ƒInternational Campaign for Real History

In the High Court of Justice

Reply by David Irving to Lipstadt's Defence

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(39) In a book about the arch antisemite of modern times, Dr Goebbels, there is only limited number of ways that one can describe his enemies and victims as Jews without trespassing on the readers' patience. One of the ways is to identify them as such by their names. Clearly it would be wrongful to suppress their Jewish identities. To be Jewish is nothing shameful. To describe this as antisemitism per se is evidence of paranoia: while the German politician Willi Brandt was alive, some people goaded him with his real name, Willi Frahm, yet he was not Jewish.

(40)* At page 393 the Plaintiff translates the Goebbels Diary entry for May 15, 1942 as: 'It would be best either to deport the remaining yids from Paris or to liquidate the lot.' The context is an angry passage about a Jewish assassination. The Ostjuden (eastern Jews) were considered lower than the assimilated Juden, even by the latter Jews themselves. It is likely that had Goebbels written his diary or spoken in English he would have used the same jargon to describe his arch-enemies as the foul-mouthed English antisemites would have. As often as not they would have used the word yid (which the Langenscheidt dictionary allows at page 727 as a perfectly correct slang translation of Jude). The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary at page 2,467 defines yid as 'U.S. slang, a Jew.' It would have been unacceptable, even manipulation, to use a toned-down translation to mask the antisemitic nature of the passage.

(41)* At page 203 the Plaintiff is stated to write that 'Hitler finds it hard to get worked up about the Jews, now that he is in power.' The Plaintiff submits that when considered in the context of the entire Goebbels Diaries the diaries for April 29, September 19, 25, and October 1, 1935 adequately support this sentence.

(42)* (i), (ii), and (iii). This citation, note 85 at page 591, is given only as one instance ('e.g.') of many, the entire drift of the diaries recording the endless debates by Goebbels and Hitler on the Jewish Question, which must lead any objective reader, and did so lead the Plaintiff, to conclude that Hitler was the reluctant partner.

(43)* (i) and (ii) The Plaintiff specified no reason why Hitler 'leaned toward leniency' in applying the new Nuremberg Laws and it is false and manipulative for the Defendants to impute such reasons to the Plaintiff and then to dismiss those reasons.

(iii) The verbatim German text of Hitler's speech to the Kreisleiter (Nazi district leaders) on April 29, 1937 runs to some 1,800 lines of print. See Dr Hildegard von Kotze and Professor Helmut Krausnick (ed.), Es Spricht der Führer (Gütersloh, 1966), pages 123-177. The six lines on which the Defendants rely are preceded by Hitler's deprecating references to demands from the public for Jewish stores to be tagged as such. This entire paragraph, his only reference to Jews in this speech to top Nazi Party district officials runs to 29 lines, or only 1·6 percent of the total; the six lines referred to are one-third of one percent of Hitler's speech. This is evidence that the Jewish issue was not large on his own horizon.

(44)* (i) and (ii) At page 407 of HITLER'S WAR (1991 edition) the Plaintiff quotes from Goebbels' unpublished diary of a meeting with Hitler the day before, August 18, 1941, which indicates that he, and not Hitler, initiated the expulsion of the Berlin Jews: 'Incidentally, the Führer agrees that as soon as the first transport possibilities arise, the Berlin Jews will be deported from Berlin to the east.' At page 326 of HITLER'S WAR (1977 edition) the Plaintiff quoted verbatim a letter from Himmler to Gauleiter Arthur Greiser dated September 18, 1941: 'The Führer wishes the old Reich territory and the Protectorate [of Bohemia-Moravia] to be cleansed and rid of Jews, from west to east, as soon as possible. As a first step I am therefore endeavouring to transport -- this year as far as possible -- all the Jews of the old Reich and Protectorate into the eastern territories annexed by the Reich in 1939 first of all; next spring they will then be deported still further eastward [into Russia]' (National Archives microfilm T-175, roll 54, page 8695). On the same page of HITLER'S WAR the Plaintiff quotes verbatim the passage of the Goebbels Diaries, September 24, 1941 which is relied on by the Defendants; he did not ignore it.

