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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day020.07

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day020.07
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, you have your answer.  He made it
        all up.
   A.   What seems to have been the case is that he had read an
        enormous amount about the Holocaust, and somehow persuaded
        himself that he had gone through it.  That is a very

.          P-56

        unusual case and that is precisely why, of course, it
        given rise to such widespread debate and such a number
        essays, investigations, writings and so on.
   MR IRVING:  Was not the reason why it attracted widespread
        attention the fact that he was awarded literary prizes
        his work, and that he was then found out to be
        Was that not the reason for the widespread attention?
   A.   It was widely praised when it came out, yes, and
        the shock when it was discovered to be spurious was
        the greater.
   Q.   You think that he is the only such case, do you?
   A.   The only one of which I am aware.  It is a rather
        thing to do.  I think one has to admit.
   Q.   But he made a lot of money out it, did he not?
   A.   That I cannot say.
   Q.   Well, if he won major literary prizes for his book?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, I am conscious we are still on
        page 152.  We have about 600 pages to go.  It is not a
        race, but we have to keep an eye on what matters and
        does not.
   MR IRVING:  I have said I will finish with the witness in
        and a half days, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I want you to take your time when we get
        what matters.  We have not started on what matters, in
   MR IRVING:  What matters is this witness's credibility, my

.          P-57

        Lord, and your Lordship may or may not have formed
        opinions about that.  On page 153, half way down, line
        of paragraph 26, you refer to the fact that I evade
        question by pointing minor inaccuracies in details of
        these reports.  Would you say that the inaccuracies
        we have pointed to in the reports by Hoess and
        and Verba and Bimko and Tauber were all minor?
   A.   I am referring here to a radio interview in June 1989.
   Q.   Yes.  But what you are saying is that I pointed to
        inaccuracies in the reports of people on whom the
        Holocaust historians rely, the eyewitnesses, and I am
        challenging whether these inaccuracies are in fact so
        minor.  Are they not sufficiently large, in fact, to
        disqualify any reasonable historian from wanting to
        on that source?
   A.   No, I do not think on the whole they are sufficiently
        large.  One has to reach a balanced judgment, in
        with testimony after the event, sometimes many years
        the event, as to how reliable it is.  Of course, that
        of testimony usually contains some inaccuracies.  The
        is that one should not use that as a basis for a
        dismissal of all this testimony.
                  Of course, there is a larger point here,
        you yourself rely quite heavily on the postwar
        sometimes obtained in interviews which were conducted
        yourself of members of Hitler's entourage, which you

.          P-58

        not approach in this critical way.  You do not point
        inaccuracies, and generally speaking accept it as the
        truth.  So I think you have a double standard.  You
        dismiss all the evidence of postwar testimony from the
        victims of Naziism and you accept the postwar
testimony of
        the perpetrators.
   Q.   I am not going to answer that point because this was
not a
        question you were asked.  Would you now go to
paragraph 29
        please?  You deal there with a French woman called
        Marie-Claude Vaillant Couturier.  Did you read her
        testimony at Nuremberg?  Did you form an impression of
   A.   Yes.  This is dealt with at some length on the basis
        Professor van Pelt's report.
   Q.   What was her maiden name?
   A.   I cannot recall that.
   Q.   Was she the daughter of Lucienne Vogal, who was one of
        Willi Muntzenberg's closest collaborators?
   A.   I will accept that, if you say that.
   Q.   You know who Willi Muntzenberg was?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Was he one of the leading commentators and agents and
        propagandists in, first of all, Russia and then in
   A.   Indeed, yes.
   Q.   So she came from these propagandist circles -- is that
        reasonable derivation?

.          P-59

   A.   No.  I do not think, because you are a daughter of a
        propagandist, that makes you a propagandist.
   Q.   Did she then marry somebody called Paul Vaillant
        Couturier, who was the editor of Humanite?
   A.   I will accept that that is the case.
   Q.   Which is the Communist Party newspaper in France?
   A.   Indeed.
   Q.   When she was examined or cross-examined in Nuremberg
        one of the defence counsel, Hans Marks, did he ask her
        whether she had any literary background or any
training as
        a journalist?
   A.   You would have to present me with the documentation, I
   Q.   What inference would you gather Mr Marks was trying to
        make from this question?
   A.   I really cannot comment without actually seeing a
   Q.   Is there any proof that this woman was ever in
        at all?
   A.   Her testimony.
   Q.   In other words, purely what she said?
   A.   There may be some other evidence, but I am not really
        expert on Auschwitz.
   Q.   I am not only going to ask one more question. In view
        that fact that she testified that at the time she was
        Auschwitz she obtained records showing that 700,000

