I now come to Macmillan's final stab in the back. That is, the hand on the blade was Macmillan's, but the blade had been forged and fashioned by all the Defendants in this courtroom, and by their hidden collaborators overseas.
On July 4, 1992, as this Court knows, I had returned from Moscow with the missing entries of the Goebbels Diaries exclusively in my possession, having gone there on behalf of The Sunday Times. This hard-earned triumph caught my opponents unawares. Newspapers revealed that the ADL and its Canadian collaborator, the League of Human Rights of the B'nai Brith Canada, sent immediate secret letters to Andrew Neil at The Sunday Times demanding that he repudiate their contract with me.84 On Sunday July 5 the London Sunday newspapers were full of the scoop and also with hostile comment. On Monday July 6, The Independent newspaper reported under the headline JEWS ATTACK PUBLISHER OF IRVING BOOK, that a U.K. body which it identified as "the Yad Vashem Trust" was piling pressure on to Macmillan's to abandon its contract with me to publish Goebbels. Mastermind of the Third Reich, failing which they would urge booksellers not to stock or promote it.
Macmillan's finally took fright that same day, as I only now know. After their directors inquired, in an internal memo, how many of my books were still in their stocks, and having been given totals of several thousand copies of all three volumes of my Hitler biography, representing a value of several hundred thousands pounds, my own editor Roland Philipps on July 6 issued the secret order reading: "Please arrange for the remaining stock of [David Irving's HITLER biographies] to be destroyed. Many thanks."85 They prepared a "draft announcement," but it was not released. Although still a Macmillan author, I was not told. The royalties due to me on the sale of those books were lost, destroyed with them. The Defendants' campaign to destroy my legitimacy as a historian, of which the book published by the Defendants became an integral part, had thus reached its first climax.
Macmillan's were still under contract to publish my Goebbels biography. In September that year, 1992, still not suspecting that they had done the dirty on me and destroyed my books, I wrote to them asking them to revert all rights in that new biography to me. Allan Brooke of Hodder Headline, the second biggest U.K. publishing group, made a very satisfactory offer two years later for the rights; he had published my books before while at Michael Joseph Ltd. Within a few days however the offer had been formally withdrawn - something which had never happened to me in a lifetime of publishing. Brooke told me that he had come under pressure to revoke his offer. The Defendants' book had now been published and was now, as yet unknown to me, in the bookstores.
The campaign to silence me was on a broad front, indeed a global scale, but it also took unusual and petty forms. For twenty-five years I had spoken as a guest at my old school, twice a year, to history classes and sixth formers. On September 19, 1992 the school informed me in a letter that under "pressure which built up yesterday from Jewish parents, the Anti-Nazi League and [...] the press" they had to withdraw their latest invitation, which they recognised as "a sad day for the school and for freedom of speech."86 When my club held a private lecture-meeting that same month, leaflets and stickers appeared all over the west end with slogans like "Stop the fascist agitators," "No more Rostocks" (a reference to an incident where an asylum seekers' hostel was burned down), and, more threateningly, "meet at Irving's home," and providing my private address. The global nature of all this is evident from an Israeli survey issued in Tel Aviv "in co-operation with the [New York based] ADL". This stated, among successes in preventing various meetings and lectures from occurring, that "in London the Jewish community and other groups worked together [...] and made it difficult for David Irving and his followers to maintain the fiction of the 'Clarendon Club.'"87
Letters obtained by legal methods in Canada show that on October 21 and November 3, 1992, the Board of Deputies applied secret pressure on the German embassy to stop me, a British citizen like themselves, from entering Germany.88 If a ban was applied, it would spell the end for me as a World War II historian because I could no longer reach my publishers, or access my own collections there (of valuable documents which I had donated to the German archives), let alone the archives of the German government.
Australia was the next country to be worked over. The Israeli document quoted above reported unhappily on the press backlash that had arisen from pressure applied to the Australian government to silence me, which, it said, had attracted editorials in major Australian newspapers unfavourable to the Jewish community: "The implication was that a minority group, with extraordinary clout, had pressured the Australian government to act against the country's interest."89
Nothing, they implied, could be further from the truth.
What had happened was this: In September 1992 I announced to Australian university professors that I would be visiting their continent for a third lecture tour early the following year. Alerted to this tour by the German professor Konrad Kwiet, one of the Holocaust experts I had written to, the same organisations applied secret pressure on the then prime minister, Paul Keating, to refuse me entry. The Australian Jewish News set up a hue and cry, reporting that I had "sneaked into Canada," to give lectures "denying the Holocaust really happened," and stating that I "incite the gullible to racist violence" and that I "have a record of contempt for anti-racism and immigration laws." Every single one of these statements was a lie.90 But the lying was now getting out of hand. When a Munich Court increased the fine on me for denouncing the Krema I building at Auschwitz shown to tourists as a post-war fake, the Board of Deputies issued a press-release calling me a "Nazi propagandist" who attending Nazi training camps, and they welcomed the trebling of the fine. Not surprisingly, no British newspaper dared to reproduce such libels but a copy is, significantly, in Professor Lipstadt's discovery.91 I am of course barred from using it as the basis for the action which it deserved.
Opponents released to Australian television the heavily edited version of Michael Schmidt's 1991 videotape of me addressing the crowd at Halle. As edited, it omitted my visible and audible rebuke to a section of the crowd for chanting Hitler slogans. Grotesque libels about me swamped the Australian press, printed by various organisations including the New South Wales Board of Deputies and the Australian Jewish News (February 5, 12, and 19, 1993). One example was an article by a lecturer in politics: "He [Irving] has a history of exciting neo Nazi and skinhead groups in Germany which had burned migrant hostels and killed people. . . . Irving has frequently spoken in Germany at rallies . . . under the swastika flag . . . himself screaming the Nazi salute. . ."92 Unsurprisingly in retrospect, on February 8, 1993 the Australian government announced, though to the astonishment of the regular Australian national press, that I was to be refused a visa as I was a "Holocaust denier". They had thus adopted the phrase that the Second Defendant prides herself on having invented.
The new and very damaging ban on visiting Australia now made it impossible for me to work again in the National Library of Australia in Canberra. At great personal expense I appealed to the Australian Federal Court. The Court declared the minister's refusal of a visa to be illegal. The government in Canberra therefore changed the law in February 1994 to keep me out, and on May 3, 1994 they again refused my application for entry. We note from Professor Lipstadt's own Discovery that the immigration minister faxed the decision direct to one of her source-agencies that same afternoon.93
In July 1994, as the resulting fresh legal actions which I had started against the government still raged, the Second Defendant was invited by Australian organisations, all expenses paid, to visit their country; she was to hired to tour Australia, and to slander my name and reputation and add her voice to the campaign to have me refused entry. The Court will perhaps remember the Australian TV video which I showed, entitled "The Big Lie." Broadcast on July 1994, it showed both the expert witness Professor Van Pelt, and Fred Leuchter standing on the roof of Krema II which Van Pelt declared to be the centre of the Nazi genocide, and the Second Defendant being interviewed while still in Australia (and refusing once again to "debate" with the revisionists, rather as she has obstinately refused to go into the witness stand here). Thus I found myself excluded from Australia and inevitably New Zealand too. I lost the ability to visit my many hundreds of my friends down under, and my own daughter too, who is an Australian citizen; and I lost all the bookshop sales that this ban implied in Australia - where my Churchill biography had hit the No. 1 spot on the best seller lists.
There was one interesting little postscript which helps to tie all these things together: I produced a video, a rather unpretentious document entitled The Search for Truth in History, which was to travel the Australian continent until I could again enter myself. A closed session of the video censorship authority in Sydney was convened, at the request of the special interest groups who urgently wanted to suppress my video. Afterwards, the security authorities discovered that a hidden microphone had been planted in the chamber. Indicating that he already had the answer, the leader of the opposition, Tim Fisher, challenged the government to admit that it was planted by the Mossad.94 This is an indication that some very dangerous forces indeed had aligned themselves behind the Second Defendant and against me.
My lecturing engagements in the British Isles came under similar attack. I had often spoken to universities and debating societies including the Oxford and Cambridge Unions in the past. But now, in one month, in October 1993 when I was invited to speak to prestigious bodies at three major Irish universities, I found all three invitations cancelled under pressure and the threat of local Jewish and "anti-fascist" organisations.95 The irony will not elude the Court that these Defendants on the one hand have claimed by way of defence that I speak only to the far-right and neo-Nazi element, as they describe it, and that it turns out their own associates are the people who have done their damnedest to make it impossible for many others to invite me.
Deborah Lipstadt had made meanwhile made some progress with her book.
She told her publisher that she had written a certain statement "with the marketing people in mind," - in other words sometimes money mattered more than content. She had revealed in September 1991: "I have also spoken to people in England who have a large cache of material on David Irving's 'conversion' to denial."96 We don't know, but we can of course readily suspect, who in this case those "people" were. She is, once again, not presenting herself for cross-examination, so there are many things we cannot ask her about including (and I would have asked her most tactfully) the reasons why she was refused tenure at the University of California and moved downstream to the lesser university in Atlanta where she now teaches.
In the light of Mr Rampton's strictures on my now famous little ditty, supposedly urging my nine-month old little girl not to marry outside her own people, I should also have wanted to ask questions of Professor Lipstadt's views on race. We know that she has written papers, and delivered many fervent lectures, on the vital importance of people marrying only within their own race ("We know what we fight against: . . .," she wrote, "intermarriage and Israel-bashing, but what is it we fight for?")97 She has attracted much criticism from many in her own community for her implacable stance against mixed marriages. In one book Lipstadt quotes a Wall Street Journal interview with a Conservative rabbi, Jack Moline, whom she called "very brave" for listing ten things that Jewish parents should say to their children: "Number one on his list," she wrote (in fact it was number three), "was 'I expect you to marry Jews'."98 My one little ditty was a perhaps tasteless joke. Professor Lipstadt's repeated denunciation of mixed marriages addressed to adults was deadly serious.Professor Lipstadt accuses me or error and falsification, but is apparently unable to spot a fake even at a relatively close range. She admitted (in a recent interview with Forward) that she used the memoirs of the spurious Auschwitz survivor Benjamin Wilkomirski in her teaching of the Holocaust, according to Professor Peter Novick. Those "memoirs" have now been exposed, worldwide, as fraudulent. When it turned out the Wilkomirski had never been near the camp, or in Poland for that matter, but had spent the war years in comfort living with his adopted Swiss family, she acknowledged that this "might complicate matters somewhat," but she insisted that the Wilkomirski "memoirs" would still be "powerful" as a novel.99 It may seem unjust to Your Lordship that it is I who have had to answer this person's allegation that I distort and manipulate historical sources.
