Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day018.05 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 Q. He is familiar with my works and he finds them exceptionally well written and researched. Never mind the "well written", but he finds them well researched. And you do not accept his opinion? A. It depends what you mean by "well researched". I mean, I do not dispute the fact that you have very wide and deep knowledge of the source material for the Third Reich, particularly during the Second World War, above all, and of course it is quite right, as countless historians have pointed out, that you discovered many new sources. Q. What have I done with these sources? Have I made them available immediately to the community? A. I was about to go on to say that the problem for me is what you do with the sources when you then start to interpret them and write them up. Q. But do I do two things with these sources, is this correct? On the one hand, I write my books based on them, on the other hand, I automatically placed the entire collection of these new sources in various institutes where people like yourself and your researchers and other historians around the world can immediately go and see them; is that correct? A. Some of them you have placed, you have made available, and the others you have not. . P-37 Q. Are you familiar with any collections that I have not immediately made available? Can you identify any? A. Yes, the interrogations of Hans Aumeier, which have already been discussed in this courtroom, it took you four or five years to make those or six years to make those available. Q. We have actually discussed them at some length in this courtroom, and it is true that I did not make the actual bundle of documents available to other historians after I discovered them. This is true. Can you suggest there may be a reason why I, having discovered that little scoop, did not make them immediately available to others? A. Yes. It seemed to me that they were somewhat embarrassing for your position on the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz. Q. Are you familiar with the letter that I wrote to Professor Robert Jan van Pelt in May 1996 drawing his attention to this bundle of documents? A. That is four years after you discovered the documents and a letter to one person. That is not the same as making them generally available immediately. Q. Would you agree that Professor Robert Jan van Pelt was the world's acknowledged expert on Auschwitz and he was the appropriate person to have his attention drawn to this file? A. Yes, but I repeat, that is not the same as making them . P-38 generally available immediately which is your initial claim you made a few minutes ago. Q. Would you agree that there is a difference between my visiting elderly widows and persuading them to part with their diaries, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, something which is in the public domain already in the British public archives and where anybody can go and find it if they have sufficient nouse, and nobody else has bothered to. There is a difference there. A. I am not sure. It was in a very -- it is in a somewhat unexpected place where you might not expect to find it in the Public Record Office in the files of the Political Warfare Executive. Q. Would you expect a researcher on Auschwitz to have sufficient acumen to go to the Public Record Office and look in the files of the War Office Military Intelligence, WO208, and in the catalogue find a file called "Interrogations of Hans Aumeier of Auschwitz", would that take much intelligence, do you think? A. You have to know exactly where to look for in 19 -- I think these were only released in 1991 and 1992. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can I ask the same question in a different way? If you had come across the Aumeier diary, I think it is a diary, what would you have done with it if you felt it was your duty to place it in the public domain? A. Published an article about it, I think, in a learned . P-39 journal. It is a somewhat problematic document, but I think it is of some interest and importance. MR IRVING: Professor Evans, have you seen a letter of mine in the files which are disclosed to you by way of discovery in which I wrote to the Institute of Contemporary History -- disregarding your views about that Institute at this moment -- and suggested precisely that, that this item, the Aumeier papers, should be published in some learned journal? A. Which Institute of Contemporary ---- Q. The one in California, the IHR? A. Oh, that is the institute Of Historical Review, so- called. Q. Yes, I am sorry. I gave you the wrong name, yes. A. Yes, I do not regard that as a respectable academic Institution. Q. But was this not an offer, a suggestion, by me that this document should be placed in the public domain by way of somebody writing a learned paper about it? A. If you place your letter in front of me, a copy of it, I would be happy to look at it. Q. I am asking a general question here, what degree of access have you been given to all the documents that I made available to the Defence by way of discovery? Have you seen everything or have you had everything available to you or have you been able to pick and choose or have you had just limited access? . P-40 A. Everything has been made available, but, of course, as you will appreciate, there is an enormous quantity of material and ---- Q. Have you read my entire correspondence between myself and the IHR? A. We have certainly had access to it and it has been looked through and some of it, of course, is cited in my report. Q. Professor Evans, you expressed the opinion in your report that my diaries may have been written for some ulterior motive? A. Could you point to the page in my report where I say that, please? Q. That sounded to me as though it was a rehearsed remark. I shall avoid wasting the court's time. It is in the first few pages and I shall say, is it true that it is your