Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day016.14 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. I am going to put to you a passage from the British intelligence summary on these decodes which I have given you just a sample page of. These police decodes were . P-98 analysed very thoroughly during the war years on a current by skilled British operatives. I will read you five lines from the British intelligence summary dated September 12th 1941, which is also referenced by Richard Brightman in his book on page 96 and 219. That is the book on official secrets. The wartime British summary says: "The execution of 'Jews' is so recurrent a feature of these reports, namely the intercepts, that the figures have been omitted from the situation reports and brought under one heading 3D. Whether all those executed as Jews are indeed such is of course doubtful. The figures are no less conclusive as evidence of a policy of savage intimidation, if not of ultimate extermination". Would you accept that the wartime British operators who were reading these reports on a daily basis concluded therefore that probably a lot of the people described as Jews were not Jews? A. They concluded that. I think they concluded that quite erroneously. I think that they had a tendency consistently to underestimate the degree to which this was a priority of the Nazi regime, and that that is a theme in a sense that runs through the whole British response. For instance, they have earlier, in terms of Jewish refugees fleeing, they say we must help the political refugees but the Jews are "mere racial refugees", and therefore the implication not in danger. The British had a fairly . P-99 consistent record of underestimating the degree of hatred and the degree of priority the Nazis regime had towards the Jews. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do you mean deliberately or because they simply did not know what was going on? A. They simply could not understand that it was a priority for Hitler, but it was so foreign to their own way of thinking that it made no sense. Why would you spend time killing Jewish women and children when you are trying to fight a war? It was outside their realm, the way they understood the world. MR IRVING: If we go to page 8 in your paragraph 4.1, we are looking at the scale of the killings again, are all the Jews who are being killed, shall we say, native Jews, or do they include German Jews at this time? A. The cases in which they would include German Jews would be Einsatzgruppen 3, reporting the five transports to Kovno by November 25. That may not be in there yet because that happens on the 25th and 29th. So that one would not include it. Einsatzkommando 2, whether that would include German Jews, I do not know. The others, there would not have been any deportation of German Jews to those areas at that point. Q. Was there a distinction made at that time in the treatment between the German Jews and the non-German Jews? In other words, the new arrivals and the locals? . P-100 A. Yes, there was. For instance, in Minsk they murdered a group of Russian Jews in order to make room for creation of a ghetto for German Jews, and the transports of German Jews to Minsk, unlike what happened at Kovno, they were not shot upon arrival. Q. Does this not seem to indicate that there was no systematic plan to murder all the Jews that they could get their hands on? A. I think what it indicates is that they were not yet ready to do that. The references for instance in Himmler's letter to Greiser is that we want to send them to Lodsch and they will be sent on next spring. Q. Pretty haphazard, would you say, this lack of system in what they were doing? A. I do not think it is haphazard. I think that they were engaged in the first stage. Different historians have interpreted it differently. My own feeling is that, by the fall of 1941, Himmler, Hitler and Heydrich have a fairly clear idea of where they are going now, which is to kill all Jews, but how that will be done, what exemptions will be given to Jews who are still important to the economy, in what order will various countries be approached, what special care must we deal with German Jews because of the possibly domestic repercussions, these issues are still not decided. They are decided over a period of time. . P-101 Q. You slipped in something under the door there. You said this was Hitler, Himmler and Heydrich. Where does "Hitler and" come from? Is this just your own personal belief? A. Given that they cannot have the Madagascar plan until it goes to there, they cannot march Jews until it goes to Hitler, they cannot deport Jews until it goes to Hitler, they cannot let Jews out of the Netherlands for money until it goes to Hitler. My inference is that this would go to Hitler too. I do not see how ---- Q. There is a difference between the geographical solutions that Hitler was constantly proposing and what was actually happening when the Jews arrived at their terminus, shall we say. Would it be fair to say that? A. I would say there are two phases. That is, starting in the summer of 1941, you have the move in early August to killing of all Jews, men, women and children, and that the implementation of systematic killing of Jews other than that really begins in the spring of 1942 with several exceptions. You have the Chelmno gassing beginning in December of 41, and you have the shooting of the six transports of German Jews five at Kovno and one at