The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q.  Can I draw attention to the last paragraph?
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Which paragraph are you on; I cannot see the
MR IRVING:  3.1.11, my Lord, on page 28.
A.  Yes, and Bach-Zelewski ----
Q.  With these two massacres in Mogilev, Bach-Zelewski began a
  whole series of further similar Gross Aktionen - major

. P-59

A.  Yes, Bach-Zelewski was the higher SS police leader in the
  centre, so he was responsible for the killing actions of
  the ----
Q.  A mass murderer on a most horrendous scale.
A.  This is your phrase.  Yes, I think it is acceptable.
Q.  Somebody whose units kill those kinds of women and
  children, and carried out several such actions?
A.  Yes, It is quite fair to say that.
Q.  Even one of those murders makes him a murderer?
A.  I would agree, yes.
Q.  He has been used as quite a source by the allied courts
  and by the historians after the war, has he not?  What
  happened to Bach-Zelewski?  Was he immediately hanged at
A.  No, he was not hanged at Nuremberg.
Q.  Or did he die in his bed?
A.  I am not sure about this, but the history of his
  persecution after he was not hanged by the Allies, I think
  he was prosecuted but, as far as I am aware, he was never
  sentenced, if I am not wrong.
Q.  He was prosecuted in 1963, is that right?
A.  1963.  Yes, that is true.
Q.  About 20 years after the war was, he lived life as a
  country gentleman in Germany.
A.  That is due to the fact that, in Germany, there was no

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  prosecution of Nazi war criminals between 1949 and 1958.
  It actually started in 1958.  It took them five years to
  get the evidence together and then prosecution started.
Q.  I am just using this as one example, you appreciate that, but ----
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Example of what?  I am not following what the
  point is, Mr Irving.
MR IRVING:  The unreliability of testimony of people like Bach-Zelewski.

A.  I am not sure here.  I do not refer here to Bach-Zelewski
  but if I refer to ----
Q.  On page 3, can I draw your attention to paragraph 4?
A.  In this paragraph, yes.
Q.  Former higher SS and police leader Erich von dem
  Bach-Zelewski testified on this question during the
  Nuremberg trials.
A.  Yes, but this example is not the only source.  I quoted
  here to say that he referred to a meeting with Himmler and
  just before the beginning of war against the Soviet Union,
  and that Himmler stated there that the Slavic population
  had to be decimated by 30 million.
We have other sources for the same fact.  There
  is, for instance, referring them to Goring, the Goring's
  remarks to Ciano and particularly important here is
  meeting of the Secretary of States of 2nd May 1941, and
  I am referring them to more documents which actually show

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  that there was plan in the German leadership to kill
  millions of Slavs in the war against the Soviet Union.  So
  I am not relying only on Bach-Zelewski's statement; it is
  actually ----
Q.  Why do you rely on him at all if at he has such very
  dubious credentials.
A.  Bach-Zelewski was a witness in the main trial.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am sorry, I am going to interrupt again if
  I may because I am simply not following the point here.
  I thought that it was accepted that the object of invading
  Russia was do decimate the Slav population.
MR IRVING:  Not by me, my Lord, but that is not the point that
  I am trying to make. The point I am trying to make is that
  if we are going to write expert reports, one should avoid
  sources like Bach-Zelewski like the plague.
A.  No.  I think you can use these statements, if you find
  that this is -- I am mainly relying on documentary
  evidence but, of course, one can use this postwar evidence
  if it is supported by other sources.  I think this is
  something which is generally accepted among historians.
  I am not saying that the plan of the Germans to
  decimate -- we only have Bach-Zelewski as evidence for
  this plan.  We have lot of evidence for that.
  Bach-Zelewski was a colourful figure, so he said, in his
  interrogation, that there are other very interesting
  things, and I think one should follow them, one should not

. P-62

  just ignore them.
Q.  Like Scheherezade, she sang like a canary, did she not, in
  order to survivor?
A.  That is your comparison.
Q.  Can I now take you further down that paragraph No. 4,
  where are you quoting now the directives which stated
  that, without doubt, umpteen millions of people will
  starve to death when we take what we need from the
  country.  The original German, you have rather embellished
  it, have you not?  "Zig Millionen Menschen verhungern",
  verhungern, that just means go hungry.
A.  Yes, and then it goes on: "Wenn von uns das fur uns
  Notwendige aus dem Lande herausgeholt wird" -  if you take
  out of country which is necessary for us.
Q.  What we need, yes, but is it not that they are not
  starving death?  You have embellished that slightly, and
  that is the whole point.
A.  They are starving to death because they are agricultural
  products which were taken out of the country.  There is
  nothing left for them so they will starve to death.
Q.  Starve to death is:  "Ein Hunger tut erleben", or
  something like that.  "Verhungern" is just "will go hungry".
A.  The context is quite clear, because "we will take
  everything out of the country which we need for
  ourselves"; that is the context.

