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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit//transcripts/day022.17


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day022.17
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

Q.You have read those interrogations in full, have you not,
or your researchers have?
A.We have read them, yes.
Q.Did they find anything which contradicts the impressions
he gives there?
A.Let us take one step back.  The March 6th meeting was
about so-called Mischlinge and Jews married to non-Jewish

.  P-151



Germans, and the discussions there, as I tried to
summarize them, when you asked me to earlier, Mr Irving,
were precisely about evacuations, sterilization,
preliminaries, presumably meaning legal, the passing of
laws to do with divorce, and so on.  That seem to have
been fairly accurate.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am not sure where this all goes, Mr Irving.
MR IRVING:  I am trying to pin down what actually happened at
the conference and to find out whether the ambit of the
conference is wider than just sterilization issues or
whether it was on a broader field, whether really ugly
matters were discussed and apparently they were not, and
also to establish the credibility of these witnesses, in
particular the first one, who says that afterwards
somebody took the memorandum, Lammers took this minute to
the Fuhrer and returned with precisely the wording of this
memorandum, in fact, and here he is remembering it in June
1947 in very much the same terms as the document itself.

MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Why do you say that Boley was talking about
the 6th March meeting in that little extract you have on
your page 12?  That could have been Wannsee, could it not?
A.He was, my Lord.
MR IRVING:  It is all March 6th.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Why do you say that?  Was this conference not
at the RSH?

.  P-152



A.I do not think Boley was at the Wannsee conference.
MR IRVING:  I do not think he was either.  No, he was not
there.
A.But he was at the March 6th conference and he is
talking
about that.  The point is once more that the minutes
of
the March 6th conference are all about Mischlinge and
Jews
in mixed marriages.  Schlegelberger in his testimony
in
his trial at Nuremberg said that is what the
conference
was about, and the fall out from it in this set of
documents is clearly about those questions.
MR IRVING:  Professor, if we can pause to draw breath here,
one
point that divides us on the Schlegelberger
memorandum,
apart from the possible discrepancy on the date, you
think
there may be a possibility it was 1941, is that you
would
believe that the Schlegelberger document refers only
to
the mixed race issue.
A.Yes.
Q.And the bureaucratic red tape connected with that?
A.Yes, if you date it to March 42.
Q.I say that the significance of the document shows a
general reluctance on Hitler's part to be sucked into
talk
about the Final Solution?
A.No, it is not that.  Let us remind ourselves of what
it
says.
Q.Yes.
A.Lammers says the Fuhrer had repeatedly explained to
him

.  P-153



that he wanted the solution of the Jewish question put
back until after the war.  Now you have to ask
yourself in
this context what does the solution, losung, of the
Jewish
question, Judenfrager, in this memorandum actually
mean?
It can mean one of three things.  It can mean
extermination.  Well, if Hitler is talking about
extermination being put back until after the war, he
must
have known about the extermination at this point, and
you
said, I think, that if Hitler knew about the
extermination
between the end of 1941 and October 1943, when you
admit
that he did know about it, then he would approved of
it.
I do not think it means that.
  Then does it mean evacuation?  Well,
evacuation
has already been going on.  They started pushing the
Jews
out of Berlin the previous autumn, as we saw this
morning.  So why is he suddenly turning round now?
Have
people been disobeying him?  That is an absurd
supposition
as well.  So, if we date it to March 1942, the only
reasonable context that a historian would put it in
would
be the series of discussions about Jews and mixed
marriages, which comes under the general heading of
solution of the Jewish problem, because it is one
aspect
of that.
Q.These are the theoretical discussions, are they not?
A.Yes, all this stuff about the Mischlinge and so on,
sterilization or other terrible things that they want
to

.  P-154



do to them, they are saying it is too difficult
classifying people, perhaps there are too many
problems,
we know it in early 1943, for example, when they
finally
did try and deport the Jewish husbands of non-Jewish
German women from Berlin to Auschwitz, there was a
mass
protest by these very brave women in public in Berlin
,
which stopped it, so there was a fear that this would
raise trouble.  There are all kind of reasons why they
should have wanted, Hitler and others, this solution
to be
put off.
  As I said, the Justice Ministry was
particularly
concerned about the legal implications of trying to
deal
with this.  There were problems about the resource
implications of having a mass sterilization programme.
There were many reasons why they want to put this off.
Decisions about what was going to be done about the
great
mass of Jews who were not in this situation were
neither
Mischlinge nor in mixed marriages, they had already
been
discussed at great length in the Wannsee conference.
Indeed, what was left over from the Wannsee conference
was
precisely this problem, what to do with these marginal
problematical minority groups.
Q.Can I bring you down to earth now with the actual
content
of the memorandum?  If we look at the second sentence,
Lammers says in the first sentence, that the Fuhrer
has
repeatedly said he wants the solution to the Jewish

