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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day020.09

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day020.09
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   MR IRVING:  I do not want, but I wish to make some comments on
        this.  Your Lordship will remember that on November 4th
        when we had the pretrial review, I expressed grave
        misgivings about the use of edited broadcast programmes
        with all the, I will not say the chicanery that has gone
        into it, but all the clever cross-cutting and, unless we
        see the transcript of the whole programme or, at any rate,
        very substantial excerpts which are clearly indicative
        that nothing has been put in or nothing has been cut out,

.          P-75

        I would be very hesitant about allowing this kind of
        material which may be prejudicial to be put in in this
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, you say that, but if I read to
        one of the extracts ----
   MR IRVING:  Yes, please do.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  --- it is in these terms:  "To me, the
        Frank's diaries are a romantic novel, rather like
        With the Wind' and I would not read something like
   MR IRVING:  As a source, yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  How can the context really affect what
        are saying which is that it is all made up?
   MR IRVING:  I am not saying that at all, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Oh, I thought you were saying...
   MR IRVING:  That is certainly not the point of what I am
        making.  The Anne Frank diary, I am sure that your
        Lordship, like myself, has never had the pleasure of
        reading that particular work, but I have read a great
        about it, including the official Dutch investigation
        it.  I had lots of newspaper articles about it and I
        quite familiar with its genesis; the way it started
        first as a fragmentary diary, it was then rewritten by
        in captivity because she had nothing else to do and
        as she grew up, she then rewrote it as a novel.
                  That is what I am saying there, but to take
        that one sentence and to hang on that the imputation

.          P-76

        I am saying the whole thing is a pack of lies, which
        Lordship just put on it, I think is a very adventurous
        forward step.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, do we have the ----
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, I really do think this is becoming
        most frightful waste of time.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, at least it is relevant.
   MR RAMPTON:  I know.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We have spent two days on the wholly
        peripheral matters.
   MR RAMPTON:  I have been as patient as I possibly can be,
        now I really cannot sit here any longer because I have
        my hand a piece of paper taken from Mr Irving's
        or through his website, on 7th February of this month
        an interview that he gave to something called CNN,
        is a satellite news station, and he was interviewed on
        16th January.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I have that.  I have read that.
   MR RAMPTON:  This year.
   MR IRVING:  Here we go again.  It is another very heavily
        cross-cut and edited broadcast.
   MR RAMPTON:  Well, I just read these four lines:
        to Irving:  Did you say that the Anne Frank diary was
        forgery?  Irving:  Guilty.  Interviewer:  Is it a
        forgery?  Irving:  No".
   MR IRVING:  Absolutely right.  Absolutely right.  Before

.          P-77

        I was of the opinion that it was a highly suspect
        for precisely the reasons I have set out, namely the
        father said the handwriting was the same the whole way
        through.  He produced expert evidence in court to that
        effect in order to win a libel action.  The
        was partly in ball point ink.  So the conclusions
        are absolutely plain.
                  After 1980 we had the German Government
        investigation which confirmed that the ball point ink
        there and it was not until the Dutch carried out their
        authoritative tests that I was perfectly satisfied I
        been wrong with that belief.  I have made not the
        slightest hesitation in admitting that I was wrong,
        is absolutely the right way to handle the matter.
                  But to take things out of chronology, which
        what this witness has been doing, and to imply that by
        calling it a novel I am suggesting that the diary is
        some way a pack of lies, is I think very unjust and
        borne out by the evidence when it is presented in the
        proper sequence.  But I repeat what I said about the
        prejudicial nature of producing fragments of very
        edited sound bites from American or German or Danish
        television programmes.  Your Lordship is familiar with
        these programmes are concocted.  The scissors play an
        important part.
   A.   My Lord, may I make three points?

.          P-78

   A.   The first is when you describe something, when one
        describes something, as a novel, one surely implies
        it is fictional, it is not telling the truth.  I do
        that is a significant use of words.
                  Secondly, in my report on page 156 I quote
        interview in 1993:  "Interviewer:  Are you aware that
        Dutch Centre for War Documentation has made a full
        about this?" that is to say the allegations of
        falsification and so on in the diaries.  "Irving:
        surprise me.  Interviewer:  And they say it's - they
        made public all the diaries, and they examined the
        handwriting, and all there is to know about it.
        Doesn't surprise me.  A lot of money is at stake.  The
        Anne Frank Foundation is a very wealthy political
        organization in Amsterdam.  Interview:   We're talking
        about the Dutch State War Documentation Centre here.
        We're not talking about the Anne Frank Foundation.
        talking about a public institution.  Irving:  But I'm
        talking about the financial interests which are at
                  I think, Mr Irving, the clear implication of
        that is that the full report of the Dutch Centre for
        Documentation is a falsification and is not reliable
        any sense.
                  The third point I want to make ----

