Archiv /File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day012.15 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. They do not mention houses. They do not mention apartments? A. That is correct, yes, they do not. Q. Do you remember Heydrich's telex which talked about being . P-128 careful that arson to Jewish shops did not, as it were, affect German property? A. Yes. Q. That is what this reflects, is it not? A. No. I think they realized now that the big boss is not very pleased about the way that things are spreading, and they are sending out the most briefest possible message they can. Instead of sitting down dictating a 15-paragraph message which is going to take ages to telex out and to be printed out at the other end, they are sending out a very brief message to saying, "This has got to stop". Q. They are not. They are saying: "Jewish shops are not to be burned", are they not? A. "And the like". Q. Whether Jewish shops, Jewish workshops, Jewish garages, or burned or whatever the like to burning is I do not know. A. We do not know, as I say, whether "the like" refers to acts of arson or stores. Q. But, Mr Irving, this is not a general order to stop damaging Jewish property, is it? A. It is not a general order. He does not mention synagogues. He does not mention other property. Q. What buildings were the principal victims of this appalling two nights or night and a half? A. Subsequently of course the Germans realized they had . P-129 inflicted a colossal injury on themselves, because the actual properties were owned by non-Jews and just rented by Jews. Q. How many synagogues were destroyed during the course of this 24 hours? A. Of the order of 100 or so I believe, several hundred. Q. All over Germany? A. Yes. Q. How would you put it in German if you were Opdemhoff writing on Hess's explicit orders derived from Hitler: "This madness has got to stop. All Jewish property must be left alone from this moment"? A. Not very differently from that, but I agree he could have added in things like synagogues and things like that. Q. What do you mean "things like synagogues"? Hundreds of synagogues or 100 synagogues were destroyed. A. Yes, but this is an order coming from Hitler to order an end to the damage. Even in the most narrowest, even in the narrowest interpretation this is an order coming clearly from Hitler to limit the damage. Q. Mr Irving, when I asked to you to translate it, and I did it deliberately, you are a good German speaker, you translated it as "shops or the like", did you not? A. "Geschafte" is also businesses. Q. Businesses, OK. What about houses and synagogues? A. Well, we do not know what "the like" is referring to. It . P-130 is ambiguous German. It is a poorly phrased telegram. Q. What is the German word for "property"? A. Well, "eigentum" would be. Q. "Hess's staff began cabling, telephoning and radioing instructions to Gauleiters and police authorities around the nation to halt the madness." A. If you read on you will see that at the end of that paragraph I said: "20,000 Jews were already being loaded on to trucks. Hitler made no attempt to halt this inhumanity. He stood by and thus deserved the odium that now fell on all Germany." Q. He had ordered it. A. Yes. Q. He had ordered the arrest of 20,000 to 300,000 preferably prosperous Jews, had he not? A. Yes. Q. This little sentence in your book at 256 down to "halt the madness" is just another piece of invention, is it not, Mr Irving? No such thing that cable from Hess? A. Well, the burning of all these Jewish businesses and the like was total madness. Q. They are now businesses, are they? I see. A. Total madness. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is there any evidence of what actually happened as a result of that message going out 2.56? A. You find it trickling down through the system and then . P-131 people frantically back peddling, inasmuch as you can try to halt a forest fire by sending out a telegram in the middle of the night. This confirms precisely what Hitler's adjutants told me, both from the content and from the timing. MR RAMPTON: Only one last little thing on this interesting tale, Mr Irving. On the same page in the preceding sentence, you say: "Fritz Wiedemann another of Hitler's adjutants, saw Goebbels spending much of that night of 9th/10th 'telephoning ... to halt the most violent excesses'"? A. Yes. Q. The reference is to ---- A. A handwritten manuscript by Wiedemann which he wrote in February 1939. Q. Am I right that the handwritten manuscript of Wiedemann says: "There is absolutely no doubt that this action slipped out of the hands of those who instigated it"? A. What are you reading from now? MR IRVING: Page 278 of Evans. "'It is reliably reported that Goebbels as well repeatedly telephoned from Munich during the night to stop the worst outrages"? A. If that is a quotation from the Wiedemann manuscript that I used, then that is probably an accurate translation, yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I have not got the point, Mr Rampton. . P-132 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, I am sorry. Fritz Wiedemann, another of Hitler's adjutants, saw Goebbels spending much of that night. