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Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day002.21
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   Hitler's orders go to him before they go to the Colonel?
   A.   No, sir the orders went -- I think the route was that
        Hitler told Himmler, who sent the message to Joachim which
        is what we talked about yesterday which we, British,
        intercepted and decoded, so we had an inkling of what was
        going on.  Himmler said to Joachim, "Come straight to
        headquarters, that it had to stop".
                  In Himmler's diary on December 1st 1941, the
        following day, I noticed yesterday there is the telephone
        call from Himmler to Heydrich on December 1st, SS
        Obergruppenfuhrer Heydrich "Executzionan in Riga", the
        executions, the shootings, in other words, in Riga, they
        talked about this very episode again on the day after it
        happened; and when Joachim came -- unfortunately, I cannot
        show you this, my Lord, that bundle is still at home; we
        know it from Himmler's diary in Moscow -- Joachim came to
        see Himmler on December 4th.  Himmler wrote in his diary
        that evening that he dined with him at 9.30 p.m. and the
        topic of their conversation which Himmler also noted was

.                                      P-283


        [German], Jewish question, and [German] "in Riga",
which
        [German], economic businesses, small shops, something
like
        that, in Riga, which fits rather in with Bruns'
        description, in my view, that these executions were
        causing problems in the local economy because they
were
        running out of manpower, but that is a possible
        interpretation of that.
                  But, obviously, there was a certain amount
of
        toing and froing from the very highest level down
through
        these channels down to this very low level SS Officer
who
        claims he received a Fuhrer order, if I may go into
that,
        when the army Colonel came to see him and said, "What
on
        earth is going on here?" and this very junior SS
Officer
        said, "Oh, it is the Fuhrer's orders" which frequently
was
        said.  Frequently people claimed they were Fuhrer's
        orders.  We know, however, from our other sources
(which
        are much superior sources) that the Fuhrer's orders
were
        distinctly very different in this case [German] "No
        liquidation".
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  But Bruns says that Altemeyer showed him
the
        orders?
   A.   Yes, I do not attach too much importance to that, my
Lord.
   MR RAMPTON:  Well, in considering all the other trappings
of
        verisimilitude that this ----
   A.   I thought you might mention that, actually.
   Q.   Of course I might mention it.  It is obvious, is it
not?

.                                      P-284



   A.   Yes, but the problem we have with that, Mr Rampton, is
how
        do you reconcile in with the kind of [German] in
Himmler's
        own notes what Hitler told him, Jew transport, no
        liquidation.
   Q.   You have never shown us any evidence, shall I say, or
any
        of your readers that Himmler [German] came from
Hitler?
   A.   It is coming from Hitler's bunker, from a phone booth
in
        Hitler's bunker, just as if I made a phone call from
that
        phone booth outside.
   Q.   But as I think you have accepted on your web site an
hour
        before Himmler met Hitler?
   A.   But he was in and out all day.  When you visited
Hitler in
        his headquarters, you would have lunch with him, you
would
        have tea with him, you would be in and out of Hitler's
        bunker all day.
   Q.   The entry in his log for that day -- it is not a
diary,
        except in the most primitive sense -- in Himmler's
log,
        the only entry referring to Hitler is, I think, 1430,
        [German] or something along those ----
   A.   Yes, I agree entirely with what you say, Mr Rampton,
but
        I have to say that if he drives over to Hitler's
        headquarters and, for whatever reason, finds it
necessary
        suddenly to telephone Heydrich and say, "That
transport of
        Jews from Berlin is not to be liquidated", it is a
very
        reasonable interpretation indeed to say this is not
        unconnected with the fact that he is speaking from