.          P-79

   MR IRVING:  Why have you not ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, there are three points.
   A.   And If I can make my third point, is that again in
        his Lordship has already quoted part of this interview
        that you gave, saying that you would not read it, you
        certain passages and so on.  "We have samples of Anne
        Frank's real handwriting in postcards which she wrote
        friends in 1940 and 1939.  They were recently
auctioned in
        an auction house in the United States about two years
        ago.  That handwriting is totally different from the
        handwriting in the diaries.  They are as different as
        chalk and cheese and the extraordinary finding is that
        some of the pages of the diaries have been written in
        point pen which is a pen that didn't exist in Anne
        lifetime".  1993, Mr Irving.
   MR IRVING:  Yes, and, quite clearly, the parts that are
        in ball point ink in the diaries cannot have been
        by the girl who wrote the postcards, am I right?
   A.   You are saying some of the pages -- that simply is not
   Q.   But some of the pages were written in ball point pen,
        that correct?
   A.   No.  As I understand it, there were stylistic
        emendations.  There are not whole pages written in
        point ----
   Q.   Do you have any evidence for the words "stylistic

.          P-80

   A.   --- pen.  Well, this is -- yes, the report of the
        Centre for War Documentation which is summarized in
        introduction to their Critical Edition which you
        as being the product of financial manipulation by the
        Frank Foundation, whereas a few minutes ago, Mr
        you just said that you had accepted that report ----
   MR IRVING:  I do totally.
   A.   --- in 1989 when it came out ----
   Q.   And I did and I always have done.
   A.   --- and here you are in 1993 saying that you do not
        it.  I cannot accept what you are saying there.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, I think we have now had enough
        evidence on the Anne Frank diaries.  I think we will
        on to the next topic.
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, he made now points.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, I have got to introduce some
        control.  We have spent this morning so far dealing
        pages, I think you started at 128, is that right, and
        have now got to 156.
   MR IRVING:  If this expert report was not so flawed ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  So we have spent nearly two hours dealing
        with very subsidiary points.  We still have not got on
        the guts of this report.
   MR IRVING:  If this expert report was not so flawed and
        then I would not have been bogged down in the marshes,

.          P-81

        shall we say, before we came to the real materials.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I have made my ruling.  You are going to
        the opportunity to answer questions in cross-
        We are moving on to the this next topic, and I am
afraid I
        am going to have to be much more firm with you than I
        been up until now.
   MR IRVING:  If the witness could possibly answer more
        then we would not spent so much time on these matters.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, that is not fair.
   MR IRVING: I advance with the utmost trepidation, my Lord,
        because I have no idea where ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, advance and then see whether the
        trepidation was justified.
   MR IRVING:  One never knows whether the mines are dummies
        not.  Page 158, the end of paragraph 34, you complain
        I state that the witness Hoss made statements which
        contain egregious anachronisms, inconsistencies and
        generally implausible passages.  Do you not accept
        that is so then?
   A.   Let me -- where are we?  Yes.  Let me read the
        We are talking about the memoirs of Rudolf Hoss, the
        Kommandant of Auschwitz, and the interrogations of
        Hoss which were made in Polish captivity.  In your
book on
        Nuremberg you allege, I say, that Hoss was
"manhandled" by
        those who arrested him and kept without sleep until he
        confessed.  You term this "torture".  You say:

.          P-82

        confessions contain many deliberate errors to make it
        clear they were untrue.  His memory is patchy about
        and places, and about the events of four or five years
        earlier.  There were many inconsistencies in his
        He signed a confession in English although he had no
        reading knowledge of English.  He frequently changed
        testimony about numbers.  Hoss wrote his memoirs in
        captivity 'as a means of postponing his fate'.  His
        statements, Irving charges, contained 'egregious
        anachronisms, inconsistencies and other generally
        implausible passages".
   Q.   Will you now answer the question?
   A.   So I am trying to summarize your views there.
   Q.   Do you dispute the fact that his statements contain
        inaccuracies and implausible statements?
   A.   I do not think there is -- well, first of all, I do
        think there is any evidence that there are deliberate
        errors to make it clear that what he said was untrue.
                  Secondly, I think one has to distinguish
        the interrogations and the memoirs.  Hoss says in his
        memoirs that he was manhandled and very badly treated.
   Q.   Where did he write the memoirs?
   A.   He writes his memoirs in Polish captivity, and the
        confessions, well, the first of his confessions which,
        admissions, statements, which resulted from
        was, therefore, discounted.  What I am referring to

.          P-83

        are the memoirs.
   Q.   I only have two questions to ask.  Would a confession
or a
        statement obtained by these means ever be accepted by
        British court of law?
   A.   I have already said, this is only one statement, the
        statement.  The memoirs that he wrote were certainly
        obtained under duress.  They were written in captivity
        under the imminent prospect of death and, to my mind,
        makes them more likely to be honest.
   Q.   Would you answer the question?  Would it be acceptable
        a British court of law, this kind of statement?
   A.   I am trying to explain the context.  The statement
        he made under duress, the first of his statements, was
   Q.   If he was such a reliable witness and so convincing,
        was he not called by the prosecution at Nuremberg when
        was actually in the building in a cell?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is a question to which this witness
        cannot possibly know the answer.
   MR IRVING:  On page 160 at line 4 of paragraph 36:  "Irving
        casts doubt on almost all testimony at the Nuremberg
         -- is that an exaggeration, that I doubt almost all
        testimony produced at Nuremberg?
   A.   That is not what I say.
   Q.   Well, you say that I say it does not fit my arguments;
        I say it was obtained by torture and threats?

.          P-84

   A.   No, no, I do not, Mr Irving.  I say:  "Irving casts
        on almost all testimony at the Nuremberg War Crimes
        or during the prior interrogations if it does not fit
        arguments, alleging it was obtained by torture and
        threats".  Those are my precise words.

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