Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day019.15 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. You have the emphasis wrong. "I am not familiar with any documentary evidence". I think that is fair, Mr Irving, if you read on. MR IRVING: For the purpose of what I am saying, my Lord, it is I am not familiar. I am not claiming to be a Holocaust expert? A. Mr Irving, here you claim in the witness box in that particular trial, "I am not familiar with any documentary evidence of any such figure of 6 million, it must have been of the order of 100,000 or more but to my mind it was certainly less than the figure which is quoted, 6 million", and so on. You were giving that testimony as an expert. In August 1988 you told an audience in Toronto, "I have now begun over the last few months going around the archives with a completely open mind looking for the evidence myself because of Auschwitz, just to take that one cardinal tent pole of the case, if Auschwitz itself was not an extermination factory, what is the evidence that it was"? You claimed that you were looking in 40 different government and private archives to see what they had on Auschwitz. You were writing a book on Auschwitz according to one of your speeches. Q. Can halt your flood there and say---- . P-133 MR JUSTICE GRAY: He is answering the question. A. I am trying to answer your question. You said that this final book you claimed you were writing on Auschwitz would pull off a coup even more spectacularly than exposing the Hitler diaries as a fake, and all that seems to me to be evidence that you were proclaiming yourself to be an expert on the Holocaust. You said you had been fined in a German court. In 1992 you said you had been fined in a German court for uttering an opinion, a sincerely held opinion, "an opinion, I would venture to add, which I hold as an expert on the Third Reich", and the opinion was that the gas chambers shown to tourists in Auschwitz was a fake. That seem to me to constitute a claim for expertise on the Holocaust. You are writing a book about Auschwitz. Q. I did not say that I am an expert on the Holocaust, did I? I said I am an expert on the Third Reich, is that right? A. You were claiming expertise by saying that you were doing an enormous amount of research on Auschwitz. Q. Excuse me. Is it not right I did not say I am doing it, I have begun recently visiting the archives, is that right? A. Indeed, and you have ---- Q. Is that immediately? Does one become an instant expert by visiting the archives? Is that the inference one is giving? A. You said that your opinion that you were fined for in . P-134 Germany you held as an expert on the Third Reich, which of course includes the policy of exterminating the Jews, although you may not think so. Q. Proceeding to page 107, paragraph 3, it is your contention, am I right in understanding, that somebody who seeks to suggest that the figures have been exaggerated is a Holocaust denier? A. No, that is clearly not true. It is a matter of emphasis. As you know, estimates of the figures have varied between about 5.1 and 6.1 or over 6 million. Q. In the individual operations ---- A. So the person who, like Raul Hilberg, whose opinion I respect, would say that it is in the sort of low 5 millions would no doubt think that claims of over 6 million were exaggerated, but that does not make him a Holocaust denier. Q. I am talking about the component atrocities like their shootings and so on. A. Yes. Q. Are these figures absolutely cast in stone or is it possible that any of these individual figures have been exaggerated by the officers concerned? A. These are -- we are talking about the Einsatzgruppen report, is that right? Q. Yes, the body counts by the Einsatzgruppen. A. My point here is that you are in paragraph 3, page 107, is . P-135 that you are suggesting without any evidence whatsoever that the numbers of Jews killed listed in the Einsatzgruppen reports were exaggerated by the task force leaders. "Statistics like this are meaningless", I quote you as saying. "It is possible that sometimes an overzealous SS officer decided to put in a fictitious figure". All this is -- I mean, elsewhere you are extremely concerned to have authentic, authenticated documentary evidence for what you are saying or for, let us say, Hitler's involvement in the extermination of the Jews, but here you are indulging in what I think is wild speculation unsupported by any documentary evidence at all. That is the point I am making in this paragraph. Q. So when you see a figure referred to in a decode or in a telegram or in a report, you accept that this figure is necessarily accurate and there is no need to analyse it and investigate the feasibility of such a figure? A. No, I did not say that. I mean, I think obviously one looks for documentary evidence which will corroborate it or falsify it, but I think that is rather different from speculating simply that the officers might have written in phoney figures. There is no evidence for it. Q. Was one of the German Army officers who were put on trial after the War by the British for his part in these atrocities Field Marshal Von Manstein? . P-136 A. Yes. Q. Have you read the account of his case by Paget QC who was his Defence counsel? A. I have to say I have not, no. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That does not stop you asking the next question if you want to, although I am not necessarily encouraging you. MR IRVING: I cannot lead evidence. We have had this same problem before. I should really bring along the pages and put the pages to the witness. That is the only way to do it, my Lord, I think. