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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day001.06


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day001.06
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, I see the time.  I think probably
        we will adjourn.  My recollection of this document is

.          P-43


        (which I have not seen as a document before) that it is
        relied on by the Defendants for the reference to the
        Fuhrer's orders on page 1, is that right?
   MR RAMPTON:  And also the one on page 2.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Towards the end.
   MR IRVING:  I have no objection to that, my Lord.  The
reason
        why I rely on it now will become plain as we continue
        after lunch.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Of course.  Yes, I am not stopping you;
it is
        just that now it is after 1 o'clock.  Yes, Mr Rampton?
   MR RAMPTON:  Can I ask your Lordship's indulgence?  I too
have
        written an opening statement.  Your Lordship has not
seen
        it.  It is very short, comparatively speaking.  Can I
hand
        it up so that your Lordship can read it over the
lunch?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.  Mr Irving has had a copy?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.  It is only by that route that the press
can
        have copies of it.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I do not know whether we are going to
manage
        to get to your speech today in a way -- if we did,
yes.
   MR RAMPTON:  That is why.  Once this court has read it,
then it
        is a public document.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I will look at it over the adjournment.
   MR RAMPTON:  I am grateful.
                     (Luncheon adjournment)
   (2.00 p.m.)
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, Mr Irving?

.          P-44



   MR IRVING:  My Lord, when we adjourned I just completed
reading
        out to what you I was calling the Bruns Report ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.
   MR IRVING:  --- which was an eyewitness account by a German
        General (unaware he was being overheard) of a mass
        shooting of Jewish civilians which he had witnessed in
        Riga on a particular Sunday which I maintain was
November
        30th 1941.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.
   MR IRVING:  He had said, you will recall, that one of the
        gunmen had called out:  "'Here comes a Jewish beauty.
        I can see it all in my memory:  a pretty woman in a
flame
        coloured chemise."  I understand Mr Rampton to say
that he
        is going to rely on the last sentence which is a
reference
        to the Fuhrer and the order.
                  I will now continue.
                  My Lord, permit me a word about the
credentials
        of that particular document.  It is authentic.  It
comes
        from the British archives.  A copy can be found in the
        Public Record Office this very day, if anyone wishes
to go
        and see it.
                  First:  is the General describing something
he
        had really seen?  I mention this because later, on his
        sworn oath in the witness stand in Nuremberg, this
same
        General claimed only to have heard of this atrocity;
yet
        there can surely be no doubt of the verisimilitude.
It

.          P-45



        does not take university level textual analysis to
realize
        that if a General says:  "I can see her in my mind's
eye
        now, a girl in a flame-red dress", this is a man who
has
        been there and seen it with his own eyes.
                  This document has, in my submission,
        considerable evidentiary value.  It is not self-
serving.
        The General is not testifying in his own interest.  He
is
        merely talking, probably in a muffled whisper, to
fellow
        prisoners at a British interrogation centre, and he
has no
        idea that in another room British experts are
listening to
        and recording every word.  We also have the original
        German text of this document, I might add, my Lord.
                  So to what purpose do I mention this?  Well,
        firstly, because I shall later on in these proceedings
add
        further unknown documents from the same superb British
        archives -- that is the Public Record Office --
documents
        that go to the events of this one day, November 30th
1941,
        documents which show Adolf Hitler taking a most
remarkable
        stand on this atrocity.
                  But I also adduce this document for the
        following reason which is immediately of importance,
given
        the title of the book: "Denying the Holocaust".  I
adduce
        this document for the following reason:  if an
historian
        repeatedly refers to this document, the Bruns Report;
if
        he quotes from it; if he immediately writes as soon as
he
        finds it showing it to fellow historians, both Jews
and

.          P-46



        non-Jews alike, and in writing draws their attention
to
        the existence of this document, and its fellow
documents,
        all of which were hitherto unknown to them; if,
moreover,
        that historian reads out this document in public, with
its
        awful, infernal descriptions of the mass killings of
Jews
        by the Nazis on the Eastern front on multiple speaking
        occasions; if this historian, speaking to audiences
even
        of the most extreme hues of left and right, heedless
as to
        their anger, insists on reading out the document in
full,
        thus "rubbing their noses in it", so to speak; if
        continues to do so over a period of 15 years again and
        again right up to the present date, and if he quotes
that
        document in the text and references that document in
the
        footnotes of all his most recent works, beginning with
the
        "Hitler's War", the biography, the republication in
1991,
        through "Goebbels.  Mastermind of the Third Reich" in
        1996 and "Nuremberg, the Last Battle" in 1997, if all
        these things are true, then is it not a libel of the
most
        grotesque and offensive nature to brand that same
        historian around the world as a "Holocaust denier"
when he
        has not only discovered and found and propagated this
        document and brought it to the attention of both his
        colleagues and his rivals and his foes, regardless of
        their race or religion, and to countless audiences?
                  This is not an isolated example, my Lord.
In
        Introduction to my biography of Adolf Hitler,
"Hitler's

