The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day005.03

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day005.03
Last-Modified: 2000/08/01

   Q.   You got it very shortly after that, did you not?
   A.   About 1982, if I remember correctly.
   Q.   I think it was earlier, but it does not really matter.
        The last sentence in the quotes reads: "Terror is a
        salutary thing".
   A.   That is correct.
   Q.   When you came to write about this in the 1991 edition,
        you confirmed yesterday, you did at that date have the
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   It is also right, is it not, that you omitted the
        sentence "terror is a salutary thing"?
   A.   Yes, because I discovered that it was not in the
        German, so I quite properly cut it out.
   Q.   But you maintain, do you, still -- I am not going over
        old ground, I just want to be sure that I have

.          P-19

        what your case is -- that, save for that sentence, it
        an accurate account of what was reported to have been
        by Hitler?
   A.   Had I made a version account from the German original,
        starting from scratch, I would have translated it
        differently.  As I had an existing English
        rather than rework it into a different form, then
        I preferred to leave it as it was, rather than incur
        wrath of historians who were familiar only at that
        with the English text.  Professor Martin Bourchard, in
        very famous attack on my book, had commented
        on the fact that my translations of documents differed
        from the official English versions, I wanted to avoid
        kind of ill informed attack.
   Q.   Could Mr Irving please be given file D3 (i)?  Would
        turn, please, to tab 20?  Does your Lordship have
   MR RAMPTON:  At tab 20 this is a document headed On
        Contemporary History and Historiography.  I think it
        from the journal of the International Revisionists
        and the sub-heading is "David Irving, remarks
delivered at
        the 1983 International Revisionists Conference".  Do
        recognize it, Mr Irving?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Is this one of those things that you approve before it
        printed for publication?

.          P-20

   A.   Quite possibly.  I cannot say off the top of my head.
   Q.   The easiest way of doing it is to look for a stamp 101
        the bottom of the page.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   And look at the right hand column.  I will start, if
        I may, for context at the bottom of the left hand
        which in fact in the document is page 280, though it
        been cut off. "The will of the Fuhrer that the Jews
        shipped stage by stage from west to east again and
        and again even in his table talk, you have all heard
        Hitler's table talk or tichgesprache, written down by
        Martin Hein and Martin Bormann's secretary.  Long
        anybody got those these things, I got the actual
        transcripts from the Swiss lawyer who controls these
        documents.  Here you see the actual wording used by
        in German, which is completely different from the
        published English translation."
                  You said that and then you had it published,
        you not?
   A.   If you read the next sentence, you will see what I am
        referring to, the interpolator's sentence.
   Q.   In fact, in the English translation sentences (plural)
        have been interposed which do not exist in the
        German at all.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   In that original you see Hitler saying things like:

.          P-21

        is a good thing that this legend is being spread about
        that the Jews are perishing.  It is a good thing that
        terror story" ----
   A.   "Terror story".
   Q.   --- "is being spread about us".  Then you go on to
make a
        comment of your own.  I am not going to argue with you
        about that because it speaks for itself.  You say he
        regards it altogether as being a legend.
   A.   Who regards it as being a legend?
   Q.   You say that Hitler regards it altogether as being a
        legend, do you not?
   A.   He says it is a good thing that this legend is being
        spread about that the Jews are perishing.
   Q.   That is you translation of the word "schreck", is it?
   A.   Mr Rampton, I do not have the document in front of me
        I am delivering an extemporary speech.  Is this fact
   Q.   Pardon?
   A.   Is this fact plain?  I do not have thousands of
        stacked in front of me when I am making an extemporary
        speech to an audience.
   Q.   You must know that part of the table talk absolutely
        backwards, do you not?
   A.   Know something backwards?  I am familiar with certain
        documents on which I have relied.
   Q.   You must have known ever since you got the Genoud

.          P-22

        that the key word in that particular sentence -- there
        two key words -- the first one is the word "schreck"?
   A.   This is your submission that that is the key word, but
        is a loose word that has been put in there by Heinrich
        Heime who transcribed it and we then have to try to
        some sense of it.
   Q.   Is there any sense in German -- you are the expert --
        which it can be read be read as meaning legend?
   A.   Coupled with the next sentence which I put in, this
        story, I think that legend terror story is an
        good translation of the one word "schrecken".  I am
        precisely the sense of it.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Rampton, I think I have really the
        We went through this yesterday and "schreck" means
what it
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, it is merely Mr Irving's observation, my
        Lord, or acknowledgment, if you like.
   A.   But we also have the problem, Mr Rampton, we are
writing a
        work of literature and, undoubtedly, you could
        that document in a very wooden form, putting precise
        literal translations and you would end up with a
        book of the kind that academics and scholars write.
        have to write a work of literature which is legible,
        giving the sense of the word while at the same time
        it readable in a literary sense.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, but, Mr Irving, when you are dealing

