The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day012.02

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day012.02
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

.          P-9

   MR IRVING:  In that case I would draw you attention then when
        the time comes to a third document here, my Lord, which is
        the Washington Post on the morning before St Martin's
        Press took its decision and they quoted the Second
        Defendant as an authority for their decision.
                  Your Lordship may consider it to be tenuous or
        you may consider it to be relevant.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, I do not consider it to be tenuous.
        I just wonder how this witness can help on this.
   MR IRVING:  Well, setting it in its broader context, as saying
        this is not just a misfortune that has befallen me, but is
        part of a group strategy, my Lord, and difficult though it
        is to establish, I will do what I can for the next five or
        10 minutes and then turn him to whatever cross-examination
        Mr Rampton desires to make.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  But I understand the way you put it.  Thank you.
   MR IRVING:  So you perceived the Jewish community as working in
        a certain way in order to suppress a certain book?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   Well, there were several tactics the Jewish organizations
        have used.  That was another one.
   Q.   Yes.  You have had a chance to read most of this bundle,
        which is identified by me as bundle E ----
   A.   Yes, I have.

.          P-10

   Q.   --- over the weekend, is that correct?
   A.   Yes, I have.
   Q.   Could you, again in just a very few lines, describe how
        the documents you have read in that bundle support or
        refute your own -- I have to ask what these papers are
        that you are looking at.
   A.   This is simply a statement that I wrote out.
   Q.   I think we will have to ask you to testify really from
        within yourself rather than from the written paper.
   A.   Yes.  I was not aware of that.
   Q.   Yes.  Having read the bundle of documents, would you
        describe roughly what the bundle of documents comprises?
   A.   Well, the bundle of documents comprises a record of
        suppression of David Irving, cancelling of speeches,
        avoiding of contracts, as a result of pressure of various
        Jewish organizations in different countries.
   Q.   Just from one country or from several countries?
   A.   From several countries -- Canada, South Africa, Australia,
        I believe.
   Q.   You would put the suppression of that book within that
   A.   Yes.  If I had known about that actually, I would have
        explained in that section, including more examples of
        that, showing some examples of that.
   Q.   Have you seen items in this bundle which lead you to
        believe that the Second Defendant has made herself a part

.          P-11

        of that endeavour?
   A.   Yes, I have.  There was an article in the Washington Post
        quoting her -- I do not have the exact quote here.  I can
        read it.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  If you are going to rely on it in some way,
        perhaps you could tell me what it says?
   A.   Yes.
   MR IRVING:  It is ----
   A.   OK.  In the Washington Post of April 3, 1996, she is
        quoted as saying:  "In the past ... it says that in every
        generation there shall be those who rise up to destroy
        us.  David Irving is not physically destroying us, but is
        trying to destroy the memory of those who have already
        perished at the hands of tyrants.  They say that they do
        not publish reputations, they publish books, but would
        they publish a book by Jeffery Damer on man, boy
        relationships?  Of course, the reputation of the author
        counts and no legitimate historian takes David Irving's
        work seriously".  It is that last part that certainly drew
        my attention because I have seen historians praise his
        work, but also just the fact that she was literally part
        of the pressure on St Martin's Press.
   Q.   Can I ask you to go to page 250 of the bundle?
   A.   I do not have a copy here.
   Q.   I will give you a copy.  This is bundle E, if you go to
        page 250 of bundle E?

.          P-12

   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Is that a letter from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre to the
        Second Defendant, Mrs Deborah Lipstadt?
   A.   Yes, it is on the head of Simon Wiesenthal, signed by Saul Litman.
   Q.   Does it make reference to a student paper I sent to you?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Does Mr Litman who wrote the letter conclude the letter
        saying, "Please recognize that it is not for publication
        or direct quotation.  It is, after all, an unedited
        student's work and contains many phrases and comments that
        neither you or I would use in a situation which clearly
        involves considerable delicacy"?
   A.   Yes, that is a direct quote.
   Q.   Would you now turn to page 251?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Is this, apparently, an anonymous report of
        approximately  ----
   A.   25 pages.
   Q.   --- 12 pages or thereabouts called, "History Rewritten,
        the World of David Irving"?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Have you seen anything in that report which indicates that
        there has been a deliberate attempt made by an
        organization to destroy my legitimacy as an historian?
   A.   Well, yes, on page 253 ----

.          P-13

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  What do you say this document is that you are
        looking at, Professor McDonald?
   MR IRVING:  It was a document that was provided to the Second
        Defendant by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is the one referred to in the letter you
        have just taken us to?
   MR IRVING:  We have to presume so, my Lord.  It took a certain
        amount of fight to obtain a copy of this for the
        solicitors.  I had to obtain  court order finally to
        obtain a copy of it.
   MR IRVING:  They provides what looks like the covering letter
        in a separate episode and gave it the same discovery
        number, No. 500.  But all I propose to do is to rely on
        the content of this document which went to the Second
        Defendant, and you have drawn our attention to page 253,
        and which paragraph do you consider is suggestive of an
        attempt to destroy my legitimacy as an historian?
   A.   In the first full paragraph, is still in the introduction,
        it refers to quotes later on from you, but then it says in
        the middle of that paragraph:  "These quotes serve as a
        clear example of why he should not be allowed to
        disseminate his message of hate as freely in other public forums".
   Q.   Which paragraph is that again?
   A.   The first full paragraph on page 253.

