Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day003.09 Last-Modified: 2000/07/29 Q. Where they are? A. Have to remain in the East, have to remain in the west. It is a pretty meaningless sentence as it is. Q. In that paragraph it is by no means meaningless, is it? A. Yes, but now I would certainly replace it with the decodes instead and, in fact, in the latest edition I have. That sentence is out and is replaced by absolute diamond evidence, the decodes, showing that I am right all the way down the line. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Am I right in thinking that the entry in the log was one of what you have described as the "chain of documents"? . P-74 A. This particular one, I never referred to, not the "haben zu bleiben". It is totally immaterial and unimportant. My Lord, people imagine that books are written in a very precise, military kind of way, but they are written in an extraordinarily ramshackle way. They go back and forth across the Atlantic with all sorts of different people setting their hands to them, including lawyers and readers and experts and sub-editors and publicity people, and it is a miracle that anything finally comes off the end of the line. MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving, you thought it sufficiently important an event, and it is in the context of an order from Hitler, according to you, the Jews are to stay where they are, it is a coder showing, not only did Hitler say that they are not to be killed, not to be liquidated, an explicit order, but they are actually to stay where they are, they are not to be shunted around from one place to another and they are certainly not to be brought to places of execution. That is why it is there, is it not? A. No. It is there purely because it was the next entry in the Himmler telephone log as I had misread it at the time. Q. And is sufficiently important in your mind for you to put an asterisk footnote, is it not? A. Saying that the facsimile of November 30 telephone conversation is reproduced as a facsimile. Q. I imagine the reason you did not -- I do not know what the . P-75 verb is from "facsimile" -- you did not reproduce a facsimile of the note of 1st December is that you will say that is because it was not sufficiently legible on the copy? A. This is what you imagine, is it? Is your imagination what you are leading as evidence now? Q. Yes. I am asking you, what is the reason why -- you had a lot of pictures in the second edition, did you not? A. In the 1991 edition? Q. Yes. A. Yes. Q. Why did you not put a facsimile of this message in? A. I had something like 3,000 pictures to draw upon, Mr Rampton, and it is a judgment call which photographs you use. One facsimile of a first line document where an order is going out, "the transport of Jews not to be liquidated" is for more important than a meaningless sentence like "had to remain". Q. Now, I want to go to, if I may ---- A. But I would like just to round up that argument between us by saying that I do not think that you have established that I have deliberately manipulated or deliberately distorted or deliberately mistranslated anything. It is a sin of omission. The sin of omission is that I should sometime five years down the road, having realized the misreading, it should have occurred to me that one word . P-76 had been misinterpreted or misread and that I should take that out of the 500,000 other words. Q. I will be clear about it, Mr Irving, I will lay it out for you. You can deny it. It is not my function at this stage to persuade his Lordship that I am right. That comes later on. You invented a Hitler order. You deliberately inflated it into an order to protect the whole of the Jews? A. I have not invented a Hitler order, Mr Rampton. I have hypothesized the Hitler order in the way that a scientist should and I have then supported the hypothesis with evidence. Q. Mr Irving, this is one occasion on which a "yes" or "no" will do. You invented it in the sense that you made an hypothesis (and I do not say it is an unreasonable hypothesis) you made it into a categorical assertion of fact. Now, do you agree with that or not? A. Yes, in the introduction. Q. And do you agree with that as being an irresponsible, deliberately deceptive manner for a historian to proceed? A. Quite the contrary on the basis of evidence that I have led this morning from my little bundle. Q. When did you have those Jeckhelm messages? A. The intercepts? Q. Yes. A. Within the last four weeks I have seen the originals. . P-77 Q. You did not have them at the time when you wrote this book? A. No, but if you have a clean mind when you set out to write a book, untrammelled by what you have seen on the TVs and on the movies or read in other people's book like that by Mr Kershaw, if you start out with a clean mind and you read documents that meet your criteria, you are probably going to be nudged in the correct path that you arrive at the right conclusions. Q. It may happen, Mr Irving, from time to time in life that you tell what you intend to be a lie and subsequent events, that wonderful friend hindsight shows that you were telling the truth all along. Mr Irving, we are not using hindsight. I am concerned with your state of mind when you wrote these books. A. You a tell a lie and it turns out to be the truth all along? