Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day023.12 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I know you do not, I am asking the witness, where is the document that you are quoting from. A. It is in the Berlin document centre. It is cited in a book by Richard Brightman called The Architecture of Genocide. It is not -- I mean, it does not play a very important part in the report, I have to say I am not quite concern why Mr Irving is asking about it. MR IRVING: It is in the report, I am entitled to ask you, what . 109 do you think -- A. Of course you are entitled to ask, I am not -- Q. -- what do you think our most secret wishes are at that time? Do you have any indication from the document that the secret wishes concern the homicidal disposal of the Jews en masse? A. -- I think that is one possible interpretation of that -- Q. One possible interpretation -- A. -- given the fact that that is what Labotsnik was doing. Q. -- is it not evident from the September 22nd document, the handwritten agenda, that the discussion between Hitler and Himmler in which Labotsnik was mentioned was in fact the resettlement of the Lublin area with the ethnic Germans and this might equally well have been the most secret wish? A. Well, the two were, of course, combined, and in fact on 18th July 1942 Himmler had ordered that the Jews must finally disappear from Lublin, which is on page 495 of the Himmler calendar. So very shortly before this the disappearance of the Jews from Lublin to make way for these ethnic Germans moved in there, of course was to be undertaken by Labotsnik and involved sending them off to Treblinka where the killing started on the 23rd July. So I think it is reasonable to assume that he is talking here about the whole package. These two things are very intimately connected. . 110 Q. There is one possible inference, right? A. I think it is a reasonable inference. Q. But the document obviously does not tell us anything else more specific, otherwise it would have been quoted, would it not? A. Yes, that is what I think he is talking about. He is talking about the killing, mass killing of Jews to make way for the people resettling the Lublin area from Bessarabia, Lorraine and Bosnia, ethnic Germans. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Would Labotsnik have had a particular wish to see Lublin being cleared of the Jews as quickly as possible? A. I think, yes, I think that is certainly the case, yes. MR IRVING: Would it have been a security wish? Was he chief of police in that region? A. That is right, yes. Q. The remaining messages in that paragraph, you do accept that I have adequately used them or referred to them in my biographies of Hitler and Goebbels? A. Goodness, you do cite them, yes. Q. Despite their very ugly language -- A. You certainly cite them -- Q. -- the reference to the 5,000 members of the chosen people and so on? A. -- yes, you cite them. Q. Page 433 of your report, please, in the last indented . 111 passage on this page, it is admitted that the plaintiff did not draw attention to this minute, in fact, I did, did I not? A. Yes. Q. I quoted from it? A. I think you were doing yourself an injustice. Q. Yes. So I quoted the lines of Himmler's September 1942 agenda in full in Hitler's War on page 392, I just merely left out the reference to Globos, did I not? A. Yes, that is right, on paragraph 3, page 434, I note in going through the pleadings in the case both the defence and Irving are, in fact, wrong in claiming that Irving has not used the note by Himmler in his work. Q. Page 435, paragraph 4, I am again going to have ask you something from your memory, if you do not know the answer then just say so. A. Yes, OK. Q. Can you give one example where austvanderung as opposed to "evakuieren" or "umsiedein" is used explicitly by Hitler or anybody else as a euphemism for killing? If you do not know the answer then just say so. A. Well, let me draw attention to the passage we looked at a little bit earlier, where he talks about that and says that 75 per cent of those who emigrated from Germany in the 19th century died. Q. Yes, well, they were killed or they died of natural . 112 causes? A. Well I think it is clear he means that they were transported in conditions so brutal and murderous that it came to the same thing. Q. That they died because of privations? A. Deliberately inflicted on them, yes. Q. I do not really want to follow that up, I do not it really advances it. Page 441. MR JUSTICE GRAY: If we are moving to a new topic it would help me, Mr Irving, if you put it in context rather than just going to some rather small point on the text. MR IRVING: Your Lordship has rightly noticed that we have now moved to the Horthy meetings, Hitler and Horthy of April 1943. (To the Witness) Your contention is, is it not, that I deliberated transposed the two sentences referred to on page 441? A. Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am sorry, I did not catch... which page, 441? MR IRVING: Page 441 of the report. A. The point here is that Hitler and Ribbentrop met the Hungarian leader, Admiral Horthy, on 16th and 17th April 1943, and the minutes of the meeting make it clear that Hitler and Ribbentrop failed to get their message across . 113 that the Hungarian Jews should be delivered to the Germans for killing, on the 16th. And, in fact, seemed to have failed to make clear that killing was what was actually involved. So on second day, the 17th April, they put much more pressure on Horthy, and were much more explicit, and on the 17th April, for example, Ribbentrop said the Jews had be annihilated or put in concentration camps, and Hitler said the Jews in Poland were shot if they were unable to work and he uses the usual language of tuberculous, bacilli and killing them and shooting hares and deer he talks about. On the previous day, on the 16th, Hitler, when Horthy had "surely you do not mean kill them", Hitler had said "there is no need for that". But on the 17th he does not, he is much more explicit "they must be killed", and what is done in the account of this in Hitler's War is that phrase, "there is no need for that", is placed after an account of what Hitler on the 17th, removing also Ribbentrop's remark about the concentration camps or killing into the footnote. So, in other words, it makes it look as if Hitler is opposing the killing of Jews, whereas, in fact, he was advocating it. That is the nub of the case. