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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day020.21

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day020.21
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   MR IRVING:  On the foot of page 214 you have, metaphorically
        speaking, raised your eyebrows at the fact that one of
        Hitler's doctors recorded in his diary the fact that
        Hitler had described his future biographer in terms that
        appeared to fit me, if I can put it like that?
   A.   Yes.  An interesting ----
   Q.   Yes, a very simple question.
   A.   --- put.
   Q.   If that diary does exist then I am perfectly justified to
        quote that whole passage, am I not?
   A.   Yes, it is an interesting comment on your attitude of your
   Q.   A comment on my attitude?
   A.   Yes, what you conceive was your mission.
   Q.   If you had got that diary first, you being admittedly not
        English but Welsh, I suppose you would still feel yourself
        qualified by Hitler as being an Englander?
   A.   I think that Germans, unfortunately, do include the Welsh
        amongst the English, yes.
   Q.   Yes, unfortunately.  You would have quite happily have
        quoted that, would you now, if you were writing a
        biography and you came into possession of that diary,
        too would quote it, would you not?

.          P-188

   A.   I would have been too embarrassed I think.
   Q.   Too embarrassed?
   A.   Yes.  I certainly would not want to give the
        that all these things the Doctor says would apply to
   Q.   Well, some of them do not of course?
   A.   It is a very tempting quotation, but I think I would
        added that after the end of it "this is not me".  He
        records Hitler saying: "Perhaps an Englishmen will
        one day who wants to write an objective biography of
        It has to be an Englishman who knows the archives and
        masters the German language, and that is why you are
        getting the diaries, Mr Irving, the doctor said."  I
        I would have said:  Well, I am not going to fit the
        I am not, as a biography of Hitler, his ambassador in
   Q.   Does this explain to you why so often I manage to get
        of these unusual documents, and there was no kind of
        bribery or promising involved?  These people just
        this material over to me?
   A.   Does what explain?
   Q.   This kind of episode that I ended up with the good
   A.   You have to give a little more detail.
   Q.   Let us move on.
   A.   I am not sure what you mean by that.
   Q.   The foot of page 216.

.          P-189

   A.   The fact that you are English I do not think makes a
        deal of difference.
   Q.   No, but the fact that I knew the archives and I have
        the trouble to learn the language as an Englishman?
   A.   Well, obviously it would be pointless if you did not
        any German.
   Q.   At the foot of page 216 you state, again without any
        evidence, that there was massive intimidation of the
        electorate in the 1938 plebiscite?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Do you have any proof of that?
   A.   Yes, this is the context where you simply say that
        had risen from nobody, become the admired and
        leader of two great nations.  Just five years after
        he got 49 million Germans to vote for him which was
        per cent of electorate.  In my response to your
        of 4th January 2000, your written questions, I have
        whole pages accompanied by a considerable amount of
        documentation of the intimidation which took place in
        plebiscite of 1938.  I am not sure -- would it save
        court's time if I could just refer to this without
        actually going through it?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think so to begin, and then if with
        Mr Irving wants to follow it up then he can.
   MR IRVING:  Perhaps I can just ask you in general:  Was
        any evidence that there was not a secret ballot?

.          P-190

   A.   Yes, there was.  Yes.
   Q.   In what way do you have that evidence?  Is it
   A.   Well, there are reports on the plebiscite, official
        reports from electoral authorities which I quote on
        2:  "Members of the Election Committee marked all the
        ballot papers with numbers.  During the ballot itself
        voters' list was made up."
   Q.   This is was well-known, is it not, but that is not
        intimidation, is it?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do not keep interrupting, Mr Irving.  It
        destroys the whole object of the exercise.
   A.   The ballot papers were handed out in numerical order.
        Therefore, it was possible afterwards with the aid of
        list to find out the persons who cast no votes.  The
        Gendarmerie stationed in the Bavarian village of
        reported that the ballot papers of people regarded as
        unreliable had been marked.  Reports from the XR
        leadership of the Social Democrats, so-called day
        who have numerous instances, they have a whole section
        which I include here in the documents on the lack of
        secrecy in the voting.
   MR IRVING:  Is this evidence of intimidation?
   A.   No.  It is evidence of lack of secrecy in the voting,
        which is what you asked the question about.
   Q.   Is there evidence of intimidation?

.          P-191

   A.   Yes, there is evidence of intimidation.  Do you want
me to
        go through it?  I list it again here and provide
   Q.   The fact that ballot papers are marked, just as they
        in England, and numbered, is not evidence of
        of any kind of hanky-panky, is it?
   A.   No.  It is evidence of lack of secrecy of the ballots,
        the source I quote says, it was possible with the aid
        this list to find out the persons who cast no votes.
   Q.   Yes, but how would this lead to a 99.8 per cent vote?
   A.   Ah, because there was enormous -- because, of course,
        people suspected that, well, this is one element in a
        number of elements in these elections.  People
        I think, quite clearly suspected that if they cast a
        vote", and rightly suspected if they cast a "no vote",
        would be identified as theirs and they would suffer
        consequences.  In addition, there was a huge effort in
        which agents of the Nazi Party and various other
        organisations known as Schleppe or people who drag,
        carriers or draggers of voters to the polls, went
round on
        a number of occasions asking people to vote, sending
        written warnings if they did not, going to visit them,
        then later on, and I quote a number of examples,
        physically maltreating those who did not vote, taking
        off to lunatic asylums, expelling the Catholic Bishop
        Rottenburg from his diocese when he refused to take

