The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit//transcripts/day005.10


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day005.10
Last-Modified: 2000/08/01

   Q.   No, Mr Irving.  It is you who has built a huge mountain
        out of a tiny little mole hill.  Assume two completely
        contrary hypotheses either of which could be right:
        Hitler does know what happens to the Jews when they
        arrive, and when they will arrive they are going to be
        killed.  That is one hypothesis.  He and Himmler would
        very well still need to talk about how to get the process
        continuing and continuing and continuing, until they had
        all gone.  That is hypothesis one.
   A.   Hypothesis two, Hitler does not know, but, of course, he

.          P-83


        knows about the deportations because he has authorised it.
   Q.   So on either hypothesis this is a neutral document?
   A.   If your first hypothesis is correct, if these two men are
        in cahoots, if I can use gangster slang, why would Himmler
        need to use euphemisms?
   Q.   Because they are actually talking about how to do the
        evacuations, the emigrations.  You cannot kill somebody in
        a gas chamber or a pit somewhere near Lublin unless you
        have them there in the first place.  You have to evacuate
        them emigrate them from, say, Berlin or Vienna or Rome or
        wherever it may be and you have to do that. It is a matter
        of logistics.  It costs money.  The trains are needed by
        the army.  It is a necessary stage in the process, and
        there is no reason on earth why Himmler and Hitler should
        not have a conversation about that, is there?
   A.   But if they are in cahoots why do we find nowhere in all
        these hundreds of sheets these agenda, telephone notes and
        all the rest of it anything specific to bear out the
        notion that Hitler had ordered the killing of the European Jews?
   Q.   But you have constructed out of this perfectly natural,
        normal, neutral document and discussion, if you do not
        know the background, a discussion about how to continue
        the deportations, and how to make this into German
        "labensround", this area of Poland, Lublin, you have
        erected on the basis of that flimsy platform, this

.          P-84



        sentence "Himmler meanwhile continued to pull the wool
        over Hitler's eyes"?
   A.   Because there no reference in this --
   Q.   Why should there be?
   A.   -- to any of the sinister things that had happening,
        whatever they are.
   Q.   Why should there be? This is not a deceptive document.
   A.   It is.  He is using the euphemisms, which your own
experts
        agree are the euphemisms for the extermination
operation
        going on.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do you accept that, so far as Himmler is
        concerned that when he said "ausvanderung" he was
really
        in his own mind visualizing what was going on in the -
-
   A.   We have a terrible problem with these euphemisms, my
Lord,
        and this is that the word, the same word can mean
        different things used by the same person at different
        times.
   Q.   -- well, take this note, do you regard "ausvanderung"
        meaning --
   A.   It could quite possibly mean that, that in his own
mind he
        is referring to that, because he knows perfectly well
what
        is going on.
   Q.   -- namely?
   A.   Shall we just leave it in vague terms, that something
ugly
        is happening?
   Q.   No.  You are the historian; what do you think that
Himmler

.          P-85



        in his own mind had in --
   A.   He knows that the Jews --
   Q.   -- contemplation when he used the word "ausvanderung"?
   A.   -- he knows that the Jews are being liquidated and
that
        very few of them are surviving, as we know from the
entry
        in Goebbels' diaries of March 1942 which is quite
        definitely an SS. In other words, the Himmler
document. It
        has gone to Goebbels and has told Goebbels that of
those
        who are deported and I think Goebbels actually
mentions
        Lublin, 60 per cent may be fit for work, but 40 per
cent
        had to be liquidated or the other way round.
   Q.   But there is no reason to suppose that Hitler would
ever
        have seen this note of 22nd September 1942?
   A.   No, but unfortunately we are confronted with a
problem, we
        can only write history safely on the basis of the
paper
        before us. But it may well be that two or three pages
        later we come across a document which gives one more
clue
        in the direction that I am trying to lead the readers.
        I think it is dishonest just to pick on one fragment
and
        say, "Mr Irving has only mentioned this".  I have
found
        this document.  I have mentioned.  I have put it on
the
        slate for people to read it, and later on we will find
        another document and we will refer to it just the same
as
        your Lordship quite rightly pointed out that I had
        mentioned that 10th February 1942 document earlier on.
It
        is there somewhere buried in the book and anyone can
play

.          P-86



        this exercise of yanking one pebble out of the wall
and
        saying "Mr Irving has only painted this one pebble",
when
        the whole picture is there in the book at the end of
it.
   Q.   I am not being critical at the moment, I am simply
trying
        to understand your thought processes when you approach
        this document and as I understand it, correct me if I
am
        wrong, I am sorry, Mr Rampton, to go on, you accept
that
        Himmler had it mind that there was mass extermination
of
        Jews going on?
   A.   My Lord --
   Q.   And that that is what he was referring to when he
writes
        "ausvanderung" of the Jews?
   A.   -- I have to be careful, my Lord , because--
   Q.   In paragraph 1?
   A.   -- I am constantly aware that I am under oath here and
        I am also relating something that happened 35 years
ago
        when I wrote this manuscript for the first time. These
        particular words you are looking at were written by me
        probably at the end of the 1960s, so I have to be very
        careful when you ask me what my thought processes
were.
        I can reconstruct them, but that is probably not a
very
        useful exercise. I have to say that I would have been
        aware that later on we have what is called the Korheir
        Report, which is referred to earlier today, where
Himmler
        has said:  "Redraft this report in a form that we can
show
        it to the Fuhrer", which strongly suggests that there
is

