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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day021.13

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day021.13
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   MR IRVING:  Mr Rampton has very cleverly pre-empted what I was
        about to say myself by way of submission.  It is true that
        a few days ago I anticipated two and a half days would
        cover this, and I attach no blame to your Lordship, if
        I can put it like that, that this witness has sometimes

.          P-115

        become so prolix in his answers.  I have repeatedly tried
        to curtail the witness's answers, which have sometimes
        rambled on and on.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do not let us seek to apportion blame.  What
        is the prognosis?
   MR IRVING:  The prognosis is that I was going to ask your
        Lordship, particularly in view of what I would call it, a
        threat uttered by Mr Rampton that he would take certain
        other matters that are contained in the report as being
        agreed or accepted by me unless I did challenge them.  In
        that case I really have to have the time to deal with them
        seriatim unless your Lordship rules otherwise.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I will tell you this straight, as it were.
        I have found extremely enlightening the cross-examination
        that has taken place over the latter part of yesterday
        afternoon and this morning.  So I am not going to give you
        any encouragement to skip things.  Professor Evans is a
        pretty key witness.
   MR IRVING:  May I make a proposal then, my Lord?
   MR IRVING:  Clearly, this is going to take more than another
        half a day this afternoon and another half day tomorrow to
        deal with the remaining matters.  I am very cognisant of
        the fact that Professor Evans has his own academic
        commitments that he has to return to, but I do not know
        whether the procedure will permit him to return for the

.          P-116

        cross-examination to be continued.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think the answer is that, if he has to, he
        has to.  I would prefer that your cross-examination is
        carried on and completed in one go, as it were.
   MR IRVING:  I have to say straight away that I would not be
        physically capable of sitting on Friday, for two reasons.
        Quite physically the burden on me is becoming very serious.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  If you say that, I do not even need to ask
        you to say any more because I accept that.  Indeed,
        I think everybody else finds it essential to have a day to
        catch up.
   MR IRVING:  It is useless less if I do not come properly prepared.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Shall we deal with it this way?  Do you think
        you will be finished with your cross-examination by close
        of play tomorrow?
   MR IRVING:  Of this witness?
   MR IRVING:  The simple answer is no, not at the present rate.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, I would prefer it that we did take
        Friday as a non-court day and that we did, if Professor
        Evans can bear it, continue him and conclude him hopefully
        on Monday of next week unless that is going to throw
        Dr Longerich into confusion.
   MR RAMPTON:  In fact both Dr Longerich and Professor Funke are

.          P-117

        here.  I do not have instructions from them at the moment
        about what their availability is for next week.  I was
        hoping we might actually finish the evidence next week or
        early the week after.  It does not look now as if we shall.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I was hoping it too.
   MR RAMPTON:  I was hoping so, but it does not look like it now
        because I have three quarters of a day's cross-examination
        of Mr Irving left, to be fitted in at some stage.  I do
        not mind when.  I will have to see if Professor Funke, for
        example, can come back at the beginning of the week after
        next if required, and I just do not know the answer to
        that at the moment.
                  What I would invite your Lordship to do is two
        things:  Invite Mr Irving and indeed, if necessary, rule
        that he must confine himself to the questions which really
        matter.  That is to say, for example, in relation to
        Reichskristallnacht, the original documents and the
        accusations which Professor Evans makes about Mr Irving's
        interpretation or use of those original documents.
        I would also invite your Lordship to ask Professor Evans
        just how problematical next week is, so far as he is concerned.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  The first of those suggestions is difficult,
        because we are now dealing with the meat of Professor
        Evans' report.  There are various ways of

.          P-118

        cross-examining.  Sometimes it is not a bad idea to pick a
        little hole and use it to undermine the witness.  I do not
        think myself that that is the best way of cross-examining
        this witness on this sort of material, but that is in the
        end for Mr Irving.
   MR RAMPTON:  I will be blunt, if I may.  I do think that the
        first three quarters, 75 per cent, of this
        cross-examination has been a complete waste of time, if
        I may respectfully say so.  I deeply mind about that.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am going to say this, because I think it is
        fair to say it in defence of Mr Irving.  The first 150
        pages of that report are there.
   MR RAMPTON:  Sure.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is not Mr Irving's fault that they are
        there, and I would have wished that they were not there.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, all right.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I will say no more but I will now ask
        Professor Evans, what about Monday?  Are your students all
        going to fail their exams?
   A.   Monday morning is all right, my Lord, but some of my
        students have an exam next week.  I have five lectures to
        give.  I have presumed an enormous amount on the goodwill
        of my colleagues for rescheduling lectures and classes.
        As you appreciate, Cambridge has rather a short term and
        we already halfway through it effectively.  I put all my
        teaching into the last part of term.

