Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day023.04 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 MR IRVING: You are not claiming to be an expert on Goebbels and his relationship with Hitler, are you? A. We have been through the nature of my expertise right at the very beginning, Mr Irving. Q. You are not claiming to be an expert on Goebbels and his relationship with Hitler, are you? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think in these pages he necessarily is claiming that. MR IRVING: Very well. Are you aware of how often Dr Goebbels was with Hitler each year around this time? Would it be five or ten or 20 times a year? A. I have not counted, Mr Irving. You tell me. Q. The answer is you have not any idea, have you? MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is gratuitous. Put the number of times. A. It seems from the diary entries that I have read to have been fairly frequent over the years. MR IRVING: Fairly frequent. What do you mean by fairly frequent? A. Would you like to put to me a number? I have not counted, Mr Irving. What I am doing here is writing not so much about Goebbels and Hitler but about your account of Goebbels and Hitler. That is the purpose of my report. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, if it is your case that Goebbels was hardly ever seeing Hitler at this time, then I think . 30 you ought to say so and, if necessary, give the number of times they would have net, or presumably spoken on the telephone, I do not know. MR IRVING: Can you accept that Dr Goebbels, in the year 1942, saw Adolf Hitler about ten times all told? I mean in private. A. Ah, that is a different matter. Q. As opposed to at mass meetings or something like that? A. I do find it difficult to accept anything you say, Mr Irving, without looking at the documentary basis for it. Q. That makes life easier for you, does it not, but can you just answer the question? A. It does not. It makes life a lot more difficult, actually. Q. You do accept that I worked for 35 years on the Adolf Hitler book and I worked for nine years on the Goebbels biography, so that I am something of an expert on both people? A. The question is how you worked, Mr Irving. Q. Well, I am asking you a simple question. How many times do you think Goebbels actually visited Hitler in 1941 and in 42? A. I have and I am giving the answer. I have not counted. My purpose here is to look at your account and your manipulation of this entry of 27th March to support your . 31 argument that Goebbels was concealing information about the extermination of the Jews from Hitler. That is my purpose here. Q. Is it not the fact that, from 1939 onwards until 1944, after the bomb attempt on Hitler's life, their relationship can at best be described as distant? A. No. I do not really think that is true. Q. In view of the fact that Dr Goebbels as the Minister of Propaganda visited Hitler only about ten times per year during those years, is not that a distant relationship? A. We do not know how many times they spoke on the phone. Q. Have you seen any references in the Goebbels diaries to telephone calls from Adolf? A. Or to Adolf, no. I think Goebbels had a good knowledge of what Hitler knew and talked about. It occurs frequently in his diaries. Q. If you express that opinion, you must have a pretty profound knowledge of Dr Goebbels, is that right? A. Not necessarily, no. I have read plenty of diary entries in which account -- these are the diaries entries I read in order to check up on the use you make of them. That is what I have done here. Q. Have you and your researchers read the entire entries of Dr Goebbels' diaries? A. Of course not. That would have been absolutely impossible. It is an enormously long collection of stuff . 32 and that is not what we had to do. Our task was to look at the use you make of certain specific diary entries. Q. Are you familiar from the correspondence that has been shown you in discovery that I invited various Goebbels experts, including Dr Frohlich and Dr Friedrich Karbermann and others who have worked on the Goebbels diaries like myself, whether they have come across one single entry which explicitly shows that Adolf Hitler was aware of the homicidal killings of the Jews in the Goebbels diaries? A. Yes. Q. The answer is no, there is no such entry? A. I do not accept that. Q. Have you not seen this correspondence? A. No, sorry. The correspondence yes, but I do not accept the conclusion that you make of it. Q. You accept that they have read the diaries, unlike you, in their totality, but you do not accept what they say? A. Ah, sorry. I thought you were saying that is what you said. Then in that case you have to show me a letter in Dr. Frohlich says that he has never seen such a---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us short circuit this. Are you aware of any explicit acceptance, or document which shows explicit knowledge on Hitler's part of the extermination programme? A. Well, I think there is evidence in the diaries that he did know. In this particular entry, when Goebbels says, "The Fuhrer is the persistent pioneer and spokesman of a . 33 radical solution", what else can he mean, except some degree of extermination, 60 per cent extermination, or more? He cannot mean at this stage, March 1942, that a radical solution is simply deporting them to the East. Q. You read that entry, just to summarize it, as Goebbels saying that what Globocnik is up to is in accordance with what the Fuhrer wants done? A. Hitler indeed has been a pioneer, persistent pioneer, of this radical solution. MR IRVING: Do you agree ---- A. One can also look at the entry of 30th May 1942, which I cite at length in the letter of revision to my report that I sent on 10th January this year. Here again, I think there is a clear indication that this is recording a meeting of Hitler with Goebbels, a meeting between Hitler and Goebbels, where at the first paragraph Goebbels says that he presents the Fuhrer with his plan to evacuate the Jews out of Berlin with none remaining, Hitler is completely of his view, says Goebbels, and goes on to give orders and so on. "I plead once again for a more radical Jewish policy", this is on 30th May 1942, "whereby I am just pushing at an open door with the Fuhrer". Q. You have left out quite bit, have you not? A. Well, I will read the whole passage if you really want me to. I am trying to short things a bit. He goes on in the next paragraph to then say, "An extermination of criminals . 