THE DEFENDANTS in this action, the publishers Penguin Books Ltd and the American scholar Deborah Lipstadt, have sought to cast this trial as being about the reputation of the Holocaust. It is not.
The world's press have also reported it in this way. Again, it is not.
This trial is about my reputation as a human being, as an historian of integrity, and - thanks to the remarks made by Mr Rampton - as a father. The Defendants are saying, and have so convinced many people, that I am not entitled to continue to earn a living in the way that I have earned it for nearly forty years. A judgement in my favour is no more than a judgment that disputed points which I have made about some aspects of the narrative are not so absurd, given the evidence, as to disqualify me from the ranks of historians. Under the laws of defamation in this country, it could not be any thing else, and nor must the defence team, no matter how powerful, or moneyed, or eloquent, or numerous, be allowed by their tactics to skew it in any other way.
I may add that the points I have made do not necessarily ,lessen the horror or the burden of guilt. I always have accepted that Adolf Hitler, as head of state and government, was responsible for the Holocaust. I said, in the Introduction to my flagship biography, HITLER'S WAR:
These latter points lead to another consideration. Your Lordship will have heard of the - largely successful - effort to drive me out of business as a historian. This Court has seen the timidity with which historians have already been fraught once the Holocaust is questioned: one notable historian, ordered by summons to attend, showed himself reluctant even to confirm what he had written in my favour, repeatedly, over the last twenty years. A judgment rendered against me will make this paralysis in the writing of history definitive; from then on, no-one will dare to discuss who exactly was involved in each stage of the Holocaust, or how extensive it was. From then, on discussion will revolve around "safe" subjects - sacred texts in the Middle Ages, or Marx in the old USSR, or the Koran in a fundamentalist state today. Every historian will know that his critique needs to stop sharply at boundaries defined by certain authorities. He will have a choice: accept the official version, holus-bolus ; or stop being a historian.
A judgment in my favour does not mean that the Holocaust never happened; it means only that in England today discussion is still permitted. My opponents would still be able, just as now, to produce other documents if they can; to expound alternative interpretations. They would be as free as ever to declare that they think I am wrong. They would be impeded in one way only: they would not be able to say in a loud and authoritative voice that I am not a historian, and that my books must be banned. As a result of my work (and of this case) the holocaust has been researched more. Those who (rightly) believe that these crimes should never be forgotten should ask whether their case is batter served by a compulsory - and dead - text imposed by law and intimidation, or by a live and on-going discussion.
Our Common Law has at its kernel
an "adversarial" procedure whereby, it is believed,
truth is best elicited by each side putting their case as strongly
as possible. I agree with English Common Law.
I read in The Independent, in a lengthy and deeply libellous article published only last week, these words: "But if he wins, it will open the door for revisionists to rewrite any event in history without the requirement to consider evidence that does not suit them and without fear that they will be publicly denounced for their distortion."2
In bygone days, I venture to submit, such an article, published while an action was literally sub judice, would have been a clear contempt of Court. Your Lordship will have noticed that I wearied, after a few days, of drawing attention to the coverage of this trial. Allow me however to introduce one cautionary statistic: not including the fuss about the Eichmann manuscript, the British press have published no fewer than 167 reports during the seven days that I was on the witness stand, that is 24 per day; but just fifty-eight reports during the twenty days when the boot was on the other foot and I was cross-examining Mr Rampton's witnesses, that is roughly three per day. That is a disparity of some eight to one against me. If Your Lordship has noticed any of these items, you will perhaps have observed that the reporting in both cases is almost exclusively devoted to the defence statements, or their questions to me, and not to the product of the examination. The Court however operates by different standards, and it will not allow public sentiment to guide its verdict. I believe it was Churchill who once said, "There is no such thing as public opinion, there is only published opinion." Given such a baleful glare from the press gallery, My Lord, I am glad that Her Majesty has such a resolute officer presiding over this case. The outcome is in your hands, and yours alone, and I am confident that nothing that the Press has written, or may yet write, will deflect Your Lordship from arriving at a just conclusion.
The Defendants have sold around the world a book, Denying the Holocaust . May I say that I see here Penguin Books Ltd to my sorrow, as they have published my own works in the past; but they are continuing even today to sell this book for profit, in the knowledge that it contains very defamatory allegations and that these allegations are held to be untrue. It is a reckless, even foolhardy posture.
Neither of these Defendants evidently bothered even to have the manuscript professionally read for libel. I say "evidently," because we do not know: they have not deigned to enter the witness box to answer even that straightforward and most elementary of questions. Nor have they answered this question when it was put to them in writing. Such a report is, in my submission, not privileged, and I would have been well prepared to argue the point; had they claimed that privilege, I should have asked, "On what grounds?" If a report was written, it should and no doubt would have been disclosed. It was not. We are entitled to assume they did not bother to have the book "read", therefore. So it does not exist.
Whatever other limited excuses - whether of sheer ignorance, or of innocent dissemination - that the publisher might have (quite wrongfully) deployed for publishing this malicious and deeply flawed work were destroyed from the moment when they received my writ in September of 1996, and were thus informed, if they did not in fact know already, of the nature and scope of the libels it contains. And, as said, they have continued to sell it, hoping no doubt to cash in on, to profit from, the notoriety gained by these libel proceedings, a textbook case of Rookes vs. Barnard if ever there was one, since the book they are selling still contains even the several libels which they have made no attempt here to justify. They have to justify their allegations, or their defence fails; and as your Lordship is aware, where the defamations are particularly grave, a higher burden of proof falls upon them than the mere balance of probabilities that is normally acceptable. In both Defendants, moreover, there is clear evidence of malice, both in those few documents which the author of this work has disclosed, and in the fact that the same firm of publishers had previously distributed a work in which I was variously caricatured as Adolf Hitler, and wearing swastika eye-glasses.
The very worst of the libels are so blatant, that neither Defendant has insulted the intelligence of this Court by offering any justification for them. They hope instead to divert the court's attention by reference to distant and notorious matters of history. In consequence, for thirty days or more of this Court's time we have had to rake over the embers of what may be one of the greatest crimes known to Mankind: a harrowing, time-wasting, and needless effort, which has yielded even now few answers to great questions and mysteries which even the world's finest academics have so far not managed to unravel.
On page 14 of the book, the Defendants published one of the gravest libels that can be imagined for a respectable English citizen who lives a very public life, namely that I consort with the extremist anti-Semitic Russian group Pamyat, with violent anti-Israeli murderers , with extremist terrorists, and with Louis Farrakhan, a Black Power agitator who is known to be acting in the pay of a foreign power, namely the Libyan dictator. This is not just the simple allegation of associating with "extremists", about which they have made so much. The words on page 14 are as follows - and I make no apology for reminding the Court of them:
The whole statement was a reckless lie. It appears from their Discovery to have been based on a press release issued by the Jewish Telegraph Agency, which neither that agency or the Defendants made any attempt to verify. The Court will have noticed in one of my bundles the letters which I sent to every Scandinavian embassy at the time, anxiously denying the malicious JTA allegation. I have pleaded, as Your Lordship is aware4, that the innuendo was that I was
As for the Hamas, I set out in para 12 of my statement of claim that "the true or legal innuendo of the words "Hamas" is that of an Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organisation similar in nature to the Hizbollah."
I submitted to Your Lordship at the outset of this trial a representative selection of news reports from reliable outlets, including the BBC, on the murderous nature of the organisations concerned.
In my pleadings, I also (paragraph 8) argued that by these allegations I had "been brought into hatred, ridicule, contempt, risk of personal injury, and/or assassination". The nature of the libel, and the damage that it caused, hardly need arguing in detail here. To put it in a domestic context, if the Defendants had equally untruthfully stated, for example on a Channel 4 television documentary, that I consorted with Ulster loyalist death squads who were part of a conspiracy to murder Roman Catholic nationalists, itself a grave accusation which also would put me at risk of assassination, and if the Defendants made no attempt to justify that libel, then I respectfully submit that Your Lordship would have no hesitation giving judgment in my favour. I submit that there is no difference between these examples.
The Defendants have relied however on Section 5 of the Defamation Act. In other words, they accuse a respectable Englishman of consorting with terrorists and murderers, and then plead the relative insignificance of the accusation when it turns out to be a reckless lie. And there are other incendiary lies which they have stuffed into that particular sand-bucket, Section 5, in the hope that they will sputter out: the Defendants repeated the story - first published in Izvestia - that I placed a portrait of Hitler over my desk.6 For that lie too they have offered no justification. I read incidentally recently in Literary Review, January 2000, that Lloyd George had signed photographs of both Hitler and Mussolini on display.7 The only signed photograph in my apartment, as many journalists have observed, is one of Sir Winston Churchill.
I submit that Your Lordship should not accept the Defendants' contention that these allegations should be disregarded on the basis of Section 5. Even if they could sufficiently justify their claim that I deliberately bent history in favour of Hitler, and I submit that they have not, it would still "materially injure the plaintiff's reputation" (thus the wording of Section 5) to say that I had a portrait of Hitler above my desk. The claims which they do seek to justify suggest that I am culpably careless and (perhaps unconsciously) sympathetic to Hitler; bad enough, but having a portrait over my desk implies a full-hearted 100 percent conscious commitment to that man, which is very different.
I have provided to Your Lordship in one bundle a number of passages quoted from A J P Taylor's words. Taylor himself accepted that they inevitably improved Hitler's image: maybe he did not originate the actual mass murders himself; maybe he did slip into war with Britain rather than planning it; maybe the Anschluss with Austria was more a stroke of good fortune, which he grasped, rather than long planned as a take-over; maybe the Nazis did not burn down the Reichstag in 1933. These views of Taylor have been criticised as being wrong, even as being too sympathetic to Hitler. But everybody would accept that to suggest that Taylor had a portrait of Hitler "over his desk" would suggest something far worse. So it should be for me too.
Again, for the purpose of Section 5, the allegation that I bend history in favour of Hitler because I am said to admire him, and that I consort with other people holding such views, is a very different kettle of fish from stating, as the Defendants do, that I consort with people who are widely regard as violent and murderous terrorists. Indeed, the word used by the Defendants in the Hamas/Hizbollah/Pamyat context is "confluence", which suggests something even worse than "consort". The passage suggests that I provide support (maybe only theoretical support, but still support) for violence and murder - murder now and murder in the future. I ask therefore that Your Lordship not allow either of these matters to be discarded into section 5.
