Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day006.04 Last-Modified: 2000/08/02 Q. No, that Himmler was worried about the mental and physical effect on the troops, the SS people, of having to shoot so many people? A. I have heard this said about the same kind of evidentiary foundation that Mr Browning has put in. Let me put it the other way round. There is no letter from Himmler to Berger or to Bouhler or to Heydrich saying, "We have to do this some other way; this is putting too much strain on my men", but there is one episode which I clearly remember -- I have mentioned it before -- when Hitler's film cameraman accompanied Himmler to a mass shooting outside Minsk in the middle of August 1941. Half way through that, one of the machine gunners came running across the field to Himmler and to this party saying he could not do it, his nerves could not take it any more, could he be posted . P-28 somewhere else? He was sent back into the line. Q. That takes me back, you see, to Wisliceny and to Bruns and to the suggestion I made some days ago, if you remember, that the principal reason why, well, one of the two reasons why mass shootings of this kind were to stop was that they were apt to draw attention to themselves; the other was that it was a strain on the people who had to do the shooting, and that, in consequence, they had to find another means of killing Jews and so they hit upon gassing. Now, will you please comment on that suggestion? A. I do not think that is an adequate suggestion. I do not think that the noise suggestion, if I can paraphrase it as that, holds water because these mass killings took place many miles outside the built up areas; and as for the strain on the nerves, of course, then how is it that the Russians managed to carry out their mass shootings on similar scales, if not even indeed even greater scales, without having to resort to gas chambers? I do not think there is a ---- Q. Perhaps, Mr Irving, this is not a trial about the Russians. Perhaps Russian public opinion was not as sensitive as German public opinion; who knows? A. Well, exactly. Who knows the answers to many of these questions that you give? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Rampton, will you go this far -- I cannot give you chapter and verse for it, but my impression is . P-29 that there is quite a lot of evidence -- I think that is the right word -- to suggest that carrying out the shootings was causing, understandably I suppose, real anxiety, nervous breakdowns and the rest amongst those Germans who were being ordered to carry it out? A. My Lord, with respect, if they intend to make this a plank of their case, then they should lead such evidence and not allow ---- Q. I am asking you if you accept it. A. I do not accept that, my Lord, unless they wish to put it to us in a slightly better founded form than Professor Browning has done saying it is based on an unspecified witness statement on an indictment of someone. MR RAMPTON: That is Dr Longerich, begging your pardon, and I am just about to show you something which I hope you will agree, as it were, helps to found the stability of this proposition by Dr Longerich. Can you please turn to file H4(v) and to footnote 260? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Before you do, can I ask one further question to see whether you are prepared to accept this, that there was at least disquiet about the method of executing Jews by shooting by the SS? A. Clearly, a lot of the men did not like doing it, but a lot of the men did like doing it. I think Daniel Goldhart has brought this out very clearly in his book "Hitler's Willing Executioners", that a lot of men actually . P-30 volunteered for the work. So there is an entire book written on this subject recently. This is Witte, right? MR RAMPTON: My Lord, this is two pages from a book, this footnote 262, to Professor Longerich's, the second part of his report. I will, if I may, read from nearly the top of the page. MR JUSTICE GRAY: 260, are you talking about? MR RAMPTON: Yes, in fact, I had better start with 16. That is the internal page number on the left-hand side. The German personnel, I do not know even know whose book this is. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yitzhak Arad. MR RAMPTON: "Odilo Globocnik's first" under "German Personnel" "was to organize the manpower required for the construction and operation of the killing centres. The people assigned to Operation Reinhard came from the following sources: 1. SS and policemen who served under Globocnik's command in the Lublin district until Operation Reinhard". Then there is a number. "Members of the SS and Police staffs or units. 3. Chancellery of the Fuhrer - Euthanasia programme". A total of 450 men. "The most important group of Operation Reinhard came from the euthanasia programme. They brought with them knowledge and experience in setting up and operating gassing institutions for mass murder. They filled the key posts involved with the extermination methods, the . P-31 planning and construction of three death camps - Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka - and the command over these camps". So far, that is just Mr Arad speaking. Now, Mr Irving, here is a report of something Dr Brack is later to have said: "Victor Brack gave evidence in his trial after the war about the transfer of the euthanasia personnel to Operation Reinhard: "'In 1941, I received an order to discontinue the euthanasia programme. In order to retain the personnel that had been relieved of these duties and in order to be able to start a new euthanasia programme after the war, Bouhler asked me - I think after a conference with Himmler - to send this personnel to Lublin and place it at the disposal of SS Brigadefuhrer Globocnik". Are you familiar with that evidence, Mr Irving? A. I was reading this a few days ago, yes. Q. Have you never read it before? A. Just a few days ago I read it for the first time. Q. It is a Nuremberg piece of evidence, is it not? A. According to the footnote, it comes from somebody else's book. Q. From what? A. From somebody else's book. Q. I think -- maybe it is not your fault; I made the same mistake when I first looked at it -- the footnotes in question are those under the heading "Chapter Two" the . P-32 next