The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day019.05

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day019.05
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   MR IRVING:  I have to let you get away with that, because I am
        not allowed now to ask any further questions about the
        photograph or about ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I did say I was not stopping you, but I was
        telling you that at the moment I do not find it very
        helpful.  Do not say you are not allowed to;  you are
        allowed to.
   MR IRVING:  Is Professor Jackeln a recognized authority on
        Hitler and the Holocaust?  Has he written books and
        articles about it?
   A.   Yes, he has written books and articles about Hitler in
        particular, Hitler's views.
   Q.   Does it diminish him in your esteem that he has fallen
        repeatedly for forgeries produced by a notorious forger,
        that he has he published them, that he did not willingly
        confess that they were forgeries or where they came from,
        and that he has relied on a dubious photograph?
   A.   Well, you mentioned one instance in which he fell for
        material from a notorious forger.  If you can show me
        there are many others, then I will accept the word
   Q.   Do you agree that, in dealing with your treatment of
        Hitler diaries, you accused me of liking the Hitler
        diaries and believing they were genuine because they
        a favourable impression of Hitler?
   A.   Again, I am following Mr Harris there.  Let me quote

.          P-39

        in explaining why you endorsed them at a late stage,
        "Finally there was the fact that the diaries did not
        contain any evidence to suggest that Hitler was aware
        the Holocaust".  Really I am following Mr Harris's
        argument there.
   Q.   On what basis do you say ----
   A.   That was one of a number of reasons which he puts
        for your having endorsed them at a late stage.
   Q.   On what basis do you say that these fake diaries
        Hitler ordered a stop to the Reichskristallnacht?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, I did say quite a long time
        that I am not going to pay any attention to the Hitler
        diaries because it is not any part of the Defendants'
        case.  Really these questions are directly focused on
        Hitler diaries, so I do now say you must move on.
   MR IRVING:  In paragraph 2.4.9, lines 5 and 6, there is a
        sentence there beginning, "If an obvious forgery like
        Hitler diaries gives credence to my views, I will use
        it".  Is that not a reflection -- am I allowed to say
        that, my Lord?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I have already told you in the clearest
        possible way that I am not going to place any reliance
        forming my judgment on what did or did not happen in
        case of the Hitler diaries, so questions about it can
        do you harm.
   MR IRVING:  Three lines from the bottom of that page 40 you

.          P-40

        accuse me of rendering my footnotes deliberately
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Can you think of any reason why a researcher or writer
        has spent a lot of his private funds, who is not a
        professor, who is entirely reliant on his professional
        income, obtaining access to sources, might wish to
        his footnotes opaque?
   A.   Yes.  Either in the case of your extremely vague
        references to the author Ingrid Weckert in your
account of
        the Reichskristallnacht, because that source is
        discreditable, because she is an anti-semitic
        motivated falsifier of history upon whom you rely in
        of your account ----
   MR IRVING:  Do you consider that anti-semitic ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Let him finish his answer and then ask
        next question.
   A.   Or that the sources do in fact, if anybody goes to the
        immense trouble of tracking them down as in the
        we already mentioned on Thursday, the evidence of the
        policeman Hoffmann at the 1924 trial of Hitler, if
        source in fact contains things which you do not want
        appear and you do not want people to know about.  So
it is
        a kind of judgment call on your part that you need to
        a source, but you do not want people to find out too
        easily what is there.
   MR IRVING:  Can you think of no innocent explanation why

.          P-41

        aforementioned author might leave his sources opaque?
   A.   No.
   Q.   Are you familiar with the kind of scholar and academic
        will pretend that he has done the research, who will
        pretend that he too has been to Canberra and Ottowa
        Washington and Moscow, he will quite the file and he
        quote the document number and even the page number in
        file to give the impression that he has been there and
        done the work?
   A.   Give me an example.
   Q.   I am just asking you if are familiar with that kind of
   A.   I cannot think of any examples.  Try and give me one.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is that legitimate, I really do not know
as a
        matter of a historian's proper approach?  If you have
        some other historian give a reference for a
        particular proposition as being File X in the
        archive or wherever, is it then illegitimate for the
        historian simply to cite that as being the authority
        without actually going to the Washington archive and
        looking for himself?
   A.   Well, it is normal, my Lord, to say file so and so in
        archive as cited in such and such a book.  If you
        say file so and so in the archive, that does suggest
        have been there.  It is what I would call slightly

