Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day004.17 Last-Modified: 2000/08/01 A. Indeed, my Lord, yes, all that it is safe to say on the evidence. MR RAMPTON: What he actually said I think was this or was recorded as having said. One must be careful. This is the Goebbels' entry: "Wir sprechen zum Schlub noch uber die Judenfrage" which means -- if you want to see it, it is on page 405 of ---- A. "Finally we speak on the Jewish question". Q. Yes. "Hier bleibt der Fuhrer nach wie vor unerbittlich" -- relentless, unmerciless, is it not? A. "Vor unerbittlich", yes, merciless. Q. Merciless, yes. "Die Juden mussen aus Europa heraus"? A. "The Jews have to get out of Europe". Q. "Wenn notig"? A. "If necessary". . P-151 Q. "Unter Anwendung der brutalsten Mittel"? A. "With the employment of the most brutal methods" or "means". Q. What is there in anything that you have seen in the evidence of this time to suggest that Hitler and Goebbels did not discuss the very questions raised by Goebbels' later diary note at that meeting of 19th March? A. The fact that Hitler in the table talk which is recorded first person and I have seen the actual original paper, with Martin Bormann signing every single page in the bottom right hand corner as being an accurate record of what had been said, stated in the presence of people like Heydrich and Himmler at their table talk remarks which were only consistent with the knowledge that they were being physically and geographically expelled from Europe. Q. He was muttering on about Madagascar in late July 1942? A. He was also muttering on here, as you said, about Russia and the marshy swaps. Q. We will come to your marshy swaps entry fairly soon, Mr Irving, but the references to Madagascar and Russia are perhaps in late 1942 are a complete nonsense; they cannot be taken seriously? A. With all that mass of paper that we have, not only taken by Heydrich, but also by Rosenberg's Adjutant, who also wrote table talks, which I discover in the archives, with all this mass of paper of Hitler talking in private at . P-152 this time I would just ask for one piece of sheet where he is explicitly saying "sure we are liquidating them". There is nothing. It is this negative mass of evidence, this absence of any evidence I find impressive. Even when he is in private talking to people who are actually doing the killing there is no such mention, on Hitler's part. I found that very disturbing. MR JUSTICE GRAY: You now know, of course, that is not right, do you not, because of the document we were looking at this morning? A. Which document are you referring to, my Lord? Q. Killing the Jews as if they -- A. December 1942 -- my Lord, tomorrow I will bring to you one of these irritating individual documents, 10th December 1942, the discussion between Himmler and Hitler on a proposal that they should sell their Jews to foreign customers, and Hitler saying: "Yes, this is quite all right, sell what you want. We want hard currency for them"; which is inconsistent with the desire to liquidate all the Jews at that very same time. It is a document not without evidentiary value in this particular argument. MR RAMPTON: I think we are going to have to look at these table talks, I have quite a lot of them here, in some detail, probably tomorrow, Mr Irving. Your basis for saying that Goebbels privately knew more is simply that there is no document that you know of where Hitler says, . P-153 I too know what Labotznich is doing in the East or whatever or I order him to do it? A. -- there is no documentary evidence he derived any information from such reports as has obviously been shown to Goebbels, yes. Q. I still do not understand how that leads to the positive assertion that Goebbels obviously knew more. A. Because there is a negative proof here, we have an absence of documents where there should have been documents to the contrary, with a huge volume of record of Adolf Hitler's remarks in later years, in 1942, September 1942 onwards, his war conferences were taken down verbatim, just like here. Every word he said and spoken to the shorthand reporters. We have the documents. We have the diaries. We have the table talks. We have Kopen's records, and yet nowhere is there any reference indicating that Hitler was privy to this kind of information. I say that with absolutely certainty you will not be able to prove me wrong. Q. I already have, Mr Irving, we have talked at some considerable length already about report number 51, have we not? A. That is why I refer to this as being an orphan, because it is so totally impossible to fit it into the general framework of all the other documentation which is of equal evidentiary weight. . P-154 Q. Therefore you jettison it? A. Not at all. It frequently happens, probably in major court cases of a criminal kind too, that you have one item for which you cannot find a ready explanation, the whole of the rest of picture is -- there is this one which item which bothers you for the rest of your life. That item will bother me for rest of my life. But I am quite satisfied that all the other evidence I have; the table talks, the transcripts, the telegrams, the intercepts; which all fit into one general picture flowing one way, I am quite prepared to have one document flowing the other way, but that does not make me change my opinion. Q. Mr Irving, you have two more now that you did not know about before. A. Good. Q. You have the Muller letter of 1st August 1941? A. But that is only of very low evidentiary value purely saying Hitler wants to be told what is going on with Einsatzgruppen. Q. You cannot put things in isolation, as you keep telling me. You have to put that together with the report No. 51, and you have to put it together with the Himmler note, which is plainly a note of something Hitler said. You have to ask yourself the question; overall in