The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit//transcripts//day008.18


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.18
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   MR RAMPTON:  We are going to start with the paragraph in the
        middle of the page:  "Early in March 1942".  Do you have
        that, Mr Irving?  I will wait until you have it.

.          P-161



   A.   I am looking at the wrong volume.
   Q.   Did you not have your own book copy, as it were?
   A.   This is the first edition.  I am the only person in this
        courtroom who has not got a copy of my second edition.
   Q.   You must get one.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  How does one tell the date of this document?
   MR RAMPTON:  Well, this is ----
   A.   Internal.
   MR RAMPTON:  --- one of the interesting questions.  It is one
        of the reasons, my Lord, why one cannot ----
   A.   Internal evidence, my Lord.
   MR RAMPTON:  --- we submit make any certain categorical
        assertions about what it means, the interpretation and
        conclusions to be drawn from it.  But that is what I
am
        going to do sooner or later.
   A.   Yes, I have it now.
   Q.   Probably later.  All right.  Early in March 1942, in
fact,
        the date was, I think, 6th March, was it not?
   A.   That is correct.
   Q.   We have the document.  We are going to look at it
along
        the line, Mr Irving. "Heydrich held a second
        inter ministerial conference to examine the awkward
        problem posed by half and quarter Jews.  If allowed to
        remain, they might perhaps be sterilized.  A 'top
level'
        opinion - i.e. Hitler's - was quoted to the effect
that
        they must draw a sharp distinction between Jews and

.          P-162



        non-Jews, as it would not be acceptable for a mini-
race of
        semi-Jews to be perpetuated in law.  But this
        classification process would call for a colossal
        administrative effort, so the idea was shelved.  A
        subsequent memorandum in Reich Justice Ministry files
        cited this highly significant statement by Hans
Lammers,
        head of the Reich Chancellery: 'The Fuhrer has
repeatedly
        stated that he wants the solution of the Jewish
Problem
        postponed until after the war is over'".  Then I do
not
        think one needs both with the next sentence, do you
agree,
        Mr Irving?
   A.   No.
   Q.   Now we turn, if may, to the introduction on page 18.
You
        make a reference in the middle of page 18 to the Night
of
        Broken Glass and say something about "On orders from
the
        very highest level".  That is something, the Night of
        Broken Glass, we will have to deal with, I am afraid,
in
        the future.  You write:  "Every over historian has
shut
        his eyes and hoped that this horrid, inconvenient
document
        would somehow go away"?
   A.   That is a different context.
   Q.   No, no, of course it is, but I am reading it for
context.
         "But it has been joined by others", that is to say,
other
        horrid inconvenient documents that will not go away,
"like
        the extraordinary note dictated by Staatssekretar
        Schlegelberger in the Reich Ministry of Justice in the

.          P-163



        spring of 1942:  'Reich Minister Lammers', this
states,
        referring to Hitler's top civil servant, 'informed me
that
        the Fuhrer has repeatedly pronounced that he wants the
        solution of the Jewish Question put off until after
the
        war is over'."
                  Can I just pause there?  You notice there is
a
        slide in the tense that you use there (which is what
we in
        English call the perfect tense) to what we see in your
        translation on the web site where you use the
pluperfect?
   A.   Well, I would not have bothered to look at the
original
        translation each item.  I would have just retranslated
the
        document each time I wanted to use it.
   Q.   What I want to know is which is correct, having regard
to
        the original German?  There is a difference, is there
not,
        "the Fuhrer has repeatedly" and "the Fuhrer had
        repeatedly", unless we are talking about reported
speech.
   A.   We are in trouble, Mr Rampton.  It is the notorious
        subjunctive again.
   Q.   We are in trouble?
   A.   We are in trouble.  We had problems with the
subjunctive
        before, and with the subjunctive it is not quite so
easy
        to work out what is perfect tense and what is
pluperfect
         ----
   Q.   No, that is why I am asking you for help.  I am asking
you
        which of your alternative translations (and they are
        different) you think is correct.

.          P-164



   A.   Well, "Reich Minister Lammers informed me that the
Fuhrer
        had told him repeatedly" or that "the Fuhrer has told
him
        repeatedly".  [German].  It is the subjunctive and we
are
         ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  But it is present subjunctive, not past
        subjunctive, is it not?
   A.   I bow to your Lordship's wisdom.
   Q.   No, you tell me because I am not as good at German as
you
        are?
   A.   It can be translated adequately either way, my Lord,
        without any malice in a particular direction, unless
        Mr Rampton wants to make a particular thing of it.
   MR RAMPTON:  No, I do not want to make a particular thing
about
        it.  You see, my problem with this document is that --
        I am not an historian; I am not trying to prove
anything
        here in relation to history -- it is not an easy
        document.
   A.   It is not an easy document for your friends, no.
   Q.   It does not deserve -- what?
   A.   It is not an easy document for your friends at all,
        I agree.
   Q.   No, no, it is not an easy document for any open-minded
        historian to deal with.  It has no date.  There is a
doubt
        about the tense.  We have seen that already.
Professor
        Evans' report tells us -- it may be wrong -- that even
the
        way in which it is filed does not give us much clue to
its

