The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day027.13


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day027.13
Last-Modified: 2000/07/25

.          P-112



   Q.   Yes, thank you.  You made reference to the
        Wehrsportgruppe, the military exercise units, and
        Mr Rampton rightly asked you, rather like the Americans
        who go running around pooping off guns at each other in
        World War II uniforms, there is that kind of comparison,
        is there not?  The same kind of thing happens in the
        United States?
   A.   I am shy to compare these different, you know, political
        cultures, but there are some to a limit some comparable
        things there.
   Q.   There is no suggestion, is there, that I have any
        connection with one particular group, the Hoffmann group,
        which you mention in your report?
   A.   No, I did not mention it in relation to David Irving.
        I did mention it in relation to, and this was an
        interesting, you know, action, with respect to the DVU and
        its leader, Gerhard Frey, who so eagerly tried to be legal
        and said in the letters to David Irving again and again:
         "Don't mention Jews, don't mention Hitler, just because
        to be not illegalized as an extremist party".  So it was
         -- I wondered very much that this could happen in the
        late '70s with Gerhard Frey ----
   Q.   But there was no reason why ----
   A.   --- and Hoffmann.
   Q.   --- you are not implying that I had any connection with
        that group?

.          P-113



   A.   No, no, not at all.  It shows, you know, the extent in
        which right-wing extremism, although legal, tried to
        extend their behaviour.
   Q.   Now you say that in March 1991 it was planned to invite me
        to Wansiedel?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   To speak on Rudolf Hess.  Are you familiar with the fact
        that I am an expert on Rudolf Hess and that I have
        published a book on Rudolf Hess?
   A.   I know that you published a book on Rudolf Hess.
   Q.   Yes.  So would I be a natural speaker to invite to a
        function like that?
   A.   I have to put it differently to answer it correctly
        according to my knowledge, and to my judgments, of course,
        that goes with it, the invitation to speak there was
        multifaceted.  It was also how you present Rudolf Hess to
        a given audience, so they knew whom they want to invite
        and have there speaking, and the letters back and forth
        are very interesting in that respect.  As I mentioned
        earlier, you did not answer positively because of the
        appearance of ----
   Q.   Well, this is the next question.
   A.   OK.
   Q.   Can I ask the questions in sequence, please?  The book
        that I wrote about Rudolf Hess would have told them what
        they needed to know, would it not, what my attitude on

.          P-114



        that man was?
   A.   Say again?
   Q.   The book that I wrote about Rudolf Hess would have told
        them what my attitude on that man was?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Was that attitude reprehensible, in your view?
   A.   I say, I just say that in combination of the book and how
        you present the Rudolf Hess case in your speeches in
        Germany makes it valid for these neo-Nazis to invite you.
   Q.   Is there any difference between the hypotheses that I set
        in my book on Rudolf Hess and the content of my speeches
        on Rudolf Hess which have been printed several times?
        There is no distinction?
   A.   Again I would pinpoint to the context, the political
        context.
   Q.   You accept that the book on Rudolf Hess was published by
        Macmillan & Company in this country which is one of our
        most prestigious companies?
   A.   So far I know.
   Q.   And that they would be unlikely to publish a neo-Nazi or
        Holocaust denial book or an anti-Semitic book on Rudolf Hess?
   A.   I did not say that.
   Q.   The reason that -- we now come to the point you are about
        to make -- I finally rejected the invitation to spoke at
        Wansiedel, do you know what that reason was?

