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Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE              1996 I. No. 113

Royal Courts of Justice
                                           Strand, London
                                Monday, 7th February 2000

                            MR JUSTICE GRAY

        B E T W E E N:

                  (2) DEBORAH E. LIPSTADT
   The Claimant appeared in person
   MR RICHARD RAMPTON Q.C. (instructed by Messrs Davenport
and Mishcon de Reya) appeared on behalf of the First and
        Second Defendants
   MISS HEATHER ROGERS (instructed by Davenport Lyons)
appeared on
behalf of the First Defendant Penguin Books Limited

MR ANTHONY JULIUS (of Mishcon de Reya) appeared on behalf of
        the Second Defendant Deborah Lipstadt


.          P-1

                  Day 16              Monday, 7th February
   (10.30 A.m.)
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving and Mr Rampton, I
have received a
        letter from I think it is a German lawyer called
        Murmann, the significance of which is not
        obvious to me, but I thought I had better hand it
down to
        you to make what you will of it.  I know you have
        receiving a lot of similar documents.  Have a look
at it
        when you have a convenient moment.  Yes, Mr
   MR IRVING:  May it please the court.  I have
here this morning
        a witness on summons, Sir John Keegan.  I also
have a
        number of points that I wish to submit to your
        I think, out of fairness to Sir John Keegan, we
ought to
        hear his evidence first, and then I will put to
        Lordship the various procedural points which I
wish to.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That sounds perfectly
sensible.  Let us have
        him straightaway.
   MR IRVING:  I call Sir John Keegan.
                      < SIR JOHN KEEGAN, sworn.
                      < Examined by MR IRVING.
   Q.   My Lord, Sir John's
evidence will go entirely to
        reputation and no other matter in this court.  Sir
        first of all, to make it perfectly plain to the
court, you
        are here pursuant to a witness summons, in other
        what used to be called a subpoena.  Is that
   A.   I was subpoenaed by you.
I would also like to say that

.          P-2

        until this moment I have never met you, never
spoken to
        you and never corresponded with you.
   Q.   That is precisely what I
was going to ask next.  In other
        words, I have not rehearsed with you in any way
        I might or might not ask you by way of questions?
   A.   I would not have agreed to
that in any case.
   Q.   Yes, of course.
   A.   Sir John, you are now
Defence Correspondent for Telegraph
        Newspapers Limited?
   A.   Defence Editor.
   Q.   Defence Editor of
Telegraph Newspapers Limited.  How long
        have you held that post, please?
   A.   I was Defence
Correspondent to begin with in 1986 and
        became Defence Editor about 1990.
   Q.   You have, it is fair to
say, a very high reputation in
        England as what I might call an establishment
   A.   Well, I was knighted for
services to military history
   Q.   My congratulations and the
congratulations of the court go
        to you for that very recent honour.  It was in the
        Year's Honours list?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   I do not wish to detain
you at all long, Sir John, here
        this morning.  I am grateful to you for coming in
spite of
        your disability.  I just want to take you through
a number
        of papers which I have handed to you a few minutes
        going back to 1980.  I believe your Lordship also
has that

.          P-3

        small clip of them?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I do.  Thank you very
   MR IRVING:  Do you remember writing an article
for The Times
        Literary Supplement in about April 1980?
   A.   Yes, I do not, because I
review a great deal, but I am
        quite sure that I did write what is quoted here.
   Q.   Is it right that in that
review you wrote -- this is a
        review of another book, not a book by myself?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, both, is it not?.
   A.   I am sorry, I did not
understand the question.
   MR IRVING:  This was not reviewing a book by me,
was it?  It
        was reviewing some other book.
   A.   If you say so.
   Q.   Is it right that you wrote
the following words:  "Two
        books in English stand out from the vast
literature of the
        Second World War, Chester Wilmott, 'Struggle for
        published in 1952 and David Irving's 'Hitler's
War' which
        appeared three years ago"?
   A.   Yes, and that is my
general opinion.  I think that, taken
        together, they are -- if I were to recommend to a
        two books which would explain the Second World War
        Hitler's side and from the Allies' side, those are
the two
        books I would choose.
   Q.   This does not, of course,
mean that you endorse or accept
        all the views that I might be held to propagate in
them or
        not, or otherwise?

