Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day020.21 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 MR IRVING: On the foot of page 214 you have, metaphorically speaking, raised your eyebrows at the fact that one of Hitler's doctors recorded in his diary the fact that Hitler had described his future biographer in terms that appeared to fit me, if I can put it like that? A. Yes. An interesting ---- Q. Yes, a very simple question. A. --- put. Q. If that diary does exist then I am perfectly justified to quote that whole passage, am I not? A. Yes, it is an interesting comment on your attitude of your mission. Q. A comment on my attitude? A. Yes, what you conceive was your mission. Q. If you had got that diary first, you being admittedly not English but Welsh, I suppose you would still feel yourself qualified by Hitler as being an Englander? A. I think that Germans, unfortunately, do include the Welsh amongst the English, yes. Q. Yes, unfortunately. You would have quite happily have quoted that, would you now, if you were writing a Hitler biography and you came into possession of that diary, you too would quote it, would you not? . P-188 A. I would have been too embarrassed I think. Q. Too embarrassed? A. Yes. I certainly would not want to give the impression that all these things the Doctor says would apply to me. Q. Well, some of them do not of course? A. It is a very tempting quotation, but I think I would have added that after the end of it "this is not me". He records Hitler saying: "Perhaps an Englishmen will come one day who wants to write an objective biography of me. It has to be an Englishman who knows the archives and masters the German language, and that is why you are getting the diaries, Mr Irving, the doctor said." I think I would have said: Well, I am not going to fit the bill. I am not, as a biography of Hitler, his ambassador in the afterlife. Q. Does this explain to you why so often I manage to get hold of these unusual documents, and there was no kind of bribery or promising involved? These people just turned this material over to me? A. Does what explain? Q. This kind of episode that I ended up with the good fortune. A. You have to give a little more detail. Q. Let us move on. A. I am not sure what you mean by that. Q. The foot of page 216. . P-189 A. The fact that you are English I do not think makes a great deal of difference. Q. No, but the fact that I knew the archives and I have taken the trouble to learn the language as an Englishman? A. Well, obviously it would be pointless if you did not know any German. Q. At the foot of page 216 you state, again without any evidence, that there was massive intimidation of the electorate in the 1938 plebiscite? A. Yes. Q. Do you have any proof of that? A. Yes, this is the context where you simply say that Hitler had risen from nobody, become the admired and respected leader of two great nations. Just five years after 1933 he got 49 million Germans to vote for him which was 99.8 per cent of electorate. In my response to your questions of 4th January 2000, your written questions, I have two whole pages accompanied by a considerable amount of documentation of the intimidation which took place in the plebiscite of 1938. I am not sure -- would it save the court's time if I could just refer to this without actually going through it? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think so to begin, and then if with Mr Irving wants to follow it up then he can. MR IRVING: Perhaps I can just ask you in general: Was there any evidence that there was not a secret ballot? . P-190 A. Yes, there was. Yes. Q. In what way do you have that evidence? Is it contemporary evidence? A. Well, there are reports on the plebiscite, official reports from electoral authorities which I quote on page 2: "Members of the Election Committee marked all the ballot papers with numbers. During the ballot itself a voters' list was made up." Q. This is was well-known, is it not, but that is not intimidation, is it? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do not keep interrupting, Mr Irving. It destroys the whole object of the exercise. A. The ballot papers were handed out in numerical order. Therefore, it was possible afterwards with the aid of this list to find out the persons who cast no votes. The Gendarmerie stationed in the Bavarian village of Elsass reported that the ballot papers of people regarded as unreliable had been marked. Reports from the XR leadership of the Social Democrats, so-called day reports, who have numerous instances, they have a whole section which I include here in the documents on the lack of secrecy in the voting. MR IRVING: Is this evidence of intimidation? A. No. It is evidence of lack of secrecy in the voting, which is what you asked the question about. Q. Is there evidence of intimidation? . P-191 A. Yes, there is evidence of intimidation. Do you want me to go through it? I list it again here and provide documentation. Q. The fact that ballot papers are marked, just as they are in England, and numbered, is not evidence of intimidation of any kind of hanky-panky, is it? A. No. It is evidence of lack of secrecy of the ballots, as the source I quote says, it was possible with the aid of this list to find out the persons who cast no votes. Q. Yes, but how would this lead to a 99.8 per cent vote? A. Ah, because there was enormous -- because, of course, people suspected that, well, this is one element in a number of elements in these elections. People obviously, I think, quite clearly suspected that if they cast a "no vote", and rightly suspected if they cast a "no vote", it would be identified as theirs and they would suffer the consequences. In addition, there was a huge effort in which agents of the Nazi Party and various other organisations known as Schleppe or people who drag, really carriers or draggers of voters to the polls, went round on a number of occasions asking people to vote, sending them written warnings if they did not, going to visit them, and then later on, and I quote a number of