The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day022.17

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day022.17
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

Q.You have read those interrogations in full, have you not,
or your researchers have?
A.We have read them, yes.
Q.Did they find anything which contradicts the impressions
he gives there?
A.Let us take one step back.  The March 6th meeting was
about so-called Mischlinge and Jews married to non-Jewish

.  P-151

Germans, and the discussions there, as I tried to
summarize them, when you asked me to earlier, Mr Irving,
were precisely about evacuations, sterilization,
preliminaries, presumably meaning legal, the passing of
laws to do with divorce, and so on.  That seem to have
been fairly accurate.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am not sure where this all goes, Mr Irving.
MR IRVING:  I am trying to pin down what actually happened at
the conference and to find out whether the ambit of the
conference is wider than just sterilization issues or
whether it was on a broader field, whether really ugly
matters were discussed and apparently they were not, and
also to establish the credibility of these witnesses, in
particular the first one, who says that afterwards
somebody took the memorandum, Lammers took this minute to
the Fuhrer and returned with precisely the wording of this
memorandum, in fact, and here he is remembering it in June
1947 in very much the same terms as the document itself.

MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Why do you say that Boley was talking about
the 6th March meeting in that little extract you have on
your page 12?  That could have been Wannsee, could it not?
A.He was, my Lord.
MR IRVING:  It is all March 6th.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Why do you say that?  Was this conference not
at the RSH?

.  P-152

A.I do not think Boley was at the Wannsee conference.
MR IRVING:  I do not think he was either.  No, he was not
A.But he was at the March 6th conference and he is
about that.  The point is once more that the minutes
the March 6th conference are all about Mischlinge and
in mixed marriages.  Schlegelberger in his testimony
his trial at Nuremberg said that is what the
was about, and the fall out from it in this set of
documents is clearly about those questions.
MR IRVING:  Professor, if we can pause to draw breath here,
point that divides us on the Schlegelberger
apart from the possible discrepancy on the date, you
there may be a possibility it was 1941, is that you
believe that the Schlegelberger document refers only
the mixed race issue.
Q.And the bureaucratic red tape connected with that?
A.Yes, if you date it to March 42.
Q.I say that the significance of the document shows a
general reluctance on Hitler's part to be sucked into
about the Final Solution?
A.No, it is not that.  Let us remind ourselves of what
A.Lammers says the Fuhrer had repeatedly explained to

.  P-153

that he wanted the solution of the Jewish question put
back until after the war.  Now you have to ask
yourself in
this context what does the solution, losung, of the
question, Judenfrager, in this memorandum actually
It can mean one of three things.  It can mean
extermination.  Well, if Hitler is talking about
extermination being put back until after the war, he
have known about the extermination at this point, and
said, I think, that if Hitler knew about the
between the end of 1941 and October 1943, when you
that he did know about it, then he would approved of
I do not think it means that.
  Then does it mean evacuation?  Well,
has already been going on.  They started pushing the
out of Berlin the previous autumn, as we saw this
morning.  So why is he suddenly turning round now?
people been disobeying him?  That is an absurd
as well.  So, if we date it to March 1942, the only
reasonable context that a historian would put it in
be the series of discussions about Jews and mixed
marriages, which comes under the general heading of
solution of the Jewish problem, because it is one
of that.
Q.These are the theoretical discussions, are they not?
A.Yes, all this stuff about the Mischlinge and so on,
sterilization or other terrible things that they want

.  P-154

do to them, they are saying it is too difficult
classifying people, perhaps there are too many
we know it in early 1943, for example, when they
did try and deport the Jewish husbands of non-Jewish
German women from Berlin to Auschwitz, there was a
protest by these very brave women in public in Berlin
which stopped it, so there was a fear that this would
raise trouble.  There are all kind of reasons why they
should have wanted, Hitler and others, this solution
to be
put off.
  As I said, the Justice Ministry was
concerned about the legal implications of trying to
with this.  There were problems about the resource
implications of having a mass sterilization programme.
There were many reasons why they want to put this off.
Decisions about what was going to be done about the
mass of Jews who were not in this situation were
Mischlinge nor in mixed marriages, they had already
discussed at great length in the Wannsee conference.
Indeed, what was left over from the Wannsee conference
precisely this problem, what to do with these marginal
problematical minority groups.
Q.Can I bring you down to earth now with the actual
of the memorandum?  If we look at the second sentence,
Lammers says in the first sentence, that the Fuhrer
repeatedly said he wants the solution to the Jewish

