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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit//transcripts/day017.10


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day017.10
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   MR IRVING:  Were there more than three of these ominous trucks
        of death going around the Eastern Front do you think?  Did
        they go from location to location?
   A.   Some of them were distributed to each of the
        Einsatzgruppen so there were some operating in Riga, some
        in Minsk and south, so that they were a few.  We know, for
        instance, that Minsk, I do not have the document, but

.          P-84


        I think they had 3 or 4 trucks and they asked for
more.
        So we know that they had small fleets of these trucks
with
        different Einsatzgruppen.
   Q.   Was this the principal means of killing at that time?
   A.   No.  It was a very minor part of the Einsatzgruppen.
The
        vast bulk of the killing in the East was by shooting.
The
        gas vans attached to the Einsatzgruppen were a very
minor
        part of their killing operations.
   Q.   Can you draw any conclusions from the fact that they
used
        different methods of killing people, a lack of system?
   A.   I think we can find a kind of chronological sequence.
        They start with shooting.  The next thing implemented
is
        the gas vans starting at Chelmno and Semlin.  Then
they
        move to the fairly primitive gas chambers, which is
the
        gas chambers that Operation Reinhardt and the
converted
        peasant bunkers at Auschwitz.  Then they move to the
        design construction.  Once they have experience one
can go
        back and say, how would you do this if you were
creating
        something modern?  So I do not find anything haphazard
and
        confusing.  I find it quite a logical sequence in
which
        they add new methods of killing at the same time as
the
        old methods continue.
   Q.   Would you not agree that the lack of preparedness at
the
        time Barbarossa began on June 22nd 1941 is in itself
an
        indication that they did not go into Russia with the
        intention of carrying out systematic liquidations on a

.          P-85



        large scale?
   A.   That has been my argument.  We get evidence of
        preparations at the death camps coming in the fall of
41,
        which is when I have argued, partly because of that,
that
        one then concludes that they have now reached the
point
        where they want a systematic killing of the Jews of
        Europe.
   Q.   Yes.  My Lord, I wanted to take this witness briefly
on to
        the table talk document which your Lordship may
remember,
        October 25th 1941.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am sure I will when you tell me what it
        is.  Is that the Himmler Hitler meeting?
   MR IRVING:  It is the ugly rumours one, good thing that the
        rumour goes ahead of us.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Let us dig it out.
   MR IRVING:  I put in my clip, my Lord, of documents I gave
to
        you.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  If it is somewhere else perhaps we will
go to
        where it is already.
   MR RAMPTON:  It is in part 1 of Longerich.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I was wondering about the actual
document.
   MR IRVING:  We will find it most neatly on page 25 of the
clip
        I gave you, my Lord, in the actual original Martin
Bormann
        version.
   A.   The problem is that I do not have the document.
   MR IRVING:  It is the clip that I gave you this morning,

.          P-86



        Professor.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Page 25.
   MR RAMPTON:  Page 59 of Longerich 1, paragraph 16.4.  It is
        translated and the relevant part of the German is
given at
        the footnote 149.
   MR IRVING:  Professor, do you have the document in front of
        you?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Just pause a moment, Mr Irving.
   MR IRVING:  Page 25.
   A.   Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.
   MR IRVING:  Professor, in your absence, before you arrived
in
        the United Kingdom, I was taking stick for having
wrongly
        translated two or three words in the second paragraph
of
        that document.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   The translation which I relied upon was the Weidenfeld
        edition of Hitler's table talk.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   I will read out most of the paragraph.  They are
talking
        about the Jews.  They are going to have to disappear
from
        Europe.  The Weidenfeld translation continues:  "That
race
        of criminals has on its conscience the 2 million dead
of
        the First World War -- this is Adolf Hitler allegedly
        speaking -- and now already hundreds of thousands
more.
        Let nobody tell me that all the same we cannot park
them

.          P-87



        in the marshy parts of Russia.  Who is worrying about
our
        troops?  It is not a bad idea by the way that public
        rumour attributes to us a plan to exterminate the
Jews."
                  I will stop there.  That is the translation
of
        the phrase "Es ist gut, wenn uns der Schrecken
        vorangeht".
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   I would ask you how would you translate the phrase,
"it is
        good if wenn uns der Schrecken vorangeht"?
   A.   It is good if the terror precedes us that we are
        exterminating the Jews.
   Q.   The terror?
   A.   The Schrecken, the fear of the terror.  I certainly
would
        not have translated it as "rumours".
   Q.   You would not translate it as "public rumours"?  So
they
        have it wrong and I was wrong, criminally wrong,
        perversely wrong to have adopted the Weidenfeld----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is for me, not for the witness.
   MR IRVING:  Professor, are you familiar with a historian by
the
        name of Philip Burrin?
   A.   Philip Burrin, yes.
   Q.   Yes.  Is he a notable historian?  He is not an
extremist
        in some way, is he?  Is he a dependable historian?
His
        works are published?
   A.   He is an historian of accepted reputation.
   Q.   Are you familiar with a book that this historian wrote

.          P-88



        called "Hitler and the Jews, the genesis of the
        Holocaust".
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Please turn to page 17 of your bundle of documents
that
        I gave you and look at page 145?  Would you say that
in
        the second half of that paragraph this historian has
done
        his own translation of the original German?  Perhaps
        I ought to draw your attention, first of all, to the
end
        note 47, which you will find on page 18 of my bundle.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  How do you know he did his own
translation?
   MR IRVING:  That is what I am just referring to.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY: How does that prove that?.
   A.   He wrote the book in French and someone else
translated
        it.  Burrin's original book is in French.  He is a
French
        speaking Swiss historian.
   MR IRVING:  He has not used the Weidenfeld translation from
        what you can see.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is obvious.
   A.   He has not listed his monologe.
   MR IRVING:  Is that the title of the German edition of the
        book, Hitler's table talk, Monologe im Fuhrer...
   A.   Yes, but what it looks to me is that his translator
got
        lazy and, instead of translating Monologe, in fact
grabbed
        the Weidenfeld and borrowed an English translation
from an
        earlier edition and goofed it entirely.  Burrin has
been
        betrayed by his translator.  That is how I would look
at

