The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day018.08

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day018.08
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   MR IRVING:  You would have preferred the criticisms to be
        stated more loudly perhaps, or more criticisms and fewer
        bits of admiration, as you call it?
   A.   I would not presume to dictate to you what you write in
        your books, Mr Irving.
   Q.   Oh?  But this is precisely what you have done in your
        expert report, is it not?  You have said "I disagree
        entirely with his standpoint".  You do not like where
        I put my pointer on the scale, so to speak, is that correct?
   A.   My criticisms are concerned with your historical method.
   Q.   Are you aware that the Second Defendant said that my
        admiration of Hitler went so far, by imputation, by
        inference, that I had a portrait of Adolf Hitler hanging

.          P-64

        on my wall in my study?
   A.   I do in fact cite I think in my report a book by Robert
        Harris called "Serving Hitler" where I think he mentions
        something like that, if I can find the place where it is.
   Q.   I can save you time perhaps by showing you the only
        portrait of Hitler which is in my possession.  Can I show
        you this and you can see it from there?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Page 212, I think.
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, can your Lordship also see it?  It is a
        post card on which Adolf Hitler sketched his own likeness
        and which was given to me by his private secretary and so
        it has a certain intrinsic value.  Would you accept that
        this is what Robert Harris is probably referring to?
   A.   It may well be, I do not know.  Let me quote from Robert
        Harris:  "Looking down upon him (that is you) as he worked
        from the wall above his desk was a self-portrait of Hitler".
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  What is being put is that the self- portrait
        that he was writing about was the post card.
   A.   That may well be.  I do not know.  You would have to ask
        Mr Harris about that, but his work seems to be an accurate
        work, as far as I am concerned.  I do not recall Mr Irving
        raising objections to that sentence in it.
   MR IRVING:  But you accept that to describe that as being a
        portrait of Adolf Hitler hanging on my wall gives the
        wrong impression, does it not?  Would that be right?

.          P-65

   A.   If it was hanging on your wall, it gives the right
   Q.   If it was not hanging on the wall, if it was occasionally
        shown to visitors as something of a trophy, like Robert
        Harris, who is a good friend, would that be right?
   A.   Well, if you are saying that it was not looking down upon
        him as he worked from the wall above his desk, then
        I suppose you would be right.
   Q.   Given your expert evidence, as you have, in your report,
        and having read the expert evidence of Professor Eatwell
        and Professor Levin, you are quite content to level at me
        also the charge of anti-Semitism, is that right?
   A.   No, it is not right.  I do not describe you as an
        anti-Semitic, unless you can show me a passage in my
        report where I do.
   Q.   Do you consider me to be an anti-semite from all that you
        know, from the books that I have written and that you have
        read, or statements that I have made?
   A.   I do not want to speculate about your state of mind.
        However, I do cite numerous statements of yours which
        I regard as anti-semitic.
   Q.   Can you categorize these statements in some way, or would
        you prefer, without being specific -- I mean, are these
        just statements critical of the Jewish people, or specific
        Jews like Simon Wiesenthal or particular Jews, or is there
        a general animosity that you detect in me towards the

.          P-66

        Jewish?  How would you define "anti-Semitism"?  I think
        that is the question I am going to ask first.  How would
        you define "anti-Semitism" for the purposes of this trial?
   A.   Well, I am not an expert in that area, but anti-Semitism
        can be defined very simply.  There are numerous different
        ways you can define anti-Semitism.  There are different
        levels and degrees of anti-semitism.
   Q.   You just called me anti-semitic, so you must know what you
   A.   There are different levels and degrees of anti-Semitism
        and so on.  It does seem to me that in your writings, and
        I quote numbers of them in my report, you do blame the
        Jews for the Holocaust, you try to pin responsibility for
        their misfortunes in the Third Reich on themselves.  You
        use language in describing Jews in the present day that
        I regard as anti-Semitic.
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   All of those things.  Anti-Semitism obviously at its most
        basic is hostility to hatred of and contempt for Jews, but
        it is also a political ideology, which involves a belief
        in a conspiracy, that Jews are conspiratorial in some way,
        that they are conspiring to undermine whatever it might be.
   Q.   A kind of common endeavour?  How do you define conspiracy
        in that respect?
   A.   A secret combination or behind the scenes.

.          P-67

   Q.   And none of these allegations should ever be levelled at
        any people, right? True or false?  One should never say
        these things?  Is that what are you saying?
   A.   No, I am not saying that should never be said, true or
        false, but it should not be said if it is false.
   Q.   If it is true, then it cannot be called anti-Semitism, it
        would just be called foolishness, perhaps, to make the
   A.   Well I have to say that I believe that belief in the world
        of Jewish conspiracy to do whatever it might be, whether
        it is to suppress the works of David Irving or undermine
        Germany in the 1930s, is a fantastic belief that has no
        grounds of reality.
   Q.   Are we talking here in the hypothetical or have you some
        reason for suggesting that I believe there is a world
        Jewish conspiracy to undermine my writings, Professor?
   A.   It seems to me from what you have said in your opening
        statement that you do believe there is some kind of
        conspiracy, but leaving that aside, I come back to the
        fact in my report I do quote a number of instances of
        views, interpretations and language which I regard as
        anti-Semitic in your writings and particularly your speeches.
   Q.   Are the Jews, either as a people or their elected or
        unelected leaders, in some way immune from criticism?  Is
        there to be no criticism for whatever reason?

