Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day032.17 Last-Modified: 2000/07/25 The officials of the IHR nearly all hold academic qualifications. True they are not trained historians, but then neither are some of the most famous names of historians in both ancient and contemporary . P-199 times. It is clear from correspondence before the court that I recognize he short-comings in the old IHR, and I was keen to introduce them to new speakers, including mainline scholars, historians like John Toland who did in fact speak there, Professor Ernst Nolte and Michael Beschloss. I am not and never have been an official of the IHR. At most, one of many friendly advisers. As for speaking engagements, my association with the IHR has been the same as my association with (I use the word "association" again), for example, Cambridge University Fabian Society because I spoke there too, or the Trinity College Dublin Lit. & Debc., or any other body of enlightened people keen to hear alternative views. Professor Evans in his odious attempts to smear and defile my name which I hope will long haunt him in the common rooms at Cambridge, called me a frequent speaker at the IHR, and may I say "so what?" None of my lectures had a Holocaust denial or anti-Semitic or extremist theme. I spoke on Churchill, on Pearl Harbour, on Rommel, on the Goebbels' Diaries, on my Eichmann papers find, and on general problems of writing history. The court has learned that I have in fact addressed functions of the IHR only five times in seventeen years, one lecture each time. No amount of squirming by this expert witness could increase that figure. It is true that I socialized before or after the event with the IHR officials and their . P-200 wives. So what? It is true that I use their warehousing facilities. So what? It is true that the IHR, along with thousands of other retail outlets sell my books. So what? It is true that I introduced them to subjects which some members of their audience found deeply uncomfortable, for example, the confessions of Adolf Eichmann, the harrowing Bruns report and the Kristallnacht. I would willingly read out the relevant extracts of my lectures to the IHR, but my Lord, through the courtesy and industry of the Defendants' solicitors, which I have already had cause to praise, your Lordship is already funded with extensive transcripts of precisely those talks, and I would ask that your Lordship read them or look at them with this paragraph in mind. I am accused of telling audiences what they want to hear, and that may be partially true, but, by Jove, having done so, then I used the goodwill generated like that to tell them a lot of things they very much did not want to hear. The Defendants would willingly overlook that aspect of my association with the IHR, and I trust that the court will not. As for the National Alliance, an organization of which the Defence makes much, once again, as an Englishman ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: You have dealt with that already. MR IRVING: We have had it, but I am back again, my Lord. It . P-201 must have been quite late at night when I wrote this part. As an Englishman I am completely unfamiliar with he nature the National Alliance, its logo and its name. It may be that the name means more to the Defendants and to those who are financing the efforts than it means to me. It certainly meant nothing to the English members of the gallery on the day that it was mentioned here. I have no meaningful contacts with the organization as such. One or at most two of its individuals members who were already on my mailing list volunteered, like scores of other Americans, to organize lectures for me. One was Erich Gliebe who has always organized my lectures Cleveland in Ohio. On the evidence of his notepaper from the year 1990 (that is ten years ago now) he is also a National Alliance member. I ask the court to accept that when asked about it ten years later I had long forgotten receiving that one letter from him with its heading and its logo. Before each lecture date I mailed an invitation letter to my entire mailing list of friends in each State. The audience was, therefore, largely my own people, if I can put it like that. That is why Mr Breeding rather superfluously welcomes the strangers in his opening remarks on the Florida video tape as seen. Had he told me he would also claim to do so on behalf of his organization, I would have told him not to. It was my function and the audience were my guests and not . P-202 his. The photographs taken at this meeting shows, as the Defendants' own agents have warranted, no formal National Alliance presence, flags, arm bands or whatever. The witness statement of Rebecca Gutmann has confirmed this. Learned counsel for the Defendants has drawn attention to one 18-inch wide pennant, that is my estimate, displayed at the function on a side wall with what they state is the National Alliance logo on it visible on the video film. Its logo appears to be based on the CND design. I did not notice it at the time nor would I have had the faintest idea what it was if I did. Evidently Mr Gliebe told me that his pals at the National Alliance had had a hand in organizing my successful Cleveland function, and that is why I noted in my diary with a hint of surprise that it turns out that the National Alliance had organized the other meeting too. The court may agree that this phrase alone is evidence that their involvement was (A) not manifest, and (B) not known to me before. Given that the audience was largely my own making, it does not seem worthy of much note. I submit that this kind of defence evidence really does not meet the enhanced standard of proof required by law on defamation for justification of the more serious charges. . P-203 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think you need bother with the next paragraph frankly. MR IRVING: In general, it is also to be stated that at material times, namely when associated with those individuals, they were not extremists -- I take it that your Lordship accepts what I said in that paragraph? