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[Verbatim trial transcripts | David Irving's "Radical's Diary" für Jan.: 28 | 31 | Feb: 1 | 2 | 3 | 5 | 7 | 8 | 10 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 20 | 24 | 28 | Mar: 1 | 2 | 6

March 15, 2000 (Wednesday)

At the courthouse at 10:10 a.m., with Henry S. to carry the box of xerox copies. A dozen press and TV cameramen prowl outside the main entrance. I ham it up for them, tucking Gatley on Libel and Slander under my arm, etc.

Arriving at the Law Courts

As I cross the great hall, a court reporter from another trial catches up with me, all flustered, and says that all the court reporters are solidly behind me. "You are putting up a fight for a lot of people who think just the same as you," she says. From her further remarks, before I outpace her, I take it that she finds the Holocaust propaganda campaign endlessly boring.

The Court 73 is packed to overflowing and a hundred people are still lining up outside. I spy many famous faces -- I see Thomas Stutterford of the The Times again, and his p.a., my interesting friend Rebecca Wallersteiner; there is Rabbi Hugh Gryn's daughter too. I chat with Neal Ascherson of The Observer; I say I am going to mention him in my speech, and his 1981 review of UPRISING ("A Bucketful of Slime"), but when the time comes I decide to skip the paragraph and carry on.

The Usher in her black robe is dashing around clucking like a chicken, marshalling people into the public and press galleries. "One more seat here, no Sir that's a press seat, that's all, I'm afraid." The House Full sign goes up, the doors are locked. Then "Silence. All rise!" and the judge comes in.

For a few minutes there is a discussion of procedures and formalities. I have put in a list of five outstanding points, but there is general agreement to hold them until the end of the speeches.

Rampton's speech is short, about an hour, and as predictable as Adolf Hitler's "my prophesy in 1939 about the Jews" gramophone record. I spend the hour ignoring him with all but half an ear, and trimming down my own speech in line with the Judge's hints expressed yesterday. Rampton brings in all the facts I have predicted, which makes my own prepared response even more of, well, a response.

Mr Justice Gray asks him a few questions, bitingly inquiring about the point or relevance of some of his statements, then invites me to begin my closing speech. To show who is in command here, -- nor the defendants, but I -- I propose that the Court may wish first to adjourn for five minutes: It is an optical device, but I deem it necessary. I wish to make adjustments to the speech which have been proposed this morning by the defendants, I indicate.

Five minutes later, we resume. My "bridging-the-gap" introduction this time (that is, setting up a spark across the gap between myself and the audience) is Gallipoli. "It is rather like going over the top at Gallipoli, my Lord," I commence, not much louder than a murmur. "My father was there, he was at Gallipoli." (Aboard one of the bombarding British battle cruisers, so he probably had it rather cushier than the gentlemen who were ashore, that is true. But he was at Jutland also, in May 1916, and that was not a picnic either).

Once or twice I break away from the prepared text -- once, mentioning Professor Richard Evans, to assure the court that despite all, I bear him no personal animus; but he still gets a well-deserved mention when the time comes. And once I pause, when we come to the figures, to say, genuinely, that when we talk of 300,000 here, one million there, we must never overlook that we are dealing with real people who have suffered, it is 300,000 times one, so to speak, and I feel for each and every one of them in their suffering, wherever they suffered. "I am on the side of the Innocents." When I refer to a press report in The Jewish Chronicle, I half turn to the press gallery and utter unscripted words of commendation for that newspaper which has consistently produced the best U.K. reporting on the trial. All of these remarks are quite honest, and it is odd that it should need saying.

There are many, many friends in court this day, as the response to much of what I say makes clear. Each time I deliver a homily on the true meaning, or meaning-in-this-context, of German words like "Schrecken" or "als Partisanen", I throw a playful but baleful glare at Eva Menasse of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, who I know will not like it all. She confirms that she does not, and professes herself shocked at my, well, chutzpah, in putting those meanings to those words. With 104 pages to read, I finish on the nose at 4:30 p.m.

