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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day013.09

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day013.09
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   MR RAMPTON:  No, it does not, I agree.  I do not know

.          P-74

        actually.  It is referred to in a book by somebody called
        Bergander in 1977.
   A.   I do not think there is a genuine one, document No.  47.
        The only one I have seen was a fake which was produced by
        the Goebbels Propaganda Ministry for propaganda purposes.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, which had an extra 0 added to all its
        figures, did it not?
   A.   It multiplied everything by an order of magnitude, yes.
   Q.   If you turn to page 11, my Lord, of the table, it says,
        basing herself on Professor Evans, Miss Rogers writes
        this:  "1977, the real TB 47 comes to light.  It is
        discovered by Bergander who found a reservist Ehrlich who
        had a copy cited at page 261 of Bergander, etc.  Evans
        describes Bergander as the most authoritative work", and
        so on and so forth.  I dare say if you have not read
        Bergander, Mr Irving (and I know you do not read other
        people's books) you will not be conscious of ----
   A.   Well, Gutz Bergander was a very good friend of mine -- he
        still is a very good friend of mine.
   Q.   Have you read this 1977 book of his?
   A.   I have not, no.
   Q.   Then the answer to my question was, "You are quite right,
        I do not read even my friend's books and so I am not
        familiar with this document".  Is that right?
   A.   Well, I gave him a great deal of assistance when he was
        writing his book, but I had no reason to read his book

.          P-75

        because I was no longer writing about Dresden.
   Q.   Whether or not he has found the real one, and I expect you
        to accept that he has ----
   A.   That is the first I have heard of it actually at this
        moment there is supposed to have been a real one.
   Q.   Yes.  But the interesting thing about the real one, as you
        will see in a moment, is that its numbers coincide more or less ----
   A.   Well, we have not been shown it.  I cannot comment on that.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Page 67, tab 2.
   A.   It was in his book, right.  Is this from a printed book?
   MR RAMPTON:  No, this is from Bergander.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  So we have not got it?
   MR RAMPTON:  We have not got the document, no.
   A.   Are you referring to the handwritten page 67 or typed?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Handwritten.  That looks like Bergander.
   MR RAMPTON:  It does.
   A.   I cannot see any reference to the Tagesbefehl.  It is
        T-A-G-E-S  B-E-F-E-H-L.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Page 235.  I am probably wrong, but there is
        a reference to "befehl" there.  No, I think it is a
        different "befehl".
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, I can tell your Lordship this, that on
        page 553, 552 and 53, Professor Evans reports the
        discovery of the real TB 47 by Bergander through Ehrlich

.          P-76

        and at paragraph 2 on page 553 he says this:  "In this
        new, authentic Ehrlich copy the death figure was put at
        20,204, the expected dead at 25,000 and the number
        cremated at 6,865", which are exactly the same figures as
        in the fake or forged TB 47 except for the missing 0 at
        the end.
   A.   In fact, I calculated that myself when I rewrote the
        Dresden book three or four years ago.  I spotted the fact
        that somebody had clearly juggled the figures, but this is
        literally the first I ever heard of the existence of a
        real Tagesbefehl.
   Q.   And the reference given for that is Bergander at page
   A.   Well, the reason I mention that this is the first I
        have heard of it is I see that here Professor Evans in his
        infinite wisdom is saying, "despite having been finally
        forced to disown", what by?  I never knew there was a real
        one.  I have always recognized the other one was fake.
   Q.   You have not always recognized it, Mr Irving.  We are
        coming back to that.
   A.   Well, ever since -- the last 20 or 30 years I recognized
        it was fake because the figures were so totally inflated.
   Q.   All I am asking you to accept -- you can look at it in
        Bergander, it is on page 77 of tab 2 of the file.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, that is right.
   MR RAMPTON:  All I am asking you to accept, because it does

