Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day023.14 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So that is the second one? A. That is the second one. That is, of course, a sentence omitted by Mr Irving. He writes about this. Thirdly, 633, Wilhelm von Bruckner: "Hitler never talked in my presence about the so-called Final Solution of the 'Jewish question' or 'extermination of the Jews'. This applied equally to the whole of Hitler's entourage". Then Bruchner added: "These questions were probably left to the close and competent circle, to which Dietrich", again talking about him, "did not belong". That is another one . 130 who says that they -- in other words, it was discussed, not just by Hitler, Hitler did know about it in other words. MR IRVING: Can I draw your attention to page 634, please, paragraph 2? You state that I did not provide the statements by the stenographers Buchholz, Jonuschat, Krieger, Reynitz and Thot. Is that not precisely the file of which I have just drawn your attention in the bundle this morning, at page 36, the written statement of Hitler's stenographers, that that was, therefore, in the Institute and available to you and your researchers? A. Yes. I am just saying that you did not provide it to the court before this morning. That is all. Q. Did not do what? A. Provide it to the court before this morning. Q. Are you aware that that list is in my discovery as a numbered item in my discovery? A. Are the actual statements there? Q. The actual statements are in the Institute of History where they have been ---- A. So they are not in the discovery? That is all I am saying. Q. Well, I think his Lordship has the point. Next name? A. 636, this is Krieger, one of the stenographers. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Krieger, yes, I see. A. Yes. . 131 MR IRVING: Ludovic Krieger. A. Who as a sort of a "don't know": "It remains a problem" -- it is rather awkward English -- "It remains a problem first unsolved whether Hitler himself issued the orders of such cruelties or authorised men as Himmler or Bormann to do so or whether generally held orders were carried out by subordinate organs and sadists in such a brutal and vile manner" which is somehow rewritten on a different version which is used by Mr Irving where he says: "For the present it must remain an unanswered question, whether Hitler himself issued specific orders ... or whether orders issued in generalised terms were executed by subordinates and sadists". MR JUSTICE GRAY: Whose translation is the first one? A. That is, I think, it looks like it is originally -- it is such peculiar English, it looks like it was originally written in English actually. Anyway, he keeps it open. He says it is certainly possible that Hitler issued the orders. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is page 636? A. Yes. And then Buchholz, page 636, again it was never discussed. MR IRVING: "It is possible that Hitler issued the order", what does he mean by that? A. He is just saying that; it is possible that he issued the orders of such cruelties. . 132 Q. It is possible the Queen Mother issued the orders, but we are dealing with likelihoods here, are we not? A. Yes, but you are saying that, you are drawing a conclusion from all these people's testimony that they all thought it was not possible. Q. No, the conclusion that I have drawn is that all of them were questioned and all of them came out -- in every case the interrogators drew a blank, if I can put it like that? A. No, well, there are two issues here which you have already mentioned. One is whether or not the extermination of the Jews was actually discussed in Hitler's entourage to which these people all said, leaving aside whether you believe it or not, no; and the second question, whether they concluded from that that Hitler did not know about them, which is the conclusion that you draw from their evidence. I am saying here, in this series of examples, that they did not, in fact, draw that conclusion. Q. Are you aware of the fact that in most of these cases I personally interviewed all these men myself? A. Yes. Q. That I am capable to judge whether they are telling the truth or not and the nature of the evidence they are giving? A. No. Q. You do not accept that? . 133 A. Well, no, I think you wait for the answer you want and you do not probe any deeper. Q. So I am not capable of detecting forgeries or lies or anything like that? A. Not when people are saying what you want them to say, no. Q. Can we have another name? A. Buchholz: "The Fuhrer did not discover" -- well, "The treatment of political prisoners in concentration camps was never discussed in the briefings with Hitler at which I was present". Q. Page, please? A. 636. "The reason why lies in the fact", he says, "the reason lies" and then: "The circle of those in the know had been kept very small. I am convinced that such questions have always been treated between the Fuhrer and the Reichsfuhrer SS", that is Himmler, "Himmler in strict confidence. Especially in last half year, such conversations between these two often took place, usually before or after a briefing at which Himmler appeared". And then ---- MR IRVING: Can I stop you? MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is a specific claim that Hitler did know, is it not? A. Yes. MR IRVING: Yes, but it is based on the fact that Himmler and Hitler met in private and that this, therefore, invites . 