International Campaign for Real History

In the High Court of Justice

Reply by David Irving to Lipstadt's Defence

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(12)* The Plaintiff submits that the whole of World War Two can be defined as a Holocaust. This he has never denied. He considers it invidious to single out one single act of mass murder of innocents and to label it 'The Holocaust,' as though there was none other. If however the Defendants seek to define the Holocaust as the mass murder of Jews by the Nazis and their cohorts during World War II, then the Plaintiff maintains that he has at no time denied it; on the contrary, he has rendered it more plausible by investigating documents, questioning witnesses, and uncovering fresh sources and making no secret of for example the alleged liquidation of 152,000 Jews at Chelmno on December 8, 1941 about which he wrote in HITLER'S WAR, 1991 edition, at page 426. At page 7 of his book on aerial warfare against civilians von guernica bis vietnam (From Guernica to Vietnam), the very first page of text, the Plaintiff emphasised: 'The massacre of minorities by the National Socialists in Germany . . . probably cost more lives than all the air raids carried out to the present date.' It is a particularly mischievous and damaging libel to call the Plaintiff 'a Holocaust denier', a lie worthy of the Nazi propaganda minister Dr Goebbels himself.


(i) It is denied that the Plaintiff holds extremist views.

(ii) It is denied that the Plaintiff has ever described himself as a 'mild fascist.' Thirty-eight years ago, on May 1, 1959, The Daily Mail printed a purported interview with the Plaintiff, then registered as an undergraduate student at Imperial College, London, by journalist Mr Clifford Luton. The published report contained many statements by Luton that were defamatory and untrue; the Plaintiff was then aged twenty-one, and unable even to finance his university education, let alone to institute libel proceedings against a newspapers possessed of unlimited funds. Mr Luton vanished from sight after criminal charges for child-molesting were laid against him. After the Plaintiff's first book THE DESTRUCTION OF DRESDEN was published (April 1963), serialised in The Sunday Telegraph, and became a best-seller, a certain London-based organisation resuscitated this and the other alleged quotations as part of an extraordinary campaign of dirty tricks designed to discredit the Plaintiff, which ended only after Scotland Yard's Special Branch was called in. When one Arthur Pottersman repeated the lies in 1963 in The Daily Sketch the Plaintiff instructed his solicitor Michael Rubinstein to issue proceedings, but again financial restraints prevented the issue of a writ. The Plaintiff has repeatedly objected, but the same organisation has continued to circulate these lies, while of course concealing their vintage (anno 1959), in a global campaign of vilification which as he will show to the court has endured to the present day. The Plaintiff will submit that they are the primary source of the Defendants' libels on this occasion too.

(iii) The Plaintiff admits that along with tens of millions of other tourists he has visited Berchtesgaden -- once in 1958, and once in 1990. Most 'shrines' might seem to qualify for more than two visits in a lifetime. The source of the alleged quotation, which is denied, is again The Daily Mail, May 1, 1959. See para. 13 (ii) above.

(iv) The Plaintiff denies having made the remarks in quotation marks ('I am . . . charisma').

(v) The Plaintiff possesses a small pencilled self-portrait executed by Adolf Hitler in about 1930. The head measures 2·5 inches by 2·5 inches. It is not on display. He denies that there are 'Nazi memorabilia' on display in his office or at all; he admits that there are three framed and fast fading front pages of historic issues of the Völkischer Beobachter -- reporting respectively the Ludendorff funeral, the start of the Kristallnacht, and Hitler's famous speech of January 30, 1939, 'Eine der größten Reden Adolf Hitlers: prophetische Warnung an das Judentum' (One of the Führer's greatest speeches. Prophetic warning to Jewry). There are also engravings of the opposing generals in the Franco-Prussian war, and a signed photograph of Winston Churchill (endorsed to its original owner, 'Your friendship has been a privilege to me'). The relevance and admissibility of the final sentence of para. 13 are denied.

(14)* The relevance and admissibility of this paragraph are denied.


(i) It is denied that the Plaintiff is banned from Austria. After a campaign of vilification conducted by the above-mentioned London-based organisation and related bodies in Austria in 1983, the Austrian authorities arrested the Plaintiff at the start of a lawful lecture tour in June 1983 and took him to the border with Germany. In a Viennese court action brought by the Plaintiff against the Austrian minister of the interior, the expulsion was declared unlawful and the Plaintiff was awarded damages against the Austrian state. Thereafter he was free once more to enter Austria, and legally did so as recently as July 1993. The Plaintiff also instituted successful proceedings for abuse of official authority against the officers concerned.