At page 374 of GOEBBELS. MASTERMIND OF THE THIRD REICH wrote: 'Hitler had confirmed to him [Goebbels] that little by little all Jews were to be expelled from Berlin, Vienna, and Prague.' As a source for this sentence the Plaintiff properly cited: 'Diary, Sep 24, 1941. Berlin, he [Goebbels] noted, would be first.' (In German the diary entry reads: 'Der Führer ist der Meinung, daß die Juden nach und nach ganz aus Deutschland herausgebracht werden müßten.') The Plaintiff submits that this meeting provided the general authority under which Goebbels executed the measure but, as stated at page 377, that Hitler was not consulted or informed about the actual time that the expulsions began. Indeed, from the diary passage dated November 22, 1941, relating a meeting with Hitler, which the Defendants themselves quote at 30 (iii), 'It is therefore uncertain as yet when it will be the turn of Berlin' for evacuation of the Jews.

(iii) The Plaintiff refers to para. 14 (iii) above, where he has set out his justification.

(iv) and (v) Far from confirming to Himmler and Heydrich that Hitler had decided on expulsion 'and extermination' as the Defendants falsely aver, Heim's record makes abundantly plain that Hitler stated specifically to these two murderous gentlemen that the Jews would disappear from Europe and be 'parked in the marshy parts' of Russia, as is the official translation offered by H. R. Trevor-Roper, ed., Hitler's Table Talk (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1953), at page 87; Werner Jochmann, ed., Adolf Hitler. Monologe im Führerhauptquartier 1941-1944 (Hamburg 1980), at page 106. In the premises it is denied that the Plaintiff made improper use of the sources available to him.

Furthermore, the Defendants themselves quote further passages of the diary (from April 27, 1942), at para. 31 of their reply, which make plain that Hitler was reiterating to Goebbels only 'He is determined to push the Jews out of Europe.' No mention of exterminating them in Europe.

(45)* (i) The Defence at page 41 inaccurately quotes GOEBBELS. MASTERMIND OF THE THIRD REICH, page 379.

(ii) The Plaintiff again denies that value can safely be attached to Dr Goebbels' diary assertions, if uncorroborated, that the Führer is in agreement with his more extreme utterances and actions, and further submits that in his judgement such diary entries are inserted by Goebbels as alibis for his own wrongdoing.

(iii) The passage which the Plaintiff omitted from the diary entry of November 22, 1941 shows that Goebbels was frustrated by Hitler's failure to order the immediate evacuation of the Jews from Berlin (as Goebbels had urged, and as was in fact under weigh). This was to become a familiar refrain until 1943. The inclusion of the omitted passage would have aided the Plaintiff's case; it was omitted as it would have been merely repetitive.

(46)* It is denied that the paraphrases used by the Plaintiff diminished the impact as alleged; the use of the words force out in place of push out actually increased the impact.

(47) It is denied that the Plaintiff misquoted this report. At page 427 of GOEBBELS. MASTERMIND OF THE THIRD REICH the Plaintiff wrote: 'There was much the same diary entry after Hitler phoned him on the fourteenth, and on the twentieth he noted how pleased the Führer, visiting Berlin, had been when he told him that a large part of the Jews had now gone.59 The war had, agreed Hitler, enabled them to tackle a number of thorny problems.' The Plaintiff submits that this passage, which is not given as a direct quotation or in quotation marks in GOEBBELS. MASTERMIND OF THE THIRD REICH, is a satisfactory straightforward paraphrase in fourteen words of the actual twenty-five word diary entry as translated by the Defendants, namely, 'He [Hitler] feels quite rightly that the war has enabled us to solve a number of problems which could never have been solved in normal times.'


(48)* The Defendants have ignored the fact, although it was drawn to learned Counsel's attention in a Reply to her identical defence in an another action, that the Plaintiff published a totally revised and updated edition of this book entitled APOCALYPSE '45. THE DESTRUCTION OF DRESDEN in 1995, which work is generally available in bookstores in the United Kingdom and is also advertised at page 723 of the book GOEBBELS. MASTERMIND OF THE THIRD REICH.

(i) That the estimates of casualties in the city of Dresden varied between 35,000 and 250,000 is a statement of fact which will be proven at the trial of this action.

