Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day016.02 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. I do not accept your word "perverse", of course. We have spent many weeks here in this very room, examining how perverse or otherwise it is to put forward that proposition. Would you accept that, to somebody who has not had complete access to all the records that are now . P-8 correctly available, it may still seem an unusual opinion? MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is almost by definition an impossible question for him to answer. MR IRVING: It became rather tortuous in the utterance, I am afraid. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think, bringing yourself up to date with historical knowledge as it has been emerging, do you still retain the view that it is perverse to say that Hitler did not know about the Final Solution? A. I think, my Lord, that it defies common sense. MR IRVING: It does indeed defy common sense, and this is what makes it such a fascinating subject to investigate. Would you agree with that? If it turned out to be against all common sense and yet not demonstrable, would it be worth investigating? A. It would be so extraordinary that it would defy reason. Q. I agree, "extraordinary" is possibly a better description of this conclusion than "perverse". Perverse, would you agree, implies a wilfulness, a deliberate tendentiousness in the way one looks at the documentation? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, wrong headed, I think is the meaning. MR IRVING: Wrong headed, yes. Can I ask you finally to turn to pages 8 and 9? My Lord, the only reason this is included is this is one way of putting this before your Lordship. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. . P-9 MR IRVING: Are you familiar with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum? A. Well, I have passed it. I have not been in. Q. Would you accept that this is an official history published by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum by its former director, Michael Berenbaum? A. Yes. Q. I am sure I will be corrected by Mr Rampton if that is wrong. Would you turn to page 9? A. Yes. Q. Would you accept that Professor Aberhard Jackel is a leading German historian? A. I am never heard of him, but then I am a military historian of a rather technical sort and it is not necessary that I should have heard of him. Q. Could I ask you briefly to read the paragraph number 5, beginning with the words "rehearsal for destruction" and I will ask you a question about it. Just read it to yourself. A. (Pause for reading) Yes. Q. Would you agree that the tenor of that passage is that this German Professor is stating that, until my biography of Hitler was published in 1977, there had been no worth while research on the Holocaust, and that the publication of my book provoked the historians of the world into finally doing the research on that subject? . P-10 A. I do not think I can agree with that. As an under graduate I think I read what I still think is a remarkable book called the Final Solution by Gerald Reitlinger, and I felt that I have learned from Gerald Reitlinger everything substantial that I know about the Holocaust. Q. Of course. A. And that not much has been added to that since. Q. There has been a book by Raul Hilberg in the interim as well, 'The Destruction of European Jewry'? A. There have been an enormous number of books on the Holocaust. Q. Not before 1977. A. I am sorry, it is not my subject. I do not know the unrolling of the historiography of the subject in that detail. Q. My question to you, Sir John, was, would you agree that the tenor of this paragraph is to suggest that, in the eyes of this leading German historian, that, until my book on Hitler was published, there was no worth while research into the Holocaust, and that triggered, with this outrageous hypothesis, as he puts it, the entire research which has developed since then? A. I do not know. I could not endorse that. I do not know enough. Q. You appreciate my question? I am not asking your opinion, I am asking whether this---- . P-11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us cut this short. It obviously says what you have just indicated it says, but Sir John is not able to agree with it from what he knows. MR IRVING: Very well. Sir John, finally I had to coerce you into the witness box, although in the 1980s and 1990s you wrote very favourable things about my writings. Can you in a very brief sentence explain why you were unwilling to come voluntarily? A. Yes. Briefly, perhaps not. Just because I admire Hitler's War, which I do, I admired it again when I was reading it last night, it does not mean to say that I endorse your opinions beyond what you have to say, about what I am interested in in Hitler's War, which is your picture of how Hitler conducted military operations. As a military historian, that is the sort of history in which I am interested and I think you do it extremely well in Hitler's War. That does that not mean to say that I can go further in following you. It seemed to me this was to be a very contentious case, and one is easily misunderstood, I think, in discussion of