Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day006.18 Last-Modified: 2000/08/02 Q. Why has it got his name on it? A. That is the routing list. It is going to go, first of all, to the State Secretary, then to the person whose department is listed on the next line, department 4, then to department 5. Normally, you would expect there to be a little tick or a check mark next to it or an initial to indicate that, yes, they have seen it. So this is not a man who has written it. This is who it is intended for. Q. Then, please, let us remind ourselves of what you said about this document. First of all, page 464 of Hitler's War 1991. When did you discover this document, by the way? A. In stages, if I may put it like that. Beginning in 1970, I found the reference in a summary of it, and then I received the actual document itself from a German historian in about 1978 and simultaneously, I believe, from the United States national archives. . P-159 Q. You did not have it then when you first -- I do not know if it is in '77 Hitler's War or not. I am not interested if it is? MR JUSTICE GRAY: It could not be if he did not have it until '78. MR RAMPTON: No, I would not have thought ---- A. My Lord, let me be just slightly more specific. Your Lordship will recall that I said that photocopies went to the prosecution authorities in Nuremberg. The location of the origin, of the originals, I do not know thereafter, but the photocopies remained in Nuremberg. The Americans produced what was called a staff evidence analysis sheet which listed the contents of that little clip of documents which I have here in my hand. It listed five documents in that clip, and document No. 4 was note stating that Hitler intended to postpone solution of the Jewish problem until after the war which, obviously, is something which immediately attracted my attention. This staff evidence analysis sheet is dated June 22nd 1946, in the middle of the Nuremberg trials, in other words. When I went to the file which this referenced, all the other documents, the photocopies, were in that file. This one had vanished. It took some years to locate the originals with the original file still in it, the original document still in it. I can only surmise that this is possibly totally uncalled for, that the allied prosecution . P-160 authorities in Nuremberg did not want that document to surface. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Why not? A. Because it would have been used by Lammers, in particular, who was on trial in 1947 as a document to mitigate punishment or in some way to disculpate himself for any part in the Final Solution; that he would have pointed out that, as far as he knew, Hitler had ordered that nothing was to happen. We conducted quite a paper trail. I contacted Mr Kempner which drew up this staff analysis sheet and we had quite a long search for it. MR JUSTICE GRAY: You eventually got it in about '78? A. Yes, a rival historian got hold of the original document Professor Jekkel(?) because by that time the German Government archives had processed the file and found it. But it took 23 years just to process that file. MR RAMPTON: Can we please go, therefore, to page 464 of Hitler's War? A. Of the? Q. 1991. My Lord, that is volume 2, but your Lordship will shortly need volume 1 because I am going to refer to the introduction. I want to look at the text first. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I have 464. MR RAMPTON: We are going to start with the paragraph in the middle of the page: "Early in March 1942". Do you have that, Mr Irving? I will wait until you have it. . P-161 A. I am looking at the wrong volume. Q. Did you not have your own book copy, as it were? A. This is the first edition. I am the only person in this courtroom who has not got a copy of my second edition. Q. You must get one. MR JUSTICE GRAY: How does one tell the date of this document? MR RAMPTON: Well, this is ---- A. Internal. MR RAMPTON: --- one of the interesting questions. It is one of the reasons, my Lord, why one cannot ---- A. Internal evidence, my Lord. MR RAMPTON: --- we submit make any certain categorical assertions about what it means, the interpretation and conclusions to be drawn from it. But that is what I am going to do sooner or later. A. Yes, I have it now. Q. Probably later. All right. Early in March 1942, in fact, the date was, I think, 6th March, was it not? A. That is correct. Q. We have the document. We are going to look at it along the line, Mr Irving. "Heydrich held a second inter ministerial conference to examine the awkward problem posed by half and quarter Jews. If allowed to remain, they might perhaps be sterilized. A 'top level' opinion - i.e. Hitler's - was quoted to the effect that they must draw a sharp distinction between Jews and . P-162 non-Jews, as it would not be acceptable for a mini- race of semi-Jews to be perpetuated in law. But this classification process would call for a colossal administrative effort, so the idea was shelved. A subsequent memorandum in Reich Justice Ministry files cited this highly significant statement by Hans Lammers, head of the Reich Chancellery: 'The Fuhrer has repeatedly stated that he wants the solution of the Jewish Problem postponed until after the war is over'". Then I do not think one needs both with the next sentence, do you agree, Mr Irving? A. No. Q. Now we turn, if may, to the introduction on page 18. You make a reference in the middle of page 18 to the Night of Broken Glass and say something about "On orders from the very highest level". That is something, the Night of Broken Glass, we will have to deal with, I am afraid, in the future. You write: "Every over historian has shut his eyes and hoped that this horrid, inconvenient document would somehow go away"? A. That is a different context. Q. No, no, of course it is, but I am reading it for context. "But it has been joined by others", that is to