(ii) In his letter to The Times, published on July 7, 1966, the Plaintiff voluntarily drew public attention to two wartime documents recently discovered in east and west German archives which might have indicated a lower death roll.

(iii) Since the Plaintiff was not responsible for cover design of the Corgi (paperback) edition of the book THE DESTRUCTION OF DRESDEN, which was sublicensed by Kimber to Corgi, who retained under their respective contracts and sublicences absolute control over such matters, this cannot be adduced as evidence of manipulation or falsification by the Plaintiff or at all. At that time the Plaintiff accepted a death roll of 135,000 as the most probable figure.

(iv) At page 771 of HITLER'S WAR, 1977 edition, the Plaintiff wrote that 'the night's death roll in Dresden was estimated at a quarter-million.' (The sentence is repeated at page 739 of the 1991 edition.) There were wartime estimates of that number of fatalities in Dresden, as will be shown at the trial of this action.

(v) Since the Plaintiff was not responsible for the cover design of the Papermac (paperback) edition of the book THE DESTRUCTION OF DRESDEN, which was sublicensed by the Plaintiff to Macmillan UK Ltd, who retained under their respective licence absolute control over such matters, this cannot be adduced as evidence of manipulation or falsification. At that time the Plaintiff accepted a death roll of 135,000 as the most probable figure.

(vi) The Plaintiff will aver that the official German figures for the death roll in Dresden have always been held down. The practice started, to the fury of the Dresden population, with the communist German government, who clung to the minimalist figure of 35,000 for political reasons from 1945 to 1989; it was then furthered by the West German government, who supposedly out of a desire not to embarrass the Allies had consistently made a taboo of the Allied strategic bombing of German cities. While Soviet-zone Dresden held an annual candlelit parade to commemorate the tragedy, such parades were actively discouraged in west German cities.


(49) The plane carrying the Polish exiled Prime Minister general Wladyslaw Sikorski and his senior officials crashed on take-off at Gibraltar on July 4, 1943. It was officially announced that only the pilot had survived. Some bodies were recovered. The remains of several others were never found.

(50) To the Plaintiff's knowledge, Mr Rolf Hochhuth claimed to have his own direct sources of information, which he claimed to have locked in a Swiss bank safe. He suggested that the Plaintiff investigate independently, which the latter thereupon did.

The Plaintiff published his book ACCIDENT: THE DEATH OF GENERAL SIKORSKI, in October 1967. It remained necessarily inconclusive. The cause of the crash will probably never be known. The Governor of Gibraltar, Lieutenant General Sir Noël Mason-Macfarlane, wrote a five-page private memorandum in July 1945, which the Plaintiff found in his papers, casting suspicions on the role of the pilot who had seemingly alone survived.

The surviving pilot offered his papers to the Hoover Library in California, then suddenly withdrew the offer a few months before his death.

Assassination was much more commonplace as a wartime means of eliminating inconvenient personages than is now realised.

(51) It is denied that either the document as described (the alleged diary entry) or Mr [Bickham] Sweet-Escott is mentioned in the Plaintiff's book ACCIDENT. THE DEATH OF GENERAL SIKORSKI. It is further denied that either played any part whatever in his argument.

(52)* It is admitted that Mr Sweet-Escott informed the Plaintiff that he was in London that day. Mr Sweet-Escott wrote in his memoirs, Baker Street Irregular (London, 1965), at page 166 that he departed from London early in July 1943 to fly to Algiers, North Africa. And at page 168, footnote 1, he refers to arriving in Algiers early on July 5, 1943. From information provided to the Plaintiff by the late Lord Sherfield, a fellow passenger (formerly Sir Roger Makins), it is known that Sweet-Escott was not in London on July 4, 1943, the day of the Sikorski crash, as the Defendants maintain. All planes flying from London in 1943 to North Africa staged at Gibraltar's RAF North Front airfield. To the Plaintiff's knowledge, Mr Hochhuth, being domiciled in Switzerland, did not enter an appearance in Sweet-Escott's libel suit (in which the Plaintiff was not a party). The relevance of this whole paragraph is denied (See para. 51 above).