.          P-115



   A.   So far as I got a clue by the diaries and the letters
        between Worch and you and others.
   Q.   Tell the court what the reason was, so far as you know?
   A.   You did not want to be on a demonstration or an event
        where also Michael Kuhnen would be there.
   Q.   Yes, I refused to be in the same place as Michael Kuhnen.
        Does that tell you anything about my contact, to use that
        word, with Mr Michael Kuhnen?
   A.   I did not say that you cooperated with Michael Kuhnen, but
        with the main successors and cooperators of Michael
        Kuhnen.  So with the person you did not do a lot so far as
        the data are there.
   Q.   Can I just ask you to look quickly at the little bundle of
        documents?  It should be page 9 or page 8.  It is a letter
        from me to the Der Spiegel?
   A.   Yes, it is 8.
   Q.   Page 8 or 9, is it?
   A.   It is 8.
   Q.   Is this a letter in which in the second paragraph I am
        telling Der Spiegel and their readers:  "It is not
        accurate to say that in August I will speak at a function
        of Mr Kuhnen in Wansiedel in connection with a memorial
        function for Rudolf Hess"?
   A.   Yes, as you said before.
   Q.   Then when Der Spiegel refused to publish the letter,
        because they had said exactly the opposite, that on

.          P-116



        February 17th 1991, if you will turn to the next page,
        please, I then wrote to my lawyer -- I am sorry, this is
        not the right letter at all.  Do we have the right letter?
   A.   Maybe it is my report.
   Q.   Yes, it is.  I am sorry.  It is page 30.  Page 30 of that bundle?
   A.   What bundle?  Your bundle, yes.
   Q.   It is either page 29 or page 39, probably page 30.  It is
        headed "Discovery 12.8.9"?
   A.   29 is a sheet of paper with nothing.
   Q.   It should be headed "Discovery 12.8.9"?
   A.   Maybe it is before, I do not know.  No, it is blank.
        Maybe I get yours for a minute.  Thank you.
   Q.   Am I asking my Munich lawyer from Sprade, who is a
        reputable firm of lawyers, to take action to force
        Der Spiegel to publish this dissociation of any contact
        between myself and Mr Kuhnen?
   A.   I have to read it.  May I read the passage that is of
        interest?
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   Quotation -- no, Kuhnen had been identified in the
        previous paragraph as follows.  Then quotation: "Also",
        that refers Der Spiegel, quotation, "Also, neo-Nazis like
        the self-proclaimed Fuhrer of the West German Brown
        movement, Michael Kuhnen, 34, intend to use Irving
        increasingly as a figure head.  They plan", quotation,

.          P-117



        'close collaboration'" quotation end, then quotation
         "with respectable person like this", quotation end,
         "Kuhnen hopes we will also reach circles that otherwise
        give us a wide berth".
   MR IRVING:  Yes.  Let me ask you a question on that now.
   A.   So it is right again that you did not take sides with
        Kuhnen himself, but you took sides with the Kuhnen movement.
   Q.   In fact, I made it quite plain to Der Spiegel that I have
        not the slightest intention of allowing them to use me.
        Is that right?
   A.   You were very clear on that.
   Q.   And can you suggest any reason why a magazine like Der
        Spiegel would print the opposite story?  Would there be an
        intention to defame me?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is neither here nor there and anyway, he
        cannot possibly say.
   MR IRVING:  While you have the bundle in front of you, can
        I ask you to look at page 28?
   A.   That is blank.  There is nothing there.
   Q.   Page 27?
   A.   Yes, there is something.
   Q.   Discovery 10.96?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Is there a letter translated from one of Germany's leading
        publishing houses, Robot Publishing House, to myself dated

.          P-118



        July 2nd 1985?
   A.   That is right.
   Q.   It is a letter from somebody called Dr Michael Naumand.
        Does that name mean anything to you?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   What is Dr Michael Naumand now, please?
   A.   Minister of Culture.
   Q.   At that time he was the Chief Editor of Robot Publishing
        House?
   A.   Right.
   Q.   Here he is writing a letter, "Dear Mr Irving, Mr Hochhut
        has drawn my attention" -- who is Rolf Hochhut, do you know?
   A.   He is a playwriter in Germany, for example, on Pious
        12th's relation to the Nazi period.
   Q.   Is he a left wing liberal?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, I am not quite sure what this goes
        to but Mr Naumand is expressing an interest in your
        forthcoming biography of Winston Churchill.  Where do we
        go from there, as it were, especially with this witness?
   MR IRVING:  It is very difficult to do this with any other
        witness, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You have done it with me.  For what it is
        worth, I have got the point.  I think you have better
        weapons in your armoury on this point.
   MR IRVING:  I am being accused of having the whole rogues

