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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit//transcripts/day003.21


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day003.21
Last-Modified: 2000/07/29

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, I am not sure I got your answer to
        the initial question which was, does this or does it not
        show that the instructions were from Berlin to the General
        Government as to what was to be done in the General

.          P-186



        Government?
   A.   I am sorry, my Lord, if I did not make myself plain.
I
        thought that this in fact supported my version that
Hans
        Frank was saying that they already had all the Jews
they
        could handle.  They could not even feed the ones they
had
        got:  "So please don't send us any more, get rid of
them
        yourself".
   MR RAMPTON:  So the word "vernichtung serfolg" is not
talking
        about a liquidation?
   A.   If you want to wipe out Christianity you do not have
to
        liquidate the Christians.
   Q.   I do not see anything about Judaism in this passage.
It
        is all about Jews, numbers of Jews, 3.5 million?
   A.   He says here explicitly, "We can't kill", he says, I
will
        translate it for you and it is exactly the same as
your
        translation there.  "These 3.5 million Jews, we can't
        shoot them, we can't poison them, but we will be able
to
        do something which will one way or another lead to a
        successful wipe out, destruction".
   Q.   Annihilation?
   A.   "We will get rid of them".  We are back on that word
        vernichtung again, which Germans who like using these
        words in the knowledge they are going to be providing
        endless humour for lawyers 50 years down the road.
   Q.   I do not think it is very humorous, Mr Irving, I am
bound
        to say, not humorous at all.

.          P-187



   A.   That is why I prefer to sit on documents where it is
        absolutely unambiguous where we do not have to waste
time
        about the meanings of words.
   Q.   You mentioned I think, whether it was this morning or
        yesterday I am afraid I cannot remember, somebody
called
        Wisliceny?
   A.   Wisliceny, W-I-S-L-I-C-E-N-Y.
   Q.   Yes.  He was I think on Eichmann's staff, was he not?
   A.   A member of Eichmann's staff who was responsible for
the
        Final Solution in Slovakia and other countries.
   Q.   He made some statements after the war, did he not?
   A.   Under duress, yes.
   Q.   What do you mean by duress?
   A.   In Allied captivity, inside the gallows, which is
about as
        much duress as you can imagine.
   Q.   You are not saying he was tortured?
   A.   Good Lord no.
   Q.   You say that Rudolf Hess was tortured, do you not?
   A.   I say that he was maltreated.  He had a torch rammed
into
        his mouth.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Let us stick with Wisliceny for the
moment
        otherwise we are going to get confused.
   MR RAMPTON:  That is my fault, my Lord.
   A.   He richly deserved it, people like that.
   Q.   No, I do not agree with that as it happens, Mr Irving.
        Can you see if you still have Professor Evans' report

.          P-188



        there?  It was handed to you in error earlier.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   I am sorry.  Let us turn to page 344, will you?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Evans' report.  It is at letter G and Professor Evans
        writes this, Mr Irving.  I will not read the heading
        except to say it says "Testimony of Dieter Wisliceny".
   A.   It also says:  "Manipulation and Suppression of
Evidence".
   Q.   I was going to save your blushes.  Yes, it does, does
it
        not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   "As described above, Irving claims that Dieter
Wisliceny,
        one of Eichmann's top officials, described Goebbels'
        article in Das Reich as a watershed in the Final
Solution
        of the Jewish problem.  Once more Irving makes it very
        difficult to verify claims.  According to his
footnotes,
        Wisliceny's postwar report of 18th November 1946 can
be
        found in the IFZ file F71/8.  However, this file does
not
        exist and Wisliceny's report has to be located
elsewhere."
                  It is a minor point, Mr Irving.  Do you
accept
        that you gave a wrong reference?
   A.   No.  I saw this file probably 30 years ago, probably
        before Professor Longerich was born.
   Q.   This is not Professor Longerich.  This is Professor
        Evans.
   A.   Well, even more to the point.  That being so, it is

.          P-189



        extremely likely that they changed the reference
number
        since the archives are constantly changing reference
        numbers.
   Q.   It is a small point.  "In his report Wisliceny states
that
        after the invasion of the USSR in June 1941 Nazi
policy
        against the Jews was transformed dramatically in a
        step-by-step process, completed in the Spring of 1942.
        One these radicalisng steps was taken in late 1941.
As
        Wisliceny reported: 'The second wave of radicalization
        began after the USA entered the war.  This could
clearly
        be felt in the internal German propaganda too.
Externally
        it was expressed in the introduction of the yellow
star as
        a mark of the Jews.  Reference in this connection also
to
        the Goebbels' article that 'Jews are guilty' in an
edition
        of the magazine Das Reich'.
                  "In this period of time, after the beginning
of
        the war with the USA, I am convinced must fall the
        decision of Hitler which ordered the biological
        annihilation of European Jewry" -- biologische
vernichtung
        des europaischen Judentums befahl.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   You are well aware of that passage?
   A.   Yes, and I draw attention to the fact that in order to
        emphasis that the word "vernichtung" here means
killing he
        adds the adjective "biologische", biological, because
        without that it does not mean it with sufficient
emphasis.