(53)* It is admitted that in HITLER'S WAR the Plaintiff correctly asserted at page xiii that

'In an age in which the governments of the democracies, both during World War II and in later years, unhesitatingly attempted, engineered or condoned the assassination of the inconvenient -- from General Sikorski, Admiral Darlan, Field Marshal Rommel, and King Boris to Fidel Castro, Patrice Lumumba, and Salvador Allende -- we learn that Hitler, the unscrupulous dictator, not only never resorted to the assassination of foreign opponents but flatly forbade the Abwehr (Intelligence Agency) to attempt it (in particular he rejected Admiral Canaris's plans to assassinate the Red Army General Staff).'

The passage is repeated in slightly abbreviated form at page 5 of the 1991 edition, with the word never ('not only never resorted') in italics. The Defendants offer no instances to disprove this firm statement of fact. That Darlan was assassinated (in fact by an assassin paid $38,000 from British funds, equipped with a pistol provided by the SOE) is known. That the British Special Air Service (SAS) was ordered to assassinate Rommel is revealed in the Plaintiff's biography THE TRAIL OF TH E FOX (London, 1977), at pages 415-416, with the relevant wartime documentary sources. That King Boris of Bulgaria was assassinated was the conclusion of the reputable German historian Dr Helmut Heiber in his paper published in the quarterly Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte (1961), at pages 384 et seq. The role of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in assassination plots against Castro, Lumumba and Allende has been uncovered by Congressional inquiries.


(56)* It is of course no defence whatsoever for learned Counsel to plead merely that 'there are grounds to suspect' something, without stating what those grounds are. The same goes for the belief that something 'is inherently improbable'. At the hearing of this action witnesses will be produced to confirm that the archival authorities permitted and trusted the Plaintiff to remove the Goebbels Diary microfiches on loan from the archives.

(57)* The Plaintiff paid two visits to Moscow in June and July 1992, during the first of which he was aided throughout by a German assistant who will testify at the trial of this action that each and every one of the 1,400 glass microfiches was carefully taken out of its original 1944-45 'Agfa' box, dusted free of glass fragments, and scrutinised through a 12x magnifier to ascertain the precise period which that slide covered. The slides were all higgledy-piggledy, with no noticeable order maintained among them. At the Plaintiff's dictation his assistant noted on a yellow Post-it sticker the relevant dates of each slide, affixed it to the glass (non-emulsion) side of the slide, and returned it to the same boxes; the assistant also drew up working inventories of the slides they had found. They singled out slides for selective dictation and/or copying, since the Plaintiff had arrived in Moscow with a 'shopping list' of important historical episodes: i.e., he knew from the publication by Elke Fröhlich which diaries were missing in toto from those already researched by her, and he knew from his own collection which of the wartime diaries he already held on U.S. National Archives microfilm. The Plaintiff will produce at the trial of this action the inventories which he made on this occasion. The Plaintiff had already obtained a photocopy of the handwritten February to October 1938 diary from Moscow via his Italian publishers, as mentioned above, para. 36, and below, para. 57 (iv); and he had obtained much of the typescript 1944 diary from a German colleague, Dr Ralf-Georg Reuth.

(i) It was a struggle to scrutinise the 1,400 fragile glass microfiches in the time available and to the extent needed as set out above; but it was done, as the Plaintiff's inventories will show.

(ii) and (iii) It is denied that the Plaintiff claimed to have read in Moscow every line of every page of the diaries; he read principally the parts he needed to fulfil his contract with the Sunday Times, under which he was bound to obtain the diaries relating to a number of episodes details of which were annexed to the contract as a schedule.

