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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit//transcripts/day017.16


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day017.16
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   Is there a passage in the protocol that reads:  "The
        remnant that finally survives all this" -- do you remember
        this passage -- "because here it is undoubtedly a question
        of the part with the greatest resistance will have to be

.          P-140

        treated accordingly"?  This is what you were referring to
        right, right?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   "Because this remnant representing a natural selection can
        be regarded as the germ cell of a new Jewish
        reconstruction", what are the next two words, do you know?
   A.   "If released".
   Q.   "If released", that is the way you translated them, is it not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   And you are familiar with the fact that people accused you
        of having mistranslated that, people accused you of having
        translated the words "upon release" "as if released"?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  What is the German?
   A.   "Abfreilasung".
   MR IRVING:  "Abfreilasung".  It is one of those German
words
        which you can translate so oder so, as the Germans
say,
        one way or the other.
   A.   And when you say people, quite specifically, Mr
Christie,
        the attorney for Zundel ----
   Q.   Precisely.
   A.   --- spent a great deal of time trying to make a great
deal
        out that.
   Q.   Trying to embarrass you, I agree.  I certainly shall
not
        try to embarrass you today with that, Professor.  I
        just wanted to draw attention to the fact that we do
have

.          P-141



        problems with words, do we not, in German?  I know
that
        there are occasionally from the public ranks behind me
        when I spend time going into these words, like "vie"
and
        "als" and so on, but it is a problem, is it not, how
to
        translate words with the right flavour?
   A.   There are many areas where we could have disputes.
        I think the context here does not leave a whole lot of
        doubt in this case.
   Q.   Is it not possible, and have you in fact done it, to
        either interview those who were at the Wannsee
conference
        or to read the interrogations of them which were
conducted
        by the Allies after the war, people Stuckart and
        Kritzinger?  Have you read the interrogations when
they
        were questioned about their recollections of that and
        other conferences?
   A.   No, I have not read those systematically.  I have seen
        excerpts of them, I believe, but I have not gone
through
        the exercise of tracing all of those.
   Q.   For once I have to express my astonishment that, as an
        Holocaust historian, knowing that in the national
archives
        in Washington they have verbatim transcripts of the
        questionings of these half dozen or so surviving
        attendees, you did not read what they had to say about
        their recollections?
   A.   You are free to express your amazement.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, what did Kritzinger have to say?
Can

.          P-142



        you put that?
   MR IRVING:  As a question?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, otherwise ----
   MR IRVING:  Can you justify why you did not do so?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, no.  He has accepted he did not do
so,
        but that perhaps is only material if there is
something
        really significant he missed by not having consulted
what
        Kritzinger said, whoever Kritzinger may be, I do not
know.
   MR IRVING:  He was a State Secretary in the
Reichschancellory,
        I believe, under Lammers.  Is it right -- well, I
cannot
        ask him what he has not read, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, you can.
   MR IRVING:  Would you not expected to find that they would
have
        been questioned about as to whether there was actually
        explicit reference to killing operations in the
Wannsee
        conference and that this might have clarified the
        uncertainties from the text?
   A.   I think I have seen excerpt of the Stuckart one and,
in
        general, they are denying that this had much
significance.
   Q.   Yes.  So all of them denied that there had been any
        discussion explicitly of killing operations?
   A.   Yes, as far as I know all of them did.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Does that influence your thinking about
what
        Wannsee was about?
   A.   No.  I think these people were shown the protocol and
if,
        of course, their participation there made them more

.          P-143



        vulnerable legally, and here is one case where I would
        invoke Mr Irving's practice that we look at oral
testimony
        very carefully, and ask what motive would they have to
say
        less than the full truth, and when I have a written
        document, on the one hand, and a self-exculpatory
        testimony post war, on the other hand, I put more
weight
        on the written document.
   MR IRVING:  But suppose this self-exculpatory testimony
after
        the war contained references, for example, by a man
called
        Gottfried Buhle who attended the subsequent conference
on
        March 5th 1942, and he says:  "It was disgusting the
way
        these SS officers treated the Jews like cattle", and
        referred to forwarding them here and shipping them
there,
         "and when we protested, Eichmann's deputy said, 'We
are
        the police and we do as we want'", would that be taken
as
        self-exculpatory?  Would you expect this man also to
have
        remembered and testified if there had been decisions
on
        killings?
   A.   I would take that as testimony that, in fact, they
talked
        fairly openly about killing at these conferences, and
a
        denial of others to the contrary should not be
trusted.
        This is a non-self-exculpatory statement with much
more
        specificity and would indicate, in fact, that
Eichmann's
        indication that there were open in their discussion
about
        killing than his euphemism has for their credibility.
   Q.   Well, if I am more specific here and say that these

