Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day003.04 Last-Modified: 2000/07/29 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I had better follow it. A. A telephone conversation of exactly the same kind from Himmler's telephone log: On Hitler's birthday, at midday with Heydrich, again that is H-E-Y-D-I-C-H, a conversation with Heydrich in which the last line reads: "Kindly", "Keine vernichtungd. Zigeuner", K-E-I-N-E V-E-R-N-I-C-H-T-U-N-G-D. Z-I-G-E-U-N-E-R. Q. That is "gypsies", is it not? A. That is right, my Lord. Q. How would you translate "vernichtungd"? A. Literally "destruction" and that is how I will leave it. "No destruction of the gypsies"; the significance being that on this day at mid-day, Himmler is with Hitler . P-27 celebrating a birthday party. It was Hitler's birthday, April 20th. Once again he has had to telephone his chief executioner, so to speak, Heydrich, and say, "The gypsies are not to be liquidated" and yet they were liquidated. Q. You say Himmler was with Hitler at 12 o'clock? A. Quite definitely. It was Hitler's birthday and I would be happy to lead evidence to prove that, but I am sure Mr Rampton will not dispute that the head of the SS -- -- Q. And this is a phone call to Heydrich from Himmler? A. It is a telephone conversation between them. Q. Yes, I take that point. A. Of significance, it is one more document in that chain that I occasionally refer to. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you. MR RAMPTON: Yes, as to that, Mr Irving, the "no liquidation of the gypsies", again that was before there was any meeting between them, was it not, on that day, which is 20th April 1942, Himmler's log said that he met Fuhrer at 12.30? A. This may well be. It may well be what his log says. Q. Whereas the telephone call is at noon, I think. A. Yes. Q. Rather like 30th November? A. Yes. Q. 1941? A. Yes. Q. Can we go back to 30th November 1941, please? Did you get . P-28 a transcript of your evidence of the proceedings yesterday -- have you got a copy that looks like this, Mr Irving? A. Yes I have. Q. With a quarter page like that? A. Yes. Q. Could you turn, please, to the page numbered 289? It is the top left-hand block on one of the pages. A. Yes. Q. I was asking you if you remember why it was that you had translated "Judentransport", a singular word, as Jews in general? A. Yes. Q. You had said, you can see it there, can you not, that it was a silly misreading of the word. You said at line 19: "I admit I made a mistake in the transcription"? A. Yes. Q. This was your sworn evidence on oath yesterday? A. Yes. Q. Now would you please turn to the first page of your new bundle? A. Yes. Q. The translation you have made for us kindly ---- A. Yes. Q. --- 23rd January 1974, where you have transcribed it correctly? . P-29 A. Yes. Q. The answer you gave yesterday was wrong, was it not? A. That is correct. Q. Why was it wrong, Mr Irving? A. Because we are talking about events almost 30 years ago. I was writing this book 32 years ago. I received these documents 35 years ago. I probably transcribed it, as you can see from the letter, round about 1974. It is very difficult to put myself back into my mind set of 25 or 26 years ago. You asked me what the reason for that was and my first presumption was that I misread the word, but ably challenged by his Lordship, questioned by his Lordship, on this matter, I recalled also that at the time I looked at it, the word "transport", "Judentransport", to me also could be translated as "transportation of Jews". Indeed, it can be translated that way and I refined it later on when I was informed by Dr Flemming, as he then was, who is an expert on the Holocaust, that there was one very clear train load of Jews to which reference was being made. That is so, I think, an accurate answer which should really replace yesterday's answer. Q. I dare say it should, Mr Irving. Whether I accept it, of course, is quite another question, even in its remodelled form. A. Yes. . P-30 Q. The answer is, of course, that I do not. Mr Irving, I would like you to think a little bit about what you have just said. You heard me open this case on Tuesday afternoon, did you not? A. Yes. Q. Yes. You have to say "yes" just for the recording. That is all. Nodding or so will not do. You had a copy of the written document that I read out, did you not? A. Which document are you referring to? Q. My opening statement in this case? A. Yes. Q. That was on Tuesday afternoon. A. Yes. Q. You realized then ---- A. Yes. Q. --- that this is one of the points that I was going to make against you, did you not? A. Yes, that has been repeatedly made, yes. Q. It has been repeatedly made, has it not? Yet, when you come into the witness box to answer questions on oath, you simply pluck an explanation out of the air, do you not? A. Mr Rampton, may I explain to you that in the last four days I have had six hours sleep? Is this a satisfactory answer to why one occasionally makes slips of the memory in the witness box? If not, then I will go into it in greater detail. . P-31 Q. What is the truth, Mr Irving? You did not misread it, that is clear. A. Yes -- not this particular word. Q. No. So yesterday's answer was a false answer. A. Misinterpreted. Q. You now say, "Well, I may have mistranslated it, but my translation was, on the face of it, legitimate"? A. Well, in this case it is not a translation that is needed, it is an interpretation because it is a cryptic word. "Transport" can mean several different