(ii) It is admitted that the Plaintiff is currently banned from entering Germany. Under pressure from the same above-mentioned London-based organisation as is evidenced by secret letters passing between it and the German embassy in London and the offices of the German intelligence agency known as the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, in 1990 the German government issued a secret edict, illegal under European Union law, instructing border officials not to allow the Plaintiff in; no efforts were however made to prevent his entry until November 1993. As traversed hereinbefore it is denied that the Plaintiff has extremist views, and also that he has connections with any extremist German group. The DVU (German People's Union) is a long-standing democratic and lawfully constituted German political organisation which stands candidates in national and municipal elections.

(iii) It is admitted that the Plaintiff is currently banned from entering Canada. In a further attempt to destroy the Plaintiff's livelihood and reputation, in June 1992 the same above-mentioned London-based organisation, as it has deposed in a sworn affidavit, secretly transferred to a sister body in Canada a lengthy purported intelligence report, which it now concedes is substantially untrue, for the latter body to submit to the Canadian authorities with the express intention, in which it ultimately succeeded, of preventing the Plaintiff's entry to Canada for his lawful purposes of research, publishing, and lecturing. As a result of this campaign, which included the planting by persons unknown of false information on Canadian and United States official computer databases about the Plaintiff, the Canadian government excluded the Plaintiff from the country. The Plaintiff was in 1993 refused leave to appeal against this unlawful measure, without any reason being stated.

(iv) It is admitted that the Plaintiff is currently banned from entering Australia. Coming under intense pressure from the same international lobby, Australia refused the Plaintiff permission to enter for his third visit in 1993, on the grounds that he had been excluded from Canada. The Australian Federal Court allowed his appeal on September 16, 1993, declaring the exclusion to be illegal. By then the Australian government, coming under continued pressure, had already preemptively changed the immigration law in order to exclude the Plaintiff permanently, as will be shown at the hearing of this action.


Hitler's War(16) It is admitted that on June 9, 1977 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd published the Plaintiff's biography HITLER'S WAR. The book was published in the United States of America by The Viking Press -- now Viking-Penguin Inc., parent company of the First Defendants -- and kept in print by Macmillan Ltd until about 1992. The book met an overwhelmingly positive response from the world's leading reviewers.

Already in the Introduction at pages xii and xv of this edition (and at pages 5 and 20 of the more comprehensive Introduction to the revised 1991 edition) the Plaintiff makes explicit reference to the crimes committed by Hitler.

(17)* For the Defendants' false reference to 'one vital document' in the case of the death of Sikorski see paras. 51 and 52 below.

It is denied that the Plaintiff offered, as falsely stated by the Defendants, just one document (HITLER'S WAR first edition, at page xiv) or represented that this alone presented 'incontrovertible evidence' that Hitler was not responsible for the extermination of the Jews; the Defendants' reference is to one documented instance when Hitler ordered that there was to be no liquidation of Jews. The Second Defendant places an exaggerated construction on the book's first (1977) edition. In this first edition, in the later (1991) edition (summarised therein at pages 16-21), and in subsequent works the Plaintiff built up and refined his argument that when each wartime document was subjected to rigid historical criteria, namely as to its authenticity, the reason for its existence, and the vantage point of its author (rejecting e.g. documents of purely janitorial level; postwar oral trial evidence; spurious diaries), a relatively slim dossier of evidence resulted which portrayed Hitler intervening in every instance to mitigate or lessen wrongdoing against the Jews. Heinrich HimmlerApart from the content of his speeches and public proclamations, which were often of a Delphic ambiguity, there were few, if any, documents of comparable quality -- documents which met the same criteria -- giving the opposite sense. Within the constraints imposed by the rule O.18, r 7, the Plaintiff lists some of the documents on which he relied (and relies) as, in sequence:--

(a) As stated in the Plaintiff's book GÖRING, A BIOGRAPHY, at page 59, a police sergeant giving evidence at the 'Treason Trial, Adolf Hitler et al.,' held in Munich between February 26 and April 1, 1924 testified that during the November 9, 1923 putsch when Hitler learned that a Nazi squad had ransacked a kosher grocer's during the night, he sent for the ex-army lieutenant who had led the raid and dismissed him from the Party on the spot, saying: 'I shall see that no other nationalist unit allows you to join either!' (The source is the transcript of the police sergeant's evidence, on U.S. National Archives microfilm; to the knowledge of the Plaintiff no other historian has ever quoted this passage, finding it hard to reconcile with their obsessively held views.)

