Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day003.15 Last-Modified: 2000/07/29 . P-130 A. German SZ, things like that. Q. You have read it now, have you? A. I read it and I disapprove of the translation, but we will reach that moment. Q. We will come to that because that is over the page, but -- A. It is a tendentious translation. MR JUSTICE GRAY: But nothing wrong with the German? A. -- nothing wrong with German -- MR RAMPTON: I will come back, because the translation will be important many times during in the course of the case. Dr Longerich translates it at the top page 62. A. -- he is, of course, German translating into English. Q. I know he is, but it may be, I know not, you can ask him when he comes to court. He had some help. His English is pretty good, but not perfect: "As concerns the Jewish question the Fuhrer is determined to make a clean sweep"; what I suggest we do, Mr Irving, is to take out page 61 and fortunately the German text is on a separate page. A. Right. Q. As we go through the English you can tell me in answer to my questions where you think Dr Longerich has gone wrong in his translation. A. Yes. Q. "As concerns the Jewish question the Fuhrer is determined to make a clean sweep" (German spoken)? A. Tabula rasa they say in Latin. . P-131 Q. Maybe, but this is fortunately in these courts we do not speak much Latin any more. MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, but it is closer actually, the Latin than the English. MR RAMPTON: Probably. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is the point are you making. A. Yes. MR RAMPTON: Yes, a tabular rasa is a blank surface. A. So I am more accurate than yourself -- MR JUSTICE GRAY: There is no distinction in terms of the sense of it, is there. MR RAMPTON: I do not know. A. -- does the word tabula rasa exist in English? MR RAMPTON: Yes. It is frequently used by people who do not know what it means, as so much Latin is. But if you wish tabula rasa is rather a perhaps stronger word than "clean sweep". A. Cleansing. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do you dispute clean sweep gives sense? A. Not at all, perfectly good line. MR RAMPTON: "He had prophesied to the Jews that if they once again brought about a world war they would experience their own extermination." The words in German are (German spoken); what do those words mean? A. Well, of course, to translate "vernichtung" as extermination is highly tendentious. . P-132 Q. Why? A. If you look in your yellow dictionary, see what "vernichtung" says. Q. I think I will. A. I have no idea. I am prepared to say meaning No. one is extermination. Q. You do not have to say that, Mr Irving. The root of the word is "making to nothing" annihilating, is it not? Let us see what that says. I have very little knowledge of German, but it seems to me obvious, but it means, according to Langscheidt, annihilate, destroy, exterminate, eradicate-shatter. A. It is the third possible meaning and he has chosen the third meaning rather than the first. Q. Did you see a distinction -- A. Yes -- Q. In this context -- weight between annihilate and exterminate? A. -- I am not going to put the words on the gold balance because this is not Hitler speaking, this is Goebbels reporting, am I correct? MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. MR RAMPTON: Apparently -- A. On the following day. MR RAMPTON: Unless it come from Goebbels diary? A. -- this is Goebbels diary. This is a third person report . P-133 by Goebbels of what Hitler said the previous day. MR JUSTICE GRAY: He is reporting what he recalls him having said. A. Yes, so it is rather meaningless to attach too much importance to the actual words contained in the diary. MR RAMPTON: On the contrary, Mr Irving, often enough in the course of your books you attach a kind of uncritical credulity to the utterances of Dr Goebbels. A. Yes. Q. Notwithstanding he is merely reporting what somebody else has said. Furthermore why should -- Dr Goebbels in December 1941 misreport what his leader had said? A. Because if you had read my book with the assiduity that I am sure you have you will remember that Dr Goebbels is an evil little genius who is capable of lying in the most malicious and perverse verse way and he will translate every single statement through his own distorted brain. MR JUSTICE GRAY: In his own diaries? A. Yes. MR RAMPTON: Why? A. This is the way people do things. They have a tendency to write down things they wished they had heard. If he wished to heard Hitler talking about the extermination of the Jews, then he would prefer to use that word when for all we know Hitler may have used a different one. I have no objection at all, Mr Rampton, when you bring to me the . P-134 verbatim transcripts of which there are any number of Hitler actually said when he says things that are very similar. Q. We do not have -- A. We should not rely on this kind of second order evidence on matter of this importance. Q. -- you do it repeatedly when it suits your book, Mr Irving. A. You are accusing me of double standards. Q. Yes, I am most roundly. A. I disagree. I am very careful with the criteria I apply. In a matter like this of such importance I look at the actual translations with greatest detail and if they are, I mean in law too you have to give somebody the benefit of the doubt when they are ambiguities. You certainly do not go for the third meaning of the word rather than first meaning. Q. You see, you continually assume that I am using one document, one utterance, to prove the guilt of Adolf Hitler. In fact I am trying to do neither, Mr Irving. What I am trying to do is to suggest to you that the convergence of the evidence of which this is just one small example. A. Yes. Q. Is that on the balance of probabilities, as though it were a civil case at court, the reasonable historian would say: . P-135 on the balance of probabilities the evidence is that Adolf Hitler was at the heart of all of this? Do you follow me? A. It is a rather vague sentence, that Hitler was at the heart of all this. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think it probably clear what Mr Rampton is getting at, can I put a related question, I would be interested to know what your answer is; do you "vernichtung" would be a word that would be likely to be used if what was being talked of was deportation to Madagascar or anywhere else? A. I agree it would not and there are definitely cases where word "vernichtung" is used in the sense of murder. For example, in the German phrase ( German spoken), the destruction of people who are not entitled or should not be allowed to live. It is quite definitely a killing operation, but there are so much better sources where you have the actual transcript of what people are speaking that I hesitate to waste the court's time looking at the kind of document when undoubtedly you have the verbatim transcript of what Hitler said where he uses similar words or the same words. MR RAMPTON: Fortunately for everybody, Mr Irving, it is not in your hands whether the court's time is wasted. If I try to waste the court's time I will be told not to, if I am thought not to be wasting the court's I will not be told. A. If I was sitting there wearing a wig I would have jumped . P-136 to my feet and made this point. Q. You have made it. A. I am wearing my other hat if I say that. Q. If you want to invite his Lordship to stop this line of cross-examination please do so. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Come on, I think you are not asking me to and if you did, I would not. MR RAMPTON: Thank you. Now then you do not like Dr Goebbels use of the word "vernichtung". You are not certain that that is a word Adolf Hitler would have used on that occasion. A. Well, we know exactly what speech Hitler made on January 30th 1939, there we have the verbatim text. Q. Turn back to page 38 of the same report. A. We know exactly what Hitler said there, so why we are using a second hand version of a version of it repeated four years later. Q. For the very fact that it was repeated on 12th December -- A. Hitler constantly repeated this speech. Q. -- please, Mr Irving, be patient and listen to my questions. Its importance you may agree is that it occurs again on 12th December 1941 at the time when the German Jews were being transported in large numbers to the East? A. Yes. Q. Right. If you go back to 811 of Dr Longerich's report you find the relevant English of the Reichstag speech on 30 . P-137 January 1939? A. I know the speech off by heart. Q. In that case you will agree that the last words in citation are: (German spoken); which means the annihilation, extermination or eradication of the Jewish race in Europe, does it not? A. Can we just be absolutely certain what German words he uses. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is same word, take it from me. A. In German, very well, my Lord, yes. MR RAMPTON: It is at the bottom of the page in German (German spoken)? A. In this case I would say that the word "race" implies that he is not talking about an actual killing operation and certainly January 1939 nobody was talking about killing Jews. Q. What does word "genocide" mean, Mr Irving? A. Genocide? Q. Yes, genocide. A. An English word genocide? Q. No, it is not English, it is Latin. A. It is not a Latin word, you mean Latin origin? Q. Yes. What does it mean? A. You explain to the court. Q. No, you tell me if you know what it means. A. Killing of people by virtue of their race. . P-138 Q. Yes, it means killing of a race of people. A. Yes. Q. Is it any different from the "vernichtung" of a "rasa"? A. You destroy races in other ways than killing them. Nobody in January 1939 and I would be very surprised if you can establish the opposite was talking about killing Jews. Q. Yes. I am going to go on with this little comparison between -- A. Yes. Q. -- if you forgive me and as long as I am not told by his Lordship it is waste of the court's time, but there is little comparison between what Dr Longerich has written in English and what the original German of Dr Goebbels diary was. We have finished with the word "vernichtung erleben geben", which means "they would experience", this was not just an empty phrase. The German is: "Das is keine frazig vasen"? A. That is correct. Q. What does that convey to you? This was -- A. Dr Goebbels is saying that is not an empty phrase. This is not Hitler saying this is an empty phrase, this is Goebbels saying it is an empty phrase. Q. -- so you say. A. Well, this is Goebbels diary. Q. How do you know it is not a report what Hitler said? A. Let me educate you in the German language. If this was . P-139 Goebbels saying this is Hitler saying it would have been in the subjunctive. German language reports reported speech in the subjunctive. It would be (German spoken) not (German spoken) I am sure every German in this room would agree with me. Q. Everything in the rest of this quotation is not attributable to Hitler; is that your position? A. We are taking this sentence by sentence; is that correct? Q. Let go on, the world war is there, the extermination and again the words are (German spoken) that is of Jewry, Jews in general if you like, must be the necessary consequence. (German spoken)? A. Here he has the same word, vernichtung, but he has given it a totally different translation, extermination, am I right? Q. What do you mean? MR JUSTICE GRAY: No.
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