Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day002.21 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. Hitler's orders go to him before they go to the Colonel? A. No, sir the orders went -- I think the route was that Hitler told Himmler, who sent the message to Joachim which is what we talked about yesterday which we, British, intercepted and decoded, so we had an inkling of what was going on. Himmler said to Joachim, "Come straight to headquarters, that it had to stop". In Himmler's diary on December 1st 1941, the following day, I noticed yesterday there is the telephone call from Himmler to Heydrich on December 1st, SS Obergruppenfuhrer Heydrich "Executzionan in Riga", the executions, the shootings, in other words, in Riga, they talked about this very episode again on the day after it happened; and when Joachim came -- unfortunately, I cannot show you this, my Lord, that bundle is still at home; we know it from Himmler's diary in Moscow -- Joachim came to see Himmler on December 4th. Himmler wrote in his diary that evening that he dined with him at 9.30 p.m. and the topic of their conversation which Himmler also noted was . P-283 [German], Jewish question, and [German] "in Riga", which [German], economic businesses, small shops, something like that, in Riga, which fits rather in with Bruns' description, in my view, that these executions were causing problems in the local economy because they were running out of manpower, but that is a possible interpretation of that. But, obviously, there was a certain amount of toing and froing from the very highest level down through these channels down to this very low level SS Officer who claims he received a Fuhrer order, if I may go into that, when the army Colonel came to see him and said, "What on earth is going on here?" and this very junior SS Officer said, "Oh, it is the Fuhrer's orders" which frequently was said. Frequently people claimed they were Fuhrer's orders. We know, however, from our other sources (which are much superior sources) that the Fuhrer's orders were distinctly very different in this case [German] "No liquidation". MR JUSTICE GRAY: But Bruns says that Altemeyer showed him the orders? A. Yes, I do not attach too much importance to that, my Lord. MR RAMPTON: Well, in considering all the other trappings of verisimilitude that this ---- A. I thought you might mention that, actually. Q. Of course I might mention it. It is obvious, is it not? . P-284 A. Yes, but the problem we have with that, Mr Rampton, is how do you reconcile in with the kind of [German] in Himmler's own notes what Hitler told him, Jew transport, no liquidation. Q. You have never shown us any evidence, shall I say, or any of your readers that Himmler [German] came from Hitler? A. It is coming from Hitler's bunker, from a phone booth in Hitler's bunker, just as if I made a phone call from that phone booth outside. Q. But as I think you have accepted on your web site an hour before Himmler met Hitler? A. But he was in and out all day. When you visited Hitler in his headquarters, you would have lunch with him, you would have tea with him, you would be in and out of Hitler's bunker all day. Q. The entry in his log for that day -- it is not a diary, except in the most primitive sense -- in Himmler's log, the only entry referring to Hitler is, I think, 1430, [German] or something along those ---- A. Yes, I agree entirely with what you say, Mr Rampton, but I have to say that if he drives over to Hitler's headquarters and, for whatever reason, finds it necessary suddenly to telephone Heydrich and say, "That transport of Jews from Berlin is not to be liquidated", it is a very reasonable interpretation indeed to say this is not unconnected with the fact that he is speaking from . P-285 Hitler's bunker. And it would be perverse not to accept that. Q. Mr Irving, bear with me. I do wish that one could insert the word "objective" into every answer you give. It is a possibly, certainly, that Himmler spoke to Hitler before he made that telephone call. That is quite different, is it not, from an assertion that the telephone call was made on Hitler's orders? A. I agree, I agree. Q. And you have asserted the latter, have you not? A. I agree, it is a judgment call, and it is a judgment call which -- may I speak? It is a judgment which, in my submission, is entirely justified. If Himmler drives over to Hitler's bunker in the train, [German] makes a few phone calls and then [German], from the bunker, from Hitler's Wolf's Lair bunker, he makes a phone call to Heydrich saying, "That train load of Jews is not to be liquidated", it would take a very perverse and obtuse person indeed to say there is no connection between the two facts. Q. May I suggest that what an objective, reputable historian who was not punting a particular line to exonerate Adolf Hitler might have written would be something like this: The evidence is that Himmler saw Hitler about an hour after he made that telephone call. There is no direct evidence that Himmler spoke to Hitler before he made the . P-286 telephone call. It is possible that that telephone call was made at Hitler's instigation? A. Yes. Q. Yes. A. Why did he make the phone call from Hitler's bunker then? Q. Because he happened to be there for heavens sake. A. Why did he not make the phone call from his own headquarters? I do not want to say that I am less obtuse than you, but I am beginning to suspect it in this matter. It is not a question of reputable or not. It is a question of seeing a logical solution written in six inch letters in front of your own face. Q. I see. MR JUSTICE GRAY: My impression, I think it is relevant on this topic, from your book Hitler's War is that at this time Himmler was seeing Hitler almost more often than anybody else? A. Very frequently as we know now from his diary and telephone log, but you will appreciate that particular episode because it is a pivotal episode has now gone through three or four different chameleon like changes with very subtle refinements and a word knocked out here which cannot be justified and so on, as happens. One is constantly revising history. This does not mean to say one is manipulating or is in any way trying to exonerate. You are trying to get closer and closer and closer to the . P-287 likelihood of what actually happened. MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving, tell me plainly, we are off course again but it does not matter, we will get back on course in a moment, tell me plainly what is the evidence for this, this is in the 1991 edition ---- A. Right. Q. And you have repeated it since. I think you repeat it in the appendices or the footnotes to Goebbels, these words: "On 30th November he, Himmler, was summoned to the Wolf's lair", pause there. Sorry, page 427. A. I am looking at my Himmler diary because I know what you are going to say next. Q. I expect you know it off by heart. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am sorry? MR RAMPTON: It is D1 (v). It is Hitler's War second volume, 1991 edition. A. What is the evidence for ---- Q. Wait a minute. I am waiting until his Lordship has the volume. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. A. What page of Hitler's War is it? This is the new edition. MR RAMPTON: Now you can help me with some German perhaps in a moment. It is the new edition. It is changed from the 1977 edition in that you have conceded that the Himmler order concerned but a single train load of Jews? . P-288 A. Yes. Q. Instead of Jews in general? A. Yes. Q. Can you first of all explain why it was that in the 1977 edition this passage referred to Jews in general? A. It was a silly misreading of the word. If I show you the actual handwriting ---- Q. Yes, it is printed in the book, is it not? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think you said you misread, you could not read the handwriting of Himmler? A. Perhaps I would like to show to his Lordship what the handwriting of Heydrich Himmler looks like. MR RAMPTON: Your Lordship will find it in this ---- A. I have a reasonable facsimile of the original here. He wrote a particularly nasty form Gothic spiky handwriting which modern Germans cannot read either. You could show that document to several Germans in this room, unless they were the older generation, they would not be able to read it. It is pretty horrific. I admit I made a mistake in the transcription. I was paying more attention to the position of the full stops in the lines which are quite important. MR RAMPTON: Yes. I have it somewhere here. You actually printed a facsimile of that page in both the editions, did you not? MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is in the following page 506. . P-289 A. It would be remarkable if when one transcribes a lot of that handwriting one does not occasionally miss out a letter E or something like that. MR RAMPTON: When printing that as a facsimile in your editions Hitler's War, you would not expect your ordinary English reader to be able to decipher what it said? A. I would be very surprised if they could decipher that. Q. Even if they knew German? A. Older generation Germans can read that, prewar generations. Q. But your ordinary English reader, these books are published primarily in English, are they not? A. No. My books are published in every language in the world. Q. I know, but are they written in English originally? A. This one was, yes. I have written books in German too. Q. As you fairly concede even a modern German might struggle with that unless they had the old handwriting? A. The point I am trying to make is that this is not manipulation on my part. It is not manipulation or distortion. It is a traffic accident, shall we say. Q. I have to disagree with you. I do not have any training of the German language. I have relatively poor eyesight. I look at the word on the page and it quite plainly does not have an E on the end of it, does it? A. No. . P-290 Q. It is perfectly clear. A. I now see that, yes. Q. Why did you put an E on it? Were you in a terrible hurry or very tired or something when you wrote this? A. You are asking me to recall. This was actually written in 1970. We are looking at something 30 years ago you and you are asking me why I had an E on the end of a word which I wrote 30 years ago. Q. I will tell you why I am suggesting it was deliberate, Mr Irving, for a number of reasons which are cumulative, but one which is very closely related. There are two closely related reasons. The first we are coming back to in a moment which is the way you have handled he Bruns testimony, but the other is in relation to the entry for the following day, 1st December 1941, where for some reason best known to yourself, and of course we shall need to hear your explanation, you translate the words "[German] SS" as Jews? A. No. Q. That cannot be a misreading, can it? A. I misread the word "harbun" for "uden" and I have it here in front of me and I will show that to his Lordship. Q. What have you got in front of you? A. Himmler's diary, the actual handwritten page. Q. We have not got that. We would like to see it. May we see it? . P-291 A. Had I known you were going to attach importance to I would have provided you with any number of copies. Q. You would have heard in my opening speech that I attach some importance to it? A. I am terribly sorry, but I had actually prepared a dozen facsimiles of this to bring in tomorrow in a bundle. Q. In fairness to you and perhaps to me we should leave it where it is until we get the facsimile. A. Yes. I did envisage that I would have the running of this and that we would be looking at my bundle of stuff tomorrow. Q. The running of what, your cross-examination? A. I had not ---- Q. Shall I sit down? A. --- envisaged that I would envisioned I would be standing up for cross-examination today. Had I known that I would not have worked to 6 o'clock this morning preparing bundles. MR JUSTICE GRAY: You can blame me for that. MR RAMPTON: That said, my Lord and since he was up until 6 o'clock ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: I agree with what you are about to say. I think you have had quite a long day. 10.30 tomorrow morning. (The court adjourned until the following day) . P-292
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