.  P-155

problem postponed until the war is over.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Pause there, Mr Irving.  If you are right
that the Wannsee conference really decided on a policy
extermination, which as I understand is what you say
happened, that is a very odd thing to have somebody as
senior as Lammers saying.
A.Indeed, my Lord, at this point.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  How do you explain it?
A.Because it is to do with -- the Jewish question here,
means the aspect of the Jewish solution to the Jewish
question that has to do with the Mischlinge and the
in mixed marriages.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, I do not think that really would do.
That is the gloss that Lammers is putting on it.  He
saying in effective response to what is to be done
the Mischlinge, "well, the Fuhrer has consistently
postpone the solution until after the war".  My
to you is, how could he really be saying that, if you
right about what had been decided at Wannsee, because
Hitler would have known what was decided at Wannsee?
Lammers would have known too?
A.That is one reason, my Lord, why I think that there is
strong possibility that this is dated from 1941.
Q.But you accepted on balance of probabilities that
it was likely to be 1942?
A.Because of where it is in the file, which means it was

.  P-156

selected by the Americans, or whoever selected it, to
in this particular postwar file.
Q.So the only answer that you can really give to my
as it were, is, well, I put it back to 1941?
A.If you think that "losung der Judenfrager" means the
package, as it were, then it is a deeply implausible
to be saying at this particular time because so much
going on.
Q.That is really my point.
A.There are so many uncertainties with this document.
you read that little note in the bottom left hand
17.7, that pushes it back to 1941, and then, on 17th
1941, it is plausible to say that Hitler repeatedly
he wanted the whole solution put back until after the
because he was saying that in other quarters and to
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I follow the point.
A.You can follow this up through a chain of documents
I go into my report at this time in 1942, which are
things like "gasuntlosung der Judenfrager" or "Losung
Judenfrager", which then consist entirely of material
about the Mischlinge and the half Jews.  So it is not
entirely implausible whether he was giving this kind
meaning to the Mischlinge.  I agree it is another
problematical aspect of this document.
MR IRVING:  I think the basic problem, my Lord, if I can
put it

.  P-157

like this, is that the whole operation of whatever the
Final Solution was is so ramshackle, and so multi-
so hydra-like, that to try and systematise it in a law
court 50 or 60 years after the event on the basis of
of not complete documentation is a rather hopeless
undertaking.  We all have to try and do the best we
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I understand.
MR IRVING:  Can I now go back to where I was in the
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I am sorry.
MR IRVING:  I mean no criticism of your Lordship but I will
start again and concentrate on that second sentence.
After we looked at the first sentence, which says,
Minister Lammers informed me that the Fuhrer had
repeatedly stated to him that he wants to know that
solution of the Jewish problem has been postponed
the war is over; therefore, or accordingly, rather,
present discussions in the opinion of Mr Lammers have
purely theoretical value.  What are the "present
discussions"?  That was the mixed race discussions,
was it
not?  So therefore that cannot be what they are
to about being postponed.  It is the whole problem is
being postponed because the mixed race discussions are
referred to separately in the second sentence, saying
that reason, these other discussions about mixed races
going to have purely theoretical value.  Do you see

.  P-158

point I am getting at?
A.Yes, I see the point.  I do not accept it.  What I
like to know is what do you think "the solution to the
Jewish question" means in this document?
Q.I am sure that, if it had been said the other way
if it had been put, the Fuhrer has insisted that the
solution to the Jewish problem be pressed with the
possible and radical speed, then you would have no
difficulty in telling me what you meant by that
would you?
A.I am just puzzled.  You put it to me what you actually
understand that phrase to mean, "the solution of the
Jewish question"?  What is it here that is being put
until after the war, if it is not the ----
Q.The whole of this absurd doctrinaire business of
the Jews out of the arms factories, plucking the Jews
of their homes, putting them into scarce transport
shipping them east and west, taking up scarce police
forces to escort them, all this business, all the red
that went with it, which was so pointless in the
winter of
1941 to 1942, and Hitler is repeatedly saying in his
ineffectual way, "why on earth are we doing this?  We
a war on, fellows.  Let us finish the war first and
tackle the problem".
A.I think the problem for the historian, Mr Irving, if
say that then it means the forced evacuation of Jews

.  P-159

the East.
A.This had been going on for several months by this
time, on
Hitler's orders, a fact that you have accepted many
and in many places.
Q.Was it on Hitler's initiative, do you think, or was it
because people like Goebbels came nagging him, saying
"Mein Fuhrer, I want to get them out of Berlin, please
allow me to do that", and Hitler kept on saying, "Oh
well, Dr Goebbels"?
A.This relates to a whole set of other documents.  It
Hitler's initiative.  I think you have accepted many
that Hitler ordered the deportation of the Jews from
Berlin, and subsequently elsewhere, beginning in the
autumn of 1941.

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