.          P-87



        wool pulling going on.  That is why I feel safe in
        asserting a sentence like that here, because I regard
this
        document as being evidence that quite probably what
        happened on this occasion was a certain amount of wool
        pulling.  That somebody was being "horn swaggled", as
the
        Americans say.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Sorry, Mr Rampton, I interrupted.
   MR RAMPTON:  It is all right.  I do not think I have many
more
        to ask about that particular sentence.  I have made my
        suggestion.  I would like you to look, however, at
        something I said I would ask you some questions about,
the
        earlier part of this passage which begins on page
466,.
                  Himmler kept his own counsel.  From his
papers
        it emerges that on 9th July his SS Police Chief
        Kruger... already briefed him on the solution of the
        Jewish problem.  On the 16th he visited Hitler.
        Photographs in the modern Polish archives"; do you
        remember, this is not a memory test, I just wonder
whether
        you remember where you got the information, Mr Irving,
        that Himmler visited Hitler on the 16th?
   A.   I would have to go back to my card index to check.  It
        could have been from a number of sources.
   Q.   There is an entry in Witte which says that he had
lunch
        with Hitler on the 14th, but that is something you
could
        not have had, because that is one of the entries that
has
        only recently emerged from Moscow?

.          P-88



   A.   I would not have had that one.
   Q.   No.
   A.   Except, no, I had Himmler's -- I have Himmler's diary
        here.  I will just check it.
   Q.   You see if you can find anything for the 14th July.
What
        have you put, the 16th?
   A.   The 16th July we only have the telephone notes.
   Q.   What, you have put the 16th?
   A.   No, the 16th July we only have the telephone notes.
   Q.   Yes.  I think that is what I have here, yes.  Certain,
it
        is he saw Hitler either the day before, or a couple of
        days before he went to Auschwitz, is it not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   "Photographs in the modern Polish archives show him
        [indeed they do] visiting the immense synthetic rubber
        plant. They also show him at the camp itself, on the
17th
        and touring the concentration camp itself on the 18th
in
        the company of his Chief Engineer, SS General Hans
Cammler
        and Fritz Bracht, the gaulieter of Upper Silesia.
Whatever
        later historians would claim Hitler himself never
visited
        any concentration camp, let alone Auschwitz.
Historians
        would also claim that Himmler witnessed the
liquidation of
        a train load of Jews on this occasion.  This is
        apocryphal".  Blah-blah-blah I will not bother to read
        this.
                  Can I go down to the history again?
Starting it

.          P-89



        on July 19th 1942:  "On July 19th 1942, the day after
        Himmler's tour of Auschwitz, he issued a written order
to
        Kruger 'I decree that the transfer of the entire
Jewish
        population of the General Government is to be carried
out
        and completed by December 31st 1942'."  That is a
document
        we will have to look at a bit later, Mr Irving.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   "Hitler might still be dreaming of Madagascar, but the
        head office of the Eastern Railroad at Krakow reported
        since July 22nd one train load of 5,000 Jews --"
   A.   Can I just interrupt there and point to the word
"dreaming
        of Madagascar", I think that adequately sums up the
        earlier passage.
   Q.   You say "dreaming", I say talking in a camouflage way,
but
        perhaps it really does not matter.  It is not a
        reality.  "Since July 22nd one train load of 5,000
Jews
        has been running from Warsaw... to Treblinka every day
and
        in addition a train load of 5,000 Jews leaves Przemysl
        twice a week for Belsec".  Can I stop there.  Mr
Irving?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   We will look at some more documents in relation to
those
        transports this afternoon.  Why was it -- in fact, I
think
        the figures are not quite right, but suppose they are
for
        the minute, why was it that one train load a day of
5,000
        Jews was going from Warsaw to Treblinka and one twice
a
        week of 5,000 Jews to Belsec from the place which
begins

.          P-90



        with P?
   A.   The documents do not tell us, but perhaps it might be
        useful if we had a look at a map which will show us
        exactly.
   Q.   I am going to, with his Lordship's permission, I am
going
        to give you -- this is new to me, I got it last night,
so
        I have not been hiding it away, it is an original
German
        army I think military railway map?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is it one of the ones you --
   MR RAMPTON:  No, your Lordship, has not got it.  I had not
it
        until last night.
   THE WITNESS:   I certainly have not had it.
   MR RAMPTON:   Mr Irving has not had it and so everyone can
have
        it now, and there is one for the witness (same
handed).
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Rampton, we are moving on to another
issue
        really now.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, we are.  I was actually going to suggest
that
        I stopped there because I was going to ask just one
        question, and then I could give Mr Irving time to have
a
        bit of lunch and perhaps look forward at some of the
        documents which he has referred to here.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Only if he feels he has time to do it
over
        lunch.
   MR RAMPTON:  But I am now going to do what I said I would
do
        this morning, which is to look at the true scale and
        nature of what actually happened.  This is awkward, I
am

.          P-91



        sorry, I should have had sellotaped together, but I
did
        not have time.  If you just hold them roughly on top
of
        the other because that is how it works, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I follow.
   MR RAMPTON:  We see Warsaw at the top of the map, then you
if
        go out the key tells us that a double line is a two
track
        railway, and a single line is a single track railway,
        which is logical enough, is it not?  The key is in the
        bottom right hand corner.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Then there is that another marking, which we do not
have
        to bother about, which is the actual, I think, German
        railway as opposed to the Russian one or the Polish
one.
        A different gauge, I think.  The line runs north/east
or
        east/north/east out of Warsaw to a place called
Malkinia;
        do you see that?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Just on the border with White Russia?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   And there is a sharp right turn and the first dot down
        that single line is Treblinka.
   A.   Yes.

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.