say, other horrid inconvenient documents that will not go away, "like the extraordinary note dictated by Staatssekretar Schlegelberger in the Reich Ministry of Justice in the . P-163 spring of 1942: 'Reich Minister Lammers', this states, referring to Hitler's top civil servant, 'informed me that the Fuhrer has repeatedly pronounced that he wants the solution of the Jewish Question put off until after the war is over'." Can I just pause there? You notice there is a slide in the tense that you use there (which is what we in English call the perfect tense) to what we see in your translation on the web site where you use the pluperfect? A. Well, I would not have bothered to look at the original translation each item. I would have just retranslated the document each time I wanted to use it. Q. What I want to know is which is correct, having regard to the original German? There is a difference, is there not, "the Fuhrer has repeatedly" and "the Fuhrer had repeatedly", unless we are talking about reported speech. A. We are in trouble, Mr Rampton. It is the notorious subjunctive again. Q. We are in trouble? A. We are in trouble. We had problems with the subjunctive before, and with the subjunctive it is not quite so easy to work out what is perfect tense and what is pluperfect ---- Q. No, that is why I am asking you for help. I am asking you which of your alternative translations (and they are different) you think is correct. . P-164 A. Well, "Reich Minister Lammers informed me that the Fuhrer had told him repeatedly" or that "the Fuhrer has told him repeatedly". [German]. It is the subjunctive and we are ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: But it is present subjunctive, not past subjunctive, is it not? A. I bow to your Lordship's wisdom. Q. No, you tell me because I am not as good at German as you are? A. It can be translated adequately either way, my Lord, without any malice in a particular direction, unless Mr Rampton wants to make a particular thing of it. MR RAMPTON: No, I do not want to make a particular thing about it. You see, my problem with this document is that -- I am not an historian; I am not trying to prove anything here in relation to history -- it is not an easy document. A. It is not an easy document for your friends, no. Q. It does not deserve -- what? A. It is not an easy document for your friends at all, I agree. Q. No, no, it is not an easy document for any open-minded historian to deal with. It has no date. There is a doubt about the tense. We have seen that already. Professor Evans' report tells us -- it may be wrong -- that even the way in which it is filed does not give us much clue to its . P-165 provenance? A. He may not have seen the staff evidence analysis sheet which I saw back in 1970, but then again I do not think he has done the work that I have. Q. Do you understand what I am saying? A. Yes. Q. If the German translation is difficult because it is not clear -- we will have to get Dr Longerich to tell us about this in due course -- but if the German is difficult in translation and it is uncertain whether it is a perfect or a pluperfect that is being used, that is quite an important question for an historian because if it is the pluperfect that is being used, then it may very well be that all Lammers is saying is that he remembers, as we all know, that in the early years of the war Hitler had been saying, "We will put this off to the end of the war and then we will send them all to Madagascar". Do you understand? A. Yes. That would be one escape route if it was possible, but I think it would be the most perverse possible translation or interpretation of this document. Q. It is just a little point along the historian's road when he is trying to reach a tentative conclusion about where this document is to be placed in time and in topic and, therefore, what its significance is? A. Being "placed in time", do you mean when it was actually . P-166 composed or what period it is referring to? Q. (A) when it was composed; (B) what period it is referring to, and (C) what topic it is dealing with when it uses the words "die Losung der Judenfrage"? A. Yes. Q. You have, if I may say so, taken a big jump into space and declared, in effect, on numerous occasions that it is firm evidence of Hitler's determination in March 1942 or April 1942 that the Jewish Solution or the Solution of the Jewish Question should be put off until the end of the war, have you not? A. Put on the back burner, yes. Let me put it this way round. If the document had said not what it does say, but if the document had said, "The Fuhrer has repeatedly declared that he wants the Jewish Problem solved immediately in the most radical possible means", there is not an historian in this room who would say, "Well, it quite clearly refers to the Final Solution in the brutal sense of killing", but because it says Hitler saying, "Let's put it on the back burner", everybody starts getting into a fuss and saying, "Oh, dear, what does it mean? When was it written?" Q. I agree. A. I appreciate problems it causes for you. Q. I agree, if the document were dated to, let us say, sometime in the early 1941, and that is what it said, if . P-167 it were dated early 1941 and that is what it said, then, of course, historians would be excited about it? A. But, Mr Rampton, you will notice that at the top left- hand corner of the document there are serial numbers that have been stamped 01/111 and so on, and we are in the fortunate position of knowing what the other documents in that file were and what date they were, so what it was filed between which is a very reasonable indication of approximately what week and month it was generated. Q. If you take the trouble to read Professor Evans' report at any rate before you cross-examine ---- A. Well, he, apparently, knows a great deal less about this than I do.
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