We have Professor Lipstadt's handwritten notes, evidently prepared for a talk delivered to the ADL in Palm Beach, Florida, in early 1994. In these, if I have read her handwriting correctly - and she appears to be relying on something that Lord Bullock had just said - she states that my aim seems to be to de-demonize Hitler; and that I had said that FDR, Hitler, and Churchill were all equally criminal. This is hardly "exonerating" any of them. Summarising Hitler's War (the 1977 edition), she calls me merely a "historian with a revisionist bent" like A J P Taylor - and she adds, and this seems significant - "Irving denies that Hitler was responsible for the murder of European Jewry. Rather, he claims that Himmler was responsible. But he does not deny its occurrence."100 Had she stuck with that view, which is a very fair summary of my views both then and now, she and we would not find ourselves here now.
But she was led astray. She fell in with bad company, or associates. These things happen. We know that, in conducting her research for the book, she spoke with the Board of Deputies, the Institute of Jewish Affairs, and other such worthy bodies, since she thanks them all in her Introduction. Some time in 1992 her book was complete in its first draft, and she sent it to the people who were paying her, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. We do not know what was in the book, since I cannot question the Second Defendant and she has not disclosed that early draft, with Professor Yehuda Bauer's "scribbles" on it, in her sworn list of documents. It was clearly discoverable. We do know however what was not in it: we know that there was no mention of Hizbollah and Hamas and Louis Farrakhan and the November 1992 terrorists in Stockholm, or of the lie about my speaking on the same platform with them; in fact we also know that in this first draft I was merely mentioned in passing. This is evident from the letter which Professor Yehuda Bauer wrote, congratulating her on November 27, 1992: Bauer complained that the book lacked the "worldwide perspective," and said: "Irving is mentioned, but not that he is the mainstay of Holocaust denial today in Western Europe."101
Somehow therefore I had to be shoe-horned into the text before publication. Bauer urged her too not to write things inadvertently that might convince the reader that there was "something" to what revisionists ("deniers") said although that is hardly a true scholar's method, to suppress mention of opposing arguments. In a letter to Anthony Lerman, of the Institute of Jewish Affairs (the same Mr Lerman who would later spread the lying word that I had supplied the trigger mechanism for the Oklahoma City Bomb), Lipstadt revealed that there was an "earlier incarnation" of the book: that "earlier incarnation" has not been disclosed in her sworn list either.102 She had been ordered to swear an affidavit on her list. When I made a subsequent complaint about deficient discovery, her solicitors reminded me that I could not go behind her affidavit until she presented herself for cross examination. This chance has been denied to me.
Lipstadt spent much of that last month of 1992 putting me into the book, and so herself, into this courtroom today. They were the weeks after the spectacular success of the global campaign to destroy my legitimacy, which culminated in getting me deported in manacles from Canada on November 13. "I am just finishing up the book," she wrote to Lerman on December 18, "and as you can well imagine David Irving figures into it quite prominently". She pleaded with Lerman to provide, indeed to fax to her urgently, materials from "your files". Your Lordship may think that this haste to wield the hatchet compares poorly with the kind of in-depth, years-long research which I conducted on my biographical subjects. "I think he [Irving] is one of the more dangerous figures around," she added, pleading the urgency.103 It was a spectacular epiphany, this Court might think, given that only three weeks earlier the manuscript barely mentioned me, as Bauer had complained.
Lerman faxed his materials to her a few days later: we don't know precisely what, as here too the Defendants' Discovery is only fragmentary, and these items were provided to me only in response to a summons.
That is an outline of the damage, and the people, including specifically the Defendants in this action, who were behind it. Mr Rampton suggested at a very early stage that I had brought all of this on myself, that I had even deserved it - he was talking about the hate-wreath that was sent to me on the death of my daughter. We shall see.
Auschwitz has been a football of politicians and statesmen ever since World War II. The site has become, like the Holocaust itself, an industry, a big business in the most tasteless way. The area is, I am informed, overgrown with fast food restaurants, souvenir and trinket shops, motels, and the like. Under prime minister Josef Cyrankiewicz (who had been prisoner number 62,993) it was known at its opening in 1948 as a "monument to the martyrdom of the Polish and other Peoples."104
Auschwitz was overrun by the Red Army in January 1945. The last prisoner had received the tattooed number 202,499. Informed by Colonel-General Heinz Guderian that the Russians had captured Auschwitz, Hitler is recorded by the stenographers as merely acknowledging: "Yes."105 The Court might find it significant that he did not prick up his ears and say something like, "Herr Himmler, I hope you made sure that the Russians will find not the slightest trace of what we have been up to." (Or even, "I hope you managed to get those holes in the roof slab of Krema II cemented over so there's no trace, before you blew it up." I will shortly explain the significance of that.) When the name of SS-Gruppenführer Hans Kammler, the architect of the concentration camps, was mentioned to him a few days later by Goebbels, it was evident that even Kammler's name meant little to Hitler.106
How many had died at Auschwitz? We still do not now with certainty, because the tragic figure has become an object of politics too. Professor Arno Mayer, Professor of European History at the University of Princeton, a scholar of considerably greater renommée than Professor Evans, and himself a Jew, expressed the view in one book that most of the victims of the camp died of exhaustion and epidemics. "From 1942 to 1945 more Jews died, at least in Auschwitz, and probably everywhere else, of 'natural' causes of death than of 'unnatural.'"107
The Russians who captured the camp did not at first make any mention in their news reports of "gas chambers". Moreover, as we saw on the newsreel which I showed on the first day of the trial, even the Poles, with access to all the records, claimed only that "altogether nearly 300,000 people from the most different nations died in the Auschwitz concentration camp." It concluded that the camp now stood "as a monument of shame to the lasting memory of its three hundred thousand victims." (Again, gassing was not mentioned).108 The New York Times quoted the same figure, 300,000 when the trial began in 1947.109 The figure gradually grew however. The Russians set up an inquiry including some very well known names - including the "experts" who had examined the "Nazi mass graves" at Katyn, and even the notorious Lysenko, and they announced that four million had been murdered at Auschwitz. Under the Polish communists, a monument to "four million dead" was duly erected, a number adhered to until the 1990s, even under Franciszek Piper, one of the later (but still communist) directors of the Auschwitz State Archives. After the communist regime ended that the figure was brought down, to 1.5 million, and then to 750,000 by the acknowledged expert Jean-Claude Pressac.110 The Defendants' own expert Peter Longerich spoke of one million deaths there from all causes, and in response to cross-examination by myself and to Your Lordship's queries Dr Longerich confirmed that he included all non-homicidal deaths, deaths "from other causes," including epidemics and exhaustion, in that figure.111
As for the overall deathroll of the Holocaust, what meaning can one attach to figures? The International Military Tribunal (IMT) at Nuremberg found that "the policy pursued resulted in the killing of six million Jews, of which four million were killed in the extermination institutions"? But the six million figure derives, as US chief prosecutor Mr Justice Robert H Jackson recorded in his diary in June 1945, from a back of the envelope calculation by the American Jewish leaders with whom he met in New York. Professor Raul Hilberg put the figure at 5.1 million or less.112 Gerald Reitlinger had the figure at 4.6 million, of which he stated about three million were conjectural as it was not known how many Jews had escaped into the unoccupied part of the USSR.113 The Israeli Prime Minister's office, we are told by Norman Finkelstein, recently stated that there were still nearly one million living survivors.114
There are doubts not only about precise figures but about specific events. The same IMT ruled on October 1, 1946 that the Nazis had attempted to "utilise the fat from the bodies of the victims in the commercial manufacture of soap." In 1990 historian Shmuel Krakowski of Yad Vashem announced in the world's press that that too had been a ("Nazi") propaganda lie.115 Gradually the wartime stories have been dismantled. As more documents have been found, widely stated propositions have been found to be doubtful. For a long time the confident public perception was that the Wannsee protocol, of the January 20, 1942 meeting, recorded the actual order to exterminate the European Jews. Yehuda Bauer, the director of Yad Vashem, the world's premier Holocaust research institution in Israel, - one of the correspondents of the Second Defendant - has stated quite clearly: "The public still repeats, time after time, the silly story that at Wannsee the extermination of the Jews was arrived at." In his opinion Wannsee was a meeting but "hardly a conference," and he even said: "Little of what was said there was executed in detail."116 Despite this, Your Lordship has had to listen to the "silly story" all over again in this Court from the expert witnesses.
Surely, say my critics, there must now be evidence for a Hitler Order?
Back in 1961 Raul Hilberg, one of Yehuda Bauer's great rivals for the laureate, asserted in The Destruction of the European Jews that there had been two such orders, one in the spring of 1941 and the other soon after. By 1985 - after I had corresponded with him and voiced my own doubts - Hilberg was back-pedalling: Hilberg went methodically through his new edition, excising the allegation of a Hitler Order. "In the new edition," as Professor Christopher Browning, an expert who testified before this Court, criticised in a learned journal, "all references in the text to a Hitler decision or Hitler order for the 'Final Solution' have been systematically excised. Buried at the bottom of a single footnote stands the solitary reference: 'Chronology and circumstances point to a Hitler decision before the summer  ended'." "In the new edition," Browning repeats, scandalised, "decisions were not made, and orders were not given."117 Your Lordship will find my exchange with Browning as to whether he had indeed written those words in 1986 on Day 17 at page 121: you will find too that he regretted that he could not recall clearly the events of fifteen years ago, which invited a rather obvious riposte from me about the probably similar memory-deficiencies in the eye-witnesses on which he had on occasions relied.
