Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day004.20 Last-Modified: 2000/08/01 Q. But when you wrote Hitler's War in 1991 you had the original German, you had it since 1977? . P-179 A. I did not write Hitler's War in 1991. I reissued Hitler's War in 1991. Q. It is the second edition. It is much more than a reissue, Mr Irving. You rewrote whole passages in that book? A. No, I did not rewrite whole passages. I inserted a lot of fresh material like the diaries of Hitler's doctor, Hermann Goring's diaries, papers like that. Q. And the Holocaust disappeared hook line and sinker, did it not? You had plenty of opportunity between 1977 when you got the original German and doing the rewrite of 1991 Hitler's War to get this right? A. It was not wrong in the first place. Q. We will stop arguing about that, Mr Irving. That sentence is plainly completely wrong. A. Even if that sentence is plainly completely wrong, it leaves the other two sentences which are the burden of that paragraph, namely who says we cannot push them out of Germany and park them somewhere nasty, and then he continues to say, "Anyway, let's leave it until the war is over. We have other more important things to do." MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can we come back to the "we cannot park them in the marshier parts of Russia", because, this is pure supposition on my part, the phrase about sending them into the marsh looks as if it might be some sort of saying? A. That is what it looks like to me. It is rather like sending somebody, somebody going for a Burton, something . P-180 like that. It is not impossible. Q. Exactly. Do you know whether that is so or not? A. In schreiken I think it does not have the sense of killing somebody, but it has the sense of rather like sending them to Coventry might be even closer, who knows. But I would have to take advice from a German who is familiar with the vernacular of that particular era. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think Mr Rampton is maybe going to ask you, I am sure he is, where on earth you get "parking them in the marshier parts of Russia" from? A. Weidenfeld has it, my Lord. Q. I follow, but you have trotted along behind. A. Weidenfeld's translation, if I may say so, is extremely good and very literate. You are faced constantly with the dichotomy of having a literate translation or a wooden translation, and I would aver that this is not one of the most important parts of that paragraph. The most important part is (a) Hitler saying he is pushing them out geographically, and (b) he does not want to be bothered until the war is over with, this problem, which goes along with my perception of the involvement of Hitler. MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving, I have to put it to you, you just say any old thing to get yourself out of a corner. Have you got Goebbels' book, page 377? A. Yes. Q. We have read what you wrote as being the translation of . P-181 the table talk in that paragraph. You see it is footnoted 16? A. Yes. Q. Now please turn to page 643. A. Yes. Q. So far from your having used the rotten old Weidenfeld translation two or three generations down the line, in fact you did use the original. Footnote 16 on page 643: "Heinreich Heinn, note on Hitler's dinner table talk, October 25th junet papers", those are ---- A. That is where it is now to be found, yes, the original. Q. And you stuck with the translation that you can see now to be complete rubbish, and bears very little relationship with the original which you actually used? A. It is not complete rubbish, Mr Rampton. It is very close to the original. The colouring is different. The colouring assigned to it by the English translator with whom I have no connection whatsoever. I adopted the colouring adopted by George Weidenfeld and his publisher. Q. Why did you not acknowledge them in the footnote? A. Because I in the meantime had the original which is available now to historians. Q. You mean you gave a reference ---- A. Yes. Q. --- for a book written in 1996? A. Yes. . P-182 Q. --- to some papers from which you had not taken the translation? A. I gave the superior reference. It is a superior reference. I perhaps should have said: "See also Weidenfeld, table talk, Ed Trevor-Roper" and so on. Q. No, Mr Irving. What you should have done, as you know perfectly well, is to have retranslated the thing correctly. You knew it was wrong? A. Let us argue it the other way round. I really do not want to labour this point, Mr Rampton. Q. I do. A. I am not sure how long the Court will allow you to labour this point, Mr Rampton. Q. That is a matter for the Court, Mr Irving. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am getting the hint though. A. Mr Rampton, if I were to retranslate that sentence following Mr Evans' admirable translation to which you refer, would that in the slightest degree alter the arguments which I seek to make in that paragraph? MR RAMPTON: Oh, yes, it would, because what Hitler is then saying is something very much stronger, much more sinister. He is saying: "It is a good thing that the fear that we are exterminating the Jews goes before us"? A. Yes, he says that. Q. Never mind. We will pass on to the next thing. A. He does say that. . P-183 Q. Because here now we come to a huge ellipse in the translation which you have given. A. So you accept that even that translation would not alter the argument that I have made? Q. Of course it would alter it. It would put much stronger words, threatening words into Hitler's mouth than you have allowed. A. Use of the word "fear" instead of "public rumour". Q. Yes, fear, shock, terror. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Shall we move on to the next passage. MR RAMPTON: And the absence of any plan. I think your Lordship has my point? