The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day003.16

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day003.16
Last-Modified: 2000/07/29

   MR RAMPTON:  I see the two words "extermination" one on top of other.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think you mean different from the 1939
   A.   Yes, but the word that is different of course is
        what does your Langscheidt tell us about that?
   MR RAMPTON:  I doubt it has it in, I am not going to bother
        with it.
   A.   Can I ask that you look in Langscheidt because I do

.          P-140

        have a copy here.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You accept "Jewry" is the right
   A.   Jewry, Judaism, but not Jews.  If somebody talks about
        wiping out Christianity that would be the parallel, my
   MR RAMPTON:  This is only Dr Goebbels speaking, does it
   A.   What is the standard dictionary?
   Q.   You cannot -- we cannot believe a word Dr Goebbels
        can we?
   A.   This is your Judentums.
   Q.   I am just looking to see if it is in, it may be Jewry
        collective... there is a choice Mr Irving, which would
        like to choose?
   A.   Wiping out Jewry, wiping out Judaism, it is not the
        as exterminating the Jews this is a manipulated
   Q.   It has Jewry?
   A.   He is saying that this is evidence of the wiping out
        the Jews.
   Q.   No, look at it "Jewry" big letters, extermination of
   A.   Extermination of Jewry.
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   Is not the same as annihilating Judaism.
   Q.   No, but the two meanings are both there?
   A.   He has chosen once again the tendentious meaning,

.          P-141

        highly is disreputable for an historian to do.
   Q.   Perhaps that is because it is consistent with the rest
        the text?
   A.   No, it is incumbent upon an historian, just as a
lawyer to
        give the benefit of the doubt to the person you are
        impugning; am I correct?
   Q.   No, you are not correct.  Not in this case.
   A.   In an ambiguity.
   Q.   No, there is not ambiguity here --
   A.   There is a total ambiguity.
   Q.   Mr Irving, I go back: "He had prophecised to the Jews
        if they", nothing to do with Judaism, "once again
        about a world war they would experience their own"
that is
        to say the Jews own extermination "vernichtung", the
        word in the next sentence.
   A.   This is Dr Goebbels, right?
   Q.   Yes, yes.
   A.   OK.
   Q.   No, that is Hitler.
   A.   Hitler as reported four years later by Dr Goebbels.
   Q.   By Dr Goebbels.  The world war is there.  The
        extermination of Jewry must be the necessary
        The one flows quite naturally and logically from the
   A.   In the first case he has taken the third meaning of
        word. In the second case he has taken the second

.          P-142

        of the word.  In neither case has he taken the primary
        meaning of the word, primary translation.  If I was to
        that I think I would be hearing about it shortly in
   Q.   Eradication, extermination, annihilation all mean the
        thing --
   A.   I do not think so.  I gave an example if one talked
        eradicating Christianity, drug addiction, you do not
        about wiping out the drug addicts.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think I have the point.
   A.   -- I think there is room for manoeuvre on something
        this and it is incumbent on people not to take the
        meaning of a word when there are much better sources.
   MR RAMPTON:  There is only room for manoeuvre for those who
        want to find room to manoeuvre?
   A.   Like people who pay witnesses for expert cases like
   Q.   I must make a note to prompt you to put that
allegation to
        Dr Longerich --
   A.   I shall, to all the witnesses.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Let us press on with the translation.
   MR RAMPTON:  This question must be seen without
        "die frage ist ohne jede sentimentalat so
        betrachten" correct?
   A.   -- that is a fair translation.
   Q.   Good.  We are not here in order to have sympathy with
        Jews, "wir sind nicht dasu da, mitlied mit den juden"

.          P-143

        correct so far?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   "Sondern nur mitleid mit unserem deutschen volk so
   A.   Just to have sympathy.
   Q.   Rather we should sympathise with our own German
   A.   A loose translation, but I am not tendentious.
   Q.   If the German people have now once again sacrificed as
        many as 160,000 dead in the eastern campaign, then the
        authors of this bloody conflict must pay with their
        lives (German spoken) authors?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   (German spoken) of this bloody conflict, therefore --
        their lives -- account for, must account for or pay
   A.   Yes, this is Dr Goebbels.
   Q.   It may be?
   A.   I am sorry it is, because it is not in the
        If it is not in reported speech.  If he was reporting
        Hitler had said, it would be not "hat" but "ete", that
        the way reported speech is done in German.
   Q.   You see no ground for thinking that Hitler said
        like this?
   A.   This is Dr. Goebbels' gloss on what Hitler had said.
   Q.   You think it is just a gloss on what Hitler said.  Do
        think it is a invention?
   A.   That is what the language tells us Mr Rampton it is
not in
        subjunctive, so it is not him reporting what somebody