.          P-47



        War", which was published by The Viking Press in
America
        and by Hodder & Stoughton in the United Kingdom and
later
        by Macmillan, we shall find that I have drawn specific
and
        repeated attention of the reader to the crimes that
Adolf
        Hitler committed.
                  How did all this happen?  I shall invite the
        court to hear expert evidence on the relationship
between
        the world's Jewish communities and the rest of us,
given
        by a professor of sociology at a leading American
        university who has published a number of book-length
        studies on the topic.
                  The Jewish community, their fame and
fortunes,
        play a central role in these proceedings.  It will not
        surprise the court, I suppose, that among the
allegations
        levelled against me by the Defendants by their experts
is
        the adjective of "anti-Semitic".
                  This adjective is both the most odious and
the
        most overworked of epithets.  Almost invariably it is
        wielded by members or representatives of that
community to
        denigrate those outside their community in whom they
find
        disfavour.
                  It does not matter that the person whom they
        label as anti-Semitic has conducted himself towards
that
        community in an irreproachable manner until then; it
does
        not matter that he has shown them the same favours
that he
        has shown to others; it does not seem to matter either

.          P-48



        that that same community who thus labels him or her
has
        conducted against him an international campaign of the
        most questionable character in an attempt to destroy
his
        legitimacy, the economic existence upon which he and
his
        family depends.
                  If he defends himself against these attacks,
he
        is sooner or later bound to be described as anti-
Semitic.
                  It has become a ritual.  No doubt the
English
        people, who in 1940 found it necessary to defend
        themselves against the Germans, would by the same
token
        earn the title of anti-German.  Is a person who
defends
        himself ultimately and wearily and after turning the
other
        cheek for 20 or 30 years ipso facto no better than the
        most incorrigible kind of ingrained anti-Semite with
whom
        we are probably all familiar?  I submit that he is
not.
                  This court will find that, like most
Englishmen,
        I have had dealings with both English and foreign Jews
        throughout my professional life.
                  There were, to my knowledge, no pupils of
the
        Jewish faith at the minor Essex Public School that
        I attended (in common with our present Home Secretary)
        from 1947 to 1956.  In fact, I was surprised when I
        recently heard the suggestion that there had been one.
                  I encountered many Jewish students when I
        attended London University, however.  I would like to
        commemorate here the name of my flat mate at Imperial

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        College, Mike Gorb, who died tragically in a
        mountaineering accident.  I regarded as a good friend
        another senior student, Jon Bloc.  There was one
student,
        a Mr Peter L, who began agitating against me for the
views
        that I profounded while at University, views I can no
        longer remember; and I have to confess that I found
his
        agitation both perplexing and irritating because it
all
        seemed rather petty and spiteful at the time.
                  As my own witness statement recalls, at the
time
        of the Anglo-Israeli-French "police action" in Suez in
        1956, I joined student demonstrations on behalf of the
        Israelis, though for the life of me now I cannot
remember
        why.  It is the kind of thing you do when you are a
        student.
                  My Lord, when my first book was published,
"The
        Destruction of Dresden" in 1963, I became
uncomfortably
        aware that I had somehow offended the Jewish
community.
        I did not at the time realize why and I do not fully
        realise why even today.  Whatever the reason, their
        journalists were in the spearhead of the attack on me.
As
        other books appeared, this polarisation among the
English
        critics became more pronounced.  I remember the name
of
        Mr Arthur Pottersman, writing for a tabloid newspaper
--
        the Daily Sketch -- as being one of the few vicious
        critics, not of Dresden book but of my person.
                  My publisher, Mr William Kimber, to whom I

.          P-50



        have earlier referred, recommended to me the services
of
        his lawyer, Mr Michael Rubinstein, a name with which
the
        older members of this court may perhaps be familiar --
a
        very well known lawyer at the time.  Mr Kimber said to
me
        in his drawling, affable voice:  "You will like
Michael.
        He is very Jewish but a very Christian kind of a Jew,
        rather like Jesus Christ".  You remember that kind of
        thing.  It is the kind of inexplicable sentence that
one
        remembers even now, nearly 40 years on down the road.
        I found Michael an enormously capable, energetic and
        likeable person - indeed, very English, his advice
always
        sound, and he stood by me as legal adviser for the
next 20
        years, two decades.  He had a rhinoceros hide, as
        I remarked once in my diary -- a remark seize upon by
the
        Defendants as evidence of my anti-Semitism.
                  I also form the long term friendship (which
        exists to this day) with well-known writers like the
        American David Kahn, an expert on code breaking.
Being an
        author dealing with American and British publishers,
        I frequently came into contact with the Jewish members
of
        the publishing profession.
                  The editor of "Hitler's War" for the Viking
        Press was Stan Hochman who became, as the
correspondence
        and for all I know also my diaries show, a good
friend;
        Peter Israel, who purchase "Uprising", which was my
book
        on the 1956 Hungarian uprising, was editorial director
at

.          P-51



        Putnam's, and so on.
                  The discovery documents, my Lord, show that
        there was also some kind of relationship between
myself
        and our own George Weidenfeld which was the usual kind
        love/hate relationship that exists between authors and
        publishers.  George published several of my books,
        including my biographies of top Nazis like Field
Marshal
        Erhard Milch and Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, and I do
not
        believe that he made a loss on those operations.  But
        behind my back, I learned that he had made unhelpful
        remarks about me, and I had occasion to write him one
or
        two terse letters about that.  But I believe we are
still
        friends and my relations with the present Managing
        Director of Weidenfeld & Nicholson are of the very
best.

        But those are all individuals, my Lord.

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