The director of the Yad Vashem archives has stated that most survivors' testimonies are unreliable. "Many," he writes, "were never in the places were they claim to have witnessed atrocities, while others relied on second-hand information given them by friends or passing strangers" - the phenomenon I have referred to as "cross-pollination."118 Your Lordship may have been as startled as, I confess, was I, upon learning the degree to which the case for the mass gassings at Auschwitz relies on eye-witness evidence, rather than on any firmer sources. Your Lordship will remember the exchange I had with Donald Watt, professor emeritus of history at the London School of Economics and a learned diplomatic historian, early on in the trial, about the value of difference categories of evidence:
This supports my view that eyewitness evidence is less credible than forensic evidence and the Bletchley Park intercepts. I do not completely ignore eye-witness evidence, but I feel entitled to discount it when it is contradicted by the more reliable evidence, which should then prevail
I am criticised by the Defendants for having relied initially on what is called the Leuchter Report. At the time they levelled their criticism at me, the Defendants appear to have been unaware that subsequent and, more able, investigations were conducted by both American and Polish researchers. The tests were in other words replicated.
First, the Leuchter Report: In April 1988 I was introduced by defence counsel at the Canadian trial of Ernst Zündel to the findings made by a reputable firm of forensic analysts of samples extracted from the fabric of various buildings at Auschwitz and Birkenau by Fred Leuchter, who was at the time a professional American execution-technology consultant. These, and his investigations at the Majdanek site, formed the backbone of his "engineering report".
Since there have been tendentious statements about why the Leuchter Report was not admitted in evidence at that trial I have studied the transcripts of that trial. It emerges that engineering reports are not generally admissible under Canadian rules of evidence unless both parties consent; in this case the Crown did not consent. As Mr Justice Thomas explained, "I get engineering reports all the time [in civil cases]. That doesn't make them admissible because they've prepared reports. They [the expert witnesses] go in the box, they're qualified as experts, and they testify."119 The non-admission of the report by Mr Justice Thomas was no reflection on the worth of the report or on the qualifications of the witness.
Mr Leuchter testified on April 20 and 21, 1988 as an expert in gas chamber technology. He had inspected the three sites in February and taken samples which were subsequently sent for analysis by a qualified analytical chemist in the United States, a Dr James Roth of Cornell University, who was not told where the samples had come from. His firm, Alpha Laboratories, were told on the test certificates only that the samples were from brickwork. Mr Justice Thomas ruled that Leuchter could give oral evidence, but that the report itself should not be filed.120 He held further that Mr Leuchter was not a chemist or a toxicologist.121 But he agreed that Mr Leuchter was an engineer, because he had made himself an engineer in a very limited field.122
A summary of the rest of the judge's findings was that Leuchter was not capable in law of giving the expert opinion that there were never any gassings or exterminations carried on in the facilities from which he took the samples.123 For the same reasons he was not capable of testifying regarding the results of the analysis. He was restricted to testifying as to the actual extraction of the samples,124 and his own observations on the feasibility of the buildings that he had examined being used as gas chambers.125
The Second Defendant therefore was wrong to state on page 164 of her book, "The judge ruled that Leuchter could not serve as an expert witness on the construction and functioning of the gas chambers."126 To give evidence in a criminal trial, Mr Leuchter must have been accepted as an expert. Professor Lipstadt further stated, on pages 164-5 of her book: "The judge's finding as to Leuchter's suitability to comment on questions of engineering was unequivocal." In fact the Judge's findings referred only to his lack of qualifications to testify on the results of the laboratory tests for cyanide and iron (this was Dr Roth's area, and he gave the testimony on those matters). On page 169, Professor Lipstadt insists: "The exposure to the elements lessened the presence of the hydrogen cyanide. . . Nor did Leuchter seem to consider that the building had been exposed to the elements for more than forty years so that cyanide gas residue could have been obliterated. He also took samples from a floor that had been washed regularly by museum staff." Dr Roth however testified under oath that the formation of Prussian Blue was an accumulative reaction, that it augmented with each exposure to the gas; and that it did not normally disappear unless physically removed by sandblasting or grinding down.127
Roth seems since then to have changed his mind, to judge by the television film "Mr Death" which is shortly to be shown on Channel Four, and upon which film both I and learned counsel in the current action rely. Zündel's counsel comments, "He [Roth] obviously is frightened" and no wonder, considering what was subsequently inflicted upon Mr Leuchter. Your Lordship will remember that in order to destroy Roth's absurd argument, quoted to the Court by learned Counsel, that the Prussian Blue stain would have penetrated only a few microns into the brickwork, I showed a photograph of the stain penetrating right through the brickwork to the outside face of one of the cyanide fumigation chambers, where it has been exposed to sun, wind, and rain for over fifty years, and where it is still visible, as deep and blue as ever. Krema II has been protected from these outside elements; it is possible to crawl beneath the famous roof - about which roof I shall have more to say - but neither Jan Sehn, nor Fred Leuchter, nor James Roth, nor Germar Rudolf, nor any of the subsequent investigations found any significant traces of cyanide compounds present in the fabric of this building, despite the eye-witness accounts of that same chamber having been used for the gassing of half a million people. Moreover, the wood-grain of the original wooden formwork (or moulds) can still be seen on the face of the concrete, which is evidence that it has not been sandblasted or ground down.
I referred earlier to the expert witness on Auschwitz and Birkenau in this case, Professor Robert Van Pelt. He has made unequivocal statements both here and elsewhere about Krema II, crematorium No. II at Birkenau. To him, it was the factory of death, the mass gassing chamber of Birkenau. He did not mince his language. In the new television film MR DEATH we saw him, and we saw him, as the film camera showed Fred Leuchter descending into the hole which was broken post-war through the collapsed concrete roof slab and reinforcing bars of Leichenkeller 1 (morgue No. 1) of Krema II, and we heard him (Van Pelt) uttering these words:
The Court will recall that on the ninth day of this action I cross-examined this witness most closely about this statement, and I offered him a chance to change his mind about the pivotal importance of Krema II and its underground Leichenkeller 1, the chamber which Pelt alleged had been a mass-gassing chamber.
The expert witness could hardly have been clearer in his answer. At page 53, I then asked him to identify the buildings referred to, on the aerial photographs of Birkenau and Krematorium II, so that there could later be no doubt as to which precise building he had just agreed was the "factory of death."
The great problem about accepting that this building was an instrument for mass murder is that the evidence produced by Professor Van Pelt relies on three "legs": a handful of eye-witnesses; a few architectural drawings; and a slim file of documents.
The eye-witnesses have turned out to be liars, particularly those who testified to the SS guards opening manhole covers on top of the flat roof of Leichenkeller 1 (morgue No. 1) and tipping tins of Zyklon B pellets inside. One witness was David Olère, an artist, who drew sketches years later in Paris, obviously intending to sell them. His sketches show flames and smoke belching from the crematorium chimney of Krema III, which was quite impossible130; he portrays the victims of the Nazi killers mostly as nubile young females, all naked and sketched in a pornographic way, often clutching naked teenage children to their breasts.131 It was Olère, I invite the Court to remember, who told Jean-Claude Pressac that the SS made sausage in the crematoria out of human flesh (a passage which Mr Van Pelt did not inform us of).132 Ada Bimko proved at the Belsen Trial that she too had lied. Entering another "gas chamber" building at Auschwitz she said she "noticed two pipes which I was told contained the gas. There were two huge metal containers containing gas." She evidently did not even know that the "gas" supposed to have been used, Zyklon B, was actually in pellet form, not cylinders.133 Distorting her account too, Pelt also omitted this part of her testimony. Dr Bendel, another of Pelt's eye-witnesses, stated that at Krema IV the people crowded into the gas chambers found the ceiling so low that "the impression [was given] that the roof was falling on their heads."134 This too was untrue, as the Court has seen how high those ceilings were in the computer-generated "walk through." The Court will find that in my cross-examination of Van Pelt, I destroyed the worth of each supposed eye-witness after eye-witness in the same way.
Let us first look for those holes. The roof pillars were blown up in 1945, and the reinforced concrete roof slab pancaked downwards into the morgue basement, starred but otherwise intact. Van Pelt suggested that the Zyklon B introduction holes in the roof of Leichenkeller 1 were not much larger in diameter than tennis balls. The evidence of his eye-witnesses Henry Tauber and Michal Kula was that they were closer to the size of manholes - "70 centimetres [27 inches] square."135 Kula testified that the wire-mesh columns that he had made were of that cross section and three metres (ten feet) tall. One witness said the concrete covers had to be lifted off "with both hands". As the ceiling height in Leichenkeller 1 was 2.40 meters, 60 cm of each column would have had to extend through the "holes" in the concrete ceiling, with about six inches poking up outside.136 There is no trace of those holes in the roof today. The underside, which can be inspected and photographed from beneath, is intact. Even if one could lose sight of the much smaller, three-inch diameter holes in the pancaked concrete roof, of which Van Pelt spoke137, one could not possibly have lost sight of four holes as large as manholes. Those holes would be perfectly obvious today, on the ground at Auschwitz, to any observer using the naked eye, without the slightest possible doubt as to their location.