.          P-68

   A.   Certainly not.  That is not the case at all.
   Q.   If one criticises either the Jewish people or the leaders
        for specific matters, is that ipso facto anti-Semitism?
   A.   No, certainly not.
   Q.   So there are circumstances in which, wisely or otherwise,
        one would be entitled to criticise a body of Jews for a
        particular action without it necessarily being
   A.   Yes, individual Jews certainly, or groups.  I think it
        becomes more problematical when you start defining Jews as
        a race or a world community.
   Q.   I can never understand the difference between calling them
        a religion or a race and I do not want to get into that
        region. I have never made any distinction.  If, for
        example, one was to point to the fact that most of the
        leadership of the Hungarian government at the time of the
        anti-government uprising in 1956 was Jewish, would that be
        an anti-Semitic remark?
   A.   I am not an expert on the Hungarian uprising.
   Q.   But, if it was so, if they were perceived to be Jewish,
        put it that way, by the public, would it be anti-Jewish to
        point to this element?
   A.   You have a number of hypotheticals there.  You would have
        to show first of all that they were perceived to be that
        way by the public, which is rather difficult.
   Q.   Let us move on to the NKVD if it was stated that a large

.          P-69

        proportion, a disproportionate number of the leading
        officers of the NKVD, the Soviet Secret Police, were
        Jewish would that be an anti-semitic remark to point that out?
   A.   Again, I am not an expert on the NKVD.
   Q.   But if?  We are looking at the word "if".
   A.   It is very hypothetical.  You would have to show concrete
        sound evidence that (a) they were Jewish and (b) that they
        were acting in some kind of conspiracy or action because
        they were Jewish.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, I think I am going to intervene
        because I think we are making very, very slow progress.
        Professor Evans certainly deals with anti-Semitism and you
        can direct questions to him as to whether there is any
        justification for a charge against you of anti-Semitism.
        But I think discussing whether it is anti-semitic to say
        that officers in the NKVD are Jewish is really not helping
        me at all.
   MR IRVING:  If he is going to describe somebody as being
        anti-semitic, I wanted to know what criteria he set.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We know what criteria the Defendants set and
        I think one can assume that that is the target at which
        they are aiming, if I can put it that way.
   MR IRVING:  To my mind, to be an anti-Semitic, you have to be
        mindlessly anti-Jewish.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is something we will probably have to

.          P-70

        debate at the end of the case, but I do not think now is
        the time to debate it with Professor Evans.
   MR IRVING:  Having read all the documents that have been placed
        at your disposal, this I am sure I can ask you ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes you can.
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, with respect, you do not know what I am
        about to ask him.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I do.  Go on, ask him.
   MR IRVING:  Are you aware of the fact that a number of Jewish
        bodies and organizations over the last 20 years have
        attempted prevent me from publishing books, delivering
        speeches, attending lectures and functions at universities
        and the like?
   A.   I am aware that you allege this, yes.
   Q.   Having read the documents, having read the letters that
        are in discovery, having read the papers that I have
        obtained by various legal proceedings belonging to a
        certain British body and their equivalent bodies in the
        United States and Canada?
   A.   My report is concerned with your work as an historian.
        What I should say is that there is an enormous amount of
        material that is at the disposable of the Defence in this
        case.  I have not read it all.  I have read the material
        which is relevant to my particular report which is
        concerned with your work as an historian.  I have not read
        systematically through the mass of material which is

.          P-71

        relevant to the political aspects of the case, and other
        matters such as that.
   Q.   My Lord, this question now goes to the first Defendant and
        I am going to ask the witness, do you teach about fascism
        to your students?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Are you familiar with this kind of book, Fascism For
   A.   I know that series, yes.
   Q.   Is it a commendable series?
   A.   Not very, I have to say, no.
   Q.   Can I put to you, if I may, you have it already in the
        little bundle, if you turn to the 9th page of the little
        bundle will you find the front page of that book in there.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Fascism for Beginners written by Stuart Hood and Litzer
        Janz, who is the artist I believe.  Would you turn to the
        next page and tell me who distributes this book in the
        United Kingdom, Canada, Europe and Asia?
   A.   The Penguin group.
   Q.   The Penguin Group does.  Is that the first Defendant in
        this case Penguin Books Limited?
   A.   I believe so, yes.
   Q.   Would you turn to page 11, The Spread of Neo Fascism?  Is
        this a chapter on the spread of fascism through Britain?

.          P-72

   A.   I am prepared to accept your statement that it is, yes.
   Q.   It talks about how the these various parties, including a
        party called the Austrian Freedom Party, which obviously
        has no hope of ever coming to power ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, what possible relevance has this
        got to this case?

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.