(iii) It is denied that the Plaintiff obtained only 'ten pages of text with any material from Moscow.' In fact the Plaintiff obtained the following materials, which he listed in a confidential report on July 3, 1992 to the Sunday Times entitled 'A Survey of the Unpublished Goebbels Diaries Fragments in the Possession of David Irving': January 1-April 12, 1928, 18 pages; February 28, 1933, one page; March 1-September 4, 1934, fifty pages of typescript from 100 pages of originals; December 6, 1934-February 8, 1935, nine pages of typed transcripts; March 16-May 27, 1935, eleven pages of typed transcripts; February 11-October 26, 1938, 476 pages of handwriting, transcribed by the Plaintiff as in para. 21 (iv) above; October 27-31, 1938, eight pages of typed transcripts; November 6-11, 1938, fourteen pages of photocopies and/or typed transcripts; November 19, 1938, one page of photocopy and typed transcript; February 22-March 18, 1939, 19 pages of typed transcripts; April 24 -- May 26, 1939, four pages of typed transcripts; May 30-July 25, 1939, 100 pages of photocopies and/or typed transcripts; August 9-September 5, 1939, fifty pages of photocopies and/or typed transcripts; September 6 -- September 28, 1939, eight pages of typed transcripts; December 9-13, 1941, 21 pages of typed transcripts (from dictation); August 22, 1942, four pages of typed transcripts and ministerial conference; February 5 -- December 20, 1944, five hundred pages of photocopies of original typescripts.

(iv) The true sequence of events is as set out by the Plaintiff at page xi of GOEBBELS. MASTERMIND OF THE THIRD REICH, and his diaries, letters, aides-mémoires and other documents of those weeks will be produced at the trial of this action. The Plaintiff had obtained the February-October 1938 diary entries independently of the Moscow archives in 1990 from Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, under contract for which firm of reputable publishers -- who also purchased the Italian-language rights to his book GOEBBELS. MASTERMIND OF THE THIRD REICH -- he transcribed, edited, introduced, and commented the diaries.

(v) On July 22, 1992 the Munich-based daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung published at page 12 an article stating that Dr Werner Röder, deputy director of the IfZ, had alleged of the Plaintiff, which is denied, 'The man has pilfered the Russian archives.' Even before the Plaintiff complained, on July 30, 1992 the said Dr Röder sent to him a copy of a one-page statement which he had sent to the same newspaper in which he stated: '[. . .] With regard to the manner in which the British writer David Irving procured copies of the diaries there are also some inaccuracies. "The man has pilfered the Russian archives," I am quoted as saying in an interview at the Institut für Zeitgeschichte. It would have been more approximately correct to say, "The suspicion that has variously been voiced that David Irving 'pilfered' the Russian archives belongs in Werner Röder's view as yet in the realm of speculation."' As averred by the Plaintiff, in its issue of July 25-26, 1992 the same newspaper published a Nachtrag (follow-up item) at page 51 in which the IfZ's deputy director Dr Werner Röder stated that 'he would like to mention that with the allegation that David Irving had "pilfered the Russian archives" he had merely quoted a supposition circulating among colleagues. He does not wish to identify himself with this allegation.' On August 4, 1992 the Plaintiff thanked Dr Röder for showing him this correction. On August 6, 1992, as required under the Bavarian Press Law, the same newspaper published at page 13 a Gegendarstellung (rebuttal) by the Plaintiff.

On August 13, 1992 the Plaintiff swore an affidavit setting out the manner in which he had acquired the copies of the diaries. As will at the hearing of this action be proven by witness-statements and by documents, the Plaintiff was allowed to remove certain glass plates from the Moscow archives; two of which glass plates he brought back via Munich to England for forensic testing by laboratories nominated by the Sunday Times who did not wish to be 'sold a pup' on Nazi diaries for a second time. The tests included tests by Dr David Baxendale and Dr Audrey Giles, forensic document analysts; by Pilkington Group Analytical services, on the glass plates; and by Kodak photographic laboratories on the emulsion. After these experts authenticated the glass microfiche plates the plates were without exception returned safely and undamaged to the custody of the Moscow archives on or before July 3, 1992.

(vi) It is denied that the IfZ's Goebbels Diary materials that are referred to had been available to outside researchers, let alone to Fleet Street newspapers, 'for some time' or at all. The IfZ had specifically stated that these materials were not available in a letter to the Plaintiff dated May 13, 1992, responding to the Plaintiff's written application to be given privileged access to their holdings of the Goebbels Diaries for 1939 and 1941: 'Materials which are the object of current research projects of the house and are not yet accessioned by the archival collections are not available for general loan. The Director of the Institute has decided that this rule will also be adhered to with respect to your application dated the 8th inst.' In a letter dated July 25, 1992 the Plaintiff pointed out to the IfZ: 'If the Institute, for whatever reasons, had not refused me access to the diaries in May I would never have gone to Moscow with the results that followed thereupon.'