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I see that. What do you get from 278 of Evans? MR RAMPTON: What Wiedemann actually said was: "It is reliably reported that Goebbels repeatedly" -- Wiedemann never saw him at all, did he? Did he, Mr Irving? A. Not on the basis of this particular source, no. Q. Well, why did you write that he did? A. Well, now I do not know whether you have got the same source that I have or not. Wiedemann, he handwrote his notes in a very illegible handwriting and I used the original handwritten text. He also over subsequent years typed up notes, which may or may not have differed from the original handwritten version. I would have to go back and have a look at my Wiedemann file before I gave you a definitive answer on that. It may well be you are right, Mr Rampton. I am not going to argue with you on that, but it is 14 years or so since I actually wrote that passage and I do not know what the actual handwritten text said. Q. This is the problem, is it not, Mr Irving? (A) you are dealing with post events eyewitness testimony? A. Yes. Q. (B), if I am right, if this is right, you are dealing with hearsay. You cannot convert that into a categorical . P-133 statement of historical fact that Wiedemann saw Goebbels telephoning round trying to put a stop to it? A. I do not mind conceding that I may have made a mistake on that. I may have read his text and taken it as being that he was an eyewitness of this when, in fact, it was just reliably reported to him by those who had seen it. Wiedemann, of course, was on very good terms with all the rest of Hitler's adjutants, but at this time, February 1939, he had been posted to San Francisco as Consul General and it was on the boat that he wrote this passage up. Q. Can I finally ask you to look at page 280 of Evans' report? Now at page 281 -- I am sorry, the page numbering is confusing because we are about the same place in Goebbels -- you quote somebody called Ulrich von Hassell? A. Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Sorry, are we on Evans or Irving's book? MR RAMPTON: I am on both. It is 281 of Irving's book and page 280 of Evans. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Right. MR RAMPTON: You have quoted, I think, Ulrich von Hassell, have you not? A. Yes. Q. What Professor Evans writes is this: "What Irving does not do, however, is to quote the following passage in von Hassell's diary, relating to a conversation he had on 17th . P-134 December 1938 with the Prussian Finance Minister, Johannes Popitz, about the destruction and violence of 9-10 November". Quote from von Hassell's diary: "'Popitz said to Goring, those responsible must be punished. Answer'", quote from Goring, "'My dear Popitz, do you want to punish the Fuhrer?'" Now, were you aware of that entry when you wrote this book? A. I probably did, yes. I probably was aware of it. Q. Did you not think it right to draw to your readers' attention, at the very least, some evidence at the least that in Goring's mind the person responsible for what had happened was Hitler? A. Yes, it would be marginal to put it in or leave it out. It does not add very much to our knowledge and I would certainly consider that covered by that sentence that I read out to you, "Hitler made no attempt to halt this inhumanity. He stood by and thus deserved the odium that now fell on all Germany". Q. That was the arrests. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Where was Goring? Was he in Munich or Berlin? A. Goring was in Munich and he travelled back to Berlin that night by train because as he arrived, as the train went past Haller he saw the planes in the sky and he said, "What is going on?" Q. So he would not have been around at what you might call . P-135 the material time that night? A. Well, that is precisely how I would regard that kind of evidence, as iffy. But an interesting and a quotable quote, and there is a great temptation with the diary of Hassell to use the material because it is very quotable, it is usually in quotation marks and very apposite, but sometimes you have to resist the temptation. MR RAMPTON: I am sorry. There is one thing about Wiedemann that I got stuck on the first part of 278. I meant to go on to the second part, starting at paragraph 9 on 278 of Evans: Wiedemann claiming, in fact, by reference to some hearsay report that Goebbels had spent the night on the phone trying to stop the outrages which you represent as his having seen Goebbels do it. Paragraph 9: "In any case, Wiedemann's suggestions are incorrect. Goebbels was certainly not engaged in stopping excessive violence against Jews, as Irving well knows. What Goebbels was actually saying on the phone on the night in question is amply documented by other reliable historical sources. The Supreme Party Tribunal report of 13th February 1939" -- my Lord, that is pages 9 and 10 of tab 2 of the new bundle -- "states that when Goebbels was phoned at around 2.00 in the morning on 10th November 1938 with the news of the first death of a Jew in the pogrom: 'According to the statement of the deputy Gauleiter of Munich-Upper Bavaria, Party Comrade Dr Goebbels answered to the effect that the . P-136 man reporting it should not get upset because of one dead Jew; thousands of Jews would have to believe in it in the coming days". A. That is a very poor translation, "they would have to believe in it" is the German expression for "going for a burton". So it actually means "would have to die over the next few days". Q. This is the trouble, my Lord, when one tries to use Evans. I am going to go directly then, if I may ---- A. "Daranglauben" is a German ---- Q. Go, please ---- A. --- vernacular. Q. Please, Mr Irving, can you turn to tab 2 in the new bundle? Turn to page 9 which is a red number in a red circle on the bottom right-hand side of the page, bottom right-hand corner of the page. You can probably start with the sentence which begins "Der Inhalt dieses Berichts..." at the bottom of page. Do you see that? A. What page are we on? Q. Page 9 in a red circle, 187 with a stamp, 28 in print. A. The content of this report confirms this view.
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