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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit//transcripts/day006.11


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day006.11
Last-Modified: 2000/08/02

   Q.   I appreciate that, but what do you assess him as having
        had in mind?
   A.   But whatever means to convey them from life to death.  He
        is certainly not being explicit here, but of course, my
        Lord, it will not surprise you that I rely on the earlier
        part of that paragraph where he says, "I had to take the
        serious decision."  I think this is a very powerful point
        in my favour.  He does not say:  "The Fuhrer took the
        decision", where he very easily could have in these
        circles.  He is speaking, after all, to the top Nazi
        leaders.
   MR RAMPTON:  Not on this occasion explicitly.
   A.   He is being very explicit indeed.  "I had to take this
        decision".
   Q.   If Hitler or -- no, it does not say that.
   A.   "I decided".
   Q.   "I decided to find a very clear solution to this
        problem".
   A.   "I have taken the decision to find a clear solution".
   Q.   If Hitler already knew about it ----
   A.   You cannot climb out of that one, Mr Rampton.
   Q.   I can, I am just about to.  Do not worry, I am going
to

.          P-94



        show you another document which I know you are
familiar
        with, so I do not know why you say what you say.  I
will
        find out later perhaps.
   A.   There is no need to get rattled about it, but this is
a
        cardinal document, Mr Rampton.  Here is Himmler
saying,
        "I took the decision".
   Q.   Mr Irving, can I ask you to calm down a little and
answer
        this question.  If Hitler already knew about it, the
        injunction to the Gau and Reichs leaders to not speak
        about it would not matter, would it, I mean so far as
its
        going upwards is concerned?  What they are not
supposed to
        do is to talk about it lower down.
   A.   He does not actually say that.  He just says "keep
mum".
   Q.   I know, but if Hitler already knew about it and had
        actually given Himmler the order to do it, in general
        terms, the authority to do it, then he is not talking
        about not telling Hitler, is he?
   A.   I am not prepared to extrapolate from what it is in
that
        document.  I am just saying what the document tells
us,
        since he says:  "We are doing this but keep quiet
about
        it."
   Q.   Let us look at something a little bit more explicit,
shall
        we?
   A.   But if you remember what I clearly allow is that from
this
        point on Adolf Hitler no excuse not to know because
the
        very next day these same gentlemen went to him and he

.          P-95



        spoke to them.
   Q.   My googolies are I think a little bit more subtle than
you
        sometimes think, Mr Irving.  Can you turn on just for
        reference in this bundle to the next document which is
        after page 49 of Himmler's Posen speech.  My Lord, it
is
        footnote 187.
   A.   My Lord, would be it be helpful if I pointed out that
        after making this speech Himmler had everybody who was
        present sign a list to agree that they had hear the
        speech, or if they had not heard it to agree that they
had
        read it subsequently.  All the SS Generals who were
        present were required -- I have never seen that on any
of
        Himmler's other speeches.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  What do you say is the significance of
that?
   A.   It is very interesting to speculate, my Lord.  I think
he
        was making them into accomplices in his own mind.  He
was
        saying: "There you are, now I have told you.  Now we
are
        all in it together."  It is a very interesting
historical
        document.  I have never seen that on any of Himmler's
        other speeches, that he listed all SS Generals present
and
        made them sign that they had been present and heard
the
        speech or if they not been present that they had read
it
        subsequently.
   MR RAMPTON:  Mr Irving, Heinrich Himmler kept copies of
these
        speeches, did he not?
   A.   In various versions.  There was the original raw

.          P-96



        transcript and then a corrected transcript.
   Q.   I know, I happen to have for the 5th May which we are
        coming to in a minute, I happen to have both versions.
   A.   Yes.  There are also his handwritten notes on the
basis of
        which he spoke.
   Q.   Yes, Mr Irving, your knowledge is extensive.  I want
to
        know why you think it is that Himmler kept copies of
his
        speeches?
   A.   I keep copies of me speeches.
   Q.   But you do not talk about having given the order for
the
        extermination of millions of Jews, do you, in your
        speeches?
   A.   I have not exterminated millions of Jews, Mr Rampton.
   Q.   Mr Irving, maybe it is late in the morning or
something.
        Heinrich Himmler's speech is not just this one.  We
had
        the one earlier, the 4th October at Posen.  We have
this
        one here.  We have two more in May 1944, which are
quite
        explicit, at any rate about his role in the
extermination
        of the whole Jewish race?
   A.   Letting them vanish from the face of the earth,
brutally
        explicit.
   Q.   Yes, by killing them?
   A.   Brutally explicit, yes.  As he says, by murdering, and
not
        just the men but the women and children too.
   Q.   Yes, I know that.  Why would he keep those admissions
of
        guilt, particularly in 1943 and 1944 by which time he
must

.          P-97



        have known that the German world was probably going to
        come to an end?
   A.   Why would he have kept it to himself?
   Q.   Yes.  Why did he commit these things to writing and
then
        keep them after he had uttered them to his Generals or
his
        Reichsleiters or whatever they are?
   A.   I think the problem is we are so often on exactly the
same
        side, Mr Rampton.  Have I not frequently allowed in
all my
        books that from this point on Hitler had no reason not
to
        know?
   Q.   Hitler did know, come on.
   A.   On precisely this point I have said Hitler had no
        justification for pleading ignorance, because
everybody
        else immediately around him had been informed, but
also
        you have to set this kind of speech in the context.
This
        is 5th October, 4th and 6th October 1943 rather, at
the
        height of the bombing campaign.  There is a reason why
        Himmler is making a speech like this to the
disgruntled SS
        Generals.  Morale is at a low ebb and he is saying,
"Hey,
        we are hitting back, we're doing this to them".
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am really puzzled.  Can I explain why,
        Mr Irving.  When Mr Rampton was putting that passage
from
        the October 1943 speech, 4th October 1943 speech, you
were
        at pains to point out that Himmler was saying that it
was
        he who would have taken the decision, but if you are
        accepting, as you have throughout, that by October
1943