.          P-42

   MR IRVING:  If, for example, you found in a book by David
        Irving on Winston Churchill unusual sources and you
        an academic and a scholar, if you did not want to be
        associated with him, would there be a temptation just
        use that file in the French National Archives or
        it is and pretend you had seen it yourself, but not of
        course that you had it from David Irving's book?
        there be that temptation?
   A.   I would not be tempted.  I can only answer for myself.
   Q.   You would not be tempted to use the source?
   A.   I would want to go, if that was the work I was doing,
        the archive and check the source.  I would not take it
        trust as it appears in your work.
   Q.   Even if you could go to some archives like the
        of History where I did in the meantime deposit all the
        records so that you could check it out?  Do you
        that there might be an innocent reason on the basis of
        what I have said, on the basis of my questions, why an
        author might sometimes wish to make it slightly less
        for a crooked scholar to steal his brain work?
   A.   You would have to show that there were crooked
        around who are all desperate to steal your brain work.
        I do not believe that that is the case, so I do not
        accept that there are innocent reasons.  It is quite
        straightforward.  If you cite an original or any
        if you use a source in your work, you footnote it in

.          P-43

        to enable other historians to go and find it and you
        as helpful as possible to them.  It is part of the
kind of
        checks and controls which historians have, and this
        curious way we have to enable other people to
        our own work and to falsify it and say that we are
        It is part of what I would call being an objective
        historian is.
   Q.   Do you agree that there are two kinds of books?  There
        the super academic works as submitted for PhDs or for
        other kind of academic qualifications where everything
        to be rigorously footnoted according to a standard
        and books which are sold in Books Etc. and Waterstones
        where books have to fit in within a reasonable size,
        number of pages, and that, if you put all the
footnotes in
        to that scheme, you are going to end up with an
        uncommercial book.  Do you agree with that
   A.   Not really, no.  I think there is a large kind of
scale of
        books, or a spectrum of books, from the academic PhD
        theses which is not really publishable as a book in
        cases and has to be rewritten, where everything has to
        all the Is dotted and all the Ts crossed all the way
        to very general non-fiction books which do not have
        footnotes in at all and everything in between.  So I
        there is a very wide spectrum.  In respect of your
        Mr Irving, Hitler's War is over 800 pages long.  It is
        very long book, and the claim that you make for it is

.          P-44

        it is based on an enormous mass of research and there
        a lot of footnotes in it.  It does give the
appearance, as
        your other books do, of being a scholarly work.  You
        a great deal of the fact that you use a large number
   Q.   Professor Evans, when your researchers were
researching in
        my files at the Institute of History in Munich, did
        come across a thick file there which was about 1,000
        long, consisting of the original annotated footnotes
        Hitler's War which were referenced by number to every
        single sentence in that book?
   A.   No.
   Q.   It was not part of the published corpus, it was part
        the original manuscript, but it was chopped out
because of
        the length.
   A.   No, we did not see that.
   Q.   Have you seen isolated pages of that in my discovery
in so
        far as it related to episodes which were of interest,
        the Reichskristallnacht?
   A.   I do not, to be honest, recall, but that does not mean
        say that we have not seen them.
   Q.   You said that my footnotes are opaque because they do
        always give the page reference.  Do you agree that, on
        page which we are going to come across in the course
        this morning, of your own expert report, you put a
        footnote in just saying "see van Pelt's report", see

.          P-45

        expert report by Robert van Pelt, and that expert
        is about 769 pages long, is it not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   That is not an opaque footnote?
   A.   No, because, when one says see this or see that, that
        means that you are not relying on that for what you
        It is simply a further reference directing the reader,
        the reader wants to gain further information about
        particular topic, to go there.  If I were relying on
        Professor van Pelt's report for anything I say in my
        which I am not, then I would footnote it as precisely
        I could.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Why are you not?
   A.   Why am I not relying on Professor van Pelt?
   Q.   Is there a reason?
   A.   Well, his report is about something different from
        and I thought I should reach my own conclusions on the
        basis of my own work, but I do cross-reference other
        expert reports in so far as I think it is useful.
   MR IRVING:  It is a strange kind of cross-reference that
        says "See expert report" by somebody.
   A.   Well, can you point me to the page?
   Q.   We will come to it later on.  I am just looking for it
        I do not want to hold up the court.  If you would you
        now to page 41 of the expert report, please, paragraph
        251?  Can I ask that you be given bundle H1(i),
please, so

.          P-46

        we can see what you have omitted from the quotations?
        is a passage where you say:  "They are not lies, what
        have published, they are true.  At any rate, the truth
        I perceive it".  Then you omit bits.
   A.   Where is this -- yes.
   Q.   That should be H1(i) at page 94?
   A.   Page 94.  Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Whereabouts on the page, bottom of the
        is it?
   A.   It is near the bottom of the page.
   MR IRVING:  Do you not admit a passage there about how it
        far more expensive the closer you approximate towards
        truth, that it is quite easy to find out 90 per cent
        the truth, and then it gets a bit more expensive to
get 95
        per cent of the truth, and to get absolute truth is
        impossible, but it gets more and more and more
        That is roughly the sense of it.  I do not have it in
        front of me, but I am familiar with the speech.
   A.   That is where you say it is a shame that we lost the
        United States.
   Q.   Yes.  "They are not out lies, what I have published, they
        are true, at any rate, the truth as I perceive it"?
   A.   Yes.

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