opinion that I may have written the diaries for some reason other than one would normally write a diary? What are your suspicions about why I wrote that? A. Would you like to point me to the page where I -- you see, I have a problem, Mr Irving, which is that, having been through your work, I cannot really accept your version of any document, including passages in my own report, without actually having it in front of me, so I think this may be a problem for us. Q. If may make things easier for you, of course. That is precisely why I do not and I do not think his Lordship . P-41 will accept that kind of answer to my questions either. Let me phrase a simple question to you. You have read all my diaries or you have had all my diaries made available to you and you have read extensively ---- A. They have been made available. I have to say they were not particularly useful for my report. My report is concerned almost entirely with your published writings and speeches. Q. Did you find frequently in the diaries of the 1970s descriptions of my meetings with members of Hitler's private staff? A. I do not think I refer to that in my report. Q. No. Did the other experts ---- A. There are one or two references in my report. Q. --- Professor Levin and Professor Eatwell have access to these diaries as well and also their researchers? A. Indeed they did. I think they -- yes, they did. Q. Did you form any kind of consensus about these diaries? Did you form any kind of opinion as to whether, for example, the diaries were written with a view to publication? A. I have not discussed the diaries with Professor Eatwell or Professor Levin. Q. Did you form an opinion yourself about whether the diaries were perfectly ordinary diaries written for whatever psychological reason people have to write diaries, or were . P-42 they written rather like Alan Clark with an intention of publishing later on or somewhere in between? A. This is really getting into the realms of speculation about your psychology, Mr Irving, which I would rather avoid. Q. I am asking you about your opinion. I am asking your opinion, having read the diaries. You have expressed an opinion in the report and I am asking what your opinion is now. A. Can you direct me to the place in the report where I express this opinion? Q. I am asking you what your opinion is now. Do you think the diaries were written genuinely or were they written as a camouflage? A. Let me try to find this place that we are trying to discuss here in the report. Q. I am not trying to trap you into providing a useful answer. I am trying to lay the groundwork for questions which will be based on the diaries, Professor Evans. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am just looking at the very end of it, Professor Evans, but I cannot quite find what I think perhaps Mr Irving has in mind. A. It is page 16, paragraph 1.5.6 which I said I have had access to his complete private diaries, where I simply describe them as "private diaries". MR IRVING: Can you not just answer simply my question? Having . P-43 had that access to these private diaries, have you formed an opinion? A. No, not really. I mean, I do not, I do not really want to speculate as to why they are being written. Certainly some of them, as you know, are published, you have put extracts up and you publish extracts. So, from that point of view, certainly, I would imagine there was an intention of publishing at least part of them because you have actually published them. Q. Yes. A. But whether that applies to all of them is a completely -- is a rather different matter. It is rather similar, in a way, to Goebbels's diaries. As you know, those which he published in his lifetime, those were the early 1930s, he did excise quite substantial chunks before he published them. Q. In Goebbels', for example, and I do not accept there is any comparison, he wrote handwritten diaries and he dictated typescript diaries, did he not? A. That is right, yes, and he signed a publishing contract, as you know, of his diaries. Q. And he published, for example, the 1933 diary as a book later on which was quite close but not the same as --- - A. That is what I was referring to, yes. He excised certain parts of it, so one could not say that everything in his earlier diaries were written with a view to publication. . P-44 Q. In your expert report you said that I was obliged to turn over my diaries to the Defence. What did you mean by that? A. Could you point to me the page where I say that? Q. Oh, dear! MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, do we really need to go to that? I expect you probably did say that. A. Well, I really, my Lord, would ask I be pointed to where I say that. MR JUSTICE GRAY: All right, if you really want it? A. I am afraid I do, yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can you help Mr Irving? It is difficult to be asked to -- it is a report running to about 750 pages. MR RAMPTON: Can I tell your Lordship what actually happened? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I know exactly what happened which is why I wondered whether Professor Evans really needed to be referred to the documents. MR RAMPTON: Your Lordship knows what happened? Oh, well, that is fine. Then there cannot be any contest because Mr Irving knows too. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I know. I think this is perhaps not a useful exercise. MR IRVING: It is wording that he used there in the expert report. It is adding a flavour here as though I was dragged kicking and screaming into the courtroom and taken under armed guard back to my house ---- . P-45 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, can we just short circuit this? Can I just see whether we cannot short circuit? You were compelled by the process of what is now called disclosure to hand over a whole lot of what you very understandably regard as private documents because they are your own diaries.
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