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, as you confirmed yesterday, you did at that date have the original? A. Yes. Q. It is also right, is it not, that you omitted the single sentence "terror is a salutary thing"? A. Yes, because I discovered that it was not in the original 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 understood . P-19 what your case is -- that, save for that sentence, it is an accurate account of what was reported to have been said 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 translation, rather than rework it into a different form, then I preferred to leave it as it was, rather than incur the wrath of historians who were familiar only at that time with the English text. Professor Martin Bourchard, in his very famous attack on my book, had commented extensively on the fact that my translations of documents differed from the official English versions, I wanted to avoid that kind of ill informed attack. Q. Could Mr Irving please be given file D3 (i)? Would you turn, please, to tab 20? Does your Lordship have that? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. MR RAMPTON: At tab 20 this is a document headed On Contemporary History and Historiography. I think it comes from the journal of the International Revisionists body, and the sub-heading is "David Irving, remarks delivered at the 1983 International Revisionists Conference". Do you recognize it, Mr Irving? A. Yes. Q. Is this one of those things that you approve before it is 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 at 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 page, which in fact in the document is page 280, though it has been cut off. "The will of the Fuhrer that the Jews are shipped stage by stage from west to east again and again and again even in his table talk, you have all heard of Hitler's table talk or tichgesprache, written down by Martin Hein and Martin Bormann's secretary. Long before 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 Hitler in German, which is completely different from the published English translation." You said that and then you had it published, did 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 original German at all. A. Yes. Q. In that original you see Hitler saying things like: "It . P-21 is a good thing that this legend is being spread about that the Jews are perishing. It is a good thing that this 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 when I am delivering an extemporary speech. Is this fact plain? Q. Pardon? A. Is this fact plain? I do not have thousands of documents 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 version . P-22 that the key word in that particular sentence -- there are two key words -- the first one is the word "schreck"? A. This is your submission that that is the key word, but it is a loose word that has been put in there by Heinrich Heime who transcribed it and we then have to try to make some sense of it. Q. Is there any sense in German -- you are the expert -- in which it can be read be read as meaning legend? A. Coupled with the next sentence which I put in, this terror story, I think that legend terror story is an extremely good translation of the one word "schrecken". I am giving precisely the sense of it. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Rampton, I think I have really the point. We went through this yesterday and "schreck" means what it means. 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 translate that document in a very wooden form, putting precise literal translations and you would end up with a ghastly book of the kind that academics and scholars write. You have to write a work of literature which is legible, giving the sense of the word while at the same time having 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 calls extraneous knowledge, knowledge from other sources than 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 it? You cannot translate a document differently because you 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 try to suggest that I have done wrong by taking the original, 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 which is that you were anxious to avoid what you have described, I think, as a "wooden" translation. I was putting to you 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 published in such small, limited editions, my Lord, because they are so illegible, that they are wooden translations of documents. You have to try to make the text flow when you . P-24 are writing a book. Perhaps this is why my books are more successful than theirs or more readable than theirs because I put a lot of extra effort in to making my works literary. 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 that. Thank you. It saves me from asking any more questions about that which I now will not do. But I am going to go on to what I contend must be another piece of deliberate mistranslation. My Lord, this appears on page 338 of Professor Evans' report. A. My Lord, if I could just add to that point? Of course, 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 producing a more readable book which is possibly an important distinction to make. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, that is what you are saying? A. Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. A. It has nothing to do with trying to minimise anything or trying to ... MR RAMPTON: Yes, now, Mr Irving, have you got your Goebbels' 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 trial is about, Mr Rampton. Q. Mr Irving, you will have plenty of opportunity when this 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 is helpful that I remind the court that this case is about Holocaust denials, and there is on this page you intend to quote from a vivid description of the Holocaust in action. MR JUSTICE GRAY: This last three or four minutes has been a 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 Goebbels' article in Das Reich on 16th November 1941, "displayed a . P-26 far more uncompromising face than Hitler's towards the Jews". Then can I understand, you are going to back that 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 who has been caused immense difficulties by this kind of genius. Q. Now you are going to explain why it is that Hitler's face was far less uncompromising than Goebbels', are you not? 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 to Berlin for Luftwaffe General Ernst Udet's funeral, he again instructed Goebbels to pursue a policy against the Jews that does not cause us endless difficulties and told him to go easy on mixed marriages in the future." So, as you have written it, the reader would be inclined to agree with you, would he not, Mr Irving, that 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. That 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 not. 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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