International Campaign for Real History

In the High Court of Justice

DJC Irving

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Penguin Books Ltd and Deborah Lipstadt

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In 1993 American scholar Deborah Lipstadt published Denying the Holocaust, product of a research contract funded by an Israeli agency.

British writer David Irving claims that it libels him.


David Irving's Witness Statement [continued]


Specific allegations:

31. In 1988 I was asked by defence counsel for the German-Canadian Ernst Zündel whether I would be willing to testify on historical matters in the latter's trial in Toronto. I agreed to do so, flew to Toronto on April 21, 1988 and after examination by the Court was accepted as an expert witness.

32. It was on this occasion, and no earlier, that I first met Frederick Leuchter, the Massachusetts inventor and execution technology consultant, of whom I had never heard before. (I had no part whatsoever in the defence counsel's decision to secure Mr Leuchter's expertise). I read his affidavit, and was impressed by the conclusions reached by the US forensic laboratory which had tested samples he had purportedly removed from the fabric of certain buildings at Auschwitz. Until that moment it had never occurred to me that any of the famous buildings there could have been faked or reconstructed. Even with my own very limited knowledge of chemistry, it was clear that the quantitative analysis of those samples established beyond doubt that they had not been subjected at any time to massive exposure to cyanide compounds.

Leuchter report33. For legal reasons Leuchter's affidavit on his tests was not accepted by the court as an exhibit. In June 1989 I published a printed version of its main conclusions, to which I appended an Introduction in which I expressed some reservations about his methodology and peripheral conclusions. Anticipating that the report would have the same stimulating effect on others that it had on my own beliefs, I also arranged for its free circulation to numbers of people, including members of the House of Lords prior to their debate on the war crimes bill.

34. On April 21, 1990 I stated to an audience of Munich citizens at a lawfully permitted assembly that the gas chamber shown to tourists in Auschwitz is a fake, built after the war; and I mentioned that this meant that this element of reparations, amounting to several billion deutschmarks, had been paid for a fake. For making this statement, which the Polish authorities have now several times confirmed to be true, I was fined by the Munich court first seven thousand marks, then on appeal ten thousand marks, and on further appeal thirty thousand marks, for the offence (known only to German law) of defaming the memory of the dead. The courts did not permit us to call any defence witnesses or introduce any defence documents establishing the truth of what I had said.

35. On September 4, 1990 I had a private conversation at the Freiburg home of my friend and colleague Professor Dr Bernard Martin, head of the university's history faculty, on which I that same day typed a note. He informed me that he had visited Auschwitz several times, and that the local authorities had confirmed to him that the gas chamber shown to tourists was not authentic. It is symptomatic of the atmosphere of terror in modern Germany that when I made public in an interview what Professor Martin had told me, he wrote me a letter formally breaking off our friendship.

36. In October 1991 I lectured again in Canada. On this occasion I was the victim of a calculated smear issued as a press release by a Canadian government minister, Mr Gerry Weiner, against whom I issued immediate libel proceedings in British Columbia, one of the provinces in which the cause had accrued. The minister successfully applied for the action to be moved to Ontario, three thousand miles from the offices of the counsel whom I had instructed; since the courts in Ontario were less likely to be favourable, and since Weiner could obtain in Ontario (but not in British Columbia) a possibly crippling order for security for costs in that province, I abandoned the action. Mr Weiner had made no attempt to justify his smears.

37. In about September 1990 the Italian publishing company Alberto Mondadori Editore commissioned me to read, authenticate, transcribe, and edit the 1938 diary of Dr Joseph Goebbels, of which they had obtained a complete photographic copy from a secret Soviet source; the agreed initial fee was $10,000. It took eighteen months to learn the peculiarities of the Goebbels handwriting, which was his own mixture of the Sütterlin and Latin scripts.

Boxes of microfiches38. In May 1992 Professor Broszat's widow, who is Europe's principal editor of the Goebbels Diary fragments, disclosed to me privately that she had established that the long lost diaries of Dr Joseph Goebbels, for which we had all been looking for many years, were in a certain Moscow building where she had seen them. Her own institute had refused to raise the necessary funding to exploit and obtain them. While asking me not on any account to make her own name public, for professional reasons (which no longer obtain), she advised me to raise a sum of dollars -- I suggested twenty thousand -- stating that she knew for a fact that the archives director would be willing to sell me those diaries, which were on hundreds of glass plates; since they had never been identified as such, they were not listed on the archive inventories, and he could sell them without problem. She gave me the director's visiting card as an introduction, and subsequently contacted him directly on my behalf to smooth my path.