Van Pelt accepts that those holes are not in that roof slab now. In his expert report and for this honesty I give him full credit - he writes:
Van Pelt thus asserts, without any evidence at all, that late in 1944, with the Red Army winding up to launch their colossal final invasion only a few miles away on the River Vistula, the Nazi-mass murderers would remove the "Zyklon introduction columns" and then fill in the holes to "restore the slab" (before dynamiting the pillars supporting it anyway). He again asserted when I cross-examined him on January 25 that: "It would have been logical to attach at the location where the columns had been, some formwork at the bottom of the ceiling, and pour some concrete in the hole and thus restore the slab."139
How would this have been more logical than completely removing the roof of Leichenkeller 1, as the Nazis had removed the roof of Leichenkeller 2, identified by Van Pelt as the "undressing rooms," as shown in the aerial photos taken on December 21, 1944 that one can see on page 15 of THE HOLOCAUST REVISITED, the book published by Dino A Brugioni of the CIA. The originals of this photo were shown to Van Pelt in Court. To believe his version, we would have to believe that the Nazis deliberately created architectural relics of Leichenkeller 1 to confound later generations of tourists and Holocaust researchers.
The fact is that the holes are not there - at least they are not visible from a distance of zero to four feet, or when photographed from the underside. Unable to point them out to us in close-up at ground level, the Defendants invited us to consider instead either vertical aerial photographs taken from 35,000 feet up, or a horizontal photograph taken from several hundred yards away, past a locomotive, where three (not four) unidentified objects are placed irregularly on the rooftop (the fourth "object" turns out to be a window on the wall behind). The Court will recall what my response was to the not unexpected discovery that during building works such objects as barrels of tar were parked on a large flat slab, and I shall not repeat it in detail here.140 The notion that the high flying plane could have photographed an object of 27 cm diameter, let alone of tennis ball size, protruding six inches above the ground, is quite absurd. The four smudges seen on one photograph are evidently many feet long.
On Day 11, I brought into the Court half a dozen vertical aerial photographs taken by the Americans or South African airforces during 1944, and I invited Van Pelt to find those same smudges on that roof.141
Where until this moment he had seen dots on another photograph with no difficulty, the witness Van Pelt now pleaded poor eyesight ("I have now reached the age I need reading glasses," he said, "and I do not have them with me. I did not expect this kind of challenge." Precisely.) Had he used even a microscope, he would not have found the dots on the 1944 pictures I showed him. Because the holes were not there, and are not there, and he and the Defendants know it.
Even if the Nazi architects did willingly agree to the weakening of the roof by having makeshift holes of that size cut through the slab right next to the supporting pillars - I say "makeshift" holes, because there is no provision for them in any of the architectural drawings - we should certainly expect to see the holes now. My Lord, the Court will recall two things:
On two occasions I stated a challenge in Court, including to the witness Van Pelt. I challenged the Defendants to send somebody to Auschwitz even now, to scrape the thin layer of gravel and dirt off the topside of the roof slab where they "know" the "holes" must be - because the eye-witnesses agreed they were next to the main columns - and bring back a photo of just one of the holes or evidence that it had been filled in.
If they did, I said, I would abandon my action forthwith, because my position would have become indefensible. To my knowledge, the Defendants have not attempted this exercise. They know, and they knew from the outset, that I was right about that roof. Their entire case on Krema II - the untruth that it was used as a factory of death, with SS guards tipping canisters of cyanide-soaked pellets into the building through those four (non-existent) manholes - has caved in, as surely as has that roof.
Accordingly the eye-witnesses who spoke of those holes also lied, or bluffed: and I have called their bluff. In the absence of the holes themselves, and minus his "eye-witnesses," Professor Van Pelt's only remaining proofs that Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II was an instrument of mass murder - a factory of death in which five hundred thousand Jews were gassed and cremated - are these: architectural drawings (rather oddly for a "professor of architecture" he calls them blueprints); and wartime documents. He confirmed this to Your Lordship, when your Lordship asked.
As for the wartime documents, he referred for instance to the - to him, sinister - requirement that the morgue should be vorgewärmt by a central heating plant. In cross-examination I drew his attention to the relevant section of the wartime Neufert, the architect's handbook or building code which was standard for the S.S. architects, which specifies that morgues must have both cooling and central heating facilities to avoid damage to the corpses.143 Document after document fell by the wayside in the manner. Mr Rampton introduced the timesheet of one humble workman in March 1943, showing him actually concreting "the floor in the Gaskammer." But Birkenau camp was full of gas-chambers. In his fine facsimile book of the camp documents, Jean-Claude Pressac has printed the drawing No. 801 of November 8, 1941, for an Entlausungsanlage (delousing installation) for the prison camp, right in the middle of which drawing is a Gaskammer.144 He also reproduces drawing No. 1293 dated May 9, 1942, of the drainage and water supply of the delousing barracks, buildings BW5b. Here too there is a Gaskammer smack in the middle of the drawing.145
The real handling capacity of the crematoria is also surprisingly difficult to establish. Professor Van Pelt produced a histogram, on an easel, for us, which showed truly staggering projections of cadavers to be cremated in coming years; but on cross-examination he admitted that the projection was based solely on one document, the questionable "crematorium capacities" document of June 28, 1943, and that all else was extrapolated backwards from that.146 Pelt relies heavily on this document.147 Even if genuine, the handling figures which this document gives for the furnace installation in Krematorium II do not tally with any of the figures in the specifications provided by the manufacturers, the Topf Company, for this type of equipment.148 Furthermore, the document refers to some crematoria which were at that time shut down, and to others that were due to be taken out of commission.149
I had shown the Court on the previous day that this one page of paper contained not just one or two, but four or even five bureaucratic discrepancies which indicated that the document is not authentic.150 Any one of those flaws would normally be enough to call its integrity into question: but five in one document, including the wrong rank for the highest man in the SS site-construction system, SS Gruppenführer Hans Kammler? Van Pelt was unable to explain these flaws; he had not noticed them. The document was first published in East Berlin in the 1950s, and it is now to be found in the Auschwitz archives, because it was sent there in 1981. That alone is why it now bears an Auschwitz archival stamp.151 It did not originate there, but elsewhere. Even if the flaws can be explained, and the figures were genuine, there is no indication of how such huge numbers of bodies were to be handled within 24 hours; nor of where the coke was to come from (there is no acceptable evidence that the Auschwitz staff found any way of improving on the average coke consumption of 30 kg per cadaver achieved by other camps).
The bottleneck in the entire Krema II "factory of death" story is however the little freight elevator that was installed between Leichenkeller 1, as in any such state-of-the-art crematorium, to haul the bodies from the basement-level morgue up to the crematorium furnaces on the ground floor. We are told by the Defendants that this elevator was never anything more sophisticated than something like a builder's hoist. The real elevator was never delivered. It had no door, or cage, or walls - it was just a platform jolting up and down that elevator shaft. We do know that as finally installed it had a specified load bearing capacity of 1500 kg. Van Pelt suggested that the hoist could therefore have hauled twenty-five cadavers at a time.152 In practice, as there was just a flat platform with no walls or door, jolting up and down the narrow concrete elevator shaft, it would have been impossible to stack onto one small flat platform twenty-five naked cadavers in the conditions of filth and slime that were described by the eye-witnesses.
It does not bear thinking about, I agree. We can not produce hard figures for this part of the exercise, but one thing is plain: that one elevator in Krema II was the inescapable bottleneck, and it makes plain that, whatever was happening downstairs in Leichenkeller 1, it was not on the huge scale that history now suggests.
In response to Your Lordship's helpful questioning, Professor Van Pelt stated that the wartime documents had to be interpreted if they were to be relied on for this proof. These interpretations are tenuous. He produced to us a document referring to the special secrecy to be attached to the crematorium drawings, and suggested that this was because of the mass gassings being carried on in it. It stressed that this was because of the wehrwirtschaftlich importance [importance to the military economy] of the work being conducted there. But Van Pelt confirmed under my cross-examination that the homicidal Final Solution, the genocide, was never regarded as being wehrwirtschaftlich important. I submitted that the reference was clearly to keeping secret the ugly business of the looting by the SS of gold and valuables from the corpses processed by the building, a system which was undoubtedly wehrwirtschaftlich important to the SS.153
Similarly, the architectural drawings seemed to provide the required "proof" only when one was compared with another. As Van Pelt said: ". . . we can look now at two or three drawings together and . . . we start to observe some very weird things and some modifications made between one drawing and the other drawing . . ."154
Is that the best level of proof that is available now, even after fifty-five years? During his slide-show Professor Van Pelt told us that one cardinal piece of evidence in these drawings was the relocation of an internal double-door which sealed off Leichenkeller 1 from the interior of the building, from the inside of the Leichenkeller doorframe (in a December 1942 drawing) to the outside (January 1943). I pointed out that in the new layout, the doors were showed as being actually rebated into the doorframe, and I suggested to the witness that this was indicative of a gas-tight door being fitted as in any standard air raid shelter design. Air raid shelter doors are fitted outside the shelter, to open outwards, so as to withstand blast. Neufert, the wartime architects' handbook, bears this out.
The witness seems not to have considered this possibility. The doors allegedly found around the Birkenau and Auschwitz sites subsequently are all of standard air-raid shelter design, complete with the obligatory peephole that is fitted to air raid shelter doors. The amendment of the drawings to provide for an external door, leading from the far end of the subterranean Leichenkeller 1 to the open air, was also consonant with its dual use as a shelter, and I put this to the witness on Day 11,155 as was the relocation of the main entrance staircase from the back of the building, to the street-side. Among the architectural drawings provided to us from the Auschwitz archives is one entitled: "Modification of the old Crematorium," namely Krema I in Auschwitz; subtitled: "Air Raid Bunker for SS Station HQ with an Operating Theatre."156 So such modifications of the morgues to provide air raid shelters were clearly nothing extraordinary. Mr Rampton made a lot of the order for doors with peepholes.157 But peep holes were standard fittings not only on the gastight air raid shelter doors, but also to delousing facilities. Jean-Claude Pressac prints photos of two such doors on the "Canada" delousing chamber at Birkenau.158
Krema II, like its mirror-image Krema III on the other side of the road, was originally designed as a state-of-the art crematorium, possibly not just for the camp but for the whole catchment area of Auschwitz which had for centuries been an area of pestilence and plague. No expense was spared in its design; the best equipment and architects were used on what was clearly a permanent facility. Building the Leichenkeller underground, instead of above ground, increased construction costs by several times, but provided for keeping the morgue cool during the baking hot Central European summers. Had the building been designed from the start as a human slaughterhouse, it would certainly not have been designed on several levels, with the resultant handling problems. Slaughterhouses are normally built on one level.159
We saw in Professor van Pelt's slide-show the pouring of the concrete roof slab of the subterranean Leichenkeller 2; the roof was undoubtedly much the same as Leichenkeller 1 (with a six inch reinforced steel mesh.). This undoubtedly made the new building one of the most robust on the site: certainly more robust and fireproof in an air raid than the flimsy wooden horse-barracks in which the prisoners and slave labour were housed.