.          P-144

   Q.   Could you answer my question.
   A.   I have given you the answer.
   Q.   Do you think it is an invention?
   A.   Is what an invention?  He is writing down his own
        opinions.  Goebbels --
   Q.   None of this is attributable to what Hitler said on
        occasion when he addressed the Reich and Gau leaders
        12th December --
   A.   -- Mr Rampton, you do not know and I do not know
        we do not have a transcript of that speech.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  How much do you say Mr Irving of this
        snippet is a report of what Hitler said to the
   A.   -- as I say, in all my editions of Hitler's War,
        made the original speech on January 30th 1939 and he
        repeatedly and ominously repeated and recorded what he
        said on that occasion, saying I prophecised then and
        I will say it again and those who laughed then they
        laughing on the other side of their faces now.  This
        of thing.  He said it something like eight or nine
        during the war on 8th November 1942 and so on.
   Q.   Answer my question.
   A.   It was one of his stock speeches.  So I know with a
        fair degree of certainty how much of this quotation
        actually said because Hitler was always saying the
        thing and how much is probably Goebbels adding his own

.          P-145

        private gloss.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  But this is something, this is in part at
        rate a report by Goebbels of what Hitler said in 1941
        the gaulieter?
   A.   I appreciate that, yes.
   Q.   Nothing to do with 1939.  My question, if I can ask
        for an answer, is how much do you say of this snippet
        Goebbels' diary is a report of what Hitler said to the
   A.   I would say half is.
   Q.   Which half?  Half in reported speech and half where he
        repeats exactly the kind of sentence that Hitler had
        so many times before, but what I will not accept is
        he necessarily used the word vernichtung, when Hitler
        frequently used other equally vague and ambiguous
        and indeed euphemisms.  I am quite happy to accept
        And personally I would consider it deeply shocking if
        historian was to pin any kind of hypothesis just on
        third order information which is what this actually
        I know it has been done quite recently by Dr Christian
        Gerlach who is a young Hungarian historian.  He has
        to pin a major hypothesis on it, but he is on the
        path as the Germans says, and the fact that the
        are not in the subjunctive makes it quite plain that
        Goebbels is not reporting what Hitler said.  We can
        Dr Longerich this on the question of language if I am

.          P-146

        right about the subjunctive.
   MR RAMPTON:  You will have the opportunity to do that and
        can ask Professor Evans too whose German is probably
        good as yours.
   A.   I doubt it but I would prefer to ask Dr Longerich.
   Q.   He wrote it.  Tell me this, is it your belief that
        Frank, Governor General, was a Poland, Eastern Poland,
        this meeting on 12th December?
   A.   He was a Reichsleiter.  This was a speech to the
        Garleiters and the Reichsleiter, so the likelihood is
        he was present.
   Q.   And the word "vernichtung" is not really capable of
        we might call being characterized as a Goebbels'
        or exaggeration because it was after all the word that
        Hitler used in his speech in the Reichstager in 1939?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   So it would not be the least bit surprising if Hitler
        used the same word on this occasion, would it?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Why?
   A.   The word "vernichtung" is not killing.  It is not
        unambiguously killing.  It is destruction.
   Q.   So you say.  You say that.  I do not know accept that
   A.   It is the primary meaning of the word.
   Q.   Whether you call it extermination or annihilation,

.          P-147

        are his two primary senses, it is a literal ----
   A.   Excuse me, extermination was not the primary sense.
   Q.   No annihilation was?
   A.   It was the third sense.  You said extermination or
        annihilation which are its primary senses.
        is not. It is number 3.
   Q.   What difference do you see between annihilation and
   A.   Can you read out the three meanings?
   Q.   No, I ask you in English.  What difference do you see?
   A.   I have been annihilated by these books but I have not
        exterminated.  Is that sufficient for you?
   Q.   Yes, and I annihilate you in cross-examination but I
        not exterminate you, I hope! Of course I see the
        difference.  Seriously, Mr Irving, please,
annihilation of
        the Jewish race, come, it is not difficult.  German is
        a mystery language any more than English.  What does
        mean, be honest?
   A.   If Adolf Hitler was considering annihilation to be the
        biological liquidation of the Jewish race, why would
        have been talking the entire time about the
   Q.   He talked about the Madagascar plan I think as late as
        sometime in 1942 by which time he had already issued
        order that the Madagascar plan was to be put to sleep?
   A.   He talked about it on July 24th 1942.

.          P-148

   Q.   Yes, and it was a dead duck?
   A.   This is your word, but why would Hitler talk about
even in
        private with his staff?
   Q.   Because Hitler it would appears, if one reads his
        talk ----
   A.   He is talking about it in a conversation with Bormann
        Himmler, the people who we know were the actual
   Q.   It is not to be taken seriously.  It cannot be.  The
        had occupied Madagascar in May of 1942?
   A.   The British had occupied large parts of the world
        the Germans subsequently reoccupied.
   Q.   Like Crete.  So your thesis is that Hitler had it in
        the German Navy would travel all the way to the East
        of Africa, that huge island, and spend a lot of ships
        men capturing the island so they could put the Jews on
        in 1942?
   A.   I know I am not supposed to ask you questions, but you
        not suggesting that the table talks are fake, are you?
   Q.   No, no that they are fake, no, far from it.  On the
        contrary, the table talks are very good evidence of a
        who sometimes waffles, sometimes deceives, sometimes
        at endless length about nothing very much?
   A.   Rather like counsel in this case!
   Q.   If you say so.

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