The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day003.19

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day003.19
Last-Modified: 2000/07/29

   Q.   No, Mr Irving.  No, I will read it: "Yet the blood purge
        continued.  The extermination programme had gained a
        momentum of its own.  Hans Frank announcing to his Lublin
        Cabinet on December 16th 1941, that Heydrich was calling a
        big conference in January on the expulsion of Europe's
        Jews to the East, irritably exclaimed:  Do you imagine
        they are going to be housed in neat estates in the Baltic
        provinces! In Berlin' - and with Hitler in East Prussia
        this can only be taken as a reference to Heydrich's
        agencies -" -- I am coming back to that -- "they tell us",
        they, the people in Berlin, "tell us", the people in
        charge in the General Government:  Why the caviling?
        We've got no use for them either ... liquidate them
        yourselves!" The "yourselves" are the people in Poland?

   A.   Yes.  Well, no, not necessarily.  Of course I would just
        like to comment.  That is an odd passage for a Holocaust
        denier to put into a book, is it not, this entire passage;

.          P-168

        somebody who is allegedly denying the Holocaust he
puts in
        this extraordinary passage?
   Q.   It is there, is it not?
   A.   It is indeed, and I am accused of being a Holocaust
   Q.   Maybe.  Mr Irving, the true sense of that is that Hans
        Frank was told while he was in Berlin that it was his
        problem how to liquidate Poland's two or three million
        Jews, is it not?
   A.   Mr Rampton, I am sure you have read any number of
        transcripts of verbatim conferences.  Hans Frank is
        clearly not speaking from a prepared script.  He is
        addressing a meeting, his mind darting here and there.
        is giving snatches of what he was told in Berlin by
        He is giving snatches of what his retort was.  He is
        telling the stenographer, "close quotes, open quotes,
        close quotes again", and the stenographer is taking it
        down as it said.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That may be, but you would have to
        would you not, that the way you have recorded this in
        Hitler's War is that Frank was talking about what
        had told him and the General Government?
   A.   I cannot say, my Lord.  I do not know who what is
        to whom in that final three words, "liquidate them
        yourselves".  It is not evident on the transcript
        So I have left it, I saw no reason to be specific in

.          P-169

        book as to who was talking to whom.  I would have
        introduced probably an ambiguity one way or the other.
        I left it just as it was in the transcript which I
        was the most accurate thing I could do.  We do not
know if
        it is Poland talking to Berlin or Berlin talking to
   Q.   But if you are disassociating Hitler from what is
said, as
        you plainly are, does that not indicate that you must
        seeking to conveying to readers that the instructions
        coming from Berlin?
   A.   It is unimportant to me, my Lord, which way those
        instructions are coming.  It is coming all at the same
        level.  Berlin is shrieking at Krakow and Krakow is
        shrieking at Berlin, and Hitler is somewhere else.
        is a biography of Adolf Hitler.  It is not a book
        the Holocaust.
   Q.   If there were instructions going from Krakov to Berlin
        there would be no point in disassociating Hitler from
   A.   Hitler was not in Berlin, my Lord.  Hitler at this
        December 16th, was in his headquarters in East
   Q.   I think you understand the question.
   A.   That is the point I make.
   MR RAMPTON:  Mr Irving, that simply will not do.  In Berlin
        break off to parenthesize, if I can invent that word,
        with Hitler in East Prussia this can only be taken as
        reference to Heydrich's agencies (in Berlin)"?

.          P-170

   A.   Yes.
   Q.   "They" Heydrich's agencies "tell us:  Why the
        We" in Berlin "have no use for them either.  Liquidate
        them yourselves", you, the people in Poland?
   A.   These are your interpolations you are putting in of
   Q.   No, I am reading your words, Mr Irving?
   A.   No, I did not put in those interpolations.
   Q.   That is what it means though, is it not?
   A.   That is what you submit.
   Q.   Do you disagree?
   A.   I rest entirely on the way that I quote this very
        ambiguous fragment of stenographic text without making
        interpolations one way or the other.  As I explained
        the Hitler biography, I did not consider it to be
        necessary really to point out or to try to work out
        was talking to whom.  I found it such an
        extraordinary ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  So your evidence is, I am sorry to
        you, that this is capable at any rate of meaning that
        Krakov was telling Heydrich in Berlin "liquidate them
        yourselves", that is your evidence?
   A.   This is the far more logical interpretation, because
        I know from all the other documents at this time that
        Frank was hysterical at the mention that train loads
        Jews would be sent to the Governor General where he

.          P-171

        problems housing and feeding people anyway, and he was
        saying to Berlin:  "Stop trying to shift your problems
        into Poland.  We are not just a dumping ground for
        Jews."  This comes up in very many of the conferences
        that time. There is one particular record I remember
        taking by Martin Bormann in October 1941, and that
        emboldens me in putting the alternative
        the alternative arrow direction, shall we say, on that
        final three words, but rather than get involved in
        rather irrelevant discussion in this book which is
        Hitler, I just left this extraordinary fragment of
        stenographic record, this transcript, as it is,
because it
        is so pregnant with hatred and brutality and total
        callousness towards human life, and it indicates the
        of level at which these decisions were taken and the
        of gormless mentality of the people who took these
        decisions who were later quite rightly hanged for it.
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, I am not going to push that
        point any further.  I am going to come back, perhaps
        today, to the full text of what Hans Frank said for
        context.  I am getting some clever people to translate
        as I speak.
   A.   Mr Rampton, can I then in that case bring on Monday
        text I have, which may or not be identical with the
        that you have.
   Q.   I think you certainly should.

