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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day012.09

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day012.09
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   A prank?
   A.   He sent them out to go and steal the entire contents of a
        bank to pay people back or something, did he not?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  He sent them out?
   A.   Hitler sent these people out to go and rob a printing
        works and steal all the money.
   Q.   He sent them out to rob the bank?
   A.   Yes. I put this in the book, I think, no doubt Mr Rampton
        will tell us.
   MR RAMPTON:  You said in Goring that Hitler sent armed men into
        the city to requisition funds?
   A.   Yes. It is rather the same way as the great train robbers
        went to requisition funds.
   Q.   "It took 14 and a half billion Reichsmarks from the Jewish
        bank known as Parvis & Company and gave a Nazi receipt in
        exchange.  Meanwhile Hitler acted to maintain order".  The
        truth was that these thugs just went and stole 14 and a
        half billion Reichsmarks from the Jewish printers, did
        they not?
   A.   That is right, which was of course just paper.  They went
        and stole all the paper and left a Nazi receipt.
   Q.   Why did you not write it like that, requisition,
        Mr Irving?  Really!  They were not even the government.
   A.   I do not know if you have read Noel Coward's poems?  This
        is the way the English write.  They write with a delicate
        touch.  They do not write acres of stodge if they can help

.          P-73

        it if they are not professors of sociology or history.
        They write books that are going to get read.  To send a
        Nazi gang to go and requisition funds from a printing
        works is like the great train robbers requisitioning funds.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  How is the reader going to gather that from
        what you have written?
   A.   Well, maybe I have not written it with as much dexterity
        as normal, but the intention was to put a light touch on it.
   MR RAMPTON:  Then finally this, Mr Irving ----
   A.   Giving a Nazi receipt in exchange surely gives the
        flavour, does it not?
   Q.   The attack on the Jewish delicatessen and Hitler's
        supposed reaction to it, which you used in support of the
        statement that Hitler acted to maintain order,
        notwithstanding that he sent thugs to steal a large sum of
        money from some Jewish bankers, that raid on the
        delicatessen was not part of the putsch of the 8th and 9th
        November, 1923 at all, was it?
   A.   I do not know.  You tell us.
   Q.   If you have read Hoffmann's testimony, you would know that
        it referred to some earlier and quite unconnected
   A.   I do not know.  Does Professor Evans say this?
   Q.   Yes he does.

.          P-74

   A.   Perhaps you can draw attention to it.
   Q.   Last bullet point on page 228.
   A.   I cannot accept that without knowing what he relies on.
   Q.   I think you will see at the top of 229 what he relies on
        in Hoffmann's testimony.
   A.   He just says "It is quite clear that".  Frankly, I do not
        accept that unless he gives us a source.  You remember, I
        have read the 6,000 pages of testimony and he has just
        read some printed text.
   Q.   Well, I think what he is probably referring to, which is
        perfectly obvious if you look at it, and I am grateful to
        Miss Rogers, is on page 227, the very first line of the
        quote from Hoffmann is: "Apart from this, I want to
        mention a previous incident because acts of violence which
        individuals have committed have always been ascribed to
        him.  I once went along to Hitler when I was still in the
        force and said to him:  this and that have happened
        again.   Some elements had attacked..."
                  It was a quite separate occasion, nothing
        whatever to do with Hitler's restoring order during the
        putsch of 1923.
   A.   Mr Rampton, will you read the German original of that
        first line, please?
   Q.  "Austerdem mochte ich einen Fall vorher erwahnen..."
   A.   Not "einen vorher Fall erwahnen". He does not say, "I want
        to mention a previous incident".  He says, "I would first

.          P-75

        like to mention an incident".
   Q.   Yes, but read on.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I see.
   A.   It is a bad translation, of course.
   Q.   You say vorher qualifies erwahnen, not einen Fall?
   A.   It is an adverb, my Lord, it is not an adjective.
   MR RAMPTON:  You can take that up with Professor Evans.  It is
        no good arguing with me about that.
   A.   I have quite a few things to take up with Professor Evans
        when he comes.
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, I do not think I have anything more on
        this little topic.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No.  I think that was better than just
        adjourning for 20 minutes.  We have actually had the 20
        minutes and the file is here or is not here?
   MR RAMPTON:  It is.
   MR RAMPTON:  Can we have five minutes just to sort it out?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes of course.  I will adjourn for five

                       (Short Adjournment)

   MR RAMPTON:  Your Lordship should have a new red file.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I have, L2.
   MR RAMPTON:  Mr Irving, for this purpose I am going to
        concentrate on your latest account of Reichskrissallnacht

.          P-76

        which is that given in your 1996 book on Goebbels.  If you
        tell me that you want also to refer to what you have
        written on Hitler's War or on any other book, I will come
        back to is that tomorrow.
   A.   Would you your Lordship like the book itself?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think I will probably operate off the
        transcript, thank very much, then I can mark it.
   A.   I have a spare copy.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I have one already actually of Goebbels.
   MR RAMPTON:  Can we start on page 273, and I am not going to
        going to read out page 273.  What you do there is give an
        account of what had happened in Paris, and earlier, on 7th
        November 1938 which was that it was said that an assassin
        called Grynszpan had shot a Nazi diplomat called vom Rath,
        is that right?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   He did not die immediately.  I think he died some time in
        the afternoon of the 9th.  Is that not right?
   A.   That is correct, yes.
   Q.   The news of his death was transmitted to Berlin at about
        5 o'clock that evening, or a bit earlier, and then was
        released on the news?
   A.   That is correct.
   Q.   Whether directly or indirectly, as a consequence of that,
        a number of disturbances began to take place in different
        places in Germany which were all directed against Jewish