.          P-98



        Hitler knew about the extermination policy ----
   A.   I say "from this point on", my Lord, because on the
        following day ----
   Q.   But what is the significance of emphasising that it
was
        Himmler's decision if you accept Hitler was in on it?
   A.   Because Himmler is accepting the responsibility for
the
        job which has now been completed.  Himmler is kind of
        reporting ----
   Q.   I see, ex post facto.
   A.   Yes, saying, "We've done it all, the job has been
done,
        I had to take the decision, it was a difficult job for
us,
        but we done it, and I am proud of you, my SS men, for
        having carried out such a difficult task."
   Q.   So the knowledge you say Hitler had from October 1943
did
        not include knowledge of what had been going on in
1942,
        is that what you are saying?
   A.   I am saying it is quite likely that he will have
        ex post facto have learned about all these things,
        particularly the Gauleiters who went to see him the
next
        day and the SS Generals who went to see him.  The same
        audience went effectively to see Hitler where he
lectured
        them, and it would be stretching the bounds of
probability
        too far to say that not one of them went up to Hitler,
one
        of the old veterans, and said, "Mein Fuhrer, we heard
        something yesterday which rather disturbed me", but I
do
        not think it did disturb them.  I think they rather
liked

.          P-99



        it.  The eyewitness accounts we have of one of these
        speeches says that there were roars of applause.
   MR RAMPTON:  It was ----
   A.   The Germans were like that.
   Q.   If you are right, it is something of which Himmler was
        very proud, is it not?
   A.   He was proud of his men for having carried out those
        extremely distasteful tasks.
   Q.   But he was pleased, if your interpretation is right,
and
        I am going to suggest it is not, but he was pleased to
        announce to this august gathering that he personally
had
        made the decision to carry out this difficult task?
   A.   Would it not have been wonderful for him if he had
said:
        "The Fuhrer gave us this task and look how well we
have
        performed his duties for him.
   Q.   Of course he did.
   A.   The great temptation would have been there, but he
does
        not say this.
   Q.   He does not?
   A.   He says specifically:  "I was the one who took the
        decision".
   Q.   So that being so you would not expect that in May 1944
he
        would reveal that he done what he did in consequence
of an
        order, and the only person of course who could have
given
        an order is Hitler?
   A.   Mr Rampton, shall we get to that document when we get
to

.          P-100



        it and look at the precise wording?
   Q.   Very well.  Let us doing that now.  I have it open.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is page 187.
   MR RAMPTON:  Page 187.
   A.   There are of course about ten such speeches and you
have
        just picked out two of them.  In none of the others
does
        he make any suggestion that there is a Fuhrer order.
So
        it is not just one speech where there is no reference.
It
        is many speeches.
   Q.   He makes another such reference later the same month,
        about three weeks later.  We will come to that
probably
        after the adjournment.
   A.   Are we also going to look at Adolf Hitler's speech of
I
        think it was June 26th 1944?
   Q.   Yes, indeed I certainly am.  Let us start with 5th May
        1944.  On page 18, tell me who this speech is made to,
if
        you will?
   A.   I think it is the military leader, the leadership, the
top
        brass, shall we say.
   Q.   The top brass.
   A.   I know the names of a number of people who were
present.
        General Stumpf was Air Force; General Reinicke was
Germany
        Army.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Generals of the Wehrmacht.
   MR RAMPTON:  These are not SS creatures.  These are proper
        soldiers; these are Generals of the Wehrmacht, are
they

.          P-101



        not?
   A.   Yes, the top brass of the German armed forces.
   Q.   On page 28 it has been altered.  One can see how these
        pages evolve sometimes.  Page 28.  My Lord, it looks
like
        an 18, so one has to look at page 27 at the top, page
5 of
        the file.
   A.   This is one of the most interesting pages I have ever
        looked at.
   Q.   You can tell us everything you know about this page in
        just a moment when I have referred you to the relevant
        passage, which I think begins in the middle of the
page:
        The Jewish question has been solved within Germany
itself
        and in general within the countries occupied by
Germany".
        Is that roughly right?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   I am going to read on in the English from Dr
Longerich's
        version.
                  "It was solved in an uncompromising fashion
in
        accordance with the life and death struggle of our
nation
        in which the existence of our blood is at stake." Yes?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Then elipse, if you do not mind.  Have you got that?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   "You can understand how difficult it was for me"?
   A.   "You can feel with me how difficult it was" yes.
   Q.   "To carry out this soldatischen befehl".  What is
that?

.          P-102



   A.   Soldierly order or military order.
   Q.   "And which I carried out and went through with a sense
of
        obedience", which word is that?  Translate the last
part
        of the sentence for me?
   A.   "Which I obeyed and carried out from obedience and
from a
        sense of complete conviction".
   Q.   Obedience to whom, Mr Irving, Hitler or his own sense
of
        what was necessary for the sake of the thousand year
        Reich?
   A.   I think the sense of what is coming out of that
paragraph
        is a sense of duty.
   Q.   So it is the sense of duty, is it, that gives him the
        soldatischen befehl?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   A very odd choice of words, is it not, this soldierly
        order?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   The only person who can give Mr Himmler a soldierly
order
        is Mr Hitler?
   A.   Absolutely right.


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