DAVID IRVING REPORTS: despite my pleas to abstain, we are over-whelmed with nearly a thousand e-mails a day coming from supporters (and a few others) around the world in the wake of the perverse Lipstadt trial judgment. I am handling them as fast as we can. We shall post initial press coverage from April 13.
Mr Justice Gray rendered his negative judgment at 10.30, Tuesday 11 April 2000 in Court 36 at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
From what The Guardian told us April 11, the money to fund the Lipstadt libel defence came partly from Edgar J Bronfman's Seagram distillery company and two wealthy Atlanta businessmen. Money really can buy a clean conscience. Seagram's legal drug dealing operations (alcohol) have killed many more millions, and destroyed more families, than died in the Nazi Holocaust.
Lipstadt's expert witnesses must have been hard-pressed to stay as neutral as they did, in the face of the inducements offered them. Stand up Christopher Browning, the only real expert among them: He was paid £27,632 by Professor Lipstadt and Penguin Books Ltd. His fee was bettered however by team-leader Professor Richard Evans: £70,181 -- what will your common room colleagues make of that, Richard! Well then, what about Dr Peter Longerich, who is somewhat junior to yourself: he drew £76,195: that should pay for a few English lessons, eh. Professor Hajo Funke, the Berlin University glittering and totally objective expert on the German far right: £92,558 went his way -- what's the German for "Now that's a lot of moolah"? And then there is Professor of Architecture Robert Jan Van Pelt, who was paid £109,244 despite only one flaw in his background -- he never qualified as an architect. Now how many newspapers reported that little detail emerging from his cross-examination by Mr Irving?
The trial of the libel action brought by David Irving against the British publisher Penguin UK Ltd and their author Deborah Lipstadt, an American professor of religion, ended on March 15, 2000 with closing statements by Richard Rampton QC for the defendants, and by Mr Irving.
The trial lasted 32 days [verbatim trial transcripts]. Lipstadt herself did not produce the courage of Mr Irving to go into the witness box for a cross-examination that would have revealed to public scrutiny the identities of those who paid her. Penguin Books equally did not offer themselves for cross-examination. (They would then have had to admit that they did not even have the book read for libels).
Lipstadt told the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz that she had wanted to testify but was stopped by her lawyers; she told the Jewish Telegraph Agency the opposite story -- that she had refused to testify, because it would have meant talking to revisionists, a negative posture she has stubbornly maintained. In the same issue the JTA published an interview with a court-side "friend" of Prof. Lipstadt, containing a thinly veiled ritual death threat and incitement to violence against Mr Irving.
Since the closing statements, Mr Rampton has continued to ply the Judge with documents and statements.
Curious fact: Rampton made no use whatever of the Eichmann Papers, which he and his expensive team had finally persuaded the Israeli Government to release after forty years. Whatever they had hoped to find in the sprawling manuscript, it was not there. Mr Irving however -- whom the Judge ordered to be supplied immediately with a copy of the document -- referred in his closing speech to the fact that it reveals Adolf Eichmann, the Holocaust's "executioner in chief," as having guided tours of the Auschwitz concentration camp -- yet he was never shown a "gas chamber" by the commandant, Rudolf Hoess.
Now for the next battle: David Irving vs. Guardian Newspapers Ltd and Gitta Sereny