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Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day026.12
Last-Modified: 2000/07/25

   Q.   "Neither from the orders concerning the Jewish question in
        the brown file nor from any other ordinance have
        I hitherto been able to infer or deduce such an order or
        instruction".  Is that correct as a matter of translation?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   What are they actually talking about, Dr Longerich?
   A.   They are talking -- Lohse is complaining about, as he
        called it, wild uncontrolled, unauthorized probably,
        execution of Jews, mass execution of Jews in Lepeier.  He
        says, well, what is the meaning of that, does it mean that
        all Jews in the Ostland, this is his territory, should be
        liquidated?  This would of course bring the economic
        consideration of Wehrmacht into danger, and it is not
        according to the guidelines I have in my own handbook, in
        the brown ----
   Q.   No.  Can we then turn back to what prompted that letter,
        which is page 104/105, for which also we have to thank you

.          P-104



        I think.  Now this is a very short letter from somebody
        I think called Librandt?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   He is in Rosenberg's office, is he?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   He has written to Lohse, or to somebody in Lohse's office,
        saying, in effect, "The RHSA has complained that the
        Reichs Commissioner for the Ostland has forbidden the
        execution of Jews in Lepeier in the matter referred to
        above.  I request urgently a report from you".  Yes?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   So then we get the response from Lohse saying: "Am I to
        take (this letter we are looking at) as an order that
        I have to kill all the Jews?" Is that right?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Is that what happened?
   A.   So then again we went through the second letter, and then
        Lohse writes this letter, well, what do you want me to do
        about that?  We just went through the letter.
   Q.   Yes.  He explains that he forbad the executions because of
        the way in which they were carried out.
   A.  .  Yes,.
   Q.   Unauthorized or uncontrolled?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Now we can look and see what the response was, which comes
        on 18th December 1941, I think.

.          P-105



   A.   Yes.
   Q.   We can find that, curiously enough, the same day as the
        meeting between Hitler and Himmler, page 181/182, I hope.
        I do not know what translation you have beside you, but
        I much prefer you look at the German anyway.  This comes
        from Rosenberg's office, signed by a man called Brottigan?
   A.   Brottigan has signed it.
   Q.   He is in Rosenberg's office?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   He is writing to Lohse, and he says, "clarification of the
        Jewish question has most likely been achieved by now
        through verbal discussions".  Yes?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Is that all right?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   "Economic issues or considerations must fundamentally or
        generally be disregarded in the settlement or disposition
        of this problem"?
   A.   Yes, generally.
   Q.   Generally, yes.  "As for the rest, moreover, I would ask
        that any questions arising should be settled directly with
        the higher SS and police leaders".  Is that right?
   A.   This is right, yes.
   Q.   What historical conclusions do you draw from this exchange
        of correspondence?
   A.   I think there was a kind of battle or a kind of conflict

.          P-106



        going on between the SS representatives, through the
        higher SS police leader, and the civil administration.
   Q.   The higher SS and police leader was Jeckeln, was it not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Carry on.
   A.   Because the civil administration, in their own handbook
        they were not aware of the fact that actually the aim of
        the SS was to kill all the Jews in Ostland, and so this
        letter first of all led to Lohse stopping these executions
        in Lepeier, and then asking the ministry for the occupied
        territories in Berlin, what shall I do?  It took them
        about five weeks to reply, and here the answer is quite
        clear, the economic considerations do not play a role any
        more.  You can leave this aside and, if there is any
        further problems, discuss this directly with the higher SS
        and police leader.
   Q.   So in effect he is being told to surrender, am I right
        control over this interpretation?
   A.   It would be my interpretation of this exchange.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Surrender control to the SS?
   A.   Yes.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is it significant or is it not that this is
        Geheimerreichsacher?
   MR IRVING:  I am just about to point that out, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Were you?

.          P-107



   MR IRVING:  Yes.  I was wondering how to do so, in fact.
   MR RAMPTON:  Just say it.  I do not mind.
   A.   Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  The significance being that, on the face of
        it, this is not a desperately secret communication?
   A.   Sorry?
   Q.   If you take at face value, it is not a terribly secret
        communication, is it?
   A.   I think it is quite clear from this communication that, if
        you take the three letters that this means the death of
        the Jews in the Generalegouvernement.  There is no way the
        civil administration can interfere any more.
   Q.   That is why they put Geheimer Reichsacher on it?
   A.   That is what I assume.
   MR IRVING:  Just note who signed that letter.  It is Brottigan,
        is it not?
   A.   Brottigan, yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  He is an adjutant of Rosenberg?
   A.   Yes, one of his closest advisers.
   MR RAMPTON:  Rosenberg, Lohse, Brottigan, they are all civil
        servants, are they not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Are you familiar with -- I call it the evidence -- the
        conversation of General Walter Bruns, which was recorded
        by the British when he was in captivity?
   A.   Yes, I am familiar with this document.

