Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day019.11 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 MR IRVING: No, I have not got it here with me, my Lord, but we have a much more serious problem with this witness, and this is that he has repeatedly relied on documents which are not in the H1 series ---- . P-94 A. I am sorry, but the fact remains they were not volunteers. Russians who joined the German armies were in many cases, effectively, forced to do so. Q. They were called Hilsswillige, were they not? A. They were not volunteers. Q. "Hiwis", is that right? A. That, of course, is a classic piece of Nazi rhetoric. Q. Is it not true that they joined with the intention of fighting the Bolsheviks and then found they had been sent to another front? A. Not in all cases, not at all, no. They were -- Russian prisoners of war in Germany were in extremely difficult conditions. Some 3 million were, effectively, deliberately left to starve and die by the Germans in the course of war, and the alternative to being pressed into the German Army was quite clear to many of them. Q. John Lukacs has published a book recently, has he not? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, may I just try to help you because I do see your problem and I am actually sympathetic with it. If I tell you that my approach to these opening paragraphs, pages, where the views of other historians about your work are recited at length and in a very critical vein, if I tell you my attitude to them is going to be that they count for virtually nothing, so far as I am concerned, when I come to judge the criticisms made of you by Professor Evans, and I go a little bit further . P-95 than that, and say it is my view that it is in every way -- this is not a criticism of Professor Evans personally -- unfortunate that they are there because they could be taken to indicate a preconception about the validity of the criticisms. MR IRVING: I think they are grossly prejudicial, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Does that satisfy you that you really are not going to lose by not spending long, in fact I hope no longer, on these other historians' views? MR IRVING: But you do accept my belief that they are grossly prejudicial ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: I chose my words with a certain amount of care. They are capable of giving rise to the impression that there was a preconception that there were justified criticisms about you. In the end, I think Professor Evans accepts that he has justify his own criticisms in his own terms and as a matter of his own beliefs. A. Yes. MR IRVING: Can you turn to page 63? We are now moving on to publishers. I will not deal with any more historians then. 2.5.38, can you accept that, in fact, my main publishers in that era were Macmillan and Hutchinsons and not Penguin? They were my major hard back publishers. A. Yes, I mention publishing house -- your books are published by a variety of mainstream publishing houses, including Penguin Books, Macmillan, Hodder and Stoughton, . P-96 HarperCollins, Grafton Books and Corgi paperbacks. Q. But they ceased publishing me, did they not? A. I think that is correct, yes. Q. Are you implying they ceased publishing me because of inherent faults in my works or because of some other reason? Do you have any knowledge one way or the other? A. I am trying to see where I describe this. You have no longer been published -- since the late 1980s you have no longer been published by major houses, but instead you have brought out your books under your own imprint. Q. You are aware, in fact, that Macmillans continued publishing me until 1992? A. Yes. Q. Are you suggesting that Macmillans and Hutchinsons and the other major hard back publishers ceased publishing because they found faults in my work? A. I mean, one has to kind of guess really, I think, because I have not had access to any documentation which they have, but, as you know, the normal process among publishers of non-fiction is to have manuscripts and books submitted to referees for comment, and it may well be that that is the reason why they did not. I mean, your views have changed on a number of matters. Q. Have you any reason to ---- A. Or did change in a number of matters, particularly on the Holocaust in the late 1980s, and I think it is not . P-97 unreasonable to see a connection between the change of your views that took place in 1988 when I think you became a Holocaust denier, and the fact that within four years major publishing houses were not publishing your work any longer. Q. Is it in your knowledge of the publishing industry normal for publishers to come under outside pressure? A. It depends what you mean by "outside pressure". As I said, publishers commonly send manuscripts and books out to a variety of referees who report on them. In a sense, if they get adverse reports from those referees, I guess that is outside, that is some kind of outside contribution. Q. You have no knowledge of Macmillan ever having sent any of my recent and final books out to outside referees, do you? A. I do not know whether you have submitted your manuscripts to them or not. This is only a very brief reference here in a few lines. Q. Have you ever heard of a major publisher ordering the total destruction of an author's works under the effect of outside pressure? A. Under the threat of legal action. Q. No, not under threat of legal action? A. That is outside pressure. Q. Under threat of political pressure? A. Not to my knowledge, no. That is not to say it has not . P-98 happened. Q. On page 63 you refer to the fact that reputable historians do not get themselves arrested and deported and all the rest of it. Is that correct? A. Yes, I think so. Yes. Q. Is Salman Rushdie a reputable historian? A. No, he is a novelist. Q. Is he reputable? A. He is a novelist. Q. Blamed for his own misfortune? A. He is a novelist. I am not talking about novelists. I am talking about reputable historians. Q. Is it reputable to abandon your principles in order not to get arrested and deported? A. I find that a difficult question. I mean, that is so hypothetical. I am not quite sure who you are referring to. Q. Well, you used the word "reputable". A. All I am saying here ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, this is getting you nowhere. A. All I am saying here is that, as I say: "It is impossible to think of any historian of any standing at all who has been subjected to so many adverse legal judgments", and also who has ---- Q. Are you aware there has been only one adverse ---- A. --- experienced so many difficulties. . P-99 Q. --- legal judgment against me, and that this was in Germany in January 1993? Are you aware what that judgment was for? A. I thought you had an adverse legal judgment against you in the case of your book on the Convoy of PQ17, I think it was called. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, we are certainly not going to go into that. MR IRVING: Are you aware of what the adverse legal judgment in Germany in January 1993 was for? A. Yes. Q. Would you tell the court? A. I think it was for Holocaust denial, was it not? Q. No, it was not for Holocaust denial. It was for saying that the gas chamber at Auschwitz (i) which is shown to the tourists is a fake. A. Without seeing a copy of the judgment, I could not confirm that. That is not my understanding of what the judgment was. Q. Those are the words complained of and that is what I was fined on. Will you comment ---- A. Well, if I have copy of judgment in front of me, then I will, then I will be prepared to comment on that. Q. Would you go to page 66 of your report? We now come to Irving and Holocaust denial. A. Yes. . P-100 MR JUSTICE GRAY: On that issue, Mr Irving, can I just before we embark on it so that we do not misunderstand one another, I have got now a definition from the Defendants of what they mean by "Holocaust denial" and you have cross-examined about that and I bear in mind the points you have made. I have all the statements that the Defendants say you made which they rely on as amounting to Holocaust denial. I have the context of the denials so that I can see any points you have to make on context, you have given your evidence about what you meant. I am just wondering where we go with the evidence on it. Is it not in the end a question for me to look at what you have said or you are reported as having said and making up my mind whether you constitute a Holocaust denier in the sense the Defendants define that term? MR IRVING: This is true, but I am trying to organize that word in the order of things. This is a useful paragraph to look at because in this paragraph, my Lord, he states that Holocaust denier is the central allegation against me in Lipstadt's book, in the book by the Second Defendant. I was going to ask whether he does not agree that the allegations about manipulation, distortion and deliberate mistranslation are far more serious for a professional historian. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, that is a perfectly fair question. . P-101 A. Well, the answer is I say a central allegation, not the central allegation. MR IRVING: Well, nit-picking aside, will you now answer the question? Would you not agree that the allegation about manipulation, distortion and deliberate mistranslation of original records are far more serious to be slapped on a professional historian like myself or a professional writer like myself, if you do not like the word "historian"? A. Well, I describe it as a central allegation because it is not the only one. It does, to my mind, as it were, contain within it the allegation that you manipulated, falsified history, and it is an allegation to which in your plea to the court, your written submission to the court initially, you take extremely strong exception, so I felt it necessary to go into it. Q. By what -- I cannot really question ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not sure you have answered the question quite. MR IRVING: I beg your Lordship's pardon? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think that the Professor has answered your question quite. MR IRVING: It is important. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think it is an important question and I think it is worth spending a few moments on. MR IRVING: Because they have not exactly put these ones in . P-102 section 5, so I am entitled to ask how serious these allegations are as seen by an acknowledged historian who is an expert witness on the matter. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Professor Evans, it is an fair question. A. Yes. Q. In the end, the sting or the main sting, as it is sometimes called, against Mr Irving is that he has manipulated data and so come to deny the Holocaust in the sense ---- A. Or the other way round, that he is denying the Holocaust and, therefore, manipulated data. Q. Yes, I follow that. A. The two are bound up together, my Lord, and I am trying to unpack them here. So certainly, of course, the allegation that he has manipulated data is in that sense the crucial allegation in Lipstadt's book. MR IRVING: Professor, are they not separate allegations? They are four separate allegations, are they not? He manipulates, he distorts, he mistranslates and, on top of all that, he denies the Holocaust? A. No, I think they are bound -- I mean, you can separate them out, and they are also very closely connected. I think the burden of the charges put forward in Professor Lipstad's book is that Holocaust deniers, by definition, as it were, manipulate and falsify history, falsify the data. . P-103 Q. But if you were to take for a moment ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let the Professor finish his answer. A. Well, I had, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: You had finished? A. Yes. MR IRVING: If you were to wrench the Holocaust denial allegation out of the book and just leave the rest of it, the manipulation, the distortion and the mistranslation, that would still be a pretty serious allegation to make of an historian, would it not? A. Indeed, yes. Q. You could not say, "Well, it is OK because we do not accuse him of Holocaust denial which is the big one"? A. Indeed, yes. Q. Yes, it would be a very serious allegation if it were made against any historian ---- A. Yes. Q. --- in order to prettify the image of Adolf Hitler in history he deliberately distorted. These are serious allegations ---- A. Yes, absolutely. I agree.
Site Map ·
What's New? ·
© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012
This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and
to combat hatred.
Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.
As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may
include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and
provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist
and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.
Home · Site Map · What's New? · Search Nizkor
© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012