My Lord, the Court will be aware that from the very outset I argued that this hearing should not, effectively, leave the four walls of my study, where I wrote my books; and that what happened fifty or sixty years ago was of less moment to the issues as pleaded. The matter at issue, as pleaded by the Defendants, is not what happened, but what I knew of it, and what I made of it, at the time I put pen to paper. To take a crude example: neglecting to use the Eichmann memoirs, released to us only a few days ago, had they contained startling revelations -- which they did not -- could not have been held against me because they were not available to me in the 1960s, 70s or 80s.
Your Lordship took a different view, and I respectfully submit that it was wrong. The Defendants have invested a sizeable fortune in re-researching the Holocaust, and possibly for that reason alone we have all been dragged through that vast and inhuman tragedy yet again, and quite needlessly in my submission. It would have sufficed for their purposes if they could have proved, on the basis of the total disclosure of my files which I made to them and their experts, that I had indeed "distorted, misstated, misquoted, and falsified." Fearing or finding however that they were unable to prove wilful fraud, in effect, they have fallen back on the alternative plea in the tort of negligence: that "Mr Irving ought to have known." I respectfully submit that this unsubtle change of defence should not have been allowed to them, as it was not pleaded at the outset.
If my submission on the law is, however, wrong then Your Lordship must ask what effort would have been reasonable on the part of an individual historian, acting without institutional support like that of Yad Vashem, and with the doors of archives increasing being slammed against him because of the activities of the bodies to which I shall shortly refer. These Defendants have spent reportedly some six million dollars, and twenty man-years or more, in researching this case: this blinding and expensive spotlight has been focused on the narrowest of issues, yet still it has generated more noise than illumination. I heard the expert witnesses who were paraded before us use phrases like the "consensus of expert opinion" as their source so often - in fact the word consensus occurs so far no fewer than forty times in the daily transcripts of this trial - that I began to wonder what archives were for. I suggest that these experts were more expert in reporting each other's opinions and those of people who agree with them than in what the archives actually contain - and do not contain.
The phrase "Holocaust Denier", which the Second Defendant boasts of having invented, is an Orwellian stigma. It is not a very helpful phrase. It does not diminish or extend thought or knowledge on this tragic subject. Its universal adoption within the space of a few years by media, academia and government and even academics seems to indicate something of the international endeavour of which I shall make later mention. It is in my submission a key to the whole case. Perhaps this Court should raise its gaze from the red and blue files and bundles for a brief moment, and re-read George Orwell's brief appendix to "1984" which seems to be very relevant to this case.
From the witness box, with its revelations of the "consensus of opinion", "moral certainty," and the mass male-voice choir of the "social sciences" or "social scientists" on which the Defendants' German expert Professor Hajo Funke relies for his certainty as to what is right-wing extremism, we seem to hear more than a vague echo of Orwellian Newspeak - a language that moulds minds, and destroys reputations and livelihoods.
Orwell was however wrong in one
point: he thought it would take the forces of the State to impose
Newspeak: Professor Lipstadt and her reckless publishers Penguin
Books Ltd - I shall justify that adjective shortly - have sought
to impose it through the machinery of the literary and media establishments.
Only the Royal Courts or Justice, independent and proud, can protect
the rights of the individual from now on. And those rights include
the right, as Lord Justice Sedley recently put it in another Court
in this same building, of any person to hold to, and to preach,
unpopular views, perhaps even views that many might find repellent.8
My writings and reputation as an historian I have not hesitated to stand in the witness box here, and to answer questions. Mr Rampton rose to the occasion, and he - or indeed I - may yet regret it. Your Lordship will recall that when I brought a somewhat reluctant and even curmudgeonly Professor Donald Cameron Watt, doyen of the diplomatic historians, into the witness stand, he used these words:
When I invited him to mention some names, of course he declined. What he was saying was that whatever mistakes, or whatever unconventional interpretations of mine, the Defendants have revealed with their multi-million dollar research, this does not invalidate me as an historian, or my historical methods and conclusions.
Your Lordship will find that Professor Watt continued by suggesting that simply by facing the challenge of the views that I had put forward, "and basing them on historical research, rather than ideological conviction," this had directly resulted in other historians devoting an "enormous burst of research" to the Nazi massacres of the Jews, an area which can in consequence now support journals and conferences. "This, I think, is a direct result of the challenge which Mr Irving's work [posed] and the consistency and the effort which he has put into maintaining it in public."9 In other words, Watt stated that, far from being a "Holocaust denier" my work has directly increased historical research into, and understanding of, the "Holocaust".
Professor Eberhard Jäckel made the same controversial point in his essay in the book published by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, namely that before my book Hitler's War was published in 1977, there had been virtually no meaningful research into the tragedy at all.10 Professor Hans Mommsen, Professor Raul Hilberg, Professor Gordon C Craig - all have more or less supported my claim to be regard as a serious historian. The outcome of my research, my books, and my speaking is therefore that people in general are more, not less, aware of the horrors of the Holocaust, and they are certainly better informed.
I submit that in assessing whether I am an historian who "distorts, manipulates and falsifies," Your Lordship should give most weight to my avowedly historical written works. I suggest my speeches and the very occasional lapses of taste in them (Mr Rampton has identified and mentioned, repeatedly, I think, three) are relevant purely as background material. Of those written historical works, I submit that your Lordship give most weight to my flagship work HITLER'S WAR. I ask that Your Lordship read (again, if Your Lordship has already done so) the Introduction to the 1991 edition: this was published well after the year when the Defendants (wrongly) assert that I "flipped over" to become what they call a Holocaust denier.
I have always differed from colleagues in my profession in insisting on using original documents, including where possible the authors' drafts of books or memoirs rather than the heavily edited West German editions, later rewritings, or posthumous adaptations. I also make use of many more unpublished original documents than my historian colleagues. In the 1960s and 1970s this was more difficult than today.
I differ too from others, in
making copies of the original documents which I unearth freely
available to others as soon as my own works are complete, and
often before (as the panne with Professor Harold Deutsch's book
As page 14 of Hitler's War shows, I donate these records
regularly to publicly accessible archives and I also make them
available on microfilm. There are nearly 200 such microfilms,
containing nearly half a million pages. I also devote time to
corresponding with and assisting other historians and researchers.
If, therefore, some of my interpretations are controversial, I
also do all that is possible to let other people judge for themselves.
This speaks strongly against the accusation that I distort, manipulate
and falsify history.
On Hitler and the holocaust I wrote these words - after the time when I had supposedly become a Holocaust denier obsessed with Hitler and with exonerating him:
The similarity with the thesis propagated by Dr Daniel Goldhagen in his world-wide best-seller book HITLER'S WILLING EXECUTIONERS will surely strike everybody in this Court. Allow me to rub this point in: What I actually wrote and printed and published in my "flagship study" HITLER'S WAR was that Hitler was clearly responsible for the Holocaust both by being head of state, and by having done so much by his speeches and organisation to start it off.
Where I differed from many historians was in denying that there was any documentary proof of detailed direction and initiation of the mass murders by Hitler. The view was considered to be heretical at the time. But this lack of wartime documentary evidence for Hitler's involvement is now widely accepted. Indeed, on the narrower matter of the lack of wartime documentary evidence on "gas chambers", Your Lordship was already good enough to grant as follows, in an exchange with Professor Evans:
To summarise, in Hitler's War I differed from other historians in suggesting that the actual mass murders were not all or mainly initiated by Hitler. I pointed out that my sources were consistent with another explanation: A conscious desire "not to know" (I referred to a Richard Nixon kind of complex).14
I submit that I have not distorted, manipulated, and falsified. I have put all the cards on the table; I made the documents available to all comers, on microfilm and in the archives, and I and have pointed to various possible interpretations.
I further submit that, while certainly "selling" my view, I have been much less manipulative than those historians, including some whom you have heard in Court, whose argument has in important part been simply this - that I ought not to be heard, because my views are too outlandish or extreme. Disgracefully, these scholars have cheered from the sidelines as I have been outlawed, arrested, harassed, and all but vernichtet as a professional historian; and they have put pressure on British publishers to destroy my works.
To assist Your Lordship in deciding how outlandish and extreme these views of mine are, I allow myself to quote from A J P Taylor's The War Lords, published by Penguin - the First Defendants in this action - in London in 1978. Of Adolf Hitler . . .
These quotations are from the foreword of A J P Taylor's own flagship work, The Origins of the Second Wolrd War, published in 1963:
What I wrote, with less felicity of style than Professor Taylor, was a reasonable interpretation of the information available to me at the time. I might add that my words are often accepted, quoted, and echoed by other historians far more eminent than I (including the government's Official Historians like Professor Sir Frank Hinsley, in his volumes on British Intelligence). Some may regard my interpretations as not the most probable. But they are never perverse. For the Defendants to describe me as one who manipulates, distorts, and falsifies it would be necessary for them to satisfy Your Lordship that I wilfully adopted perverse and ridiculous interpretations. I have not.
I now turn to some of the particular matters which exercised Your Lordship, in the list of points at issue.
I trust that Your Lordship will bear in mind that the task facing a historian of my type - what I refer to as a "shirtsleeve historian", working in the field, from original records - is very different from the task facing the scholar or academic who sits in his book-lined study, plucking handy works of reference, printed in large type, translated into English, provided with easy indices and often with nice illustrations too, off the shelves of a university library within arm's reach.
Your Lordship will recall that while researching the Goebbels Diaries in Moscow for the first week in June 1992 I had to read those wartime Nazi glass microfiches through a magnifier the size of a nailclipper, with a lens smaller than a pea.15 The Court will appreciate that reading even post-war microfilm of often poorly reproduced original documents on a mechanical reader is a tedious, time consuming, and unrewarding business. Notes have to be taken in handwriting, as there are no "pages" to be xeroxed. In the 1960s xerox copies were nothing like as good as they are now, as Your Lordship will have noticed from the blue-bound volumes brought in here from my own document archives. Mistakes undoubtedly occur: the mis-transcription of difficult German words pencilled in Gothic or Sütterlin-style script, a script which most modern German scholars find unreadable anyway; mistakes of copying; mistakes of omission (i.e., a passage is not transcribed because at the time it appears of no moment). These are innocent mistakes, and with a book of the size of Hitler's War, currently running to 393,000 words, they are not surprising.