34 is also a necessity of state policy", thus implying quite clearly in the previous paragraph that he has been talking about the extermination of Jews. So that is another indication to my mind. Q. As you have raised this particular entry, will you go to the bundle I gave you this morning and turn to page 2? A. Yes. Q. It is sometimes quite helpful that you go off on these excursions. Is that pages of the Goebbels diary? A. Yes. Q. My Lord, do you have this particular document? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do, yes. Thank you very much. MR IRVING: Is this diary a typescript diary on the large Adolf Hitler typewriter, or the large face typewriter? A. It is certainly large, unless it has been enlarged. Q. So this time Dr Goebbels was dictating the diary to his private secretary, Richard Otty, is that right, the stenographer? A. Yes, I think so. Q. He did so since July 1941, did he not? A. That is right, yes. Q. So this is not in any sense a private diary any more full of top secrets. It is an official diary he is keeping? A. No, I do not think it is an official diary. I think it is a private diary. There are certain things that he might feel he cannot say in it, which he could say when he was . 35 writing it down in his own hand, but it is still a private diary. Q. Was the Final Solution in its homicidal sense something that was top state secret, and not to be written down in private diaries or official diaries? A. Which do you mean? Official diaries or private diaries? Q. Look at the first page, page 2 in my little bundle. You will see that it starts off with, "Yesterday the military situation:". A. Yes, he always start off like that. Q. It does not look like a private diary, does it? A. He always starts off with the military situation. It is a private diary. He keeps tabs on the military situation. Q. On page 3, the last three lines, "The Fuhrer has returned from his headquarters to Berlin to speak to an officers' course in the Sports Palace". So Hitler has come to Berlin and Goebbels grabs the opportunity to have one of his rare meetings with him? A. Yes, that is right. Q. The next page is the part you then began reading? A. Yes. Q. Page 4, line 3? A. Yes. Q. "I briefed the Fuhrer once more on my plan, to evacuate the Jews completely from Berlin"? A. Yes. . 36 Q. Why does he have to do it "once more"? Why did not Hitler leap at it and say, "Yes, sure, why are we waiting, what are we waiting for?" Why does Goebbels have to keep on putting this to Hitler if there was any eagerness on Hitler's part to deal with the Jews? A. Because some were remaining, and it is a new situation which seems to have emerged which has alarmed Goebbels, and which he goes on at some length about later in the entry. Q. Then he continues. "It is entirely my opinion", gives Speers the job, "to take care as quickly as possible that the Jews who are working in the German arms factories, arms economy, are replaced by foreign workers"? A. Yes. Q. Then he continues with a piece you left out, "I see a major danger in the fact that there are still 40,000 Jews in the capital of the Reichs who would have nothing more to lose, who are running around free". A. Yes. Q. Is there not a provocation, and is it not just asking for assassination attempts, if that kind of thing happens, then you cannot sleep safely in your own bed? That is roughly what it says, is it not? A. That is right, yes. Q. If I turn the page, we have now leapt forward. A. Yes. . 37 Q. I think this is probably the part that you then begin quoting again. Halfway down, "The Germans take part in subversive movements only when the Jews lead them astray to it. That is why we have to liquidate the Jewish danger, cost what it may. How little the Jews in reality can fit in or assimilate to the Western European life you can see from the fact that, when they are sent back into the Ghetto, they very rapidly become ghettoised again". So he is talking about a geographical movement, is he not, they are in Western Europe and we are going to have to kick them out? A. Yes, but this appears to be taken from Table Talk. The point about this entry is that it really subsumes two different conversations. The first of these appears to be a private conversation between Goebbels and Hitler, where he says, "I once more present the Fuhrer with my plan to evacuate the Jews out of Berlin". Q. What makes you think that this is ---- A. Sorry, this is quite explicit. The bit you left out I will go on: "Once these outrages or assassination attempts break out, then one's life is no longer safe". I will carry on reading. "The fact that even 22 year old Eastern Jews took part in the latest fire bomb attack speaks volumes. Thus I plead once again for a more radical Jewish policy whereby I am just pushing at an open door with the Fuhrer. The Fuhrer has the opinion that the . 38 danger will become greater for us personally the more critical the war situation becomes. We find ourselves in a similar situation to that of the second half of 1932 where bashing and stabbing were the order of the day, and one had to take all possible security measures to escape from such a development in one piece". Then he goes on in a new paragraph, still this conversation with Hitler: "The extermination of criminals is also a necessity of state policy". Q. Yes, we have had that already. A. Let me give the German. The German gives actually a very strong feeling. Auch die Ausmerzung der Verbrechers: Literally also the extermination of criminals. Q. What does "ausmerzung" mean. A. Here it means the extermination -- he goes on to say exactly what he means.
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