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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day012.08

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day012.08
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   It is a piece of fiction?
   A.   Well, when you write a book that is going to be read, as
        opposed to work written by learned authors like Professor

.          P-63

        Evans, you occasionally help the reader along by saying,
        well, I mean, this was rather a surprising exchange.  Here
        is Adolf Hitler ticking off an Army lieutenant, one of his
        Nazis, for raiding a Jewish shop and throwing him out of
        the party for doing it.  You would imagine that any other
        Nazi, like Goring standing nearby, is going to be saying
         -- doing a double take of this or am I wrong?
   Q.   You are completely wrong.  It is a quite illegitimate
        licence you have taken with a record of history, but there
        it is.  It may not be the biggest point in the case, but
        it is there.
   A.   How am I completely wrong?  How am I completely wrong?
   Q.   You attribute a reaction to Goring for which you have no
   A.   But it is reasonable to assume that if Hermann Goring, who
        was a dedicated Nazi, standing next to Hitler, and here is
        Hitler throwing somebody out of the party on the spot for
        having taken action against a Jewish kosher store that
        night, the Nazi is going to be saying, "What is going on
        here?" and he is going to be doing what is called a double
        take.  I think it is a very reasonable inference to draw,
        and it is only two words.
   Q.   It is reasonable to assume that Hitler, very disturbed at
        what had been happening and trying to restore law and
        order, sent for the lieutenant if, in fact, as Hofmann
        said, the lieutenant just happened to be there?

.          P-64

   A.   Well, I am sure that the ex-Army lieutenant was not
        hanging around in Hitler's presence the whole time.
        Presumably, he was somewhere hanging around the bierhall
        and Hitler learned he was there and said, "Bring that
        fellow in.  I want to tell him what I think of him".
   Q.   Do you not see what you are doing all the time, Mr Irving?
        With every single one of these little fictions, these
        little author's licence ----
   A.   Are you saying that he did not throw the man out of the
        party for having done what he did that night?  This is the
        major point.  You are looking for words ----
   Q.   Just let me ----
   A.   --- just the same as in the other one where we have Hitler
        saying, "You cannot do that, you cannot kill the Jews" and
        you are picking on the date.
   Q.   No, Mr Irving.
   A.   And here we have evidence that Hitler threw the person out
        of the party for having taken his squad to ransack a
        Jewish store, and you are picking on whether he was sent
        for or not.
   Q.   We will come to that in just a minute, Mr Irving.  Please
        tell me this.  When you wrote that passage about Hitler's
        reaction to this looting of a Jewish delicatessen, or
        whatever it was ----
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   --- had you read Hofmann's testimony?

.          P-65

   A.   Most of it.
   Q.   So you knew that Hitler had not sent for the lieutenant,
        did you not?
   A.   This was written, what, 14 years ago so I do know what I knew.
   Q.   You see, all your little fictions, your little tweaks, of
        the evidence all tend in the same direction, exculpation
        of Adolf Hitler, do they not?
   A.   How does sending for him or not ----
   Q.   This is a much more severe measure than just saying to the
        chap, "Well, look, I gather you are the bloke that did
        this out of the party", is it not?
   A.   That makes a big difference?
   Q.   It makes a little difference.
   A.   No, the exculpation is not the sending for.  The
        exculpation is throwing him out of the party and that is
        not denied.
   Q.   And, "Goring goggled, 'Good heavens!  Adolf really is not
        anti-Semitic after all'"
   A.   Oh, come...
   Q.   I mean, really!
   A.   I do not think I actually wrote that, did I?  Now you are
        taking liberties, you are writing things into the text.
   Q.   Shall we look at the German?  My Lord, I was told that the
        Reichskristallnacht bundle will be ready in what was 20
        minutes and, therefore, presumably, is 18 now, so I have

.          P-66

        only a couple of questions and perhaps we could then have
        a short break until it arrives.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, certainly.
   A.   Or you can spin it out the way you are doing now.
   Q.   No, Mr Irving.  That is quite unnecessary.  It is my fault
        because Mr Rampton wanted an adjournment altogether and I
        was trying to use the time.
   MR RAMPTON:  Why should I spin it out, Mr Irving?
   A.   Well, by trying to make some mileage out of the word
         "sent" when, in fact, you say he was on the other side of
        the room and said, "You are the one, come over here".
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We were going to look at the German.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.  Look at the English first on page 227.
   A.   He is complaining that I did not identify the source.
   Q.   No, no.
   A.   He does.
   Q.   Could I ask your Lordship and Mr Irving just to read the
        English in paragraph 2 on page 227?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  "That gives a bad impression of the party".
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.  Could you then read the German at the
        bottom?  It goes over to the other side at the bottom of
        228 as well.
   A.   Yes.  Can I draw attention to the fact, of course, that he
        has used a different source from the source that I have
        used?  I have used the original microfilm which is -- I do
        not know whether it was longer than this or not.  My

.          P-67

        microfilm is 6,000 pages long, and I have got no idea
        whether they reproduced the entire text of the trial or not.
   Q.   I just cannot grapple with that, I am afraid, Mr Irving, I
        do not know.
   A.   Yes, but it is important because if I am being accused of
        putting things in or adding to the text, it may well be --
        I am just saying this, it is 14 years since I wrote that
        passage -- that I was using the original microfilm,
        looking at the original court stenographer's version, and
        he has been using some printed edited text.
   Q.   The last three lines of German on page -- you must forgive
        me my accent -- 227, almost the last three lines:
        "Zufallig" - does that mean "by chance" - "ist der Fuhrer
        der Gruppe dagewesen"?
   A.   By chance the leader of this squad was there, a young Army
   Q.   Right.  Are you telling me that that is different from the
        text that you read?
   A.   Well, he was there.  He was no doubt hanging around.
        "There" does not mean to say he was sitting at Hitler's
        desk or wherever.  He just had to be on hand.
   Q.   Zur Rede gestellt hat diesser gesagt" -- "called on to
        speak" is a fair translation?
   A.   No, it is not.  "Zur Rede gestellt", challenged.
   Q.   Challenged?