39. I was aware from press reports that the Soviet archival system was in collapse, that records were being strewn to the winds, that the former Soviet authorities were in dire shortage of funds, and that many learned bodies, including the Hoover Library in California, and my friend and colleague the late historian Dr John Costello, had already done such deals with Russian and KGB officials. I obtained the necessary finance from The Sunday Times, and made a pilot trip to the archives on June. Andrew Neil, editor in chief, expressed in our first conversation serious misgivings about the authenticity of the glass plates, reminding me that his newspaper had already fallen for the fake Mussolini diaries and the fake Hitler Diaries. I told him I was offering him the chance of rehabilitating his newspaper's name.

40. I have set out the salient points of both this June 1992 visit to the Moscow archives and the subsequent one in my Reply, and in my contemporary diary which is a document in my Discovery. I need affirm here only that (a) I took extravagant care of all the archival goods that were entrusted to me; (b) none was damaged; (c) none was stolen or otherwise permanently removed from those archival collections.

41. On my return to London I signed an agreement with The Sunday Times, which is in evidence. In return for the provision of the Goebbels Diaries relating to key historical events, which were listed, the newspaper would pay me £75,000 plus VAT. On my second trip to Moscow from June 28 to July 4, 1992, I obtained copies of all the remaining items which I had previously agreed with The Sunday Times.

42. Announcing the serialisation of the diaries, the newspaper unexpectedly came under what its editor Andrew Neil described as the most horrifying political onslaught he had experienced in his career. The Board of Deputies of British Jews orchestrated a campaign of mass demonstrations, telephone calls, letter writing, and cancellations of orders; Neil told me of the intolerable commercial pressures his newspaper also came under. Within days, even while the serialisation was still running in his paper and in other newspapers around the world, he had announced to me and to the public at large that he was going to welch on the agreement, under this outside pressure, and not pay me under the contract. I was obliged to sue him for breach of contract in the High Court. This was another episode in the global conspiracy which had been constructed to destroy my name, as a "holocaust denier," and deprive me of every legitimate source of income.

43. In October 1992 I visited and lectured in several cities in North America. While in Los Angeles I was handed a letter from the Canadian government, warning me that I might not be admitted to their country (which I had visited scores of times since 1965). Newspaper reports stated that the initiative for the ban had come from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre. I have since lawfully obtained Canadian government documents which show that unknown hands placed on their secret Immigration dossier on me the statement that I was a "holocaust denier," and that I have written books of holocaust denial, whatever that is. This is of course quite untrue. The letter proffered two or three reasons for my exclusion, none of which was deemed by my legal counsel to be adequate, and I duly entered the country unhindered and quite legally in Ontario.

44. After speaking, on Free Speech, in Vancouver on October 28, 1992, I was arrested and held for immigration determination. Since I was notified that I would be held for the next five weeks, I sought and reached agreement with the authorities that I would voluntarily leave the country by a specified date -- November 1/2 -- , the legal precondition being that I had to admit some minor error, which we agreed should be that I had not mentioned in Ontario that I would also be visiting British Columbia.

45. Unknown hands now placed false information about me in the US immigration (USINS) computer; when I tried to leave Canada at the appointed hour, the USINS -- for the first time ever -- denied me entry. There is no doubt that this was an ambush. The League of Human Rights of the B'nai Brith Canada subsequently publicly claimed the credit for the shutting down of all my lecture tours at this time. The US government later apologised to me for the error, and confirmed that they had removed the lies from their computers; they subsequently renewed my permanent entry visa, and I have visited the USA at least ten times since.

46. There was a complicated side issue which is mentioned here, because it goes to the issue of credibility: after the initial amicable agreement was struck in Vancouver on October 28, 1992 I quite legally left Canada that same evening for two hours to sign some pictures for a stranger, a Mr Brian Fisher, in Washington state, USA; I had thereby, unwittingly, complied with the departure notice. When this prior compliance became a "pivotal" issue after the unexpected entry-refusal by the USA of November 1, we produced: my statements about the side-trip to a press conference on October 30, depositions from Fisher and other sworn witnesses, telephone receipts for calls I had made from Fisher's home in Washington state, and even the contents of the electronic memory of my typewriter, which had been impounded on my arrest by the RCMP after my entry-refusal by the USA.

47. The adjudicator in his summing up declared however that all my witnesses had perjured themselves (he did not explain the typewriter memory), because these testimonies did not accord with a US immigration (USINS) computer which showed a three-hour time discrepancy in our "concocted story". The adjudicator was not aware, as we later learned, that US INS computers on the West Coast run on East Coast, i.e. US government, time: hence the discrepancy.