Riga. Q. On November 30th, 1941? A. The last one is the 30th, the other two are 25th and 29th. Q. In Kovno? A. In Kovno. Q. Since we are with those shootings, on what basis did those . P-102 shootings occur? Was that on orders from Berlin, or from Hitler, or was it just random actions by the local commander? A. This is an area that we have no documents that illuminate it, and so one then looks at the overall. Jager reports it in his Einsatzgruppen report. He clearly thinks that -- my inference from that would be that Jager is reporting something that he thought he was expected to do. We have, as you know, the Himmler intercept of December 4th, saying what happens to the Eastern Jews is on my guidelines, there are repercussions for Jackeln and there are none for under Jager. I would suggest that that would indicate that Jager was following orders. Q. I will try putting this to you like this, and his Lordship may intervene because I do not have the file in front of me. My Lord, this is the bundle of intercepts that we dealt with about ten days ago, November 30th 1941. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. That got into E as well. MR IRVING: Your Lordship has the advantage on me because I do not have the bundle with me. I have searched for it and I am in chaos. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is really why I have been trying to insist all along that we identify where documents are going. If anybody on the Defendants side can help, I would be grateful. I think it is in E but it may not be. 173, J? . P-103 MR IRVING: We landed on this topic before I intended but, since we are at it, we might as well take it on the fly. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Take your own course. MR IRVING: If I were to show you an intercept of a message from the -- can you find an intercepted message in there from Bremen to Riga? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can you help me? Did you say J 173? MR IRVING: What is called on the top right hand corner? MS ROGERS: Tab 3. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you. What are you looking for, Mr Irving? MR IRVING: There is an intercepted message from Bremen to Riga. A. This would be November 17th. Q. Does this describe a train load of Jews being sent to Riga? A. Yes. Q. Has that train load apparently been well provisioned with food? A. Yes. The guidelines for the deportations in the fall, which would have been true of all the transports, not just the ones to Kovno but to Lodsch and Minsk, where Jews were not immediately killed, they were allowed take a fair amount with them. In fact, the Jewish councils were encouraged to provide them, so that this would not be just this train, this would have been standard procedures. . P-104 Q. Would one be correct in assuming, if one finds one or two messages like that in this kind of random sample that the British code breakers got by their method, so there are probably quite a lot of such messages? A. I do not know about how many messages there were, but we do know that the trains were basically sent out under the same guidelines and the guidelines permitted at that point, unlike in the spring, taking quite a large amount of material with them. MR JUSTICE GRAY: The Jews provided ---- A. This would have been provided by the Jewish councils to the deportation train. MR IRVING: And have you in front of there also a message in which there is reference in German to the train being provided not only with Verpflegung but also with Gerat. It is a similar message on 17th or the 19th or the 24th perhaps of November 1941. A. I am afraid I do not find the file. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is page 5. MR IRVING: Page 5 of that bundle. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not sure we have the German in the file. MR IRVING: The German text will be there in facsimile. A. We have a series in English and I am not sure where the German is. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Gerat is there. It is really a translation question. . P-105 MR IRVING: The question is, if the train is not only taking Verpflegung (food) which is set out, how many tonnes of bread and so on, but they are also taking Gerat with them. What would you understand by that word? What are they taking? A. Utensils and cooking pots and that sort of thing. Q. Things for a new life? A. That they would need to use when they got there. Q. To use when they got there. So the people who are at the sending end are unaware of what is likely to happen to this train load of Jews at the other end if they are all going to be killed? They think they are going to a new life, in other words not to their death? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think you think you got an answer that you did not get. It is important sometimes to make sure that there is no misunderstanding. The translation that was given by Professor Browning was utensils and cooking pots. You then things for a new life, and I am not that that is something that the Professor has agreed with yet, but perhaps he does agree with that. A. I believe they were allowed to bring tools as well. I am recalling from memory what the Eichmann guidelines to the various police stations creating the transports, that the fall guidelines are remarkably different than the spring ones in terms of how much people were allowed. MR IRVING: Spring 1942?
Site Map ·
What's New? ·
Home · Site Map · What's New? · Search Nizkor