.  P-155



problem postponed until the war is over.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Pause there, Mr Irving.  If you are right
that the Wannsee conference really decided on a policy
of
extermination, which as I understand is what you say
there
happened, that is a very odd thing to have somebody as
senior as Lammers saying.
A.Indeed, my Lord, at this point.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  How do you explain it?
A.Because it is to do with -- the Jewish question here,
he
means the aspect of the Jewish solution to the Jewish
question that has to do with the Mischlinge and the
Jews
in mixed marriages.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, I do not think that really would do.
That is the gloss that Lammers is putting on it.  He
is
saying in effective response to what is to be done
about
the Mischlinge, "well, the Fuhrer has consistently
said
postpone the solution until after the war".  My
question
to you is, how could he really be saying that, if you
are
right about what had been decided at Wannsee, because
Hitler would have known what was decided at Wannsee?
And
Lammers would have known too?
A.That is one reason, my Lord, why I think that there is
a
strong possibility that this is dated from 1941.
Q.But you accepted on balance of probabilities that
actually
it was likely to be 1942?
A.Because of where it is in the file, which means it was

.  P-156



selected by the Americans, or whoever selected it, to
put
in this particular postwar file.
Q.So the only answer that you can really give to my
point,
as it were, is, well, I put it back to 1941?
A.If you think that "losung der Judenfrager" means the
whole
package, as it were, then it is a deeply implausible
thing
to be saying at this particular time because so much
was
going on.
Q.That is really my point.
A.There are so many uncertainties with this document.
If
you read that little note in the bottom left hand
corner,
17.7, that pushes it back to 1941, and then, on 17th
July
1941, it is plausible to say that Hitler repeatedly
said
he wanted the whole solution put back until after the
war,
because he was saying that in other quarters and to
other
people.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I follow the point.
A.You can follow this up through a chain of documents
which
I go into my report at this time in 1942, which are
headed
things like "gasuntlosung der Judenfrager" or "Losung
der
Judenfrager", which then consist entirely of material
about the Mischlinge and the half Jews.  So it is not
entirely implausible whether he was giving this kind
of
meaning to the Mischlinge.  I agree it is another
problematical aspect of this document.
MR IRVING:  I think the basic problem, my Lord, if I can
put it

.  P-157



like this, is that the whole operation of whatever the
Final Solution was is so ramshackle, and so multi-
headed,
so hydra-like, that to try and systematise it in a law
court 50 or 60 years after the event on the basis of
basis
of not complete documentation is a rather hopeless
undertaking.  We all have to try and do the best we
can.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I understand.
MR IRVING:  Can I now go back to where I was in the
cross-examination?
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I am sorry.
MR IRVING:  I mean no criticism of your Lordship but I will
start again and concentrate on that second sentence.
After we looked at the first sentence, which says,
Reich
Minister Lammers informed me that the Fuhrer had
repeatedly stated to him that he wants to know that
the
solution of the Jewish problem has been postponed
until
the war is over; therefore, or accordingly, rather,
the
present discussions in the opinion of Mr Lammers have
purely theoretical value.  What are the "present
discussions"?  That was the mixed race discussions,
was it
not?  So therefore that cannot be what they are
referring
to about being postponed.  It is the whole problem is
being postponed because the mixed race discussions are
referred to separately in the second sentence, saying
for
that reason, these other discussions about mixed races
are
going to have purely theoretical value.  Do you see
the

.  P-158



point I am getting at?
A.Yes, I see the point.  I do not accept it.  What I
would
like to know is what do you think "the solution to the
Jewish question" means in this document?
Q.I am sure that, if it had been said the other way
round,
if it had been put, the Fuhrer has insisted that the
solution to the Jewish problem be pressed with the
utmost
possible and radical speed, then you would have no
difficulty in telling me what you meant by that
phrase,
would you?
A.I am just puzzled.  You put it to me what you actually
understand that phrase to mean, "the solution of the
Jewish question"?  What is it here that is being put
back
until after the war, if it is not the ----
Q.The whole of this absurd doctrinaire business of
plucking
the Jews out of the arms factories, plucking the Jews
out
of their homes, putting them into scarce transport
base,
shipping them east and west, taking up scarce police
forces to escort them, all this business, all the red
tape
that went with it, which was so pointless in the
winter of
1941 to 1942, and Hitler is repeatedly saying in his
ineffectual way, "why on earth are we doing this?  We
have
a war on, fellows.  Let us finish the war first and
then
tackle the problem".
A.I think the problem for the historian, Mr Irving, if
you
say that then it means the forced evacuation of Jews
to

.  P-159



the East.
Q.Yes.
A.This had been going on for several months by this
time, on
Hitler's orders, a fact that you have accepted many
times
and in many places.
Q.Was it on Hitler's initiative, do you think, or was it
because people like Goebbels came nagging him, saying
"Mein Fuhrer, I want to get them out of Berlin, please
allow me to do that", and Hitler kept on saying, "Oh
very
well, Dr Goebbels"?
A.This relates to a whole set of other documents.  It
was
Hitler's initiative.  I think you have accepted many
times
that Hitler ordered the deportation of the Jews from
Berlin, and subsequently elsewhere, beginning in the
autumn of 1941.

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