.          P-119



        gallery, to use Mr Rampton's phrase, of sleezy right- wing
        extremist friends and in fact I have a"du" friendship with
        Rolf Hochhut, who is one of Germany's leading left wing
        liberal playwright since February 1965.  This was the
        point I hoped to bring out, I had hoped, in about ten
        seconds of cross-examination.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  All right.  Ask the question.
   MR IRVING:  Well, do you know who Rolf Hochhut is?  Is he a
        left wing liberal German playwright?
   A.   He is a play writer, who attacked in his plays very harsh
        the silence of Pope Pious the 12th on the issue of the
        Holocaust during the Nazi period.
   Q.   So he is the opposite of a Holocaust denier, then?
   A.   I would say so, and he is a belover --
   THE INTERPRETER:  An admirer.
   A.   An admirer of Hans Junge, who is on the right, so I cannot
        say if he is a left liberal or right.  He is a playwright.
   Q.   Yes.  He is a playwright.
   A.   A famous playwright.
   Q.   Have you seen about 5,000 items of correspondence between
        me and Mr Hochhut in the discovery?
   A.   I did not see 5,000 or whatever, but I saw in the diary
        that you met him in a very friendly manner.
   Q.   Yes, thank you very much.  You mentioned that Mr Staglich,
        the late Mr Staglich, was a former judge.  Did he retire?
   A.   Oh this case, I am not very ----

.          P-120



   Q.   You do not know the answer to that?
   A.   I am not very informed about that whole biography of
        Mr Staglich.
   Q.   You do not know if he retired?
   A.   There were quarrels because of his denialist or so books
        and, if I get a minute, I can answer a bit better than
        just now.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  If Mr Irving puts to you that he lost his
        job, is that right, because of his right-wing views?
   MR IRVING:  That he was dismissed from his position for
        his views on German history.
   A.   This is my recollection, but I was not sure, so I am
        cautious.
   Q.   Does this often happen in German?  Are judges frequently
        relieved of their position by the Ministry of Justice for
        having incorrect----
   A.   That is seldom.  It is related to this, especially -- for
        example, to other things also -- to the Holocaust denier
        things because of the state of laws in Germany.
   Q.   Do you know how difficult it is to remove an English judge
        from their position?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think we are straying a bit.  That was not
        said defensively or anything like that!  But let us move
        on.  We are slowing down.
   MR IRVING:  The point is I was about to come on to Gunter
        Deckert.  Did the same thing happen in the case of Gunter

.          P-121



        Deckert?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   You mentioned the case of Gunter Deckert, who is
        admittedly a friend of mine.  He has been in prison now
        for seven years.  What happened originally?  Was he
        acquitted by two judges?
   A.   There was back and forth decision processes in Manheim and
        on higher levels of various courts, because of this
        denialist thing, and this leads to the whole issue how the
        German, after 45 for public, deals with this kind of
        incitement.
   Q.   Incitement to hatred?
   A.   And hatred and insult.
   Q.   Defaming the memory of the dead?
   A.   Insult of dead people, defamation, right.  Thank you.
        This is a very decisive, very important thing in the whole
        debate between the judicial system and political and
        law-making processes.
   Q.   All rather unpleasant.  Can you confirm that the two
        judges in the Court of Appeal said unanimously that they
        found that Gunter Deckert was an outstanding teacher and a
        patriot who had done what he considered to be best for his
        country and they acquitted him on that ground?
   A.   I have to see the events.  I do not know.
   Q.   Do you know what happened thereupon to those two judges,
        Judge Ortlett and another?

.          P-122



   A.   Give me the evidence, to be sure.

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