The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day003.06

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day003.06
Last-Modified: 2000/07/29

   A.   No, right. But in other words I wrote that. This is
        is important.
   Q.   I follow you wrote it.
   MR RAMPTON:  I had assumed you wrote that. This is why I
        it a confession.
   A.   Confession implies that something is wrong.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Put the substance, Mr Rampton.
   MR RAMPTON:  It is quite inconsistent with the version you
        been giving us in this court?
   A.   It is absolutely consistent with my methods as an
        historian as saying here is one version, but the
        should know there is an alternative version.  This is
        absolutely consistent with -- you remember how I sent
        letter to The Times in 1966 saying there are other
        on Dresden and it is right that the public knows this.

.          P-46

        I know it is unusual for historians to do this, but I
        that kind of thing.
   Q.   But you did not say, but on reflection I think this
        suggestion that I was mistaken is probably wrong, and
        I adhere to my original thesis that it was a Hitler
   A.   I draw attention to the first two words on page 1043
   Q.   I know that?
   A.   It does not say "this confirms" or "proves".
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  But to be blunt about it, Mr Irving, what
        I think is the suggestion made on the basis of your
        website entry is that it was because a journalist
        off Himmler what had been going on that the message
        out to Riga; have I understood it correctly?
   A.   I think I would be reading very much between the
lines, my
   Q.   That is what you are saying here, is it not, Mr
   A.   No, not at all.  I am saying exactly what happened.
        his timetable was.
   MR RAMPTON:  Mr Irving, the position is this, you quite
        properly in this website entry recognize the
        I would say the probability, it does not matter, that
        original thesis, that it was an order from Hitler was
        wrong, do you not?
   A.   Well, you say "probability" and "possibility"; I would
        what I am saying here is it is important that the

.          P-47

        public, academics and others who are accessing this
        website realize there are documents which indicate a
        discrepancies in The Times.  However, we should not
        every word on the gold balance, as the Germans say,
        because it is quite possible and indeed highly
        that as soon as Himmler arrived at Hitler's
        he did not go and have a shower or something, he went
        straight in to see the boss, and said "boss I am here,
        what time shall I come past" and the boss said "oh by
        way Heydrich I will have to tear a strip off you
        of what is happening at the Eastern Front".
   Q.   Mr Irving, who reads these books of yours?  Do not
        that as a suggestion that nobody does, at all, I do
        mean that, but who are they aimed at?
   A.   How would I know.
   Q.   Who do you write your books for?  When are you writing
        book, if I write something to my wife I do not use the
        kind of pompous language I use in court, I hope.  So
        know, you have an audience?
   A.   Obviously, I am trying to write for as wide an
audience as
        possible so that it is both learned enough for the
        academics to use as a source book, in the case of the
        Goebbels biography but also entertaining enough for
        general public to look at and read from end to end
        putting it down at the end of a chapter.
   Q.   Exactly.  It is meant to be readable and it is also

.          P-48

        scholarly and authoritative, is it not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   All three of those things.  Do you not think, Mr
        that the respectable approach to this problem of the
        Himmler telephone call, for problem it is,
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Would have been to put both possible "theories", as
        call them, in this website into your book?
   A.   Well, here you have another time discrepancy, Mr
        because the book was delivered to the publishers in
        and this Moscow diary came to my hands in 1998, three
        years, so it would have been quite a feat of
        to imagine what was in the archives and I had not at
        time seen.
   Q.   No, but you had assumed without more, had you not?
   A.   This is not the point you were just trying to make,
        were trying to imply I concealed what I knew, which
        fall within the grounds of manipulation and
   Q.   What I put to you is this, that you inserted an order
        Hitler without evidence?
   A.   I inferred an order from Hitler with very strong
   Q.   You state it as a categorical fact?
   A.   In my introduction to the book, yes, I draw
   Q.   And also in the text, if I may say so.
   A.   No, in the text I state exactly what the documents

.          P-49

   Q.   And you mistranscribe the word Judentransport so as to
        make Hitler appear the more merciful because that is
        it is about?
   A.   No, I applied the wider interpretation of the
        rather than the narrow interpretation, which one could
        subsequently apply once one knew more about the
history of
        that particular train load.
   Q.   You do not agree now that you have been caught out by
        full entry in the Hitler log?
   A.   Mr Rampton, historians are constantly being caught out
        fresh documents that come into their purview and one
is --
        I am personally very satisfied how infrequently I am
        caught out.  I the entire Goebbels biography
        for example, without access to the diaries in Moscow.
        I was pleased to find out how much I managed to work
        correctly from secondary sources.  So it is with
        particular episode, the decodes only came into our
        possession within the last four or five years and yet
        confirmed exactly what I inferred 20 years, 25 years
        I do not think it is a question of being caught out.
        one revises and updates information it is not because
        has been caught out, with all pejorative implications.
   Q.   I am afraid they are pejorative.  I would like to know
        you say that the decodes (we will go it now, I will
        back to where I was in a moment) why the decodes
        your account?

