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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day021.08

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day021.08
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, can I intervene to correct one completely
        false point that Mr Irving -- I know it is a small point,
        but it does offend my sense of fairness.  He just ploughs

.          P-67

        on.  The reference to what von Below said, or is alleged
        to have said, is on page 613 at note 44.  The reference
        which Mr Irving gives for what von Below is reported to
        have said to him is "Author's interview of colonel
        Nicolaus von Below, May 18th 1968".  So the other nine
        interviews can go hang.  That is what Professor Irving is
        referring to.
   MR IRVING:  And I draw attention to the fact that all that is
        before you are the three pages and it was, obviously, an
        interview lasting many hours.
   A.   You put the pages before us, Mr Irving.
   Q.   I have to ask a question about that then.  Is it right you
        have only had three pages of the original German
        transcript in discovery?
   A.   Is that the case?  You will have to check what is in
        discovery.  I cannot recall it, I am afraid.
   Q.   Well, is it likely that the transcript of an interview
        lasting two or three hours would be longer than three
        pages if it is a verbatim transcript?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Is it likely that the original transcript therefore is in
        the archives in Munich and that only those three pages
        remained in my possession?
   A.   I really do not know; there is no reason why the whole lot
        should not have remained in your possession.  I do not
        know what arrangements you made about making copies of the

.          P-68

        material before you sent it to Munich.
   Q.   There is a lot that you really do not know then, is there
        not?  This is the problem; you are an expert witness on
        this case, you had access to my papers and the archives
        and yet your answer again and again is that you do not
        know what is there, you did not see this, you did not
   A.   I am not quite sure what point you are trying to make
        Mr Irving, in this specific sense.  As you know, we
        three people who also had other things to do, 18
months to
        go through 30 years of your work, and we did the best
        could do in the time available.  I am satisfied it was
        thoroughly done.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, I am sorry to go back but you
        realise that I need to understand what the issue is.
        went to paragraph 11 of Professor Evans' report, page
        and you had your argument with him about having to
   MR IRVING:  The issue is purely which of us has the better
        knowledge of German, my Lord; it is only that.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is, no doubt, a fascinating topic,
        it is not one I am actually dealing with.  The
        is of what you wrote about Kristallnacht in Goebbels's
   MR IRVING:  Yes, which presupposes the knowledge of German.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Could you be kind enough to direct me to

.          P-69

        passage, where you quote, if you do quote, Goebbels
        what he said.
   MR IRVING:  We have already had it better, in fact, in one
        his other expert reports.  I think it has been quoted
        Longerich's report.  We dealt with the matter of that
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is as may be, but would you be kind
        enough to point me to where it is in your book one
        the reference to this quote, so that I can make sense
        your criticism of the translation?
   MR IRVING:  It is not in my book at all, my Lord, that
        passage.  I rely on it purely as evidence of the fact
        this witness does not have command of the German
        that he should have, to be an expert on a difficult
        like what the Goebbels diaries mean, for example.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Let us move on.
   MR IRVING:  Page 265, paragraph 8, the indented paragraph:
        have not indicated in that paragraph that there is an
        omission, is that correct?
   A.   Can you point me to it then, please?
   Q.   In footnote 66, you can see where the omission is in
        fourth line?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   There is an omission of about 20 or 30 words that have
        been taken out, is that right?
   A.   It is indicated in the footnote; no, that's a typo.
        should be been three dots there, but the footnote
gives it

.          P-70

        quite clearly.
   Q.   The words that have been left out are not reproduced
        either version, are they?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  What is the point, Mr Irving?  Let us get
        the point.  Obviously your case is that something
        important has been omitted which affects what is
        What is it that you say has been omitted?
   MR IRVING:  There are two points that I am saying.
Firstly, we
        cannot always be certain that the quotation given to
us by
        this witness indicates when there have been omissions.
   A.   Sorry, Mr Irving, it does indicate.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is futile. I am not even going to
        trouble Professor Evans.  That is an absolutely futile
        point.  It is clear from the footnote.  What are you
        saying is omitted that makes any difference?
   MR IRVING: The words left out are:  "As far as I recall
        these first reports, it already emerged that these
        had been set in motion by the party or by subordinate
        formations of a party whereupon, in my presence,
        gave Himmler the order that the SS must keep out of
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Speaking for myself, that has no bearing
        all on the point that is being made here which is
        according to Wolff, Himmler and Hitler were both
        surprised.  Mr Irving, I am sorry to keep
        but this cross-examination does not appear to me to be

.          P-71

        grasping the nettle of the criticisms against you.
        are finding tiny little points on which you hope, and
        sometimes succeed, in tripping up Professor Evans, but
        are not grappling with what the criticisms are of your
        account of Kristallnacht.  That is what you have to
do, if
        you are going to advance your case in relation to this
        part of the criticism of you.
   MR IRVING:  There are so many criticisms made by this
        of me that all I can really hope to do on any
        cross-examination is pick on central points, which I
        done, like the events in Hitler's residence that
        and suggest that this witness is wrong in saying I had
        sources for what I wrote.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You have not even touched on the
inception of
        the events of this night, which is a key part of --
        Mr Rampton will correct me if I am wrong or Professor
        Evans will -- of their case on Kristallnacht that
        was in on it from the word go.
   MR IRVING:  We dealt with that at very great length under
        cross-examination of myself, my Lord, and my belief
        that I would be testing your Lordship's patience if I
        all over that ground again.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  On the contrary, this part of Professor
        is absolutely central.  Professor Evans, I think,
        that point and you are taking tiny little points like
        whether a sentence has been left out of an account he

