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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day018.05

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day018.05
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   Q.   He is familiar with my works and he finds them
        exceptionally well written and researched.  Never mind the
        "well written", but he finds them well researched.  And
        you do not accept his opinion?
   A.   It depends what you mean by "well researched".  I mean,
        I do not dispute the fact that you have very wide and deep
        knowledge of the source material for the Third Reich,
        particularly during the Second World War, above all, and
        of course it is quite right, as countless historians have
        pointed out, that you discovered many new sources.
   Q.   What have I done with these sources?  Have I made them
        available immediately to the community?
   A.   I was about to go on to say that the problem for me is
        what you do with the sources when you then start to
        interpret them and write them up.
   Q.   But do I do two things with these sources, is this
        correct?  On the one hand, I write my books based on them,
        on the other hand, I automatically placed the entire
        collection of these new sources in various institutes
        where people like yourself and your researchers and other
        historians around the world can immediately go and see
        them; is that correct?
   A.   Some of them you have placed, you have made available, and
        the others you have not.

.          P-37

   Q.   Are you familiar with any collections that I have not
        immediately made available?  Can you identify any?
   A.   Yes, the interrogations of Hans Aumeier, which have
        already been discussed in this courtroom, it took you four
        or five years to make those or six years to make those
   Q.   We have actually discussed them at some length in this
        courtroom, and it is true that I did not make the actual
        bundle of documents available to other historians after
        I discovered them.  This is true.  Can you suggest there
        may be a reason why I, having discovered that little
        scoop, did not make them immediately available to others?
   A.   Yes.  It seemed to me that they were somewhat embarrassing
        for your position on the existence of gas chambers at
   Q.   Are you familiar with the letter that I wrote to Professor
        Robert Jan van Pelt in May 1996 drawing his attention to
        this bundle of documents?
   A.   That is four years after you discovered the documents and
        a letter to one person.  That is not the same as making
        them generally available immediately.
   Q.   Would you agree that Professor Robert Jan van Pelt was the
        world's acknowledged expert on Auschwitz and he was the
        appropriate person to have his attention drawn to this file?
   A.   Yes, but I repeat, that is not the same as making them

.          P-38

        generally available immediately which is your initial
        claim you made a few minutes ago.
   Q.   Would you agree that there is a difference between my
        visiting elderly widows and persuading them to part with
        their diaries, on the one hand, and, on the other hand,
        something which is in the public domain already in the
        British public archives and where anybody can go and find
        it if they have sufficient nouse, and nobody else has
        bothered to.  There is a difference there.
   A.   I am not sure.  It was in a very -- it is in a somewhat
        unexpected place where you might not expect to find it in
        the Public Record Office in the files of the Political
        Warfare Executive.
   Q.   Would you expect a researcher on Auschwitz to have
        sufficient acumen to go to the Public Record Office and
        look in the files of the War Office Military Intelligence,
        WO208, and in the catalogue find a file called
         "Interrogations of Hans Aumeier of Auschwitz", would that
        take much intelligence, do you think?
   A.   You have to know exactly where to look for in
        19 -- I think these were only released in 1991 and 1992.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can I ask the same question in a different
        way?  If you had come across the Aumeier diary, I think it
        is a diary, what would you have done with it if you felt
        it was your duty to place it in the public domain?
   A.   Published an article about it, I think, in a learned

.          P-39

        journal.  It is a somewhat problematic document, but
        I think it is of some interest and importance.
   MR IRVING:  Professor Evans, have you seen a letter of mine in
        the files which are disclosed to you by way of discovery
        in which I wrote to the Institute of Contemporary History
         -- disregarding your views about that Institute at this
        moment -- and suggested precisely that, that this item,
        the Aumeier papers, should be published in some learned journal?
   A.   Which Institute of Contemporary ----
   Q.   The one in California, the IHR?
   A.   Oh, that is the institute Of Historical Review, so- called.
   Q.   Yes, I am sorry.  I gave you the wrong name, yes.
   A.   Yes, I do not regard that as a respectable academic
   Q.   But was this not an offer, a suggestion, by me that this
        document should be placed in the public domain by way of
        somebody writing a learned paper about it?
   A.   If you place your letter in front of me, a copy of it,
        I would be happy to look at it.
   Q.   I am asking a general question here, what degree of access
        have you been given to all the documents that I made
        available to the Defence by way of discovery?   Have you
        seen everything or have you had everything available to
        you or have you been able to pick and choose or have you
        had just limited access?

