Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day001.05 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 [Page 34] I admit too that there are documents contained in the expertise of Professor Browning of which I was not aware, and which have my own perception of some aspects of the Nazi atrocities on the Eastern front. For example, I was not aware that the SS Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich had issued instructions to his commanders in the Baltic States after Operation Barbarossa began, the invasion of Russia, in June 1941, not only to turn a blind eye -- this was his instructions -- on the anti-Jewish progroms started by the local population in those countries, but also actively to initiate them and to provide assistance. That was unknown to me. This document, however, emerged only recently from the Russian archives and there can surely be no reproach against me for not having known that when I wrote my biography of Hitler, published in 1977, or in my later works. That cannot be branded as manipulation or distortion, just by way of example. What is manipulation or distortion of history would be this, in my submission: for example, knowing of the existence of a key document and then ignoring it or suppressing it entirely, without even a mention. If, for example, it should turn out and be proven in this very courtroom that in the spring of 1942 the Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler, was quoted by a senior Reich Minister in writing as repeatedly saying that he . P-35 "wanted the final solution of the Jewish problem postponed until the war is over"; and if the document recording those remarkable words has been found in the German archives, it would surely be classifiable as manipulation or distortion if an historian were to attempt to write the history of the Holocaust without even mentioning the document's existence, would it not, my Lord? The Defendants have, as said, arbitrarily and recklessly decided to label me a "Holocaust denier". Their motivation for doing so we shall shortly hear about. My Lord, before I continue to address the court on this point in my opening statement, may I take this opportunity to read to the court, with your Lordship's permission, and into the record, a two-page document which I shall refer to over the coming weeks as the Walter Bruns interrogation? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I do not see why you should not; I have not read it myself. This is the document you handed in? MR IRVING: It is the document I gave you, my Lord. It is an eye witness description. I do so because perceptions matter. I want at this late hour to leave a firm perception in the minds of all those present about where I stand. It is a document which first came into my hands some time before 1985. . P-36 I should say, my Lord, by way of introduction, that this document (which is in my discovery) was originally a British top Secret document. Top Secret is only one rung lower than Ultra-secret; some several steps above Secret and Most Secret, in other words. It is the classification given to the British decoded intercepts. It was top Secret because it is the record of an interrogation which was obtained by methods that were illegal, I understand, under the Conventions. Enemy prisoners of war (in this case German) were brought into British prison camps, treated lavishly, well-fed, reassured by their relaxed surroundings, and gradually led into conversation, unaware that in every fitting and appliance in the room were hidden microphones capable of picking up everything. (That was the illegality; you are not allowed to do that under the Conventions). Released to the British archives only a few years ago were all of these reports, but I had already obtained several hundred of them 15 or 20 years earlier. I consider these transcripts to be an historical source which, if properly used and if certain criteria are applied, can be regarded as part of the bedrock of Real History. I would say further by way of preamble, my Lord, that the speaker whose recorded voice we are about to . P-37 hear, as reproduced in this typescript, was on November 30th 1941, the day of the episode he narrates, a Colonel in the German Army Engineers Force (the sappers or Pioniere). He was commanding a unit based at Riga, the capital of Latvia. He had learned to his vexation that it was intended by the local SS unit to round up all the local Jews, including "his Jews" in the next day or two and to liquidate them. I read from this document before I do so, my Lord, it is of interest to see that, purely by coincidence and chance, Mr Rampton has picked on precisely the same day in the statement which I understand that he is to make following upon mine. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not quite following. Picked on the same day as being what? MR IRVING: The same episode and the same day as an example of my treatment of documents, so it is a very interesting case. I read from the document itself. It is headed: "Top secret. CSDIC (UK)" which is Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre UK". "GG Report. If the information contained in this report is required for distribution, it should be paraphrased so that no mention is made of the prisoners' names, nor of the methods by which the information has been obtained" because, of course, it was illegal. . P-38 "The following conversation took place between General-Major Bruns", his full name was Walter Bruns. At this time he was at the Heeres-Waffenmeisterschule which was an army school, an armament school, in Berlin, "captured at Gottingen on April 8th 1945, and other Senior Officer Prisoners of War whose voices could not be identified". In other words, it is a conversation between this General and various other prisoners overheard by hidden microphones on April 25th 1945. "Information received: 25 April 1945", in other words, the war is still running. "Translation: Bruns: As soon as I heard those Jews were to be shot on Friday, I went to a 21 year old boy and said that they had made themselves very useful in the area under my command, besides which the Army MT park had employed 1500 and the 'Heeresgruppe' 800 women to make underclothes of the stores we captured in Riga; besides which about 1200 women in the neighbourhood of Riga were turning millions of captured sheepskins into articles we urgently required: ear protectors, fur caps, fur waistcoats, etc. Nothing had been proved, as of course the Russian campaign was known to have come to a victorious end in October 1941!" Sarcasm there. "In short, all those women were employed in a useful capacity. I tried to save them. I told that fellow Altenmeyer(?) whose name I shall always remember and who . P-39 will be added to the list of war criminals: 'Listen to me, they represent valuable manpower!' 