.          P-190



   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do not let us go back on that.
   MR RAMPTON:  You can argue about it.  Eventually, you see,
        Mr Irving, whatever you may think and whatever I may
put
        to you, his Lordship will make a decision about what
the
        natural meaning of the word is in these various
contexts.
   A.   But without input from me he will only hear input from
        you.
   Q.   Of course you must say what you think it means.
Whether I
        or anybody else accepts what you say is quite another
        matter.
   A.   But I think it is quite useful to say it here in view
of
        the fact that this man obviously thought that
        "vernichtung" does not mean killing unless he adds the
        word "biologische" in front of it.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I do not think that is right actually,
but
        I have the point.  It is obvious what it means if it
has
        "biological" attached to it.  If it has not, you say
it
        does not mean extermination.  Mr Rampton says it does.
        I think we really have thrashed that one.
   MR RAMPTON:  I am afraid I am going to take up,
argumentative
        person that I am, one little point on this.  You
notice,
        do you not, that although you stress the use of the
word
        "biologische" to qualify "vernichtung", what is it
that
        is being biologically annihilated?
   A.   Judentums.
   Q.   Judentums?

.          P-191



   A.   Yes.
   Q.   European Judentums?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   What is "Judentums"?
   A.   In this case quite clearly he is talking about the
Jews
        because he has added the word "biological in advance"
and
        you cannot have biological in reference to provision.
   Q.   There is no rule of German which says that the word
must
        mean Judaism.  It can easily mean Jewish people or
Jewry
        as a collective, can it not?
   A.   I do not want to labour the point, but this is why
        dictionaries give orders of priority for the meanings
of
        words, the first meaning, second meaning and third
meaning
        and so on.
   Q.   Wisliceny thinks or says that he things, is reported
as
        saying that he thinks, that the order for the
biological
        annihilation of the European Jews came from Hitler.
He is
        saying that, is he not?
   A.   He could set that conviction of his to music and play
it
        to the mass bands of the Cold Stream Guards, but it
does
        not make it proof.
   Q.   He says it again and again.  Is it right that you have
        consistently ignored what he said?
   A.   What is the date of this report, Mr Rampton?
   Q.   It is 1946, 18th November 1946.
   A.   Just two or three weeks after the unfortunate Nazi

.          P-192



        gangsters have been hanged at Nuremberg.  Where is he
        writing this report?
   Q.   Is the answer to my question, yes?  Give the
explanation
        afterwards, please, Mr Irving.  The answer to my
question
        is, yes, you have ignored it.  Now the reason ----
   A.   No.  The answer to the question is that I have
discounted
        that kind of evidence as being the fact that he does
not
        say he saw an order.  He is saying it is his opinion.
He
        thinks that, yes, there must surely have been some
such
        kind of order.  What kind of evidence is that given by
a
        man sitting in the face of the gallows just after the
Nazi
        leaders have been hanged at Nuremberg, and he is
sitting
        in Czech Slovac prison knowing that he is going to be
        hanged as well, and he is sitting down there writing
the
        first thing that comes into his head, and he says:
"Well,
        surely Hitler must have given an order."  What kind of
        evidence is that?  What kind of historian would I be
who
        in the absence of any kind of documentation whatsoever
of
        any concrete diamond value of the war archives then
        decides to pollute his work with relying on this kind
of
        documentation?  Material that Wisliceny himself is an
        expert on -- I remind you of the Trevor Roper
criteria,
        something that he himself has experienced, something
that
        he is in a position to know.  That I would accept, but
for
        him to speculate, as he clearly is here, that is
neither
        here nor there.  It is information of janitorial
level.

.          P-193



   Q.   Yes.  Janitorial, this is to anticipate something we
are
        going to come to perhaps next week or the week after,
Mr
        Irving, but "janitorial level" is a phrase you often
use.
        Is not "janitorial level" very often the place you
expect
        to find the diamonds?
   A.   Janitorial level is not the kind of place that
        I frequently inhabit, Mr Rampton.
   Q.   That is very patrician of you, Mr Irving.  If you are
an
        historian you must look even in the basement, the
sewer,
        if you want to find the gems, must you not sometimes?
   A.   If one fails to find the gems, my opponents and my
jealous
        rivals they have gone down among the sewers looking
for
        things, but I found the gems because I have done the
work.
   Q.   You saw some of them, did you not, in Professor van
Pelt's
        report, "janitorial gems"?
   A.   We shall have great enjoyment discussing this with van
        Pelt when the time comes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can I just understand why Wisliceny is
being
        put into the janitorial category at all?  He is one of
        Eichmann's top officials.
   A.   He is one of Eichmann's top officials.
   Q.   And Eichmann was one of the senior officials within
the
        Reich carrying out the extermination programme.
   A.   Mr Wisliceny is a man who is in deep trouble.  First
of
        all he is facing ----
   Q.   That is a different point, if I may say so.  He is not
a

.          P-194



        janitor.
   A.   He is also a man of very dubious character.  He is a
man
        who has been not an officer in the SS, but he has been
        involved in corrupt schemes, in stealing and robbing
and
        disposing of stolen Jewish property and all sorts of
        things that got him in trouble even with the SS.  He
is a
        man whose character I would not give a fig for.  He is
        sitting in a prison cell in a Slovac prison knowing
that
        he is going to be put on trial for his life.
   Q.   That is a different point.
   A.   I am sorry, let me cut to the bottom line and say what
he
        is actually saying here, I have lost it, he is not
saying
        "I know this for a fact"; he is just saying, "I
speculate
        that probably this happened."  I have lost it totally,
the
        actual reference.
   Q.   "I am convinced it must fall the decision of Hitler".
   A.   Yes, but his conviction that something must fall
within, I
        mean, that is not evidence of any kind at all, my
Lord,
        and I am sure no court would accept that kind of
evidence
        in a matter of great seriousness, somebody's
conviction
        that something must surely have happened, not in the
total
        absence of any kind of qualifying documents.
   MR RAMPTON:  I am sorry, Mr Irving.  Sometimes my questions
        involve quite a lot of paper chasing.  You are quite
        content to use Dieter Wisliceny when it suits your
        purposes, are you not?

.          P-195



   A.   If it fits the criteria which I mentioned earlier.

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