The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day014.11

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day014.11
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   It is just exactly what you have been telling ----
   A.   It is a childish oversimplification.  I am confronting
        Daniel Goldhagen who is a very clever writer and who has
        written a whole book on Hitler's willing executioners
        asking the question:  "Who pulled the trigger?", and I am
        attending a meeting, in fact, in a synagogue in New
        Orleans, November two years ago.  I am the first person
        who is allowed to ask him a question and I say to him --
        these are the questions I asked him and I am repeating the
        questions I have actually said to him and you will also
        find that in my Radical's diary; the whole of this episode
        is also there --- Professor Goldhagen, a very interesting
        book you have written.  Of course, it caused a great
        sensation around the world in May 1996, but the question
        you have asked is the wrong question.  If I were a Jew,
        the question that would interest me is not who pulled the
        trigger but why, and why does it keep on happening again
        and again and again and why does nobody investigate that
        phenomenon, the phenomenon of where does anti-Semitism
        come from?
   Q.   Your thesis, Mr Irving, is perfectly clear and will become
        clearer and clearer as we go through these extracts.
   A.   So what is my thesis?
   Q.   Your thesis is that the Jews have deserved everything that
        has been coming to them?

.          P-92

   A.   That is totally different; the difference between
        justification and explanation, already made once earlier
        this afternoon, to say that something is explicable is
        totally different from what I am saying, that it is
        justifiable.  Nowhere have I ever (and I would find it
        repugnant if anyone suggested this) heard suggested that
        what happened to the Jewish people, that that tragedy is
        justifiable; it is not justifiable.  But anti- Semitism, as
        a different phenomenon, you can begin to explain it; you
        can say that if somebody acts like Abraham Foxman and
        bludgeons the country like the Swiss in departing with
        billions of pounds of money, then it must not be
        surprising if it turns out that Switzerland is one of the
        few countries in the world where anti-Semitism increases.
        There is, surely, a cause-and-effect connection between
        those two facts.
                  If I were Daniel Goldhagen, or his father, the
        famous Professor Goldhagen, I would want to investigate
        that phenomenon rather than the rather more mundane
        phenomenon of which gangsters actually pulled the
        trigger on those sub-machine guns.
   Q.   Does one swallow, or to use something more akin to your
        terminology, one vulture, does one swallow or vulture make
        a summer, Mr Irving?
   A.   I do not understand that question.
   Q.   Mr Irving, you have used one case to characterize the

.          P-93

        whole of the Jewish people, wherever in the world, as
        greedy and, therefore, as having brought anti-Semitism on
   A.   Did I say this was the only instance?
   Q.   I have your words in black and white in front of me.
   A.   I do not think so; I think this is a pattern,
        unfortunately, which is repeated again and again.  These
        whole page advertisements around the world which you
        yourself have undoubtedly seen, and which I can certainly
        introduce if you have not seen them, where it states:
        "You can get money, too; you do not have to have been in
        a concentration camp, you did not even have to have been a
        slave labourer.  It suffices if you are a member of a
        minority persecuted by the Nazis living within the Third
        Reich, you can get money out of it".  This generates
        anti-Semitism, in my view.  I may be totally wrong; maybe
        anti-Semitism comes from somewhere else.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, may I just ask you a question
        about the interview you gave in November 1998?
   A.   November 1998?
   Q.   The one you have just been asked about?
   A.   This actually was August 1998, I think.
   Q.   Right.  It may be wrongly dated.  But I just want to get
        the sort of structure of what you are conveying to your
        interviewer.  You are saying of the Jews, well, they have
        been disliked for 3,000 years, they are disliked wherever

