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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit//transcripts/day004.17


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day004.17
Last-Modified: 2000/08/01

   A.   Indeed, my Lord, yes, all that it is safe to say on the
        evidence.
   MR RAMPTON:  What he actually said I think was this or was
        recorded as having said.  One must be careful.  This is
        the Goebbels' entry:  "Wir sprechen zum Schlub noch uber
        die Judenfrage" which means -- if you want to see it, it
        is on page 405 of ----
   A.   "Finally we speak on the Jewish question".
   Q.   Yes.  "Hier bleibt der Fuhrer nach wie vor
        unerbittlich" -- relentless, unmerciless, is it not?
   A.  "Vor unerbittlich", yes, merciless.
   Q.   Merciless, yes.  "Die Juden mussen aus Europa heraus"?
   A.   "The Jews have to get out of Europe".
   Q.   "Wenn notig"?
   A.   "If necessary".

.          P-151



   Q.   "Unter Anwendung der brutalsten Mittel"?
   A.   "With the employment of the most brutal methods" or
        "means".
   Q.   What is there in anything that you have seen in the
        evidence of this time to suggest that Hitler and
Goebbels
        did not discuss the very questions raised by Goebbels'
        later diary note at that meeting of 19th March?
   A.   The fact that Hitler in the table talk which is
recorded
        first person and I have seen the actual original
paper,
        with Martin Bormann signing every single page in the
        bottom right hand corner as being an accurate record
of
        what had been said, stated in the presence of people
like
        Heydrich and Himmler at their table talk remarks which
        were only consistent with the knowledge that they were
        being physically and geographically expelled from
Europe.
   Q.   He was muttering on about Madagascar in late July
1942?
   A.   He was also muttering on here, as you said, about
Russia
        and the marshy swaps.
   Q.   We will come to your marshy swaps entry fairly soon,
        Mr Irving, but the references to Madagascar and Russia
are
        perhaps in late 1942 are a complete nonsense; they
cannot
        be taken seriously?
   A.   With all that mass of paper that we have, not only
taken
        by Heydrich, but also by Rosenberg's Adjutant, who
also
        wrote table talks, which I discover in the archives,
with
        all this mass of paper of Hitler talking in private at

.          P-152



        this time I would just ask for one piece of sheet
where he
        is explicitly saying "sure we are liquidating them".
        There is nothing.  It is this negative mass of
evidence,
        this absence of any evidence I find impressive. Even
when
        he is in private talking to people who are actually
doing
        the killing there is no such mention, on Hitler's
part.
        I found that very disturbing.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You now know, of course, that is not
right,
        do you not, because of the document we were looking at
        this morning?
   A.   Which document are you referring to, my Lord?
   Q.   Killing the Jews as if they --
   A.   December 1942 -- my Lord, tomorrow I will bring to you
one
        of these irritating individual documents, 10th
December
        1942, the discussion between Himmler and Hitler on a
        proposal that they should sell their Jews to foreign
        customers, and Hitler saying:  "Yes, this is quite all
        right, sell what you want.  We want hard currency for
        them"; which is inconsistent with the desire to
liquidate
        all the Jews at that very same time.  It is a document
not
        without evidentiary value in this particular argument.
   MR RAMPTON:  I think we are going to have to look at these
        table talks, I have quite a lot of them here, in some
        detail, probably tomorrow, Mr Irving.  Your basis for
        saying that Goebbels privately knew more is simply
that
        there is no document that you know of where Hitler
says,

.          P-153



        I too know what Labotznich is doing in the East or
        whatever or I order him to do it?
   A.   -- there is no documentary evidence he derived any
        information from such reports as has obviously been
shown
        to Goebbels, yes.
   Q.   I still do not understand how that leads to the
positive
        assertion that Goebbels obviously knew more.
   A.   Because there is a negative proof here, we have an
absence
        of documents where there should have been documents to
the
        contrary, with a huge volume of record of Adolf
Hitler's
        remarks in later years, in 1942, September 1942
onwards,
        his war conferences were taken down verbatim, just
like
        here.  Every word he said and spoken to the shorthand
        reporters.  We have the documents.  We have the
diaries.
        We have the table talks.  We have Kopen's records, and
yet
        nowhere is there any reference indicating that Hitler
was
        privy to this kind of information. I say that with
        absolutely certainty you will not be able to prove me
        wrong.
   Q.   I already have, Mr Irving, we have talked at some
        considerable length already about report number 51,
have
        we not?
   A.   That is why I refer to this as being an orphan,
because it
        is so totally impossible to fit it into the general
        framework of all the other documentation which is of
equal
        evidentiary weight.

.          P-154



   Q.   Therefore you jettison it?
   A.   Not at all.  It frequently happens, probably in major
        court cases of a criminal kind too, that you have one
item
        for which you cannot find a ready explanation, the
whole
        of the rest of picture is -- there is this one which
item
        which bothers you for the rest of your life.  That
item
        will bother me for rest of my life.  But I am quite
        satisfied that all the other evidence I have; the
table
        talks, the transcripts, the telegrams, the intercepts;
        which all fit into one general picture flowing one
way,
        I am quite prepared to have one document flowing the
other
        way, but that does not make me change my opinion.
   Q.   Mr Irving, you have two more now that you did not know
        about before.
   A.   Good.
   Q.   You have the Muller letter of 1st August 1941?
   A.   But that is only of very low evidentiary value purely
        saying Hitler wants to be told what is going on with
        Einsatzgruppen.
   Q.   You cannot put things in isolation, as you keep
telling
        me.  You have to put that together with the report No.
51,
        and you have to put it together with the Himmler note,
        which is plainly a note of something Hitler said. You
have
        to ask yourself the question; overall in the context
of
        the whole of the evidence?
   A.   Mr Rampton, if you were proposing --