.          P-108



   Q.   Do you recall that they recorded him -- I am going to
        torture you with some of my German but it saves getting it
        out -- as having said that a man called Altemeyer, he had
        been upset, so he said, with these shootings?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   They sent somebody back to Berlin they said with a message
        for Hitler via Canaris.  You know the story?
   A.   Yes, I know the story.
   Q.   This SS person Altemeyer comes back from Berlin with
        triumphantly a message, and saying this: Here is (German)
        do you remember that?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   I expect you know it off by heart.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   The question is whether that last remark of Bruns has in
        your mind any resonance with this exchange of
        correspondence between Lohse and Rosenberg?
   A.   Well ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  The date of Bruns, that was 1st November, was it?
   MR RAMPTON:  He was talking about what had been going on in Riga.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, but 1st November being the date when
        that conversation ----
   MR RAMPTON:  I cannot the remember the date.  It was sometime
        in 1945, I think.

.          P-109



   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, I mean when whatever his name was came
        back ----
   MR RAMPTON:  Early December, after the message from -- I think
        early December.  I think we are agreed about that.
   MR IRVING:  It was a few days later.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, after the message from Himmler to Jeckeln.
        My question is this.  Do you see any relationship or
        resonance between what Bruns said later in captivity and
        the correspondence between Lohse and Rosenberg about the
        manner of the shootings?
   A.   This correspondence means, in a way, a carte blanche for
        the SS to carry on with the executions, so I think it is a
        complete contradiction to this.
   Q.   Contradiction?
   A.   Sorry, maybe I did not recall the ----
   Q.   I am sorry, perhaps you should have the Bruns in front of you.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think that is the problem, is it not, in a
        way?  I am trying to find it and I cannot remember where it is.
   MR RAMPTON:  I am reading it off Mr Irving's website.  Your
        Lordship has it in J1, tab 4, but not the German.  Do not
        look at the English.  It is very bad English.  It is a bad
        translation.  Can we just put that in front of witness,
        please and one for the judge.  (Same handed)  The relevant
        piece of German, Dr Longerich, is at the top of the page,

.          P-110



        4 of 5.  Do you have it there?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   What Altemeyer is reported by Bruns as having said is
        this, and I will do my best in English: Here is an order
        come that mass shootings of this kind in future must no
        longer happen".  Is that all right?
   A.   Yes, that is right.
   Q.   I am getting on like an interpreter.  I am doing well
        today!   "That shall be done more discreetly in future".
   A.   Yes. I was a bit confused at the moment because I did not
        take the second ----
   Q.   No, I am sorry.  It is my fault.  You should have had it
        in front of you.
   A.   Because he does not say that the mass executions are
        supposed to be stopped, but it says clearly this should be
        done in different, more careful way.  So obviously, it
        does not give any date for that.  This is a kind of
        reaction to the complaints of the civil administration
        that one should not allow these wild executions to be
        carried out.  I think that is quite clear.
   Q.   I think we are now are on the same ground.  Lohse has
        stopped the shootings in Lepeier, perhaps elsewhere, one
        does not know, because of the way in which they were
        carried out.  He is then told by Berlin that that is
        wrong, in effect?
   A.   Yes.

.          P-111



   Q.   And here comes Altemeyer at about the same time, am
        I right?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Saying, you must not do it in this way any more, you must
        do it more discreetly.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Do those two pieces of evidence in your mind corroborate
        each other?
   A.   Yes, I think they corroborate each other.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Except for this, that Altemeyer is describing
        an order which prohibits mass shootings (underlined) on
        that scale.
   MR RAMPTON:  No, of this kind.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Oh.  I am reading from the translation.
   MR RAMPTON:  No.  That is why I do not want to use the old
        English translation, because it is wrong.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Even so, I think the point needs to be
        answered, of this kind and they need to be carried out
        more discreetly.  You do not find that in the 31st October
        directive.
   A.   Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  There is a discrepancy between the two.  That
        has to be accepted.
   A.   Discrepancy?
   Q.   Difference.
   A.   Why is there a discrepancy?  I do not get the point.

.          P-112



   Q.   The point I am putting to you is that, if you look at the
        message from Berlin, the top secret message from Berlin
        signed by Brottigan, all that is really saying is, well,
        do not worry about economic considerations, just leave it
        to the local SS.  I think Mr Rampton was really asking you
        whether Altemeyer was not referring to that message when
        he triumphantly showed General Bruns the order just
        issued.  That was the question, was it not, Mr Rampton?
   MR RAMPTON:  More or less.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am just wondering whether that is well
        founded, because it appears that he is referring to
        something slightly different.
   A.   Altemeyer?  Who is Altemeyer.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  He is a junior officer.
   MR RAMPTON:  He is a junior SS officer.
   A.   So it obviously is not the same letter.

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