.          P-192

        in the vote; dismissal of a street warden in
        for telling people his boss had said that people could
        vole whichever way they wanted, which the boss of
        denied.  There was someone who was identified as
        "no" in another community, according to a by day
        was identified dragged through the local pubs of the
        shirts and put a sign on her back saying "I am
        and spat at her.  There were numerous arrests of known
        opponents of the regime before the vote, 250 people
        were thought to be opponents of the regime were
        in Leipzig before the vote and then released just in
        to go to polls.  So that it is quite clear what the
        intimidatory effect of that was.
   Q.   Are those kinds of measures sufficient to get a 99.8
        cent turn out in favour of Adolph Hitler, do you
   A.   That is a different, that is a somewhat different
        question.  What I say is that I think it is clear that
        there is no, I do not know of any democratic and free
        election in which anyone has got 99.8 per cent of the
   Q.   Would you agree there was a mass ----
   A.   Had the election been free, what the vote would have
        is another matter.  It is a matter for conjecture.
        I am saying, in other words, is that the difference
        between whatever the result would have been in a free
        election and the amazing 99.8 per cent is the result

.          P-193

        intimidation, pressure, lack of secrecy of the ballot.
   Q.   Would you agree there was a massive propaganda effort
        lead to this huge turn out?
   A.   There was indeed a massive propaganda effort, yes.
   Q.   And that there was in that respect as much carrot as
        intimidation by your account?
   A.   I do not think propaganda is carrot.  It is
   Q.   Would you agree that in fact the overwhelming majority
        the German people were by that time, in April 1938,
        dazzled by Hitler, I suppose that is the correct word,
        achievements, full employment?
   A.   No.  Well ----
   Q.   National unification, the Czar land, all these great
        achievements, and that this is one reason why 99.8 per
        cent of people could easily be persuaded to sign "yes"
   A.   I think if you read the SD and by day reports
carefully it
        is clear that fairly soon after 1933 there was quite
        widespread grumbling and discontent.  That is a
        different matter from what people thought about the
        of Germany and Austria.  I think, for what it is
        that ----
   Q.   There was a plebiscite, was there not?
   A.   May I finish, Mr Irving?  That in the vote a
plebiscite on
        the union of Germany and Austria in 1938, in a wholly
        election, it is more than likely that there would have

.          P-194

        been a "yes".  In other words, the majority of people
        Germany and Austria were in favour of unions, but I do
        think it is 99.8 per cent.
   Q.   Yes, but what you think of course is not evidence.
   A.   I do not think -- I mean can you name me any free,
        free, fair and secret election in which any side has
        per cent of the vote?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We are going rather ----
   MR IRVING:  We are going round in circles.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  --- long.  That is the Anschluss vote.  I
        not realize that.
   A.   Yes.
   MR IRVING:  It was not an election, my Lord.  It was a
   A.   There was a Reichstag election at the same time.  What
        say, Mr Irving, is that he got 49 million Germans to
        for him, which is 99.8 per cent of electorate.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can I just ----
   MR IRVING:  Can I ask you, are you familiar with the
wording of
        the vote?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, will you listen to me for a
        moment, because I think we probably have spent long
        on the 99.8 per cent.  There is a danger I think, and
        is designed to help you, that we are missing the wood
        the trees.  The whole of this section of the report,
        I think myself is quite important, is on the theme or

.          P-195

        thesis that you always write about Hitler in terms
        portray him favourably.  Various examples are given of
        that and various statements made by you which tend to
        confirm are recited by Professor Evans.
                  I personally would find it more helpful if
        were, perhaps to begin with, to ask a few rather more
        general questions in which you would set out what your
        case is about this.  I do not know, but could you not
        Professor Evans whether it is not right that actually
        are very balanced and objective in what you write
        Hitler?  I think you need to set the scene.
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, we know precisely what the answer will
        if I ask that.  He will say he dislikes me.  He has
        read the book.  He would never have read the book if
        had not received this commission from these
        solicitors.  So that would be, frankly, in my
        a waste of the court's time.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Then you would follow it up, would you
        and give some examples, and this is really what I am
        asking you for, of events, significant events, when
        take a critical line about what Hitler said or did.
        is what I am missing at the moment.  We are just going
        down this slightly blind alley of the 99.8 per cent
        Reichstag vote, whereas one is missing your putting
        case in rather broader terms.  I am only putting it
        forward as a suggestion.  You do not have to follow

.          P-196

        but it would help me if you were to do that.
   MR IRVING:  My method, my Lord, an you may think it totally
        wrong, has been to graze through this passage and come
        across these occasionally indigestible rocks where he
        picks on something where I know I am right and where your
        Lordship probably does not appreciate that I am right.  By
        virtue of this cross-examination trying to establish it
        firmly in your Lordship's mind that out of us two experts,
        if I can put it like that, on balance, probably I am
        better right or righter than he is.

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