page? A. Very well. It is an affidavit, yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is page 16, so it is likely, I think, is it not? MR RAMPTON: I think so, particularly when we looked a bit further down the page. Anyhow the text goes on as follows: "The first group of euthanasia personnel, numbering a few dozen men, arrived at Lublin between the end of October and the end of December 1941. Among them was Kriminalkommissar of Police Christian Wirth, the highest ranking officer from the euthanasia programme assigned to Operation Reinhard, and Oberscharfuhrer Josef Oberhauser. Additional people from the euthanasia programme arrived in Lublin during the first months of 1942. Viktor Brack visited Lublin at the beginning of May 1942 and discussed with Globocnik the contribution of the euthanasia organization to the task of exterminating Jews. Globocnik asked for more euthanasia personnel to be placed under his command. His request was accepted. After this meeting Brack wrote to Himmler: "'In accordance with my orders from Reichsleiter Bouhler, I have long ago" -- that would mean October 1941, I assume, according to this historical context, would it not, Mr Irving? A. It could, yes. . P-33 Q. -- "put at Brigadefuhrer Globocnik's disposal part of my manpower to aid him in carrying out his special mission'". Pause there, do you accept that that special mission was the extermination of hundreds of thousands of Jews? A. Can I make a general comment about the unsatisfactory nature of this kind of evidence? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, but can you answer the question first? A. No, I do not, not on the basis just of this one extract without knowing what the German document said, without seeing the classifications on it, without knowing the original wording. Why are we being presented with somebody else's book as a source, just being given extracts from it in English? MR RAMPTON: We will try to remedy our negligent behaviour, Mr Irving, but assume for a moment that is a fair translation of the German of Brack's original letter in May 1942. Do you agree that it as reference to a special mission by Globocnik which means exterminating Jews in Eastern Poland? A. On the balance of probabilities, yes, but I would like to know why we are not being shown the original document. You have had teams of researchers working in the archives who could have produced the original affidavit and the original letter, and we are only being produced somebody's gloss, somebody's chosen excerpts. I will draw attention . P-34 to one or two -- you are looking weary, Mr Rampton. Q. I am looking weary because. A. But maybe my criteria are different. Q. If you have an application to make, Mr Irving -- this is a court of law and not some forum for you to expound your views about this, that and the other, in particular the Defendants' weakness. A. Mr Rampton, frankly I would have hoped that the court would have made these observations. Q. Mr Irving, if you have an application to make for further discovery, make it to his Lordship at the proper time, will you? A. I would have hoped that the court would have made the observation about the quality of this kind of evidence. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Since you invite me to, I have some sympathy for what you are just saying because this may be quite an important document, I do not know. As far as I can see, the reference for it in the note 7 is to some Nuremberg documents, but it does not quite read like an extract from a Nuremberg document. MR RAMPTON: It is a letter, my Lord, and many of the Nuremberg documents are letters. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Are they? MR RAMPTON: Yes. We have looked at several of them in the last couple of days. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Right. But, Mr Rampton, the point really . P-35 that is concerning me a little is you are insisting (and it may be you are right to do so) on going in your cross-examination of Mr Irving to a lot of the source material. This is a bit second-hand, is it not? MR RAMPTON: Of course it is and I would much rather have the original. The fact is I do not have it. I will try to get it. I have a feeling that I have seen it somewhere, but I cannot at the moment remember where. But there it is. I will try to get it. The purpose of this cross-examination is not, my Lord, to, as it were, investigate the Defendants' efficiency or bona fides in the material that they have disclosed. The purpose of it is to see whether I can get Mr Irving to agree about what the evidence actually suggests. A. May I also point out that the references to Operation Reinhard are not apparently contained in the documents quoted, but they are the interpolation of the author of this book, Mr Yitzhak or whoever it is. I mean, this is the kind of thing that worries me, that these things are slid in. There is no reference to Operation Reinhard in the quotations actually given. Q. Well, what was Odilo Globocnik's special mission? A. He was chief of police in Lublin at this time. Q. Why should Brack write to Himmler about the Globocnik's special mission? . P-36 A. Mr Rampton, in the final analysis we are probably on the same side in this document. Q. I think we are too. A. But I do not want to be ambushed with secondhand sources like this. Q. If we are on the same side, Mr Irving, there is no ambush, is there? A. Well, you are ambushing me with second-hand sources like this where I have no means of testing the integrity of the document. I would like to make certain observations about the nature of affidavits sworn in Nuremberg which I shall probably do when I come to cross-examination of Professor Longerich. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us cut this short. Would the Defendants, if they can, unearth this document? In the meantime, you have your answer that "special mission" probably does refer to extermination. MR RAMPTON: But I am unapologetic, my Lord, because that is not actually the most important part of this letter. MR JUSTICE GRAY: You mean you have not get to the most important part? MR RAMPTON: No, it is at the bottom of the page. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Shall we press on?
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