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Tell what you intend to be a lie. MR RAMPTON: Yes, you tell what you intend to be a lie and it turns out to be the truth. A. Why would I intend something to be a lie? Q. Because you are trying to exonerate, exculpate Adolf Hitler. A. Well, this is your opinion, Mr Rampton, and I do not think that this can be sustained on the evidence. Q. No. There are four limbs to this which you can say, "Yes, . P-78 it is right" (which you will not) or "No, it is not right" (which you will). The second limb to this is that you deliberately distorted the original German so as to inflate one transport of Jews from Berlin into the whole of the German Jews? A. I am not going to respond to that because I have made a response to that argument. Q. Exactly. The third step is that you did not misread by accident the word "haben" as "Juden"; you knew all along that it was "haben" but you wrote it in as "Jews"? A. I am not going to respond to that because I have stated my position very fully on that too. Q. The fourth proposition is that in any event, on your own account, by the time this version of the book, the 1991 edition, comes out, you know for a certainty, even if you did not before, that it was wrong and you deliberately chose not to change it? A. On the contrary, you could use the word "deliberate" if I put it in at this time. A failure to take something out is an omission, a sin of omission, and not a sin of commission, if I may put it that way. I respectfully suggest that it was a sin of omission and a failure to take a word out of 500,000 words is ---- Q. I do not think it matters what words one uses. A. --- it would be improperly and unjustly described as being the kind of distortion that you are trying to impute. . P-79 Q. Indeed I do. To allow a falsehood once told to remain on the record is just as reprehensible as to have invented it in the first place, is it not? A. I object to the word "falsehood". Q. Well, it is a false statement. A. A misreading of a word which is a perfectly legitimate misreading of a word which, I suppose, every person in this room would have read that way if they had been in exactly the same situation. Q. These books, Mr Irving, are in some sense, are they not, history books? A. Which books? Q. These, the Hitler's War books? A. They are ---- Q. They are meant to be? A. --- works of history, yes. Q. --- meant to be history books. They are meant to be a history of the Second World War seen not through Hitler's eyes, I do not mean that, but with an angle on it that perhaps others have not treated before, that is to say, the Hitler angle. Hitler is at the centre of these books, is he not? A. Yes. Q. You use what in the second edition it appears by the time it appears you know to be a false statement of fact about history? . P-80 A. By the time the second edition appears, it is true that five years earlier I had known that a word had been wrongly read. If you know -- when one publishes successive editions of the book, if one is in the fortunate position that I am, you are in the position that you can, if you have the chance, constantly upgrade and update and polish and refine. The latest edition that we put out, before it goes to the printers, I have had it on the Internet for the last six weeks, and I have invited people around the world to spot errors precisely like that, and I have increased the reward to a present $8 per error. I have had to shell out 2 or $3,000 already. I am not in the least bit ashamed because one wants to turn out a work that is as perfect and as error free as possible; but even so, errors go in. There is a very famous case where a man did exactly the same and he offered a very large reward if anybody could spot a typographical error in a book that he had produced, and it turned out that the very title on the title page had been -- can I point out, Mr Rampton, another very serious error? Q. I am listening; it is just that I have to get ready for my next question. Do continue, yes. A. I will continue rambling on. There is a very serious error in the book "Hitler's War" which is before you, the 1991 edition, and this is that my name does not appear on it. That you would consider is a most serious error that . P-81 an author can face, that his name does not appear on his own book. Q. It depends, rather, on one's point of view, Mr Irving, I would have said. Mr Irving, can we turn please to - - what is that? That seems to have your name on it but maybe this is the wrong edition. A. Not on the jacket, but actually in the book, Mr Rampton, you will not find it. Q. I have not, I confess, looked, nor do I think I ---- A. I mean, I confess that I am the author for the purposes of this action. Q. Nor do I think that I will spend the court's time doing it now. Thank you very much. Mr Irving, I want to return to General Bruns. How do you pronounce it, in fact? A. Bruns, B-R-U-N-S. Q. With no umlaut though? A. No umlaut. Q. If that is the right word. Do you have your two-page English translation? A. I think I know it virtually off by heart. Q. I would rather you had it. A. It is in my opening statement. I have it, yes, I have the opening statement version. Q. Maybe I should use that. It will make it easier for everybody. I have the TRO version. A. It is on page 22. You say that Bruns' account has . P-82 verisimilitude? A. Yes. Q. Account of what he said he saw? A. I marked that because later on under oath in the witness box in Nuremberg he said he had not been there, I find that hard to believe.
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