.          P-68

   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Very good.  He said: "I took off the party" ----
   A.   Emblem.
   Q.   "Insignia".
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Hitler said "Damit".  What does that mean?
   A.   Thereby you have admitted or recognized that you did not
        consider yourself to be a member of the party at that
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   But you did that.
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   With your entire squad you are thrown out of the party
        immediately, and I will take care that you will never
        again be taken up by a nationalist fighting unit.
   Q.   Has it occurred to you, Mr Irving -- again this would not
        be in Adolf Hitler's favour of course, so maybe it has
        not -- that what actually made Hitler cross was not so
        much what they had done but the fact that they took off
        their party insignia before they did it?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is actually what it says. That gives a
        bad impression of the party.
   MR RAMPTON:  Exactly.
   A.   Where does it say that gives a bad impression of the
   Q.   In the translation.

.          P-69

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  In the translation, four lines down.
   MR RAMPTON:  The relevant English is:  "I took off the party
        badge, that is the lieutenant.  Hitler said,  by doing
        this you admitted that you do not belong to the party at
        the moment when you committed that act. You are
        expelled ... " Has it occurred to you, Mr Irving, that
        what actually was meant by Hitler was, if you are going to
        do things like that, do not be a coward and keep your
        party insignia on when you do?
   A.   I do not think so.  I think this is a very far-fetched
        interpretation.  It is an alternative interpretation but
        I think far-fetched and the less plausible of the two.
        I do not think that, if this Hofmeister, if I can continue
        my argument and I think this will destroy your argument
        entirely, if this Hoffmann, rather, imagined he was doing
        Hitler a service when Hitler was on trial for high
        treason, that he was going to do Hitler a service by
        saying that Hitler had said, "By taking off your badge,
        you created a bad impression, you should have done that as
        a Nazi", that would not have helped Hitler at all in that
        trial, would it.
   Q.   But do you not think the two things really go together?
        Hoffmann might have said that Hitler said, "This is a bad
        thing to do, worse still you took off your party badge"?
   A.   That is not what he said.  He said quite clearly, "By this
        action you have damaged the party", or, "By this action

.          P-70

        you have admitted you were not a member of the party, and
        therefore I am going to throw you out anyway".  He
        certainly would not have helped Hitler at a treason trial
        by suggesting that Hitler had taken deliberate
        anti-Semitic actions against, or that he endorsed
        anti-Semitic actions against, this grocery store.  If this
        was outside the courtroom, in other words, your
        explanation could have been plausible.  But inside the
        courtroom, and Hoffmann giving evidence on behalf of
        Hitler is totally implausible, to put that interpretation
        on it.
   Q.   That is not a good reason for doubting the credibility of
        what Hoffmann said, I suppose?
   A.   I am sure he wanted, as the judge said, to get Hitler off
        the hook.
   Q.   Did you tell your readers that?
   A.   It is quite evident, is it not, when you are relying
        something?  How much do you have to spell out everything
        to your readers every time?  I am not, as I said once
        before, putting eight pages of sludge into a text in the
        way that a Professor can in an academic treatise.  I have
        to write a book that will sell.
   Q.   What you do, if it is a mere side reference in a book
        about Goring, if you have a doubtful source like that, is
        you leave it out entirely.  You do not make some elevating
        reference to Hitler's protection of the Jews in passing,

.          P-71

        if you are doubt at all about the credibility of the
        source.  You just leave it out.
   A.   On the contrary, this is a most illuminating example.  It
        is a very earlier example of exactly how Hitler acted in
        the second world war, where he repeatedly interceded
        against Nazis who had committed excesses against by
        actions against the Jews.  We have already had, and we are
        going to have a lot more before this case ends,
        innumerable cases where Hitler has interceded, and this is
        a very early one in 1923.
   Q.   You cannot have it both ways, Mr Irving.  Either Hoffmann
        is reliable and was not skewing his evidence in order to
        help his leader out of a tight corner, in which case you
        should have given the whole account, or else he was an
        unreliable witness and you should have just left it out.
        Is that not right?
   A.   You are the one who is trying to have it both ways,
        Mr Rampton.  You want to have him as an unreliable witness
        who is trying to help Hitler, but at the same time hacking
        Hitler on the shins by what he says, saying that Hitler
        was angry because the guys who attacked the grocery shop
        had had the effrontery to take off their Nazi badges.
        That would not have helped Hitler at all, would it?
   Q.   What about what you described as the requisitioning of
        funds by Hitler's armed thugs?
   A.   Oh that was obviously some prank that they carried out.

.          P-72

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