Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day020.22 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: If I may say so, if that is what you are planning to do for the next 550 pages of this report, I am not going to find that helpful. I am sure you are going to find, as you indeed have already found, a number of instances where Professor Evans has got it wrong. But I am not really helped by that. I need to look at it in much broader terms than that. MR IRVING: We are just coming in fact to the Reichskristallnacht, and I did promise that we were going to make substantial inroads into that today. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, but I personally think the section on what is called "Admiration of Hitler" is quite important, and you do not really seem to have grasped the nettle of what is being said about you by Professor Evans. That is all I am inviting you to consider. MR IRVING: I have looked at the Night of Long Knives. . P-197 MR JUSTICE GRAY: True you did. I accept that. MR IRVING: Which was one matter. I thought I read your Lordship's mind to be that I should not deal with every single episode. MR JUSTICE GRAY: We are now getting into the meat of the report, and certainly not every single episode. There we are. I have said what I have said. MR IRVING: Just one final matter on the plebiscite. Do you know the wording that was on the ballot? You say this was not a plebiscite for Hitler personally. Do you know the wording on the ballot form, on the ballot paper? A. Well, do read it to me. Remind me. Q. Does it say words to the effect of: I personally approve of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of the greater German Reich and Austria combined and approve of the union of these two countries? A. Yes, those are the terms in which it is put. Q. It is in terms of personal approbation of Adolf Hitler then as a person? A. Indeed the propaganda effort also emphasised that apsect of it, but of course it was not purely, simply a vote about Hitler. The key part of it was the union of or the creation of the greater German Reich of Germany and Austria. MR IRVING: My Lord, your Lordship does not wish me to look at the Putsch of 1923 and the Hoffman episode again. We have . P-198 been over that already with the other witnesses. We now come on to page 233 to the night of broken glass. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am sorry, Mr Irving, the last thing I want to do is to prolong this, but if you remember the heart of Professor Evans' report is that the chain of documents which you rely on as establishing that Hitler did not have any knowledge of, let alone authorization for, the Final Solution, can be at every link in the chain, as it were, attacked. My understanding of the structure of this report is that a step in the chain of reasoning, if I can put it that way, does indeed start with the 1924 trial and you were going to omit that altogether. MR IRVING: My Lord, the chain of documents episode starts on page 220. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, quite. MR IRVING: That is where his heading starts. MR JUSTICE GRAY: The first link in the chain is the 1924 trial, is it not? MR IRVING: It is the 1924 trial. If I had appreciated this witness's remarks and under cross-examination by Mr Rampton your Lordship will remember that we elicited the fact that I was relying on a different set of documents on the original microfilm version of the trial, I did not use the published text. A. Can I just comment on that, my Lord? They are the same. The published text is the complete verbatim transcript. . P-199 Q. Can you go back to page 230, please? You say that Hofmann's testimony of Hitler's trial has little credibility. Is this your view? A. Yes. Q. You base that view you on the fact that Hofmann was a Nazi party member? A. Yes. As I say, a long-standing Nazi supporter and party official, tried to present Hitler in a favourable light as a law-abiding citizen. Q. Yes, and you suggest that I ought to have known that fact? A. Indeed I think you did know that fact, Mr Irving. Q. On what document or evidence do you base your suggestion that I knew that fact? A. On the evidence of Hofmann. Q. On the evidence of Hofmann? A. Yes. Q. In other words, what he himself stated in this trial? MR JUSTICE GRAY: And who was he was? A. That is right, yes. Well, he says in the course of his evidence that he was -- first of all, the court says at the beginning of the transcript of his evidence that he had a close relationship with Hitler and was involved in the Putsch, and therefore should hot be required to give evidence on oath. That is the first pointer. Then he goes on to say that he was, and I quote all of this in my report ---- . P-200 MR IRVING: Yes, but ---- A. --- that he was the head of the Nazi Political Intelligence Unit. Q. The question is ---- A. That he was frequently with Hitler, and that he took part in the Putsch. Q. The question is, what evidence do you have that that evidence was before me when I wrote my book on Hermann Goring? A. Because you read the transcript, you read the transcript of the trial which is where the evidence is. Q. What evidence do you have that I read those pages of the trial? A. It is not a very long testimony and you recount what you must have done, I cannot believe you did anything else, was to start at the beginning of Hofmann's testimony and go on to the end. MR JUSTICE GRAY: If your case is, Mr Irving, that you did not ever read Hofmann's testimony, then you should put that because that would be an explanation. MR IRVING: I hope that I was making that point, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: You were not. You were careful not to put it quite that way. You said: Have you got any got evidence that I had Hofmann's testimony in front of me? If your case is that you never read it, I think you should put that. . P-201 MR IRVING: If I can explain to your Lordship, my problem is that the entire Hermann Goring book was written on an old fashioned Xerox word processor. I