years.  "When you put
        into perspective like that, it diminishes their
         - that word with a capital letter", "their" meaning ,
        presumably, the Jews.
                  I point out in the passage that you cite
        your equivalence does not stand up to examination,
        apart from the gross minimization of the Auschwitz
        because you exaggerate the number of deaths caused by
        Pforzheim raid, which was estimated in a report of the
        Statistical Office of the City of Pforzheim in 1954
not as
        25,000 or 27,000, as you claim, but as 17,600.  So you
        deliberately trying to say 25,000, 25,000, and, in
        it is not that equivalence at all.
                  That does not mean to say that I justify the
        bombing of Pforzheim; that does not come into it at
        I am simply trying to talk about the way that you
        these things.
   MR IRVING:  Can we just go back to Nuremberg, please?  You
        suggest that at the end of paragraph 8 on page 110
        the way I juxtaposed those photographs was intended to
        imply to the careless reader that the perpetrators of
        atrocities were Jews, that the atrocities were
        by Jews and that they were getting their -- is there

.          P-156

        justification at all for this suggestion?
   A.   Yes.  It seems to me that that is what seems to be the
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think I had better have a look at that.
   MR IRVING:  I think your Lordship ought to have a look at
        because it is a serious allegation.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I could not find the photographs.
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is between 182 and 183.
   MR RAMPTON:  In Nuremberg it is after 182.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I follow that.  Where does it come in the
        great wodge of photographs?
   MR RAMPTON:  It is after a panorama of Nuremberg Defendants
        with somebody or other giving a -- Robert H Jackson
        a speech for the Prosecution, I think.
   MR IRVING:  I will have the actual book brought tomorrow,
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Rampton has it; I may have to look at
        because I have a slight feeling that ----
   MR RAMPTON:  It is worth looking at the original actually,
        I may suggest it?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I have a feeling the photograph has not
        some reason found its way into my ----
   MR RAMPTON:  I think the witness should have it too.
   MR IRVING:  Again the quality of the photographs is
        remarkable.  They are original colour photographs to

.          P-157

        Nuremberg trials and this is the standard I am going
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is not really the point, is it?
   MR IRVING:  Well, it is the basis I make the selection of
        that I publish.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Actually, I would rather look at the
        original.  Well, the point that Professor Evans is
        is, obviously, in reference to the photograph on the
        left-hand side under the text and they do have a
   MR IRVING:  Undoubtedly, they are Jews.  Undoubtedly, they
        also being swept up into the general Holocaust on that
        site.  But I think to suggest that by the
juxtaposition of
        the photographs I had implied in any way at all that
        were guilty for whatever had befallen the German
troops or
        whatever, that is perverse and unjustified and
        unintentional on my part.
   A.   Well the caption does say:  "A German soldier is found
        mutilated.  The German troops take reprisals".
   Q.   Yes.  But, as you know, the reprisal is just swept up,
        round number of males in the area and liquidated them,
        murdered them?
   A.   It is a question of what the captions and the pictures
   Q.   But nowhere is it suggested in the caption that the
        victims on those pictures have been picked for that

.          P-158

   A.   No, it is a matter of suggestion really.  It was what
        pictures suggest.  I mean, of their very nature
        are suggestive, captions are short.  As you say, they
        very powerful -- worth a thousand words.
   Q.   To summarise, before we move on, this is a page of
        photographs of victims of the Nazis, is that right?
   A.   I believe I say so, yes.
   Q.   So that your suggestion in the previous book that I do
        publish photographs of the victims of the Nazis does
        always hold up?
   A.   Well, I say you -- in the previous book I mention that
        have a picture of the train at Riga.  That is the only
        picture of the Nazis' Jewish victims to set aside
        extremely graphic pictures of the victims of allied
        bombing raids.
   Q.   So, somebody who is minimizing something like that in
        their books is a Holocaust denier, is that part of the
   A.   What you are trying to do -- all of this is about your
        attempt to establish an equivalence between the two,
as it
        were, to suggest that essentially all sides in the
        World War committed crimes of some dimensions.  That
        what we are really talking about.  I think that is an
        element in Holocaust denial.
   Q.   In Sir Winston Churchill's books, were there any
        photographs at all of train loads of Jews at Riga or

.          P-159

        anywhere else on his History of the Second World War,
   A.   I do not recall.  I am not sure I see the relevance of
        that in any case to what you do in your books.
   Q.   That is for his Lordship to decide.  If someone like
        Winston Churchill writes a six-volume history without
        mentioning the Holocaust or the killing of Jews in
        line, does that make him a Holocaust denier or does it
        mean times have now changed?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think we can do better than take time
        that question.
   MR IRVING:  We can indeed, my Lord, we are now going to
come to
        a little piece of gold on page 111.  In paragraph 10
        accuse me once again of exaggerating the numbers
killed in
        allied bombing raids.  The number of Germans killed in
        allied bombing raids, is that correct?
   A.   Yes, that is right.
   Q.   But you do not distort documents or quotations in
order to
        justify that kind of allegation?
   A.   I am not sure what you are referring to here.
   Q.   All will shortly become plain.  Will you go to the
        paragraph 111?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Here you say on page 441 of Goebbels:  "He describes
        numbers of those killed in the bombing raid on Hamburg
        27, 26, 28 July 1943 as 'nearly 50,000'".

.          P-160

   A.   Yes.
   Q.   That was the big fire storm, was it not, that summer?
   A.   Yes, that is right.
   Q.   Operation Gomorrah, the British call it?
   A.   Yes, it is 48,000 in the captions of Hitler's War which
        I cite on page 109.

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