134 the following immediate question, do we not have the notes which Himmler drew up for the meetings of the ---- A. Well, not obviously -- one does not know whether they are complete or not. Q. Professor Evans, have we not been not been looking at some of the handwritten notes ---- A. Mr Irving, the ---- Q. --- the handwritten notes of the ---- A. These members of this staff are giving their opinion. What we are talking about here is their opinion. You have said that because they say that there was no discussion in Hitler's entourage, therefore, Hitler did not know about it. I am quoting the opinions of various of these people that Hitler did know. That is what is at issue. That is a separate matter from whether Hitler really did know or not. It is a question of ---- Q. Shall we look at exactly what Buchholz says? A. -- a question of the evidence. Yes, indeed. Q. He says: "I am convinced that such questions have always been treated between the Reichsfuhrer and Hitler and Himmler in strict confidence". Of course, Buchholz is, effectively, saying, "I do not know what happened between them", is he not? A. Well, no. He is actually saying he knows what ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: He is guessing, I suppose that is fair, is it not? . 135 A. --- he suspects. Yes, but he is giving his opinion. MR IRVING: He is guessing. But we do not have to guess, my Lord, because we have the agenda. A. He is giving his opinion, "I am convinced". Q. Yes. Do you have another name? I mean, unless his Lordship has further questions to ask ---- A. No, I have plenty more. Q. Yes, well, we want to move through the names with speed because we are not ---- A. I am moving them as fast as I can. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am happy just to have the names, but if you want to ask questions, Mr Irving, that is entirely appropriate and please do so. MR IRVING: I am asking, for example, on Engel where there is an important point, I slowed the matter down, but on the other names I an not really going to halt the flow. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, it is up to you decide. I mean, if you say, "Oh, well, do not be ridiculous, he is not even hinting that Hitler knew", then I think you ought to put a question to that effect. MR IRVING: I have heard nothing that shakes me yet, my Lord, because frankly I am very familiar with all these papers. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, well, I am not nearly as familiar as you so it helps me to know which Adjutants Professor Evans is going to point to. A. Right, the next one. . 136 MR IRVING: Then I will ask a few general questions at the end. MR JUSTICE GRAY: All right. A. Then a statement by Heinz Linge. MR IRVING: On which page? A. 639 to 40. Q. 640? A. Yes, and again 642 to 3. Then 645, let us have a look at this. Brottigan, 645 to 6. Q. Can we know exactly what is in your statement ---- A. It is all in my report. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Just go to the bit because I was looking for the particular passage you rely on. A. Right. Well, there are two passages, 639 to 40 and 642 to 3, by Hitler's attitude towards the Jews. All right. MR IRVING: It does not amount to a row of beans really, does it? A. Brottigan/Schumndt, pages 645 to 6. Q. Have you read the diaries of Brottigan which I found in the Library of Congress? Are you aware that I found the diary of Otto Brottigan in the Library of Congress, the handwritten diary? A. And Christa Schroeder ---- Q. Can you answer my question, please? A. Sorry, yes. I am aware you found it, yes. Q. Is there anything in the handwritten diary of Otto Brottigan which indicates a knowledge of Hitler of the . 137 Final Solution in the homicidal sense? A. Right, page 645. Q. This is Wolga German's episode, is it not? A. That is right, yes. Q. Yes? A. That is to say, in the report that Rosenberg urged a kind of retaliation for the Stalin deportation of all the Germans to Siberia. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not read that as suggesting that Brottigan thought that Hitler knew. MR IRVING: You come to Christa Schroeder? A. Yes, page 652. I did this very hastily, I am afraid, just after the lunch. Speaking to Gita Szereni, of course, Hitler knew it was all his ideas, his orders who remembers a particular incident. MR IRVING: Christa Schroeder was pretty frank with me, was she not, Hitler's private secretary? She told me about Hitler after the Night of the Long Knives and things like that. I remember: "I have had a shower and I feel as clean as new born baby", episodes like that. A. On that particular incident, yes. That was some years before, I believe, not in 1977. In other words, it was earlier, was it not? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Schroeder is again categorical. Hitler knew perfectly well he had been told by Himmler. A. Yes. . 138 MR IRVING: Where is this? MR JUSTICE GRAY: The top of page 650. Q. This is the book by Christa Schroeder, is it? A. No, it is an interview by Gita Szereni with Christa Schroeder in an article Szereni wrote about your work. Q. Are you aware that I am conducting a libel action against Gita Szereni? A. Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: What has that got to do with this case? MR IRVING: The following question will explain, my Lord. I have asked for her notes on the discussion with Schroeder by way of discovery and she has said that no notes were taken. Are you aware of that? A. You would have to show me the correspondence before I will believe you, Mr Irving. MR JUSTICE GRAY: She must have taped it; she could not have kept it all in her head, Mr Irving? A. Tape recorders did exist in 1977. MR IRVING: My Lord, I do not consider Gita Szereni to be either a neutral or a reliable observer. I knew Christa Schroeder extremely well. I persuaded her to talk me in very great detail over a period of 10 years. She wrote to me from her death bed. Your Lordship is aware that she gave me as a gift a prized possession of a Hitler self-portrait, that kind of thing, so a lot of what you can read here about Christa Schroeder has to be taken very . 139 much cum grano salis, in my submission. MR JUSTICE GRAY: When did she die? MR IRVING: In 1984, June. A. I think that I do not dismiss this as being Miss Szereni's invention. I do not think that Miss Szereni invents things. MR IRVING: Until and unless Miss Szereni can produce the notes, and ---- A. It is not necessarily notes; it could be tape recordings.
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