Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day023.23 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 MR IRVING: Paragraph 3: "Simultaneously on 13th May the West German archivist, Dr Brobart, drew my attention to the discovery of a document that confirmed the authenticity of the final report." A. Yes. Q. Right? A. This gives a figure of predicted current death roll of 18,375, predicted figure, death roll of 25,000 and a figure of 35,000 missing. Q. Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: And the criticism is he top of 549. MR IRVING: It gets very critical indeed on paragraph 7 on 548: "Irving was forced to make a humiliating climb down". MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. That is not a criticism. MR IRVING: The word "humiliating" seems slightly critical, my . 218 Lord. The allegation also that I disclosed none of my correspondence with Corgi. But I am probably not going to deal with that. I am just going to deal with the allegation that I sat on things for weeks. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Put your question about that. MR IRVING: Professor Evans, when were the two documents on the basis of your expert report, the East German version and the West German version, mailed to he me? A. 13th May and you replied on 16th May. Q. Which document are you referring to? A. The Dresden city archivist informed you of the existence of the authentic final report of the Dresden authorities, the police authorities, on the death roll on 5th April 1966, and you replied that you continued to believe in the authority of the daily command signed by Grosse which gave a figure of 200,000. Q. Can I halt you there for a moment and ask, did they actually send the document to me or did they just say: "We have found a document"? A. Then they sent a document to you on 27th May asking for your opinion. Q. 27th May. A. And the West Germans sent you a copy on 13th May. So you had a copy in your hands by the time you replied to the West German authorities on 16th May. Q. So what did the West German send to me on May 13th, a . 219 letter saying: "We have found a document" or did they send the document? A. It confirms discovery, yes, they had ---- Q. You appreciate the difference? A. Yes. I appreciate the difference. Yes. Giving a full account of what was in the document. Q. What do you mean by a "full account"? A. Well, I summarize it on paragraph 3 in page 547. It seems pretty full to me with the figures. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Everybody knew what the Tagesbefehl was and there are they saying that actually it says 35,000? A. The final situation report, it says 25. MR IRVING: So what do you say was in the letter from the West German archivists, the first one 13th May? He drew my attention to the discovery of a document, is that correct? A. That is right. Then it goes on to summarise a letter in the rest of that paragraph. Q. I wrote back saying: "Please send me a copy of the report", is that right? A. Yes, and saying that you would give the facts on 16th May, saying you realized the implications of the document and you were going to give the facts fullest prominence in England and Germany to counter what you now said was the false impression given by the Tagesbefehl 47 which you had said only a few weeks previously to the East Germans you continued to believe in. "We have to delay . 220 announcement by about a month", you said, "on diplomatic grounds" as the new edition of your book had appeared only 14 days earlier. Q. Now, when did I receive the two reports, the one from East Germany and the one from West Germany? A. Well, you were aware of their contents by the time you wrote back ---- Q. Can you answer the question? A. --- on 16th May to the West German archives saying that you were going to give the new figures their fullest prominence. Q. Should I have just done that on the basis of that letter or should I have asked to see the report first? A. You clearly thought you were going to and you say you are going to just delay the announcement by a month -- six weeks is what you ---- Q. Did I do the right thing which any normal historian would do which is to say, "Please", as you have been doing for the last eight days, "show me the document"? A. No, you did not. You said you fully accepted it and you were going to give the facts the fullest prominence in England and Germany to counter the false impression given by the earlier report. Q. And did I not say, "Please send me a copy of the document"? A. Or "Show me a copy of the letter". It does not make any . 221 difference to the fact you said you were going to give it prominence without actually having seen the document. Q. If the Germans then sent me a copy of the document, can you take it that I asked them to supply me with a copy of the document? A. That does not alter the fact, Mr Irving, that you said you were going to publicise the new, much smaller figures without having seeing the document. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I wonder about this, Professor Evans. It seems it me, in the overall scale of things, six weeks does not seem a desperately long time, and then the announcement was made, as Mr Irving says, in a rather unusual way by means of a letter to The Times? A. Yes, it is not a major criticism, my Lord, at all. MR IRVING: My Lord, it gets better, it gets better. (To the witness): Can I ask you to turn to pages 44 and 45 of the bundle, please? First of all, will you accept that I left the United Kingdom on May 31st for a research trip on my new book in the United States on May 31st 1966? A. Yes. That is after you had written to the West German archives saying that you fully realized the implications of the document and were intending to give the facts the fullest prominence in England and Germany to counter the false impression given by the inflated and forged figures that you had previously relied on. Q. As soon as I saw the document, that is obvious, is it not? . 