Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day025.08 Last-Modified: 2000/07/25 MR IRVING: Well, risking your Lordship's wrath, I am going to go to page 22, which is something different, line 5. Again, you have Himmler saying basically every Jew is to be regarded as a partisan. So I must insist therefore that the December 18th document shows the initiative came from Himmler and not from Hitler to regard the Jews as partisans, because this is Himmler stating already back in July. He keeps on saying this, that the Jews are to be regarded as partisans, so what Hitler may then discuss with Himmler in December is neither here nor there really. Would you agree? MR JUSTICE GRAY: This is a new proposition. MR IRVING: Well, my Lord perhaps I am expressing myself wrongly. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It was discussed between Himmler and Hitler . P-97 but that it is neither here nor there? MR IRVING: No. The proposition that I am making, my Lord, is that the initiative for regarding the Jews as partisans came not from Hitler to Himmler, but the other way round. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not suppose Mr Rampton is particularly bothered one way or the other. The point he makes is that Hitler agreed upon it as a policy. Am I wrong about that? MR RAMPTON: I do not care whether Hitler initiated it or whether he ratified it. It does not matter a row of beans. The fact is he was in on it, in on the murder of 1.2 million innocent people. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think that is the point, Mr Irving. MR IRVING: The reason that it matters a row of beans is because we are looking at Hitler's state of mind and if, as in the Reichskristallnacht, the initiative for that came from Goebbels, and the initiative for this comes from Himmler, tells us something about the likelihood of issuing orders, particularly when in the spring of 1942 we find a weary Fuhrer saying, "For God's sake, let us leave it all until the war is over". It helps to justify that. MR JUSTICE GRAY: The issue between the parties which I have to consider in the context of whether you have dealt with this responsibly is not whether it was initiated, all this killing, by Hitler, but whether he knew about it. We are on Hitler's knowledge, not on whether he was the . P-98 originator of all this. MR IRVING: My Lord, I wholeheartedly endorse the position that your Lordship adopts on that and your Lordship will see from the position that I put in the two pages this morning that I have never challenged that he was involved in every way in the killing of the Jews behind the Eastern Front. However, when this goes to Hitler's's state of mind, so that we can judge the likelihood of the Schlegelberger document being an accurate portrayal of his intentions or not, then I am entitled to draw attention to whether the initiative came from Himmler or from Hitler on this particular occasion, I think, if I can put it like that. I regret if I am expressing myself so obscurely that your Lordship does not see the purpose behind my questions sometimes. Page 23, paragraph 2.7.2, it goes really to the same matter. "These shootings were carried out", you write, "under the pretext of 'retribution', punishment for 'plundering' or portrayed as a struggle against partisans". If there was a Fuhrer order to kill Jews, why would they need the pretexts? Surely, that would overwrite any need for any kind of pretext, would it not, if the eyewitnesses are right? A. Well, they in their reports prefer to give specific reasons for the killing. They were not just saying, "We are killing these people because they are Jews". They . P-99 had, obviously, there was a kind of order to actually attach to each killing a kind of reason which could be, a kind of rational argument, you know, why they killed this particular group. They do not -- in their reports they do not refer to a written order by Hitler in these reports. Q. But when Eisenhower gave orders to kill all the Germans, as he did, he did not say, "We are going to do this as a pretext that they are plundering and looting" ---- A. I cannot comment on ---- Q. --- the orders from the Supreme Commander were good enough? A. I cannot comment on Eisenhower. I am not familiar with the order given by Eisenhower to kill all the Germans, sorry. Q. The first two lines of page 24, please. You say: "The behaviour of the units followed a standardized pattern which however was not altogether uniform". Does that not suggest that there was no system, that there was no systematic order? A. Well, I mean, I spent here about 20 pages to describe the actions of the different Kommandos and, as you rightly say, there are, for instance, some differences so far as the numbers of victims is concerned, when actually Kommando A started to kill women and Kommando B started to kill women. So I think one can argue that there is a standardised pattern but it is not completely uniform. . P-100 They did not start on the same day, on the very same day, for instance, the killing of children. It varies a little bit between unit and unit. So I preferred this phrase "pattern". It is not completely uniform. But it is a standardized pattern. Q. But not very systematic? A. It is a standardized pattern and I think it allows us to say that this was a part of a system. Q. Page 26, the first three lines, we are dealing now with an explicit order of Himmler which, I suppose, is of significance. You say this is an explicit of Himmler. "All Jews must be shot. Jewish women to