.          P-14

   Q.   Beginning with the words "The focus of"?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   "These quotes serve as a clear example of why he should
        not be allowed to disseminate his message of hate as
        freely in other public forums"?
   A.   That is quite correct, and further ----
   Q.   At the bottom of that page, can I draw your attention to
        the sentence beginning, "The importance of" ----
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   --- "such work is to deny Irving the legitimacy he so
        desires in his attempts to spread his anti-Semitic and
        racist messages", and are there any other passages in that
        which indicate an organized attempt to destroy my
   A.   Yes, just a minute here.  It probably bears mentioning on
        page 256 that, although the author of this report does
        view David Irving as a flawed historian, it is
        acknowledged that his revisionist themes are interspersed
        with genuine historical insight.  Again, that is, sort of,
        what exercises me, but at the bottom of page 258, the last
        paragraph on page 258.
   Q.   Would you read it out, please?
   A.   The entire paragraph?
   Q.   Yes.
   A.  "David Irving's techniques challenge the most educated
        minds to adopt his version of reality.  By revealing

.          P-15

        Irving's methods, the illusion is portrayed as facts and
        his writings have been unveiled.  Hence, while claiming to
        be a legitimate historian, Irving can now be identified
        with his underlying purpose, to morally rehabilitate Adolf
        Hitler and the Third Reich.  Given this accurate version
        of reality, it is all the more clear why his activities
        must be curtailed and why his alleged legitimacy must be
   Q.   There is one particular passage, is there not, that you
        have read where they actually talk about the need to
        destroy my legitimacy as an historian?
   A.   Well, I believe that was the main one.  The final -- no,
        OK, yes, on page 273.
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   The author goes into various possibilities of how to deal
        with David Irving, one of which was just to go for free
        speech, but the other suggests, it says, "In the case of"
         -- this is on page 253 ----
   Q.   "In the case of David Irving", right?
   A.   It is after the indent quote -- what?
   Q.   The third paragraph, right?
   A.   OK, yes.  "In the case of David Irving, in his brand of
        Holocaust denial, the ultimate response is to cease
        providing him with a forum to convey his skewed version of
        history and to negate his attempts to obliterate the
        memory of millions of victims."

.          P-16

                  And I might point out also the last paragraph on
        page 276, where he quotes John Keegan:  "No historian of
        the Second World War can afford to ignore David Irving".
        So, again, despite the fact that he is regarded among
        historians as important, some one must read, there are
        attempts to make, to curtail his freedom of speech, and so
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Professor McDonald, how does that establish
        that Professor Lipstadt is part of this conspiracy to
        discredit Mr Irving?
   A.   To my knowledge and my only, the only linkage between
        Professor Lipstadt and this is the Washington Post
   Q.   What has this to do with the Washington Post?
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, this document was from Professor
        Lipstadt's own discovery.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I follow that.  It is a document that she was
        sent, apparently unsolicited, by the Simon Wiesenthal
        organization.  What does that prove against her?
   A.   Well, OK, this document -- there is not, but my impression
        was that David Irving has a general complaint about
        persecution by Jewish organizations and that is what
        I thought we were addressing here.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I see.  Thank you.
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, your Lordship said "unsolicited".  In
        fact, there are other documents in this bundle where we

.          P-17

        see the second Defendant specifically writing to all these
        bodies asking, effectively, what dirt they have on me,
        both in Canada and in the United States and in London.
        There is a whole list of them whom she thanks in her
        introduction, whereupon your Lordship will see from this
        bundle on a later date -- I shall draw your Lordship's
        attention to it -- that I made an application for specific
        discovery of these items.  Unfortunately, we are not going
        to have a chance to cross-examine the Second Defendant on
        the completeness of her discovery, and I have done what
        best I can to establish what information she had.  May I proceed?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, please.
   MR IRVING:  Professor McDonald, have you seen correspondence in
        this bundle between the Second Defendant and the Yad
        Vashem and, in particular, with Professor Yehuda Bauer,
   A.   Yes, I have.
   Q.   What was the content of that correspondence in brief?  We
        can look at the correspondence ----
   A.   Do you have the page number for it?  In brief, the content
        was to remind Professor Lipstadt of the importance of
        including David Irving in the book.
   Q.   Had she not then included me in the original draft of her
        book from the correspondence that you have seen?
   A.   I believe it was that you were mentioned in that, but the

.          P-18

        clear intent was to emphasise you to a greater extent than
        it was before.

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