.          P-40

   A.   Everything has been made available, but, of course, as you
        will appreciate, there is an enormous quantity of material
        and ----
   Q.   Have you read my entire correspondence between myself and
        the IHR?
   A.   We have certainly had access to it and it has been looked
        through and some of it, of course, is cited in my report.
   Q.   Professor Evans, you expressed the opinion in your report
        that my diaries may have been written for some ulterior motive?
   A.   Could you point to the page in my report where I say that, please?
   Q.   That sounded to me as though it was a rehearsed remark.
        I shall avoid wasting the court's time.  It is in the
        first few pages and I shall say, is it true that it is
        your opinion that I may have written the diaries for some
        reason other than one would normally write a diary?  What
        are your suspicions about why I wrote that?
   A.   Would you like to point me to the page where I -- you see,
        I have a problem, Mr Irving, which is that, having been
        through your work, I cannot really accept your version of
        any document, including passages in my own report, without
        actually having it in front of me, so I think this may be
        a problem for us.
   Q.   If may make things easier for you, of course.  That is
        precisely why I do not and I do not think his Lordship

.          P-41

        will accept that kind of answer to my questions either.
        Let me phrase a simple question to you.  You have read all
        my diaries or you have had all my diaries made available
        to you and you have read extensively ----
   A.   They have been made available.  I have to say they were
        not particularly useful for my report.  My report is
        concerned almost entirely with your published writings and
   Q.   Did you find frequently in the diaries of the 1970s
        descriptions of my meetings with members of Hitler's
        private staff?
   A.   I do not think I refer to that in my report.
   Q.   No.  Did the other experts ----
   A.   There are one or two references in my report.
   Q.   --- Professor Levin and Professor Eatwell have access to
        these diaries as well and also their researchers?
   A.   Indeed they did.  I think they -- yes, they did.
   Q.   Did you form any kind of consensus about these diaries?
        Did you form any kind of opinion as to whether, for
        example, the diaries were written with a view to
   A.   I have not discussed the diaries with Professor Eatwell or
        Professor Levin.
   Q.   Did you form an opinion yourself about whether the diaries
        were perfectly ordinary diaries written for whatever
        psychological reason people have to write diaries, or were

.          P-42

        they written rather like Alan Clark with an intention of
        publishing later on or somewhere in between?
   A.   This is really getting into the realms of speculation
        about your psychology, Mr Irving, which I would rather avoid.
   Q.   I am asking you about your opinion.  I am asking your
        opinion, having read the diaries.  You have expressed an
        opinion in the report and I am asking what your opinion is now.
   A.   Can you direct me to the place in the report where I
        express this opinion?
   Q.   I am asking you what your opinion is now.  Do you think
        the diaries were written genuinely or were they written as
        a camouflage?
   A.   Let me try to find this place that we are trying to
        discuss here in the report.
   Q.   I am not trying to trap you into providing a useful
        answer.  I am trying to lay the groundwork for questions
        which will be based on the diaries, Professor Evans.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am just looking at the very end of it,
        Professor Evans, but I cannot quite find what I think
        perhaps Mr Irving has in mind.
   A.   It is page 16, paragraph 1.5.6 which I said I have had
        access to his complete private diaries, where I simply
        describe them as "private diaries".
   MR IRVING:  Can you not just answer simply my question?  Having

.          P-43

        had that access to these private diaries, have you formed
        an opinion?
   A.   No, not really.  I mean, I do not, I do not really want to
        speculate as to why they are being written.  Certainly
        some of them, as you know, are published, you have put
        extracts up and you publish extracts.  So, from that point
        of view, certainly, I would imagine there was an intention
        of publishing at least part of them because you have
        actually published them.
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   But whether that applies to all of them is a completely --
        is a rather different matter.  It is rather similar, in a
        way, to Goebbels's diaries.  As you know, those which he
        published in his lifetime, those were the early 1930s, he
        did excise quite substantial chunks before he published them.
   Q.   In Goebbels', for example, and I do not accept there is
        any comparison, he wrote handwritten diaries and he
        dictated typescript diaries, did he not?
   A.   That is right, yes, and he signed a publishing contract,
        as you know, of his diaries.
   Q.   And he published, for example, the 1933 diary as a book
        later on which was quite close but not the same as --- -
   A.   That is what I was referring to, yes.  He excised certain
        parts of it, so one could not say that everything in his
        earlier diaries were written with a view to publication.

.          P-44

   Q.   In your expert report you said that I was obliged to turn
        over my diaries to the Defence.  What did you mean by that?
   A.   Could you point to me the page where I say that?
   Q.   Oh, dear!
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, do we really need to go to that?
        I expect you probably did say that.
   A.   Well, I really, my Lord, would ask I be pointed to where
        I say that.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  All right, if you really want it?
   A.   I am afraid I do, yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can you help Mr Irving?  It is difficult to
        be asked to -- it is a report running to about 750 pages.
   MR RAMPTON:  Can I tell your Lordship what actually happened?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I know exactly what happened which is why I
        wondered whether Professor Evans really needed to be
        referred to the documents.
   MR RAMPTON:  Your Lordship knows what happened?  Oh, well, that
        is fine.  Then there cannot be any contest because
        Mr Irving knows too.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I know.  I think this is perhaps not a useful
   MR IRVING:  It is wording that he used there in the expert
        report.  It is adding a flavour here as though I was
        dragged kicking and screaming into the courtroom and taken
        under armed guard back to my house ----

.          P-45

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, can we just short circuit this?  Can I
        just see whether we cannot short circuit?  You were
        compelled by the process of what is now called disclosure
        to hand over a whole lot of what you very understandably
        regard as private documents because they are your own diaries.

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