be driven into the swamp"? A. Yes. Q. You say: "From a radio telegraph text we can read this". Now, what is your source for that? Is it the actual radio telegraph text? A. Well, the radio telegraph text is quoted in the wording of the branch(?) record. The whole files of the branch record are kept in the State archive of [German]. I spent two days this summer actually to read this source and I can assure you that this document is in the files of this particular court case. Q. Is it an actual radio telegraph text or something recorded by or ---- A. No, actually it is a copy ---- . P-101 Q. --- remembered by? A. --- of the radio telegraph text. The original is kept in the military archive in Feiberg. Q. You have not provided the German text for us so it is ---- A. No, I have not provided the German text for it. MR RAMPTON: My Lord, we have got the text. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I would like to see it. MR IRVING: It is quite important. MR RAMPTON: I do not know which report this comes from, it might be Longerich, it might be Browning. I really cannot say. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is important because I think it is Mr Irving's present position that there was never a stage when all Jews were ordered to be shot. MR RAMPTON: Which document is it? MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is note 119, top of page 26. MR RAMPTON: Yes, well, then the date is 1st August, same day as the Muller order. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is not in N1, I do not think. MR RAMPTON: Yes. It is page 48. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am sorry. I missed it. A. Yes, 48. That is it, yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: We have looked at this before. MR RAMPTON: I do not know what this document is, mind, but the witness could tell us that, I expect. MR IRVING: It appears to be a genuine carbon copy, does it . P-102 not? Yes, a carbon copy of a document. A. Yes, I recall that in the -- I have seen the copy. This is here a [German]. This is the German, the document, this is the standard German form for a radio message. So the document is there and I have seen that and there is no doubt that this is authentic. Q. It is very difficult to cross-examine on this document because it is so skimpy. MR JUSTICE GRAY: You will have to put your case. MR IRVING: I have to. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Are you saying that Himmler ---- MR IRVING: Are you satisfied that this document accurately reflects an order of Heinrich Himmler? A. Yes. He was there, he was there. At this stage he was in the appropriate marches. Q. Who is the SS Obersturmfuhrer who is an adjutant who has signed this document, to your knowledge? A. It is in the -- the court managed to identify this man. I cannot recall the name at the moment. Q. Was he on Himmler's staff on or somebody else's staff? A. This is -- no, he is the adjutant of the Reitenabteilung. The Reitenabteilung, this is the cavalry, the mounted cavalry, battalion actually of this SS cavalry regiment. The name of the adjutant is known and I just not recall the name at the moment, but he was identified in the court proceedings. . P-103 Q. The question I am asking is, he is not Himmler's adjutant who is sending the order? A. No, but Himmler was there. At this time he actually gave the order verbally and this was then included into this telegram and the message was sent. Q. What was the range of this order, do you think? Did it relate just to the activities of this particular mounted unit? A. Well, this relates ---- Q. Mounted troop? A. This relates clearly to the killing, systematic killing, of Jews in the -- this was what they called a pacification action, and these are the guidelines given for this pacification action to actually, well, clean the appropriate swamps. Q. Yes. So we are actually referring to the Pripyat marshes then? A. I am trying to be as objective as possible. I cannot say that this is -- you cannot read it as a general, you cannot read it as a general order. Q. My question was, what was the range of the order? Was it just directed to this one troop, this one mounted troop, all Jews within their reach, presumably? A. Well, it was actually an order given here to the mounted elements, so that is the best translation of the cavalry Regiment 2. These were about, I think, 800 or 1,000 men . P-104 and they carried then out this action. And you can see I have quoted this on page 25, this was part of the action to kill, in which they killed 14,178 Jews, as they reported. Q. Are you familiar with the scale of partisan warfare in the Pripyat marshes? A. At this stage, at this very early stage, at the beginning of August, there was actually the scale of partisan activity in the Pripyat marshes was low. What actually happened was that some actually, well, some soldiers of the Red Army managed to get into the Pripyat marshes and tried to hide there. But the partisan activity was at this stage relatively low compared with what would happen in '42 or'43. Q. Had Marshal Stalin issued early in July a broadcast proclamation to the entire Russian civilian population to rise up in arms against the invaders? A. Yes, that is true, but, on the other hand, they were no organization and preparation made for this kind war, so they had to improvise that and they were at this stage not actually able to fight an organized partisan warfare against the Germans. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think the suggestion is, just so that it is clear, that the 14,000 odd Jews who were shot following this order were justifiably shot because they were partisans? . P-105 A. No, the report makes a distinction between partisans and Jews, so they were -- it is clear that the Jews were killed in the course of anti-partisan action, but they were not identified as partisans. MR IRVING: My Lord, I am not making that suggestion. The only substantive question I do want answered properly is what was the scope of the order to kill all the Jews? Was it just all the Jews within the operational area of this one mounted troop? A. Well, the problem is, this is not a mounted troop. It is the fighting elements of a regiment. Q. "Reitenabteilung" is a mounted troop. A. Yes, so this is, well, quite, this has quite a size, this mounted element, and this is one document we have where Himmler is very explicit. We know that he travelled through the occupied territories quite frequently and here we have actually this document, and I think it is a clear indication what he was saying to the other units during these other visits. Q. Yes. A. Here we have one case where we actually have written evidence for that. Q. Yes, but you appreciate the reason I am asking the question, Dr Longerich, is if a signal is shown to us saying that Himmler has ordered all the Jews are to be shot, we want to know is he talking about all the Jews . P-106 within the Third Reich or just all the Jews within the ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: You have your answer about that. It is limited. MR IRVING: If the answer is clear.Very well. Page 35, please. Does this not strike you as remarkable, Dr Longerich, that every time we get an order from the Fuhrer, that there is a Fuhrer befehl, it turns out to be testimony 17 or 20 or 30 years later and there is nothing at all in the documents, even though we have seen documents like the one we have just been looking at, which talk about Himmler orders, there is nothing of a similar quality talking about a Hitler order? A. You are referring to a particular part of this page or? Q. Page 35, line 1. A. Yes, well, to make this -- I mean, I think I made my point very clear. I am trying here in this report, I am trying to show you that this was carried out on a systematic basis and, in order to link these events with Hitler's role, I think we -- this has been said yesterday -- have this Muller letter from 1st August which shows us that Hitler was quite aware of what was going on because he got on a continuous basis, he get the Einsatzgruppen meldung. And I think this is quite clear that he was informed about it. I do not say, did not say, that I have here an . P-107 explicit order with a letter head of Adolf Hitler and the signature which says that he orders the killing of the Russian Jews, but I think it has been established here, quite clearly, that he was informed about these events. Q. I do not want to labour the point too much, but we do have now, and we have been having it for the last four or five weeks, document after document of this quality which incriminates Himmler and people like him, but not one single document of equal quality which incriminates Hitler. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I am sorry to intervene again. You have made that point many, many times. It is accepted by Dr Longerich that there is not a Hitler Befehl in relation to these shootings. He has made it absolutely clear why he says that Hitler knew and approved what was going on. MR IRVING: On the basis of the Muller document ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: There is no point in asking that same question again and again. I know your point, there is not a Hitler order that anyone has found, so you need not ask that question again. I have the point. There is not a Hitler order. MR IRVING: Although, logically, there should be one found. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, there are all sorts of reasons why there may not be one, but there is not one. That is the point and you can, of course, develop that in your closing submissions. There no point in going on asking the . P-108 question because you get the same answer that I think I have heard three times from this witness already. MR IRVING: The actual question was, is it not remarkable it is always testimony 20 or 30 years after the event, like this one here, which links it to a Hitler order which is self-serving testimony. A. I would not agree this is, you cannot say this is all self-serving testimony because some of the people interrogated are eyewitnesses, but this report is about the systematic nature. The first report we discussed yesterday is about Hitler's role. The aim of the report is to show you, give you an idea, about the systematic nature of this warfare. It is not the intention of this part of this report to actually prove Hitler's role. I mean, it is not the focus of the point. It is the one we discussed yesterday. Q. For example, in this same paragraph, 3.3.2, if you would just go back over the page to the bottom of page 34, it is the indication that the order came from Ohlendorf. Was Ohlendorf dead at the time of this testimony? A. Dead? Q. Yes. In 1969 he was dead, was he not? A. Yes. He was hanged in '48, was he not? Q. Did you ever get to see the private papers of Ohlendorf? A. No, they are not, I think, as far as I am aware, they are not publicly accessible. . P-109 Q. His widow has them. A. Yes. I know -- yes, sorry.
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