The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit//transcripts/day008.14


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.14
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   The very next page it is wrong again?
   A.   Yes.

.          P-124



   Q.   That suggests, does it not, that these pages are for
the
        final version of the transcript, if that is what this
is,
        done, as it were, at different times, some have the
right
        date, some have the wrong date.  Is it not odd, Mr
Irving,
        if they are transcripts rather than drafts, that they
have
        different dates on them originally?
   A.   Well, I have employed secretaries and you have
probably
        too and dates are frequently things that are wrongly
        entered.
   Q.   So the fact that one page or another has a date
altered
        and another does not, the fact that some pages are in
        different typefaces, tells us nothing except that
        different people did different pages?
   A.   That is a possible interpretation, yes, but, of
course, it
        is precisely these pages that these phenomena occur.
   Q.   Yes.  Well, it goes on -- my copy does not,
unfortunately
         -- the key page in this document is 31, four pages
into
        the extract that we have got.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   And the passage in question is at the bottom of that
page,
        is it not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   I am going to read from Longerich's translation?
   A.   These are three pages where the pagination has been
        amended.
   Q.   No.  It is amended on this page, but not on the next

.          P-125



        succeeding page.  Do you see?  The pagination has but
not
        the date?
   A.   Yes, the pagination.
   Q.   Pagination has but not the date?
   A.   Well, it might be a clue as to when the retyping was
        done.  She may have been retyping it the next day for
some
        reason and the way you do when you are writing cheques
        out, you get the date wrong at the beginning of a
year.
   Q.   That is right.  The dating on this page that we are
        looking at has been altered in manuscript in exactly
the
        same way as the preceding three pages that we have,
have
        been and they are the first three pages of the speech,
are
        they not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   So that suggests, no more than suggests, in fact, ever
so
        faintly suggests, a chronological integrity?
   A.   It suggests to me that whoever has retyped these pages
did
        so on 25th and hen realized her error when she looked
at
        the dates and then changed 25th to 24th.
   Q.   Look at the last page.
   A.   I am not sure that it is important.
   Q.   Well, I think it is.  Look on to the last page we
have,
        page 33.  Both the date and the page have been
altered,
        have they not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Now look at the page in question, which is the fourth
page

.          P-126



        we have?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   The last paragraph, and I am going to read from
        Dr Longerich's translation?
   A.   Is this page 32 or 31?
   Q.   31, sorry.  "Another question which was decisive", I
am
        reading from the beginning of the last paragraph of
the
        German, "for the inner insecurity of the Reich in
Europe
        was the Jewish question.  It was uncompromisingly
solved
        after orders and rational recognition"?
   A.   "On orders", I would say.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It should be in the singular.
   A.   Well, "Rachsmehfahr" (?) would be "on orders", my
Lord.
   MR RAMPTON:  "On orders" or "in accordance with orders"?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Following in the sense of "in obedience to"?
   A.   "In accordance with".
   Q.   Yes.  Again, the same point, is it not, Himmler does
not
        take orders from anybody but Hitler, does he?
   A.   His men do.  The men who carried out the orders were
        taking orders from somebody, namely from him.
   Q.   I see.  You are suggesting that this is a reference by
        Himmler ----
   A.   It is.
   Q.   --- to the orders which he gave to his subordinates?
   A.   It is ambiguous.  It is totally ambiguous, Mr Rampton,

.          P-127



        this particular passage.  It could be him referring to
        orders he had received or orders that his men had
        received.
   Q.   In that case, there would be no reason, would there,
for
        this page to be altered in case Hitler should see it
and
        blow up?
   A.   Yes, we are in no man's land here.
   Q.   I will read on because it is, perhaps you may agree, a
        rather significant document:  "I believe, gentlemen,
that
        you know me well know enough to know that I am not a
        bloodthirsty person I am not a man who takes pleasure
or
        joy when something rough must be done.  However, on
the
        other hand, I have such good nerves and such a
developed
        sense of duty I could say that much for myself."
         "Developed sense of duty" is the words Grosses flicht
        flift berwusstein".
   A.   Yes, conscious of his duty.  "Berwusstein" is
        consciousness.
   Q.   "When I recognize something as necessary, I can
implement
        it without compromise.  I have not considered myself
        entitled, this concerns especially the Jewish women
and
        children, to allow the children to grow into the
avengers
        who will then murder our fathers and our
grandchildren.
        That would have been cowardly.  Consequently, the
question
        was uncompromisingly resolved".
   A.   This is the Himmler gramophone record.  He keeps on
saying

.          P-128



        it in speeches at this time.  This is the only
occasion
        and the one previously where he hints at an order.
        Normally, he swallows it, so to speak, he bites his
        tongue.
   Q.   There we have two speeches, subject to your point
about
        what I call your speculation about the reason why the
        pages change or the typeface changes.  Then we have
two
        speeches which say unequivocally really, especially if
you
        put them together, that the mass murder of the Jews,
the
        women and the children, was done by Himmler on
Hitler's
        orders, do you not?  That is what they say on their
face?
   A.   No.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  When you say two orders you mean the 4th
May
        or whenever it was?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, 5th May.  If you put them together ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  And 24th May?
   A.   24th May.
   MR RAMPTON:  --- what he is clearly saying, and I am
        paraphrasing, but this is the interpretation which any
        right minded person would give to these documents on
their
        face, Himmler is telling the Generals, as if they did
not
        already know, "We have murdered all these people.  It
was
        a hard task, but we have done it.  We have been
successful
        and we did it on the orders of the Fuhrer"?
   A.   We have to look at the entire body of these speeches,
        Mr Rampton, and say why is it that he hints at on
order in