(b) Hitler's adjutants who were eye-witnesses told the Plaintiff that on the night of the November 1938 'Kristallnacht' (Night of Broken Glass) Hitler spent the whole night intervening with Heinrich Himmler [picture], Joseph Goebbels, the police chief of Munich von Eberstein, and others to quell the pogrom that Goebbels had mischievously started (see para. 36 [viii] below).

(c) On November 30, 1941 the SS chief Heinrich Himmler went by special train to Hitler's headquarters. From 'The Bunker', as Himmler noted, he Himmler noteconducted a phone conversation with Reinhard Heydrich, the SS Gruppenführer placed between him and the operational SS units, in the course of which he jotted down: 'Judentransport aus Berlin. Keine Liquidierung.' (Transport of Jews from Berlin. No liquidation.) The Plaintiff was the first historian to transcribe this inscription although it had been available to historians for twenty years.

(d) Hitler made references on several occasions when talking with Dr Goebbels, who recorded them in his diary, and with his table guests (the adjutants of Reichsleiter Martin Bormann or Reich minister Alfred Rosenberg took notes), to his plans for solving the Jewish problem, which remarks are impossible to reconcile with Hitler's having a detailed knowledge of what has become known as the Holocaust.

(e) In the spring of 1942 the Staatssekretär (permanent under-secretary) at the Reich Ministry of Justice Dr Franz Schlegelberger recorded the following note: 'Reich minister Lammers [chief of the Reich Chancellery] has informed me that the Führer has repeatedly declared to him that he wants the Solution of the Jewish Problem postponed until after the war is over.' (Nuremberg Document 4025-PS; German Federal Archives file R.22 / 52, at page 01 / 111). No other historians have quoted this document, possibly finding its content hard to reconcile with their obsessively held views.

On June 11, 1947, Kabinettsrat Dr Hans Ficker, a top civil servant of the Reich Chancellery, testified on oath that he had sent his finance department chief Dr Gottfried Boley to the post-Wannsee conference of March 6, 1942, and that Ficker, Kritzinger, and Boley had drawn up a note on the conference. Lammers had taken this to Hitler, but came back with a memorandum, 'Any discussion on the whole business is to be postponed until the end of the war.' That must have been in March 1942. 'To our horror we learned later that things went on nevertheless behind the scenes' (National Archives microfilm M.1019 / 17). Boley testified in support of this on September 15, 1945, recalling Hitler's postponement order, and his own distaste at the callousness of the SS representatives at the meeting (ibid., M.1270 / 2); and he testified again on June 10, 1947 (ibid., M.1019 / 8), emphasising that there was no talk whatever of 'the really gruesome [grausigen] things' but only of preliminaries like evacuation and sterilisation of the Jews.

(f) At midday on April 20, 1942, after visiting Hitler, Himmler stated in a phone call, of which he also jotted down a note, to Heydrich that there was to be no liquidation of gypsies ('Keine Vernichtung d. Zigeuner'). The Plaintiff will maintain that these murders provide a clear parallel to the tragedy of the Jews. No other historians have ever quoted this document, finding it hard to reconcile with their obsessively held views.

(g) As stated in the Plaintiff's book GÖRING, A BIOGRAPHY, at page 347, on July 6, 1942, after visiting Hitler two days before, Hermann Göring stated: 'I've just briefed the Führer about this. We have exploited one Jew in Vienna for two years, and another in the field of photography, because they've got things we need of the utmost value to us at this time. It would be madness to say, "He'll have to go! of course he's a great researcher, a fantastic brain, but he's got a Jewish wife and can't be at the university, and so on." The Führer has made similar exceptions all the way down to operetta level.' (The Plaintiff found the verbatim transcript in the official files of Field Marshal Erhard Milch, retained in the British air ministry historical branch, volume 58, pages 3,640 et seq.)

