Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day017.07 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 MR IRVING: Would it be correct to describe these features as pep talks by Hitler to his Generals to fire them up for the coming campaign? A. I would say they are more than pep talks. I would say they are a setting of expectations and, as you know, I have tried to develop this model of Hitler eliciting, setting a level of what he expects and that that brings responses and proposals that are brought to him. I think this is a very good example of that dialectic. Q. Yes. But he does not say, "We are going to invade the Soviet Union so that we can destroy Jews"? . P-56 A. No. Q. Nothing as crude as that? A. No. Q. What he is saying is, "We are confronted by a Judaio Bolshevik enemy, and that we will destroy the Judaio Bolshevik intelligenzija and the leadership class and whatever, and that is what he is effectively in all these documents he is saying, he is just mapping out who the enemy is going to be? A. This is not yet an explicit instruction to systematically kill all the Jewish population on Soviet territory. Q. Even in this important meeting of July 16th 1941, there is still no such instruction at any rate recorded in the memorandum by Martin Bormann? A. Yes, in this case we have no smoking pistol document - - I have declared that often -- that we are working from inference, and the inference we draw is very similar to what you did about the November 30th meeting. Himmler and Hitler meet, Himmler gives an order. As you put it, it would be perverse not to assume a connection between them. Q. Except that we now unfortunately ---- A. Find out the meeting came after rather than before. Q. The meeting came after the telephone call, yes. A. In this case the meeting, I say, comes before. We know that Himmler meets with Hitler and then leaves for Lublin on 15th, that the others meet with Hitler on 16th, and . P-57 what follows thereafter is very quickly that Himmler vastly increases the number of people behind the Front in terms of putting the police battalions under the command of the higher SS and police leaders, of throwing in two of his brigades of his own and authorizing the raising of the auxiliaries and that within a very short period after that we begin to be able to document the systematic killing. Q. Yes. A. And then it is an inference, but I think it is one that circumstantial evidence supports, that there is a connection in that period of July 16th to ---- Q. Is not the likely inference that Himmler had received from Hitler the carte blanche that he had sought and Himmler strutted into occupied Russia and told his often teenage thugs who were wearing SS uniform, "I have carte blanche. Go ahead and deal with these people and pacify the rear areas"? A. In fact, that is not what we know of how Himmler does it. Himmler says, "This terrible burden has been laid on my shoulders by the Fuhrer. This is the hardest thing I have ever been given to do." He does not strut; he shares crocodile tears ---- Q. 1944 he says that, does he not? A. Yes, but in '43 too. We are talking about -- what we know about Himmler and how he speaks to others about this task, he does strut in and say, "Boy, aren't I lucky? I can now . P-58 kill them". He comes and says: "The Fuhrer has laid this burden on my shoulders. This is a terrible thing we have to do, but we must fight this battle now so other generations do not". Q. He says this just once, am I right? A. We have the Posen speech where I think he says it on - --- Q. October 1943. A. --- both occasions. But this is, I think, an accurate reflection of how Himmler speaks to others about this. So your portrayal that Himmler is the eager go-getter is not supported by how he talks when we can document it to the other SS leaders about his role and responsibility. Q. The documents are very thin, though, are they not? We do not have a whole sheaf of documents to draw these inferences from; there are a lot of gaps? A. There are gaps, but this is a very strong document. Here he is talking to all of the SS leaders and this is the stance that he takes to them. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think, Mr Irving, just so that you know -- you may know this from the transcript -- draws the distinction between after October 1943 and before. I think he accepts that Hitler knew and, indeed, authorized, I think. A. But this is a different question, my Lord. The question here is how did Himmler act towards his SS Generals? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. As I understand the way you put it, . P-59 what he was saying in October 1943 and later is consistent with the interpretation you put on the slightly thin documentation of 41/42. Is that a fair summary? MR RAMPTON: It may be relevant to point out ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can I have an answer first? Is that right? A. Yes, I am saying that in so far as we want to know how Himmler talked to others about this, it was not that "Hitler has given me carte blanche", it is that "Hitler has laid a duty on me, it is a hard duty". It is not one that he portrayed himself as eager to do, but one that he felt obligated to do. That was an answer to the scenario that Mr Irving gave of an eager Himmler running with the ball with very little authorization from Hitler. MR IRVING: Is it not also right to say that on one occasion Himmler specifically says to I think Berger, "The Fuhrer has ordered these territories to be made free of Jews. This serious grave order that Fuhrer has placed on my shoulders nobody can take off me"? A. That comes end of July of 1942. Q. 1942, which is closer to the time we are talking about? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is that what you are going raise? MR RAMPTON: Yes, because the date came out wrong first of all. It is 28th July 1942. MR IRVING: Yes, and that when Himmler is, therefore, talking about the order, he is talking about the blanket order to get the Jews out of here, and the way that Himmler then . P-60 interpreted that is where you and I begin to differ. A. We differ a great deal on how one interprets that, yes. Q. But, Professor, I remind you that yesterday I showed you one coloured page photocopy of an intercept, did I not, and I suggested to you that we have hundreds of thousands of such intercepts in the British archives now, and I suggested that neither my expert, Dr John Fox or Richard Brightman or any of the experts who have waded through these hundreds of thousands of intercepts of top level and medium level and low level messages, is this correct, has found even one inference, one document, which supports the inference that Hitler was behind this? A. I have not read through them, but no one has said that these intercepts, the place that we have found such a thing, and we have not found the smoking pistol document. Q. So the more documents that do come our way, whether from Minsk or Riga or Moscow or from Bletchley Park or wherever, and yet we still fail to find even a luke warm gun, let alone a smoking gun, indicates that possibly I may be right and my opponents may be incorrect, or, at any rate, I am justified in suspecting, would you agree? A. No, because I do not think one would ever expect to find such a thing in a radio intercept. These are, from what I have seen of them, very specific things. They are not general points at which, for instance, Hitler has ordered Barbarossa or decisions of that level. . P-61 Q. You refer -- I am now coming on to Adolf Eichmann, unless, my Lord, you wish to ask further questions? MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. Take your own course. MR IRVING: I now come on to Adolf Eichmann. What reliance can be placed on his writings, do you think? A. I have used him as a very important source because we have ---- Q. Yes, understandably. A. --- a collection of documents from him that stretch over a period of time and were given under different conditions before his arrest in Argentina under arrest by the Israelis, the private notes that are part of his attorney's, Nachlass that is in Koblenz, that subject to the confidentiality that were only between him and his attorney and were not in the possession of the Israelis. Q. There is a lot of paper then? A. There is a lot of -- and now, apparently, we have learned there is about 1300 or more pages of notes that we have never seen yet. Q. When you were in Koblenz, did you have the opportunity to look at the 600 pages that I gave to the German government which I found in Argentina? A. No. I have not seen those. I do not know what the overlap is between those and ---- Q. They are similar to Sasson material. Would you characterize for the court what kind of witness Adolf . P-62 Eichmann was in all these stages? What kind of person -- was he robust, was he servile, just characterize him. A. I would say that there are elements of both, that he is very robust and contentious in protesting against certain aspects of what he is being accused. He has no problem saying Hoess is lying about him, that he did not be involved there; that he engages in a vigorous denial of certain parts of the documentation the Israeli interrogators at court show him. On the other hand, he comes and says things that there is no documentation for, admits to things that they would never have known otherwise, except that they are repeated consistently in all of his stories, and it is a story he sticks to from beginning to end for which we would not know other than that he consistently told that story. Q. Yes. There are plausible elements and there are implausible elements, is that right? A. In any eyewitness testimony, there will be elements that are more plausible than others. I think a fair amount of the Eichmann testimony is plausible. Again, it would depend on when he is reacting to particular documents they present, sometimes he takes a very defensive position, and in other areas he is very self-incriminating and very forthcoming. Q. Hannah Arred in her book "The Banality of Evil" I think . P-63 refers to him as being almost complacent and compliant and anxious to please? A. I do not agree with her characterization there. Q. You do not agree with that? A. No. He is quite vigorous in defending himself in many areas. Q. I had the dubious fortune some time ago of coming into possession of his personal copy of Rudolf Hoess' memoirs. I will pass to you, if I may? MR RAMPTON: May I enquire whether this is, I do not know, this is an entirely open enquiry, whether this is part of Mr Irving's discovery? MR IRVING: It was in my box called "Judenfrage" but if you wish ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: This is the original you are handing up, is it? MR IRVING: This is a photocopy of it which I have retained, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: A photocopy of the version you discovered or were given? MR IRVING: That is correct, my Lord. It is only interesting in one very minor respect. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, that is what I thought. MR IRVING: Pages 13 and 14 of your Lordship's little bundle which I gave your Lordship this morning. This is, of course, the published edition of Hoess' memoirs which you . P-64 are probably familiar with? A. Yes. Q. Yes. The handwriting on that has been identified as the handwriting of Adolf Eichmann, as is evident also from the internal evidence of the comments that he makes. The original is in the possession of a friend of mine in Germany. He bought it in a store. A. OK. I am, of course, not an handwriting expert. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Rampton, you are happy with this, are you? A. And so I cannot confirm or deny. MR RAMPTON: I have never seen it before. I do not have a translation. MR IRVING: I just wish to refer to page 14. MR RAMPTON: But what is puzzling me about this is if this is a selective use of the document, it may be that there are a considerable number of other comments by Eichmann of which Mr Irving is aware on these memoirs which we ought to see because they are relevant.
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