.          P-4

   A.   Indeed not, because later
on in the papers you have given
        me I reprove you for your lack of a moral point of
view in
        your discussion of Hitler and of his status
relative to
        Churchill and Roosevelt.
   Q.   Is it right to say that
this opinion which you expressed
        in that review was not only publicly held but also
        privately held by yourself?
   A.   Yes.  I often say you have
to read Hitler's War.
   Q.   Can I draw your attention
to letter No. 2 in the bundle?
        This is a letter from a man called Mr Alan
   A.   Yes, he used to be my
editor at the Viking Press, my
        American publishers.
   Q.   Yes.  The late Alan
Williams was also my editor, of
        course, so he knew us both.  Is it true that
        early in 1980 you had a conversation with our
        friend, Alan Williams, in which you commented on
the same
        book 'Hitler's War'?  Will you read, please, the
        sentences of the second paragraph?  Does he state
   A.   "John Keegan is, as you
may know, writing a book for us on
        the D-day invasion.  While we were talking about
it, he
        said that there were two general survey books that
        stood head and shoulders above all the rest, one
of them
        the Chester Wilmott and the other 'Hitler's War'".
   Q.   He did not know ----
   A.   "He did not know I had any
involvement with the latter
        volume when he said this".

.          P-5

   Q.   Thank you very much.  Were
you expressing your true
        opinion in that conversation with Mr Wilmott?
   A.   Of course.
   Q.   Has he accurately
reflected in this letter what your
        opinion was at that time?
   A.   Yes. Alan Williams and I
were great friends.
   Q.   Yes, he was a man of
insight and perception.  In fact,
        I gave him a silver tray from Harrods inscribed
for his
        bravery in publishing my book.  He had it
displayed in his
        office.  Would you turn to page 5, Sir John?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Is this a panel from the
Sunday Telegraph of August last
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Is it headed "Book of the
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Do you there make your
choice of which book you considered
        to be the book of the last century?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Can you remember what book
that was?
   A.   Of course, it is a
'Struggle for Europe'.  I regard it as
        a slightly odd choice, and I do not expect many
people to
        support me, but it happens to have been an
        informative influence on me.
   Q.   I also read it.  I agree
with you, for what it is worth.
        It is a very fine book indeed.  So your opinion on

.          P-6

        Chester Wilmott book had not at that time changed?
   A.   No.
   Q.   You still rank it among
the highest.  Finally, would you
        turn to pages 6 and 7 which, I am afraid, is the
only copy
        I have of a two page extract from your recent book
        Battle for History'.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Will you agree that in
that you repeat once again, 16
        years after the first time you expressed this
opinion ----
   A.   Yes, I do.
   Q.   --- that Hitler's War was
a valuable book?
   A.   Indeed, you are honest
enough to include a message on the
        Internet which points out that you omitted ----
   Q.   One sentence, yes, in the
bundle.  Would you read out that
        sentence too perhaps, for the record?  This is
        writing an e-mail to me, chiding me.
   A.   Could I quote the whole
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It would help me if you did
because I am not
        sure which sentence has been omitted from what.
   MR IRVING:  I am not sure if it is in your
Lordship's bundle.
        It would be page 10 if it is in your Lordship's
        Do you have page 10?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I do.
   MR IRVING:  Would you read out that brief
message on page 10
        from a correspondent?
   A.   It is a message from
somebody called Graham Broad on a web

.          P-7

        site, dated 28th December 1999:  "If Mr Irving is
going to
        quote John Keegan when Keegan supports him, he
might as
        well have the integrity to quote him when Keegan
        not.  He cites at length from Keegan's'The Battle
        History', but does not, to my knowledge, anywhere
on this
        web site quote Keegan's remark on page 10 of that
        Some controversies are entirely bogus, like David
        contention that Hitler's subordinates kept from
the fact
        of the Final Solution".
   Q.   That is, of course, still
your opinion, is it not?
   A.   I am sorry?
   Q.   That is, of course, still your opinion, is it not, that
        I am wrong on the Holocaust, or that my opinion on that is
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That Hitler did not know.
   A.  Well, I read Hitler's War, the appropriate passages, very
        carefully over the weekend, and I continue to think it
        perverse of you to propose that Hitler could not have
        known until as late as October 1943 what was going on to
        the Jewish population of Europe, and indeed many other
        minority groups as well, not only minority groups.

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