Your Lordship may recall one exchange I had with Professor Evans:
From this exchange it is plain that I was not just a conjurer producing quotations and documents out of a hat; I made my sources and references available in their totality to historians, even when they were not printed in the book.
The allegation that the mistakes are deliberate - that they are manipulations, or distortions, - is a foul one to make, and easily disposed of by general considerations. If I intended deliberately to mistranscribe a handwritten word or text, I would hardly have furnished copies of the original texts to my critics, or published the text of the handwritten document as a facsimile in the same work (e.g., the famous November 30, 1941 note, which is illustrated as a facsimile in all editions of Hitler's War); or placed the entire collection of such documents without restriction in archives commonly frequented my critics.
And if I intended to mistranslate a document, would I have encouraged the publication of the resulting book, with the correct original quotation, in the German language, where my perversion of the text would easily be discovered? Yet like all my others works, both HITLER and GOEBBELS have appeared in German language editions with a full and correct transcription of the controversial texts. Is this is the action of a deliberate mistranslator?
As for the general allegation that the errors or exaggerations or distortions that were made were "all" of a common alignment, designed to exonerate Adolf Hitler, the test which Your Lordship must apply should surely be this: if the sentence that is complained of be removed from the surrounding paragraph or text (and in each book there are only one or two such sentences of which this wounding claim is made) does this in any way alter the book's general thrust, or the weight of the argument that is made?
An example of this test is the wrong weight which I gave to the contents of the 1:20 A.M. telegram issued by SS-Gruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich on Kristallnacht. It is a famous telegram, printed in the Nuremberg volumes. Would such an error have been committed wilfully, given the risk that it would inevitably be exposed? Is it not far more likely that in the process of writing and rewriting, and of cutting and condensing, the GOEBBELS manuscript, the author gradually, over the eight years, lost sight of the full content and thrust of the original document? Your Lordship should know that that book went through five successive drafts and retypes over eight years, filling four archive boxes, a total of about eight cubic feet, all of which I disclosed to the Defendants by way of Discovery. St Martin's Press, my U.S. publishers, particularly asked that these early chapters of the book should be trimmed in length.
These general considerations dispose too of the defence arguments on the "Policeman Hoffmann" evidence rendered at the 1924 Hitler Trial. For the limited purposes of writing a biography of Hermann Göring - not of Hitler - I relied on the thousands of typescript microfilmed pages of the transcript of this trial. So far as I know, nobody had ever used them before me. The handy, printed, bound, indexed, cross-referenced edition on which Professor Evans drew had not appeared. It appeared in 1998, eleven years after my GÖRING biography was published by Macmillan Ltd.17 I extracted with difficulty from the microfilmed pages the material I needed relating to Hitler and Göring, and I was not otherwise interested in Hoffmann at all. I do not consider that the printed volume on the trial which is now available shows that I made meaningful errors, and they were certainly not deliberate.
The Kristallnacht of November 1938 is a more difficult episode in every way. As said, I clearly made an error over the content (and reference number) of the 1:20 A.M. telegram. It was an innocent error. It was a glitch of the kind that occurs in the process of redrafting a manuscript several times over the years. The Court must not overlook that by the time the book was completed, in 1994/5, and as described in the Introduction to Goebbels. Mastermind of the Third Reich, I had been forcefully severed both from my own collections of documents in German institutions and from the German federal archives in Koblenz. On July 1, 1993, when I attended the latter archives explicitly for the purpose of tidying up loose ends on the GOEBBELS manuscript, I was formally banned from the building for ever on orders of the minister of the interior - one of the gravest blows struck at me by the international endeavour to which I shall later refer.
The allegation of the Defendants is that in order to "exonerate Hitler" I effectively concocted, or invented, a false version of events on Kristallnacht, namely that he intervened between 1 and 2 a.m. to halt the madness. I submit that their refusal to accept this version is ingrained in their own political attitudes. There is evidence both in the archives, in reliable contemporary records like the Ulrich von Hassell, Alfred Rosenberg, and Hellmuth Groscurth diaries, and in the independent testimonies of those participants whom I myself carefully questioned, or whose private papers I obtained - Nicolaus von Below, Julius Schaub, Karl Wolff and others - and which the Court has seen, to justify the version which I rendered. It was therefore not an invented story. It may well be that my critics were unfamiliar with the sources that I used before they made their criticisms. The dishonesty lies not with me, for printing the "inside" story of Hitler's actions that night, as far as we can reconstruct them using these and other sources; but with those scholars who have studiously ignored them, and in particular the Rudolf Hess "stop arson" telegram of 2:56 A.M., issued "on orders from the highest level," which the Defendants' scholars have testified is a reference to Hitler.
Your Lordship may well have marvelled to hear the defendants' witnesses dismiss this message - like the Schlegelberger Document, referred to later - as being of no consequence.
The Kristallnacht diaries of Dr Goebbels, which I obtained in Moscow in 1992, some years after I first drafted the episode, substantially bore out my version of events - namely that he, and not Hitler, was the prime instigator, and that Hitler was largely unaware and displeased by what came about. Your Lordship will recall that Professor Philippe Burrin, a Swiss Holocaust historian for whom all the witnesses expressed respect, comes to the same conclusion independently of me.18 Now, he is manifestly not a "Holocaust denier" either. The Court will also recall that the Witness Evans admitted that, unlike myself, he had not read all through the available Goebbels diaries. He had not had the time, he said; and we must confess a certain sympathy with that position for an academic, time is certainly at a premium. Reading all of the available Goebbels diaries is however necessary, in order to establish and recognise the subterfuges that this Nazi minister used through his career as a diarist, in order to conceal when he was creating what I call alibis for his own wayward and evil behaviour.
I drew attention to this historiographical conundrum several times in the book. I discussed both in my scientific annotated German-language edition of the 1938 diaries, and in my full Goebbels biography, which Your Lordship has read, a characteristic example from this same year, 1938: although the one episode which most deeply unsettled him that year was his affair with the Czech actress Lida Baarova, which drove him to the brink of resignation, divorce, and even suicide, neither her name nor any of those events figures explicitly in the diary or at all, unless the pages are read particularly closely, when certain clues can be seen.
The Goebbels diary is sometimes a deceitful document; it must be recognised as such and treated very gingerly indeed. The fact that it was evidently written up not one, but two and even three days after, during the Kristallnacht episode, calls for additional caution in relying on it for chronology and content.
There is no need to discuss here in detail my various narratives of the Nazis' shooting of Jews in the East. There is little dispute between the parties on what actually happened in my view, and Your Lordship is aware that I have given these atrocities due and proper attention in the various biographies I have written; I would however add the one caveat, that they are not intended to be reference works on the Holocaust, but orthodox biographies.
I believe I was the first historian to discover and make use of the CSDIC reports relating further details of these killings, particularly the Bruns Report, and I made them available to many other historians. (These are the eavesdropping reports on prisoners, using hidden microphones). It took many days to read them; there are thousands of pages in these files. Over the last twenty years I read these horrifying narratives out repeatedly to public audiences, including "right-wing" audiences. This fact alone entitles me to express my contempt at those who would term me a "Holocaust denier."
We have seen the Defendants scrabbling around at the end of the Bruns Report for its third-hand references by the SS murderer and braggart in Riga, Altemeyer. to an "order" he claimed to have received to carry out such mass shootings more circumspectly in future. But we know from the late 1941 police decodes - a much firmer source-document than a snatch of conversation remembered years later, in April 1945 - precisely what orders had gone from Hitler's headquarters, radioed by Himmler himself, to the mass murderer SS Obergruppenführer Friedrich Jeckeln, stating explicitly that these killings exceeded the authority that had been given by himself, Himmler, and by the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA). We know that the killings of all German Jews stopped at once, for many months. When I first translated the word Judentransport (which can mean "transportation of Jews") as "transports of Jews", in the plural, in the 1970s - being unaware of the surrounding context of data which helps narrow the purport down to the one Riga-bound trainload from Berlin - I was thus inadvertently coming closer to the truth, not further from it: because the liquidation of all the trainloads from Germany was halted the next day, December 1, 1941, by the order radioed from Hitler's headquarters (whether initiated by Himmler or Hitler seems hair-splitting in this context).
As I stated under cross-examination, I did not see the Schulz-Dubois document when I wrote my books, and I have not seen it since; having now read what Gerald Fleming tells us about it, I confess that I would be unlikely to attach the same importance as does learned counsel for the Defendants, to what the famously anti-Nazi Abwehr chief Wilhelm Canaris allegedly told Lieutenant Schulz-Dubois of Hitler's reaction. The British decodes of the SS signals, to which I introduced the Court, and the subsequent events (the actual cessation for many months of the liquidation of German Jews) speak louder.
Your Lordship asks for my comment on Hitler's table talk of October 25, 1941. Your Lordship is familiar with the Defendants' argument, and with mine. My extract from this document was based on the original Weidenfeld translation, as is known. In disagreement with the Defendants' experts, I still maintain, and others have followed me in this (notably Professor Philippe Burrin, who translated Schrecken as "the ominous reputation") that the appropriate translation here for the word Schrecken is indeed "rumour" and not "terror", a word which makes for a wooden and uncouth translation anyway.19 A relevant passage from the SS Event Report from activities in the rear of the eastern front, dated September 11, 1941 (provided by the Defendants), shows that this is precisely what was meant: "The rumour that all Jews are being shot by the Germans had a salutary effect." The Jews were now fleeing before the Germans arrived.20 The rumour! To accuse me of wilful mistranslation and distortion, when (a) I used the official Weidenfeld translation, not at that time having received the original German from Switzerland, and (b) the word "rumour" gives the precisely correct nuance that the surrounding history shows the word was meant to have, seems to be an excessively harsh judgement on my expertise.