The captured Bauleitung records of Auschwitz housed in Moscow confirm that from mid 1942 onwards they began to consider the construction at the camp of shelters, splinter trenches, and other Air Raid Precaution (ARP) measures.160 To be fair to the witness, when these Moscow catalogue entries were put to Van Pelt he seemed unfamiliar with them. After the air raids on Cologne, Rostock, Lübeck etc., in March/April 1942, the German High Command recognised the likelihood that air raids would spread across Poland and central Europe, and they ordered the construction of extended ARP facilities throughout the occupied eastern territories insofar as they were within bomber range. Existing basements were to be converted into shelters, and anti-gas-equipment provided, and personnel trained in anti-gas warfare, as gas attack was widely expected.161 I put one such document to Prof. Longerich, and on Day 10 I said (at page 95): "[...] the Defence rely on a number of photographs of doors found scattered around the compound of Auschwitz and Birkenau, and we will show that these are standard German air raid shelter doors complete with peep holes." (Photographs of such air raid shelter doors will be found in the bundle that I provided at page ).
These precautions were not in vain. In May 1943, there was an air raid on the nearby Auschwitz Buna plant. This is reflected in Auschwitz documents. At least one of the American aerial photographs of Birkenau that I produced to the Court and to the witness Van Pelt shows a stick of heavy bombs just released by the plane that took the photograph. By the end of the war there was also an anti-aircraft unit assigned to defending the region, as shown by the reference to Judge Stäglich's membership of the Flak unit that manned it.162
Your Lordship will also recall that during his slide show the Dutch historian Van Pelt showed the Court a series of most interesting computer-generated "walk-through" reconstructions of the interiors of Kremas IV and V. Your Lordship memorised the dimensions of the shutters designed to be fitted on the openings inside: 30cms by 40cms. There were also said to be steps leading up to the openings. The wartime German civil defence journal Luftschutz (Air Raid Protection) shows precisely this arrangement of gas-tight shutters and steps as a standard air raid shelter feature, designed for the event of gas warfare.
I put this fact to the witness Van Pelt: "Would you agree that those shutters that have been found in the Auschwitz camp are in fact standard German air raid shutters supplied by manufacturers to a standard design?"163
The eye-witnesses stated that thousands of victims were gassed in these rooms, and their bodies burned in large pits to the building's rear. But the contemporary air photographs reveal no such pits, nor are they evident today. Confronted with what your Lordship has yourself referred to as the lack of any documentary evidence for the gassings, Van Pelt could only offer the suggestion that the use of gas chambers at Auschwitz and Birkenau was a "moral certainty". Three times in his report he fell back upon that semi-religious phrase.164 The available proofs certainly do not support the belief that the gassings there occurred on a mass scale.
I will not dwell long on the uniformly poor evidentiary basis on the other extermination camps, known to the Court as the Operation Reinhard camps. - Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka. Here we do not even have the "moral certainty" which comforted Professor Van Pelt. I can challenge here only the scale and the systematic nature of the alleged gassing of more than one million people in these centres. The Defendants' own witness, Professor Browning, admits that the documentation for these camps is "scant". I place great weight on this admission. Here, the expert cannot even find one contemporaneous document. He relies entirely upon the eye-witnesses - men of the ilk of Kurt Gerstein, Jan Karski, Adolf Eichmann and Rudolf Höss. The fictional elements - the "130 foot mountains of clothes" which Browning in his first draft skipped over,165 the "electrocution chambers", the "steam chambers"166, the deliberately inflated death tolls which would otherwise shriek their warnings to critical researchers are ignored or suppressed, in order to maintain appearances.
There is an impressive level of documentation which demonstrates that the liquidation by shooting of hundreds of thousands of Jews, probably over a million, by the Einsatzgruppen, but there is nothing of equivalent value for the Reinhard camps. One word, Why?, justifies a revisionist's scepticism.
The Walter Föhl letter produced a similar response. Found in his Berlin Document Center personnel file, this man, in charge of a resettlement office at Krakow, is seen writing on June 21, 1942 to his SS comrades,
The expert witnesses, unable otherwise to explain this document, dismissed it as obvious "camouflage" talk.168 But why should Föhl use camouflage writing to his "SS comrades"? As I pointed out to Dr Longerich, Reinhard Heydrich himself had spoken of the White Sea option on February 4, 1942 in Prague too.169
It was also noticeable elsewhere that none of the experts was willing to give documents their natural meanings when they did not accord with their views. The Ahnert document, recording a meeting at the RSHA in Berlin, under Eichmann, on August 28, 1942, was one example. There was talk of the need for the deportees to be provided with blankets, shoes , eating utensils before dispatch to Auschwitz. Eichmann requested the purchases of barracks for a Jewish deportee camp to be erected in Russia, with three to five such barracks being loaded aboard every transport train. In each case, because the document did not accord with their "exterminationist" views, the expert had failed to pursue it. Dr Longerich who included it as appendix 94 in Die Ermordung der europäischen Juden, had forgotten it even existed when I cross-examined him about it.170
The Defendants have resorted to the allegations that I am anti-Semitic and racist. Mr Rampton's highly paid experts have found one 1963 diary entry four lines written thirty-seven years ago, about a visit to my lawyer Mr. Michael Rubenstein, to discuss a satirical magazine article, after which I commented. "Thick skinned these Jews are!"171 This is all that they could find from the millions of words available to them? When I remarked, on March 2, upon the obvious paradox that an alleged anti-Semite would have retained Michael Rubenstein as his solicitor and respected adviser for over twenty years, Mr Rampton's comment, which Your Lordship may remember, was: "Many of my best friends are Jews too, Mr Irving."172 This stock line does not disguise the paucity of his evidence against me.
In further support of this contention they have taken isolated remarks made in lectures and speeches - of which they have transcribed around half a million words. I trust that your Lordship will in each case consider both the context in which the remarks are made, and also the broader surrounding countryside, if I may put it like that. For thirty years, as I set out earlier, I have found myself subjected to vicious attack by bodies, acting as they freely admit as Jews. For thirty years I endeavoured to turn the other cheek, and I hope I succeeded.
Mr Rampton drew attention to the fun I poked at Simon Wiesenthal, a joke made explicitly about his other-than-good looks.173 He called that remark "anti-Semitic". It was not, it was a joke about his looks, of the same genre that Mr Rampton made on Day 28 when he inquired rhetorically of Professor Funke whether a certain outer-fringe Swedish revisionist seen, in one video shown to the Court, with long blonde hair was a man or a woman.174
In view of the manner in which the two Simon Wiesenthal Centres have been abusing my name in their fund raising leaflets, and endeavouring to destroy my own livelihood, the Court might think that my fun-making, while tasteless, was not undeserved, possibly even rather reserved. It was not anti-Semitic, and Mr Wiesenthal is no more immune from criticism either as a person, or as a public figure, than I am. Searching hopefully for evidence of "anti-Semitism" in me, the investigators of the Board of Deputies in 1992 came up empty-handed in their secret report to be planted on the Canadian government: they confirmed that I had dealings with Jews in my professional life, and added that I "use this as an excuse" to say that I am not an anti-Semite. These people are hard to please: "He is far too clever an opponent," the Board writes, "to openly admit to being an anti-Semite." "We endorse all condemnation of anti-Semitism," they quote me as writing in my newsletter issued on January 31, 1982. All of these things, including this secret 1992 Intelligence report filed by the Board of Deputies, were disclosed to these Defendants in my Discovery.
The Defence quoted a passage from a speech delivered, they said, in May 1992. In fact, as my diary confirms, it was delivered in May 1993, by which time my family and I had been subjected to a catalogue of insults by the leaders of these various bodies. If a writer's books are banned and burnt, his bookshops smashed, his hands manacled, his person assaulted, his printers burned down, his access to the world's archives denied, his family's livelihood destroyed, his phone lines jammed with obscene and threatening phone calls and death threats, his house beset by violent and angry mobs, the walls and posts around his address plastered with stickers inciting the public to violence against him, and a wreath sent to him with a foul and taunting message upon the death of his oldest daughter, - then it ill behoves people to offer cheap criticism if the writer finally stops turning the other cheek and rounds upon his tormentors.
I single out in this respect, the Executive Director of the Board of Deputies, Mr Michael Whine, whose organisation staged the demonstrations outside my home of such a violent and ugly nature that police reinforcements had to be called. Whine had caused defamatory documents about me to be placed in the files of foreign governments with the intention that my free access to those countries should be impeded. He had caused the surroundings of my home to be stickered with labels bearing inflammatory slogans inciting violence against me. Some of these offensive items have been before the Court. Whine had issued a Press release in January 1993, no doubt one of many, in which he accused me of attending "Nazi Training Camps". My only response, as Your Lordship has seen, apart from a failed and very costly attempt to sue his Board of Deputies in libel, during which they did not plead justification, but merely that I was out of time, was to make fun of Whine's name. That may have been tasteless, but it was not anti-Semitism, and it was certainly justified under the circumstances.