.          P-89



        this.
   Q.   Will you take it from me that this Weidenfeld edition,
sad
        to say, only went through one edition and there were
no
        other editions than this?  If he had had this edition
        before him, he would have used use phrase "public
        rumour".
   A.   I am in possession of a paper back that presumably was
        sold in great quantities that has exactly the
Weidenfeld
        translation, so it is not a scarce book to get.
   Q.   They did not change this wording then? They did not
use
        the word ominous reputation, which is the wording that
has
        been used by Philip Burrin?
   A.   I am afraid I am not following you right now.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think this is such an open question
that it
        is not going to get you anywhere really.  There is no
        point in my not saying that.  I see the point you are
        driving at but it is too speculative.
   MR IRVING:  My point, my Lord, is quite clearly that, if
this
        historian uses the phrase "ominous reputation", which
is
        arguably very close to the translation which is
adopted
        both by myself and Weidenfeld translation, then it
would
        be perverse to call me perverse for having adopted a
        perverse ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No.  I think the criticism is more
focused
        really, that you saw the German text, saw the word
        "Schrecken", but were nevertheless content to use the

.          P-90



        word "rumour" because it was in Weidenfeld when
        "Schrecken" does not mean "rumour".  That I think is
the
        point.
   MR IRVING:  So, my Lord, does this translator.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I follow that.  In a sense, this is
        beside the point.
   A.   One have would it to ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is my feeling.  I have the point you
        seek to make.  I have told you what I think about it.
   MR IRVING:  The point I am seeking to make is that he is
not a
        Holocaust denier.  He is not perverse.  Others also
use a
        milder version of it than the outright terror, which
is
        possible translation of "Schrecken" but not the only
one.
   A.   One way to deal with it is to get the Burrin original
and
        see what he says in French, because this is what would
        reflect what he was thinking, and then we could decide
        whether Burrin, as a historian or a historically
ignorant
        translator, using a different version to save himself
the
        time from a responsible translation, is at fault here.
   Q.   While you have the bundle in front of you, we can now
        dispose of the bundle in a few minutes, page 32 of the
        bundle, my Lord, I am just using this witness in order
to
        introduce a document.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You are doing it in exactly an
appropriate
        way, as I say.
   MR IRVING:  Page 32 and page 33:  Are you familiar with the

.          P-91



        Harvard University?  Of course you are.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Are you familiar with the fact that their library at
        Harvard University is called the Weidener library?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Does this appear to be a list of books which the
library
        has in its card file by an author called David Irving?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   And do there appear to be 47 books by that author in
the
        Harvard University library?
   A.   47 entries.  Some of them are duplicate.
   Q.   Yes.  In other words, 47 copies of my books are in
Harvard
        University Library?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Is that a commendable total, would you say?
   A.   It is a large number.
   Q.   How many books by Professor Browning are there in the
        Harvard University Library?  Have you any estimate?
   A.   I do not know if they have any of mine!
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, joking apart, what I get out
of
        this is that you are thought by Harvard University or
the
        Wagner Library to be the sort of author of whose many
        books they have a large number in stock.  I think that
is
        a fair point for you to make.
   MR IRVING:  Taken in conjunction with one of the earlier
        paragraphs of Professor Evans' expert report, my Lord
--

.          P-92



        I am sure your Lordship will remember it -- Professor
        Evans went to the British Library and found that my
book
         "Hitler's War" was kept on the pornographic and
        restricted list.  Apparently, it is not the case in
        respected institutions in the United States.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  If Professor Evans makes points like
that,
        you are entitled to make this sort of point in reply.
   A.   I would just add that Harvard University tries to have
a
        complete list so they will buy everything.  It does
not
        reflect an endorsement of the authors by virtue of the
        fact they have them available in the library.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, of course.
   MR IRVING:  Would you turn to page 34 of that bundle?
These
        are just odds and ends and this is the appropriate way
to
        use them, I think.  It is the last page.  My Lord,
this is
        the German original and also I have translated it into
        English for your Lordship.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is very helpful.  Thank you.
   MR IRVING:  It is German police decodes.  It is Traffic of
        November 13th 1941, is that correct?  Intercepted and
        decoded a month later roughly.  There are two radio
        messages here, is that correct?
   A.   Item 10 and item 32, yes.
   Q.   Item 10 and 32.  Would you agree that item 10 appears
to
        be a radio message sent from the SS Chief Medical
Officer
        in Riga to the firm of Tesch and Stabenow in Hamburg?

.          P-93



   A.   I do not see the Riga.  I see radio message of the SS
at
        Hamburg.
   Q.   The last line says:  "Signed, Senior Medical Officer"?
   A.   I was looking at the top.
   Q.   Would you agree this is from the Senior Medical
Officer
        attached to the Chief SS Officer in Riga and it is
going
        to the firm of Tesch and Stabenow in Hamburg?
   A.   Via the Hamburg SS, yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, sorry, can I just ask you
this?
        It is called a decode.  Is this is an intercept?
   MR IRVING:  This is a British intercept.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  A Bletchley intercept?

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