examples, physically maltreating those who did not vote, taking them off to lunatic asylums, expelling the Catholic Bishop of Rottenburg from his diocese when he refused to take part . P-192 in the vote; dismissal of a street warden in Steischlinger for telling people his boss had said that people could vole whichever way they wanted, which the boss of course denied. There was someone who was identified as voting "no" in another community, according to a by day report, was identified dragged through the local pubs of the brown shirts and put a sign on her back saying "I am traitor" and spat at her. There were numerous arrests of known opponents of the regime before the vote, 250 people who were thought to be opponents of the regime were arrested in Leipzig before the vote and then released just in time to go to polls. So that it is quite clear what the intimidatory effect of that was. Q. Are those kinds of measures sufficient to get a 99.8 per cent turn out in favour of Adolph Hitler, do you think? A. That is a different, that is a somewhat different question. What I say is that I think it is clear that there is no, I do not know of any democratic and free election in which anyone has got 99.8 per cent of the vote. Q. Would you agree there was a mass ---- A. Had the election been free, what the vote would have been is another matter. It is a matter for conjecture. What I am saying, in other words, is that the difference between whatever the result would have been in a free election and the amazing 99.8 per cent is the result of . P-193 intimidation, pressure, lack of secrecy of the ballot. Q. Would you agree there was a massive propaganda effort to lead to this huge turn out? A. There was indeed a massive propaganda effort, yes. Q. And that there was in that respect as much carrot as intimidation by your account? A. I do not think propaganda is carrot. It is propaganda. Q. Would you agree that in fact the overwhelming majority of the German people were by that time, in April 1938, dazzled by Hitler, I suppose that is the correct word, his achievements, full employment? A. No. Well ---- Q. National unification, the Czar land, all these great achievements, and that this is one reason why 99.8 per cent of people could easily be persuaded to sign "yes" to Adolf? A. I think if you read the SD and by day reports carefully it is clear that fairly soon after 1933 there was quite widespread grumbling and discontent. That is a slightly different matter from what people thought about the union of Germany and Austria. I think, for what it is worth, that ---- Q. There was a plebiscite, was there not? A. May I finish, Mr Irving? That in the vote a plebiscite on the union of Germany and Austria in 1938, in a wholly free election, it is more than likely that there would have . P-194 been a "yes". In other words, the majority of people in Germany and Austria were in favour of unions, but I do not think it is 99.8 per cent. Q. Yes, but what you think of course is not evidence. A. I do not think -- I mean can you name me any free, fully free, fair and secret election in which any side has 99.8 per cent of the vote? MR JUSTICE GRAY: We are going rather ---- MR IRVING: We are going round in circles. MR JUSTICE GRAY: --- long. That is the Anschluss vote. I did not realize that. A. Yes. MR IRVING: It was not an election, my Lord. It was a plebiscite. A. There was a Reichstag election at the same time. What you say, Mr Irving, is that he got 49 million Germans to vote for him, which is 99.8 per cent of electorate. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can I just ---- MR IRVING: Can I ask you, are you familiar with the wording of the vote? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, will you listen to me for a moment, because I think we probably have spent long enough on the 99.8 per cent. There is a danger I think, and this is designed to help you, that we are missing the wood for the trees. The whole of this section of the report, which I think myself is quite important, is on the theme or the . P-195 thesis that you always write about Hitler in terms which portray him favourably. Various examples are given of that and various statements made by you which tend to confirm are recited by Professor Evans. I personally would find it more helpful if you were, perhaps to begin with, to ask a few rather more general questions in which you would set out what your own case is about this. I do not know, but could you not ask Professor Evans whether it is not right that actually you are very balanced and objective in what you write about Hitler? I think you need to set the scene. MR IRVING: My Lord, we know precisely what the answer will be if I ask that. He will say he dislikes me. He has never read the book. He would never have read the book if he had not received this commission from these instructing solicitors. So that would be, frankly, in my submission, a waste of the court's time. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Then you would follow it up, would you not, and give some examples, and this is really what I am asking you for, of events, significant events, when you take a critical line about what Hitler said or did. That is what I am missing at the moment. We are just going down this slightly blind alley of the 99.8 per cent Reichstag vote, whereas one is missing your putting the case in rather broader terms. I am only putting it forward as a suggestion. You do not have to follow it, . P-196 but it would help me if you were to do that. MR IRVING: My method, my Lord, an you may think it totally wrong, has been to graze through this passage and come across these occasionally indigestible rocks where he picks on something where I know I am right and where your Lordship probably does not appreciate that I am right. By virtue of this cross-examination trying to establish it firmly in your Lordship's mind that out of us two experts, if I can put it like that, on balance, probably I am better right or righter than he is.
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