The references that I have made to what is now formally called the instrumentalisation of the Holocaust have also been adduced as evidence of anti-Semitism. Are non-Jews disbarred from making a criticism that is being made increasingly vocally by others like Professor Peter Novick?175 Or by Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of the New Republic? He wrote there on May 3, 1993, at page 20:
I would also draw your Lordship's attention to the article by Norman Finkelstein in the London Review of Books, published as recently as January 6, whose title gives the whole tenor of the piece: "How the Arab-Israeli War of 1967 gave birth to a memorial industry." Finkelstein makes in this piece the sarcastic comment: "Every questioning of the uniqueness of the Holocaust is taken by American Jews to be an example of Holocaust denial."176 I could produce a sheaf of such quotations; they are all equally near the knuckle, equally true, and no more anti-Semitic than my own remarks on the matter.
As for the allegation that I am racist, I have produced to the Court enough evidence that I am less reluctant to hire Coloured personal staff than, for example, certain legal teams evidently are. I hire personal staff on a form that has always stated my policy that we are an equal opportunity employer, - "We do not and will not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sex, age, handicap, marital status."
I shall not comment at length on these evil allegations and slurs, which lend fire and fury to the original libel complained of. I submit that the word "racism", in the ears of that man on the Clapham omnibus, is about Stephen Lawrence and cone-heads and burning KKK crosses. It conjures up images of murder, thuggery, violence, and foul-mouthed graffiti. In deliberating on the conduct of the case and on the appropriate scale of damages Your Lordship will however bear them in mind.
I voluntarily provided all my private diaries to the defendants after securing the proper assurances. Those diaries total some twenty million words. Mr Rampton produced from them one nineteen-word ditty, attached to another quite harmless one about the "messica dressica" of my infant daughter Jessica. To find in all those diaries and telephone conversations written since 1959, just one nineteen-word ditty that Mr Rampton could trot out for the media does not suggest that I am as obsessed with race and racism as he, and for that matter the newspapers that report these things, are.
Your Lordship will recall that, on what I would call a pretext, Mr Rampton formally handed to you his own opening statement, containing this allegation, at midday on the first day of this trial, well before I had concluded my opening statement, in order, as he admitted, that his words should therefore come into the public domain. His intent was to ensure that from the very first moment his remarks, both fair and foul, were given the maximum worldwide media coverage; his speech was released prematurely to the media for that precise and prejudicial purpose. I repeat: this multi-million dollar defence team found one nineteen-word nonsense poem, recorded in my diary with other Lear- or Belloc-type rhythmic verses as having been recited to my own nine-month infant who has, I am glad to say grown into a delightful and open minded six year old, bearing none of the traces of the "poison" that Mr Rampton recklessly suggested that I had fed to her. It is fortunate I did not sing to her "Three Blind Mice," where the farmer's wife cuts off their tails with a carving knife.
Similarly, from my hundreds of lectures and talks, these very proper spaniels have sniffed out a few lines of music-hall wit of the type that a Dave Allen might indulge in, with Mr Trevor Macdonald as the butt. That, in Mr Rampton's words, is racism. One wonders which well-shielded part of the modern world is inhabited by learned Counsel. Can anybody go and live there?
My Lord, the Defendants have also fished into my lectures and writings and books, all of which have been provided to them - literally millions of words - and they have put into evidence a minute fraction of those words, comparable to the one-millionth part of the diaries which the ditty represented.
I am not going to defend or justify those utterances seriatim.
In general I would invite your Lordship to pick out one such utterance as a sample; to reach then for the transcript of the entire speech - to take note of the rest of its content, its clear references to the very real sufferings of the Jews, the liquidations, the Bruns Report and the rest; and then ask, Was the remark true, was it explicable, was it rhetorically justified as part of the skilled lecturer's armoury.
Your Lordship has been told of my remark that more women had died on Kennedy's back seat than in that gas chamber at Auschwitz - the one shown to the tourists. It is tasteless but, quite literally, true. It is, as I have now shown in this court, even true if the main "gas chamber" at Birkenau is brought into the equation, the notorious Krema II "factory of death", because the eye-witnesses lied about that one too. The Poles have admitted that the Auschwitz building and its chimney are a post-1948 fake. My colourful language was a rhetorical way of bringing that extraordinary revelation home to audiences.
My files confirm that I occasionally addressed audiences of the Association for Free Journalism (GfP), the National Democratic Party (NPD), and the German People's Union (DVU). As documents Nos. 1716, 1717, 1721, and 1723 I disclosed to the Defendants English translations of the policy leaflets and manifestos of these bodies, which in my submission do not show them to be extreme in any way.177 These were furthermore bodies which were accepted at that time under Germany's very strict laws as being legal and constitutional.
The Court is more concerned, I believe, with individual personages. I have not the slightest doubt that the Court will find that I did not have any meaningful contact with the ugly ragbag of neo-Nazi extremists mentioned by Professor Hajo Funke people with whom, to make the point quite clearly, the Defendants, their experts, and their legal team seem more familiar than I. Most of the names were completely unknown to me, and the defence have sought in vain for them in my diaries and papers, to which, I emphasise yet again, I gave them unlimited and privileged access. This has not stopped them from bringing them forward, and mentioning these alleged links in open Court, in an attempt to smear me still further - with an eye particularly to the German media178 and I urge that this, their conduct of the case, be held against them. Characteristically of the weakness of their case Funke listed one entry in a diary where I noted a road journey with a "Thomas", whose second name I never learned; Funke entered the name "Dienel" with a question mark behind it. So far as I know, I have never met a Dienel, but it illustrates the kind of evidence that the defence were hoping to rely upon. As for Michael Kühnen - the documentary evidence before both Funke when he wrote his report, and before this Court, is that I explicitly said that I would not attend any function at which he was even present; I never did and I never met him.
By way of evidence, the Court has been shown a number of videos.
Shorn of their commercial packaging, they do not amount to very much. In view of the weight attached to it by learned Counsel and his witness Professor Funke, I have re-examined the raw video of the Halle function of November 9, 1991 at which I briefly spoke, and I have timed and listed the scenes it shows. Your Lordship may wish at some time to have the video to check that these timings are correct, or the Defendants' solicitors may wish to submit any corrections they feel are needed.179
The raw details are: when the camera's meter shows 17:00:21 I am first seen, arriving at an unnamed hotel restaurant (in Halle) accompanied by Mrs Worch and David Leigh of The Observer; at 17:14:40 I am again glimpsed, still at the hotel, speaking to a reporter. The cameraman and David Leigh then go off to film the rival processions, during which I am no time seen on film (in fact I remained, lunching, at the hotel). At 18:11:00 a truck is seen being rigged as an open-air platform and at 18:14:26 I am seen with two reporters watching from the edge of the square. At 18:16:00 I walk over to the platform, hands in pockets, and mount it. The man whom Professor Funke tells us is "Dienel" is seen to get off to the left, and there is no contact whatever between him and me. Mr Worch briefly introduces me, I begin speaking at 18:16:39 and the filmed portion of my speech ends three and a half minutes later. When the offscreen chanting of slogans begins at 18:18:59 I am clearly seen to interrupt my speech, shake my head at them, and gesticulate with my left hand to them to stop, and I am clearly heard to say:
Six seconds after ending my brief speech I am seen to leave the platform without further contact with anybody. My diary notes that I at once left by car and drove back to the Ruhr, in western Germany.
Heavily edited, for example to remove my rebuke to the slogan-shouting people, whom I took and take to have been paid agents provocateurs, this sequence was shown on November 28 and 29, 1991 to British TV audiences in a "This Week" programme entitled Hitler's Children, the new Nazis directed by the German, Michael Schmidt - Professor Funke's star witness - and with none other than Gerald Gable, of Searchlight, listed as a "consultant," and in "Despatches," on the other channel. This indicates whose hands were behind the editing. Again heavily, the film has been shown around the world against me. This was the thrice-edited film to which I drew your Lord's attention, in suggesting that it was evidence of dubious admissibility.
May I again remind Your Lordship of my basic principle on lecturing. Unlike the Defendants, who have proudly stated that they refuse to debate with opponents, I have expressed a readiness to address all and any who are willing to listen. Your Lordship will remember my letter of June 24, 1988, to my editor at William Morrow Inc., Connie Roosevelt, in which I wrote:
I may secondly point out that were it not for the clandestine activities of the violent and extremist bodies dedicated to destroying my right to free speech and the rights of all audiences in the United States and elsewhere at Berkeley, at Dublin, at Pretoria, or wherever to hear my opinions; and equally dedicated to intimidating my publishers around the world and smashing bookstore windows;- were it not for their hate-campaign, I would have been enabled to continue in the normal manner with my exemplary professional career. It rings hollow that the same shabby bodies who have generated the hatred against me, now point their crooked fingers at me and abuse me, using the very considerable privileges afforded to them by this Court, for continuing to make my voice heard wherever I can; and that when I use words to describe them in detail which they well deserve, they wring their hands and lament about "extremism."
I have pointed out that so far as Germany is concerned, none of the German bodies who invited me to speak was illegal or banned. In fact when first invited to address the German People's Union, I wrote to, and telephoned, the German embassy, as the documents in my Discovery show, and asked them specifically whether this was a legal and constitutional body. The embassy confirmed in writing on July 25, 1984 that it was.181 The "extremism" was in the eye of the beholder. The further to the Left the beholder squinted from, the more distant these bodies may have seemed from him.
