Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day013.07 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 A. I am sorry, Mr Rampton, I must remember Rampton. Q. I do not mind but I really would not think it was very nice for his Lordship. A. Mr Rampton, you have read the transcripts of my interviews with these Adjutants of Hitler because they are verbatim, and you will see that we did not go there with a set agenda to talk about. I would go along there, we would have tea, we would sit for five hours and talk about everything they remembered. . P-56 Q. Old Hitler faithfuls and you swallowed their tale, if I may put it like that, hook line and sinker, did you not, because you wanted to? A. I swallow their tale? Q. Yes. A. They were Hitler faithfuls? Q. You did not take any trouble to test their evidence by reference to the contemporaneous documentation. That is the last time I am going to ask that question. A. On the contrary, once I had conducted the interviews with these people, and I had a German secretary transcribe verbatim what they said, which transcripts you have had, I would then put that into the general dossier on that particular episode and I would weigh the interviews against the documents, which is precisely what I have done over the last 32 years for one book after another. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can I just intervene and ask this question? These diaries that Goebbels kept were for his own benefit, were they? They were not seen by others at the time? A. My Lord, in 1933 he published the first volumes of diaries which covered the years of struggle, shall we say, up to the seizure of power and he was recalled from the Kaiserhof to the Reichschancellery. In 1936 he sold rights in all his diaries in perpetuity to the Nazi publishing house for a large lump sum. MR JUSTICE GRAY: So he was contemplating publication? . P-57 A. They were very definitely written in contemplation of later publication. But that not necessarily mean to say that there were not also a lot of private materials in them which he did not intend to publish, particularly the handwritten diaries. MR RAMPTON: Now I want to pass on to something else, also part of the aftermath. One of the consequences of this appalling business, Mr Irving, was that some people were brought before whatever the Nazi party court was called. Can you remember what it was called? A. The Oberstes Parteigericht, the supreme public court. Q. Just so we can be clear, that is not part of the established orthodox German judicial system at all, was it? A. No. It was a party court established under Walter Buch, B U C H, who was a sworn and dedicated personal enemy of Dr. Goebbels. Q. That is as maybe. A. It is not as maybe. You have to bear this in mind when you consider what the findings are which Buch signed. Q. The fact is, it was not part of the established judicial machinery, was it? A. No. Q. So you cannot describe the people who bring people before the party court as the public prosecutors, can you? A. No. . P-58 Q. Would you turn to page 281 of your Goebbels book, please? A. Yes. Q. Just above the middle of the page there is a reference to Rudolf Hess. Do you see that? A. Yes. Q. The long paragraph: "Hess confirmed that in his view Goebbels was alone to blame. He ordered the Gestapo and the party's courts to delve into the origins of the night's violence and turn the culprits over to the public prosecutors." A. Yes. Q. My first question about that is this. Would you agree that that was apt to suggest to the reader that anybody found guilty of arson, looting, damage, assault, rape, murder, or whatever, was going to be prosecuted by the State judicial machinery once the matter had been investigated? A. I think that what happened, which is covered by the sentence, was that a number of people, both inside and outside the party, exceeded their orders, if I can put it like that, and went on little private rampages. I mention one case where somebody murdered an opponent because he was going to testify against him in a libel action. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is not really an answer to Mr Rampton's question. A. Would you repeat the question, emphasising the part--- - . P-59 MR RAMPTON: The question is this. Do you not agree that that sentence, not a long sentence, is apt to suggest to the reader that the matter was going to be investigated by the Gestapo and the party's courts to find out the origins of the night's violence and to turn the culprits, that is to say, those responsible for acts of violence of whatever kind against people or property, over to the public prosecutors so that they could be prosecuted according to the law? A. I will not go beyond what that sentence actually says. What I intended it to mean to the reader I cannot recall now twelve years later, but it is footed in a very secure document of the day, December 1938. MR JUSTICE GRAY: You are still not really addressing the question. If I read that, I think I would be inclined to think that these people were going to be prosecuted by the criminal system of the country. A. My Lord, there was a large number of prosecutions in the regular courts and people went to jail for what they had done that night. MR RAMPTON: Do you know the figures, Mr Irving? A. I can find them for you, yes. Q. 16 cases in the report of 13th February 1939. I am coming back to what actually these people were considering, which is an initial limitation, but we will look at that in a moment. . P-60 A. If we look at the aftermath of this sentence, so to speak, there were public prosecutions in the regular criminal courts and people went to jail for what they did on the night of broken glass in Germany. If you are interested in figures I will obtain them for you. Q. I will give you the figures in a moment. A. I will provide my own figures, if you do not mind. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Wait for Mr Rampton's question. You may agree with it. MR RAMPTON: It is entirely up to you what material you choose to put before the court. This is cross-examination, Mr Irving, not a speech by you. Mr Irving, can we look, please, and see what in fact was the directive which went out under Hess's authority? It is in 293 and 4 of Evans. It is dated 19th December 1938. It is translated. My Lord, it is at the bottom of 293 in paragraph 1. Professor Evans translates it as follows. The German is at the bottom of 294. A. Yes. This is the source of that particular sentence. Q. I know it is. "The aim of the investigation by the Party Court is to establish which cases can and must be held responsible by the action itself and which cases arose out of personal and base motives. In the latter cases a referral to the state prosecution service will be unavoidable, indeed it will be just". A. Yes. . P-61 Q. The only people who were going to be handed over to be prosecuted by the State criminal justice machinery were those who had acted out of base motives of their own. Anybody else, however grave their crime, would be let off? A. That is correct. Q. Where do we find that in your book? A. In this sentence. That document justifies the sentence I gave: "He ordered the Gestapo and the party's courts to delve into the origins of the night's violence and turn the culprits over to the public prosecutors." We have already seen in the previous pages that a lot of the violence was authorised by the head of state, so quite clearly those culprits are not going to be turned over. Q. Wait a minute, Mr Irving. I am afraid I have now gone spinning round in 360 degrees. A lot of the violence was authorised by the head of State? A. Yes. We have seen that. There is no question about that. Q. In what sense? A. Hitler has said pull the police back. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is authorizing the burning of synagogues? A. My Lord ---- MR RAMPTON: And the killing of Jews. MR JUSTICE GRAY: What is the answer to that question, Mr Irving? A. It is authorizing what happened in the run up to the . P-62 Reichskristallnacht. If you remember, it was not on the actual night of the broken glass once it got out of control. When Hitler heard that there were individual outbursts in Kassell and Magdeburg and other provinces, he said the police are not to intervene, they are to hold back, the public must be given a chance to express their outrage and so on. That is what I mean when I say that that kind of violence was certainly authorized by the head of State, and it was not appropriate to turn people like that that over to the law courts. But there were other people who then went and settled private scores and that is what has been winkled out by these party court operations. MR RAMPTON: Shall we just have a look at some figures? Page 295 of Evans, Mr Irving. Paragraph 3, my Lord. Set out are what the people's court, or whatever they call themselves, set out above are what I take to be what they saw as their terms of reference. Perhaps I ought to read that as a preliminary: "The Fuhrer's's Deputy", that is Hess, is it not, "shared the view of the Supreme Party Court that the excesses which had become known should in any case first be investigated by the party jurisdiction ... The view of the Supreme Party Court", this is in February 1939, "is that it must be fundamentally impossible for political offences which primarily touch on the party's interests, . P-63 offences which ... are desired by the party as illegal measures," you notice that wording, do you not? A. Yes. Q. "desired by the party as illegal measures, are confirmed and condemned by state jurisdiction, without the party previously having the possibility of creating clarity about the events and contexts through its own courts, in order if necessary to ask the Fuhrer to quash the trial before the state courts at the right moment". This was just intended to be a complete whitewash, was it not? A. Unfortunately, Professor Evans has, in his amiable way, translated only a fraction of the actual document which you will find under tab 2 of trial bundle L2, and you will find there that he lists there horrendous outrages conducted during the Reichskristallnacht at the end of 1938. I will translate very roughly to you, Mr Rampton: The Supreme Party court -- does your Lordship wish to look at the original German? MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. I am listening to you. I am happy to follow you. A. This is on page handwritten 3 of that document which Professor Evans has quoted from. At the end of November 1938 the Supreme Party court received from various gau courts, in other words the provincial party courts, information that in the conduct of the demonstrations on 9th November 1938, that is the Reichskristallnacht, in a . P-64 considerable degree there had been plundering and killings of Jews which are already being investigated by the police and public prosecutors, and so on. It then continues about how these various things are going to be investigated and it specifies particular episodes on the following day, crime committed by individual people who are named here, a whole series of them, then 16 specific episodes given just in that one party court file. MR RAMPTON: I hear what you say. If we need it, we will have a translation made of the whole that report. A. It does seem that Evans -- I mean, the dot dot dot he has put in there does conceal quite a lot. Q. No doubt with an eye to saving paper. We can have it translated if necessary. You can take it up with Professor Evans. A. You keep saying I can take these things up with Professor Evans, but at present his Lordship only has your word and this document in front of him in translation. MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. I have got what you tell me is also there and, unless and until Professor Evans says that you are wrong about that, I will assume you are right. MR RAMPTON: I cannot possibly take it up with you, Mr Irving. I do not have a translation. Paragraph 3 on page 295 of Evans, please? A. Yes.
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