.          P-155



   Q.   Wait a minute, does this not lead to the conclusion
Hitler
        probably did know?
   A.   -- if you propose to link those two documents that you
        keep on intending to do, the August 1941 document and
the
        December 1942 document, I would refer you to the
German
        Civil Service practice, that the second document in
its
        reference lines on the top left would automatically
        say, "Referring to Fuhrer order" such and such a date
        August 1941 then that would immediately state:  "This
is
        in response to that triggering document" even if it
was 18
        months earlier.  You will frequently find this in the
        records, that it will specifically make reference to
the
        document to which the report is issued in response.
   Q.   Could we try it a different way, Mr Irving; since it
clear
        Hitler knew about the mass shootings by the
Einsatzgruppen
        in the East, we can deduce that from report No. 51 --
   A.   Well, can we phrase that slightly differently?  Since
        Hitler had no reason not to know it may sound
quibbling to
        you --
   Q.   -- I do not mind.  You see I am not driven to make any
        proposals about history, as I said, only about
        historiography.  You have written that the
unequivocal,
        categorical statements about Hitler's lack of
knowledge,
        not I.
   A.   -- but you are not suggesting I did not print that No.
51
        in the appropriate place in the Hitler biography.

.          P-156



   Q.   It is there somewhere, but you attach no importance to
it?
   A.   I attach -- merely putting the document into the book
is
        not enough?
   Q.   Most of these documents, or many of them you just put
them
        in the footnotes very often, do you not?
   A.   I strongly suspect that is the way it was put to Adolf
        Hitler in December 1942, as a footnote.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I must say that I hesitate to accept, for
        this reason; it is quite a simple document, and it is
        referring to the killing by shooting of 300,000 Jews.
        Well, you have to be quite a man to just pass over
that,
        do you not?
   A.   My Lord, as is quite evident from a study of the
history
        of that period at this moment in time, December 29th
1942,
        Hitler's primary concern was focused on saving the
Sixth
        Army in Stalingrad.
   Q.   That I accept, but that does not mean, does it, he is
not
        going to notice a document telling him that 300,000,
on
        the face of it, innocent civilians were being shot by
his
        army?
   A.   It could go either way.  All I am entitled to do is to
put
        the document in the book in its proper place, not in
the
        way we are looking at it in this court surrounded only
by
        documents about the Holocaust, putting it in the
Hitler
        biography where you have it surrounded by everything
else
        that is happening at that time.  That may be described
as

.          P-157



        putting in as footnote, but that is precisely the way
it
        probably came to him and Himmler probably slipped it
        before. But I have not even suggested that. I have
just
        put it in the proper place.
   MR RAMPTON:  Let us, Mr Irving, think about this orphan
        document for a moment, if we may.  Another way of
looking
        at this orphan document is this, is it not, if it is
clear
        enough, as I would suggest to you it is, that this
        information was conveyed to Hitler and if the result
of it
        was not that a whole lot of people were sacked or put
in
        prison because they had done something illegal, and
        killing, shooting 363,000 Jews, people, never mind
unless
        they are soldiers, is a fairly remarkable achievement,
is
        it not, and if it had been against Hitler's policy,
surely
        we would know, would we not, because of the
consequences
        for those that had done it and authorized it?
   A.   This was typical Hitler, when people acted in this way
he
        did not move to take recriminations against them, he
just
        allowed things to slide.  He was typical
(unintelligible)
        as they say in Latin, he was a procrastinator.
                  I also make this point, which is not
        unimportant, Mr Rampton, you have seen the agenda,
        Himmler's agenda, on which he would go and see Hitler
and
        put reports to him, like this one, or the one a few
days
        previously about the selling off the Jews to the
highest
        bidder, this kind of thing, and you have -- can I
finish.

.          P-158



   Q.   Carry on.
   A.   You would then have in the Himmler files a paper trail
        saying what Hitler's response had been.  We have no
such
        paper trail.  We have no response.  We have no letter
by
        Himmler writing two or three days later saying "the
Fuhrer
        has studied report 51", there is nothing like that and
        that is what I mean when I call it an "orphan".  I am
not
        trying to insult the document's integrity.  I am
        suggesting that we lack the paper trail which shows it
was
        brought into Hitler's cognisance.
   Q.   You accepted not very long ago, last week, he probably
had
        seen it?
   A.   On the balance of probabilities, because of the use --
   Q.   I am only interested --
   A.   On the top, just the same as these documents are lying
in
        front of me here, that is not to say I know what is
        written 20 or 30 pages down the heap.
   Q.   -- oh.
   A.   Because there is no subsequent paper trail --
   Q.   You have evidence that the Fuhrer had a stack like
this in
        in his intray, he got to about page 30 and then fell
        asleep and the next morning he did not bother to read
the
        particular report?
   A.   -- you may want to put it as sarcastically as that --
   Q.   Of course I do.
   A.   -- I knew his Adjutants, who are now all dead very
well,

.          P-159



        and they would describe to me in very great detail the
        procedure by which they try to get him to attend to
        documents and it was precisely that, the same as Winston
        Churchill, they would have their boxes, Churchill used to
        read his box in bed in the mornings, Hitler's box was put
        outside his bedroom with all the documents in it which he
        was supposed to read. That is what they mean by
        "foregelegt".  It means of course that he has other
        things on his plate that day.

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