Next in line is the Goebbels diary entry for November 22, 1941: This diary entry includes a fair example of how dishonest the reporting by Goebbels was, when it comes to his meetings with Hitler. He records the "exceptional praise" of Hitler for the weekly newsreel produced by his ministry; in fact Hitler was forever criticising this very product of the Goebbels ministry, as the diary of Rosenberg shows. Goebbels then continues, "With regard to the Jewish problem too the Führer agrees completely with my views. He wants an energetic policy against the Jews, but one however that does not cause us needless difficulties." Goebbels' diary entry continues: "The evacuation of the Jews is to be done city by city. So it is still not fixed when Berlin's turn comes; but when it does, the evacuation should be carried out as fast as possible." Hitler then expressed the need for "a somewhat reserved approach" in the question of mixed marriages - the marriages would die out anyway by and by, and they shouldn't go grey worrying about it.21
I have suggested that on the balance of probabilities Hitler was alluding to the public unrest caused by the suicide, a few days earlier, of the popular actor Joachim Gottschalk and his family. Apart from needless becoming endless, an irritating typo which hardly amounts to "manipulation", this passage bears out what I have always said of Hitler: While Goebbels was the eternal agitator, as witness his anti-Semitic leading article in Das Reich on November 16, 1941 Hitler was (even by Goebbels' own account) for a reserved approach toward Jewish problems; and he was doing so, even as the trainloads of Jews were heading eastwards from Bremen and Berlin, for instance, to the conquered Russian territories and the Baltic states. Your Lordship will not need reminding of the curious British decodes, which revealed the provisioning of the deportation trains with tons of food for the journey, stocks of many weeks' food for after they arrived, and even the deportees' "appliances" (Gerät). So evacuation at this time evidently meant just that to very many Reich officials, and no more.
Mr Rampton went to some effort and expense to suggest that I suppressed vital information from the newly discovered Goebbels diary, December 13, 1941: in this day's entry, Goebbels reported on Hitler's rhetoric to the gauleiters on December 12 in Berlin. Anybody who is as familiar as I am with Hitler's speeches, and with Goebbels' diary entries relating to them, will effortlessly recognise this entire passage as being the usual Hitler gramophone record about the famous 1939 "prophecy". It was part of his stock repertoire when speaking to the Party old guard - they had carried him into power and expected to hear from him that he had not abandoned the hallowed Party programme. I can understand the temptation for the younger generation of scholars, unfamiliar with Hitler's rhetoric, to fall greedily upon such freshly discovered morsels as though they were the answer to the great Holocaust mystery: None of the witnesses to whom this item was put by myself, or by counsel for the Defendants, was able to identify any part of this passage which was out of the ordinary for Hitler.
Even if I had read that far on that day's glass plate in the Moscow archives, and even if I had seen those lines of the diary entry, some twenty pages after the page where I in fact stopped reading for that day, - and I must emphasise again that I did not, as it did not come within my remit - I doubt that I would have attached any significance to them, other than adding this entry to the list of occasions on which Hitler harked back, for whatever reason, to his famous "prophecy" of 1939.22
I have read again the printed version of the meeting of the Generalgouvernement authorities Hans Frank on December 16, 1941. It is significant to see the amount of space taken, even in this abridged published version, by the typhus epidemic sweeping through the region, the climax of which was expected to come in April 1942 (pages "68 72"). Frank states that he has begun negotiations with the purpose of deporting the Jews to the east, and he mentions the big Heydrich conference set down for January 1942 on this topic in Berlin (page "73"). On page "74" comes the sentence which pulls out the rug from beneath the Defendants' feet: "For us, the Jews are exceptionally damaging mouths to feed. We've got an estimated 2.5m in the Generalgouvernement, perhaps 3.5m Jews now, what with all their kinfolk and hangers-on. We can't shoot these 3.5m Jews, we can't poison them, but we'll be able to do something with them, which somehow or other will have the result of destroying them, in fact, in conjunction with the grander measures still to be discussed at Reich level." Clearly, only a geographical solution was at that time on the cards, and anticipated at the Berlin (i.e. Wannsee conference).
The December 18, 1941 diary entry by Himmler reads: Judenfrage | als Partisanen auszurotten. Himmler had, as I pointed out to the Court, repeatedly referred in earlier documents to the phrase "Juden als Partisanen". This was nothing new or sensational therefore, and the words he was recording were not necessarily Hitler's but more probably his own stereotype phrase. The correct, pedantic translation, is in any case: "Jewish Problem | to be wiped out as being partisans." Not "like partisans", which would have been "wie Partisanen." There can be no equivocating about this translation of als. Wie is a comparison, als is an equivalent.23
Another most difficult piece of historical paper for my opponents is the Schlegelberger Document. In late March or early April 1942, after seeing Germany's top civil servant, who reported only to Hitler, Franz Schlegelberger dictated this famous memorandum, upon which all Holocaust historians, and the Defendants' expert witnesses in this case have hitherto turned enough blind eyes to have won several battles of Trafalgar. For many years after the war it vanished: but that is another story. Asked about this specific document after a lecture in the German Institute, here in London in November 1998, Dr Longerich, who is now the Defendants' expert witness, had the function's chairman rise to inform the audience that the speaker was not prepared to answer questions from David Irving. It is a genuine document, referring in one breath both to Hitler and the Solution of the Jewish Problem. Confronted with it in the witness box, he and his fellow experts have argued, either that it was totally unimportant; or that it concerned only the Mischlinge, the mixed race Jews, and not the Final Solution in any broader sense. Ingeniously, Dr Longerich even tried to suggest that it originated in 1940 or 1941. The document has them in a breathless panic.
The document's own contents destroy their latter argument: In the first sentence, it says: "Mr Reich Minister Lammers informed me that the Führer had repeatedly declared to him that he wants to hear that the Solution of the Jewish Problem has been adjourned [or postponed] until after the war." That this is the broader Final Solution is plain from the second sentence which shows namely that the Mischling question was something different: "Accordingly," the memorandum continues, "the current deliberations have in the opinion of Mr Lammers purely theoretical value." Those deliberations were, as my opponents themselves have argued, solely concerned with what to do with the Mischlinge and the like. The document is quite plain; and it was dictated by a lawyer, so he presumably knew what he was writing. There is no room for argument. My opponents have pretended for years that this document effectively does not exist.
I have dealt at length in my statements in the witness box, and while cross-examining the witnesses, with the other contentious items, namely the Goebbels Diary entries for March 27 and May 30, 1942, the Himmler minute of September 22, 1942 and his note for his meeting with Hitler on December 10, 1942; meetings with Antonescu and with Horthy in April 1943; the deportation and murder of the Jews in Rome in October 1943, Himmler's speeches on October 4 and 6, 1943, and May 15 and 24 1944, and Hitler's speech on May 26, 1944, and Ribbentrop's testimony and evidence from his cell at Nuremberg. I contend that my use of these items was quite proper.
I must mention the Report (Meldung) No. 51 submitted by Himmler to Hitler through their adjutants, and dated December 29, 1942. The Defendants have made great play with this document, claiming that it is clear proof, that Hitler was apprised by Himmler of the murder of over 300,000 Jews on a transparent pretext in the previous three months. Your Lordship will remember that I established that on the same December 1942 day, which was at the height of the Battle of Stalingrad, and in exactly the same manner, a document of precisely the same general character, namely Meldung No. 49, had to be vorgelegt or submitted to the Führer not once but twice - a clear indication that he was not reading them on the first occasion or perhaps even at all. If I may draw an analogy, with which the Court may well be familiar, sometimes a series of briefs are put to a fashionable and expensive Counsel; he is obliged to read them fully and properly, and draws a fat fee for doing so; but in fact he does not. A number of names are known for this particular dereliction in legal circles, not of course that I am comparing them with the Führer, or even indeed with Mr Rampton. In law, as in history, the fact that a document has been "put to" somebody does not mean that that somebody has read it, unless there is some collateral evidence of feedback, and in this case there clearly was not.
My various references to Marie Vaillant-Couturier seem to have been quite justified, from what we know of her and of her full testimony to the Nuremberg tribunal in 1946. She had married the editor of l'Humanité, she and her father were bosom friends of Willi Münzenberg, author of the propaganda about the Reichstag Fire - a founder member and one of the most accomplished propagandists of the Comintern. It is evident from the way that the hard-pressed defence counsel Marx conducted his cross-examination of her that he was implying to the tribunal that she had not even been in Auschwitz. Your Lordship will remember that she described to the IMT a beating-machine used by the SS to administer corporal punishment. Her testimony is riddled with such absurdities, and when the experienced American Judge Biddle jotted down his sceptical comment on this witness, even as she was still speaking, he meant it - and I certainly took it in that way - to be a reference to all that he had heard (and largely disbelieved) up to that point.
I found the Kurt Aumeier dossier by conducting a systematic, "shirtsleeve" search of the Public Record office files in 1992. Any one of the scholars introduced by the Defendants as witnesses could have found it equally readily. At first I intended to transcribe and publish the document myself, properly annotated, like the 1938 Goebbels Diaries. Instead I drew the attention of several scholars to it, including, to the best of my recollection, both Sir Martin Gilbert and Dr Gerald Fleming; I had often sent them documents I had found which I knew would interest them. When I abandoned the publication idea, I drew the attention of other scholars to it, including Professor Robert Van Pelt, in a very lengthy letter written to him in May 1997; in this I identified to him numerous archival references of interest to his special subject, including the Aumeier dossier. Not receiving a reply, I published that letter to Van Pelt in full in a 1997 newsletter, and I posted it on my website. Numerous correspondents utilised the email link to Pelt on that page, and the Defendants' solicitors eventually asked me to "deactivate" it. My long letter had been mailed to Pelt from Chicago with proper postage, addressed to his correct postal address at the university, and it was never returned to me. Professor Van Pelt claimed here not to have received it, and he suggested in his report that I told people about it only when the Defendants' legal team of researchers found the file in the PRO.24 This is absurd. They found the Aumeier file not least because it was included in my Discovery (both in the general Judenfrage archive box, and as No. 2066). I did not know until two years later that he was to be a witness in this case.
As for the Aumeier dossier's content, his manuscripts suggest, or confirm, the existence of limited-scale gassings at Auschwitz. The figures are unreliable, and many of the other details conflict with those provided by the equally flawed writings of Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss. This is in my submission the most likely reason why the Defendants have not relied heavily on either source in their defence.
Nor for that matter have they made any use of the loudly trumpeted Eichmann memoirs prised out of the Israeli Government archives - perhaps because in the entire document, although this former SS-Obersturmbannführer is writing with brutal frankness, and describing the most appalling spectacles that he has seen, he does not refer even once to being shown a gas chamber during his official guided tours as "executioner in chief" of the Auschwitz and Birkenau camps.