.          P-165



        provenance?
   A.   He may not have seen the staff evidence analysis sheet
        which I saw back in 1970, but then again I do not
think he
        has done the work that I have.
   Q.   Do you understand what I am saying?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   If the German translation is difficult because it is
not
        clear -- we will have to get Dr Longerich to tell us
about
        this in due course -- but if the German is difficult
in
        translation and it is uncertain whether it is a
perfect or
        a pluperfect that is being used, that is quite an
        important question for an historian because if it is
the
        pluperfect that is being used, then it may very well
be
        that all Lammers is saying is that he remembers, as we
all
        know, that in the early years of the war Hitler had
been
        saying, "We will put this off to the end of the war
and
        then we will send them all to Madagascar".  Do you
        understand?
   A.   Yes.  That would be one escape route if it was
possible,
        but I think it would be the most perverse possible
        translation or interpretation of this document.
   Q.   It is just a little point along the historian's road
when
        he is trying to reach a tentative conclusion about
where
        this document is to be placed in time and in topic
and,
        therefore, what its significance is?
   A.   Being "placed in time", do you mean when it was
actually

.          P-166



        composed or what period it is referring to?
   Q.   (A) when it was composed; (B) what period it is
referring
        to, and (C) what topic it is dealing with when it uses
the
        words "die Losung der Judenfrage"?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   You have, if I may say so, taken a big jump into space
and
        declared, in effect, on numerous occasions that it is
firm
        evidence of Hitler's determination in March 1942 or
April
        1942 that the Jewish Solution or the Solution of the
        Jewish Question should be put off until the end of the
        war, have you not?
   A.   Put on the back burner, yes.  Let me put it this way
        round.  If the document had said not what it does say,
but
        if the document had said, "The Fuhrer has repeatedly
        declared that he wants the Jewish Problem solved
        immediately in the most radical possible means", there
is
        not an historian in this room who would say, "Well, it
        quite clearly refers to the Final Solution in the
brutal
        sense of killing", but because it says Hitler saying,
         "Let's put it on the back burner", everybody starts
        getting into a fuss and saying, "Oh, dear, what does
it
        mean?  When was it written?"
   Q.   I agree.
   A.   I appreciate problems it causes for you.
   Q.   I agree, if the document were dated to, let us say,
        sometime in the early 1941, and that is what it said,
if

.          P-167



        it were dated early 1941 and that is what it said,
then,
        of course, historians would be excited about it?
   A.   But, Mr Rampton, you will notice that at the top left-
hand
        corner of the document there are serial numbers that
have
        been stamped 01/111 and so on, and we are in the
fortunate
        position of knowing what the other documents in that
file
        were and what date they were, so what it was filed
between
        which is a very reasonable indication of approximately
        what week and month it was generated.
   Q.   If you take the trouble to read Professor Evans'
report at
        any rate before you cross-examine ----
   A.   Well, he, apparently, knows a great deal less about
this
        than I do.
   Q.   Please, Mr Irving.  Calm down and let me finish my
        question.  You will find all of this laid out with
great
        care and detail (which I am certainly not going to go
        through now) ----
   A.   Has he mentioned the staff evidence analysis sheets?
I do
        not think so.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Rampton, does it simplify matters if I
say
        I am prepared to accept that there is good internal
        evidence that it is March or thereabouts 1942?
   MR RAMPTON:  No, I really think that would be unsafe.
There is
        some internal evidence.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  All right.  Just assume that, but really
then
        it may become a question of what the Judenfrage was?

.          P-168



   A.   I agree.  But even that I am not ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am not clear, sorry, you are getting it
        from every direction.
   MR RAMPTON:  I am sorry.  Your Lordship was interrupted by
what
        I call harassment from my right.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can I harass you and just ask you, where
does
        one find the material on which Professor Evans bases
his
        proposition, namely that the Jewish question that is
being
        discussed is the problem of half-Jews, as I think they
        were called?
   MR RAMPTON:  This is one of the things that one can see if
one
        goes back to page 464 as a starting point in Mr
Irving's
        book, he himself draws attention to that.
   A.   Oh, yes.  What was at that time actuel was the
question of
        who is a Jew, which I think they still cannot decide
        really.
   Q.   Your Lordship can see the first part of the main
paragraph
        in the middle of page 464 makes reference to this what
is
        called the "Mischling" question.  It says, quite
        correctly, that Heydrich held a second conference all
        about that on 6th -- it does not give the date, but
the
        date is 6th March.  You will find that, my Lord, on
page
        375.  It may be one should start earlier, but this is
a
        long and detailed part of Professor Evans' report and
I do
        not believe that it is going to help anybody if I read
out
        great chunks from it at the moment.

.          P-169



   A.   But is it not a reasonable inference that this
document,
        therefore, came after that conference?
   Q.   It is certainly one of the available inferences and it
is
        one which Professor Evans himself has said in his
report
        that he thinks is the likeliest?
   A.   So we have wasted an awful lot of the court's time ---
-
   Q.   No, we have not, Mr Irving, because there are problems
        with that interpretation, and this is my whole point.
You
        will not face up to the problems of the documents
which
        you embrace so enthusiastically.  You will just have
to be
        patient until I tell you what I believe the problems
may
        be.
                  My Lord, I wonder if your Lordship might
read
        from paragraph 7 on page 374 and going down to
paragraph 9
        on page 376?  We have the source documents here.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  To the end of 9?
   MR RAMPTON:  Sorry, my Lord, end of 9, yes, if your
Lordship
        pleases, yes.  That will do fine.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I had read that before.  That is what I would
        be interested to know what Mr Irving says about that.

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.