.                                      P-285



        Hitler's bunker.  And it would be perverse not to
accept
        that.
   Q.   Mr Irving, bear with me.  I do wish that one could
insert
        the word "objective" into every answer you give.  It
is a
        possibly, certainly, that Himmler spoke to Hitler
before
        he made that telephone call.  That is quite different,
is
        it not, from an assertion that the telephone call was
made
        on Hitler's orders?
   A.   I agree, I agree.
   Q.   And you have asserted the latter, have you not?
   A.   I agree, it is a judgment call, and it is a judgment
call
        which -- may I speak?  It is a judgment which, in my
        submission, is entirely justified.  If Himmler drives
over
        to Hitler's bunker in the train, [German] makes a few
        phone calls and then [German], from the bunker, from
        Hitler's Wolf's Lair bunker, he makes a phone call to
        Heydrich saying, "That train load of Jews is not to be
        liquidated", it would take a very perverse and obtuse
        person indeed to say there is no connection between
the
        two facts.
   Q.   May I suggest that what an objective, reputable
historian
        who was not punting a particular line to exonerate
Adolf
        Hitler might have written would be something like
this:
        The evidence is that Himmler saw Hitler about an hour
        after he made that telephone call.  There is no direct
        evidence that Himmler spoke to Hitler before he made
the

.                                      P-286



        telephone call.  It is possible that that telephone
call
        was made at Hitler's instigation?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   Why did he make the phone call from Hitler's bunker
then?
   Q.   Because he happened to be there for heavens sake.
   A.   Why did he not make  the phone call from his own
        headquarters?  I do not want to say that I am less
obtuse
        than you, but I am beginning to suspect it in this
        matter.  It is not a question of reputable or not.  It
is
        a question of seeing a logical solution written in six
        inch letters in front of your own face.
   Q.   I see.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  My impression, I think it is relevant on
this
        topic, from your book Hitler's War is that at this
time
        Himmler was seeing Hitler almost more often than
anybody
        else?
   A.   Very frequently as we know now from his diary and
        telephone log, but you will appreciate that particular
        episode because it is a pivotal episode has now gone
        through three or four different chameleon like changes
        with very subtle refinements and a word knocked out
here
        which cannot be justified and so on, as happens.  One
is
        constantly revising history.  This does not mean to
say
        one is manipulating or is in any way trying to
exonerate.
        You are trying to get closer and closer and closer to
the

.                                      P-287



        likelihood of what actually happened.
   MR RAMPTON:  Mr Irving, tell me plainly, we are off course
        again but it does not matter, we will get back on
course
        in a moment, tell me plainly what is the evidence for
        this, this is in the 1991 edition ----
   A.   Right.
   Q.   And you have repeated it since.  I think you repeat it
in
        the appendices or the footnotes to Goebbels, these
words:
        "On 30th November he, Himmler, was summoned to the
Wolf's
        lair", pause there.  Sorry, page 427.
   A.   I am looking at my Himmler diary because I know what
you
        are going to say next.
   Q.   I expect you know it off by heart.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am sorry?
   MR RAMPTON:  It is D1 (v).  It is Hitler's War second
volume,
        1991 edition.
   A.   What is the evidence for ----
   Q.   Wait a minute.  I am waiting until his Lordship has
the
        volume.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.
   A.   What page of Hitler's War is it?  This is the new
        edition.
   MR RAMPTON:  Now you can help me with some German perhaps
in a
        moment.  It is the new edition.  It is changed from
the
        1977 edition in that you have conceded that the
Himmler
        order concerned but a single train load of Jews?

.                                      P-288



   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Instead of Jews in general?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Can you first of all explain why it was that in the
1977
        edition this passage referred to Jews in general?
   A.   It was a silly misreading of the word.  If I show you
the
        actual handwriting ----
   Q.   Yes, it is printed in the book, is it not?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think you said you misread, you could
not
        read the handwriting of Himmler?
   A.   Perhaps I would like to show to his Lordship what the
        handwriting of Heydrich Himmler looks like.
   MR RAMPTON:  Your Lordship will find it in this ----
   A.   I have a reasonable facsimile of the original here.
He
        wrote a particularly nasty form Gothic spiky
handwriting
        which modern Germans cannot read either.  You could
show
        that document to several Germans in this room, unless
they
        were the older generation, they would not be able to
read
        it.  It is pretty horrific.  I admit I made a mistake
in
        the transcription.  I was paying more attention to the
        position of the full stops in the lines which are
quite
        important.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.  I have it somewhere here.  You actually
        printed a facsimile of that page in both the editions,
did
        you not?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is in the following page 506.