.          P-94

        they go?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Then you say:  "Well, I do not know the answer".
   A.   Well, I do not -- I am not ----
   Q.   Pause.  Am I right so far?
   A.   You are absolutely right, yes.
   Q.   But then do you not go on to say ----
   A.   I venture a suggestion.
   Q.   Well, look at it at as if I came from Mars"?
   A.   I tried to stand right back from the planet Earth and look
        down on these people.
   Q.   "And it appears to me that the reason why they are
        disliked is because they are greedy"; is that not what you
        are saying?
   A.   I go on to a whole series of different reasons.
   Q.   All right, but that is the first one you come up with?
   A.   I say globally I do not know what the reason is.
        Effectively, I am not a sociologist, I am not an expert on
        this, but possible reasons are -- what is the connection
        between the rise in Swiss anti-Semitism and the gold bank
   Q.   But you are putting that forward as the reason why there
        is this dislike of Jews?
   A.   My Lord, with respect, not the reason.
   Q.   All right.
   A.   One contributing reason -- one contributing reason at this

.          P-95

        moment in time.
   Q.   I see.  I just want to get it clear.
   A.   But I also suggest very strongly it may be built into our
        microchip, as I put it.  It may be part of the endemic
        human xenophobia which exists in all of us and which
        civilized people like your Lordship and myself manage to
        suppress, and other people like the gentleman on the
        Eastern Front with the submachine guns cannot suppress.
   MR RAMPTON:  Mr Irving, before we proceed any further, I think
        you might be advised to have a look at your own diary, if
        you would not mind?
   A.   Well, you have had 50 million words of my diaries to look at.
   Q.   Yes.  Aren't we fortunate?
   A.   Well, I think discovery on a scale like this contrasts
        very severely with the discovery that your own instructing
        clients have made.
   Q.   Yes, Mr Irving, good point.
   A.   Sarcasm is, perhaps, not called for.
   Q.   38, please, Mr Irving -- no, indeed not, when you look at this.
   MR RAMPTON:  38 of tab 10 of the bundle K4, my Lord.  It is
        page 36 of the extract bundle.  This is Irving speaking to
        Irving.  This is not Irving punting some thesis about
        Jewish culpability to the television audience.  I want you

.          P-96

        to look at the last part of the entry for September 17th
        1994 which was a Saturday.
   A.   I am looking at the wrong page.
   Q.   Page 38 of the bundle, tab 10.
   A.   Tab 10?
   Q.   Of K4?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is it in your ----
   A.   Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  --- selection?
   MR RAMPTON:  This is a typed or printed page.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Some of it has underlines and italics?
   A.   The underlinings are not from me.
   Q.   "A quiet evening at home", etc, "Jessica", who is Jessica?
   A.   My little infant child.
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   At this time she was nine months old at this time.
   Q.   Nine months old in September 1994.  "Jessica is turning
        into a fine little lady.  She sits very upright on an
        ordinary chair.  Her strong back muscles, a product of our
        regular walks in my arms to the bank, etc., I am sure.  On
        those walks we sing the binkety-bankety-bong song.  There
        are two other poems in which she stars:  'My name is baby
        Jessica.  I have got a pretty dressica, but now it is in a
        messica' and, more scurrilously, when half breed children
        are wheeled past" and then you go into italics, "'I am a

.          P-97

        baby Aryan, not Jewish or sectarian.  I have no plans to
        marry an ape or a Rastafarian"?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Racist, Mr Irving?  Anti-Semitic Mr Irving, yes?
   A.   I do not think so.
   Q.   Teaching your little child this kind of poison?
   A.   Do you think that a nine month old can understand words
        spoken in English or any other language?
   Q.   I will tell you something, Mr Irving, when I was
        six-months old, I said, "Pussy sits in the apple tree
        until she thinks it is time for tea"?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You were very precocious!
   MR RAMPTON:  I was, but then I burned out at two!
   A.   Yes.  Perhaps I should set this in its context.  The
        scurrilous magazine "Searchlight" (about which we will, no
        doubt, hear more) had just published a photograph of
        myself and Jessica and her mother, who is very blond and
        very beautiful, and it had sneered at us as being the
        "perfect Aryan family".
   Q.   They did not write this, you did?
   A.   Yes, but this is my little private response to this rather
        nasty sneer ----
   Q.   You wrote this on 17th September.
   A.   Please do not interrupt me.  This is my private response
        to this rather nasty smear by this magazine which has been
        giving me trouble ever since I had the man arrested for