.          P-50

   A.   I think I have gone through the little bundle this
        in some detail, I am glad I did.
   Q.   You show me the decode, I suppose mean the one on page
   A.   December 1st.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:   Mr Rampton, you are moving to a slightly
        different topic, may I ask one more question?
   MR RAMPTON:   Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:   It is back to your website, looking at
        now, forget what you have written in the past, but
        at it now, it is obvious that there was some sort of
        discussion or meeting between Himmler and the
        is that not right?
   A.   My Lord, I regard this meeting between Himmler and the
        journalist as being a matter of very low priority, I
        put it in purely because it shows what he was doing
        morning.  It never occurred to me that Gunther
        who is in fact still alive, I believe -- no, he died
        or four months ago in fact, that he would brought to
        Himmler any kind of serious information about was
        on.  I have never heard that implied or inferred.
        D'Alquen has been questioned on very many occasions,
        by the courts and by journalists, and I am sure that
        kind of information would have come into my
possession, if
        it had had I would have immediately used it.
   Q.   The entry does suggest that this journalist did have
        news to give to Himmler, does it not?

.          P-51

   A.   I shall go straight home and change the wording of the
        entry, my Lord, because was that not what I intended
        the author of this passage.
   Q.   What is Reisebericht?
   A.   It is a travel report.  He has been travelling around,
        presumably on the Eastern Front and he comes back to
        Himmler.  He reports back to Himmler, tells him what
        has seen, when he visited the SS police divisions and
        whatever --
   Q.   How would you translate Totenkopfdivision?
   A.   -- Death's Head Division, which is a division on the
        Eastern Front which was not connected, as I understand
        with the killing operations, it was actually operating
        the Eastern Front.  I am prepared to be corrected on
        but I believe that the Death's Head Division was one
        the elite SS divisions which was fighting on the
        Front at Moscow at this time of course in severe
   Q.   Yes, thank you very much.  I am sorry, Mr Rampton.
   MR RAMPTON:  It is of no matter, my Lord.
   THE WITNESS:   I would be very willing to write material in
        between the lines here if I thought it assisted the
        evidence that on this particular case, on the balance
        probabilities beyond putting the name in, that is all
        can safely do.  But your Lordship will notice that I
        not hesitate to publicise information which is

.          P-52

        hostile to my own interests.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I see that.
   MR RAMPTON:  The original of I imagine the two documents
        you are talking about when you are talking about the -
- is
        on page 20 of your little bundle; do you have the
        bundle there?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Items 24 and 25; is that right?
   A.   24 and?
   Q.   25, items 24 and 25 on page 20?
   A.   Is this April 20th, you are talking about?
   Q.   No, I am sorry, this is the summons to Jeckeln?
   A.   Would you give me the page number.
   Q.   Page 20.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Items 24 and 25.
   A.   I see, this is actual the intercepts.
   Q.   Yes, we go back to page 17 for the English.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   It is quite clear, is it not, I mean I agree with you,
        that Himmler was very cross with Jeckeln for what had
   A.   For overstepping the guidelines.
   Q.   Sure.  We do not know what guidelines are you tell us?
   A.   I do not know what the guidelines are, no.
   Q.   It is common ground for once between you and me and

.          P-53

        people who inform me, teach me, educate me, that
        that incident because no doubt the meeting took place
        between Himmler and Jeckeln on 4th December 1941, yes?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Probably following receipt of the telegram or whatever
        was on the 1st December.
   A.   Mr Rampton, may I remind you of the very lengthy Bruns
        Report I read out.
   Q.   I am coming to that.
   A.   Can I answer.
   Q.   Certainly remind me of that if you wish, yes.
   A.   Yes.  In which there is talk in the Bruns Report of
        saying we sent an urgent message to Hitler's
        how could we do it, then the word comes back to the
        front to the young SS man, he said, we received
        this kind of thing has to stop.  This is the kind of
        extraneous information one takes on board when one
        inferences from documents.
   Q.   Mr Irving, I think sometimes you set traps for
   A.   I try not to.
   Q.   Actually what Bruns said was mass shootings on this
        have got to stop, this has to be done more discreetly?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   That is quite different?
   A.   That is what the local SS officers said to him.
   Q.   It is quite different, is it not, it is not the same

.          P-54

        at all?
   A.   They wanted to carry on, yes, they wanted to carry.
   Q.   No, no, Bruns's report of the order through the mouth
        Altemeyer was that the order which had come from
        was that mass shootings of this kind on the scale have
        stop, that has to be done more discreetly?
   A.   This is Bruns' version four years later of what the 22
        year old SS officer who wanted to carry on killing
        told him.  He said, we have gone been told by East
        we have to stop, however, the way he phrased it was,
        have to stop on this scale and we are going to carry
        doing it in a more discreet way because that is what
        wanted to do. But of course they did not, they did not
        carry on, they stopped, as that footnote shows.

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