(vii) It is known, and witnesses to this effect will be produced at the trial of this action, that the Daily Mail's experts proved incapable of reading the hand-writing of the Goebbels Diaries for which they had paid much money. To state that the Goebbels handwriting was decipherable by 'anyone who could read it' is a pointless truism. The point is that it had taken Dr Fröhlich about ten years to become proficient in it; it had taken the Plaintiff two years to become half-proficient -- Dr Fröhlich remains the best -- and there was not a 'considerable number' of historians with even an approaching degree of proficiency. Many thought they could read it -- until they tried.

(viii) It is denied that the Plaintiff falsely claimed credit for the discovery of the missing Goebbels diaries in the Moscow archives. The Plaintiff made no attempt to deprive Dr Fröhlich of the credit. He willingly gave her the fullest credit from the very first moments of his negotiations with his then American and British publishers and with the Sunday Times, with her consent, and documents to establish this will be produced at the trial of this action.

(a) It is admitted that the Plaintiff wrote to the Sunday Times on May 26, 1992 stating that he had located the diaries 'through my special contacts'. These contacts he however identified on the same date namely May 26 as being Dr Fröhlich and the IfZ, by producing to the Sunday Times editor Mr Andrew Neil a note entitled 'Background Information,' of which paras. 4, 5, and 6 explicitly identify Dr Fröhlich as having discovered the diaries in the Moscow archives. He also stated in his covering letter to Mr Neil that Dr Fröhlich was 'my initial source' and produced to Mr Neil his diary record of the conversation on May 7, 1992 with Dr Fröhlich in Munich which revealed her discovery of the microfiches.

(b) It is admitted that at page 160 of the book GOEBBELS. MASTERMIND OF THE THIRD REICH the Plaintiff stated 'with this author's discovery of the missing Goebbels Diary entries in Moscow, that version is finally laid to rest.' This is however an explicit reference to the specific diary entries for February 28, 1933, reproduced on the glass microfiche for February 16-May 1, 1933, which in this case was not discovered by Dr Fröhlich, who would of course not have been able to read it, not having the necessary instruments, but by the Plaintiff himself.

12, 15.* (i) As the Plaintiff himself has ascertained at bookstores visited in Nottingham, London, Leicester, Leeds and other cities over the last few days, the First Defendants are continuing to publish,distribute, and profit from the libels complained of in this action throughout the jurisdiction of this court.

(ii) It is averred that the First Defendants recklessly published the Work written by the Second Defendant without taking any of the usual precautions, namely having the said Work read by a reputable firm of libel lawyers, but intended either to reap such profit from the publication of these libels that the consequent risk of paying damages could be faced with impunity, or in the alternative relied on the contractual indemnities which they confidently expected to claim from the original publisher of the Work in the United States in the event that its publication within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court attracted any legal actions and financial penalties.


15. (iii) It is denied that the alleged delay can be laid at the Plaintiff's door. It is admitted that the Work was purportedly published within this jurisdiction in the summer of 1994. Its publication within the jurisdiction was not at first brought to the Plaintiff's notice. From October 1994 until July 1995 the Plaintiff was overseas. His attention having been drawn to the publication in November 1995 he wrote the first Letter before Action. He was then the victim of delaying tactics adopted by solicitors instructed by these Defendants. When it was plain after months of correspondence between parties that an amicable settlement could not be reached, despite the Plaintiff's best endeavours, he issued the current proceedings in September 1996. The First Defendants asked four times for an extention before they were able to serve the Defence which is now pleaded. The Second Defendant took refuge in her United States domicile, and despite having instructed solicitors within the jurisdiction she did not instruct them to accept service of proceedings for six months, resulting in further delays which again cannot be laid at the Plaintiff's door.



SERVED the eighteenth day of March 1997 by the Plaintiff acting in person

David Irving, 81 Duke Street, Grosvenor Square, London W1M 5DJ
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