I heard what Professor Evans and learned counsel had to state about General Kurt Daluege as a source for the criminal statistics for 1932. The Defendants have been unable to locate the figures that I quoted in the Daluege lecture which I used as one source. Nor did they notice that it was in fact a lecture to the recently formed Interpol. Evans appears not to have looked in the other three sources listed for that one sentence in my book, which included two reputable works of history, so his strictures are meaningless. For the reasons known to the court, since 1993 I no longer have access to the German institute in which those sources are housed. I do not invent statistics, and it is clear by inference that the data which I gave came from one of the other three sources and not from the lecture.
This became the most controversial issue, both in this courtroom and stretching far back into my writing career; I wish, just because of this, that I had picked upon a different biographical subject.
Because of the inescapable conclusion - that Hitler had probably not ordered, or been aware until relatively late, of the ultimate fate of the European Jews - I forfeited, as my U.S. agent predicted, perhaps half a million dollars or more of lucrative sub-licensing deals with major corporations - the Reader's Digest, paperback houses, reprints, The Sunday Times. After I completed a first draft of the book in about 1969-1970, I realised that there was this inexplicable - and unexpected - gap in the archives. I hired a trusted friend, Dr Elke Fröhlich of the Institute of History, to go through all the then-available German archives again, with the specific task of looking for documents linking Hitler with the Final Solution.25 She did a conscientious and excellent job, working for me in the files of the Nuremberg state archives, the Institut für Zeitgeschichte, the Berlin Document Center, the Bundesarchiv, and the military archives in Freiburg. Her resulting research materials, my correspondence with her, the index cards and photocopies, form a part of my Discovery in this action. It was she who produced for me for example the then-unpublished diary entry of Governor-General Hans Frank - actually a meeting-transcript of December 13, 1941, currently being edited by her colleagues at the institute - to which I duly made reference.
I would incidentally rely on this episode as one further instance of my integrity as an independent historian: Inherently dissatisfied with the results of my own research, I hired and paid out of my own pocket for this second opinion, as an avocatus diaboli, to trawl once more, and with a net of finer mesh, across the same fishing grounds for documents that might in fact destroy my, then still tentative, hypothesis. In a similar step, which I think I took to appease the now worried American publishers, I wrote in December 1975 to four or five of the major international Jewish historical research institutions, appealing for "evidence proving Hitler's guilt in the extermination of the Jews." All of these inquiries by me drew a blank, except for one. As I summarised in a letter to The Sunday Telegraph on June 19, 1977, "... all offered their apologies, except Professor Raul Hilberg, author of the standard history on the subject, who honourably conceded that he too has come to the view that Hitler may not have known." (His letter is in my Discovery).26
The other institutions stated that they had no such evidence, or they did not reply.
Before I proceed to the problems with the accepted version of the history of Auschwitz, I turn first to the submissions that Your Lordship will allow me to make on the thirty-year international endeavour by a group of organisations to destroy my legitimacy as an historian. I submit that I am entitled to draw these documents to Your Lordship's attention, because these bodies, acting with that secret and common purpose, compiled dossiers and reports on me with the intention of destroying me. They did so exercising no proper care for accuracy; and, as is evident from the Second Defendant's Discovery, and from the Introduction to her book in which she explicitly acknowledges the assistance provided by many of these bodies, she drew upon these tainted wellsprings as the source for much of the poison she wrote about me.27 We shall hear that, buried in the files of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Toronto, is a document, now also in ms. Lipstadt's files - they sent it to her - which forms something of a blueprint for the attempt to destroy my name. A researcher for the Centre, commissioned to investigate my life in detail, recommended in that compilation, after referring to my "thorough archival research" and "genuine historical insight" as follows:
I have been subjected since at least 1973 and probably before then to what would be called in warfare a campaign of interdiction. I know of no other historian or writer who has been subjected to a campaign of vilification even one tenth as intense. the book Denying the Holocaust was the climax of this campaign. There exist, as I said in my opening speech, various bodies in this country and around the world who have at heart the interests of special groups. I make no protest about that: but many other Englishmen have noticed, or found out, usually by chance, that these bodies keep files on us, which they use to our disadvantage if they believe we are a danger to their interests. Despite the best intentions of the Data Protection Act, it seems that we have no means of checking those files, or revising their content, let alone of cleansing them of libels. To give one particularly gross example: Under the cover provided by the United States First Amendment, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency accused me in 1995 of having supplied the trigger mechanism for the Oklahoma City bomb. That item was picked up by the American, and then faintly echoed by the British press. It was only months later that I found out who had started that lie.
But regrettably this has become a campaign to defame people whom they regard as a danger. A number of special bodies exist solely for this purpose. Some of them are listed on my website index as being "... some traditional enemies of Free Speech". Professor Kevin MacDonald, of the University of Southern California, a sociologist who is the world's leading expert on these things, expressed forceful opinions to this Court in his expert report - on which he offered himself for cross-examination - and I urge Your Lordship not to disregard the substance of what he had to say.
These bodies will not endear themselves, if found out, to the victims of their campaigns.
Mr Rampton made much of Mr Ernest
Zündel's gross and ill-considered reference to the Judenpack
- as anti-Semitic a word as one might hear.28 Mr Rampton labels this man as an extremist,
and anti-Semitic, in consequence. The Court has been told nothing
by Mr Rampton of what if any remarks, or incidents, preceded the
outburst by Mr Zündel. We do know, and I can so inform this
Court, that his home has been torched and burned to the ground.
Such violent incidents certainly can not excuse the violent remarks;
but they can explain them. Because they don't like what he writes
or publishes, these bodies have attempted to destroy his life
with criminal prosecution in an attempt to have him deported or
jailed. They have failed, and Canada's highest Court has ruled
that he is free of any criminal taint. Your Lordship may consider
that this finding by a judicial body has some bearing on the label
of extremism. Quite probably as the direct result of these bodies'
agitation against him, he was subjected to violent assault. He
was sent a large parcel bomb which the RCMP police authorities
took away and detonated. The instigators were a British Columbia
group of "anti-fascists". Of course Mr Zündel ought
not to have used such an expression. Apart from anything else,
his opponents are not Jews in general but self-appointed bodies
of would-be censors. The Court will readily accept that I - Mr
Zündel is not the claimant here - have not used such language
in all the thousands of pages, videos, and recordings which I
have readily disclosed.
My own experience at the hands of these self-appointed censors has not been so very different. It began in 1963 when agents of Searchlight raided my home and were caught red-handed in this criminal attempt. Ever since then that publication has tweaked my tail with a stream of defamatory articles: a thirty-seven year onslaught, to which I as a good Christian turned the other cheek. After ten years this campaign had begun to threaten my livelihood. Lord Weidenfeld, one of my favourite publishers - he published no fewer than three of my major works, including my best-selling Rommel biography - was the first publisher, first of a long and illustrious line, to come under clandestine pressure to tear up his publishing contract with me because my books offended these special-interest groups. He told me at the Frankfurt Book Fair on October 13, 1973, that "he had cancelled the book [HITLER'S WAR] under extreme outside pressure, he said, from officials of Zionist groups, and representations made by certain embassies."29
It might be said that the real Defendants in this case are not represented in this Court, but their presence has been with us throughout. These are the people who commissioned the work complained of, and provided much of the materials used in it. I understand they have provided considerable funds for the defence - I am talking primarily of the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League of the B'nai Brith, a long-established American body.
I know very little about the former body, but I am aware that the latter has a $50 million annual budget, substantially greater than an author commands whose livelihood has been destroyed by their activities. When your lordship comes to such things as costs and damages, I would respectfully submit that you bear these things in mind.
We have them to thank for the spectacle that has been presented in this courtroom since January. Without their financial assistance, it is unlikely that Mr Rampton and his defence team and his instructing solicitors could have mounted this colossal onslaught on my name. One day in 1998 I was shown a letter written that morning by Mr Julius to some of the country's richest men, inviting them to bankroll this action. It had chanced into our hands. That is the other side of a piece of legal coinage that has recently come back into currency - champerty and maintenance. For over three years this well funded team sitting opposite me has drilled down deep into my private papers and burrowed on a broad front into the archives of the world, on a multi-pronged attack - trying to establish that what I have written over the last thirty-five years is distorted or mistranslated in pursuance of an agenda (namely the exoneration of Adolf Hitler); and trying to dig up every little morsel of dirt on me that they can.
My book Hitler's War was published by The Viking Press in New York in April 1977 and by Hodder & Stoughton in this country in June of that year. What can be seen as a co-ordinated attack on the book began. The Viking Press was one of that nation's most reputable publishers (and is now owner of the First Defendant company). Public attacks on the book in the press were concerted with clandestine attempts to have my book squelched and me, as its author, ostracised.
The Anti-Defamation League (or ADL) - a body which turns out to have been closely in league with the Second Defendant in the current action - did what it could to disrupt my USA lecture-circuit and television tour promoting the book. The ADL had its Washington branch put pressure on the Channel 5 television network that was to carry a "Panorama" interview with me: we are rather well informed about how this American lobby of bigots carries out its duties, and I reproduce these extracts of its secret internal report on its efforts. Hearing of the booking for me to attend the programme, the local ADL agent reported to headquarters: "As a consequence, I arranged with the show's producer to place on the same show in a debate posture my associate, Randy Koch, which airing took place on April 18, 1:00 to 1:30 p.m. A cassette of the show is being sent to you under separate cover for your advice and analysis." They added: "The following information is provided to you so that in addition to the cassette you may better appraise Irving's knowledgeability and toughness as an adversary in conjunction with ADL's problems with him."
What were the ADL's "problems" with me, one wonders? I had had no dealings with them whatsoever. If we had been able to cross-examine Professor Lipstadt, we might have asked her, since her own Discovery, limited though it is, shows her to have been in cahoots with them.
With more fervour than accuracy, the ADL report continues with the remarkable disclosure: "David Irving is the nom de plume of John Cawdell, a revisionist historiographer of Adolf Hitler, particularly regarding Hitler's role in and knowledge of the mass extermination of European Jewry. His major premise is that Hitler was largely oblivious to the large-scale killing of Jews in the death camps. He alleges and underscores the lack of historical evidence in documentation form that will show any orders from Hitler to Himmler, Heydrich or others. Irving further maintains that no direct documentation exists of Hitler giving orders to liquidate Jews.."
