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Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day017.07
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   MR IRVING:  Would it be correct to describe these features as
        pep talks by Hitler to his Generals to fire them up for
        the coming campaign?
   A.   I would say they are more than pep talks.  I would
        say they are a setting of expectations and, as you know, I
        have tried to develop this model of Hitler eliciting,
        setting a level of what he expects and that that brings
        responses and proposals that are brought to him.  I think
        this is a very good example of that dialectic.
   Q.   Yes.  But he does not say, "We are going to invade the
        Soviet Union so that we can destroy Jews"?

.          P-56

   A.   No.
   Q.   Nothing as crude as that?
   A.   No.
   Q.   What he is saying is, "We are confronted by a Judaio
        Bolshevik enemy, and that we will destroy the Judaio
        Bolshevik intelligenzija and the leadership class and
        whatever, and that is what he is effectively in all
these
        documents he is saying, he is just mapping out who the
        enemy is going to be?
   A.   This is not yet an explicit instruction to
systematically
        kill all the Jewish population on Soviet territory.
   Q.   Even in this important meeting of July 16th 1941,
there is
        still no such instruction at any rate recorded in the
        memorandum by Martin Bormann?
   A.   Yes, in this case we have no smoking pistol document -
- I
        have declared that often -- that we are working from
        inference, and the inference we draw is very similar
to
        what you did about the November 30th meeting.  Himmler
and
        Hitler meet, Himmler gives an order.  As you put it,
it
        would be perverse not to assume a connection between
them.
   Q.   Except that we now unfortunately ----
   A.   Find out the meeting came after rather than before.
   Q.   The meeting came after the telephone call, yes.
   A.   In this case the meeting, I say, comes before.  We
know
        that Himmler meets with Hitler and then leaves for
Lublin
        on 15th, that the others meet with Hitler on 16th, and

.          P-57



        what follows thereafter is very quickly that Himmler
        vastly increases the number of people behind the Front
in
        terms of putting the police battalions under the
command
        of the higher SS and police leaders, of throwing in
two of
        his brigades of his own and authorizing the raising of
the
        auxiliaries and that within a very short period after
that
        we begin to be able to document the systematic
killing.
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   And then it is an inference, but I think it is one
that
        circumstantial evidence supports, that there is a
        connection in that period of July 16th to ----
   Q.   Is not the likely inference that Himmler had received
from
        Hitler the carte blanche that he had sought and
Himmler
        strutted into occupied Russia and told his often
teenage
        thugs who were wearing SS uniform, "I have carte
blanche.
        Go ahead and deal with these people and pacify the
rear
        areas"?
   A.   In fact, that is not what we know of how Himmler does
it.
        Himmler says, "This terrible burden has been laid on
my
        shoulders by the Fuhrer.  This is the hardest thing I
have
        ever been given to do."  He does not strut; he shares
        crocodile tears ----
   Q.   1944 he says that, does he not?
   A.   Yes, but in '43 too.  We are talking about -- what we
know
        about Himmler and how he speaks to others about this
task,
        he does strut in and say, "Boy, aren't I lucky?  I can
now

.          P-58



        kill them".  He comes and says:  "The Fuhrer has laid
this
        burden on my shoulders.  This is a terrible thing we
have
        to do, but we must fight this battle now so other
        generations do not".
   Q.   He says this just once, am I right?
   A.   We have the Posen speech where I think he says it on -
---
   Q.   October 1943.
   A.   --- both occasions.  But this is, I think, an accurate
        reflection of how Himmler speaks to others about this.
So
        your portrayal that Himmler is the eager go-getter is
not
        supported by how he talks when we can document it to
the
        other SS leaders about his role and responsibility.
   Q.   The documents are very thin, though, are they not?  We
do
        not have a whole sheaf of documents to draw these
        inferences from;  there are a lot of gaps?
   A.   There are gaps, but this is a very strong document.
Here
        he is talking to all of the SS leaders and this is the
        stance that he takes to them.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think, Mr Irving, just so that you know
--
        you may know this from the transcript -- draws the
        distinction between after October 1943 and before.
        I think he accepts that Hitler knew and, indeed,
        authorized, I think.
   A.   But this is a different question, my Lord.  The
question
        here is how did Himmler act towards his SS Generals?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.  As I understand the way you put it,

.          P-59



        what he was saying in October 1943 and later is
consistent
        with the interpretation you put on the slightly thin
        documentation of 41/42.  Is that a fair summary?
   MR RAMPTON:  It may be relevant to point out ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can I have an answer first?  Is that
right?
   A.   Yes, I am saying that in so far as we want to know how
        Himmler talked to others about this, it was not that
         "Hitler has given me carte blanche", it is that
"Hitler
        has laid a duty on me, it is a hard duty".  It is not
one
        that he portrayed himself as eager to do, but one that
he
        felt obligated to do.  That was an answer to the
scenario
        that Mr Irving gave of an eager Himmler running with
the
        ball with very little authorization from Hitler.
   MR IRVING:  Is it not also right to say that on one
occasion
        Himmler specifically says to I think Berger, "The
Fuhrer
        has ordered these territories to be made free of Jews.
        This serious grave order that Fuhrer has placed on my
        shoulders nobody can take off me"?
   A.   That comes end of July of 1942.
   Q.   1942, which is closer to the time we are talking
about?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is that what you are going raise?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, because the date came out wrong first of
all.
          It is 28th July 1942.
   MR IRVING:  Yes, and that when Himmler is, therefore,
talking
        about the order, he is talking about the blanket order
to
        get the Jews out of here, and the way that Himmler
then