We heard a lot from Professor Hajo Funke, sociologist of the Free University in Berlin. The university may well have become a hotbed of conservative and liberal views since I was last familiar with it and spoke there, but I doubt it. His published sources are all tainted works of the "anti-fascist" genre with which the Court may well be familiar. He readily and uncritically adopted their untruths as his own; thus although we saw with our own eyes in the video of the Munich function on April 21, 1991 that the young people paraded with asses' heads and placards reading, "ASS THAT I AM, I BELIEVE EVERYTHING I'M TOLD" (I have double checked that wording), Funke tried to tell this Court that the wording was: "I STILL BELIEVE IN THE HOLOCAUST, THE ASS THAT I AM", which is something very different.182
I submit that Professor Hajo Funke's credentials as a neutral "expert" deserved more penetrating scrutiny than the Court was willing to allow. This expert's extreme left-wing sentiments are visible from his books and activities. Germany's political journals, both left and right, are full of his activism. He participates in extreme left-wing political functions. He was advertised as the main speaker at a function of the Berlin Free University student association (Asta) on the subject of "Asylum Seekers and Deportation: Racist Politics in Society." Ten members of the Christian Democrat Student Ring protested that the Asta (Allgemeine Studentenausschuß, a student body, like the British NUS) had no right to organise such extremist political functions, and the courts fined the Asta five thousand Deutschmarks for organising the function. On another occasion, encouraged by Funke, left wing extremists armed with police whistles and banners physically attacked the speaker Professor Bernd Rabehl (a former colleague of the notorious left-winger Rudi Dutschke) at the Otto Suhr Institute of the university, stole his papers and denounced him as a right-winger. Funke, billed to appear in a public university debate with Rabehl in May last year, vilified him in public and withdrew from the debate saying he refused to provide him with a forum for his "propaganda". It all sounds very familiar. In short Funke, relied on by the Defendants in this action, is not the harmless, neutral expert on the extreme right-wing that he would have had the Court believe, but an active left wing agitator, following his own agenda of political extremism. He is fêted by the Marxist extreme left in consequence. I submit that his narrow-minded and politically motivated views on what is right-wing extremism and what is not are of little or no value to the Court.
As for his allegation here in court that I "should have known" that various organisations were going to be banned in years ahead: it is difficult for an Englishman, coming from a country with deeper democratic traditions than Professor Funke's, to implant himself into the brain, or mind-set, of the authoritarian German mould, where book-burning is now once again de rigueur, where a German academic like Funke does not bat an eyelid upon hearing that a teacher is still serving a seven year jail sentence imposed for chairing a lecture at which I spoke, where the two District Court judges who acquitted that teacher were reprimanded, and finally retired in disgrace, by order of the minister of justice, and where recently governments have begun routinely banning fringe opposition parties and circumscribing even their legal activities. Germany now has several hundred political prisoners in her jails.
The security authorities in Germany, so readily quoted by Professor Funke, are nothing more than the political arm of each provincial or federal minister of the interior. They have little concern with legality. As the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported on September 15, 1995, Dr Ernst Uhrlau, president of the Hamburg branch of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) said: "The persistent steps taken by the state authorities against right wing extremists have largely paralysed their legal possibilities of action."183 The paralysing of the "legal possibilities of action" of opposition parties can hardly be considered a matter for pride in any normal democratic government. None of these banned parties has anything to do with violence.
My general response to this attempt at "guilt by association" is to compare it with the worst excesses of the inquisitions conducted by Senator Joseph McCarthy. In Britain the courts have always viewed it as repugnant - most recently Mr Justice Morland in another Court here in this building. Hollywood finest scriptwriters, many of them Jewish, had their careers vernichtet by the reckless allegation that they had associated with known communists. Now come these Defendants, levelling the mirror-image of these same charges at my door. McCarthyism was rightly exposed for what it was in more recent, and more enlightened, years. These Defendants, for their own purposes, are seeking to turn the clock back.
As far as the United States are concerned apart from the Institute of Hitorical Review (IHR), which I shall deal with separately, the one organisation identified by learned Counsel for the defence is the National Alliance. First, let me point out that no doubt with good reason the Defendants have decided not to call their expert on Political Extremism in the United States, Professor Levin, and they have withdrawn his expert report - Mr Rampton used the word "junked" or "dumped," I believe. Had they not, it would have been "debunked" - by me. We have therefore no general expert evidence as to the nature of the National Alliance, and the Court is probably as much in the dark about this group as anybody else. The defence invites the Court to study the leaflets put about by that body at one meeting, but can offer to the Court not the slightest evidence that I was aware of such leaflets - or for that matter, if they are once again falling back on "negligence," that I ought to have been. If, as I submit, the meetings were organised by individual friends of mine, acting outside whatever their capacity, if any, within the National Alliance may have been, there is no reason why I should have read such leaflets if indeed they were on offer.
As for the IHR: I have little to add to what I stated in my various written replies. It is clearly unsatisfactory, though not surprising, that establishment scholars feel the need to dismiss any rival body of scholars as "extremist", merely on the basis that these others propagate a different version of history from their own "consensus" version. The officials of the IHR nearly all hold academic qualifications. True, they are not all trained historians, but then neither are some of the most famous names of historians in both ancient and contemporary times. It is clear from correspondence before the court that I recognised shortcomings in the old IHR, and was keen to introduce them to new speakers including main line scholars and historians like John Toland (who did in fact speak there), Professor Ernst Nolte, and Michael Beschloss.
I am not, and never have been, an official of the IHR; at most, one of many friendly advisers. As for speaking engagements, my association with the IHR has been the same as my association was with, for instance, the Cambridge University Fabian Society, or the Trinity College Dublin Lit. & Deb., or any other body of enlightened people keen to hear alternative views. Professor Evans, in his odious attempts to smear and defile my name, which I hope will long haunt him in the common rooms of Cambridge, called me a frequent speaker at the IHR. And may I say, So what: none of my lectures had a Holocaust-denial, or anti-Semitic, or extremist theme. I spoke on Churchill, on Pearl Harbor, on Rommel, on the Goebbels diaries, on my Eichmann-papers find, and on general problems of writing history. The Court has learned that I have in fact addressed functions of the IHR only five times in seventeen years, one lecture each time. No amount of squirming by this expert witness could increase that figure. It is true that I socialised before or after the event with the IHR officials and their wives. So what. It is true that I use their warehousing facilities. So what. It is true that the IHR (along with thousands of other retail outlets) sell my books. So what.
It is also true that I introduced them to subjects which some members of the audience found deeply uncomfortable, for instance the confessions of Adolf Eichmann, the harrowing Bruns Report, and the Kristallnacht. I would willingly read out the relevant extracts of my lectures to the IHR, but my Lord, through the courtesy and industry of the Defendants solicitors, which I have had cause already to praise, Your Lordship is already funded with extensive transcripts of those talks, and I would ask that Your Lordship read them with this paragraph in mind. I am accused of telling audiences what they want to hear; that may partially be true, but by Jove, having done so I then used the goodwill generated like that to tell them a lot of things they very much did not want to hear! The Defendants would willingly overlook this aspect of my association with the IHR. I trust that the Court will not.
As for the National Alliance, an organisation of which the defence makes much. As an Englishman I am completely unfamiliar with the nature of the National Alliance, its logo, and its name. It may be that the name means more to the Defendants and to those who are financing their efforts than it does to me. It certainly meant nothing to the English members of the public gallery on the days that it was mentioned here. It may be that Your Lordship was, even before the trial began, thoroughly familiar with the National Alliance and its officials and policies. But I doubt it. Even now I suspect it does not count for more than a relatively small row of beans.
I have had no meaningful contacts with the organisation as such. One or at most two of its individual members, who were already on my mailing list, volunteered, like scores of other Americans, to organised lectures for me. One was Erich Gliebe, who has always organised my lectures in Cleveland, Ohio; on the evidence of his notepaper from the year 1990 he is also a National Alliance member. I ask the Court to accept that, when asked about it ten years later, I had long forgotten receiving that one letter from him with its heading and logo. Before each lecture date, I mailed an invitation letter to my entire mailing list of friends in each state. The audience was therefore largely of my own "people," if I can put it like that. That is why Mr Breeding rather superfluously welcomes the strangers in his opening remarks on the Florida videotape as seen. Had he told me he would also claim to do so on behalf of his organisation, I would have told him not to. It was my function, and the audience were largely my guests, not his.
The photographs taken at this meeting show, as the Defendants' own agents have warranted, no formal National Alliance presence (flags, armbands, or whatever). The witness statement of Ms Gutman has confirmed this. Learned counsel for the Defendants has drawn attention to one eighteen-inch wide pennant displayed at the function, on a side wall, with what they state is the National Alliance logo on it, visible on a video film. Its logo appears to be based on the CND design. I did not notice it at the time, nor would I have had the faintest idea what it was if I did. Evidently Mr Gliebe told me that his pals at the National Alliance had had a hand in organising my successful Cleveland function; and that is why I noted in my diary, with a hint of surprise, that it "turns out" that the National Alliance had organised at the other meeting too. The Court may agree that this phrase alone is evidence that their involvement was (a) not manifest, and (b) not known to me before; and given that the audience was largely of my own making it does not seem worthy of much note. I submit that this kind of defence evidence does not meet the enhanced standard of proof required by the law on defamation for justification of serious charges.
As for the United Kingdom - the British National Party - the defence have no doubt rightly decided to junk their own expert's report on my alleged contacts with British extremists as well. Despite complete access to all my records, their joint effort managed to establish that in a twenty year speaking career I addressed on one occasion what can fairly be described as a half-BNP audience, or a hybrid audience, in Leeds. The invitation came from a BNP official whose letter asked me to reply to his private address. No doubt I gave them the usual uncomfortable litany - the Bruns report, which I had just discovered, and the other transcripts too. I probably also told them what I had found in Mussolini's files, the evidence that Sir Oswald Mosley had been in the pay of the Italian fascists, picking up large sums of money in brown paper parcels at anonymous street corners in London. I was the first person to find that fact out, and to publicise that, too. It is in my 1981 newsletter. All other BNP invitations I refused, as the exchange on Day 29, pages 74-5, shows; and it seems disingenuous at best, and at worst rather dishonest, for Mr Rampton, funded and furnished as he was with my entire personal diaries and files, to suggest otherwise.
