Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day019.16 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 Q. Has the Exhibition been closed down? A. It has been withdrawn for -- the issue here, my Lord, is that there has been an exhibition, a travelling exhibition, in Germany of crimes of the German Army in the Second World War which includes a number of photographs which it is now alleged by critics of the Exhibition were not, in fact, of victims of the German Army at all, but victims of the Russian NKVD; and there are counter allegations that these allegations have been brought by people with extreme right-wing connections and to discredit the view that the German Army was not behaving properly ---- MR IRVING: I interrupt you there and ask ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, I am quite interested in that. A. --- and it is an extremely, it is a complex issue. But I think it is clear that some of the photographs there are . P-142 not genuine photograph and not what they purport to be, though it is equally clear that I think that some of them most probably are, and the Exhibition has been withdrawn in order to try to sort all this out by means of research. That does not mean to say, of course, that there are no photographs which you could have used. MR IRVING: Is it not true that the Exhibition was finally closed as a result of two learned papers published in learned journals, one by an Hungarian historian and one by a Polish historian? A. Indeed, and, according to an article in Das Spiegel -- -- Q. And they are not extreme right-wingers? A. According to an article in Das Spiegel, these are two people who have extreme right-wing connections. Now, that does not necessarily invalidate everything they have said, but, as I recall the controversy, that the counter argument is that their criterion for what is a crime of the German Army is extremely narrow. They will not accept, for example, these two authors will not accept, that crimes carried out by local units in Lithuania, or wherever it might be, at the behest of the German Army are crimes of the German Army. So it is a very convoluted debate. But the point at issue is that -- to come back to it -- are you really saying that there no pictures, no genuine pictures, at all anywhere of any victims of the . P-143 Nazis? You could just as well have put up photographs of people who were killed by the Nazis. You could have had a photograph of Anne Frank, for example. MR JUSTICE GRAY: The case that is being made is that there are no good quality bona fide such photographs. That is what you have put, Mr Irving? MR IRVING: Absolutely right, and I am about to move on to the justification for that in a second. A. Well, I do not accept that there are no bona fide photographs is my answer to that and that, irrespective of the quality, it does behove a balanced historian who wishes to give an objective account of these events to include something other than just photographs of the victims of allied bombing raids on Hamburg and... Q. Before we leave the Exhibition, is it right, have you heard it said that the reason why German historians were frightened to write the learned pages that would expose the Exhibition in the way the Hungarian did is because they would then have been prosecuted under German law? A. I have not heard that, no. Q. You accept that the photographs that I published in my books, both in the Hitler biography and in the Nuremberg history, are original photographs from original negatives, do you accept that? A. It looks like it, yes. Q. The photograph which you object to, a photograph of a . P-144 train load of Jews at Riga station -- it might be useful if his Lordship sees the photograph? A. I am not saying it is not genuine. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I remember it really. A. I am really not saying it is not genuine. Nowhere do I say that. MR IRVING: Will you accept the photograph was given to me from an album taken ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: He is not doubting its genuineness. A. No, it is perfectly OK. MR IRVING: It is a question of the selection of the photograph and the reason I selected that rather than one of the more traditional pictures which you are familiar with. MR RAMPTON: Your Lordship might care to look at the file copy. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I was reminding myself why it is there. MR RAMPTON: The file copy has been skewed because one of the pages is the wrong way round. Can I pass up a copy of the original book? MR IRVING: I am indebted to you. While that is being passed, if I can explain, perhaps, by way of a question that that ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think I have got it, but maybe I am wrong. MR IRVING: My Lord, the son of one of those policemen, you can see on the platform at Riga ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I have it. MR IRVING: The sone of one of those German policemen on the . P-145 platform at Riga has the album of his father, and he provided me with the original negatives to make those prints from. That is why I have picked that particular photograph. It is an identifiable event, an identifiable train load of Jews, arriving at Riga. I do not know what happened to them. One I can only fear the worst for them. MR JUSTICE GRAY: But there is something in the text, I think, about the photograph, is there not, or about this consignment? MR IRVING: This is five days after the famous Bruns episode, my Lord, of November 30th. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I probably have this wrong, but do you not somewhere say that the photographic evidence does not bear out the notion of cattle trucks and ---- MR IRVING: I did not say that, no, my Lord. The only comment there you will find is whatever the caption says. MR JUSTICE GRAY: You certainly do not say it in the caption. MR IRVING: I certainly do not say it in the caption, and I do not think we do deny that there were cattle trucks used in the later stages of this atrocity. A. No, it is simply that you do not mention it in your caption. MR IRVING: In the caption, of course, I can only point out what is in this photograph. In the Nuremberg book, if I can just jump on one or two pages of your -- do you wish to make a comment? . P-146 A. No, that is all right. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, what you do say in the text -- I have just found it; it is all a bit jumbled up in the copy -- "A rare original photograph shows the next train load of 1,200 Jews leaving for Riga. Except for one uniformed SD officer near the third open carriage door, the escorts are all elderly German police officers with two Latvian police in the right foreground". MR IRVING: Which rather bears out, my Lord, what one of those decodes said that a train load of 1,000 or 900 Jews was going escorted by 14 local policemen, if you remember? MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is the point you are trying to make with this photograph, is it not? MR IRVING: No, my Lord. A picture is worth 1,000 words which is one reason why I have supplied so many pictures to your Lordship rather than documents. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you very much. MR IRVING: It is an original photograph, high quality photograph, of the tragedy actually happening, and it is a photograph of unquestionable authenticity that was supplied to me by one of the policemen's sons. The allegation against me on page 109 is that this only picture shows an orderly scene (as though I had deliberately picked a photograph with an orderly scene) of passenger carriages and people handing luggage out of windows, no brutality, no herding and no whips. Well, . P-147 I am sorry. Are you suggesting that I should have abandoned this photograph and looked for a more hackneyed stereotyped photograph, Professor? A. I am afraid I am, yes. I think that you should have balanced out your picture, your extremely gruesome pictures which you put in the book of victims, emotive pictures of victims of the bombing raids, including a dead child clutching the body of an adult over -- a very large reproduced picture. I think you should have balanced that with pictures of the victims of the Nazis. If you only look at the pictures section, the impression given is that, well, how jolly nice this train is at Riga, what a nice time they are having? Q. On the contrary, is that not a picture of the utter banality of this kind of atrocity, that there are people handing baggage out of windows and stepping on to a platform ---- A. Sorry, there is no mention of any atrocity there in the caption at all. MR JUSTICE GRAY: So how do you react to the suggestion that the reason for not including the sort of picture you have just been describing is the utter banality of those kinds of photographs? I think that was the suggestion. A. Yes. I find that very hard to accept, that pictures of, let us say, the victim, people about to be shot by the Einsatzgruppen lining up in front of a ditch are banal . P-148 pictures. It does not matter how many times they are reproduced, they still remain, I think, very shocking. MR IRVING: Professor Evans, how often have you seen pictures in my books that are familiar to you from other people's books? Never? Once? A. Plenty of portraits, I think, which I am familiar with. You include lots of portraits of individuals which are quite familiar. Q. Colour ones or black and white? A. Some of these pictures are not familiar. I am not disputing that these original pictures that you got, that they are very high quality, and so on. What I am talking about is the balance of the presentation and, indeed, the captions. Q. You wanted me to include the fact that travel without food and water, for example, if I look at the second line from the end of that paragraph? A. Not if they did not, no. Q. The evidence is from the decodes that they did, that they had the food and water they needed for these journeys? A. That the people who travelled in the autumn of 1941 on these particular trains did, yes. Q. But that is what this picture shows, is it not? A. Yes, I am not saying you should not have included that picture. I am saying that you should have had a balanced selection. . P-149 Q. I should have skewed it the other way? A. It is not a question of skewing; it is question of balance. What you have is an illustration section with some very good pictures, original ones that I have not seen before, absolutely authentic, rare, and so on. But that these give the impression, the way they are cumulatively arranged, that there were massive numbers of victims of allied bombings, and that that is, as you say, 48,000 people died in devastating Holocaust in Hamburg. You are trying to establish, at the very least, I think, an equivalence, and the impression given by the imbalanced selection of pictures is that it is more -- that the bombing of German cities is a more serious crime than the killing of millions of Jews. That is what I take from your -- not having seen it before, that is what I take it from your illustration section. Q. Is there no equivalence between these crimes -- not on any level? MR JUSTICE GRAY: The question is that the bombing by allied planes of German cities is morally equivalent to the extermination that Professor Evans believes took place, is that the question? MR IRVING: In certain circumstances it was and that is certainly... MR JUSTICE GRAY: What is your reaction to that, Professor Evans? . P-150 A. I find that a very difficult question to answer. I am not a moral philosopher. MR IRVING: Do you not later on in your report say that it is totally wrong for me to suggest that Dresden would now be a war crime if it was repeated? A. I do not think you say that, you say that it is a certified war crime, I do not believe it has been certified as a war crime. That is not to say that I approve of it, but we are not really dealing here with the moral issues or with what happened. We are dealing with your presentation. In my view, this selection of illustrations is imbalanced.
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