Posted Tuesday, November 26, 2002

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An odd breed (Judges). Judges in the Queen's Bench, like Mr Justice Gray, wear a red sash, the only High Court judges to do so, as they were traditionally the only judges able to pronounce the death sentence.


November 21, 2002 (Thursday),


THIS goes to our barrister, Adrian Davies: "Thank you for your encouraging words last night. I have on an afterthought gone through the entire transcripts digitally today looking for the various references where [... etc]." I send them to Adrian with, as a belly laugh, this little exchange during the trial's Day 28:

MR IRVING: My Lord, you have considerable more experience than I do in cross-examination; and some of your clients have ended up in prison and some of them, no doubt, have been acquitted and [sic. or] have been awarded large sums in damages.
MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is kind of you to put it like that. Now let us get on with the cross-examination.

There was loud but not unkind laughter in court from those in the know. The references are to Jonathan Aitken and Lord Aldington respectively, both of whom the Judge, then Sir Charles Gray QC, had represented in court.

Of course scoring points off the Judge is not always a good idea (if indeed at all) There is a law story about the noted criminal barrister F E Smith KC, later Lord Birkenhead, who was rebuked by a judge, after a lengthy defence of his client, who was accused of murder, in these terms: "Mr Smith, I have listened to what you have had to say, and I must confess that I find myself not much the wiser --" "-- but very much better informed, if I may respectfully say so, M'lud," replied Smith.

Adrian DaviesAdrian Davies (right), who has prepared our new Opinion , knows more of the famous incident. The judge was the famous Mr Justice Darling. The case was in the Twenties. Darling, furious at Smith's clever jibe, got his revenge a few days later when he donned the black cap and pronounced the death sentence on the man, who was manifestly innocent.

A fellow judge who knew Davies told him that afterwards, meeting Darling in his Club, he had remarked diffidently, "I say, that was a bit steep wasn't it, old chap -- to top a defendant just because his Silk scored a point off you?" "I disagree," said Darling. "The man was a Polish Jew, and no great loss to humanity."

An odd breed (Judges). Judges in the Queen's Bench, like Mr Justice Gray, wear a red sash, the only High Court judges to do so, as they were traditionally the only judges able to pronounce the death sentence.


. ROLF Hochhuth, the playwright, once advised me: "David, whatever you do, never reply to fan mail. It just encourages them to write to to you again." (He showed me a cupboard that was bulging with unopened letters.)

A student, Tom Mahler, who wrote a long list of questions, which I answered, now comes with another: "Do you think of yourself as a historical figure? and, What do you think your place in history will be, what is your legacy?" I answer: "Yes, alas; my fame will come after I am gone, and the books I have written will be preferred over the time-serving works of the copyists and conformists. Of that I have no doubt. They are written with future fame in mind, not with current profit." I hope I have not encouraged him.


November 23, 2002 (Saturday),

Linda N. of Chicago, who has valiantly and selflessly produced the pdf files of most of my books' Internet editions, inquires: "May I please have the latest password? It used to be skunkwatch, but that no longer works." Then she asks, "Have you ever read In the Footsteps of Livingstone?"

And have I! I reply: "My father published it in 1920. I read it on my first overnight flight down to South Africa in 1986. Alfred Dolman, the diary's author, my ancestor, was eaten by his native Hottentot bearer on the second trip he made to visit Dr Livingston in Bechuanaland. 'He was brought up at Eton in England, and eaten and brought up in South Africa' -- that was always my best opening story on my South African tour. I want to republish the book. My brother showed me last week all the original water-colour illustrations, they are beautiful."


November 25, 2002 (Monday),

Linda has responded:

Thanks for the password. I recently found a copy of In the Footsteps of Livingstone. Very interesting! There's only one gorgeous color plate in the book; the other illustrations are b/w. The most remarkable thing is how very young Dolman was when he began his adventures. The concept of an extended adolescence, with even dimwits expected to attend college, is a newfangled thing.

Would you like a scan of Livingstone? Or would you like The War Path first?

I send this considered reply:

Linda, I think The War Path is more cogent. Let me reveal my thinking: I have recently looked at the first editions (1978, 1978) of Hitler's War and The War Path and I feel that they lost style and readability in the abridging, which I partly did myself and partly subcontracted to others. I am therefore planning in 2-3 years' time to produce an expanded two-volume edition of the book, beautifully illustrated, using the original 1977, 1978 texts, and including the new materials that have been brought into the 2001 edition.

I found myself being criticised by the Court in the Lipstadt trial for having cut out what they considered to be key sentences or paragraphs (in the abridging process); of course they were not deliberately cut for political, slanting reasons, but that is what the Court maintained.

This task will involve producing clean text scans of both the 1977 and 1978 volumes, which we do not yet have, which can then also be posted as pdfs, of course using the original indices; and then embarking on the delicate task of prising them apart and inserting the implants. For which I may hire a suitable brainy person, as it will involve only surgery. I would then edit the resulting two volumes, and perhaps even insert the annotations on a numbered basis, which is what students always look for.

Somebody writes that The Los Angeles Times a few days ago carried an article by Robert Van Pelt, one of those Court critics, on the current Hitler madness: The article "WHAT'S BEHIND THIS UGLY HITLER-FEST?" isn't in the internet edition, but here are the relevant paragraphs.

"....In the 1960's a young and engergetic British Writer named David Irving believed that the time had come to make a case for Hitler. Irving argued that in the court of history, Hitler had had too many prosecutors, and no serious defender. So he tracked down people who remembered "the other Hitler," and found Hitler's secretary, Traudl Junge, who taught him to see the war through Hitler's eyes, to champion his perspective. The result was "Hitler's War" (1977). In it, Irving argued that the Holocaust had been enacted by "criminal elements" behind Hitler's back and without his knowledge or approval. According to Irving, "Hitler was the best friend the Jews had in the Third Reich." The puppet tyrant syndrome. Poor, misunderstood Hitler."


November 26, 2002 (Tuesday),

The mailman rings the doorbell at 7:30 with a registered package, 1,500 kroner from a Danish supporter, for the coming legal Endkampf. Then with Jessica by No. 36 bus to school., and off to the Public Record Office.


 [Previous Radical's Diary]

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Global vendetta
[This is the early draft of a publication being prepared on the international campaign mounted to silence to author David Irving since 1989. In its final form it will be longer, illustrated, and have links to key documents on which the narrative is based]

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