[verbatim trial transcripts]
Thursday, February 3, 2000
Diary reveals Irving's ode to Aryans
BY MICHAEL HORSNELL
SIR TREVOR McDONALD, the black ITN newscaster, should be restricted to reading news about muggings and drug busts, according to the Hitler historian David Irving. His words were quoted back at him in court yesterday as he faced allegations of unvarnished racism. He agreed that in a speech to the Clarendon Club, he had yearned for the old days when newsreaders wore dinner jackets on air. He had said: "For a transitional period, I'd be prepared to accept that the BBC should have a dinner-jacketed gentleman reading the important news to us, followed by a lady reading all the less important news, followed by Trevor McDonald giving us all the latest news about the muggings and the drug busts."
Mr Irving, who is suing the American academic Deborah Lipstadt for libel over a book in which she describes him as a "holocaust denier", was taken through a passage from his private diary by her counsel, Richard Rampton QC. It concerned a day when he took his baby daughter Jessica out for a walk near their home in London. According to the diary, he had been singing her a ditty beginning "My name is Baby Jessica" when "half-breed" children were wheeled past them in their prams, and he changed the words to something more "scurrilous" which began: "I am a Baby Aryan."
Mr Irving agreed that he had recorded the ditties in his diary on September 17, 1994, after returning from the walk with his "fine little lady" of a daughter. But on a day of heated exchanges with Mr Rampton, he denied a suggestion that the diary entry was one of many examples of his alleged racism. Mr Irving said that what he had written was a private response to a smear in the magazine Searchlight in which he said that his family was described as a "perfect Aryan family".
Mr Irving was obliged to hand over his diaries before the hearing as part of the normal exchange of documents.
Irving is accused of 'unvarnished' racism
BY MICHAEL HORSNELL
THE Hitler historian David Irving was accused of "unvarnished racism" at his High Court libel trial yesterday as he was taken through his private diary, which he never thought anyone else would read. Millions of words, both unpublished and contained in speeches he made to right-wing audiences, came under scrutiny along with damaging allegations made about how he had poisoned his daughter's mind with racism. He was also cross-examined about a book he published in which he attacked the Jews for their greed.
He agreed that in July 1997 he wrote in A Radical's Diary: "They clamour 'Ours! Ours! Ours!' when hoards of gold are uncovered. And then when anti-Semitism increases and the inevitable mindless pogroms occur, they ask with genuine surprise 'Why us?'"
In a series of heated exchanges with Richard Rampton, QC, he was taken through a series of utterances he has made about the Jews, but denied that he is a racist.
Mr Irving, 62, who said he strongly objected to the "kind of excerpting" exercise on which Mr Rampton embarked, was taken through an interview he had given to the journalist Errol Morris on November 8, 1998, in which he analysed anti-Semitism and suggested that money lay at its root. The historian, who has denied that Jews were exterminated in the concentration camp gas chambers during the Second World War, said that the Jewish community had only to be called liars for their accusers to be thrown into jail. He said: "The question which would concern me, if I was a Jew, is not who pulled the trigger, but why? Why are we disliked? Is it something we are doing?
"You people are disliked on a global scale. You have been disliked for 3,000 years and yet you never seem to ask what is at the root of this dislike . . . no sooner do you arrive as a people in a new country, then within 50 years you are already being disliked all over again.
He questioned whether it could be because non-Jews did not like the way they looked or whether it was down to envy because they were more successful. "It was not just a 'nudge, nudge, wink, wink' dislike but on a 'visceral, gut-wrenching, murderous level, that no sooner do we arrive than we are being massacred, and beaten, and brutalised and imprisoned, until we have to move on somewhere else." He added: "I would say that they're a clever race. I would say that as a race they are better at making money than I am. That's a racist remark, of course. But they appear to be better at making money than I am. If I was going to be crude, I would say not only are they better at making money, but they are greedy."
Asked about such remarks by Mr Rampton, Mr Irving said: "In my own clumsy way I am trying to find out why we don't like them. It's a very coherent expression of the anti-Semitic tragedy. I am putting myself in the skin of a person asking questions about a clever people." Mr Irving is suing Deborah Lipstadt, an American academic, and Penguin Books, over her book Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, in which she claims that he is a denier of the Holocaust.
Mr Rampton, for the defence, put the question: "Every time there is a pogrom or gassing or machine-gunning into a pit it's entirely the Jews' fault because some of them are very good at playing the piano and making money?"
Mr Irving: "That's a childish over-simplification." Mr Irving, who is representing himself, said: "I am not a racist. I haven't seen a single coloured person on your team behind you."
The historian, who said he employed people regardless of their race, was reprimanded by Mr Justice Grey when he twice repeated the accusation. The High Court was shown a video of Mr Irving addressing the National Alliance, a right-wing American organisation, in Tampa, Florida, in October 1995 in which he spoke of what he called the "legend of the Holocaust".
Mr Irving denied any association with the NA but it was put to him he had spoken at eight of their events between 1990 and 1998.
Asked why he had said in his Tampa speech that he found the Holocaust story "boring", Mr Irving said: "I think 95 per cent of the thinking public find the Holocaust boring by now but don't say it because it's politically incorrect. What other explanation is there for the fact that it's all the Jews go on about now? There have been the most incredible episodes in Jewish history, but all you hear of in films and so on of late is the Holocaust."
Asked to account for a suggestion that a Holocaust survivor may have faked her Auschwitz tattoo, Mr Irving said that Jewish people were not immune from criticism. The hearing continues.
Thursday, February 3, 2000