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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day020.22

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day020.22
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  If I may say so, if that is what you are
        planning to do for the next 550 pages of this report, I am
        not going to find that helpful.  I am sure you are going
        to find, as you indeed have already found, a number of
        instances where Professor Evans has got it wrong.  But
        I am not really helped by that.  I need to look at it in
        much broader terms than that.
   MR IRVING:  We are just coming in fact to the
        Reichskristallnacht, and I did promise that we were going
        to make substantial inroads into that today.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, but I personally think the section on
        what is called "Admiration of Hitler" is quite important,
        and you do not really seem to have grasped the nettle of
        what is being said about you by Professor Evans.  That is
        all I am inviting you to consider.
   MR IRVING:  I have looked at the Night of Long Knives.

.          P-197

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  True you did.  I accept that.
   MR IRVING:  Which was one matter.  I thought I read your
        Lordship's mind to be that I should not deal with
        single episode.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We are now getting into the meat of the
        report, and certainly not every single episode.  There
        are.  I have said what I have said.
   MR IRVING:  Just one final matter on the plebiscite.  Do
        know the wording that was on the ballot?  You say this
        not a plebiscite for Hitler personally.  Do you know
        wording on the ballot form, on the ballot paper?
   A.   Well, do read it to me.  Remind me.
   Q.   Does it say words to the effect of:  I personally
        of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of the greater German
        and Austria combined and approve of the union of these
   A.   Yes, those are the terms in which it is put.
   Q.   It is in terms of personal approbation of Adolf Hitler
        then as a person?
   A.   Indeed the propaganda effort also emphasised that
        of it, but of course it was not purely, simply a vote
        about Hitler.  The key part of it was the union of or
        creation of the greater German Reich of Germany and
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, your Lordship does not wish me to look
        the Putsch of 1923 and the Hoffman episode again.  We

.          P-198

        been over that already with the other witnesses.  We
        come on to page 233 to the night of broken glass.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am sorry, Mr Irving, the last thing I
        to do is to prolong this, but if you remember the
heart of
        Professor Evans' report is that the chain of documents
        which you rely on as establishing that Hitler did not
        any knowledge of, let alone authorization for, the
        Solution, can be at every link in the chain, as it
        attacked.  My understanding of the structure of this
        report is that a step in the chain of reasoning, if I
        put it that way, does indeed start with the 1924 trial
        you were going to omit that altogether.
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, the chain of documents episode starts
        page 220.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, quite.
   MR IRVING:  That is where his heading starts.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  The first link in the chain is the 1924
        trial, is it not?
   MR IRVING:  It is the 1924 trial.  If I had appreciated
        witness's remarks and under cross-examination by
        Mr Rampton your Lordship will remember that we
        the fact that I was relying on a different set of
        documents on the original microfilm version of the
        I did not use the published text.
   A.   Can I just comment on that, my Lord?  They are the
        The published text is the complete verbatim

.          P-199

   Q.   Can you go back to page 230, please?  You say that
        Hofmann's testimony of Hitler's trial has little
        credibility.  Is this your view?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   You base that view you on the fact that Hofmann was a
        party member?
   A.   Yes.  As I say, a long-standing Nazi supporter and
        official, tried to present Hitler in a favourable
light as
        a law-abiding citizen.
   Q.   Yes, and you suggest that I ought to have known that
   A.   Indeed I think you did know that fact, Mr Irving.
   Q.   On what document or evidence do you base your
        that I knew that fact?
   A.   On the evidence of Hofmann.
   Q.   On the evidence of Hofmann?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   In other words, what he himself stated in this trial?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  And who was he was?
   A.   That is right, yes.  Well, he says in the course of
        evidence that he was -- first of all, the court says
        the beginning of the transcript of his evidence that
        had a close relationship with Hitler and was involved
        the Putsch, and therefore should hot be required to
        evidence on oath.  That is the first pointer.  Then he
        goes on to say that he was, and I quote all of this in
        report ----

.          P-200

   MR IRVING:  Yes, but ----
   A.   --- that he was the head of the Nazi Political
        Intelligence Unit.
   Q.   The question is ----
   A.   That he was frequently with Hitler, and that he took
        in the Putsch.
   Q.   The question is, what evidence do you have that that
        evidence was before me when I wrote my book on Hermann
   A.   Because you read the transcript, you read the
        of the trial which is where the evidence is.
   Q.   What evidence do you have that I read those pages of
   A.   It is not a very long testimony and you recount what
        must have done, I cannot believe you did anything
        was to start at the beginning of Hofmann's testimony
        go on to the end.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  If your case is, Mr Irving, that you did
        ever read Hofmann's testimony, then you should put
        because that would be an explanation.
   MR IRVING:  I hope that I was making that point, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You were not.  You were careful not to
put it
        quite that way.  You said:  Have you got any got
        that I had Hofmann's testimony in front of me?  If
        case is that you never read it, I think you should put

