Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day006.10 Last-Modified: 2000/08/02 Q. Mr Irving, let me give you advance notice -- if you have not Van Pelt's report two or three times, I quite understand you may not have picked it -- of what the best view of the history of Auschwitz, so far as gassing is concerned, and it is our case, if we had to prove it, which we do not; but what that report tells us is this, that there were some early gassings, first of all, of Soviet prisoners in the autumn of 1941 in the basement of block 11 at Auschwitz 1. They then started using, I think later that same year, the crematorium, the morgue in the crematorium at Auschwitz 1, for the gassing of Jews again to some extent on an experimental scale. In 1942 they developed two gassing facilities. A. What do you mean by "the experimental scale" -- a few . P-84 thousand or? Q. Only a few hundred people at a time, that kind of thing. A. I am just interested in your use of the word "experimental scale". Q. "Experimental", Mr Irving, because they were experimenting with the efficacy of Zyklon B? A. Very interesting. Exactly the same as I said about the gas trucks. Q. Yes, but in 1942 (and I cannot give you the exact month) they developed two local farmhouses into much more effective gas chambers. They tipped the Zyklon B through the windows which they then closed with gas type shutters. That went on for some considerable time. As you know, in July 1942, Himmler visited Auschwitz and following that, and I say as a matter of cause and effect so I shall not be accused of post hoc propter hoc, following that the existing plans for the two new big crematoria at Birkenhau are altered, so as to convert them into gas chambers with crematoria, and at the same time crematoria 4 and 5 are designed and built in the early part of 1943 up to about June. Then they start in full operation from then until the autumn of 1944. That is the Auschwitz story. A. Only yesterday you said that there no mass killings by gas in Auschwitz until the end of 1942. Q. I did not say that, I think, if you look at the . P-85 transcript. Do not let us argue about what I said. You can verify it on the transcript. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Shall we go back it Hitler and Himmler because we are going to have to go through Auschwitz in detail later? MR RAMPTON: I agree. A. It is just that paragraph 2 rather challenged that. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I know. You made that observation and we have dealt with it. Let us get on. MR RAMPTON: I am going to deal first, since I have now got it -- my Lord, the file in question is H1(ix) at page 260. A. Page 260. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think we have had H1 (ix), have we? A. Page 260? MR RAMPTON: Yes, page 260. A. It appears to be an orphan. It has no title. Q. I am sure you have not read it, but you will have heard of Noakes' and Pridom's great work on the history of Nazi Germany? A. Whose book is this? Q. You are not going to read it, so I do not really see why I need to, but, anyhow, it is called J. Noakes, G. Pridom, "Nazis 1919 to 1945" in three volumes, published by I think the Exeter University Press in 1988. This page, 260 in our file, is page 1199 of that massive work. It is a translation, presumably by Mr Noakes or Mr Pridom, or . P-86 both of them, I know not, of a speech which Himmler is supposed to have made at Posen to, I think, German Generals? Were they German Generals? A. It was the SS Gruppenfuhrer. Q. SS chiefs in Posen, nowadays called Posner, on 4th October 1943. Unfortunately, once again I do not have the German. I would like to have it and I am hoping to get it. A. It will not be contentious, Mr Rampton. I will not dispute this translation. Q. Have you glanced at it? A. Yes. It is a very famous speech. It is referred to on page 575 of my Hitler's War. I quote it in full. Q. He says: "I also want to talk to you quite frankly about a very grave matter", etc, etc. "We can talk about it quite frankly amongst ourselves and yet we will never speak of it publicly". Then he goes on a bit talking about an analogous event in the past which is the Night of the Long Knives, it is the SA obliteration, is it not? A. Yes. Q. Then this is the sentence to which I would like to draw your attention: "I am referring to the Jewish evacuation programme, the extermination of the Jewish people". That is, you say, a very famous speech. What words can you remember -- I am sorry I have not got the German -- what words can you remember Himmler used when he said what we . P-87 see here, "I am referring to the Jewish evacuation programme, the extermination of the Jewish people"? A. I shall have to look at the original text, it is either Auswotung or Vernichtung -- but it is not a material point, because he immediately explains he means killing. Q. The point I wish to draw your attention to is this, that there, Himmler, speaking to SS chiefs, or whatever it was, uses evacuation and extermination synonymously, does he not? A. In that case, yes. Q. It is a jolly good pointer, is it not, Mr Irving, to the use of such camouflage language habitually within the SS at the very least? A. Yes, it is rather like the Americans talking about terminating with extreme prejudice. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think you did agree that "Evakuierung" can be used and is sometimes used as synonymous with extermination? A. It is not always used, but in this case it clearly is. MR RAMPTON: Here is an example one cannot argue with. A. But it would be false to argue automatically the other way. Q. That as a matter of logic is necessarily right; as a matter of history it may not be. Can we then turn to page 73 of Longerich, please? . P-88 A. Yes. Q. At the top of the page, now here I have got the texts. "On 6th October 1943 Himmler explained to Gau and Reichs chiefs in Posen: I ask you that that which I say to you in this circle be really only heard ..." A. Which page are we on now? Q. 73 of Longerich one. A. I do not think it can be 73. Q. You must have the wrong part of Longerich. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Are you sure it is Longerich one? MR RAMPTON: Longerich is divided into two parts. Yes, you have the wrong bit; you are looking at the second bit. A. All Longerich is divided into two parts. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Why he divided it into two, I do not know. MR RAMPTON: Generalities and then particulars, rather like a lawyer. A. OK, yes, it is a totally different volume. This is, of course, a different speech now, isn't it? Q. It is two days later. A. That is right, yes. Q. The audience is different as well. A. The Gau- and Reichsleiter. Q. You will find that and I think we should look at it -- it is going to be particularly important when we come to Sonthofen in May 1944 -- in bundle H4 (ii). MR JUSTICE GRAY: We are darting about a bit. Are we leaving . P-89 73 of Longerich? MR RAMPTON: No, I am just starting 73 of Longerich; I am actually getting the document. A. I am not sure you want to read this out, because this supports entirely what I have always said, but carry on. Q. That is very good of you, Mr Irving; I think we probably will. The document begins -- have you got the document there? A. Yes. Q. It is quite a long speech, something like 49 pages. A. Yes. Q. The first page is marked, my Lord, at the bottom right-hand corner, FNA (86). MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I have got it. MR RAMPTON: It says: "Rede des Reichsfuhrer SS". Does that mean speeches? A. Speeches of the Reichsfuhrer SS to the Reichs- and Gauleiters in Posen on 6th October 1943, and speaking as always as the Reichsfuhrer SS and as a Party comrade to you. Q. The Reichsleiters and Gauleiters -- how senior are they? A. The Reichsleiters come directly beneath Hitler and they have the rank of minister. Q. And they have automatic access to Hitler, do they not? A. Subject to what I said a few days ago, that they would have to get an invitation before they could go to see . P-90 Hitler. They could not just knock on the door or ring the bell. Q. If you just turn the page, I am sure you are very familiar with this. A. If I may just carry on there, Krista Schroeder, Hitler's private secretary, was a witness of the conversation between Hitler and Martin Bormann after the flight of Rudolf Hess when Martin Bormann took over as chief of the Party Chancellory, and Bormann said to Hitler, "Mein Fuhrer, what instructions do you have", and Hitler's response was: "Only one. Keep the Gauleiters off my back". In other words, he did not need them any more. I think it is a material point of view of the fact that you are trying to draw attention to the closeness between Hitler and the Gauleiters. Q. I think you have accepted a closeness between Himmler and Hitler. A. Yes, they visited two or three times a week. Q. Yes, and here is Himmler talking to high-ranking people in the Nazi machine. A. Yes. Q. And the Gauleiters are perhaps subordinate or they are less high ranking than ---- A. Than the party machinery, yes. Q. --- than the Reichsleiters? A. Yes, a bit like the constituency chairman. . P-91 Q. This is a gathering of high-ranking people? A. Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Gau is a region or an area, is it? A. It is, yes, like a constituency in the Conservative Party; these being the chairmen of the local region. They wore Jackboots and carried guns. MR RAMPTON: If you turn to page 17 -- this is taken from a microfilm -- I think I am right that the relevant passage or the passage which is translated in Longerich begins just in about the middle page opposite the punch hole, "ich bitte Sie"? A. "I do ask you to keep secret, to listen to what I am saying, just listen and never to speak about it, what I am saying in these circles. We came up against the question, what about the women and children, and I took the decision here too for a clear solution". Q. Carry on. A. "I did not consider myself justified in liquidating just the men", in other words he says "auszurotten", which is the word there he uses and then he expands. He explains because he feels he has to explain what he means by "auszurotten". In other words, "to kill them" or "to have them killed". He himself is pointing out the word "auszurotten" is not sufficiently clear even in these circles; he has to emphasise what he means by it, and to leave ---- . P-92 Q. Can you carry on just a bit further, please? A. Yes. It is very complicated German. Q. I know, something about letting the avengers ---- A. Exactly, and "to leave alive the children to act as the avengers against our sons and grandchildren". In other words, the idea is that if you leave the next generation, the younger generation alive, then they will come back to haunt you. Q. You have got to exterminate the whole brood. A. Absolutely what he says that. Q. If you leave one mouse then it may have children? A. That is right. A highly significant speech in many respects. Q. Carry on reading, please, just two more sentences, "es musste der schwer Entschluss". A. "There had to be taken", I am putting it like that, "there had to be taken the grave decision to have this people disappear from the face of the earth. For the organization which had to carry out this job, it was the most difficult that we had so far." Q. Yes. The method of disappearance about which Heinrich Himmler, the Reichsfuhrer SS, is speaking in early October 1943 is murder? A. Quite clearly. Q. Quite clearly. MR JUSTICE GRAY: By what means? . P-93 A. I am not sure if it is really relevant here, my Lord. Q. Well, answer would you even so? A. I do not think he is talking about means there, but obviously by murder.
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