am having those disks converted and I can then prove exactly what part of the testimony was before me, but they have still not been converted yet. It is just a technical problem. But I will now put the question to the witness in this way. Was there any evidence before you that I had read the Hofmann testimony? A. The evidence of your book, yes. You quote the testimony in the book. Q. Was there any evidence before you that I had read that part of the testimony relating to his Nazi party membership and to his closeness to Hitler on which you are relying? A. It is not a very lengthy testimony, Mr Irving. It takes about I suppose ten minutes to read it. Q. Did you read this in a printed book or did you read it on the microfilm? A. I just said that they are the same. I have read it in a volume, a multi-volume or a very large collection of documentary presentation edited by people on the staff of the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich. Q. Can I ask you, did this printed volume have an index with names in it? A. I think so, yes. . P-202 Q. Do my microfilms with 8,000 pages on film have an index with names on it? A. No, but it is not difficult to ---- MR RAMPTON: My Lord, I am afraid I think again we are going out into outer space. In cross-examination on 31st January, page 61, Mr Irving said to me: "I knew nothing about Hofmann's background that was not before the court. I read the entire court transcript which was many thousands of pages which was adequate for writing a biography of Hermann Goring." MR IRVING: Yes. Do you accept that if some ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is why I think it is important. MR IRVING: I will now clarify this matter. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think that bears out, if I may say so, the correctness of what I said to you. If your case was that you had never read the testimony, then you ought to have put it. But it now turns out that actually you have already conceded that you read the whole thing. MR IRVING: Professor Evans, when somebody reads an 8,000 page transcript of a trial for the purposes of writing a biography of a very minor character in that trial, is he going, in your opinion, to pay attention to the background of every single witness who gives evidence at that trial? A. Well, Mr Irving, you read the entire transcript. You read all of Hofmann's testimony, which is fairly brief. You use it in your ---- . P-203 Q. Would you estimate to the court how brief this testimony was in terms of typescript pages? MR JUSTICE GRAY: So it takes ten minutes to read, I think? A. Yes, something like that. I have actually read it. MR RAMPTON: My Lord, again I intervene. I think sometimes I live in a parallel universe. I asked Mr Irving in cross-examination what that passage in the book was where he says that Goring goggled at the exchange between Hitler and the young lieutenant. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I remember. MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving said: "That was Hofmann, was it, that testified about that? Answer: Yes. Yes, the whole episode is based on Hofmann." MR IRVING: The fact that the whole episode is based on Hofmann does not presuppose that one has read the whole of Hofmann with great detail as to his origins, his party membership number and all the other matters on which Professor Evans is relying. A. Well, I have the typed pages here. Q. The printed pages or the typescript pages? A. Yes, the printed pages. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think we now know that they are the same. A. The printed version is called [German] which is the verbatim account of the principal proceedings before the people's court at Munich 1, and Hofmann, in other words, it is a verbatim account, it is the same. Hofmann's . P-204 testimony begins on this printed version, that is on seventh day, it begins on page 540, and goes on to page 545 I think, a little bit further. It is really not very long. In any case, Mr Irving, if you read the entire 8,000 pages you certainly must have read those handful of pages. MR IRVING: Will you accept that when one reads 8,000 pages of a transcript of a treason trial one is not paying attention to the political background of the individual members? A. No, certainly not. It is extremely important. You present yourself as a professional historian who has an extremely critical attitude towards written evidence, particularly in trial testimonies as it happens, and here you have the testimony of somebody in an important trial of Hitler in 1924, a fairly brief testimony, and this is somebody who is the head of a political intelligence section of the Nazi party who is with Hitler a great deal, who is quite clearly a Nazi party member, so closely associated with the Nazis and with the Putsch that the court actually mentions the fact; at the beginning and at the end the judge congratulates Hofmann for being so loyal to his Fuhrer. This right through the evidence, Hofmann makes no secret of it all in his evidence, and you suppress this entirely. You present the evidence of this police officer as an entirely neutral statement. You . P-205 suppress, you deliberately suppress these facts which you must have known from having read this report. Q. Must have known and ought to have known, is this sufficient evidence for you, Professor, when you write your books? A. I cannot put myself inside your mind when you are reading this stuff and say whether or not you closed your eyes when it came to the passages where all these things are mentioned. Even if you did that, even if you fell asleep repeatedly during reading this five or six-page account, I cannot really believe, it still seems to me that it is more than irresponsible. You have suppressed this information. You have not presented it to the reader. Q. Precisely what information have I suppressed, the fact that he was a Nazi party member, that he was on Hitler's staff, is that what you are saying? A. Yes .
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