things. There are many words that can mean several different things, and you have to look at the context and you have to take other documents and possibly later information into account in arriving at which of those words is the correct translation. None of the words would be a wrong translation at the time you first make it. You then refine the translation on the basis of external evidence. Q. Would not a more natural way of putting it in German to be to put it in the plural "Judentransporte" with an "e" on the end? A. It can also be done that way, yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Would part of the context be that there did happen at this time to be a train load of Jews setting out from Berlin to Riga? A. There were many train loads sitting out. By this time, by November 30th, there had been five trainloads of Jews . P-32 heading for Riga or Minsk. Q. Over what sort of period? A. One week, round about that time -- no, I am sorry, two weeks would be a closer approximation. They were given numbers, "D" for Germany, "O" for East or German, rather, and "O" for East. That is what the numbers in the intercepts are. MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving, another of the things that you and I disagreed about yesterday was your unequivocal categorical assertion in your various publications that that order from Himmler to Heydrich on that day was given at the instigation of Hitler. You say it was, or at least that is a reasonable inference; you called it a "judgment call", I think, did you not? A. I called that, the reason I used it, or referred to it in that -- I think we ought to see the actual wording I used. If you say that I said it on a number of occasions, it would be helpful to see the actual wording that I used. Q. For example, let us just look at how you put it in "Hitler's War 1991". My Lord, that is bundle D1(v). It is in two halves. This is the second half. At page 427, Mr Irving, if you are using the published edition? A. I am just looking at the 1977 one to pre-empt you. Q. We will look at that first, if you will. I think there it is round about 300 and something. . P-33 A. At 1.30 p.m. Q. Well, his Lordship may not have it. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I have. MR RAMPTON: Have you got 1977, my Lord? 332. A. Yes. I think, with respect, it makes more sense to take it from the chronology that I wrote the various editions. Q. I was not actually going to look at all the references, but if you wish me to do so, I do not mind in the slightest. A. Well, it is like a building, the way a building changes over the years, that tells us something also. Q. "Himmler's personal role is ambivalent. On November 30th 1941, he was summoned to the Wolf's Lair for a secret conference with Hitler in which the fate of Berlin's Jews was clearly raised". Pause there. What evidence that Himmler was summoned to the Wolfsschanze the Wolf's Lair? A. My very great expertise on this matter. Q. What? A. My very great expertise on this matter. Do you wish me to elaborate? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I think you had better; I am not quite sure I understand the answer. MR RAMPTON: I asked for evidence, not expertise. A. Well, the evidence is that if you go to the archives and work through the files of Hitler's Chancellory, you will find every year, two or three times, the head of his . P-34 Chancellory, Hans Lammers, issued an edict to all the Reich ministers and all the senior Nazi officials informing them that nobody was permitted to visit Hitler, just ringing the door bell and saying, "Mein Fuhrer, can I drop in and see you for a moment?" They had to have a specific summons and invitation because Hitler was constantly being beseiged by junior and senior officials who were ringing his doorbell in that way and asking to see him. Eventually, it had to be forbidden, first of all, by Lammers and then by an edit of Martin Bormann. So you could not visit Hitler unless you were summoned. Q. Mr Irving, I am not going away from that topic, believe me, I am not, but it may be we had better get this sorted out earlier rather than later in this case. Where do you place Himmler in the Nazi hierarchy? A. Nowhere in the hierarchy that it would just turn up on Hitler's doorstep. Q. Please, we will come to that I promise I not leaving the topic, where do you put him? A. He had the rank of a Reichsminister, the rank of Reischminister was equivalent to a field marshal, so it would be the equivalent rank of four star general. He had Hitler's ear, he took orders directly from Hitler, there was no intermediary, is that sufficient? Q. -- yes, I am going to go a little bit further. This is not hostile interrogation, Mr Irving, this is an attempt . P-35 to see if we can agree on some broad general facts which may be of use in this case. Himmler was, was he not, one of the original putschists of 1923? A. He is there to be seen marching in the ranks. Q. Wearing Nazi uniform. A. One of the old guard. Q. Have you read Ian Kershaw's book? A. Whose? Q. Ian Kershaw's book? A. I do not read books. Q. You do not read books. Of course not. He is one of old guard, is he not? A. Yes. Q. So was Goring? A. Yes. Q. And so was Goebbels? A. On and off, if you see what I mean. Q. Yes, I do see what you mean. Is there anything which leads you to suppose -- A. In connection with Goebbels, of course, he was not one of the putschists, he came in several years later.
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