222 A. No. Q. How could I do this without ---- A. You said you were going to do it. Q. How could I do this without seeing the document? A. That is what you said. You said you were going to give it. I am quoting your letter. Q. Page 44 of the bundle which is from my diaries. I always knew these diaries would help me. June 16th 1966. An appendix glued in on that page says: "Letters waiting for me on my return from the United States", right? A. Yes. Q. Apparently, I only had 23 letters. I get 170 a day now. Does it say No. 22 and No. 23, the first one, a letter from the Dresden City archives enclosing a photostat of a document, and is the document described there the final report? A. Yes. Q. No. 23, does it say: Letter from the German Federal Archives, Koblenz, enclosing a photostat of the document, the chief of the Ordnungs, Berlin? A. Yes. Q. Does that therefore satisfy you that I did not receive either of the two reports until June 16th 1966 when, by coincidence they both came to me in the same post? A. Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: But you had already written to The Times. . 223 MR IRVING: No, sir. A. He had already written to the West Germans, saying that he was going to give the new figures prominence. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am sorry, I thought both these pages were for the same date. I see the next one is the 30th June. MR IRVING: The next page is 30th June 1966. Is this a page from my telephone log? A. Yes. Q. Does it show me telephoning the correspondence editor of The Times telephoning me at 5.45 p.m. to discuss the letter that they have now received from me? A. Yes. This is all fine. Q. Would you consider that is a very serious delay between June 16th, after arriving from the United States? A. I do not think I say it is a serious delay, anyway, do I? Q. You said it was a six week ---- A. Yes. I say that in your letter on 16th May to the West German Archives you say you are going to have to delay your announcement that you accepted the new figure of 35,000 dead by about a month, and you wait six weeks. It is not a major criticism at all. It is simply just recounting the facts. Q. Do you not make a major criticism of the fact that for six weeks apparently I did nothing and pondered what to do, on your chronology? A. No. . 224 Q. And that your chronology was wrong? A. No. It really it is not desperately important. The important thing is, Mr Irving, having accepted these new figures of 35,000, you then went back on them subsequently and reprinted the phoney targets of Filzeem and Fierzig and put your figures back up 100,000 to quarter of a million. Q. You accept your chronology was wrong, is that correct? A. No, I do not. I do not really see why we are discussing this. Q. You accept that I did not get the reports until June 16th and that I had my letter published by The Times already on July 6th? A. You said that from the 16th May, when you were told the West Germans that you were going to announce your acceptance of the lower figures, you waited six weeks to give them, but I do not regard that, to repeat myself, as a major criticism. I am simply trying to say what happened. I am trying to give an account of how you deal with these matters. That is all. Q. Thank you very much, Professor Evans. I have no further questions. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well done, Mr Irving. You have completed your cross-examination as you said you would. That does raise a question of what we do about re-examination. MR RAMPTON: It is really not going to be all that long. . 225 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not really want you to, if I may say so, rush it. MR RAMPTON: I have only got four things I want to ask. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is that really all you are intending to ask? MR RAMPTON: Yes. One of the things, I will tell your Lordship now, I need not do in re-examination, because it is only, as it often is in re-examination, a way of getting your Lordship to look at some stuff which Mr Irving skipped over in cross-examination. I will tell your Lordship what it is. I am going to hand in a clip of documents taken from the files. There was an argument about whether or not Mr Irving was right to have accused the Allies of inventing the gas chambers by way of propaganda. There is very good evidence in the files that even by 1942 they had information that it was going to happen or was happening. I will just hand in the clip of documents, so it means that I do not have to ask about it. The first part of the clip relates to 1942 and the second part to 1943. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Where am I going to put this? MR RAMPTON: Ah! MS ROGERS: In accordance with the rationalisation of your Lordship's files that your clerk very kindly helped with ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: "Rationalization" is not a word I would use. MS ROGERS: An attempt then, my Lord, on Friday with your clerk, you should have a file L1, I hope, and tab 6 may be . 226 empty. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is. MS ROGERS: If it is, I suggest it goes there and it will be entered in the index accordingly. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Rampton, I will be taken through this at some stage, will I? MR RAMPTON: Yes. We will show your Lordship exactly what it says. They are in effect reports. One comes through Geneva in 1942 from a man called Riegner through the Jewish Congress, whatever it is, in Geneva. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I remember that. MR RAMPTON: There is another one that comes direct from Poland in 1943. It is merely to deal with the question whether the Brits invented the allegation. Plainly they did not. The question whether they used it or not is really beside the point. I would like go to Reichskristallnacht, if I may, Professor Evans, very briefly. It is a file called L2, and I am in tab 1, I think. I need to start at page 9, which I think should be what Mr Irving calls the Hess message of 2.56 on the morning of 10th November 1938. A. Yes. Q. The bottom right hand corner. If you want the passage in your report, it is page 270 of the report. A. Thank you. That is what I was trying to find. Q. You should not need that, I do not think. I hope not. . 227 You remember there was an argument between you and Mr Irving about the meaning of this document? A. Yes.
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