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think, frankly, that the evidence of your contacts with the BNP amounts to anything. MR IRVING: Thank you very much. In general, it is also to be stated that at material times, namely when I was associated with those individuals, they were not extremists; nor has it been shown to the court that at that time they were. Thus at the time I first met this young man Ewald Althans in Germany late in October 1989, he seemed full of promise and eager to learn. I later learned that he had been to Israel for six months on a German Government voluntary scheme for young Germans who wished to atone. Over the two or three years that our orbits occasionally intercepted I could see that he was growing more extreme and provocative in his actions. He also became undependable and wayward in a number of non-political ways that I mentioned in court. According to Der Spiegel at his 1995 trial in Berlin, Althans had acted for the Bavarian security authorities as a top agent until 1994 when they ended the liaison. The German security authorities had, as . P-204 Professor Funke agreed, a record of hiring agents provocateurs. I now come to Ernst Zundel, the next paragraph. Ernst Zundel is a German born Canadian [sic] for whose own particular views I hold no brief. I later learned that he had apparently written some provocatively-themed books with tongue-in-cheek titles on flying saucers in Antarctica, and on the "Adolf Hitler that I knew and loved", which is said to be worst than outre; wild horses would not make me read such books myself. I had met him in 1986 and found that as a personality he was not as dark as had been painted in the media. I was asked to give expert evidence at his trial in Toronto in 1988 relating to the Third Reich and Hitler's own involvement in the Holocaust. I did so to the best of my professional abilities, and I was told that I had earned the commendation of the court in doing so. It is plain to me from what I know that Mr Zundel has been subjected to 20-year onslaught by the Canadian organizations dedicated to combatting what they regard as Holocaust denial because of his dissident views, which are certainly more extreme than mine. My own relationship with Mr Zundel has been proper throughout, and the court has not been given any evidence to the contrary. At times it has even been strained because of the misfortune inflicted on me in retribution for having . P-205 spoken at his trial. My Lord, there remain one or two minor matters, in my view. The Defendants alleged that I wilfully exaggerated the Dresden death roll in my 1963 book "The Destruction of Dresden", and that I had no basis for my figures. I have satisfied this court, I believe, that at all times (A) I set and published the proper upper and lower limits for estimates that I gave, giving a wide range of figures which necessarily decreased overall over the years as our state of information improved, and that (B) I had an adequate basis for the various figures which I provided in my works at the material times. It has to be said that authors have little or no control over the content of books that are sub-licensed by their main publisher to other publishers. Revisions are not encouraged for costs reasons. I have always been aware of the highly charged political nature of the figures quote for this event, the bombing of Dresden. The highest figure of 250,000, which I mentioned in my books only as the maximum ever alleged, was given, for example, by the German Chancellor Dr Comrade Ardenau in a West German official government publication which I showed the court. The lowest figures only became available in a book published in 1994 by Fredrich Reichardt. A copy of this book was provided to me in 1997. By that time I had already published the . P-206 latest updated version of my book which is now called "Apocalypse 1945, The Destruction of Dresden", in which I had lowered the death roll still further on the basis of my on investigations and considerations. This was the first edition over which I, not the publisher, had total control, as it appeared under my own imprint. In 1965, as the court is aware, I received written estimates of 140,000 and 180,000 dead from a rather anxious Soviet zone citizen, Dr Max Funfack, who claimed to have received them about nine days after the raid from the City Commandant and the Chief Civil Defence Officer respectively, both of them his personal friends. That being so, there was no reason why I should have revised the 135,000 estimate which I had earlier received from Hans Voigt, a city official charged with drawing up death lists when I was researching my first book in 1961. In 1966 I received the police final report of March 1945. While still remaining sceptical about it for the reasons stated, for example, the officer was responsible for Dresden's ARP and it was too early to achieve any kind of overall final figure, the number of refugees killed was also an imponderable. I took the correct action, however. I sent to letter to The Times within a few days of finding the new documents, that is July 1996, within a few days of finding the new documents in the mail on my return from a trip to the United . P-207 States. Not only that, but at my own expense I had the letter reprinted and sent to hundreds of historians and the like. One hopes that the expert witnesses whom we saw in the witness stand on behalf of the Defence would have had the same integrity to do the same kind of thing. As for the Goebbels diaries, the Defendants, as I understand it, do not now seek to justify their claim that I broke an agreement with the Moscow archives in 1992. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think that is right, but do not take time on it because I think I know what the case is. MR IRVING: They have withdrawn witness reports of the Russian archivists and will provide me no opportunity to cross-examine them. I was prepared to pursue those cross-examinations most vigorously. I produced a witness statement from Mr Peter Millar of the Sunday Times, my colleague in Moscow, and I made him available for cross-examination. He confirmed that there was no verbal or written agreement, as I had also stated in my various replies, so therefore I could not have broken it. The Defendants have left no satisfactory evidence before the court that refutes this, in my submission. Mr Millar also confirmed to the court that he did not agree that my conduct gave rise to significant risk of damage to the plates. The plates had been withheld from historians by the Russians for 55 years or . P-208 more. That figure of course is wrong. It is 48 years at that time, I am sorry. The plates have been withheld from historians for 48 years or more. By my actions I made this historically very important materials available to the world, and I placed copies of them in the appropriate German archives at my own expense. My Lord, I make submission now on the Heinrich Muller document. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think I would read that out if I were you. I think that is not the best way of dealing with it. MR IRVING: No. I will leave it as a written submission. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Have you seen what -- I am sure you have seen it because I have a copy of a letter to you with attachments. MR IRVING: I have seen it, my Lord, yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: In the light of those attachments and including Professor Longerich's really quite helpful account of his investigations, what is your submission? MR IRVING: I am not challenging the authenticity of the document, my Lord, but I am asking that attention be paid to the fact that it is highly unsatisfactory that I am not provided in good time, in a timeous manner, with the file dated that I needed in order to go behind the document and establish whether there was anything which would undermine the purport that the defendants were seeking to attach to . P-209 that document. MR JUSTICE GRAY: You mean the other documents in the same file? MR IRVING: Like in the case of the Schlegelberger document, which enabled the Defendants to attack the meaning of the Schlegelberger document, because they had documents relating to it in the same file which enabled them to narrow it down and say this is clearly a reference to the Mischlinge. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Sorry, we are talking about the Muller document, are we not? MR IRVING: We are talking about the Muller document. I am saying that, had I had the other documents in the same file ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: What has it got to do with Mischlinge? MR IRVING: I could have gone behind the Muller document, using the other documents in the same file. MR JUSTICE GRAY: You mean as you did with Schlegelberger? MR IRVING: As they did with Schlegelberger. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I follow. I am not quite sure, Dr Longerich wrote to Dr Aaron Reich, as I understand it, to see what other documents there were in the file, but I do not know what the result was, or indeed when the question was asked. You do not know either? MR IRVING: I asked the question and I was given a totally fictitious file number in the German Federal archives. . P-210 MR RAMPTON: Not by us. MR IRVING: It was given by you because it was in the footnote of one of your expert reports as being the source. MR JUSTICE GRAY: As I understand it, and do not let us talk over each other too much, my understanding is that first time around the wrong file number was given, but then later the correct file number is thought to have been discovered, which then prompted Dr Longerich to write to or to fax Dr Aaron Reich, asking if he could say what the other documents in this file are. MR IRVING: The correct file number was then notified to me this last weekend, which of course gave me no time whatsoever to do the kind of research that I would have had to do. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Anyway, your position is you do not deny its authenticity, but you do say that the provenance is unsatisfactory. MR IRVING: I do say it has been improperly produced to me in a manner which has made it impossible for me to attack its meaning, but I have attacked its meaning nevertheless in my submission. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I know you have.
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