The agent's report continues that the book is a work of over 900 pages, including 100 pages of footnotes. "It would appear from the quantity of research and time that Irving put into the work that the author appears knowledgeable and expert in subject area." The cause for ADL concern then follows:
"My monitoring of the aforementioned telecast leads me to conclude that Irving comes through as an extremely knowledgeable and tough adversary although he is extremely defensive in debating his latest work. [...] I see no problem in our joining in debate situations with him provided our proponent does sufficient homework." The report adds that they had questioned a local Board member, identified as James Jacobs, an atomic scientist who had allegedly befriended me when I was researching my book THE VIRUS HOUSE, the history of the German atom bomb project. While I have to confess that I have no memory of that man, the 1977 report adds: "Jacobs states that Irving is definitely not anti-Semitic, that he is an excessive German-phile [...]."
This was no doubt an accurate
report on my private conversations with the man. "According to Jacobs, Irving is
extremely thorough in his research and cites in this connection
an inordinate amount of time spent by him in the United States
going over the German archives reports and time spent in discussions
with eminent authorities in the field covering associate matter
concerning Irving's writings. Jacob's appraisal concurs with mine
that as a consequence of the foregoing, Irving does make a tough
The report concludes that Jacobs would "co-operate with you" - the addressee, evidently the ADL's London friends, the Board of Deputies, "in any way he can to further assist you in your appraisal."30
When I then began my lecturing activities around the USA in the early 1980s, speaking at private functions, schools, and universities, the ADL headquarters sent out a secret circular, a "Backgrounder," to all their local agents. 31 The backgrounder, dated July 6, 1983, began with the words: "British author David Irving has been of concern to ADL, as well as to the Jewish community generally, since the 1977 publication of his book Hitler's War," and it indicated that it was the controversy over Hitler and the Jews that was the reason. We have heard of similar such circulars being generated by them on other famous literary names, for example the Daily Telegraph writer Auberon Waugh and Noam Chomsky, who though an eminent Harvard professor also found mysterious problems in getting material published.32 In my case the ADL instructed its "regional offices":
It is quite plain that the ADL were not concerned with promoting civil rights, but in abrogating one of the most basic rights of all, the right to freedom of speech.
The circular about me was so defamatory and untrue that after a copy was passed to me I sent a written warning on October 15, 1983 to the then director of the ADL in New York to desist from spreading what I referred to even then as this "libellous garbage".33 I warned that I had prevailed in a number of defamation actions in the German law courts enforced against provincial newspapers, political groups, and trades unions including the giant IG Metall, and that other people who innocently spread such legends, including the Israeli author Ephraim Kishon, had preferred to apologise to me in writing for mistakenly giving currency to such smears. The ADL did not reply, and they continued their illiberal campaign against me.
Correspondence with my literary agent showed by 1984 already that the international smear campaign was inflicting financial damage on me.34 It was at precisely this time, 1984, that the Second Defendant, then teaching in the Near Eastern Languages Center of the University of California at Los Angeles, offered her services to Yehuda Bauer in Jerusalem. She attached "A proposal for research: The Historical and Historiographic Methodology of the Holocaust revisionists."35 I ask Your Lordship to note that on page 38 of this synopsis the Second Defendant mentioned my name in these words (Bundle E, page 38): "They [deniers] also find it expedient to associate themselves with those such as David Irving who do not deny that the Holocaust took place but seek to shift the blame to others." (My added emphasis).
To conclude this, on the matter of her employment: on May 31, 1988 she was awarded an additional $16,000 agreement for research on this topic by the Vidal Sassoon Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.36 This research, it should be added, was what finally bore fruit as the book complained of, Denying the Holocaust. The publisher at that time publisher was to be Robert Maxwell, who was liaising with Professor Yehuda Bauer.37
During this period the international campaign against me achieved some ugly successes. Through their Vienna collaborators, the Austrian Documentation-Archive of the Resistance, a recognised communist-front organisation, they prevailed upon Austria's minister of the interior, Karl Blecha to have me illegally deported in June 1984. In July 1986 after an appeal by myself this was overturned, and Austria was ordered to pay me compensation.38 I have to admit that as a writer I was not prepared for this kind of campaign. I do not expect that any of the expert witnesses we have seen have ever had to experience anything like it. When I toured universities and other speaking venues in Australia and New Zealand in 1986 and again in 1987, I learned that every organiser, every television producer had received an information pack from the ADL; and that every university library had received a letter from the corresponding Australian body pleading with them to take my books off the shelves. This may remind Your Lordship of where Professor Evans said he found my book hidden in the British Library.39 In short, there was and is a hidden network of Orwellian organisations determined to ensure that no version of history of these matters of which they disapproved was given currency, or indeed allowed to survive; the alternative history should be destroyed, its publishers ruined - I am thinking of my good friend Tom Congdon, of Congdon & Lattès - and the writers themselves ausgerottet too.
The Second Defendant's Discovery, which includes such correspondence with, and items from, ADL as she has seen fit to provide, throws some interesting lights on the ADL's methods. When a local newspaper, The Daily Pilot, published in Orange County, south of Los Angeles, reported a function of the Institute of Historical Review (the IHR), the ADL was horrified, as the ADL regional office reported, to find that the reporter, "seems to find an air of legitimacy surrounding the group"; the reporter, Bob Van Eyken, who evidently had not got the message, even described the IHR members as "neatly dressed ... evok[ing] a sense of reasoned dignity." This clearly clashed with the skinhead, jackbooted, extremist stereotype that the ADL, like the expert witnesses in this case, wished to project for the IHR and other "right-wing" groups.40 This material, though clearly discoverable in this action, was withheld from Discovery by the Second Defendant until a summons was issued to produce all her correspondence with the ADL.
We know that the Second Defendant has had extensive dealings with the ADL. Even from her own limited Discovery, about the deficiencies in which I shall have to say more later, we know that she was provided with smear dossiers by them. She thanks them in her Introduction.41 She made no attempt to verify the contents of this material with me (or so far as this Court knows, with others), but recklessly published it raw and unchecked. A 25-cent phone call to me would have saved her endless trouble. Instead she preferred to rely on smear sheets like the "confidential" and defamatory four-page item dated October 23, 1986, headed: "Profile on David Irving," evidently supplied to her by a Canadian body.42
Characteristically, the "profile" was disclosed to me by her solicitors without any covering letter from its author or custodian and shorn of any identifying material; I wrote more than once in vain asking for missing pages to be provided.
It is quite evident that the ADL set itself the task of destroying my career, in concert with other similar organisations around the world, many of whom if not all collaborated with the Second Defendant in writing her book. The pinnacle of their achievement came in 1996, when the Second Defendant, as she herself boasted to The Washington Post, was among those who put pressure on St Martin's Press Inc., who had been one of my US publishers for some fifteen years, to violate their publishing agreement with me and abandon publication of Goebbels. Mastermind of the Third Reich.
For a few days, these enemies of free speech stepped up the pressure. They publicised the private home addresses of St Martin's Press (SMP) executives on the Internet. They staged street demonstrations in Manhattan. They organised a walkout by SMP staff. When SMP refused to be intimidated, Lipstadt wheeled out the rhetoric: To Frank Rich, a syndicated columnist of The New York Times, she accused me of being a repeat killer: "What David Irving is doing ... is not the destruction of live people, but the destruction of people who already died. It's killing them a second time. It's killing history."43 This was not far distant from to the outrageous claim on page 213 of her book, to which no justification has been pleaded, that I justified the incarceration of Jews in Nazi concentration camps. Quoted by The Washington Post on April 3, 1996, Deborah Lipstadt stated:
We have heard quoted in this Court two tasteless remarks I am recorded as having made, about Chappaquiddick and about the Association of Spurious Survivors, and I do not deny that those words were tasteless. But bad taste is not what is in the pleadings, while express malice is: and the odiousness of Professor Lipstadt's comparison, in a mass circulation newspaper of record, of a British author with Jeffrey Dahmer, a madman who had recently murdered and cannibalised a dozen homosexuals in the mid-West of the USA, is surely compounded by the fact that Lipstadt had at that time not read a single book I had written, let alone the manuscript on Dr Goebbels that she had joined in trying to suppress. It is clear that neither she nor the ADL was concerned with the merits, or otherwise, of the Goebbels biography. They wanted it put down, suppressed, ausgerottet: and me with it.
Having, like St. Martin's Press, thoroughly read it, the major US publisher Doubleday Inc. had selected this book as their May 1996 choice for History Book of the Month. But that deal depended on the SMP contract, and thus it too collapsed. The financial losses inflicted on me by this one episode in April 1996 were of the order of half a million dollars (£312,500), which might seem proper reward for the eight years' hard work that I had invested in writing this book, and hauling it through its five draft versions.
From the publication of Hitler's War onwards, the attitude of the print media to me changed. A strategically placed review written in one afternoon, by one man furnished with the appropriate dossier on me, could go a long way to destroy the product of six or eight years' research. That was why these dossiers had been created.
To the right journalists or writers, such as the Second Defendant, these dossiers were on tap. A fax from Professor Lipstadt to the Institute of Jewish Affairs in London, or to the ADL in New York, or to the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Toronto, released to her a cornucopia of filth, which she had no need to double-check or verify, because in the United States such writings are protected by the authority of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in the laudable name of the freedom of speech, or by the authority of New York Times vs. Sullivan, which effectively declares to libellers that it is open season on any public figure.
Thus my book on The Hungarian Uprising of 1956, published in 1981 by Hodder & Stoughton, was savaged by certain reviewers: Neal Ascherson, Arthur Koestler and others disliked it. Ion Trewin, then that firm's chief (and now head of Weidenfeld) wrote to me: "I must say I'm rather shocked by the abuse levelled at you from certain quarters - the obvious liberal ones of course."45 And Penguin Books Ltd, now Defendants in this action, wrote to me, "Criticism may have been occasionally necessary, but venom, though to be expected, was not called for."46 (Had that same firm remembered that dictum fifteen years later, we should not be here today).