.          P-201

   MR IRVING:  If I can explain to your Lordship, my problem
        that the entire Hermann Goring book was written on an
        fashioned Xerox word processor.  I am having those
        converted and I can then prove exactly what part of
        testimony was before me, but they have still not been
        converted yet.  It is just a technical problem.  But I
        will now put the question to the witness in this way.
                  Was there any evidence before you that I had
        read the Hofmann testimony?
   A.   The evidence of your book, yes.  You quote the
        in the book.
   Q.   Was there any evidence before you that I had read that
        part of the testimony relating to his Nazi party
        membership and to his closeness to Hitler on which you
   A.   It is not a very lengthy testimony, Mr Irving.  It
        about I suppose ten minutes to read it.
   Q.   Did you read this in a printed book or did you read it
        the microfilm?
   A.   I just said that they are the same.  I have read it in
        volume, a multi-volume or a very large collection of
        documentary presentation edited by people on the staff
        the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich.
   Q.   Can I ask you, did this printed volume have an index
        names in it?
   A.   I think so, yes.

.          P-202

   Q.   Do my microfilms with 8,000 pages on film have an
        with names on it?
   A.   No, but it is not difficult to ----
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, I am afraid I think again we are
        out into outer space.  In cross-examination on 31st
        January, page 61, Mr Irving said to me: "I knew
        about Hofmann's background that was not before the
        I read the entire court transcript which was many
        thousands of pages which was adequate for writing a
        biography of Hermann Goring."
   MR IRVING:  Yes.  Do you accept that if some ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is why I think it is important.
   MR IRVING:  I will now clarify this matter.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think that bears out, if I may say so,
        correctness of what I said to you.  If your case was
        you had never read the testimony, then you ought to
        put it.  But it now turns out that actually you have
        already conceded that you read the whole thing.
   MR IRVING:  Professor Evans, when somebody reads an 8,000
        transcript of a trial for the purposes of writing a
        biography of a very minor character in that trial, is
        going, in your opinion, to pay attention to the
        of every single witness who gives evidence at that
   A.   Well, Mr Irving, you read the entire transcript.  You
        all of Hofmann's testimony, which is fairly brief.
        use it in your ----

.          P-203

   Q.   Would you estimate to the court how brief this
        was in terms of typescript pages?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  So it takes ten minutes to read, I think?
   A.   Yes, something like that.  I have actually read it.
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, again I intervene.  I think sometimes
        I live in a parallel universe.  I asked Mr Irving in
        cross-examination what that passage in the book was
        he says that Goring goggled at the exchange between
        and the young lieutenant.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I remember.
   MR RAMPTON:  Mr Irving said:  "That was Hofmann, was it,
        testified about that?  Answer:  Yes.  Yes, the whole
        episode is based on Hofmann."
   MR IRVING:  The fact that the whole episode is based on
        does not presuppose that one has read the whole of
        with great detail as to his origins, his party
        number and all the other matters on which Professor
        is relying.
   A.   Well, I have the typed pages here.
   Q.   The printed pages or the typescript pages?
   A.   Yes, the printed pages.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think we now know that they are the
   A.   The printed version is called [German] which is the
        verbatim account of the principal proceedings before
        people's court at Munich 1, and Hofmann, in other
        it is a verbatim account, it is the same.  Hofmann's

.          P-204

        testimony begins on this printed version, that is on
        seventh day, it begins on page 540, and goes on to
        545 I think, a little bit further.  It is really not
        long.  In any case, Mr Irving, if you read the entire
        8,000 pages you certainly must have read those handful
   MR IRVING:  Will you accept that when one reads 8,000 pages
        a transcript of a treason trial one is not paying
        attention to the political background of the
   A.   No, certainly not.  It is extremely important.  You
        present yourself as a professional historian who has
        extremely critical attitude towards written evidence,
        particularly in trial testimonies as it happens, and
        you have the testimony of somebody in an important
        of Hitler in 1924, a fairly brief testimony, and this
        somebody who is the head of a political intelligence
        section of the Nazi party who is with Hitler a great
        who is quite clearly a Nazi party member, so closely
        associated with the Nazis and with the Putsch that the
        court actually mentions the fact; at the beginning and
        the end the judge congratulates Hofmann for being so
        to his Fuhrer.  This right through the evidence,
        makes no secret of it all in his evidence, and you
        suppress this entirely.  You present the evidence of
        police officer as an entirely neutral statement.  You

.          P-205

        suppress, you deliberately suppress these facts which
        must have known from having read this report.
   Q.   Must have known and ought to have known, is this
        sufficient evidence for you, Professor, when you write
        your books?
   A.   I cannot put myself inside your mind when you are
        this stuff and say whether or not you closed your eyes
        when it came to the passages where all these things
        mentioned.  Even if you did that, even if you fell
        repeatedly during reading this five or six-page
        I cannot really believe, it still seems to me that it
        more than irresponsible.  You have suppressed this
        information.  You have not presented it to the reader.
   Q.   Precisely what information have I suppressed, the fact
        that he was a Nazi party member, that he was on
        staff, is that what you are saying?
   A.   Yes .

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