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do. MR RAMPTON: Good. You jump or your translation jumps, the translation you used jumps from "des Judentung aulsgrotten", yes? A. Yes. Q. To the words, [German spoken], does it not? No, it goes even further. Sorry, that is not right. It goes to [German spoken]. That is where your translation starts again from "aulsgrotten", does it not? A. Yes. Q. Now look at what has been missed out. You have missed out ---- A. Yes. Shall I translate it for you? Q. Yes, please. . P-184 A. The words which I missed out: "I find myself forced, I have been forced to keep piling up a lot inside me. That does not mean to say that I forget about it without taking cognisance of it, without taking cognisance of it, without showing it immediately." This is the sense of it. Q. The sense of it is he does not forget? A. That is right. Q. He does not necessarily take action at once, but it goes into the account and it stays there. A. It says, "I am keeping it on the books and one day the books are going to be taken out." Q. Yes. It goes into an account, one day the book is taken out? A. That is right, which rather implies that nothing is happening yet. Q. Wait, now read the next sentence, please. A. This is part I quote, right? Q. Where? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Look at the tense. MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving, tell me which is the point, which is the sentence that you translate? Show me in the English? A. I am sorry. It continues: "Vis-a-vis the Jews I also had to remain inactive for a long time. I also had to remain inactive for a long time." Q. "Had to"? A. Yes. . P-185 Q. Where do I find that in your text? A. It is not there. The book is already nearly 1,000 pages long. Q. But it is the critical -- it is the critical passage? A. He is throwing them out. He remained inactive and now he is throwing them out. He is sending them to the marshy parts of Russia, the most radical measures. Q. What it means is -- bear with me Mr Irving -- what it means is that the time has, he uses the plue perfect we would call it in English, "I had to remain inactive against the Jews for a long time, but that does not mean much because now the book of account has been taken out and the time has come", is it means? A. He does not actually say that of course. He does not say "The book has now been taken out". MR JUSTICE GRAY: Sorry, it is probably my misunderstanding. Mr Irving, I think you just said that you have not translated that sentence beginning "alt den Juden", but you did, did you not? Is that not where you write: "He pointed out, however, that he had no intention of starting anything at present"? A. It is bundled up in that sentence. It is precise'd in that sentence. Q. You use the word "precis", but you have changed the tense, "missed" stays in the past tense? A. That is the next sentence we are taking up. . P-186 Q. No, it is the same sentence, unless I have misunderstood. A. "It has no sense to make additional difficulties for oneself", he then continues. Q. Yes, but go back to the previous sentence. Am I not right in thinking that your rendition of that previous sentence is where you write: "He pointed out, however, that he had no intention of starting anything at present"? A. What he no doubt said, if he was speaking in direct speech, is, "For a long time now I have done nothing, I have been inactive towards the Jews." Q. In the past? A. In the past, yes. Q. But that is not the same thing as saying that you have no intention of starting anything at present or in the future? A. At present. Q. Is there not a real distinction between the two on reflection now? A. No, because the sense of the next sentence, my Lord, where he goes on to say, "I am not looking for difficulties. I am not going to try to make difficulties, there is no point in it, there is no sense in doing it." Q. Look at the tense again. It is "hat". That may be a bad point. MR RAMPTON: No, my Lord, I do not think it is. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It may be a neutral point. . P-187 MR RAMPTON: Maybe, but I have a reason why I say it is not a bad point. A. Can I use Professor Evans' translation? Q. Yes, please do. A. Where he said: "I had to remain inactive for a long time against the Jews too. There is no sense in artificially making extra difficulties for oneself. The more cleverly one operates the better." In other words, "We are not doing anything for the moment, but the time will come when I get my book out". MR RAMPTON: No, Mr Irving. You know that is nonsense. A. I would not say it was nonsense, Mr Rampton. Q. I am afraid I have to suggest it is nonsense and you know it is nonsense. He is talking actually about what he is going to do with Bishop Galen who is grumbling about the euthanasia programme. That is the context? A. Then he goes on to Galen, yes. Q. No, and he uses the past tense to describe his previous inactivity against the Jews to, you miss out the word "ough" also and then he says: "There is no since in artificially making extra difficulties for oneself". There is no "at this time" as there is in your English. He simply observes, no doubt with some pride, "The more cleverly one operates the better", and what he is saying is this: "Look, leave Galen for the moment, don't let's make extra difficulties for ourselves in relation to . P-188 Galen. I had to remain inactive against the Jews for a long time too", and then the implied parentheses or sequence, "but the time has now come"? A. Yes, but you are hanging all your proof on this implied parentheses which just does not happen to be in the document, Mr Rampton. It is not hanging document again. Q. It does not hang Hitler. There are plenty of other ways of doing -- I was going to say skinning a cat, but it hangs you as an accurate recorder of German history, because it is a deliberate misuse of a translation which you knew to be wrong, so as to exculpate Hitler and make it appear that on 25th October 1941 he was yet again postponing taking any action against the Jews. You know perfectly well, because the German says it, that that is not what he said? A. I totally disagree with you.
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