. P-63

Q.  Will you agree that that was a bit clever translation by
  you to make the point you wanted to make?
A.  Sorry this is ----
Q.  Paragraph 4, four lines from the bottom, on page 3.
A.  I think it is from the context.
Q.  It is fundamental to your argument, of course.
MR RAMPTON:  I do wish Mr Irving would stop interrupting.  It
  is very difficult to follow the witness.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I personally would also like to move on,
  because we are not here concerned with criticising the
  historical approach of Dr Longerich but dealing with the
  criticisms he makes of your historical approach,
  Mr Irving.  I think spending a very long time on this
  paragraph in which he cites really quite a number of
  sources for what, he says, was the plan to kill the very
  large number of Slavs.  I do not think that is
  productive.  I think there are substantive points that you
  have to tackle.
MR IRVING:  If, on the one hand, your Lordship says that there
  is great deal of evidence for the desire to decimate the
  Slavs by whatever means, then it turns out that one of his
  sources is obtained by just a clever translation of a word.
A.  No.  The meaning of the words becomes clear from the
  context.  It is not the only source.  If you read the next
  sentence, it is the guidelines for the economic

. P-64

  organization of the East Agricultural Staff Group: "Many
  tens of millions of people will be made superfluous in
  this area and will die or be forced to emigrate to
  Siberia".  I think this is quite clear.
Q.  Dr Longerich, are you not confusing there the possible
  consequence with a criminal intent, which are two totally
  different things?
A.  The intent was to systematically take the agricultural
  products out of country and to use them for their own
  purposes, and to let the population in this country starve
  to death.  This was the intention.
Q.  Yes.  On page 5, paragraph 3.
A.  That is the background.  I quoted this because this is the
  background for the Holocaust.  I am not making a statement
  about the starvation of the Slavic population.  I think
  that this is background information that you need to
  understand the violent and cruel intent of the SS when
  they invaded the Soviet Union.  This is background material.
Q.  Dr Longerich, do you agree that if I translated
  "verhungern" as starve to death, then I would have been
  rightly criticised for mistranslation or distortion?
A.  Probably, but again I repeat myself, I think the context
  is clear but they just do not starve to death because of a
  catastrophe; the natural catastrophe is because it is a
  part of the systematic plan.

. P-65

Q.  On page 5, paragraph 3, you say that the Einsatzgruppen
  consisted of 3,000 men.  Is that the total number of men?
A.  About a little bit more than 3,000 I think.  Yes, it is
  3,000.  Yes.
Q.  That seems a remarkably small force if we are to believe
  the enormous statistical figures that have been thrust
  upon us over the last few weeks.
A.  I do not know whether it is mentioned in the next
  paragraph, but the forces who carried out this killing
  operation consists of the Einsatzgruppen, of police
  battalions and of the two Waffen SS Breigetz, so
  altogether this was a force of about 30,000 men.  We have,
  as far as the Einsatzgruppen are concerned, this excellent
  documentation, the Ereignismeldung uber der SSR, but it is
  also clear from the documents that also other units like
  the Order Police units like the Waffen SS Breigetz were
  active in killing people.  We have sources which explain
  to us that the Wehrmacht, in many cases, was actively
  involved in these killings, and most important is that the
  SS and the police built up a force of auxiliary policemen
  in the area which had a strength in 1942 for about 300,000
  men.  We have a lot of evidence that these men were also
  actively involved in the killings.
Q.  They were using the locals, were they?
A.  They use the locals as auxiliary police.  The general rule
  was that then the SS, the SD people would carry out their

. P-66

  killings and so they would shoot people themselves, and
  use the auxiliary SS to seal off the area.  So it is not a
  problem manpower shortage to carry out this operation.
Q.  On page 6, we are going to look at paragraph 6 which is
  the Heydrich order of July 2nd 1941.  You are familiar
  with that order, are you not?
A.  Yes.
Q.  This is one which, in part for example, said to instigate
  pogroms or where pogroms were instigated by the locals to
  turn a blind eye and generally to jolly them along and not
  to get in the way.
A.  Yes.
Q.  I have two questions on this document, Dr Longerich.  The
  first one is where does it come from?  Is it from Russian
  files or from Western files?
A.  Are we talking about the 2nd July document?
Q.  The 2nd July document.
A.  This is a document which comes from the Moscow archive.
  It was given to the court in Koblenz which dealt with the
  Heuser case in 1963.  It has been available in the Federal
  archives since 1963.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is the authenticity of that document challenged?
A.  Yes.
MR IRVING:  I just want to ask him a question.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Not by you, by Mr Irving.