48. I was forcibly expelled by Canada on November 13, 1992. In consequence of that expulsion and of a vigorous campaign against me as a so-called "holocaust denier" by other participants in the global conspiracy to suppress my views, I was denied entry to Australia for my third lecture tour in 1993, and other Commonwealth countries declared that they would follow suit. These bans have caused me substantial financial loss,

49. On November 17, 1992 I was informed by telephone by a Norwegian journalist that it was being announced that I was to participate in a "holocaust denial" conference in Stockholm. Having just been expelled from Canada, I sent immediate refutations to the London embassies of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, and stated that I would lecture in their countries only if I received an invitation from a properly constituted or academic body. Stockholm television broadcast my letter in facsimile. I never established at the time who had spread the smear story. As a direct consequence of it and of the resulting controversy, I lost all my Scandinavian publishers and my Scandinavian literary agent refused to continue to act for me. I have now seen from documents produced by the Second Defendant that the story emanated from the Institute of Jewish Affairs in London.

Mark Leibler50. I conducted several legal actions in Australia to overturn the entry ban. This generated the disclosure of sets of documents establishing clearly the links between the various elements of the global conspiracy. The full federal court sitting in Perth duly found that the minister had acted illegally in denying me entry; under pressure from local elements of the global conspiracy, the government then however changed the law, specifically to keep me out. My further applications have fallen fall of this changed law. Isi LeiblerThe Second Defendant meanwhile had free run of Australia, where she blackened my name during July 1994 as a "holocaust denier" in the newspapers and on television. This entry ban has caused me substantial financial loss, including the effective loss of one ton of books which I sent down to the continent in preparation of my lecture tour.


51. I also initiated lawsuits for defamation against three Australian Jewish-community newspapers, and their journalists, which had smeared me among other things as being a "holocaust denier," which lawsuits were settled out of court at no cost to myself after the defendants, who did not seek to justify, sought instead to move the venue of the trial to New South Wales at the other end of Australia, or to seek security for costs. Australian and New Zealand national newspapers established that the prime movers behind the campaign to exclude me were a number of extremely wealthy businessmen.

Photos: the wealthy Australian Leibler brothers Mark (left) and Isi.

52. In July 1993 I made my last research tour of Germany. I had previously donated most of my remaining Third Reich archival collections and research materials to the Institut für Zeitgeschichte and to the Bundesarchiv, the Federal Archives in Germany.

53. On or about June 30, 1993 I donated at my own expense a complete set of the Goebbels Diaries which I had collected to the archives of his home town, Mönchengladbach, in Germany. On July 1, 1993, I donated a second set of those that I had obtained from Moscow, to the German federal archives, the Bundesarchiv. A few minutes later, still on July 1, 1993, the archives president handed me a letter formally banning me from the building, on the instructions of the German ministry of the interior, "in the interests of the German people." This ban is unique. I had worked in those archives since 1964.

54. On November 9, 1993, when I arrived in Munich to speak to university students, I was intercepted by political-police officers and formally handed a notice issued by Munich city authorities excluding me permanently from German territory.

55. I have been privately informed by leading German publishers who were about to sign contracts with me for new books that they had received word from the German government that this would be frowned upon.

56. The campaign to blacken my name sank to fresh depths in March 1995 when Newsweek, The Sunday Times, and other newspapers reported in more or less detail the allegation or innuendo that I was connected to the terrorists who had bombed the Alfred P Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, with appalling loss of life. Again I was identified in the press stories as a "holocaust denier", which made me fair game for such stories, against which under American law there is little legal remedy. I forced The Sunday Times to print a letter of denial. I have now learned that the story was generated by a press release issued by the Jewish Telegraph Agency and the Institute of Jewish Affairs, both of which were primary sources of this and other materials supplied to the Defendants.

57. I had meanwhile by legal actions around the world amassed sufficient evidence to narrow down the sources of the poison that was spewing forth against my name. One of these wellsprings was the Board of Deputies of British Jews. In Canadian government files I found a particularly pernicious anonymous intelligence report on me, which had been planted by an unknown hand; it was evidently British, and the "planting" had been done in 1992. It took over a year to establish by a process of elimination that the author of this report was either the Institute of Jewish affairs, or Mr Gerald Gable, or the Board of Deputies of British Jews. Mr Michael Whine, of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, subsequently admitted in an affidavit, which will be produced in this action, that he was the culprit, and that he had secretly supplied the report to the League of Human Rights of the B'nai Brith Canada in response to their equally secret appeal for dirt on me with which they could block my further entry to Canada. All of these bodies secretly funded the Defendants with materials for the work complained of.