.          P-144



        interrogations referred only to the brutal nature of
the
        language used by the participants in the uncouth
language,
        but there was still no talk of killing, it was just
        treating these people like cattle, does this not
indicate
        that probably there was no talk of killing at these
        meetings, no open talk anyway?
   A.   Well, there is no open talk of that at the second one,
at
        the March 6th.  That is all that Buhle is referring
to.
   Q.   But again neither in the interrogations nor in the
records
        of the Wannsee conference, as far as you have seen
them,
        have you seen any explicit references to killing only
        references by inference?
   A.   Except for Eichmann.
   Q.   Except for?
   A.   Eichmann is a participant and he ----
   Q.   What he said in Israel in 1963?
   A.   Yes.  Or 1960/61.
   Q.   '61.  My Lord, do you wish to ask further questions
about
        Wannsee?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, thank you very much.
   MR IRVING:  You referred to Hermann Goring's authorization
to
        Heydrich dated July 31st, 1941.  One very brief
question
        on that:  was it intended or taken by either party as
        being a blank cheque to kill?
   A.   I believe it was intended as a kind of authorization
for a
        feasibility study, that what it says is, "Please study
the

.          P-145



        question of"----
   Q.   Of what?
   A.    --"the fate of the Jews in the rest of Europe".  It
does
        not say killing, it says a total, you know, examine
the
        possibility of a total solution for the Jews in
Europe.
        Deal with, the second sentence, I believe, is to deal
with
        the agencies whose jurisdiction is affected.  The
third is
        to bring back a plan for a Final Solution, both
         "gesamtlosung" and "endlosung", and my interpretation
is
        this is not an order, this is an authorization for
        Heydrich to look into the possibilities of what will
they
        do with the rest of the Jews of Europe?
   Q.   Yes.  Can it be taken just as an extension of the
powers
        conferred on Heydrich in January 1939?
   A.   My feeling is no, that the very fact they needed a new
        authorization means that we are no longer talking
about
        immigration but a new kind of solution that is no
longer
        immigration is what is envisaged, otherwise he would
not
        need a new authorization.
   Q.   Can I ask to go to page 44 in your expert report,
please?
        This is another criticism, I am afraid, of your
        methodology.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Page what?
   MR IRVING:  44 of the Professor's expert report.  Two lines
        from the bottom you say:  "... unloading the train
cars
        some 2,000 Jews were found dead in the train"?

.          P-146



   A.   Yes.
   Q.   That is the figure you quote?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   You have made the translation yourself?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Can I draw your attention to the footnote 113 on the
        following page, 45?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   In which you state, no doubt correctly: "A more
legible,
        retyped copy of this document contains the figure 200
        rather than 2,000"?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Why did you use the larger figure rather than the
smaller
        figure?
   A.   Because it was the original document.  The other one
says
         "Abschrift" and I use the original rather than copy
if
        I have both of them.
   Q.   Why do you, therefore, state that a more legible
retyped
        copy contains the figure 200 rather than 2,000?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Was the figure illegible in the original?
   A.   The original is clearly 2,000.  It is just a hard
document
        to read because the photostat quality is less.  The
        retyped copy is a clear one to read but in neither ---
-
   MR RAMPTON:  Your Lordship has it.
   A.   --- is there any doubt about ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do I?  Well, we can actually look at it
for

.          P-147



        ourselves.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.  Everybody should look at it.  It is page
103
        to -- it is the Westerman report, I think, of 14th
        September 1942 -- 105 of L1.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  And this is the original, not the
Abschrift?
        Whereabouts?
   MR RAMPTON:  That I cannot -- your Lordship will need the
        Professor's report.  I can barely read the wretched
thing.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  So it is not legible?
   A.   Well, the report itself is very difficult to read in
this
        edition and in terms of whether it is, you know, what
the
        number is.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, I think I have found it in it.  I
think
        it says 1,000.  It is the third paragraph on page 105.
It
        looks to me like 1,000 Juden.
   MR IRVING:  How many spaces does it have?  Is it enough
spaces
        for ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It has plenty of spaces to be 1,000.
   MR IRVING:  Four digits then?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, four digits.
   MR IRVING:  In that case I will accept that 2,000 is
probably
        correct.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You can have a look at it, if you want
to,
        Mr Irving.  I may have the wrong bit.
   A.   It will come near the end.
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, I think it is the wrong paragraph.  I
am

.          P-148



        sorry.  I think it is the last paragraph up from the
        bottom of the last page and I think it is the third
line
        and I can read it very clearly.  5,000 "Juden tot" --
it
        is five words in from the right-hand margin is the
word
        "tot" and 2,000.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.

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