This unfair attack on my works was a source of great concern to me. Reviews are an author's life blood, but the trend of lying reviews continued. When The War between the Generals (the Eisenhower and Montgomery story) was published in New York in 1981, one review in The New York Times on March 8, of that year by John Lukács, to which I referred in Court, sank the book without trace and in fact destroyed the highly reputable American publisher, a close personal friend of mine, too. I will not weary the court with the precise mechanism by which one such review can inflict so much damage, but such is the power of the press.47
Whenever I now appeared in the United States to lecture, there were well-orchestrated tumults. Well meaning bodies were tricked by the vile propaganda into organising against me. At the University of California at Berkeley there was violence on October 14, 1994, encouraged openly by the "Hillel" in conjunction with the Marxist and Spartacist organisations they boasted about this to the campus newspapers which the campus and city police forces were quite unable to control. One building was comprehensively wrecked, with tens of thousands of dollars of damage being done and several elderly members of my audience hospitalised.
This Court will surely not take it amiss of me that I refused to be intimidated by these truly "Nazi" methods, and that I have on a very few occasions used perhaps tasteless language about the perpetrators. The violence spread around the world, and always it was orchestrated by the same organisations.
It would be otiose to list them all here. Some of them can be seen on pages 54 of the Bundle E: On November 5, 1989 the Israelite Community of Vienna, Austria, called for violent action to stop me speaking in that city. I initiated police prosecution of the leader of the community for his public incitement to violence. In 1990 the two Canadian bodies, the League of Human Rights of the B'nai Brith Canada and the Canadian Jewish Congress announced that they were to "monitor" my tour of that country.48 "Monitoring" turns out to be euphemism for a campaign of letters, pressure, and threats of violence and commercial pressure against hotels, halls, and lecture-theatres which had been hired by which ever body, student society, military institute, or group had invited me. Attempts to force the prestigious Ottawa Congress Center to violate its contract failed, resulting in a violent demonstration organised by the same two bodies. One such letter came into my hands, from the League of Human Rights of the B'nai Brith Canada to an Ottawa restaurant owner written in September 1991. Its content, which I shall not quote here - it is in the evidence before Your Lordship - shows clearly the methods used to get hall owners to violate their contracts.49 They did this to us, acting as Jews; if we had done the same to them, as Jews, the uproar would have been intense.
To a visiting lecturer and writer like myself, a guest in their countries, finding myself up against powerful and wealthy political lobbies, the situation was deeply disturbing. My livelihood and personal safety were at stake, but I was determined not to be browbeaten or defeated. Seen from the outside, at first this campaign, this huge international endeavour against me, appeared to be coincidental; but eventually it began to bite. Perhaps publishers are made of less stern stuff than myself. After Andrew Lownie, my new UK literary agent, wrote warning me that four major UK publishers "just do not want to be associated" with me, on November 30, 1990 I wrote expressing astonishment and concern at how rapidly this situation had developed, and stating: "I have begun to suspect a concerted effort [...] to rob me of my publishing basis, not just in the U.K. but worldwide."50
In England a parallel campaign was launched by the Board of Deputies, and by other organisations which we know to have collaborated with the Defendants in producing this libellous book. This had kicked into high gear after my own imprint published an abridged edition of the Leuchter Report in June 1989. Pressure was put on the World Trade Centre in the City of London to repudiate our contract for the press conference. A picket was staged outside our front door to prevent journalists from attending when the conference was switched to my own home. The Board arranged an early day motion in the House of Commons, as a privileged way of publishing a smear on my name. On June 30 of that year the Jewish Chronicle revealed that representations had been made to my principal British and Commonwealth publisher, Macmillan Ltd., to drop me as an author.51
Macmillan had already published several of my books, and were under contract to publish several more. I had no fears that they would succumb to this intimidation. They had informed me that HITLER'S WAR was running so successfully that they intended to keep it permanently in print. I am entitled to mention this background, as I have mentioned the Board's other clandestine activities against me, because it was said by Mr Rampton that I later made one public tasteless remark (in October 1991) about the Board of Deputies.52 If somebody attacks, using secretive and furtive means, the very basis of the existence of my family then it may be at least understandable that I speak ill of them.
It is worth mentioning that when I invited Mr Leuchter privately to address my Clarendon Club at Chelsea Town Hall in November 1991, the Board tried strenuously to have him gagged. They just do not understand the word, "debate". They piled pressure onto Kenneth Baker, then the Home Secretary, to stop him coming, and Ben Helfgott of the Holocaust Education Trust of whom we shortly hear more, threatened in July 1991 that "violence would greet the revisionists if they were allowed in."53 Secretly, on July 17, 1991 fifty years to the day after Hitler granted police powers to Himmler in the occupied Soviet Union the Board of Deputies wrote to the president of the German Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), a body of which we have heard greatly admiring words from Professor Funke; this English Board urged that they take steps to stop me, a British citizen like no doubt the members of the Board, from entering Germany.
Germany is a country on whose publishers and archives I have been heavily dependent, as the Court is aware.54 We have only the BfV's reply, dated August 9, 1991, to Neville Nagler of the Board of Deputies. I retrieved a copy of this letter from the files of the Prime Minister of Australia; so the same Board, in London, had evidently also secretly sent its dossiers to its collaborators in Canberra, and no doubt other countries, in its efforts to gag me worldwide. That is an indication of the world-wide networking that went on, this secret common enterprise, this frantic international endeavour to destroy my legitimacy as an historian and to deprive me of free speech, of which the Defendants have made themselves the willing executioners.
As is evident from a letter from the Austrian ambassador dated June 22, 1992 the Board also applied pressure on that country to ensure that I did not enter, or that I was arrested if I did.55 The equivalent Argentinean body, the DAIA, launched a well-co-ordinated smear on me when I arrived in Argentina in October 1991 to lecture on historical themes at universities and to private associations in Spanish and German.56 When the DAIA headquarters building was blown up with heavy loss of life a few months later, it now was inevitable that my name would be linked with that outrage too, and my Argentinean publisher was obliged in consequence to abandon its contracts with me, as they revealed privately in a letter to me. (Four years later the similar lie was circulated that I was directly involved in the Oklahoma City bombing.)
These tides of hatred and suppression lapped at the doors of my London publishers. On November 27, 1991 a note appeared in the internal files of my publisher Macmillan Ltd., listing the remaining stocks of my books and the current contract positions. This was an ominous sign. In another internal Macmillan memorandum, editor in chief Alan Gordon Walker stated to his editors, "We will not publish Irving again." I was not told this; in fact my own editor there continued to write oleaginous letters to me, as they were waiting for the Goebbels biography which they had paid for and which was under contract.
What had happened meanwhile? Firstly, I had established my own publishing imprint which was capable of producing a better quality of book than Macmillan Ltd. were currently achieving, while using the same printing firm in Somerset. The new omnibus edition of Hitler's War, published in November 1991, was one of its first products. This was just as well. On December 6, 1991 an Internal Office Memo from Macmillan's files records that "quite a number of people" had commented unfavourably to Macmillan's about them publishing my books, and one person, an unnamed "Oxford Professor of Politics," who had evidently learned nothing from the book burning episodes of Nazi Germany, stating "that they would be more inclined to publish with us [Macmillan] if we were not publishing Irving." (The Oxford professor of politics was probably Peter Pulzer, identified by Lipstadt in her book as such and quoted by The Independent at the time).57
This campaign had been co-ordinated by the Board of Deputies. In some of its members, it seems that the illiberal spirit of Dr Goebbels lived on behind the Board's facade. Meeting behind locked doors at their headquarters on December 12, 1991, a body identified as the "Education and Academic Committee" of the Holocaust Educational Trust, registered as a charitable body, had a conference on several matters, of which one pointed specifically indicated that those present, including Mr Helfgott, were searching for ways to silence my publications; after this meeting, minutes were written, including this point 6:
We know more of this meeting from the statement to this Court by my witness Dr John Fox, who was present at this cabal in his capacity as editor of The British Journal of Holocaust Education. He testifies:
Nevertheless, as the Committee minutes make it clear, it was planned by some to consider further action about how best to scupper Mr Irving's publishing plans with Macmillan.
The clandestine pressure on Macmillan's began at once. My editor at Macmillan's, Roland Philipps, who had married the new Managing Director Felicity Rubinstein, noted in an internal memo of January 2, 1992 that they should reassure prospective authors that they had turned down many other book proposals from me, and had no plans to continue publishing me after Goebbels. It was not the bravest of postures to adopt, this Court might think. "If this helps you to reassure any prospective authors we are happy for you to say it (although not too publicly if possible)."59 The desire of Macmillan's for this stab in the back to be kept secret from their own highly successful author is understandable. Their ultimate stab in the back was however still to come, in the summer of 1992.
In May 1992 we find Deborah Lipstadt providing a list of her personal targets, including now myself, to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington; she advised the USHMM to contact Gail Gans at the Research Department of the ADL in New York City for additional names, and "tell her I told you to call her."60 This establishes that the Defendants considered that the museum, a US taxpayer-funded body, was actively participating in their network, and the museum duly provided press clippings from London newspapers relating to me, which have now turned up in the Defendants' files.61
The attempts to suffocate my publishing career continued. A second arm of this attack also needs to be mentioned. Since my own imprint would not be intimidated as easily as Macmillan's, or indeed at all, the hostile groups applied pressure to major bookselling chains to burn or destroy my books and in particular the new edition of Hitler's War. Some of the press clippings reporting this nasty campaign are in my Discovery. They include reports of a sustained campaign of window smashing of the branches of Waterstone's bookstore in the biggest Midlands cities, after complaints by "local Jewish and anti-racist groups."62 Waterstones informed one Newcastle newspaper that they were taking the book off public shelves "following a number of vandal attacks on book stores across the country."63 The Nottingham Waterstones took the book off display after a brick was thrown through its window.64 The campaign was clearly centrally co-ordinated from London. None of this was reported in the national press, but one would have thought that these groups would have recognised the bad karma in any campaign of smashing windows or burning books. I wrote privately to Tim Waterstone guaranteeing to indemnify his chain for their costs of any uninsured claims.65 He refused to be intimidated by the campaign, which is one reason why I removed the names of four Waterstones branch employees from the list of Defendants in this action at an early stage. Others took a different line. According to the Evening Standard, Mr Ivan Lawrence, a QC, MP, and a member of the Board of Deputies, justified the vandals who committed the window smashing and book burning outrages (while formally "condemning" them).66
The Board was at this time actively organising violent demonstrations outside my residence. Its address appeared on at least one leaflets posted over the West End calling for demonstrations outside my private address.67 The Campaign against Fascism in Europe (CAFE, a body identified by a Sunday Express investigation as a Mossad front), set up a "broad based temporary united front" in a "Committee to Stop Irving'." Its primary purpose was to stage what it called "a mass militant demonstration" to prevent me from lecturing to a private seminar in Central London on July 4, 1992 (the topic was Freedom of Speech); it called for "a working class alliance of . . . black, Jewish, lesbian and gay" communities. The leaflets which this faceless body handed out in the West End stated that I "whitewash Nazi crimes and incite racist murder."68 I gave copies of these leaflets to the police. The resulting demonstration was violent and pointless, because I was still in Moscow. A photograph in The Observer shows one of the CAFE posters reading GAS IRVING NOW! The newspaper reported that seven people were arrested in the violence, and that my home was under round-the-clock police guard. It quoted me as saying that I had received four or five death threats in the last twenty-four hours. "For thirty years I have been subjected to a reign of terror."
