The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day026.06


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day026.06
Last-Modified: 2000/07/25

.          P-46

   Q.   And on Thursday, of course, we did look at the other
        document quoted in the book "Auschwitz [German]" from
        Himmler to the Ministry of Finance also talking about how
        nice it would be to have the funds to buy the barracks so
        we do not have to ship the Jews over to Auschwitz and then
        back to the barracks they are building in Germany, they
        would save the transport costs ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I do not think it says anything of the kind.
        I did look at that again.  We can go back to it if you
        want to, but it seemed to me that actually what that was
        saying was:  "There are problems transporting the French
        Jews right across the Reich to Auschwitz.  Therefore, as a
        sort of security measure we will build barracks for them
        on the western side of the Reich".
   MR IRVING:  Which will spare the cost.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Which will avoid -- no, but the bit I do not
        agree with is I do not think there is any reference to
        transporting French Jews back westwards to the barracks on
        the western side of Nazi Germany, as it then was.
   Q.   I am indebted to your Lordship for having attended to this
        matter with such concentration.  My reading of the
        document was that they were -- I have the quotation here
        [German- document not provided]  "The costs on paragraph
        B, and paragraph B concerned the section of the trip from
        the Reich frontier to the Auschwitz camp, can in future be
        dramatically cut or substantially cut, reduced, by the

.          P-47

        erection of a reception camp in western Germany", which
        means they are not going to go to Auschwitz.  They are
        just going to stay at the reception camp.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.  Quite.  They are not going to come back
        from Auschwitz.  That is the point.
   MR IRVING:  That is right.  They are trying to avoid this two
        way trip.  We may be arguing about the same thing.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, I cannot find the reference.
   MR IRVING:  But I mean the general question which arises is,
        why are they building all these camps, Dr Longerich, in
        Russia, the White Sea, Western Germany at Dusseldorf for
        the deported Jews if the extermination is the homicidal
        intent of everyone from Hitler downwards?
   A.   I cannot comment on this question because I have not seen
        any evidence, you know, for the building of camps.  I have
        seen some scattered documents which refer to plans or
        ideas to build camps.  One is referring to probably a camp
        for Dutch Jews in Russia.  The other one is referring for
        an idea to build a camp for French Jews on the western
        part of the Reich.  Then we have a letter from an SS man
        to his comrades referring to -- which is, in my opinion, a
        camouflage letter.  So I do not think we have a story of a
        number of -- you know, we do not have here a story, you
        know, can establish a story of camp building for Jews in 1942.
   Q.   Can we look at it in two sections?  Suppose we admit for

.          P-48

        the moment that no such camps were built, and I have no
        idea, can we say that it is evident from the documents
        which have been put to you on Thursday and today that
        there was an intention at high level, certainly Adolf
        Eichmann, certainly the Reichssicherheitshauptamt to build
        camps and to obtain the barracks, to purchase the
        barracks, to build reception centres elsewhere than
        Auschwitz for these deported European Jews, and the
        intention was there, regardless of whether or not the
        barracks were actually built?
   A.   Well, I would not draw this conclusion from these
        documents because I only can say Eichmann expressed his
        view in this letter here that one should actually order
        barracks, or that the commander of the security police in
        Den Haag should order barracks.  It could also be a part
        of this camouflage operation, and I cannot see how you
        connect this document, this quote from Eichmann, with
        other documents and can build up this story, kind of
        intention or story that actually they planned to build a
        system of camps, whereas, on the other hand, we have
        plenty of evidence what actually happened to the people
        who were deported from France, from the Netherlands and
        from Vienna and Bratislava to extermination camps.  So
        I cannot see the kind of alternative history.
   Q.   Yes, but we are looking at intentions here and the
        possibility that the people at the top level were issuing

.          P-49

        orders and living in possibly cloud cuckoo land, imagining
        that nice things were happening and that the Jews were
        being sent, at the worst possible extent, to build roads
        until they dropped in the White Sea or in Ruthenia or
        elsewhere, and that they were actually making concrete
        provisions for it.  They were saying, "Send the boots and
        the shoes and the blankets and the eating equipment and
        build the barracks and provide the funds to purchase the
        barracks", and this kind of thing was going on?
   A.   Yes, that is the official line.  This was a part of this
        system of camouflage.  You can probably, if you read, for
        instance, the official declaration of the Party
        Chancellory, what happened to the Jews, you find the same
        sorry.  You send them to the East, they will live in
        barracks, they have to do hard labour.  This is the
        official camouflage story and this is reflected to a
        certain extent in these documents as well.
   Q.   Yes, it is right, is it not, that there was camouflage
        evident in the euthanasia programme?  There are great
        similarities between the euthenasia programme and the
        Final Solution, are there not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   And that no one denies that the truth was kept from the
        parents of the unfortunate mentally disabled children and
        so on.  There was camouflage there, was there not?
   A.   Yes.

