Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day021.10 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 A. Page 9 is ---- MR RAMPTON: That is my function, Mr Irving, I am afraid. A. This is a very brief telegram. MR IRVING: I promise that I will interrupt your killer points. . P-86 A. May I have give a translation, my Lord? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, if the conversation in the background ceases. A. This is a telegram at 2.56 a.m. on 10th November 1938 from the Brown House in Munich to all Gau leaderships. MR IRVING: Can you translate the heading too then please? A. Telegram via the propaganda writer, whatever that is. MR IRVING: It is on the headed notepaper of the deputy of the Fuhrer, is it not? A. Not in the copy I have here, no. Q. In that case you had better have one of these copies then which is the genuine telegram. A. Thank you. That is very helpful. Q. And not the version produced by the Defence. A. Right. National socialist German Workers Party. It is very difficult to read this. Is that deputy of the Fuhrer staff? I am guessing. Munich 33, 10th November. MR IRVING: The office of the Deputy of the Fuhrer. A. Right. It is whited out here on my copy, I am afraid. MR JUSTICE GRAY: There is no---- A. To all Gau leaderships for immediate ---- MR IRVING: To be put into immediate effect? A. Yes, immediate effect, ordnance No. 174/38, repeat of the ---- MR IRVING: Repetition of the telegram of November 10th. A. November 10th 1938, on the emphatic command of the all . P-87 highest position. MR IRVING: Acts of arson? A. Acts, well, arson on Jewish shops or ---- Q. Businesses? A. Shops or similar. Q. Shop would be Larden, would it not? A. No, Gescheft. I think you yourself translated Gescheft as shop in the witness box, Mr Irving. MR RAMPTON: That is how Mr Irving translated it when I first asked him to do it. MR IRVING: Businesses is more precise. A. No, shops, Mr Irving. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not sure that it makes a huge amount of difference, actually? A. It does, my Lord, I am afraid, but still. Q. I am not sure it does. A. Not in this particular context. Q. That is what I was talking about. A. Arson and Jewish shops or the like must not ---- MR IRVING: Business. A. -- happen. Q. Establishment. A. Sorry. May I translate it, Mr Irving, please? Arson or the laying of fire in Jewish shops or the like may not or must not take place under any circumstances and in no case, and so on. That is the essence of it. . P-88 Q. Pretty emphatic, is it not? A. Yes. What it is saying is that nobody is to set light to Jewish shops or ---- Q. Businesses. A. -- or similar kinds of premises. It is not saying that nobody is to arrest the Jews. It is not saying that nobody should smash the shops up. It is not saying that nobody should smash up the apartments and houses of Jews. Q. Professor, I have not asked you what it does not say. A. It does not say that nobody should commit arson against many hundreds of synagogues which were burnt down. Q. Professor, I have not asked you what it does not say. A. What it does not say, Mr Irving, is extremely important. This is a very limited telegram which says that Jewish shops and similar kinds of premises are not to be set alight. The reason for that is very similar, it is the same kind of telegram that ---- Q. Where does it say similar businesses? A. May I finish my answer, Mr Irving, please? It is the same kind of telegram that went out from Heydrich at 1.20 or from Muller at 11.55. That is to say, it is saying that laying fire to Jewish shops at similar apartments, whatever it might be, is not to be allowed because of course it endangers the surrounding premises, which are owned by Germans ---- Q. Where does it say that? . P-89 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Would you please not interrupt? A. And, of course, some of these shops may well have been owned by Germans. That is all it is saying. It is very limited. It does not say, "Bring the whole thing to an end". That is a completely illegitimate interpretation of this document. MR IRVING: Where does it say, "because of the danger to surrounding premises"? A. Well, I am going back there to ---- Q. No, I am looking at this telegram. Let us just look at one document at a time, please? A. It does not say that, but that is my interpretation of the reason. Q. Can we look at what it does say and not what it does not say? A. Indeed, yes. Q. Because that, surely, is where the evidence is? A. Yes. Q. It goes to all the Gauleiters, is that right? A. That is right. Q. What, about 48 of the senior Nazi Party officials though the entire country? A. Yes. Q. And it is telling them there are to be no acts of arson against Jewish Geschafte, whatever that is. I translate that as "businesses". . P-90 A. Shops. Q. And "der Gleichen", what does that mean? A. "And similar". Q. What does the "similar" mean? Similar to businesses or similar to acts? A. Similar to business, of course, Mr Irving. Q. On what basis do you say that? Your knowledge of German? A. Because it is Geschafte oder der Gleichen. Had it been "arson", it would have been "[German] Oder der Gleichen". It is quite clear. It is a shameless manipulation of this text to suggest that it says that "arson and similar acts". Q. Is this based on your ---- A. Quite clearly not. Q. --- superior knowledge of the German language? A. It is based on my knowledge of the German language which is a good knowledge of the German language, Mr Irving. I am not claiming my knowledge is superior to yours. You also have a very good knowledge of the German language. That is why I say this is a shameless manipulation of the text. It is not due to mere ignores. Q. It would be useful if you could keep your answers a little bit shorter and more to the point. A. I know you do not like what I am saying, Mr Irving, but I shall say what I want to unless I am told not to by his Lordship. . P-91 Q. Otherwise Mr Rampton will complain about the expense again. That is why I am trying to keep these answers brief. If it says "Brandlegungen an Judenschen Geschaften oder der Gleichen", and you say that if the word "der Gleichen" was going to refer to the "Brandlegungen", then it would have to go immediately after "Brandlegungen". A. Yes. Q. "Brandlegungen oder der Gleichen an Judenschen Geschaften". A. Yes. Q. But then that would make nonsense, would it not? A. No. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Why? A. Why? MR IRVING: Because all you could do with the businesses as an object would be to set them on fire or to demolish them or whatever, whereas my contention is that the "der Gleichen" refers to acts of arson and the "der Gleichen" refers to other actions being carried out during that night which can amount to all sorts of different things. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Like? MR IRVING: Well, whatever was going on that night, my Lord. We know already in great detail what was going on that night, the arrests, the murders, the outrageous, the harassment, the violence, and that ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: So your case is -- I am interested because I . P-92 have not heard this before ----- MR IRVING: --- the "der Gleichen" can refer equally ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: That this meant that all criminal, violent activities should stop, although it refers to arson? Your case, Mr Irving? MR IRVING: I was hoping that we had Mr Rampton's undivided attention. MR RAMPTON: I am just having confirmation from a German speaker behind me of your Lordship's interpretation. MR IRVING: Are you wishing to give evidence, Mr Rampton, because, if so, perhaps we ought to wait until we have a German in the witness box who we can cross-examine properly on this matter. No doubt we will when the time comes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: But I asked you a question. MR IRVING: My contention is (and I am putting this to this witness) that it is equally possible that "der Gleichen" refers either to the businesses or to the "Brandlegungun", if I can put it like that? A. That is absolutely ridiculous. It is a completely illegitimate misinterpretation and manipulation of this text. Q. Very well. We have your answers. In your considered view, that is an impossible interpretation? A. That is right. I have already said it would have been "Brandlegungen oder der Gleichen an Judenschen . P-93 Geschaften" because it says "Brandlegungen an Judenschen Geschaften oder der Gleichen". "Der Gleichen" refers to Judenschen Geschaften". Q. You are ploughing once again the depths of your considerable knowledge of the German language, "alle hochste Stelle", to whom does that refer? A. That must refer to Hitler. Q. That must refer to Adolf Hitler. There is no question about that then. A. It would seem that ---- Q. It is not a janitorial level order then, this one? A. No, no. Q. This comes from the very top man. A. No. Hitler is saying here, "Go ahead with burning down synagogues. Go ahead with wrecking Jewish shops and smashing up the interiors. Go ahead with arresting 20,000 people. Go ahead with smashing up Jewish apartments, destroying the furniture, chucking it out of the window, throwing some of the inhabitants out of the window. Go ahead with all of that, but don't commit arson on Jewish shops or similar premises". Q. You read all of that out of these three lines, do you? A. Yes. I think what is omitted from here is more significant in a way than what is in here. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am looking at a document you do not have, Professor -- well, you have it but you are not looking at . P-94 it -- and it has got "Brandlegungen an Judenschen Geschaften" underlined. Is that in the version you are looking at? Is it underlined? A. Mr Irving's version is not underlined. Q. So somebody has done that later is the point? MR IRVING: Effectively, yes, my Lord. I should amplify that the version which is here is originally a negative copy which is in the files of the Berlin Document Centre and there is no question as to its authenticity. MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, I accept that. MR IRVING: Professor, have you ever seen this document reproduced or printed or quoted at any time before I published it in my work in 1977? Has any German historian or non-German historian deigned to use this document? A. Not to my knowledge. Q. Is there any reason why an orders from the very highest level, in other words, from Adolf Hitler to all the Gauleiters concerning the Reichskristallnacht should have been suppressed in this manner if it was so innocent, as you suggest, if it just fits in with the general pattern? A. I do not know that it was suppressed, Mr Irving. I cannot say. Q. Well, there appeared to be at least two different copies of it in existence, the one which the Defence provided and . P-95 my different version, so I found it easily enough. So is there any reason you can suggest why historians have been embarrassed about it and have preferred not to use it? A. I do not think it is true that historians have been embarrassed about it. There is nothing to be embarrassed about here at all. It fits in perfectly well into the other documents we have from that same disastrous and ghastly evening.
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