.          P-77

        property.  Is that a fair account?
   A.   I think the disturbances actually begun before the death
        was announced.
   Q.   After the shooting?
   A.   After the shooting the disturbances begun, yes.
   Q.   Prompted by the shooting.  Can I start right then at the
        bottom of page 273:  "Events that evening, November 9th,
        are crucial to the history of what followed.  As Goebbels
        and Hitler set out to attend the Nazi reception in the old
        city hall, they learned that the police were intervening
        against anti-Jewish demonstrators in Munich.  Hitler
        remarked that the police should not crack down too harshly
        under the circumstances".  Your source for that -- have
        you got it?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   274.  Your source for that, I think, is eyewitness
        testimony, is it not?  The footnotes are on page 612 and
        following, I can tell you that.
   A.   Yes.  It was a statement by Juttner.
   Q.   What follows next, however, is a quotation from the
        Goebbels' Diary written, no doubt, on the 10th?
   A.   Not necessarily.  If you remember, the Goebbels' Diary,
        over these days, was written up subsequently, I think, so
        it is dangerous to assume that a diary was written --- -
   Q.   I do not.  I have no quarrel with Dr Goebbels' Diary in
        this part of the tale, I have to say.

.          P-78

   A.   Yes.
   Q.   "'Colossal activity' the Goebbels diary entry reports,
        then claims:  'I brief the Fuhrer on the affair.  He
        decides:  Allow the demonstrations to continue.  Hold back
        the police.  The Jews must be given a taste of the public
        anger for a change'."  So when you say in the earlier part
        that Hitler remarked that the police should not crack down
        too harshly, that means that they should not crack down
        too harshly on the anti-Jewish demonstrators, is that
   A.   That is correct, yes.
   Q.   What word did Goebbels use to represent his report of
        Hitler's decision that the police should be held back?
   A.   I do not know.  Can we see the diary?
   Q.   I think it is probably best, neatest, easiest, to see it.
        Sorry.  It is easiest for everybody else if we look at it
        on page 240 of the Evans' report, although it is in this
        new bundle.
   A.   The sense that I give is clearly that Hitler wanted the
        demonstrations against the Jews to continue.
   Q.   Yes, but my question was what word did Goebbels use which
        you translate as "hold back"?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  "Zuruckziehen".
   A.   You must remember, it was eight or nine years since
        I actually wrote this.  It is eight years since I saw
        Goebbels diaries.

.          P-79

   Q.   Well, the answer is "Zuruckziehen", I think, is it not?
   A.   "Zuruckziehen".
   MR RAMPTON:  If Goebbels had meant "hold back", he would have
        written something like "Zuruckhalten would he not"?
   A.   Or "Zuruckneimen", yes.
   Q.   "Zuruckziehen" is more active, it means ----
   A.   Pull back.
   Q.   "Pull them out"?
   A.   Pull back, yes.
   Q.   "And let the demonstrators get on with it"?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   And he says simply that the Jews for once shall feel the
        anger of the people.  That is all he says in the next
        sentence, is it not?
   A.   "The Jews must be given a taste of the public anger for a
        change", yes.
   Q.   Where is the "taste" in the German?
   A.   What is the difference?  I have talked before about the
        need to make literate translations or literary
        translations of diaries.  The Goebbels diary presents
        particular problems because it is written in the
        vernacular, and it is very difficult to give the exact
        flavour, or in this case the taste, of the vernacular in
        the translation you give.  He is writing slang.  It would
        be like translating cockney into German.  Frequently he is
        writing in a Berlin cockney.

.          P-80

   Q.   But it is perfectly correct to translate it as Professor
        Evans does, "The Jews must for once feel the people's
        fury".  That is more accurate.
   A.   Well, can we see the actual German original perhaps?
   Q.   The German original is at the bottom of page 240 of Evans.
        You want to see the actual document?
   A.   No, no, I just want to no.  "Die Juden sollen einmal den
        Volkszorn zu verspuren bekommen" --  "The Jews must have a
        taste of the people's anger".  My translation is better
        than his, I am afraid.
   Q.   You say so.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  "Verspuren" means track of, or something like
        that, does it, or trace of?
   A.   I think "to have taste of something", to have a taste of
        the public anger.
   MR RAMPTON:  Now, much more important than that ----
   A.   I hope so.
   Q.   --- well, much more important than that, Mr Irving, is
        this, really it is the foundation, is it not, of your
        whole account of this event, or series of events, which
        later came to be known as Reichskristallnacht?  Goebbels,
        it must be, according to you, when he wrote that the
        Fuhrer said, "Let the demonstrations go on and withdraw
        the police"?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Goebbels must be lying?  Because, on your account, Hitler

.          P-81

        did not know anything about it and was shocked and angry
        when he found out what was happening early on the morning
        of 10th?
   A.   Surely this is a reference to what has been going on
        during the day before the Kristallnacht.
   Q.   Big demonstrations against the Jews in Kassel and Dessau?
   A.   Yes.

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