The same newspaper reported that the Anti-Nazi League and its parent body the Board of Deputies were applying pressure to The Sunday Times to violate its contract with me.69 One reason why I mention all of this may well be apparent to Your Lordship: when I made remarks about certain of my critics, occasionally using vivid language, I had reason.
As an indication of the pressure my family was under: the West End Central Police station telephoned to ask permission to film the interior of my residence, in case we had to be rescued. An officer informed me that they had received information of a planned attack. For twelve months after our young child was born, we lived with a wicker Moses basket in the furthest corner of our apartment, near a window, attached to a length of wire rope in case the building was set on fire and we had to lower her to safety. I arranged with the Grosvenor Estate to increase the fire safety precautions in the building. I have lived since then with a four foot steel spike stowed in a strategic point inside my apartment. No historian should have to live with his family in a civilised city under such conditions. An orchestrated barrage of abuse and death threats began on my unlisted phone number. One of them I recorded. It is one of the transcripts which the Defendants have not shown to Your Lordship.
At the same time as they organised this campaign of intimidation, and the attacks on my London and foreign publishers, the Board and its collaborating foreign bodies did what they could to hamper my freedom of movement. On April 1, 1992 South Africa informed me that I would no longer be allowed to enter the country.70 On June 5, 1992 the South African Jewish Board of Deputies wrote a letter to Michael Whine, executive director of the corresponding London Board, gloating over this success.71 An Israeli survey on subsequent events summarised: "In 1993 the controversial right-wing historian David Irving was granted a three month visa to visit South Africa on condition that he refrain from addressing any public gathering. The South African Jewish Board of Deputies objected to the visit. In December it was reported in the press that Irving had been refused the special permission he needed to visit South Africa during 1994."72 (It has taken Nelson Mandela and the ANC to lift this ban imposed by the outgoing regime.)
On June 9, 1992 I was denied entry to Italy to address university students in Rome.73 That bars me from access to the Archivi Segreti del Stato, the Italian state archives in which I worked on Mussolini's papers.
In Canada, Sol Littman, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Toronto, joined this formidable international endeavour to destroy my career. Once again we do not have to rely on something as vague as a scholarly "consensus," or on the opinion of "the social sciences," to learn what happened. Quoting Littman in their global report Response at the end of 1992, the parent Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles boasted:
- which was for describing the Krematorium I currently on display to tourists at Auschwitz, truthfully, as a fake.74 The League of Human Rights of the B'nai Brith Canada made a similar boast in their confidential annual report to the 1993 B'nai Brith Canada convention. Dr Karen Mock bragged in this document and I rely on this too as proof of the international nature of this endeavour, to which the Defendants on this action have added their weight:
British Holocaust denier David Irving attempted to conduct one of his cross-Canada tours in 1992, but thanks in part to League [i.e., League of Human Rights of the B'nai Brith Canada] interventions, and excellent co-operation between a number of police agencies and government departments, Irving was arrested and deported. He is no longer permitted to enter Canada without ministerial consent. In both these cases, the League worked to warn the Immigration department of these individuals' impending visit and provided information to government officials. Australian and South African Jewish communities have used materials provided by the League to lobby their governments for similar treatment of Irving.75
Where did the Canadian "materials"
come from? Michael Whine, executive director of the Board of Deputies,
unashamedly revealed the answer in an affidavit sworn in November
He swore this affidavit in connection with the libel action that
I later sought to bring against the Board. He confirmed that in
response to an appeal by the Wiesenthal Centre in Toronto for
dirt that they could plant on government files in Canada - a country
I have visited countless times since the 1960s - the Board of
Deputies furnished to their Canadian counterparts two "confidential"
Intelligence reports that they had concocted on me; the second
such report was covered by a letter dated June 17, 1992. The letter
also relayed to Toronto reports from similar Jewish organisations
in Cape Town and Germany, boasting of their success in getting
me banned from South Africa and fined in Germany.
The intelligence reports which Whine has admitted he furnished to his Canadian friends contained vicious and damaging libels: I was said to have married the daughter of one of General Franco's top generals to ingratiate myself with the Spanish falangist movement. This gives a clue to the fantasy world that the Whines of this world live in. "Uncorroborated evidence," the document continued, "implies that Irving has been the recipient of substantial funding from unknown sources. It has repeatedly rumoured that these sources are Nazis." I had been, the report stated confidently, "active in the British Union of Fascists." That was another lie. There were hints that I had maintained improper relations with the East German authorities, and the totally untrue statement that during the 1970s "Irving appeared annually on the public list of 'Enemies of the State'" compiled by the German Office for the Protection of the Constitution. And so on.77
When I found out - too late - that this fake evidence had been planted on Canadian files, I was angered and astounded that a British organisation could be secretly doing this to British citizens. It turned out from these files that academics with whom I had freely corresponded and exchanged information, including Gerald Fleming, had been acting as agents and informants for this body. I submit that these are the bodies that collaborated directly or indirectly with the Defendants in the preparation of the book and that the Defendants, knowing of the obvious fantasy in some of what they said, should have shown greater caution in accepting their materials as true.
There was an immediate consequence of this fake data planted on Canadian files. One data report recorded the "fact" that I had written many books denying the Holocaust. That was of course untrue. In August 1992 a docket was placed on Canadian Immigration files about me, saying among other things, "Subject is Holocaust denier, may be inadmissible" under section A19(1)(d)(1) of the Act. The Canadian government had been provided by the Wiesenthal centre with a list of my proposed travel dates across Canada in October and November 1992. After more lying data was placed on Ottawa files about me, which I have since retrieved by the Access to Information Act, a letter was sent to me by courier stating that I might not be allowed to enter Canada. I did so, legally, on October 26; I was arrested on October 28 at Vancouver, and deported permanently from Canada on November 13, 1992, causing me great damage and financial loss. Access to the Public Archives of Canada was as essential for my future research as access to the Public Record Office in Kew or those archives in Italy. That is one proof of the direct and immediate cost of the pernicious label, "Holocaust denier."
There was at this time also a determined attempt to secure my exclusion from the United States; if successful, this would finally have sabotaged my career. A document was circulated, purporting to be an official U.S. Government intelligence (Office of Special Investigations) document about me. On my protest to the U.S. security authorities, they were good enough to confirm to me after making inquiries that it was a fake.78 In the same month, when I arrived at Washington's Dulles airport I was held in immigration custody for several hours; a senior official then apologised to me that their inquiries had determined that somebody had planted a forged dossier about me on their Immigration Service computer in an attempt to keep me out. "A yard and a half of garbage," was how he described it. The U.S. government again apologised to me, and assured me in writing that the computer file had now been cleansed. 79 A few months later Washington area Jewish organisations started putting pressure on the big bookstore chains to stop selling my books, but here they met with blank refusals to comply.80
The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Toronto which had orchestrated the Canadian attack on my freedoms prepared similar intelligence reports of its own on me, and one of these eventually came to light - though not without difficulty - in Professor Lipstadt's Discovery in this action, with a covering letter from its chief executive, Sol Littmann, addressed to Professor Lipstadt, the Second Defendant. It goes in my submission to other issues in this action, namely damages and costs, that it required me to issue a summons and make an application for an Unless Order to enforce the proper disclosure of these items; and that copies of the documents to which I was entitled under Order 24 were withheld from me until the eve of the hearing of my application; and that Mishcon de Reya only then furnished me with photocopies of the document, and with a covering letter which had seemingly been backdated - the postmark was dated after the receipt of my summons.
In a letter to Professor Lipstadt, Sol Littman asked her to recognise that one intelligence report was "not for publication or direct quotation." "It contains," he explained, "many phrases and comments that neither you or I would use in a situation which clearly involves considerable delicacy." The paper itself, which was originally disclosed to me shorn of any indication of institution, or author, or date, was entitled History Rewritten: The World of David Irving. It listed a number of quotations from my works, but confirmed what it called (page 256) my "enticing writing style and thorough archival research" and complained that I continued revisionist themes "interspersed with genuine historical insight."
Claiming that it was my underlying purpose to rehabilitate Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich, the anonymous Canadian author stated these words, words coming from my enemies which characterise the whole of the global endeavour to silence me:
I make no apology for quoting that sentence in full again notwithstanding Mr Littman's desire that it should not be quoted. The word eradicated may even jar us all somewhat, after two months of debate about meanings of ausrotten: but the fact remains that this is what these enemies of free speech have tried for thirty years to do to do - by hook or by crook, to ruin me, and to destroy my hard won legitimacy as one of the world's most original and incorruptible writers on the Third Reich and its history.
Writing in Response, the Wiesenthal Center world report, Sol Littman reported from Canada that "while David Irving squirmed, bullied, and lied, in the end he was booted out of Canada, never to return without the express permission of the Immigration Minister."82 The Jewish Chronicle reported on November 13, 1992 that Bernie Farber, national director of the Canadian Jewish Congress, had stated that I was "finished" in North America which seems therefore to have been their common intent. Mr Farber was to have been one of the witnesses of fact chosen by the Defendants; he has recently been disallowed by Canadian courts from appearing as a witness in a similar case, because he is held to be prejudiced.83 His evidence is no longer before this Court.
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ARTICLE 19 <Tout individu a droit à la liberté d'opinion et d'expression, ce qui implique le droit de ne pas être inquiété pour ses opinions et celui de chercher, de recevoir et de répandre, sans considération de frontière, les informations et les idées par quelque moyen d'expression que ce soit>
Déclaration internationale des droits de l'homme, adoptée par l'Assemblée générale de l'ONU à Paris, le 10 décembre 1948.