The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day018.10

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day018.10
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   Q.   Would it not have been correct for him to point out that,
        in fact, what I am objecting to is the fact that this is a
        British document that has been planted in Canadian
        government files by this body in England for whatever
   A.   I really cannot answer that, Mr Irving.
   Q.   He then continues to say:  "On June 11th while in Key
        West, Irving states in his diaries that a fine for

.          P-82

        thousands of francs by a French court for his public
        statements was going to 'various greedy Jewish bodies'"?
   A.   He says that.
   Q.   He says that.  In other words, I did write those words in
        my diaries?
   A.   He says that you did, yes.
   Q.   And if I were to tell that you the fine of 1,000 French
        francs, or whatever it was, thousands of French francs,
        was imposed on me for having an interview in my home in
        London with a French journalist in which I made a true
        statement, would that justify some kind of outburst in my
        diaries, do you think?
   A.   Well, there again you would have to show me the documents,
        you would have to show me the diary.  I find it very
        difficult to comment on this single sentence in the report
        that I did not write and that I am not very familiar with.
   Q.   But he appears to have accurately quoted that I wrote in
        the diaries a reference to various greedy Jewish bodies,
        and he is obviously pointing to that as possibly an
        example of Anti-Semitism?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is a bit difficult, I think, for Professor
        Evans to deal with that unless he has a word perfect
        memory of what you wrote in your diaries.
   A.   Which I do not.  I do not have all your 30 million words in
        my head.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think your best way of dealing with this,

.          P-83

        Mr Irving, is (if you want to) to deal with it as a matter
        of submission.  You have all the documents.
   MR IRVING:  Can I deal with one more point, and then I will
        move away?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  All right.
   MR IRVING:  The final passage concerns the July 31 1995 diary
        recounting a letter that I sent to the Sunday Times -- I
        am sorry, to a major Sunday newspaper, is that correct?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   And the newspaper concerned had stated that "Irving quoted
        by Griffin'", do you know a book by Griffin on faschism?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   "'... Irving writes in the Mein Kampf idiom:  "I combat
        Jewry not as a religion but as a race ... a solution to
        the Jewish problem must come".'"?
   A.   It looks here as if it is Griffin who writes in the Mein
        Kampf idiom.  I presume that is a grammatical mistake.
   Q.   Yes, but, in fact, the actual article said that?
   A.   That is not the other, the other Griffin.
   Q.   Would you agree that this is an extremely loaded thing for
        me allegedly to have said, "I combat Jewry not as a
        religion but as a race ... a solution to the Jewish
        problem must come", but if I had written that, it would be
        perverse and unforgivable and I would deserve whatever
        came to me?
   A.   Can I just read you the next two sentences?  "In his

.          P-84

        letter Irving denied ever making that statement".
   Q.   Yes?
   A.   "The Hitler chronicler remarkably stated, 'I have never
        read Mein Kampf".
   Q.   But, of course, I am called a denier, am I not, and my
        denials are not worth very much?  That is what the whole
        of this case is about.
   A.   Where in this paragraph does he say that?
   Q.   The word "denial" figures very strongly in this case.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  What I get out of this is that on this
        particular point Professor Levin really does not make much
        of a case.
   MR IRVING:  I am taking one paragraph here, my Lord ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  He is quoting a statement that he attributes
        to you ----
   MR IRVING:  --- in which I am showing that sentence after
        sentence after sentence ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I follow the point.
   MR IRVING:  And the particular point I want to make on that, my
        Lord, as your Lordship is probably familiar, the major
        Sunday newspaper had to pay me a six figure sum in damages
        because of that particular allegation.  There is no
        reference whatsoever to that in the ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, I do not think much of that -- I mean,
        the point that Professor Levin makes there, I do not think
        much of it.

.          P-85

   MR IRVING:  But the reason I am saying that, of course, is to
        give your Lordship a foretaste of what I would have said,
        had I been able to sink my teeth into Professor Levin when
        the time came.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I follow that, but I think perhaps the best
        time to do that is later on, not now.
   MR IRVING:  You worked for many years in Germany, is that
        correct, Professor?  Five years in Germany?
   A.   On and off, yes, over the years.  I have been going to
        Germany for shorter and extended periods since 1970.
   Q.   And you have worked a great deal in the German archives?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   For your book on capital punishment?
   A.   And other books, yes.
   Q.   And you have worked a great deal in the Nazi archives, I
        mean the records of the Nazi period, the Third Reich?
   A.   Less so, but I have done work mainly in the Ministry of
        Justice files.
   Q.   Ministry of Justice files?
   A.   And in regional archives.
   Q.   Who was the Minister of Justice -- Guttner?
   A.   Guttner until 1941, yes.
   Q.   Until he died and then Schlegelberger took over?
   A.   Acting Minister, yes.
   Q.   Took over as acting Minister.  Are you familiar at all,
        have you researched at all, on the files of the SS?  The