the context of the whole of the evidence? A. Mr Rampton, if you were proposing -- . P-155 Q. Wait a minute, does this not lead to the conclusion Hitler probably did know? A. -- if you propose to link those two documents that you keep on intending to do, the August 1941 document and the December 1942 document, I would refer you to the German Civil Service practice, that the second document in its reference lines on the top left would automatically say, "Referring to Fuhrer order" such and such a date August 1941 then that would immediately state: "This is in response to that triggering document" even if it was 18 months earlier. You will frequently find this in the records, that it will specifically make reference to the document to which the report is issued in response. Q. Could we try it a different way, Mr Irving; since it clear Hitler knew about the mass shootings by the Einsatzgruppen in the East, we can deduce that from report No. 51 -- A. Well, can we phrase that slightly differently? Since Hitler had no reason not to know it may sound quibbling to you -- Q. -- I do not mind. You see I am not driven to make any proposals about history, as I said, only about historiography. You have written that the unequivocal, categorical statements about Hitler's lack of knowledge, not I. A. -- but you are not suggesting I did not print that No. 51 in the appropriate place in the Hitler biography. . P-156 Q. It is there somewhere, but you attach no importance to it? A. I attach -- merely putting the document into the book is not enough? Q. Most of these documents, or many of them you just put them in the footnotes very often, do you not? A. I strongly suspect that is the way it was put to Adolf Hitler in December 1942, as a footnote. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I must say that I hesitate to accept, for this reason; it is quite a simple document, and it is referring to the killing by shooting of 300,000 Jews. Well, you have to be quite a man to just pass over that, do you not? A. My Lord, as is quite evident from a study of the history of that period at this moment in time, December 29th 1942, Hitler's primary concern was focused on saving the Sixth Army in Stalingrad. Q. That I accept, but that does not mean, does it, he is not going to notice a document telling him that 300,000, on the face of it, innocent civilians were being shot by his army? A. It could go either way. All I am entitled to do is to put the document in the book in its proper place, not in the way we are looking at it in this court surrounded only by documents about the Holocaust, putting it in the Hitler biography where you have it surrounded by everything else that is happening at that time. That may be described as . P-157 putting in as footnote, but that is precisely the way it probably came to him and Himmler probably slipped it before. But I have not even suggested that. I have just put it in the proper place. MR RAMPTON: Let us, Mr Irving, think about this orphan document for a moment, if we may. Another way of looking at this orphan document is this, is it not, if it is clear enough, as I would suggest to you it is, that this information was conveyed to Hitler and if the result of it was not that a whole lot of people were sacked or put in prison because they had done something illegal, and killing, shooting 363,000 Jews, people, never mind unless they are soldiers, is a fairly remarkable achievement, is it not, and if it had been against Hitler's policy, surely we would know, would we not, because of the consequences for those that had done it and authorized it? A. This was typical Hitler, when people acted in this way he did not move to take recriminations against them, he just allowed things to slide. He was typical (unintelligible) as they say in Latin, he was a procrastinator. I also make this point, which is not unimportant, Mr Rampton, you have seen the agenda, Himmler's agenda, on which he would go and see Hitler and put reports to him, like this one, or the one a few days previously about the selling off the Jews to the highest bidder, this kind of thing, and you have -- can I finish. . P-158 Q. Carry on. A. You would then have in the Himmler files a paper trail saying what Hitler's response had been. We have no such paper trail. We have no response. We have no letter by Himmler writing two or three days later saying "the Fuhrer has studied report 51", there is nothing like that and that is what I mean when I call it an "orphan". I am not trying to insult the document's integrity. I am suggesting that we lack the paper trail which shows it was brought into Hitler's cognisance. Q. You accepted not very long ago, last week, he probably had seen it? A. On the balance of probabilities, because of the use -- Q. I am only interested -- A. On the top, just the same as these documents are lying in front of me here, that is not to say I know what is written 20 or 30 pages down the heap. Q. -- oh. A. Because there is no subsequent paper trail -- Q. You have evidence that the Fuhrer had a stack like this in in his intray, he got to about page 30 and then fell asleep and the next morning he did not bother to read the particular report? A. -- you may want to put it as sarcastically as that -- Q. Of course I do. A. -- I knew his Adjutants, who are now all dead very well, . P-159 and they would describe to me in very great detail the procedure by which they try to get him to attend to documents and it was precisely that, the same as Winston Churchill, they would have their boxes, Churchill used to read his box in bed in the mornings, Hitler's box was put outside his bedroom with all the documents in it which he was supposed to read. That is what they mean by "foregelegt". It means of course that he has other things on his plate that day.
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