Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day024.12 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 MR IRVING: My Lord, my general impression is that Adolf Hitler abandoned that particular plank once he came to power. It had been very useful for getting him into power but, once he was an absolute dictator, he did not need it any more and it bulked less large. MR JUSTICE GRAY: The point Mr Rampton makes is do we need to spend very long exploring anti-Semitism in the 30s, given that you accept that he was a radical anti-Semite over the entirety of that period? MR IRVING: The question is whether he was a cynical anti-Semite and used it in the same way that an Enoch Powell might use immigration as a means of establishing a political position, or whether he was profoundly viscerally anti-Semitic. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Which option are you going for? MR IRVING: I am going for the cynical version, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: So he was not really an anti-Semite, it was just a political gambit? . P-102 MR IRVING: He was when it served his purpose. He was a beer table anti-Semite. He used it to whip up support, but in private, and this is what counts, his state of mind was slightly different, which is what I was trying to elicit from just one or two episodes of his own---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: I find that slightly difficult difficult to reconcile with your acceptance earlier on in this trial that he was without qualification a rabid anti-Semite, at any rate in the 30s. MR IRVING: I would then say it is perfectly possible for him to have been like that originally and then drifted out when he no longer needed it, just as with Goebbels it was the other way round. Goebbels was originally viciously anti-anti-Semitic and wrote his letter to his girl friend---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do not let us worry about Goebbels. Can you put this point that you are now making in a general way to Dr Longerich? MR IRVING: Two more questions and then we will have it, I think. Adolf Hitler's dietary cook was also Jewish, Marlene Exener. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is not putting it in a general way. MR IRVING: I was going to say -- well, is the answer do you know that or not? A. No. Q. If somebody maintained people like that on his private . P-103 staff, is it an indication that personally he had no real -- what is the word I am looking for -- distaste for Jews as individuals? A. I think I made my point. I think, if you look into the history of anti-Semitism, you cannot draw conclusions from these personal relationships, because the anti-Semite would always argue, well, this is an exception, this is not a typical Jew, this person is different. I remember vaguely these rumours that one or the other person was Jewish, or what they called half Jewish, but I do not think one can actually write a kind of history of Hitler's anti-Jewish policy on this basis. This might be the case, but it does not -- it is a well-known stereotype in the history of anti-Semitism, as I said. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can I interrupt you rudely and just ask you the question which was the one I had in mind? Do you accept what Mr Irving is contending, that Hitler's anti-Semitism in the 1930s was not an expression of a genuine anti-Jewish feeling, but was simply a political gambit to enable him to achieve power? A. No, I do not think so. I do not agree. Q. Pursue it, if you want to, Mr Irving, but that was the general question I had in mind. MR IRVING: I would ask again the general question. If he was viscerally anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic, would he have tolerated Jewish members of his personal staff? Would he . P-104 have tolerated Field Marshal Milsch, who was a well-known half Jew? A. I think I made my point clear. As far as I see anti-Semitism -- my English runs out a little bit -- there is no contrast, no juxtaposition. I think this does not actually disturb my view. It does not surprise me. Q. OK. Just one final question to round off this context. In that little league table I was beginning to draw up of Himmler, Goebbels, Goring, Bormann, Lammers, Hitler, where would Hitler come on the anti-Semitism scale? Would he be above or below Dr Goebbels? Would he be more or less anti-Semitic? A. I would just say that Hitler was a radical anti-Semite like Goebbels. The degree of percentage, I cannot make a judgment about that. I do not know how one measures radical anti-Semitism. Q. Which way did the anti-Semitic current flow? From Goebbels to Hitler, or Goebbels to Hitler? A. If you look at this group of people, I think I would describe it as a consensus. It was a general radical anti-Semitic consensus among them and it is impossible to say. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think we understand the difficulty you are in and I think, Mr Irving, you must move on. MR IRVING: If you had read the Goebbels diaries right through, would you be able to form an impression on who was making . P-105 the suggestions to whom, or who was just listening? A. Again, I would prefer to look then at certain passages. As a general view I think my interpretation is that there was a high degree of anti-Semitic consensus between Hitler and Goebbels, and of course Goebbels in his diaries, one of the motivations, motives, why Goebbels wrote the diaries is that he wanted to show, the diaries should present him as a very active energetic person. So of course, he is in a way the actor, and others actually are reacting to him. My general impression is that there was an anti-Semitic consensus among them. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. MR IRVING: Can we now go to page 12 of your report, paragraph 1.4? A. Yes. Q. In general terms you are saying that, between the outbreak of war in summer 1939 and the middle of 1941, the Nazis were look for a territorial solution to the Jewish problem. A. Yes. Q. Is this commonly accepted or do most historians now accept that there was no homicidal plan? A. This is accepted, but I made a little comment there at the end, and I said, well, actually, if you look at the so-called territorial solution, one should actually say, and this is my argument, that this increasingly offers a . P-106 perspective of the physical end of the Jews in Europe. So I think the territorial solution, it was not meant that the Jews should actually come back from this reservation or whatever they planned, and they should stay there for 300 years. I think, if you look seriously at this territorial solution, these plans had clearly a genocidal implication, but they were still plans. They were not carried out. Q. So that, although they were talking in terms of geography and moving them out beyond the pale, even then you suspect that they would really like to kill them? They were thinking in terms of killing? You want to have it both ways, really? A. I would come back to this phrase there is obviously a strong genocidal element in those plans, so they were considering among themselves the question how and whether the Jews would survive or they would not survive. Q. Are you talking about the European Jews here or the Russian Jews? A. I am talking about the European Jews. Q. But there is no actual document which indicates a homicidal intent. It is just that your feeling is they were talking geography but thinking in terms of bullets? A. I could expand on that. There are two arguments. First of all, if you look at the plans themselves, at the comments they made on the plans, I think you can come to . P-107 the conclusion that these so-called reservations would not offer sufficient means for existence to the Jews. On the other hand, I collected quite a number of comments from top Nazis, which actually made quite clear from the context that what they envisaged was that the Jews, the Jewry, Judentung, the Jews would actually not survive in the end this deportation to reservations. Q. They hoped they would perish in the process? A. They would perish and put to death by a combination of diseases, epidemics, simply insufficient means for survival, hard labour and things like that. Q. Dr Longerich, you appreciate there is a difference in intent there, just saying, "I want them to get out and who cares what happens to them when they are out"? A. Yes. Q. That is one thing, but that is not quite the same as saying a homicidal intent? A. Yes. I think that is to say very short, that is the difference between the idea to let them perish out there and to immediately kill them by executions or gas and so on. That is the difference. Q. I do not want to go right back to the 1920s, but you do rely in part on Mein Kampf, do you not? A. Yes, of course. Q. I have a copy of Mein Kampf here, one of these little things you collect over the years, given to me. I hasten . P-108 to add I have never read it. Am I right in saying that Adolf Hitler was not the only person whose hand is to be seen in Mein Kampf? In fact a number of other people wrote it with him, Rudolf Hess and others? A. I should say I read the book. I think it is a very interesting book. One should read it. Hitler dictated it to Hess. It is unclear. Some historians would argue that actually he helped to improve in a way the text, but I think the fact that Hitler's name is on the book indicates that he is responsible for every word in the book. I think also one recognizes of course his thoughts in the text. Q. Do you see a direct line then between what Adolf Hitler put his name to in Mein Kampf in 1923 or 1924 and what subsequently happened 20 years later? A. No. I think the policy developed gradually, but we have to take the fact into account that Hitler made very radical anti-Semitic statements as soon as the mid 20s. We cannot overlook this fact. Q. He made anti-Semitic statements in it? A. Yes, Mein Kampf. He spoke about putting 12 to 15,000 of these people to gas and so on. Q. They could be held under gas? A. Yes. He did not say that he was intending to kill European Jews, but he made some very, very interesting statements concerning the fate of the Jews. . P-109 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, this is only a suggestion. It seems me that the key phase really is when talk moved, as Dr Longerich says it did, from deportation to Madagascar or wherever else ---- MR IRVING: 1941 is the key year. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, exactly. Do you think that is where your quarrel with Dr Longerich really starts, is it not? MR IRVING: This is absolutely true and that is why your Lordship will see that I am rapidly leafing through the pages which are heavily annotated by me, the Reichskristallnacht and so on. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I know it is a temptation, but if you can resist the temptation. MR IRVING: In the meantime we have dealt with the Reichskristallnacht. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think you have. MR IRVING: I do not know what the law is here. If I do not traverse these matters here in court ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: I have said this already. I think in the context of this case, if you have already cross-examined another expert on a particular topic, and you have certainly cross-examined Professor Evans on Kristallnacht, that is quite sufficient, unless Mr Rampton wants to persuade me otherwise, by way of putting your case, and you certainly do not need top traverse the same ground again with Dr Longerich. Mr Rampton, you do not disagree . P-110 with that? MR RAMPTON: No, I do not. Reichskristallnacht is mentioned in passing only in the first part of Dr Longerich's report. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think the same applies really to the shooting by the Einsatzgruppen. MR IRVING: To much else, which is not a matter of great contention between us. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is true. MR RAMPTON: I think it has gone really as an issue. MR JUSTICE GRAY: So really I think we are looking towards the 40s in terms of pagination.
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