The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit//transcripts/day022.11


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day022.11
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

Q.If I can halt the flow of words for one moment ----

.  P-94

A.What Bruns is talking about is an order to continue them
more discreetly, and you are presenting this as an order
to stop them altogether.  Indeed, what we know is that
four days after Jaeckel was given his dressing down by
Himmler about the shooting of transports from Berlin, the
rest of the Riga ghetto of local Jews was shot by Jaeckel.
Q.I hesitate to halt this kind of flow of verbiage, but I have to.
A.So presumably, Himmler must have therefore discussed with
Jaeckel the shootings of the Jews in Riga.
Q.Can we try and keep to the point.  You referred to the
hard evidence, which is the harder kind of evidence,
decoded messages intercepted on the same day in real time
by the British, of which the SS have no knowledge that we
are decoding them whatsoever and which have been in the
British archives ever since then, or something said at
second or third hand by a German Army General four years
later?  Which is the hard evidence, in your view?
A.Hard evidence of what?
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can we look at the documents.  It is all so
unsatisfactory.  Are we talking about J1 tab 3, page 17 or
some other document?  If you want me to follow it, you are
going to have to tell me which document you are talking about.
MR IRVING:  I am referring to the police decodes of December
1st, 1941, on the one hand, and the Bruns document of

.  P-95



April 1945, on the other?
A.Let us have a look.  Let me see this decode.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I know about the Bruns document.  This simply
refers to guidelines, does it not?
MR IRVING:  The simple question that I have asked first of all is ----
A.Could you refer me to the decode, please.
Q.In the witness's opinion ----
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think it is J1 tab 3, page 17.
A.Page 17.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I may be completely wrong, but I do need to
be anchored to a document.
MR IRVING:  I agree, my Lord, and that has narrowed it down
these two documents.
A.The decode says:  "The Jews being out-placed to the
Ostland are to be" ----
Q.Will you answer my question first, please?
A.I just want to read this document that you are referring to.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Let him read it out.  You see, he is just
reminding himself of what it says, Mr Irving.  Just
because you do not want to listen to some of what is given
by way of an answer, you must not prevent him.
MR IRVING:  We will get to his content later, but I must ask
him which class of information he considers to be harder
and he will not answer this.

.  P-96



A.Evidence is evidence of something; otherwise, it is just a document.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Just read out the bit and then say what you
are wanting to say.
A."The Jews being out-placed" [this is an order from Himmler
to Jackeln decoded by British on
1st December].  "The Jews being out-placed to Ostland are
to be dealt with only in accordance with the guidelines
laid down by myself and/or by the
Reichssicherheitshauptamt on my orders. I would punish
arbitrary and disobedient acts. (Sgd. H HIMMLER)".  That
refers to the Jews being placed, being transported from
Germany, particularly Berlin.
MR IRVING:  Professor Evans, you do not have to know the
content of a message to be able to answer the simple
question, in your opinion as a historian and as a person
who has written books on historiography, which kind of
evidence is harder, in other words, more dependable as a
primary source, something which is recorded at the time,
in real time by British interceptors of decodes, on the
one hand, or something reported at third hand in captivity
by a German Army general four years later?
A.As a general rule, of course, it is the first.  That
does
not mean to say you discredit the second altogether.
Q.I agree entirely, but you have to attach the
appropriate
weight to each of those sources in the absence of any

.  P-97



other support.
A.Yes.
Q.Right.  So, our only information of what Altemeyer
said,
that it has to be done more surreptitiously in future
-
or whatever word he used more furtively -  out of the
public eye, is a third-hand report by Bruns as
overheard
by the British in April 1945?
A.Yes, but he also says, Mr Irving (the previous
sentence):
"Here is an order that has come saying that mass
shootings of this kind may no longer take place in the
future, that to be done more cautiously".  You cannot
say
that the second sentence is unreliable but the first
is.
In your work, you make use of the first.  You not only
make use of the first sentence, you know now that you
are
just trying to discredit what Bruns says.  You
actually
manipulate and distort it by talking about these mass
shootings, instead of saying it is mass shootings of
this
particular kind.
Q.What is the difference between the words:  "These mass
shootings" and "mass shootings of this kind".
A.It is quite clear.  "These mass shootings" refers to
all
mass shootings, whereas "mass shootings of this kind"
refers to ones which are indiscreet.  You gather that,
from me, you are incautious.  You gather that, from
the
second sentence, that two sentences belong together.
Q.Did you agree that the reference in the first part of
the

.  P-98



statement by Altemeyer, that:  "We have received
orders
from above that mass shootings" (let me put it like
that)
"are to stop", is a clear reference to the kind of
signal
contained in the decode?
A.You are trying to ----
Q.And that therefore one has hard evidence supporting
that
part of his the statement, right?
A.Not necessarily, because you are talking about the
decode
that relates to transports from Berlin, whereas really
 ----
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am missing something, Professor Evans,
can
you help me?
A.Yes.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  The decode is said by Mr Irving to be
hard
evidence and obviously one understands why he says
that.
But hard evidence of what, because all that seems to
me to
say is that the Jews, as you say from Berlin, are to
be
dealt with in accordance with guidelines, but we do
not
know what the guidelines are.  So I do not quite see
what
it is hard evidence of.  Am I missing something?
A.I do not think so, my Lord, no.
MR IRVING:  Will you read that signal out in full in a
clear
voice so that the court can hear it, please?  The one
talking about arbitrary acts and acts against the
guidelines.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I do not frankly think it is necessary.
It