.          P-77

        save such a lot of time -- there is no trap in it -- is
        that the real Bergander (sic) was found and that, as one
        would expect, its figures are short by a 0.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You said the real Bergander, you mean the
        real Tagesbefehl?
   MR RAMPTON:  I mean the real Tagesbefehl, sorry, yes.
   A.   I shall get on the phone to Mr Bergander tonight and ask
        him if he knows about this.
   Q.   Well, it is in his book at page 261.
   A.   I shall conceal the fact I did not read his book.
   Q.   You can tell him that you were forced to read it in court
        if you want?
   A.   I beg your pardon?
   Q.   You can tell him you were forced to read it in court.
   A.   Well, we cannot read it in court because you have not got
        it.   You have only got his book.  We have got his --- -
   Q.   As I say, his book?
   A.   Oh, the book, yes, but I would have liked to have seen the
        document itself which he says he has.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, so would I.  I wonder where it is?
   MR RAMPTON:  I do not know.  Perhaps Mr Bergander has it.  I do
        not know.
   A.   Perhaps I can get him to fax to me.
   Q.   But it really does not matter.
   A.   Well, it does because -- well, I am not going to
        presuppose what you were going to say.

.          P-78

   Q.   I am only asking you to accept that the figures for deaths
        and expected deaths in the real version are 20,000 and
        25,000, respectively?
   A.   Yes.  That closely tallies with the Police Chief's report
        of that date.
   Q.   Exactly.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   That is all I was driving at.
   A.   And I reached this deduction independently of all this
        about five years ago when I rewrote my Dresden book.
   Q.   That is as may be.  In fact, document -- I will just read
        out the figures and then we can get on -- the final report
        of 15th March 1945 which I think you have got, or have seen?
   A.   You call it the final report?
   Q.   It is called the final report of the Dresden Police sent
        to you on 27th May 1966 ----
   A.   My Lord, I am bit unhappy -- oh, it is called
        "Flusmeldung", right?
   Q.   I do not know.
   A.   15th March.
   Q.   Which should be pages 17 of tab 2 in this file.
   A.   That is correct, yes.  It is the final report on the four
        air raids.
   Q.   Yes, good.  The figures given in that document, I am told
        by Professor Evans (but you dispute it, if you wish) are

.          P-79

        18,735 dead, 212 badly wounded and quite a lot more people
        slighted wounded, is that right?  It is no good --
        I cannot read it, so...
   A.   Well, of course, the Police Chief actually does not spell
        it out quite like that.  He says, "18,000 bodies so far
        found", I believe, which is a subtle difference.
   Q.   Sure, and we will come to that along down the road, I am
        sure, Mr Irving.  The situation report 1404 of 22nd March 1945?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Situation report gives figures of, I think, and it may be
        there is a misprint because it is odd that it is 18,375
        and not 735.  Maybe they have been adjusted.  25,000 total
        expected and 35,000 missing, is that right?
   A.   Yes.  The interesting thing was that the one document was
        supplied to me in 1966 by the Soviet Authorities and
        simultaneously in the same mail I received the other
        document from the West German Authorities.  They had found
        it in the German Finance Ministry files.
   Q.   Middle to end of May 1966, is that right?
   A.   Yes, this is three years after I published my book.
   Q.   I want to go back, if I may, because again I am not
        interested for this purpose -- I know you will get angry
        about it, but I am not -- I am not interested in what
        actually happened at Dresden or in the total numbers,
        though that, as it has in other areas of the case, may