. P-67

MR JUSTICE GRAY:  If it is, challenge it, if it is not, let us
  move on.
MR IRVING:  I can only ask the most general questions.  I can
  say, Dr Longerich, are you thoroughly content that all the
  documents that come from the Soviet Union ----?
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, Mr Irving, that will not do.  Are you
  suggesting that it is not an authentic document?  If so,
  cross-examine on that basis.  If you are not suggesting
  that it is not authentic, then move on.
MR IRVING:  Would you look at the last line on that page
  please:  "Jews in Party and State functions".  Will you
  not accept that this limits the killing of Jews in this
  document, just the "Jews in Party and State functions"?
A.  I have to go back to this point I made yesterday.
Q.  Yes?
A.  There is a mistake here and I have to repeat that ----
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I remember the point.
A.  The word "all" should be in the first line, so this has to
  be read as:  "All Jews and Party and State functions", so
  we know that the Soviet Union was a country where the
  state played an enormous role.  So this would apply to,
  let us say, teachers, to every Civil, not only to every
  Civil Servant, it would apply to any manager of a State
  opened shop, for instance.  So I think the number is quite
  high, it is several hundred thousand.  I forgot to say

. P-68

  when we went through this document yesterday, I think ----
MR IRVING:  You look at the unsoweiter, do you not?
A.  I forget this yesterday.  In the same document Heydrich
  suggested to instigate pogroms.  If you have a pogrom you
  cannot actually ----
Q.  Limit it?
A.  Limit it.  You do not have any control about who you are
  going to kill. A pogrom is a wide massacre.  So if you
  encourage the local population to organize massacres, you
  do not have any control about the outcome of this
  massacre.  So I think I read this, this telegram, or this
  instruction, sorry, actually in this is a kind of
  message.  You can kill all Jews of party and state
  function, but there is not a specific definition of the
  people who are going to be killed.  Jews, if they are
  suspicious, if they are propagandist, etc., you can also
  go to kill them.  There is also a reference in the
  guidelines on page 5, in the guidelines for the troops in
  Russia.  These are guidelines which are read out on
  company 11, every company of Wehrmacht.  It says in
  sentence 2:  "The struggle demands ruthless energetic and
  drastic measures against the Bolsheviks agitators,
  guerrillas, saboteurs and Jews", and Jews.  There is
  nothing about Jews in party and state position.  So every
  soldier of the Wehrmacht knew that this was a war against
  the Jews, among others.

. P-69

Q.  It does not say, that paragraph, "You are going kill all
  the Bolsheviks agitators"?
A.  No, but it says.
Q.  It says just: "Drastic measures, ruthless"?
A.  Exactly energetic and drastic measures, and we know that
  the Wehrmacht then in the following month was in many
  cases involved in the killing of Jews civilians.
Q.  Dr Longerich, I am going to have hold you to the actual
  wording of that July 2nd telegram.  I am going to suggest
  strongly that you using the word "all" to embrace all five
  lines is not justified?
A.  It is ----
Q.  The German is (German spoken).  That is the only use of
  the word "all," is it not?
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Just look at it on the page.
A.  In the original the "all" is in the first line.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am sorry, I am interrupting because we must
  get on.  Just look at it on the page.  It is page 30.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is quite impossible to say that "all" ----
MR IRVING:  Page 30 of what, my Lord?
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  --- this new bundle, reproducing yet again
  most of the documents called N1, it is quite obvious that
  "all" qualifies everybody on the list, including Jews in
  state and party positions.  That is beyond argument.  Page
  30, bottom of the page.

. P-70

MR IRVING:  If your Lordship wishes then we will move on.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think that so clear.
MR IRVING:  Can I just emphasise that the last line in that
  says:  "Jews in party and state functions."  It does not
  say "all Jews, including those in party and state
  functions", does it?
A.  I do not know whether I have to repeat this.
Q.  It just says:  "All Jews in party and state functions"?
A.  I do not know whether I have to repeat this, but from the
  German original it is quite clear that the "all" relates
  to all the following categories.  So it has to be read
  as "All Jews in party and state functions", that is quite clear.
Q.  That is what I am saying.  You do not say that it says:
  "All Jews including those in party"?
A.  No, it says:  "All Jews in party and state positions".
Q.  Which is very limited, is it not?
A.  Well, in a state which has a state-run economy the number
  is I think relatively, the number is relatively large.
Q.  So you are including everybody in the entire economy?
A.  If you have a manager of a firm which belongs to the
  State, he is a functionary of the state.
Q.  The reason I am saying this, Dr Longerich, is because in
  your opening sentence in paragraph 7 on page 7, you say,
  "This order", in other words, this document, "is
  certainly not to be interpreted as meaning that Heydrich

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  intended to limit the executions to those Jews who held
  party and state functions."  Why not?  That is precisely
  what it does say?
A.  No, I give you the explanation in the following sentence.

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