(h) On October 6, 1943 at 1:30 p.m. Ribbentrop received a message from Consul Moellhausen in Rome, reporting that SS Obersturmbannführer Kappler had been instructed to arrest the eight thousand Jews living in Rome and take them to Upper Italy 'where they are to be liquidated;' and that the commandant of Rome, Luftwaffe General Stahel, was objecting. Upon receiving this telegram, the foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop visited Hitler at his headquarters The Wolf's Lair. He lunched with Hitler at two p.m. on October 6, and his liaison officer at the Wolf's Lair, Walther Hewel had several meetings with Hitler on October 6, 8, and 9, 1943. Ribbentrop's aide Franz von Sonnleithner sent to the minister's office on October 9, 1943 a telex stating that Ribbentrop asked that their ambassador in Italy, Rudolf Rahn, and consul in Rome, Moellhausen, should be informed 'that by a Führer Directive the 8,000 Jews living in Rome are to be taken to Mauthausen, Upper Danube, as hostages' (Nuremberg Document NG-5027) -- i.e., kept alive.

(18)* It is admitted that this is an accurate excerpt from pages xiii -- xiv of the first edition. The Defendants fail however to mention that in the 1991 edition of the same book, the Plaintiff sets out at pages 18-19 the same argument in much greater detail, introducing the collateral evidence as listed in paras. 17 (a) - 17 (h) above.

(19)* It is denied that the Plaintiff claimed at pages 332, 393, and 504 of the first (1977) edition of HITLER'S WAR that this document (the telephone note of November 30, 1941) alone proved that Hitler positively forbade the murder of the Jews or that Jews were exterminated in gas chambers or that the said extermination was the unauthorised policy of Himmler alone.

(20)* The Plaintiff, who is as is admitted by the Defendants at para. 54 adequately versed in the German language, submits that in the absence of contextual documentation to narrow the sense to just one meaning, the German noun Transport (as in the phrases Judentransport aus Berlin. Keine Liquidierung) can be properly understood either as 'transport' in the sense of a ship (i.e., transporter) or one-time shipment, or 'transportation' in the sense of a repetitive movement. It is denied that it is clear from the document in question that the phrase applied to one particular transport, or to a train transport. It is admitted that the phrases are ominous and indicate that they imply that liquidation was in the air. It is submitted however that it accords perfectly with the Plaintiff's hypothesis that Himmler, visiting Hitler's bunker, proposed this solution, and that Hitler rejected it.

After the publication of the first edition of the Plaintiff's HITLER'S WAR, colleagues provided him with documentation which usefully narrowed down the reference in the Himmler-Heydrich phone note of November 30, 1941 to one particular trainload of Jews being shipped from Berlin to Riga at that time; far from seeking to manipulate or conceal the truth, the Plaintiff willingly accepted this refinement and amended the 1991 edition accordingly (at pages 19--20, 427), as well as providing more corroborating detail in his recent biography of GOEBBELS. MASTERMIND OF THE THIRD REICH (at pages 378-9 and 645 at note 43) to both of which volumes reference will be made at the trial of this action.

(21)* It is denied that the plate -- Himmler's handwritten note on his telephone conversation with Heydrich -- was not transcribed apart from the two italicised sentences set out in (20) above. The Plaintiff draws attention to HITLER'S WAR, 1991 edition, which reads at page 19:

Perplexed by Himmler's handwritten note about a call to Heydrich after visiting Hitler's bunker on November 30, 1941-- 'arrest [of] Dr Jakelius. Alleged son Molotov. Consignment [Transport] of Jews from Berlin. No liquidation.'-- these wizards of modern history scoffed that probably Molotov's son was believed to be aboard a trainload of Jews from Berlin concealed as 'Dr Jakelius' and was on no account to be liquidated. In fact Molotov had no son, Dr Jakelius was a Viennese neurologist involved in the Euthanasia program; and the consignment of Jews from Berlin had that morning arrived at Riga and had already been liquidated by the local SS commander by the time that Himmler scribbled down Hitler's injunction.