.  P-99



has just been read, it was read yesterday and today.
What
is the point pout of reading it again?
MR IRVING:  Because it make clear reference to the fact
that
these shootings have found disfavour higher up and
future
such actions will be severely punished, and he
simultaneously orders the man who does done it to come
to
his headquarters?
A.No, it does not. It says: "The Jews being out-placed
to
the Ostland are to be dealt with only in accordance
with
the guidelines laid down by myself and/or by the
Reichssicherheitshauptamt on my orders.  I would
punish
arbitrary and disobedient acts".  So if you took that,
that could mean that they are only to be shot if
Himmler
says they are to be shot.
Q.It could mean anything, could it not?  It could mean
that
they were going to be sent to Butlin's Holiday Camp,
but
we are going to use common sense here, are we not?
A.I do not think it could mean that, Mr Irving.
Q.We are going to use common sense here where it says
that
there has been a mass shooting that very previous day
which has been reported to Hitler's headquarters; the
words come up the grapevine; now the fat has hit the
fan,
to put it that way, and heads are going to roll and
this
has got to stop.  I am going to punish this kind of
thing
in the future.  Come immediately to headquarters,
which
then happens.  And this the common sense sequence of

.  P-100



events and we have back out in the fields, so to
speak,
Bruns hearing then down the grapevine, as he says a
few
days later - that is the word he uses.He goes to
see
Altemeyer, the one who set the mass executions rolling
at
the lower level, and he says that we have got this
order
now from on top.  The top brass has said that these
mass
shootings have got to stop.  But they are going to
carry
on anyway, right?  Is that the way it was done?
A.No, I am sorry, let us look at this decode.  "The
guidelines laid down by myself and/or the
Reichssicherheitshauptamt" could easily say something
about doing it cautiously or discreetly.
MR IRVING:  They could, indeed.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I really think, Mr Irving, that we have
he
batted this one backwards and forwards enough.
MR IRVING:  Indeed, and we have, I think, discovered what
the
harder of the evidence is, and why there are reasons
why
one is entitled to discount, if I may put it this way,
my
Lord, in the mildest possible way, the second part of
that
sentence for we have no supporting evidence.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, you say that the first half of it is
reliable because of the circumstances under which was
provided then it was eavesdropped upon.
MR IRVING:  And the consequences that flowed from it.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is reliable but second half is
unreliable.

.  P-101



MR IRVING:  The second part is less reliable, if I may put
it
like that.  Professor Evans, are you suggesting that
the
letter of de Bois was in front of me at any time when
I wrote any of my books?
A.Let me come back and say that the point I am making is
that you have misrepresented even the first part of
the
order on which you rely.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We have moved on.
MR IRVING:  I am looking at paragraph 6 of page 359.
A.Yes, on your website.
Q.Yes.  Are you suggesting that at any time that the
actual
letter has been in front of me?
A.Yes.  Presumably that is why you mention it in the
website.
Q.I refer to it on the website ----
A.Yes.
Q.--- to draw people's attention to it?
A.Yes.
Q.Do you know where the letter is now?
A.I would imagine ----
Q.Is it in the Institute of History in Munich?
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  The question is whether you had it in
your
possession, is it not, Mr Irving, really?
MR IRVING: Yes.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, did you or did you not?
MR IRVING:  The answer is not, but I cannot lead evidence
as a

.  P-102



cross-examiner.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Of course you can.  You can say:  Were
you
aware, Professor Evans, that I never actually had this
letter from Mrs de Bois?
MR IRVING:  Yes.  Can I put it this way?  Professor Evans,
in
writing in line 4, "However, he makes no mention of
the
letter's contents", were you aware at the time you
wrote
this in your report that I have never had the letter
in my
hands in my life?
A.On this report I quote you as saying that there was
this
letter and you say it was on your website, and I
assumed
because you were referring to it and that it is about
killings in Riga that you must have known what was in,
otherwise why would you refer to it?
Q.Is it not just stated on the website that in fact
there
are some interesting documents if people who want to
follow it up may wish to go and have a look at, and
one of
them is the de Bois letter?
A.How would you know it was interesting if you have not
seen
it?
Q.Because I am told by this correspondence.  Could that
be
possible?
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is your case, Mr Irving, because you must
put
it clearly and straightforwardly, that you were
unaware of
what Mrs Schultz de Bois said in this letter?
MR IRVING:  Yes, and your Lordship will have heard from the

.  P-103



cross-examination over the previous ten minutes that I
do
not attach very great importance to the remarks by
Canaris.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is a different matter.
MR IRVING:  But that the letter was not in front of me at
any
material time anyway.
A.If you think it was an important piece of evidence,
Mr Irving, and you did not have it, why did you not
make
attempts to obtain it?

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.