For a while the Judge continues with legal matters; Rampton asks if we can have a week's advance warning of the date that judgement will be given, so he can round up the same press galère from all over the world. I spot Kieling of Die Welt, and there are reporters from Dagens Nyheter and most of the rest of the big European dailies too.

What will they do if things go wrong? Rampton seems confident, but then so am I. Judge Gray was unusually terse with him today. At the end of the afternoon, after I had delivered a mild protest after Rampton's second or third interruption of my closing statement -- interrupting a closing speech is traditionally not done, as I have the right to the last word, literally -- Judge Gray was heard to state tersely to Mr Rampton that his team's sotto voce "over-reactions" on my speech were undesirable.

Lipstadt et alAs we leave I pass in the corridor Laura Tyler, of Mishcon de Reya [attorneys to Deborah Lipstadt, seen on left with her London publisher], and I jokingly thank her for having sent to me last April those "three videos" belonging to them when she returned my own tape collection. (The unedited footage that they contain has enabled me to refute much of the Halle legend.) She flashes a smile that threatens to meltdown the mind, and says sweetly that she is glad to have helped. That is the only unsettling thing about today: that Mishcon de Reya's staff, who have evidently been brought in to the courtroom en masse as a company treat, are in such corporate good humour.

The press pack are waiting in the Strand as I emerge. More hamming it up for them. It is a pity Benté is still so ill that she can't attend. She would have really wowed these press hounds, but she is a very private person and even more so now.

I hit the get-well sofa finally around 6 p.m., and I am out to the world for three hours. At 9:40 I send this message to "the Gang," my worldwide circle of consultants, including to Michael Mills, the Australian civil servant who has helped me so much with brilliant and well-researched history briefs, and who is now under attack from the American and Australian Jewish communities, and in New York's vintage formerly Yiddish newspaper Forward, for having done so (they are noisily demanding his dismissal by the Australian government; but he has done no wrong, and even Canberra cannot dictate what a civil servant thinks in his spare time):


A brief report. Today was the day of closing speeches. Mr Rampton spoke for an hour, a 24-pages speech which I will post later. Today's evening paper is (surprise!) full of it. I spoke for about five hours; totally exhausted. The courtroom was packed with 200, standing room around the walls, around 70 journalists from all over the world; I handed out 25 copies of my speech and nearly had my clothes torn off by journalists trying to get it. The courtroom listened in total amazement to my revelations of the pressures put on me by the ADL etc for 30 years, which the judge had allowed me after all to report. I had argued that I considered them highly relevant and admissible for various reasons, and repeated that today.

I am now much more buoyant [...] based on remarks by the judge. He challenged Rampton at the end of the speech on racism, making it plain that he thought it had no bearing whatever in this trial. When I got to my page on the British National party, he said I need not read it; I asked if he was satisfied there was "no case to answer" on that, and he said he was. He even introduced the interesting idea that anti-Semitism was okay if it was a "sincerely held" anti-Semitism, and that such a historian might not necessarily be a bad historian.

It is a typical lawyers' argument, and I would not have pleaded or argued that myself. Since I am not anti-Semitic, I would not think of it. I wish I had been looking at the faces of the German journalists to see their reaction to Judge Gray's interesting notion, however. (Julius Streicher at Nuremberg: "Alright, M'lud, I'll come clean, I was a Jew-baiter: but it was sincere Jew-baiting!" "Acquit that man with costs from the public purse!")

Rampton was livid about the Krema II "no holes" -- I reminded the court once again that I had twice stated the challenge: find the holes on top of the roof of Leichenkeller 1 at Auschwitz, and I will drop the action within 24 hours. They have not tried, because they know I am right. This time it sinks in to the whole courtroom. He was also livid about the June 28 1943 Bischoff document on Krematorium capacities; he says there remains only one flaw in it, the missing "43"; this is quite untrue. I stuck to my guns. The document in that form is not genuine, and it is the only one I challenged.

I omitted about 30% of the "global conspiracy" material where it was hard to show relevance. I omitted the remarks on Professor Funke, as he assured me they were untrue (and the Judge might therefore have objected)[...].

I'll post the transcript tomorrow when it comes.


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