.          P-86

        Himmler files, Schiffbootverlastung of Himmler, and so on?
   A.   No.  I am familiar with the Dienst Tagebuch, I have to say
        mainly for the purposes of this case.
   Q.   You had to read it, in other words, had to look into it?
   A.   I had to look at it, yes.
   Q.   You would recognize the Himmler documents if you saw them
        either in photocopy or in the original, would you?  You
        would know what their layout was?  This is what I am
        getting at.  We have heard a certain amount of discussion
        in court about what -- do they all have a kind of standard
        layout and kind of address on the right and ----
   A.   That I could not say.
   Q.   Yes.  Could not say.  So your expertise then does not
        really extend into document analysis, shall I say, looking
        at the document and saying to yourself, how high up is
        this document, or who is it written by, or is it authentic
   A.   I think I have a general expertise in reading documents,
        yes, but I am not a specialist in the SS or its archive.
   Q.   Would I be right in saying that very rarely would one
        expect to come across a forged document either in the
        Bundesarchiv or in the British archives?  Have you ever
        come across an instance where a document has had
        questionable integrity?
   A.   Those are two rather different things.  I think that with
        a forged document you need to be very clear about why it

.          P-87

        is forged, who has forged it, and why, what the motives
        might have been and what kind of opportunity they had.
   Q.   My question was, have you ever come across a forged
        document in one of the western archives, in the United
        States or in Britain or in Germany?
   A.   Would you like to tell me what you mean by a "forged
   Q.   Well, a document that was clearly not written during the
        war years and has been inserted there for some ulterior purpose?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Not what it purports to be?
   A.   Not what it purports to be.
   MR IRVING:  Yes.
   A.   Not to my recollection, no.
   Q.   I have to say I have not either.  Would you have the same
        expectations of Eastern European archives?
   A.   That is a very difficult question to answer.  I have
        worked in East German archives, but one has to -- I mean,
        both in the Communist Socialist Unity Party archives and
        in the archives of East German Communist Ministries, but
        also, of course, as you know, the major German State
        archive, the Reich archive, was in East Germany for many
        years, and my impression of that and other State archives
        is that they were somewhat neglected.  So I do not -- and
        that they were run by professional archivists.  It is a
        rather different matter working in Party archives or as I

.          P-88

        did on one occasion in the East ----
   Q.   Did you ever work in the Moscow archives?
   A.   I have not worked in the Moscow archives.
   Q.   Have you ever worked in any other Eastern European
   A.   No, just in East German archives.
   Q.   From your knowledge as an historian, do you know of
        instances where documents have been forged by Eastern
        European archives for Cold War purposes in order to sink a
        West German Minister or something like that?
   A.   Not from my direct knowledge of archival material, no.
   Q.   Are you familiar at all, have you read the newspapers
        about the Demjanjuk case, Ivan Demjanjuk?
   A.   I followed it as any other citizen, newspaper reader, did, yes.
   Q.   Would it be correct to say that at one stage he was
        incriminated on the basis of an identity card which later
        turned out to have been forged?
   A.   I am not an expert in this area, Mr Irving.  I mean,
        I will accept for the purposes of argument that that was so.
   Q.   Have you suggested anywhere in your report that I have
        gained improper advantages because of my Nazi or neo-Nazi
        views from members of Hitler staff in obtaining records or
        papers that they would not have made available to other...
   A.   I do not think I -- I certainly did not use the word

.          P-89

   Q.   Well, that I had an edge on the others?
   A.   I may well have done so, yes, because that seems to me
        that in some way that you were more acceptable to the
        former members' widows and so on of Hitler's entourage
        than other historians were.
   Q.   Do you have any basis for that, apart from just envy?
   A.   I do not think I am envious of you, Mr Irving.
   Q.   But, I mean, the fact that I got hold of records that the
        historical establishment did not get must have aroused a
        certain amount of envy and acrimony?
   A.   Not in me.
   Q.   Not in you.  You referred to it in this oblique way in
        your expert report -- I cannot put my finger on the actual
        passage -- you admitted or you stated that, yes, you had
        implied that I had benefited from my aura?
   A.   I am just trying to find the passages where I deal with this.
   Q.   Perhaps I can continue just by asking in general terms.
        You have read a lot transcripts of my interviews with
        Hitler's staff, the Adjutants, we call them, is that
   A.   That is right.
   Q.   And you may have heard tape recordings of some of them,
        because the tape recordings have all survived, 30 years ago?

.          P-90

   A.   I have read the transcripts.  I have not heard the tape
   Q.   Did you see any material in those transcripts to support
        the belief that I had benefited in some way from my aura
        as a neo-Nazi or as a fascist or whatever I am called?
   A.   What I actually say is ----
   A.   On page 604, paragraph 8, as you explain, "'I have
        interviewed scores of the principal German officers and
        personnel involved, including many of Hitler's close staff
        who have hitherto refused to talk to anybody, but who felt
        able to talk at length to me because of the nature of my
        previous books "The Destruction of Dresden" etc.'."
   MR IRVING:  Yes.
   A.   And I quote the Journal of Historical Review again, saying
        that "'numerous survivors of the Second World War era who
        are often mistrustful (often with good reason) of
        establishment historians' are willing to talk to you".
   Q.   Yes?
   A.   And another quote here from you:  "'Once they'd won your
        confidence and they knew you weren't going to report them
        to the state prosecutor, they trusted you.  And they
        thought, well, now at last they were doing their
        chief's'", that is Hitler, "'a service'."
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   That is you, is it not?

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.