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is very clear. Thank you very much. MR IRVING: A very useful summary. But now let us cut down to the bottom line. Firstly, does it change the burden of Hitler's remark one bit whether it is uttered on the 16th . 114 or 17th April 1943? A. Yes, it does, yes, I have already explained that Hitler and Ribbentrop were much more explicit on the 17th because they had failed to get their message across to Horthy who was either too dim or too old or too devious to get the message on the 16th, so they were more explicit on the 17th. Q. So on April 16th when Horthy apologised that he had done all he decently could against the Jews and continued "but they can hardly have been murdered or otherwise eliminated" Hitler reassured him, and there is dispute between us on that, "there is no need for that"? A. Yes. Q. In other words, there is no need for them to be murdered or otherwise eliminated? A. That is right. Q. Is he not being perfectly explicit there on April 16th as to what Adolf Hitler's position is? A. No. He is drawing back from the actual brutality of saying "yes, that is what I do mean". He is trying to throw up a bit of smoke screen there. In saying "give us your Jews", as it were, and Horthy says, "well, we do not really want to do that if they are going to be killed" and Hitler "says all right, that is okay, just give them to us". Q. Did you find any support for this homicidal intent by . 115 Adolf Hitler in the Hungarian version of this meeting? A. Ah, right. This is on pages 443 to 446 of my report, these are much less explicit, though they do not say what you claim that they say. Q. What we are looking for is some reference in the Hungarian record to killing Jews. "Adolf asked us to kill our Jews and we put up a strong fight against it", is there anything in that sense? A. Well, the Hungarians were very careful about being explicit about this. Q. Why should they have had to be? A. Horthy, Horthy put in -- drafting a letter with the phrase -- and we are back to "ausrotten" here again, "Your Excellency", writing back, it was a follow up to the Nazi leaders, "further approached me that my government did not proceed in the extermination or extirpation of Jewry with the same radicalism with which this had been carried out in Germany". That is also regarded -- desired for other countries too, but in fact he crossed that out. He thought that was really too blunt and too brutal. Q. Does this indicate that Hitler and Ribbentrop told Horthy about the radicalism that they were carrying out the operation in German? A. That seems to have been the case, yes, on the 17th April. Q. Is there any hint of that in Schmidt's report of their meeting that they had this lengthy disquisition to the . 116 Hungarians on how they were killing all the Jews? A. Yes, now on the 17th, when Horthy says again "what should he do with the Jews" after he had pretty well taken all means of living from them, because Horthy was anti-semitic too, although in a somewhat less extreme sense than Hitler. "He surely could not beat them to death", the Reichs Foreign Minister replied that "the Jews must either be annihilated or taken to concentration camps, there was no other way". The alternative given there, that is footnote 8, page 441, and the alternative given there makes it quite clear what "vernichten" means, it means "killed". Q. So the word that is used there is "vernichten" again annihilated? A. Yes. He cannot be talking about anything else. He gives the alternative, it is a sort of alternative of "work" or "death" again. Q. You have read the entire Nuremberg transcript of the examination and cross-examination of Ribbentrop and Schmidt on the Horthy meeting? A. Yes. Q. Was there any admission at any point by either of those people, either by Ribbentrop or the interpreter, that there had been talk of annihilating in the murderous sense, the homicidal sense? A. This statement by Ribbentrop was regarded by the . 117 prosecution as an extremely damning piece of evidence, that Ribbentrop had been responsible for mass murder and therefore Ribbentrop, of course, in his own interests disputed this. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Standing back from the documents, this is the Germans really soliciting Horthy to agree to the Hungarian Jews being transported to the General Government? A. Yes. Q. Looking at it, as it were, from Horthy's point of view, what would he have thought that the Nazis' interest in doing that was? A. He is trying to find out, my Lord, and this is why he is asking repeatedly, "surely, you do not want to beat them to death? You do not want kill them?" I have done everything that I can, he says. Q. What other motive would the Nazis have in relation to Hungarian Jews? A. None that I can imagine, my Lord. They certainly do not say that they want to take them away for labour. Q. Labour would be the alternative? A. Would be the only other possible motivation that they could have. But it is quite clear here they have got to be annihilated or taken to concentration camps. And the whole language which is used, "bacilli" and giving a humane death to wild animals and so on makes it quite clear what they are talking about. . 118 Q. Yes, but I was thinking, leaving aside the documents, what the sort of thinking must have been on the two sides, the Nazi and the Hungarian side? A. From Horthy's point of view, of course, he did, in fact, deport non-Hungarian Jews who were then killed. But he objected on grounds of sovereignty to Hungarian Jews, his Jews, as it were, even though he put all sorts of legal discriminations on them to being taken away by a foreign power. Q. Sorry, Mr Irving. MR IRVING: Right, now I have to ask you two very clear questions following up on his Lordship's very well-informed questions; it is true that the Nazis not only wanted Hungarians as slave labour, but they also perceived (this is not evident from the Schmidt transcripts) the very large Jewish population of Budapest and the environments of Hungary as being a serious security problem within the boundaries of Hitler's empire, if you can put it like, that they regarded the Jewish population in Hungary as being a serious security threat or problem; is that right? A. Let us have a look. Where can we see this? Where does he say this? I am not disputing it, I just want to know what passage you are referring to in the Schmidt's minutes.
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