.          P-60

        Hungarian Jews had passed into the camp in 1944, when
        fact that was the entire number of Hungarian Jews who
        existed, was she liable to have been testifying to
        something from her actual knowledge?
   A.   Let me say the point at issue in this paragraph of my
        report, I should make clear, is that you rely, and I
        the court has been through this already ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, we have.
   A.   On the notes of Judge Biddle.
   MR IRVING:  On the use I made of Judge Biddle's notes?
   A.   -- which you misinterpret in order to discredit this
   Q.   Is it likely that Judge Biddle, being no fool, would
        have seen through her on the basis of the
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, we are not going to go through
        that again.
   MR IRVING:  Right.  At page 155 we come to the Anne Frank
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Was the Anne Frank diary a diary or a novel or both?
   A.   It was a diary.
   Q.   It was a diary.  Was it one diary or was it several
   A.   That depends what you mean.
   Q.   In other words, did she write it and then did she

.          P-61

        it and then did she rewrite it?
   A.   As I understand it, it is a diary that is written
   Q.   Will you accept that she wrote it, and then she
        it, and then she rewrote it as a novel shortly before
        was kidnapped by the Nazis?
   A.   No.
   Q.   What is your criticism of my -- in fact, I am sorry,
        156, line 2 of paragraph 31.  You object to my calling
        diary a novel, do you not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Yet, if the final version of the diary, as has been
        determined by the experts in Holland, is described as
        novel, then that description by me is not unjustified?
   A.   You would have to show me the document of the experts
        Holland which describe it as a novel.
   Q.   You object to the fact that I suggest that whole pages
        written in ball point pen?
   A.   Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, if you are relying, just let
        say what I am going to say, on what you describe as
        determination by experts in Holland that it is a
novel, at
        some stage that will be something you ought really to
        to Professor Evans.  I cannot find it but I think he
        with Anne Frank and her diary as a substantive
        Am I wrong about that?
   A.   Pages 156 to 7.

.          P-62

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I thought you came back to it.  Perhaps
   A.   No.
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, clearly, the reason I am asking these
        questions is that I understand that I am going to be
        cross-examined on this.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Now is your chance.  I suspect -- Mr
        will tell me if I am wrong -- that Professor Evans may
        the right person for you to target your cross-
        on the Anne Frank diary.
   MR IRVING:  That is precisely what I was waiting for.
        new subject I adumbrate I am frightened of being
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am trying to stop you when you are on
        irrelevances.  It seems to me Ann Frank is perhaps
        relevant and therefore do not take that aspect too
   MR RAMPTON:  It is.  The allegation is made against Mr
        that without any foundation whatsoever he has alleged
        the Anne Frank diaries were a fake, or are a fake.
        is more, he has since admitted that he was wrong about
   MR IRVING:  Well, can we elucidate this matter in my
        cross-examination rather than your statements from the
   MR RAMPTON:  Certainly.
   MR IRVING:  Witness, will you go to the bundle of documents
        bundle F, and look at one item there, which is page

.          P-63

   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Professor Evans, are you aware of the fact that the
        of Ann Frank fought a number of libel actions against
        people who maintained that the diary was suspect?
   A.   Yes, I think he did.
   Q.   I think three or four libel actions.  Are you familiar
        from the discovery with the fact that I corresponded
        the father of Anne Frank on a number of occasions?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   He never of course sued me for libel, did he?  Is that
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is neither here nor there.
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, in the allegations is the fact that we
        paid damages, or I paid damages to the father.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That may be relevant.
   MR IRVING:  That is why I was trying to get this admission
        the witness that the father never sued me for libel.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is the other way round that may be
        relevant.  If you paid damages because you had alleged
        that the diary was a fake, that, I would have thought,
        might be relevant.
   MR IRVING:  If your Lordship had waited, there would have
        two questions, with a follow up, but we have not had
an to
        the first one yet.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Ask the question again.
   MR IRVING:  Witness, are you aware of any libel action

.          P-64

        by the father against me?
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, I do not know----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I cannot understand what the relevance of
        that is.
   MR RAMPTON:  I do not make an allegation that the father
        Mr Irving for saying that the diaries were a fake.
        he could have done but, as far as I know, he did not
        I have never said that he did.
   A.   I am trying to find the passage in my report which you
        referring to here.
   MR IRVING:  Can we have an answer to the question?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, because the question, I have ruled,
        irrelevant, Mr Irving.  Can you please pay some
        to what view I rightly or wrongly am taking about some
        your questions.  Sorry, Professor Evans, you were
about to
        say something?
   A.   No.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, press on.  You were asking the
        witness about page 86.
   MR IRVING:  Are you aware that, in the course of these
        actions, a German court ordered the father of Anne
        to subject the diaries to chemical and forensic tests?
        Can I have an answer, Professor?
   A.   If you are telling me that, I will accept that that is
        case, yes.  They certainly were subjected to tests.
   Q.   Were the results of these tests leaked to the German

.          P-65

        magazine Der Spiegel in 1980?
   A.   I will accept your view that they were.
   Q.   Document No. 86 is a New York Post summary of what Der
        Spiegel has announced.  Do you agree that this states
        the finding is, on the second page, the result of the
        tests performed at the Bundescriminalamtlaboratories
        that portions of the works, especially of the fourth
        volume, are written with ball point pen?
   A.   That is what it says, but this is of course is third hand
        information.  It is a reporter who is reporting another
        reporter's view of a report.  I think, before accepting
        that this particular reporter is giving an accurate
        account, I would need to see the original report.

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