.          P-72

        gives as part of his testimony.  That just does not
        affect the issues that I have to decide at all.
   MR RAMPTON:  I would have to say this, my Lord.  It is as
        perhaps I say it now.  Unless Mr Irving challenges
        Professor Evans on this and other topics, upon the
        foundation of his criticisms of Mr Irving's writings,
        which is not in every case but in most cases and in
        important respects the way in which Mr Irving has
        contemporary documents, then I am afraid I will take
        that Mr Irving has accepted the criticisms.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We will come back to that. That would, in
        ordinary case, be a completely unarguable proposition
        Mr Rampton.  Maybe we will have to come back to it
        on, but you hear what Mr Rampton says.  I do think you
        have to actually tackle the fundamental points that
        made in Professor Evans's report, and there is no
        in, if I may put it this way, pussy footing around the
        borders of the issue because that is not going to help
        is it, really?
   MR IRVING:  I was coming at it from the rear.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  All right, I accept that.
   MR IRVING:  I was trying to establish that this witness has
        agenda of his own; that he is not reliable; that he
        distorts and manipulates evidence against me; that he
        quite happy to ignore evidence which was before him
        what I wrote; and that, on balance therefore, probably

.          P-73

        version of events is more accurate than his.
                  Let me therefore just take one more point.
        Would you go to page 266, please, where again you are
        accusing me of falsification?  Halfway down, four
        from the bottom of that paragraph, you say: "Irving,
        his part, cites Goebbels diary entry, only first to
        doubt on its validity as a source, then to falsify it
        reporting on the basis of this reference, not that
        ordered the Jews arrested, but he failed to prevent
        being taken to concentration camps".
   A.   Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can you just pause, so that I understand
        we are on at the moment?
   MR IRVING:  Has your Lordship found it?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I have found the paragraph but you
        into the middle of it, so I am just trying to remind
        myself what he is talking about.
   MR IRVING:  Again, I am accused of falsification.  Is this
        relevant or not, my Lord?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think it may be; it is not perhaps the
        important point.  Can you, Professor Evans, explain
        because I am not quite taking on board what you are
        in your paragraph 11?
   A.   I am trying to find the reference to the Goebbels ----
   MR IRVING:  Perhaps I can help you. If you go straight to
        Goebbels's biography, page 276, you will find where

.          P-74

        I quoted exactly that passage.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Whereabouts on the page?
   MR IRVING:  I am sorry, it is at the end of the second
        paragraph, the sentence beginning:  "The 'Fuhrer',
        Goebbels in the diary, 'has directed that 20 or 30,000
        Jews are to be arrested immediately.  That will do it.
        Let them now see our patience is exhausted'".  How can
        reconcile that quotation from the book with your
        allegation that I falsified it, by reporting that not
        Hitler ordered the Jews arrested, but that he failed
        prevent them being taken to concentration camps?
   A.   I am trying to find the reference to where you say he
        failed to take them.
   Q.   I have given you the actual quotation from the book
        I stated that Hitler ordered them arrested.
   A.   Unfortunately, I do not have a reference there.
   Q.   20,000 or 30,000 were, in fact, arrested that night,
        they not?
   A.   That is right, yes.
   Q.   They were locked away for a few days and then
released, is
        that correct?
   A.   Weeks, a few weeks, Mr Irving.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, the reference is the end of the first big
        paragraph on page 277, I believe.  The first sentence
        begins:  "But 20,000 were already -- -- ", but I am

.          P-75

   A.   I cannot find this.  Yes, but 20,000 Jews were already
        being loaded on to trucks and transported to
        camps at Dachau, Buchenwald, Oranienburg.  Hitler made
        attempt to halt this inhumanity.  He ordered it,
        Mr Irving, and, in fact, as you indeed quote Goebbels
        but however you say in the passage that you are
quoting on
        page 276:  "'The Fuhrer', claimed Goebbels in the
        diary,'has directed that 20 or 30,000 Jews are to be
        arrested immediately'".
   MR IRVING:  So, I state precisely what you say that
        I concealed?
   A.   You are saying it is claimed, you are not saying that
        is an accurate report.  You go on, on page 277, to say
        that Hitler's involvement was limited to making no
        to stop it.
   Q.   Where do I say Hitler's involvement was limited to
        no attempt to stop it, when I made it quite clear on
        276 that he ordered their arrest?
   A.   No, you do not, Mr Irving.
   Q.   "The Fuhrer has directed 20 or 30,000 Jews are to be
        arrested immediately".  How else can you interpret
   A.   "'The Fuhrer', claimed Goebbels in the diary, 'has
        directed that 20 or 30,000 Jews are to be arrested
   Q.   Goebbels is our source for it, is he not?
   A.   He is one source.  The other source is the telegram of

.          P-76

        Muller ordering the arrests.
   Q.   Do you make any reference ----
   A.   That is a telex.
   Q.   Do you make any reference in your report to this early
        quotation on page 276 of my book?
   A.   Yes.

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