this dreadful episode, this terrible period in European history, easily misunderstood. I did not wish to put myself in a position where I might be misunderstood. Q. Would be it fair to say that you were apprehensive about the repercussions of giving evidence on my behalf? A. Naturally. I am not giving on your behalf. . P-12 Q. Giving evidence as a witness for the claimant? A. Under subpoena. Q. Yes. No. The question was ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: This is a slightly meaningless debate. Sir John is right. He is here compulsorily, not voluntarily. He has no choice but to answer your questions, which he has done very clearly. MR IRVING: The evidence I was trying to produce here was evidence of the fact that this is an exposed position that one takes, and that there are professional repercussions which can be expected by those who take this position in view of the very unfortunate nature this debate has adopted. It is very difficult for me to produce evidence on that matter, particularly as a lot of the witnesses are not going to be called. MR JUSTICE GRAY: If I may say so, it is a point that does not really need evidence. I am not blind to the realities of the position and I understand the point you are putting. MR IRVING: I am indebted to your Lordship and in that case I have no further questions. MR RAMPTON: I have no questions. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Sir John, that finishes your time in the witness box. Thank you very much. You are free to go. (The witness stood down) MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I think you have some procedural points to make? . P-13 MR IRVING: Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Before you do that, can I just ask you where, if anywhere, you are suggesting I put the clip you have just handed in? MR IRVING: Miss Rogers has generated a catalogue of these stray items and no doubt the catalogue will grow longer. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think they might say they are their stray items. Shall we put this into one of the C bundles, perhaps C4? MR RAMPTON: Back of J2 is suggested. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is really your documents, is it not? MR RAMPTON: No. Ours are L. MR JUSTICE GRAY: You probably claim J, too, do you not? I will put it wherever you suggest. MR RAMPTON: I do not have one, so I cannot really help. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not have one either. J2? MR RAMPTON: Yes, something called J2. MR RAMPTON: It is Claimants Bundle E, Global, which apparently is in J2. Why, I do not know. MR JUSTICE GRAY: If there is a J2, which I doubt, I would like one. Yes, Mr Irving? MR IRVING: My Lord, your Lordship will see that I have provided to you once again a number of newspaper articles. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. MR IRVING: I do not know how far I am testing your Lordship's patience on this matter, but I am a litigant in person and . P-14 I certainly need education on this matter and possibly members of the press also need education as to what is permissible and what is not in a non-jury action. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, show me. MR IRVING: I am not familiar with any ruling which says in a non-jury action it is open season on one or other of the parties in an action. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Certainly that is right. It is not. On the other hand, it is presumed -- you may or may not agree with it -- that judges are more able to ignore what is written outside court and more able to focus on the evidence. I hope I am doing that, which I have slightly discouraged you in the past when you have raised various newspaper articles. I cannot obviously tell the press what they should and should not say, but show me what you are objecting to because, if you have a point---- MR IRVING: I will provide your Lordship with three articles which I certainly do not expect you to read in an instant. Two are, in fact, from newspapers produced by Guardian Newspapers. One is the Guardian which was published on Saturday, a major article by a man called Jonathan Friedland, who is a very well-known and very responsible journalist. The other one is an article published in The Observer yesterday. The one published in The Observer yesterday by Mr Neil Acheson seems to equate David Irving, Jorg Haider and Adolf Hitler in a rather . P-15 unbecoming manner. "If Irving wins and Heider wins, then what?" I have also highlighted "Niematz Wieder never again and Den Anfenge, stop it at the start", what used to be called in Latin I believe principe obstat. The repugnance of those articles is that of course the Guardian Newspaper are Defendants in a second action I am bringing of a very similar nature, which they maintain is of a similar nature, and they have a clear and vested interest, in fact, in trying to see me knocked out in this action. Then, slightly more sinister and more difficult to control, I appreciate, by your Lordship are the articles being written by London journalists for the foreign press which then come bouncing back to us through Cyber space.
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