.                                      P-289



   A.   It would be remarkable if when one transcribes a lot
of
        that handwriting one does not occasionally miss out a
        letter E or something like that.
   MR RAMPTON:  When printing that as a facsimile in your
editions
        Hitler's War, you would not expect your ordinary
English
        reader to be able to decipher what it said?
   A.   I would be very surprised if they could decipher that.
   Q.   Even if they knew German?
   A.   Older generation Germans can read that, prewar
        generations.
   Q.   But your ordinary English reader, these books are
        published primarily in English, are they not?
   A.   No.  My books are published in every language in the
        world.
   Q.   I know, but are they written in English originally?
   A.   This one was, yes.  I have written books in German
too.
   Q.   As you fairly concede even a modern German might
struggle
        with that unless they had the old handwriting?
   A.   The point I am trying to make is that this is not
        manipulation on my part.  It is not manipulation or
        distortion.  It is a traffic accident, shall we say.
   Q.   I have to disagree with you.  I do not have any
training
        of the German language.  I have relatively poor
eyesight.
        I look at the word on the page and it quite plainly
does
        not have an E on the end of it, does it?
   A.   No.

.                                      P-290



   Q.   It is perfectly clear.
   A.   I now see that, yes.
   Q.   Why did you put an E on it?  Were you in a terrible
hurry
        or very tired or something when you wrote this?
   A.   You are asking me to recall.  This was actually
written in
        1970.  We are looking at something 30 years ago you
and
        you are asking me why I had an E on the end of a word
        which I wrote 30 years ago.
   Q.   I will tell you why I am suggesting it was deliberate,
        Mr Irving, for a number of reasons which are
cumulative,
        but one which is very closely related.  There are two
        closely related reasons.  The first we are coming back
to
        in a moment which is the way you have handled he Bruns
        testimony, but the other is in relation to the entry
for
        the following day, 1st December 1941, where for some
        reason best known to yourself, and of course we shall
need
        to hear your explanation, you translate the words
        "[German] SS" as Jews?
   A.   No.
   Q.   That cannot be a misreading, can it?
   A.   I misread the word "harbun" for "uden" and I have it
here
        in front of me and I will show that to his Lordship.
   Q.   What have you got in front of you?
   A.   Himmler's diary, the actual handwritten page.
   Q.   We have not got that.  We would like to see it.  May
we
        see it?

.                                      P-291



   A.   Had I known you were going to attach importance to I
would
        have provided you with any number of copies.
   Q.   You would have heard in my opening speech that I
attach
        some importance to it?
   A.   I am terribly sorry, but I had actually prepared a
dozen
        facsimiles of this to bring in tomorrow in a bundle.
   Q.   In fairness to you and perhaps to me we should leave
it
        where it is until we get the facsimile.
   A.   Yes.  I did envisage that I would have the running of
this
        and that we would be looking at my bundle of stuff
        tomorrow.
   Q.   The running of what, your cross-examination?
   A.   I had not ----
   Q.   Shall I sit down?
   A.   --- envisaged that I would envisioned I would be
standing
        up for cross-examination today.  Had I known that I
would
        not have worked to 6 o'clock this morning preparing
        bundles.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You can blame me for that.
   MR RAMPTON:  That said, my Lord and since he was up until 6
        o'clock ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I agree with what you are about to say.
        I think you have had quite a long day.  10.30 tomorrow
        morning.
            (The court adjourned until the following day)


.                                      P-292


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