58. My offer of a conciliatory agreement, whereby the Board -- caught out as it had been -- agreed to withdraw its libellous document -- failed, after their instructed solicitors drew the negotiations out. My consequently delayed attempt to sue the Board in libel failed under the limitations act, as Toulson J. ruled that I was out of time; the Board was not ashamed to pursue me for its legal costs right into the Bankruptcy Court.

59. Given its secret authors, the 1992 report is significant for many of its conclusions which I shall emphasise in this action: notably its praise for the quality of my research, and its grudging admission that I can not be termed anti-Semitic.

Goebbels60. By 1995 my manuscript of the biography of Dr Goebbels was complete. I had embarked on it eight years earlier. I had written out the first draft in long-hand, retyped it on a Xerox typewriter, then retyped it again twice on the portable Canon typewriter during 1992/3; and then again, having now obtained major parts of the missing Goebbels Diaries -- after the whole book was complete -- I retyped it again from September 1993 to the end of 1994. The manuscript's five versions cover some twenty thousand pages, and fill five or six archive boxes (about ten cubic feet). I had compiled two or three thousand more index cards, primarily orange for identification.

61. In Britain I still preferred to have the book marketed by one of my old publishers. Mr Alan Brooke, managing director of Hodder Headline Ltd., Britain's second biggest publisher, who had published other works (and was furious that I took Churchill's War, vol. I away from his then firm Michael Joseph Ltd who had the original contract on it), made a substantial offer for it in August 1995; to my astonishment four weeks later he withdrew that offer, explaining that he had been overruled. This was an unheard-of procedure.

62. We reverted to the plan for my own imprint to produce a well-manufactured edition including many colour photos. My US literary agent sold the rights to St Martin's Press, who had published other works of mine and had frequently obtained "puffs" from me for other authors' books. The editor there was Mr John Douglas. In February 1996 he phoned me to warn that a poison-campaign had started against me; he thought they could ride it out, and when the campaign began at full strength late in March 1996 St Martins Press stated in the press that they would not be intimidated.

Goebbels book63. On April 6, 1996 however, their chairman Mr Tom McCormack suddenly announced that they had abandoned plans to publish the book. Once again the press quoted the Second Defendant in person, and her book, as the reason for the attack.

64. Doubleday Inc.'s book club had announced it as their May 1996 History Book of the Month. They too had to abandon publication.

65. Many leading historians and journalists, including our own Christopher Hitchens and Norman Stone roundly denounced this appalling episode. The financial consequences of SMP's violation of its contract with me were disastrous. Had they gone ahead and published the work, I would have earned at least a quarter million dollars in the USA alone from the hard cover edition, with further income from soft cover and subsidiary rights.

66. I sold the entire first edition of GOEBBELS. MASTERMIND OF THE THIRD REICH in the UK. Travelling around the country, I encountered for the first time serious sales resistance from many bookstore owners and department heads, the most frequent allegation being: "You are the holocaust denier, aren't you." I noted these statements in my 1996 diary.

67. There is no question but that this smear has taken root. Through the reckless conspiracy of which the Defendants have made themselves the active agents I have been robbed of my publishers worldwide, and of my reputation as a serious and innovative historian. There has been a substantial loss of income over the years since the work complained of appeared. My family has suffered from the poverty this has induced. Bringing and preparing this legal action, which has been necessary in order to halt the mudslide in mid-torrent, has resulted in my inability to bring out the long await second volume of CHURCHILL'S WAR, and it has brought all further research to a halt.

68. Through the mindless blackening of my name by the Defendants and by others I have been excluded from almost every civilised country in the world, and from their archives which are vital to my further research. I have been deprived of the prospect of being published by the world's leading publishers, most of whom are thoroughly intimidated by the spectacle of what happened to St Martin's Press (whose chairman was forced to resign a few weeks after he abandoned plans to publish GOEBBELS). Many of my friends and former colleagues had been forced to turn their back on me, to protect their own careers and livelihoods.

69. For the price of a twenty-five cent phone call, the Second Defendant could have established that everything she proposed to write about me was untrue: she could at least have begun to nurture suspicions that the information she had been fed about me needed to be more rigorously researched. But she did not bother to lift the receiver and dial my number.

70. The First Defendant could have had the American book, the work complained of, read for libel. Any qualified British practitioner would have spotted the dangers straight away. There is no evidence before the Court that Penguin Books Ltd ever bothered to do so; I believe that they are secure with a solid indemnity against their American licensor.

71. It is true that the Defendants are not the only agents and elements in this global conspiracy. But they are joint tortfeasors; and they jointly chose to peddle their work, which has been a principal weapon in the smear campaign, within the jurisdiction, and it is for this reason that I have taken this action against them.

David Irving, Friday, January 22, 1999

© Focal Point 1999 e-mail:  write to David Irving