.          P-50

   Q.   But here we have the problem that some of the documents
        seek with brutal frankness about what is going on and a
        lot of documents which do not fit in with your consensus
        you dismiss as camouflage, and this is the only way you
        can get over the other documents.  You roundly dismiss the
        other ones as camouflage?
   A.   Well, I would not agree with you and I made my statements
        concerning these documents, and I do not agree with this
        view, with this view.
   Q.   I am now going to come to vernichtung durch arbeit which
        is page 76 of your report, I think.  My Lord, I am now
        just going to pick up a few remaining points on his report
        and then ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Right.  Just for the transcript, I am putting
        Arnott, this little clip you have just handed in about
        Arnott, in tab 13, but I would be grateful if somebody
        could provide me with another file because this one is
        bursting.
   MR IRVING:  Page 77, Dr Longerich, you say that the SS invented
        the expression "annihilation through labour", "vernichtung
        durch arbeit", now you have produced to the court this
        morning three or four documents you obtained from the
        Institute of History, is that right?
   A.   Well, I did not produce them.  I have them with me.  I can
        produce them.
   Q.   I have not had time to scan them in any detail, but I can

.          P-51

        see we have here vernichtung [German - document not
        provided] and there is vernichtung durch arbeit in one of
        the documents.  Is there reference there to destroying
        only the Jews through labour or is it ----
   A.   No.  There was a programme vernichtung durch arbeit, there
        was an agreement between ----
   Q.   Tirack and Himmler, is that right?
   A.   Himmler, and this refers to the killing of so-called
        asocials and then in the letter it says who the asocials
        are, and among one of the groups are the Jews actually,
        people actually kept in German prisons.
   Q.   Just any Jews or Jewish convicts?
   A.   Oh, no, convicts.
   Q.   Were they going to be destroyed as Jews or were they going
        to be destroyed as convicts?
   A.   I do not think for the people who were destroyed it
        mattered, it really mattered, but I think it is clear that
        the definition asocialist, the definition is given in this
        document.  It says "Asocials are Jews", and so on in other
        groups.  So I do not think, we cannot make a difference here.
   Q.   Asocials are Jews or Jewish convicts?
   A.   Jewish convicts and others, yes.
   Q.   So I have to ask the question again.  Which was the most
        important element in this particular homicidal equation,
        the fact that they were Jews or the fact that they were

.          P-52

        convicts exposed them to vernichtung ----
   A.   Well, the fact that they were Jewish convicts made them
        asocials, so I cannot separate these two issues.
   Q.   Are you saying that they said the other convicts were not
        asocials, the non-Jewish convicts were not asocials?
   A.   Well, I think in the letter it is clearly said who
        actually were the others.  I do not have the document in
        front of me.  If you want to read out the others, I think
        it becomes clear what the definition of "asocials" is.
   Q.   Does the word "vernichtung durch arbeit" appear in the
        other documents that you produced?
   A.   Yes, there is a ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Have I got the documents you are now
        referring to?
   A.   I do not think so.  They just arrived this morning and
        Mr Rampton gave them to me.
   MR RAMPTON:  I think we made copies of them, my Lord.  I am
        hoping that somebody has got them.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is becoming a bit of a nightmare, this
        case, with odd documents cropping up and getting slotted
        in, here, there and everywhere.
   MR RAMPTON:  I agree.  I have my own copy which I will
        willingly surrender.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, do not do it if it is the only one you
        have.  Maybe I have them, but I do not know what they look like.

.          P-53

   MR RAMPTON:  They look dirty.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think I may have them then.  I
        have certainly some dirty documents.  I think I may have
        them.  Have they got 285 written on them?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, there are actually three documents.  The
        first one is a four-page document and then there are, I
        think, two single sheet documents.  So far as I can tell,
        they are three different documents.
   MR IRVING:  I have to say that a rapid scan produces the word
        vernichtung durch arbeit on the first page, 2864 at the
        bottom, but I cannot see it on any of the other pages.
        I am sure Dr Longerich knows ----
   A.   There are two different things.
   MR IRVING:  Yes.
   A.   There was a programme of vernichtung through work.  This
        was according to the agreement between Tirack and Bormann
        and, as you said, this was a programme for the murder of
        asocials and asocials included as a category convicted
        Jews.  I used the expression here just to show you that
        the expression vernichtung durch arbeit was used during
        the war by German authorities.  I used the term in my
        report in a wider sense, saying that if you look at the
        Holocaust, the vernichtung durch arbeit in this wider
        sense, was a complementary element.  So the best -- and it
        was not -- the terminology was sometimes different.
                  So the best, I think, proof, the best evidence,

.          P-54

        for this complementary element is the Wannsee protocol
        because here Heydrich referred to Jews sent to the East
        used in labour gangs.  They would become, they would die,
        you know, out of natural dissemination and the fittest
        would survive and have to be dealt with else in another
        way.  So I think this is the best ----
   Q.   By [German]?
   A.   --- this is the best evidence I think I have that this
        method, extermination through labour, was also used on a
        wide scale to exterminate Jewish, to exterminate Jews as
        slave labourers.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can I just ask this one question?  So what
        you are saying is that you do not think whether the label
        was being used during the war ----
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   --- is of particular significance?
   A.   Yes, that is true.
   MR IRVING:  I was about to say exactly the same.  I was going
        to put it like this.  The fact is that the phrase
        vernichtung durch arbeit occurs in scattered documents, is
        that right?
   A.   Yes, that is true.
   Q.   And, in your opinion, it could be applied to what Heydrich
        was proposing at the Wannsee conference?
   A.   Exactly.
   Q.   But it was not absolutely used in the documents, the

.          P-55



        phrase?
   A.   The phrase vernichtung durch arbeit, as far as I know,
        relates, as the documents relate to this limited
        programme, if I may say so, the killing of asocials.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I do not myself think that we need to put
        these anywhere in the papers.

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