.          P-129



        these two speeches, if we ignore the discrepancy in
the
        pagination and so on at moment, but in none of the
other
        speeches?  It is almost as though he had run his mouth
off
        here.  He is not speaking from a prepared script.
                  It was a very common trick in Nazi Germany,
as
        in all dictatorships, to imply that you are doing
        something on the highest orders, "So you had better
not
        question what I am up to, fellows", and I think it was
        entirely proper, the use that I made of this in my
book on
        pages 630 and 631, looking at the original edition,
and
        I felt it entirely proper to refer in a two-and-a-half
        line footnote to the fact that there is some reason to
        note that the two pages concerned in both speeches,
both
        appear to have been retyped on a different occasion,
shall
        we say.
   Q.   Well, that is can be said of a whole lot of pages in
that
        set which I have only got them all there, I have only
        about six pages?
   A.   Mr Rampton, not in any of the other speeches, only in
        these speeches and these sections.
   Q.   Maybe they were important speeches, I do not know.
   A.   The difference between me and Mr Browning and the
other
        experts is that I sat with the original papers in my
hand,
        looking at the quality, the texture of the paper,
whether
        it was a carbon copy or a ribbon copy, and so on.
   Q.   We explored that.  I did say on their face they appear
to

.          P-130



        be a reference to orders from Hitler to do that which
had
        been done by the time these speeches were made, do
they
        not?
   A.   This is precisely why I quoted both speeches in full,
        those passages on pages 630 and 631 of my biography,
so
        readers could draw their own conclusions.
   Q.   That impression which one might take away from reading
        those two speeches is unsurprising, is it not, if one
        looks at what Himmler wrote to Berger on 28th July
1942.
        My Lord, we have looked at this document before.
   A.   "This is a task which the Fuhrer has given us and
which no
        one can take off my shoulders", is it not?
   Q.  "Die besezten auf gebeten Judenfrage" -- "The occupied
        Eastern territories must be Jew-free"?
   A.   "Will become free of Jews".
   Q.   "Will become Jew-free", "free of Jews".  "The carrying
out
        of this very hard order has been placed on my
shoulders by
        the Fuhrer".  That is right?  That is what the German
        says?
   A.   Absolutely right.
   Q.   You know it off by heart.  Yes?  If that is the truth
--
        I do not know who Gottlog Berger was, he is said to be
a
        senior SS person -- in 1942, two things follow.  It is
not
        the very least bit surprising to find a reference back
to
        that in the speeches in May 1944; second, if it is
true,
        Hitler would not be the least bit surprised to find
those

.          P-131



        references in the transcripts of those speeches, would
he?
   A.   I think the July 28th 1942 letter which we have looked
at
        in some detail is quite clearly proof that Adolf
Hitler
        ordered the physical, geographical eviction of the
Jews
        from those territories.  I think this is the one way
where
        they are talking about "Etappenweise von westen nach
        osten".  "Stage by stage from West to East".
   Q.   I cannot remember and I have not got it open, but if
you
        want me to look at it, I certainly will do.
   A.   It would be perverse to go two years forward in time
and
        say when Himmler is talking about the order which has
been
        carried out to say this is clearly a reference to what
        happened in July 1942.  It may be, it may not.
   Q.   I do not want to go over old ground, Mr Irving, but I
do
        not believe that to be right, with respect.  If you
tell
        us as you have done recently -- I cannot remember
whether
        it was yesterday or the day before -- that Hitler
probably
        knew about the mass shootings in the East, if it be
right,
        as it seems to be, that mass killings in the General
        Government took place by gas trucks, at any rate to
some
        extent, and then by some, I think your words are, more
        efficient means thereafter, then all those people that
        went from Polish towns to these little villages were
        killed?
   A.   Clearly, they were not all killed because those that
went
        to Treblinka subsequently surfaced again in Mydonek
and

.          P-132



        the Russians found ----
   Q.   We will chase that up.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Leave that on one side.
   MR RAMPTON:  Leave that on one side but, broadly speaking,
that
        is the picture, is it not?  Why on earth should we
        interpret this Berger letter from Himmler as being a
        reference to merely, sort of, vanishing them?  It is
quite
        obviously a reference to what has been going on, the
        process that had started in 1941 and is in full swing
at
        these Reinhard camps in July 1942.
   A.   Well, if that is the weight of your evidence, I do not
        think you have very much, Mr Rampton.  If you are trying
        to read between the lines the whole time instead of
        looking -- we have a huge volume of documentation.  We
        have had 55 years to find something more specific than
        that.  It has not been found, but what we do find is even
        after these two speeches, any number of references to
        Adolf Hitler meting Himmler where Himmler is still talking
        in euphemisms, talking about "aus siedlung" of the Jews,
        for example, in the summer of 1944; and how do we explain
        that Himmler is still having to use euphemisms when he is
        talking to Hitler, writing his own agenda about it, his
        own notes about it as late as the summer of 1944?

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