.          P-119

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  So what about Monday afternoon?  That is what
        we are really talking about.
   A.   Monday afternoon I would find very difficult.  I have
        commitments in the late afternoon.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  From your point of view, there is everything
        to be said for getting shot of this altogether?
   A.   My preference would be to sit on Friday but I quite
        understand the reasons why we cannot.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is a strain being a witness day after day
        but it is also a very considerable strain cross-examining
        day after day, probably worse.
   A.   Of course.  I really would find it extremely difficult to
        appear here on Tuesday or indeed any day after next
        Tuesday for the following three weeks.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  What I am going to suggest is, if you can
        possibly do so, would you mind trying to free Monday
        afternoon and we will try, even if we have to sit a bit
        late, to finish you altogether.  I hope that is not
        unrealistic but it does mean we have to keep a foot on the
   MR IRVING:  It does provide me with one extra day.
   MR RAMPTON:  I can then tell your Lordship that, so far as Dr
        Longerich is concerned, the only day next week which is
        impossible is Thursday.  So we could use that as the day off.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think he should be over and done with by

.          P-120

   MR RAMPTON:  I agree.  I do not think he should take more than
        a day myself, but there it is.  It is not in my hands.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  What I will not require of Mr Irving is that
        he goes over the same points with Mr Longerich as he has
        been through with Professor Evans.
   MR RAMPTON:  No.  The second half of Longerich is almost
        entirely swept aside by Professor Browning.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am not saying you should not, but I am
        saying you do not need to.
   MR IRVING:  Yes.  We shall be using Dr Longerich's
        "Germanness", if I can put it like that, the way that we
        could not with Professor Browning.
   MR RAMPTON:  After that, I will see where Professor Funke can
        be fitted in either later next week or the beginning of
        the week after.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  One problem about sitting too long is that
        the transcriber who, if I may take the opportunity of
        saying so, has done an extremely good job, really cannot
        last, I suspect, for more than two and a half hours.
        Shall we press on.
   MR IRVING:  I will try and phrase my questions on the remaining
        days in a way that they can only be answered with short answers.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do not feel you have to gallop but could you

.          P-121

        could bear in mind that the big picture matters.
   MR IRVING:  Professor Evans, on page 276 you refer to yet
        another of my witness with whom you find disfavour,
        Mr Hederich.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   You call his testimony highly unreliable on the basis that
        no other witness claimed that Hitler made a speech before
        Goebbels.  I am referring to paragraph 5 on page 276.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Can I draw your attention to the actual text of what he
        says in the footnote?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.  "Was vorher Hitler selbst gesagt hatte..."
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Is that any reference to Hitler making a speech?
   A.   It appears to be.
   Q.   Is it not just Hitler having said something?  Is that the
        only reason why you discount this witness's testimony?
   A.   No, it is not.  You will have to tell me what you use it for.
   Q.   Turn it page 277, at the beginning of paragraph 6 you say:
        "So Hederich falsely claimed that Goebbels's speech
        contradicted a previous speech made by Hitler".
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   When all that we are certain of is that Hederich just said
        that Goebbels' speech appear to fly in the face of

.          P-122

        something that Hitler had said previously.
   A.   It is not something he said.  It is what the translation ----
   Q.  "Was vorher Hitler selbst gesagt hatte..."?
   A.   Yes.  As I say in my translation, he had held a speech and
        I had the impression that it did not harmonise with what
        Hitler himself had said before.
   Q.   So there is no reference to a Hitler speech is there?  Is
        it not equally possible that Hitler arrived at this
        function of the old guard, the old gang, and had mingled a
        bit, gossiped with people like Hederich, possibly even the
        death of this diplomat had arisen and, when they heard the
        speech by Goebbels later, this man Hederich said, "that is
        funny, it does not sound like what Hitler said to me"?
   A.   That is all speculation.
   Q.   But you agree that there is no reference to a speech?
   A.   He does not say Hitler's speech, no.  He says Dr Goebbels
        held an address and I had the impression that it did not
        harmonize with what Hitler himself had said before.  It
        seems to me to be a reference to a previous speech.
   Q.   That is the only reason why you say Hederich is a suspect
        source because he refers to a speech which did not take place?
   A.   No, it is not.
   Q.   Can you give any other reason?
   A.   It is really the use that you make of it.  This is an

.          P-123

        interrogation of Hederich, who is an old Nazi.  He is a
        sort of censor.
   Q.   Are we going to rule out everybody who is an old Nazi as a
        possible source?
   A.   I think one has to regard postwar interrogations of these
        people.  This is an interrogation.
   Q.   Was Rudolf Hess an old Nazi?
   A.   This is an interrogation in Nuremberg on 16th April 1947,
        and you yourself have cast serious doubts upon
        interrogations conducted at Nuremberg, but, presumably
        because this one you regard as being favourable to your
        point of view, you do not raise those doubts there.
   Q.   The fact is that all----
   A.   This is another piece of postwar testimony.
   Q.   The tissue of lies and distortion and manipulation, all
        the rest of it. We know the speech.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I have the point on Hederich.
   MR IRVING:  Thank you very much.
   MR RAMPTON:  Before we go on to the next question, one reason
        why we do not proceed as quickly as one might like,
        I suspect, is that Mr Irving never lets Professor Evans
        finish an answer without interrupting.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Let us move on.  That has happened
        occasionally, I agree.  Let us move on.
   MR RAMPTON:  It happened just now.
   MR IRVING:  Without interrupting, can I have an answer, please,

.          P-124

        to the following question?  We are now in paragraph 8 on
        page 278.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   You dispute the allegation in my book, or the statement in
        my book, that Goebbels spent much of the night making
        telephone calls to try and undo the damage.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Do I have no evidence for saying that?
   A.   No reliable evidence.

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