.          P-172

   A.   It may be shorter or longer.  This is the reason why I
   Q.   You certainly should.
   A.   I have the pages in the original photocopy.
   Q.   That is absolutely fine.  Bring whatever you like you
        you need to defend yourself with.  It is right, is it
        that having written both in 1977, as I say if you want
        check it, on pages 427, 428 of 1991 Hitler's War,
        I think is identical ----
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   --- having written "man hat uns gesagt" or "in Berlin"
        then a quote, on page 386 of Goebbels you write this.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   I will read it out: "Hans Frank's Government General
        flatly refusing to accept any more", Jews that is.
        had exclaimed irritably at one of his cabinet meetings
        Krakov that Berlin was telling them they got no use
        the Jews either, 'liquidate them yourselves', was his,
        that is Frank's, retort?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   I notice, and perhaps you did too, as I read that
there is
        no reference there to Heydrich's agencies or to Hitler
        being absent, is there?
   A.   We are talking about Berlin and we are talking about
        retorting.  Having now advanced something like ten
        down the road of research and read a very large number

.          P-173

        further documents relating to this particular context
        these questions, I am that much more certain that the
        arrow goes from East to West rather than from West to
        as far as those three words are concerned.
   Q.   Be honest, Mr Irving, in Hitler's War ----
   A.   Excuse me, I am speaking here on oath, I am being
   Q.   I do not believe you are.  In Hitler's War the arrow
        firmly from West to East.  You changed the account for
        Goebbels, did you not?  That is why there is no
        to Hitler or to Heydrich in this text?
   A.   I do not accept that contention at all.  In Hitler's
        I gave the transcription exactly as it occurs in the
        records and I left it for the reader to make up their
        mind.  Here I am that much more certain which way the
        arrow went.
   Q.   Why did you insert in Hitler's War the parenthesis
        with Hitler in East Prussia this can only be taken as
        reference to Heydrich's agencies"?
   A.   This is like an obiter from on high where the judge
        to the jury, "I think that you need to take account of
        this but of course make up your own mind", and where
        are telling the reader, well, make up your own mind,
        is what is what the transcript says, but just in case
        have forget it, Adolf Hitler lives in East Prussia and
        is not in Berlin on the day this speech is being made.
   Q.   He was not in Berlin on 16th December 1941, Mr Irving?

.          P-174

   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Because on 16th December 1941 he went to the Wolf's
        did he not?
   A.   He was certainly, at the time that Frank was speaking
        Hitler was back in East Prussia.
   Q.   On page 383 ----
   A.   May I also say that if he was referring to Hitler by
        use of the word "man", which is the equivalent of the
        French "on".
   Q.   I did not say that.
   A.   If he was referring to Hitler then he would have said,
        the very highest level we have been told".  He would
        have used the rather offensive "man".
   Q.   "On" in French, I do not know any German but I have
        good French, Mr Irving, "on" in French is not the
        bit offensive.  It is merely a form of expressing a
        passive sense.
   A.   Yes, but he would have been specific.  He would have
        "uns getstella(?)" or [German spoken] but more likely
        "uns getstella(?)" at the highest level.
   Q.   According to your first version, "Heydrich's
   A.   Had he wished to refer to Hitler by that, yes.
   Q.   To what?
   A.   If by the use of the word "man" in Berlin he would not
        have used the very impersonal version of saying "man".
   Q.   Anyway, you have got Hitler away from whatever Frank

.          P-175

        told because you have got him in East Prussia?
   A.   Continue, yes.
   Q.   Yes.  In fact he did not go to the Wolf's lair until
        December, did he?
   A.   He probably left Berlin on the night of the 15th, took
        overnight train back to East Prussia.  I could tell
        from the Hitler's War, the headquarters' war diary
        I have in the blue volume there.
   Q.   All I can tell you is that in Goebbels Mastermind of
        Third Reich on page 383 you write this: "Returning by
        train on December 16th to the Wolf's lair"?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   "Hitler dictated a famous order", something like that?
   A.   Yes, but I can tell you whether he left Berlin on the
        night of the 15th or not.
   Q.   So he was in Berlin when Hans Frank was in Berlin
        receiving this instruction?
   A.   You are now referring to 12th December?
   Q.   Whenever.  He did not leave Berlin until the night of
        15th or the morning of the 16th.  Hans Frank has got
to go
        further.  He has got to go all the way back to Krakov
        which is further than East Prussia?
   A.   I am sorry to admit I am now totally at sea.  Which
        in Berlin are we talking about?
   Q.   Hans Frank is reporting what he was told in Berlin.
        he was ----

.          P-176

   A.   Yes, by somebody whom we have not identified.
   Q.   Maybe, but Hitler was in Berlin at that time?
   A.   He was in Berlin on, well, he was in Berlin on the
        13th and 14th definitely.
   Q.   Yes, and probably on the 15th as well?
   A.   Yes, but we do not know if he is referring to Hitler.
        says "man".  "We have been told in Berlin".  Berlin's
        population is two million.
   Q.   I wish you would not make speeches, Mr Irving, but
        to my questions.  Why was it relevant to observe, if
it is
        perfectly certain or more or less certain or as
certain as
        an historian would like, that Frank and Hitler were in
        Berlin at the same time, why do you say "in Berlin"
        quotes, " - and with Hitler in East Prussia this",
that is
        to say Berlin, "can only be taken as a reference to
        Heydrich's agencies"?
   A.   In Berlin people tell us -- had it been Adolf Hitler
        had told him this, he would not have said the slightly
        depricating "in Berlin people tell us", certainly not
        the company of Reichsministers and Reichsleiters.
        Somebody would have reported back.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You are slightly at cross purposes.  I
        all that Mr Rampton is putting at the moment is that
        were in Berlin at the same time?
   A.   This I accept.
   Q.   Namely, Frank and Hitler.

.          P-177

   A.   This I accept.

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