.          P-98

        breaking into my house 30 years earlier when he called my
        family a "perfect Aryan family" in a public magazine.  So
        I sit with my infant child on my lap, humming a little
        song to her about us being a perfect Aryan.  Do any other
        words upset you?
   Q.   What?
   A.   Do any other words in the poem upset you apart from the
   Q.   No, no.  It is the contrast.  The poor little child has
        been taught a racist ----
   A.   Poor little child!   She is a very happy child.
   Q.   --- ditty by her perverted racist father.
   A.   Have you ever read Edward Lear or Hilliard Belloch?
   Q.   They have not brought a libel action complaining of being
        called a racist, Mr Irving.  You have ----
   A.   I do not know if they have brought libel actions or not.
   Q.   Mr Irving, you sued because you said we called you a
        racist and an extremist?
   A.   Yes, but I am not a racist.
   Q.   Mr Irving, look at the words on the page.
   A.   Mr Rampton, are you accusing me of racism, in other words,
        looking down on ethnic minorities?
   Q.   Oh, yes.
   A.   Well, how is it behind you in the entire four weeks we
        have been here today I have not seen a single coloured
        member on the team behind you, when I have employed

.          P-99

        coloured people of ethnic minorities on my staff and, so
        far as I can see, not you or your instructing solicitor
        have employed one such person.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Now, shall we have a little pause?  I do not
        think that is a very helpful intervention.
   A.   I think it is very important to say that.  It is the point
        where hypocrisy begins and dudgeon ends.
   MR RAMPTON:  Mr Irving, you are condemned out of your own
        mouth, you see.  That is the trouble.
   A.   Well, I am condemned by what I say and you are condemned
        by what I see.  Not once have you had a member of the
        ethnic minority working on your side.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, I just suggested that was not a
        very helpful intervention.  Do not just repeat it.
   MR RAMPTON:  I expect you are hoping the newspaper reporters
        are going to write it down, are you not, Mr Irving?
   A.   I do not place much trust in the newspaper reporters.  I
        can recognize hypocrisy when I see it.
   Q.   Let us go back in this same tab of the file to a diary
        entry for 10th November.  That is a long way back.  If you
        want to turn to page 17, you are in South Africa,
        Johannesburg, on November 10th 1987?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Page 17 of your extracts.
   MR RAMPTON:  No, my Lord, I am trying to avoid accusations of
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can you give me the references if they are

.          P-100

   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, it is page 41, I think of, I hope, the
        extracts bundle, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Page 41.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, it is the last entry on page 41 in my copy.
        I will read the whole of it because I do not want -- the
        entry on page 19, please, Mr Irving?
   A.   What page am I supposed to be looking at?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Page 4, tab 10, page 19.
   A.   Yes.
   MR RAMPTON:  "Stayed in hotel all evening apart from a short
        walk down the street.  Worked revising Goring in the
        foyer.  The conservative newspapers of Johannesburg and
        Pretoria are full of my coming.  Unfortunately, I have not
        left all my blue sheets and media and personal contacts in
        London.  Around 8 p.m. ... (reading to the words) ...  She
        is bristling a bit about some of my more blatant
        chauvinism; he talking most interestingly about the AIDS
        epidemic in black Africa.  He says he thinks that the
        black population in all Africa will die out within a very
        short space of time".  That was in 1987 -- poor man will
        have been disappointed.  "He attributes the incredibly
        high AIDS" ----
   A.   On what do you base the conclusion he is going to be
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Let us read on.  I think the trouble is with

.          P-101

        interpolations, they  ----
   MR RAMPTON:  "He attributes the incredibly high AIDS incidence
        among blacks to their sexual activity, few blacks,
        apparently, engaging in less than five sexual acts per
        night".  Whose underline is that?
   A.   It looks like mine.

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© 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.