.          P-60



        interpreted that is where you and I begin to differ.
   A.   We differ a great deal on how one interprets that,
yes.
   Q.   But, Professor, I remind you that yesterday I showed
you
        one coloured page photocopy of an intercept, did I
not,
        and I suggested to you that we have hundreds of
thousands
        of such intercepts in the British archives now, and
        I suggested that neither my expert, Dr John Fox or
Richard
        Brightman or any of the experts who have waded through
        these hundreds of thousands of intercepts of top level
and
        medium level and low level messages, is this correct,
has
        found even one inference, one document, which supports
the
        inference that Hitler was behind this?
   A.   I have not read through them, but no one has said that
        these intercepts, the place that we have found such a
        thing, and we have not found the smoking pistol
document.
   Q.   So the more documents that do come our way, whether
from
        Minsk or Riga or Moscow or from Bletchley Park or
        wherever, and yet we still fail to find even a luke
warm
        gun, let alone a smoking gun, indicates that possibly
        I may be right and my opponents may be incorrect, or,
at
        any rate, I am justified in suspecting, would you
agree?
   A.   No, because I do not think one would ever expect to
find
        such a thing in a radio intercept.  These are, from
what I
        have seen of them, very specific things.  They are not
        general points at which, for instance, Hitler has
ordered
        Barbarossa or decisions of that level.

.          P-61



   Q.   You refer -- I am now coming on to Adolf Eichmann,
unless,
        my Lord, you wish to ask further questions?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No.  Take your own course.
   MR IRVING:  I now come on to Adolf Eichmann.  What reliance
can
        be placed on his writings, do you think?
   A.   I have used him as a very important source because we
        have  ----
   Q.   Yes, understandably.
   A.   --- a collection of documents from him that stretch
over a
        period of time and were given under different
conditions
        before his arrest in Argentina under arrest by the
        Israelis, the private notes that are part of his
        attorney's, Nachlass that is in Koblenz, that subject
to
        the confidentiality that were only between him and his
        attorney and were not in the possession of the
Israelis.
   Q.   There is a lot of paper then?
   A.   There is a lot of -- and now, apparently, we have
learned
        there is about 1300 or more pages of notes that we
have
        never seen yet.
   Q.   When you were in Koblenz, did you have the opportunity
to
        look at the 600 pages that I gave to the German
government
        which I found in Argentina?
   A.   No.  I have not seen those.  I do not know what the
        overlap is between those and ----
   Q.   They are similar to Sasson material.  Would you
        characterize for the court what kind of witness Adolf

.          P-62



        Eichmann was in all these stages?  What kind of person
--
        was he robust, was he servile, just characterize him.
   A.   I would say that there are elements of both, that he
is
        very robust and contentious in protesting against
certain
        aspects of what he is being accused.  He has no
problem
        saying Hoess is lying about him, that he did not be
        involved there; that he engages in a vigorous denial
of
        certain parts of the documentation the Israeli
        interrogators at court show him.
                  On the other hand, he comes and says things
that
        there is no documentation for, admits to things that
they
        would never have known otherwise, except that they are
        repeated consistently in all of his stories, and it is
a
        story he sticks to from beginning to end for which we
        would not know other than that he consistently told
that
        story.
   Q.   Yes.  There are plausible elements and there are
        implausible elements, is that right?
   A.   In any eyewitness testimony, there will be elements
that
        are more plausible than others.  I think a fair amount
of
        the Eichmann testimony is plausible.  Again, it would
        depend on when he is reacting to particular documents
they
        present, sometimes he takes a very defensive position,
and
        in other areas he is very self-incriminating and very
        forthcoming.
   Q.   Hannah Arred in her book "The Banality of Evil" I
think

.          P-63



        refers to him as being almost complacent and compliant
and
        anxious to please?
   A.   I do not agree with her characterization there.
   Q.   You do not agree with that?
   A.   No.  He is quite vigorous in defending himself in many
        areas.
   Q.   I had the dubious fortune some time ago of coming into
        possession of his personal copy of Rudolf Hoess'
memoirs.
        I will pass to you, if I may?
   MR RAMPTON:  May I enquire whether this is, I do not know,
this
        is an entirely open enquiry, whether this is part of
        Mr Irving's discovery?
   MR IRVING:  It was in my box called "Judenfrage" but if you
        wish ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  This is the original you are handing up,
is
        it?
   MR IRVING:  This is a photocopy of it which I have
retained, my
        Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  A photocopy of the version you discovered
or
        were given?
   MR IRVING:  That is correct, my Lord.  It is only
interesting
        in one very minor respect.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, that is what I thought.
   MR IRVING:  Pages 13 and 14 of your Lordship's little
bundle
        which I gave your Lordship this morning.  This is, of
        course, the published edition of Hoess' memoirs which
you

.          P-64



        are probably familiar with?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Yes.  The handwriting on that has been identified as
the
        handwriting of Adolf Eichmann, as is evident also from
the
        internal evidence of the comments that he makes.  The
        original is in the possession of a friend of mine in
        Germany.  He bought it in a store.
   A.   OK.  I am, of course, not an handwriting expert.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Rampton, you are happy with this, are
you?
   A.   And so I cannot confirm or deny.
   MR RAMPTON:  I have never seen it before.  I do not have a
        translation.
   MR IRVING:  I just wish to refer to page 14.
   MR RAMPTON:  But what is puzzling me about this is if this is a
        selective use of the document, it may be that there are a
        considerable number of other comments by Eichmann of which
        Mr Irving is aware on these memoirs which we ought to see
        because they are relevant.

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