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.


Witness Statement

My name is Peter Millar [address withheld by Website]. I am a freelance journalist and writer, permanently resident at [address omitted]. I am a fluent German and Russian speaker, having worked in both countries and a degree in the latter. The following is an account of my encounters with David Irving and my knowledge of his involvement with The Sunday Times (Times Newspapers Ltd.) in connection with his 1992 research on the Goebbels diaries in the Moscow archives.

I first met Mr. Irving in London on or about May 28, 1992 and in Moscow on or about June 7, 1992.  The Sunday Times had asked me to act for them in dealing with the officials of the Moscow archives where David Irving was attempting to gain access to the Goebbels Diaries. I have recently (1999) been shown the personal diary, headed "David Irving,  Relevant Extracts from 1992 Diaries," in so far as it concerns me and my own knowledge of events if largely conforms with my own recollection of those events, even if some of the details have been expanded beyond my own experience.

Mr. Irving told me that he had obtained from a friend at the Munich Institute für Zeitgeschichte information on where to locate the Goebbels Diaries. This friend had given him the visiting card of Dr. Bondarev, director of the former Soviet special archives building in Viborksaya Ulitsa, to use as an introduction to him. These archives were in a dilapidated building set up specially to house records captured from Berlin in 1945. The filing system was extremely archaic and consisted chiefly of detailed Russian translations on flimsy copying paper of the German originals.

Mr. Irving and I spoke with Bondarev and then subsequently in the headquarters of the Russian Federation Archival Service with his chief Mr. Tarasov. I myself conducted the preliminary negotiations for access, with Dr. Bondarev in Russian and with Tarasov in Russian and German on behalf of The Sunday Times. No written agreement was made, everything was arranged verbally. Tarasov telephoned instructions in our presence to Dr. Bondarev at the archives to allow Mr. Irving access to the glass plates.

After Mr. Irving was allowed access, he told me that the boxes of microfiches were stored in a very bad condition, in weak cardboard boxes, with the individual boxes overfilled and no kind of special packaging to protect them. The archivists were, as most Soviet state employees, unfamiliar with the concept of outsiders having access to their material. They had no modern facilities for copying or reading microfiches. During this first visit (June 1992) Mr. Irving used a small hand-held magnifying glass.

I visited the archives room once or twice while Mr. Irving and his assistant were working through the boxes of plates. As he reviewed the boxes and their contents, Mr. Irving selected individual plates for copying. The Sunday Times had agreed with him a list of historical episodes for which we wanted to find the corresponding diary. Mr. Irving copied some pages out in handwriting, dictated other extracts onto a handheld dictation tape recorder, and he typed up extracts from other pages on a portable typewriter.

As far as I am aware, there was no written agreement between Mr. Irving or ourselves (Times Newspapers Ltd.) and the archives on the usage or copying of the Goebbels diaries. The agreement was reached verbally between myself and the Russians, who were extremely helpful.

To my knowledge, no money was paid to them either then or later. Mr. Irving told me there [omitted: had been rivalry] between himself and the Munich-based Institut für Zeitgeschichte over access to the plates. The institute was trying to persuade the Moscow officials to limit or curtail his access to the plates. It was agreed that The Sunday Times would make copies of some plates but no number was settled upon formally.

On one occasion, after the archives closed for the day, to my extreme annoyance, Mr. Irving told me he had secretly removed two plates from the archives to show to Andrew Neil, the Sunday Times editor who was also in Moscow at the time. These plates he had concealed in a James Bond-style fashion outside the institute. I told him this was foolish and risked jeopardising the whole agreement - an opinion he thought to be rather 'wimpish'. I insisted they be replaced the next day, which, to the best of my knowledge, they duly were.

To my knowledge no other person than Mr. Irving was using the glass plates while we were in Moscow or had requested access to them in many years.

Mr. Irving told me that at the end of his first stay, he borrowed two glass plates and took them back to Munich for copying on professional microfiche printing equipment at the Institute für Zeitgeschichte. Times Newspapers Ltd. also wished, at my recommendation, to carry out tests in England on the photographic emulsion and glass of the plates for authentication purposes. I understand that a Times Newspapers staff member returned the plates to Moscow in early July, and Mr. Irving says he replaced the plates in the archives.

Mr. Irving subsequently delivered to the Sunday Times his transcripts of the diaries. Several of these transcriptions the newspaper published during July 1992. Der Spiegel published them in Germany and several other newspapers around the world also published them. To the best of my knowledge there were no complaints that he had distorted or mistranscribed or manipulated the texts. Several of his transcripts I myself checked against the copied plates and found them to be accurate, although given the difficulty in deciphering Goebbels' old-style German script I was not in a position to transcribe more than a few.

I visited Mr. Irving at his London residence on May 28, 1992 and on two other occasions to discuss his deal with The Sunday Times. On no occasion did I notice a self-portrait of Hitler over his desk, although he did show me a watercolour (of a street scene, I think) which he said had been painted by Hitler.

Peter J. Millar

dated London, January 21, 1999