.          P-80

        emerge ----
   A.   I remember you said, "So what?"
   Q.   Yes, because that is not what this case is about,
        Mr Irving.  You accuse people too readily of a kind of
        callousness, I do believe.  We are investigating your bona
        fides as an historian and nothing more than that.
   A.   Well, you were the one who said, "So what?" ----
   Q.   Yes, because the reference to Dresden was irrelevant - ---
   A.   --- about the way we killed 100,000 people in one night.
   Q.   --- to your reference to Auschwitz.  Now, just keep our
        eye on the ball, if we may.  Would you turn to page 3 of
        this tabular document, please?  Is it right that in
        November 1964 you were in Dresden and you visited somebody
        called Hahn, is that right?
   A.   Walter Hahn.
   Q.   Yes.  Is it right that when you were in the sitting room
        Hahn and a man called Walter Lange, who is the director of
        the Dresden City Archive, began to discuss the
        implications of the 200,000 figure, yes?
   A.   Well, if you have a source for that, yes.
   Q.   I have your own words.
   A.   A diary or?
   Q.   Page 517 of Evans.   When you came back from this visit,
        you wrote a long memorandum, did you not?  It is in the
   A.   Yes.

.          P-81

   Q.   It is difficult to read because it is a photograph of a
        negative or whatever.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   I would much prefer to read it from Evans' text.  "'Lange
        had not realized that it gave this figure'", that is the
        so-call TB 47, "'and I at once realised why Hahn had
        seemed reluctant it show it to me (in fact he had had that
        probably since 1950 or so, yet he had not shown it to me
        on any of my previous visits in 1962 and 1963)'".  Then
        comes this:  "'As soon as Lange began to expostulate on
        this document being a patent forgery, Hahn became very
        worried'".  What sort of man is or was Lange, Mr Irving?
   A.   He was a short, bald headed gentleman with a prominent
        Communist Party badge in his lapel.
   Q.   What sort of a man is or was Professor Seydewitz?
   A.   He was the former Mayor of Dresden and, obviously, a
        Communist Party official.
   Q.   Both of those, I think I am right, cast doubt on, if not
        the authenticity of the document, certainly the
        reliability of the figure, did they not?
   A.   I am not sure that Walter Lange did, but Max Seydewitz had
        published his own book on air raids on Dresden -- a very
        good book -- and he produced different figures.
   Q.   You knew from the beginning -- for you this is the
        beginning -- that there was grave doubt about the figures
        given in this document?

.          P-82

   A.   Yes.
   Q.   That the figure for dead was 202,000 plus and the figure
        for expected death, again a forgery, was 250,000, was it not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   You knew from this time and said you thought the document
        was genuine, but that the 200,000 figure might be suspect?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   You said that on a number of occasions.  If we turn over
        to page 4 of the table, you said it to ----
   A.   Of the table?
   Q.   --- to Mr McLachlan, the Editor of the Sunday Telegraph:
        "It remains to be established whether" -- this is the
        second box, 26th November '64 -- "the 200,000 number it
        contains is equally genuine and if not why not".
   A.   Well, yes, that sentence is quoted.
   Q.   And on 28th of November 1964 you wrote to a Herr Struss,
        Deiter Struss, I think his name was?
   A.   My German publisher.
   Q.   Yes?
   A.   Yes, my German publisher.
   Q.   Yes, your German publisher, referring to the death figure
        of 202,040 people.  You said:  "This information is
        naturally sensational and because it comes from the then
        Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Max Funfack, there is no
        doubt about the authenticity of the document."  Now, did

.          P-83

        you in that letter to Herr Struss express any doubt about
        the figure?
   A.   Without seeing these two letters, it is difficult to see  ----
   Q.   I quite share that, if I may say so.
   A.   --- exactly what the context these sentences are taken out of.
   Q.   Page 37 of tab 2.  It is probably written in German,
        I should think, since it is from you to a German
        gentleman.  It is page 37 and 8.  It is a letter from you
        to Herr Dr Struss.  Can I ask you to read it to yourself?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Where is the relevant bit, Mr Rampton, do you
   MR RAMPTON:  It is right in the first paragraph, my Lord.
   A.   They do not seem to be irreconcilable.  In the previous
        letter on page 36, I say, "Having now examined the
        document minutely myself, I am satisfied of its
        authenticity.  It remains to be established whether the
        200,000 number it contains is equally genuine and if not
        why not".
   MR RAMPTON:  That is what you said on 26th November ----
   A.   And two days later I then write to Dr Struss.

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