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think anyone would mind if you put the next question and just see if you can get an answer from Professor Evans. MR IRVING: Very well. If Manstein's Defence counsel in this British Army court in Hamburg put it to the prosecutors that the Einsatzgruppen did not have the logistical means, in terms of manpower and truck space, to carry out the killings they claimed to have carried out, would that not be justification for casting doubt on the integrity of some of the figures? A. No, not of itself. I mean, I think one would have to look at the evidence which was presented of the logistical means and weigh it against the evidence for the numbers killed. Q. To your knowledge, had any of the historians on the . P-137 Einsatzgruppen carried out this kind of exercise, carried out feasibility studies on the numbers? A. I cannot answer that in reference to what the Defence said in the Manstein trial, but certainly there is a great deal of writing about the Einsatzgruppen which goes into enormous detail about what they did. Q. There is. Do you accept that SS officers would have had a motive to try to inflate their achievements in order to compare their prowess as opposed to the neighbouring Einsatzgruppen, if I can put it like that? A. I do not really know of any evidence for that. Q. Was there a similar phenomenon in the Vietnam War that you are familiar with? A. I really do not know. Q. Moving on to the famous December 1942 document, the report to Hitler with the 300,000 figure in it, are you roughly familiar, in vague terms, with that document? A. Yes. Q. I do not think there is any need to look at it. You comment on the fact that I said that I was unhappy about it because it is an unusual, isolated document. We are now at the top of page 108, my Lord. A. Yes, I have that. Q. Is a responsible historian not entitled to be unhappy about a document if it appears to stick out slightly from the rest of the body of documentation? . P-138 A. Well, I think what you -- firstly, this is a habit that you have, Mr Irving, of labelling documents that you do not like as being orphan documents. In the course of this trial in your work you have accumulated enough orphan documents to fill half an orphanage. There are many of these documents -- I have counted at least half a dozen -- and the problem is ---- Q. I do accept the document is genuine. A. --- when you encounter, when an historian encounters a document that runs counter to the thesis that he or she is trying to put forward, then you have to take it seriously. You do not try to find every possible means you can of discrediting it and doing away with it. You have to look at it and try to deal with it. That may be it that it means you have to revise the views that you came to the document with. Q. Are there not certain questions that a responsible historian should put when he is facing a document like that look which is egregious, that he should say to himself (a) is the document genuine -- well, we have decided that it is -- but (b) what about the content of the document? Is it serving a particular purpose which is not what might at first appear. Should he not ask himself questions like that? A. I think you ask all the questions on all documents. You ask the question, who wrote it? What for? Who was it . P-139 addressed to? Is it authentic? And so on. Q. And the more remarkable the document, the more unhappy you should be, if I can put it like that? A. I think you look at all documents -- one should look at all documents in roughly the same way. Q. Yes. You comment on the fact that my books do not publish photographs of concentration camp victims. I am now on paragraph 5, 109. A. Yes. Q. Page 109, paragraph 5: "By contrast", you write, "there re no pictures of concentration camp or extermination camp inmates or victims". Is this a serious criticism of my works? A. Yes, I think you have an illustration section in the 1991 edition of Hitler's War where you include three photographs, but over two entire pages, of the victims of allied bombings of German towns, but you have no pictures of concentration or extermination camps' inmates or victims nor of any of the shootings, and so I add. So that does seem to be me to be evidence of imbalance. Q. Yes. Are you suggesting that I should have included the drawings by David Olaire which have been figured in this case, for example? A. I do not want to go into any particular ones, particular photographs. Q. Would you accept ---- . P-140 A. But there are well-known attested photographs of the shootings, for example, which you could have included. There is a selection of photographs you could well have included. Q. Would you accept that as a publisher of books where we attach importance to high quality photographs, we are faced with the problem when it comes to finding photographs of concentration camp or extermination camp victims or mass shootings? A. I do not think that that was your motive for not including them. Q. Will you accept that there are problems, that the archives do not hold such photographs? A. No. I will not accept that. I think there are such photographs of photographs. Q. Are there photographs of unimpeachable quality and integrity? A. Quality, some of them, obviously, are not of very high quality, but it is still, I think, incumbent on anyone who wishes to give a balanced view of who were the victims of the Second World War and wants to include photographs of them, to try to give a balanced selection of photographs on both sides, and not just put the German victims of allied bombing raids, and having the only photograph of the Nazis' Jewish victims is of a train at Riga, a series of passenger carriages, and people handing luggage out of . P-141 the windows. Q. We will come back to that picture in a minute. But can I ask you, are you familiar with the scandal surrounding the German photographic exhibition of atrocity photographs recently? A. The Vermacht Exhibition, yes. Q. Yes, what was the complaint about most of those photographs? A. It was, well, this is a complex issue because there are allegations and counter allegations on both sides.
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