'Do you call Jews valuable human beings, sir?'" That was the answer. "I said: 'Listen to me properly, I said valuable manpower. I didn't mention their value as human beings'. He said: 'Well, they're to be shot in accordance with the Fuhrer's orders!' I said: 'Fuhrer's orders?' 'Yes', whereupon he showed me his orders. This happened at Skiotawa()?) eight kilometres from Riga, between Siaulai and Jelgava, where 5,000 Berlin Jews were suddenly taken off the train and shot. I didn't see that myself, but what happened at Skiotawa(?) - to cut a long story short, I argued with the fellow and telephoned to the General at HQ, to Jakobs and Aberger(?) and to a Dr Schultz who was attached to the Engineer General, on behalf of these people". It is a bit incoherent the way that people talk when they are gossiping with each other. "I told him: 'Granting that the Jews have committed a crime against the other peoples of the world, at least let them do the drudgery; send them to throw earth on the roads to prevent our heavy lorries skidding'. 'Then I'd have to feed them!' I said: 'The little amount of food they receive, let's assume 2 million Jews - they got 125 grammes of bread a day - we can't even manage that, the sooner we end the war the better'. Then I telephoned, thinking it would take some time. At any rate, on Sunday morning", that is . P-40 November 30th 1941, "I heard that they had already started on it. The Ghetto was cleared. They were told: 'You're being transferred: take along your essential things.' Incidentally, it was a happy release for those people, as their life in the Ghetto was a martyrdom. I wouldn't believe it and drove there to have a look". The person he is talking to says: "Everyone abroad knew about it; only we Germans were kept in ignorance". Bruns continues his narrative: "I'll tell you something: some of the details may have been correct, but it was remarkable that the firing squad detailed that morning - six men with tommy-guns posted at each pit; the pits were 24 meters in length and 3 metres in breadth - they had to lie down like sardines in a tin with their heads in the centre'", like that in the pit. "'Above them were six men with tommy-guns who gave them the coup de grace", who shot them. "When I arrived those pits were so full that the living had to lie down on top of the dead; then they were shot and, in order to save room, they had to lie down neatly in layers. Before this, however, they were stripped of everything at one of the stations - here at the edge of the wood were the three pits they used that Sunday and here they stood in a queue one and-a-half kilometres long which they approached step by step - a queuing up for . P-41 death. As they drew nearer they saw what was going on. About here they had to hand over their jewellery and suitcases. All good stuff was put into the suitcases and the remainder was thrown on a heap. This was to serve as clothing for our suffering population - and then a little further on they had to undress and, 500 metres in front of the wood, strip completely; they were only permitted to keep on a chemise or knickers. They were all women and small two-year old children. Then all those cynical remarks! If only I had seen those tommy-gunners, who were relieved every hour because of over-exertion, carry out their task with distaste, but no, nasty remarks like: 'Here comes a Jewish beauty!' I can still see it all in my memory: a pretty woman in a flame-coloured chemise. Talk about keeping the race pure: at RIGA they first slept with them and then shot them to prevent them from talking. "Then I sent two officers out there, one of whom is still alive", in April 1945, "because I wanted eye-witnesses. I didn't tell them what was going on, but said: 'Go out to the forest of Skiotawa(?), see what's up there and send me a report'. I added a memorandum to their report and took it to Jakobs myself. He said: 'I have already two complaints sent me by Engineer "Bataillone" from the Ukraine'. There they shot them on the brink of large crevices and let them fall down into . P-42 them; they nearly had an epidemic of plague, at any rate a pestilential smell. They thought they could break off the edges with picks, thus burying them. That loess there" -- that is a kind of ground -- "was so hard that two Engineer 'Bataillone' were required to dynamite the edges; those 'Bataillone' complained. Jakobs" -- he was the engineer general in charge of the pioneer corps -- "had received that complaint. He said: 'We didn't quite know how to tell the Fuhrer'", Adolf Hitler. "'We'd better do it through Canaris', the Chief of the German Intelligence. "So Canaris had the unsavoury task of waiting for the favourable moment to give the Fuhrer certain gentle hints. A fortnight later I visited the Oberburgermeister, or whatever he was called then, concerning some over business. Altenmeyer(?)" who was the SS man on the spot "triumphantly showed me: 'Here is an order just issued, prohibiting mass shootings on that scale from taking place in future. They are to be carried out more discreetly'. From warnings given me recently, I knew that I was receiving still more attentions from spies". Then his interlocutor says to him: "It's a wonder you're still alive". Bruns says: "At Gottingen, I expected to be arrested every day".
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