In general it is also to be stated that at the material times, namely when I associated with those individuals, they were not extremists, nor has it been shown to the Court that at that time they were. Thus at the time I first met this young man, Ewald Althans, late in October 1989, he seemed full of promise, and eager to learn. I later learned that he had been to Israel for six months on a German-government voluntary scheme for young Germans who wished to atone. Over the two or three years that our orbits occasionally intersected, I could see that he was growing more extreme and provocative in his actions. He also became undependable, and wayward in a number of non-political ways that I mentioned to the Court. According to Der Spiegel, reporting his 1995 trial in Berlin, Althans had acted for the Bavarian BfV as a Spitzenquelle (top agent) until 1994, when they ended the liaison.184 The BfV had, as Professor Funke agreed, a record of hiring agents provocateurs. Only a few weeks ago, Gottfried Timm, minister of the interior in Lower Saxony, found that the NPD chairman in Wismar, "Martin", was a paid agent provocateur of the BfV (OPC) who had committed a series of atrocities including attempted murder while acting for the OPC. Timm demanded an inquiry after the agent was unmasked during his trial for arson.185
Ernst Zündel is a German-born Canadian for whose own particular views I hold no brief. I later learned that he had apparently written some provocatively-themed, books with tongue-in-cheek titles (on flying saucers in Antarctica, and on the Adolf Hitler that I Knew and Loved) which are said to be worse than outré; wild horses would not make me read such books myself. I had met him in 1986, and found that as a personality he was not as dark as had been painted in the media. I was asked to give expert evidence at his trial in Toronto in April 1988, relating to the Third Reich and Hitler's own involvement in the Holocaust. I did so to the best of my professional ability, and I was told that I had earned the commendation of the Court for doing so. It is plain to me from what I know that Mr Zündel has been subjected to a twenty year onslaught by the Canadian organisations dedicated to combatting what they regard as Holocaust denial because of his dissident views, which are certainly more extreme than mine. My own relationship with Mr Zündel has been proper throughout, and the Court has not been given any evidence to the contrary. At times it has even been strained, because of the misfortune inflicted on me in retribution for having spoken at his trial.
There remain one or two in my view minor matters.
The Defendants allege that I wilfully exaggerated the Dresden death roll in my 1963 book THE DESTRUCTION OF DRESDEN, and afterwards and had no basis for my figures. In fact I have satisfied this court, I believe, that at all times (a) I set and published the proper upper and lower limits for the estimates that I gave, giving a range of figures which necessarily decreased, overall, over the years as our state of information improved; (b) I had adequate basis for the various figures which I provided in my works.
It has to be said that authors have little or no control over the content of books sub-licensed to other publishers. Revisions are not encouraged for cost reasons.
I have always been aware of the highly-charged political nature of the figures quoted for this event. The highest figure, of 250,000, which I only mentioned in my works as the maximum ever alleged, was given for example by the German chancellor Dr Konrad Adenauer in an official West German government publication which I showed the court, DEUTSCHLAND HEUTE (page 154, at footnote 2).
The lowest figures only became available in a book published in 1994 by Friedrich Reichert, VERBRANNT BIS ZUR UNKENNTLICHKEIT. A copy of this book was provided to me in 1997. By that time I had already published the latest updated edition of my book, now called APOCALYPSE 1945: THE DESTRUCTION OF DRESDEN, in which I had lowered the death roll still further on the basis of my own investigations and considerations. This was the first edition over which I, and not the publisher, had total control, as it appeared under my own imprint.
In 1965, as the court is aware, I received written estimates of 140,000 and 180,000 dead from a rather anxious Soviet-zone citizen, Dr Max Funfack, who claimed to have received them about nine days after the raid from the city commandant and the chief civil defence officer respectively, both of them his personal friends. That being so, there was no reason why I should have revised the 135,000 estimate which I had earlier received from Hanns Voigt, a city official charged with drawing up death lists, when I was researching my first book in 1961. In 1966, I received the police final report of March 1945; while still remaining sceptical about it for the reasons stated (the officer was responsible for Dresden's ARP; it was too early to achieve any kind of overall final figure; the number of refugees killed was an imponderable) I took the correct action: I sent a letter to The Times within a few days of finding the new documents in the mail on my return from a trip to the USA. Not only that, but at my own expense I had the letter reprinted and sent to hundreds of historians and the like.
One hopes that the expert witnesses whom we saw in the witness stand would have had the same integrity to do that.
As for the Goebbels Diaries, the Defendants do not now seek to justify their claim that I broke an agreement with the Moscow Archives in 1992 to bring sections of the Goebbels' Diaries back to Germany and London. They have withdrawn the witness reports of the Russian archivists, and will provide me no opportunity to cross examine them. I was prepared to pursue their cross examination vigorously. I produced a witness statement from Mr Peter Millar, my colleague in Moscow, and I made him available for cross examination. He confirmed that there was no verbal or written agreement, as I had also stated in my various replies, so I could not have broken it.186 The Defendants have left no satisfactory evidence before the Court that refutes this. Mr Millar also confirmed to the Court that he did not agree that my conduct gave rise to significant risk of damage to plates.187 The plates had been withheld from historians for 55 years or more. By my actions I made these historically very important materials available to the world, and placed copies of them in the appropriate German archives at my own expense.
The Defendants refer to, and seem to rely quite strongly on, a document allegedly sent by the Gestapo chief Heinrich Müller to the heads of the four taskforces (Einsatzgruppen) on August 1, 1941, about "procurement of visual materials", which were to be submitted to Hitler on the work of the Einsatzgruppen in the east. (Longerich report, para 15.6).
I submit that in the special circumstances of this action the Court should not accept this evidence as admissible.
Admissibility: If I had myself found such a document, I would have wanted to know everything possible about how and why it had surfaced, where it had come from, and the surrounding documents in the same folder which might tell us something about the ambiguous contents. The Defendants have sought, unsuccessfully in my view, to devalue the Schlegelberger Document on precisely the grounds of a few other documents found in the same folder. The Court therefore ordered the Defendants to produce (a) the original document or a facsimile thereof, and (b) to identify the file in which it had been found. The expert witness Dr Longerich identified the file as ZSt Ludwigsburg, Dok. UdSSR No. 401. etc. The expert witness Dr Browning cited Peter Klein, ed., Die Einsatzgruppen in der besetzten Sowjetunion 1941/42: Die Tätigkeits- und Lageberichte des Chefs der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD (Berlin, 1997), page 342. The archival source was given as Bundesarchiv Signatur BA R 70 Sowjetunion/32. I requested the Bundesarchiv on February 7 to provide me with a facsimile. They replied that the file with that number was something completely different. On January 28, as is evident from the fax line on top of the version of the document now provided by the Institut für Zeitgeschichte, the institute had already supplied precisely the same typed Abschrift to Dr Longerich. It was forty-two days later provided to me, shortly before close of business before this last weekend, making it impossible for me to follow up. On March 9, the Ludwigsburg office has provided a copy of precisely the same item, microfilmed from a file USSR 401. This does not advance the matter.
If Your Lordship is minded, despite the conduct of the Defendants over this document, to admit the Müller document in evidence, then I submit these comments on its evidential value: The document may not be genuine (although it does have SS runes in the last line, the Russians captured Nazi typewriters); it is a typescript copy totally bereft of any authenticating stamps or signatures; its source is the Central State Archives of the "October Revolution". The document merely invites the four taskforce commanders to provide to Berlin, for submission on a current basis to Hitler, "particularly interesting visual material like photos, posters, leaflets and other documents" - none of which seems to relate to the taskforces' homicidal duties, so much as to their other well known functions as intelligence agencies specifically tasked to raid and secure the headquarters and files of former Soviet party and administrative offices. It is difficult to image what "photos, posters, leaflets and other documents" would be "procured" that might relate to the Final Solution in the east. I know of no response-documents to this appeal - neither letters submitting materials to Müller, referring to this message, nor such materials being forwarded by Müller to Hitler "on a current basis" or on any other basis.
One other matter. Your Lordship will remember that Mr Rampton put to Professor Funke, on Day 28 (March 1) in re-examination at page 174, a document which I wrote to Dr Frey and my Munich lawyer, Dr Michael von Sprenger, in January 1991. Starting at P-178 I was quoted as predicting "a political drawing together of the German speaking peoples of Europe ... within a framework of a just settlement with Warsaw", and expressing the personal view that "the future of England can only be secured in common friendship with the new Germany". Mr Rampton argued on the basis of that letter that any person who sympathised with Hitler in his desire for peace with England was a neo-Nazi. On March 5 this year, only a few days ago, we learned that in 1940 Her Majesty the Queen Mother held precisely these views and expressed them in private to Lord Halifax when he was the foreign secretary.188 The papers of the Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, which I examined at the Bodleian ten years ago, have now given up more secrets except for box 24, which contain, according to government sources, correspondence showing the Royal Family's hostility toward the new prime minister Mr Churchill and their preference for Lord Halifax, and the Queen Mother's own desire that Britain conclude an early peace with Hitler.
Is it not remarkable that at precisely the same time that I was being publicly excoriated by Mr Rampton for expressing those views, which are sincerely held, in several of my books, it turns out that they were inherently the same as those of the Queen Mother? She was well aware from the Cabinet papers, as indeed are most historians now, that Hitler had made such a peace offer during 1940, and several respectable historians, including my friend the late Alan Clark and Professor Charmley have expressed the same belief.
Part 36 offer. It is right that Your Lordship should be informed that pursuant to the Act I made a formal Part 36 offer to the Defendants, many months ago; not once, but twice, since at first they argued that the new Rules did not apply. The Defendants refused the offer.
Costs. I do not propose asking for my costs in this action. Although I have lost three years of my life in preparing for the case, have had to hire extra staff, and have spent two months in this courtroom, including about twenty days in the witness box, I have decided that it would be too arduous to quantify, in a matter that would satisfy the Taxing Master, every penny that I have had to spend to defend and retrieve my reputation.
I do however ask that Your Lordship give Judgment in the terms and on the premises set out in my writ and statement of claim, namely:
damages including aggravated damages for libel; and
an injunction restraining the Defendants and each of them whether by themselves their servants or agents or otherwise from further publishing or causing to be published the said or similar words defamatory of the Plaintiff.
David Irving Tuesday, March 14, 2000
Closing statement, March 15, 2000
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