At about eight a.m. on November 30, 1941, a few hours before Himmler spoke with Heydrich, the Berlin Jews of this particular transport had already been shot, having been debouched into the thick of a shooting operation already proceeding outside Riga, during which altogether some four thousand Jews were shot on the orders of the Höherer SS und Polizeiführer in Riga, SS Obergruppenführer Jeckeln (see Nuremberg Document NO-3257). This episode confirms precisely what the Plaintiff averred, namely that the liquidations were initiated at ground level by SS units operating largely without directives from above: these Jews were shot despite the existence of a specific Hitler ruling to the contrary. The Plaintiff was the first to find and to publish further evidence of this, namely the remarks in captivity, secretly recorded and transcribed by British Intelligence, of a German army officer, General Walter Bruns, who was an eye-witness of that day's above-mentioned shootings outside Riga; Bruns protested to the highest-ranking SS officer on the spot and arranged for an eye-witness report to be forwarded to Hitler's headquarters, and he is heard telling fellow prisoners on April 25, 1945 that the said SS officer scoffed to him a few days later, 'Here's an order that's come, saying that mass shootings like these are no longer to take place.' The transcript leaves no doubt as to the brutality and horrors of these ad hoc mass shootings conducted by the SS and their accomplices behind the eastern front. The Plaintiff has referred to this document in subsequent books and has read it out at numerous speeches and lectures in Austria, Germany, Canada, and elsewhere around the world.

Goebbels(22)* It is plain from the diaries and other sources including the war diary of the Commandant of Führer Headquarters that Goebbels [picture] was in 1941-42 not such a frequent or indeed welcome visitor to Hitler's headquarters as he became in 1944-45. The Plaintiff submits that his rendering in both the Hitler and the Goebbels biographies of the ominous entry of March 27, 1942 was proper and it is denied that he manipulated and distorted the effect of this entry.

(i) It is admitted that at page 392 of the first edition (1977) of HITLER'S WAR the Plaintiff wrote, 'The ghastly secrets of Treblinka and Auschwitz were well kept. Goebbels wrote a frank summary of them in his diary on March 27, 1942, but evidently held his tongue when he met Hitler two days later for he quotes only Hitler's remark: "The Jews must get out of Europe. If need be, we must resort to the most brutal methods."'

(ii) It is admitted that Dr Goebbels did not meet Hitler 'two days later' and that the remark which the Plaintiff attributes to Hitler was actually made on March 20, 1942.

An error in date is conceded (in fact Hitler on March 19 made the remark quoted by Goebbels in his diary of March 20) but it is without significance. Hitler said the same thing again and again at this time, both before and after the March 27, 1942 entry, according to Goebbels. As stated, on March 20, 1942, after visiting Hitler on the nineteenth, he wrote: 'Finally we speak about the Jewish Problem. Here the Führer remains as pitiless as ever. The Jews must get out of Europe, even if we have to use the most brutal means.' On April 27, 1942 he wrote, after seeing Hitler the day before, 'I discuss the Jewish Problem once more extensively with the Führer. His standpoint on this problem is pitiless. He wants to drive the Jews right out of Europe.'

Microfiche with 25 pages of diary(iii) The Goebbels Diaries by the Plaintiff's estimate were microfiched on 1,400 glass plates, each containing either 25 or 40 pages depending on format -- a total of some 70,000 pages, each with an average of two hundred words: there was thus a total of some fourteen million words written by Dr Goebbels from 1923 to 1945. In writing a biography of some 250,000 words, some passages inevitably have to be omitted or paraphrased. To describe this process as manipulation and distortion betrays both malice and a lack of understanding of the historian's craft and of the problems of comprehension and compression facing him.

The passage quoted here from the Goebbels diary at pages 19-22, of the entry dated March 27, 1942 (National Archives microfilm T-84, roll 261) is relevant, highly relevant, to a biography of Goebbels (on which see para. 22 below), but not to a biography of Hitler, even inasmuch as Goebbels is seen hinting at Hitler's complicity by his two gratuitous references to the Führer; the Plaintiff submits that, when analysed, these references boil down to (a) the empty rhetoric of a diarist dictating orally to a subordinate private secretary (Richard Otte), and (b) Goebbels' by now familiar alibiing technique, of ascribing some historic act -- be it Hitler's decision to stand against Hindenburg, or the 'Kristallnacht', or some other event -- post facto to The Will of an omnipotent and omniscient Führer. The perceptive historian does not fall for such subterfuges, particularly given the Goebbels Diaries' troubled relationship with the truth. In short the passage quoted is evidence in law against Goebbels, but not against Hitler. In my Goebbels biography I quote it accordingly in extenso, at page 388.

(iv) The Goebbels Diary entry of March 27, 1942 does not record a meeting between himself and Hitler, but his reactions on reading a report provided to him evidently by the SS. It is therefore evidence against him and not against Hitler.

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