.          P-23

        with source material, which you are here, is it not
        important to convey the proper translation?
   A.   I appreciate that, my Lord, but you have to take into
        account the fact that we also have what Mr Rampton
        extraneous knowledge, knowledge from other sources
        just this one document, which we use when putting the
        proper construction on those words.
   Q.   That will, with respect, Mr Irving, will no do, will
        You cannot translate a document differently because
        are aware of other material which may point in a
        particular direction.
   A.   My Lord, once again I would have to draw your
attention to
        the fact, and I think it is cruel and unnecessary to
        to suggest that I have done wrong by taking the
        official translation published by people who are far
        better qualified than I, professional translators.
   Q.   No, I have that point.  I understand it.  I was
        questioning you about what you then went on to say
        is that you were anxious to avoid what you have
        I think, as a "wooden" translation.  I was putting to
        that an historian really has to take what he finds
when he
        is dealing with source material?
   A.   This is right, which is why scholars' books are
        in such small, limited editions, my Lord, because they
          so illegible, that they are wooden translations of
        documents.  You have to try to make the text flow when

.          P-24

        are writing a book.  Perhaps this is why my books are
        successful than theirs or more readable than theirs
        because I put a lot of extra effort in to making my
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Rampton, I tried to cut it short and
        I have lengthened it.  I am sorry.
   MR RAMPTON:  With my gratitude is all I will say about
        Thank you.  It saves me from asking any more questions
        about that which I now will not do.  But I am going to
        on to what I contend must be another piece of
        mistranslation.  My Lord, this appears on page 338 of
        Professor Evans' report.
   A.   My Lord, if I could just add to that point?  Of
        the motive there for changing the words or giving a
        different meaning is nothing to do with the motives of
        Holocaust deniers; it is purely an intention of
        a more readable book which is possibly an important
        distinction to make.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, that is what you are saying?
   A.   Yes.
   A.   It has nothing to do with trying to minimise anything
        trying to ...
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, now, Mr Irving, have you got your
        book there?
   A.   Yes, indeed.

.          P-25

   Q.   Could you please turn to page 379?
   A.   A vivid description of the Holocaust, if I may say so.
   Q.   Pardon?
   A.   A vivid description of the Holocaust, if I may say so.
   Q.   What is that?
   A.   On page 379.
   Q.   That is as may be.
   A.   You say "that is as may be", but that is what this
        is about, Mr Rampton.
   Q.   Mr Irving, you will have plenty of opportunity when
        case is at an end or before if you want to re-examine
        yourself -- do you understand what that means?  Do you
        understand that means?  At the end of the
        cross-examination you have a chance to go back to
        questions that I have asked you by reference to the
        transcript and give further evidence?
   A.   Notwithstanding what you say, Mr Rampton, I think it
        helpful that I remind the court that this case is
        Holocaust denials, and there is on this page you
intend to
        quote from a vivid description of the Holocaust in
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  This last three or four minutes has been
        complete waste of time.  I know what the case is
about, so
        let us get on.
   MR RAMPTON:  You write in the middle paragraph of that
page, a
        short little paragraph, "The article", that is
        article in Das Reich on 16th November 1941, "displayed

.          P-26

        far more uncompromising face than Hitler's towards the
        Jews".  Then can I understand, you are going to back
        up in the next sentence.  You explained how you work
        yesterday, did you not?
   A.   I explained how I work?
   Q.   Yes.  You put in ----
   A.   Yes, that is the topic sentence.
   Q.   Topic sentence, so the topic is ----
   A.   That is a good example of a topic sentence.
   Q.   The topic is now a comparison between the anti-Semitic
        faces of Hitler and Goebbels, is it not?
   A.   Between the evil genius, Dr Goebbels, and Adolf Hitler
        has been caused immense difficulties by this kind of
   Q.   Now you are going to explain why it is that Hitler's
        was far less uncompromising than Goebbels', are you
   A.   That is what that sentence says.
   Q.   Then we get this evidence, as it were, for your first
        sentence in the next sentence:  "When the Fuhrer came
        Berlin for Luftwaffe General Ernst Udet's funeral, he
        again instructed Goebbels to pursue a policy against
        Jews that does not cause us endless difficulties and
        him to go easy on mixed marriages in the future."
                  So, as you have written it, the reader would
        inclined to agree with you, would he not, Mr Irving,
        Hitler's face was less uncompromising than Goebbels',

.          P-27

        would he not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Now can you turn, please, to page 645 ----
   A.   I am just doing it at this moment.
   Q.   --- where we find footnote 39?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Obviously, a reference to the Gottschalt tragedy.
        must be something to do with Ernst Udet, I dare say?
   A.   I will explain it, if you wish.
   Q.   No, I do not.
   A.   Well, it is important in this context.
   Q.   It is important in this context?
   A.   Yes.  But if you do not wish me to explain it, I will
   Q.   If you wish to explain it, better get it over now.
   A.   Mr Gottschalt was a German actor who was married to a
        Jewish wife.  Goebbels being in charge of the German film
        industry had demanded that Mr Gottschalt divorce his wife,
        because otherwise he would get no more roles in Berlin.
        The actor had refused to divorce his wife because he loved
        her and, instead, the whole family committed suicide.
        That is the Gottschalt tragedy that I have described in
        this book, Mr Rampton, and you know it.

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