Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day012.10 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. Synagogues set on fire and businesses demolished? A. Yes. This was during the day even before the Reichskristallnacht began, the outrages began. Q. "The death of the German diplomat vom Rath is reported in the afternoon. But now the goose is cooked. I go to the party reception in the Old Town Hall. Colossal activity". That means at the reception, I take it. "I brief the Fuhrer about the matter," what matter? A. Can we see the entire passage, please? Q. Then I will have to find it. A. This is very important and we really have to go over it line by line. Q. Yes, it is terribly important, not from the historical point of view. Tab 3, is it? Tab 3, page ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Tab 3 of what L2? MR RAMPTON: Yes, page 1. A. Unfortunately, we do not have the first pages of this diary entry. Had I known, I would have brought my transcript of the diary with me. . P-82 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Presumably, this is all in one of the other files? MR RAMPTON: No, we have not got it. A. Well, I published the Goebbels 1938 diary in a separate edition before this edition came out. Of course, I am the first person to have transcribed these handwritten diaries, and it is quite plain when you look at these diaries that this particular day is written up one or two days later, so it is very difficult to be certain about the sequence of events. You have really to ---- MR RAMPTON: Well, it is pretty clear, is it not, Mr Irving? A. Well, if you ---- Q. What time of the day was the rally or whatever it was in the old Rathaus, the old Town Hall? A. It was a dinner. Q. A dinner? A. A dinner, yes. Q. According to Goebbels, he went with Hitler to the dinner? A. Yes. Q. Although Hitler did not stay? A. Yes. Q. But they were obviously talking about the violence which had broken out in different parts of Germany against Jewish property as they went or when they got there, were they not? Look at the text on page ---- A. I am very clearly looking at the text and I am going to . P-83 translate as I go along. Paragraph -- the first, the third full paragraph: "In Kassel", right? Q. Yes, please. A. "In Kassel and Dessau great demonstrations against the Jews. Synagogues are set on fire and the shops are demolished. In the afternoon the death of the German diplomat vom Rath is reported. Now it is" [something or other], the word is unplain, illegible, "I go to the party reception in the old Town Hall. A lot going on there. I tell the Fuhrer about it. I tell -- I report the matter to the Fuhrer". It is obviously the fact that vom Rath is dead. That is what he has told Hitler about. The news has come over the wires, Goebbels is the propaganda minister and he has passed on to Hitler the fact. Q. Read on, Mr Irving, really. A. And he says, "Let the demonstrations carry on. Pull back the police", yes. Q. Yes. A. What he has told Hitler about is the death of vom Rath. Q. No, Mr Irving, that is a complete, if I may ---- A. OK, I will take your one, I do not mind. It makes no difference either way. I will take your interpretation. Q. What Goebbels done is to tell Hitler, Hitler surely already knows about the death of vom Rath, after all - --- A. Well, you have no evidence for that. Q. Well, he sent his personal physician over to Paris to try . P-84 to save the man's life, does he not? A. But you do not have any evidence for the fact that Hitler knew when Goebbels went to him -- well, OK, even accept that, I do not mind. Let us carry on. Q. Look at the thing realistically, Mr Irving. The news gets on the public radio by 5 o'clock in the evening. Are you telling me that Hitler would not know? Of course, he knew? A. Are you giving evidence that it was on the radio as opposed to coming over the wires? Q. I am just trying to push into the bushes an absurd, off the cuff answer by you. I am not going to hold you to it. A. It is not off the cuff. I have researched this matter in enormous depth. I am the first person to have transcribed the Goebbels' diaries on the Kristallnacht. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, what does "die angelegenheit" mean? A. The affair, the matter, the business, ras in Latin. Q. So that is equivocal? A. It could be anything. It could refer to either thing. But I do not see that it makes any difference either way and I am quite happy to accept Mr Rampton's interpretation. MR RAMPTON: Hitler's response is nothing to do with, "Oh, isn't it awful? Yes, what a shame it is about vom Rath". Hitler's response is all to do with the demonstrations . P-85 against the Jews and the destruction of their property, is it not? A. I am quite happy to accept that. I do not really see that it makes any difference what the matter was in this discussion. Q. Oh, yes, it does because what Hitler says is: "Let the demonstrations continue"? A. Yes. Q. "Draw back the police, pull out the police"? A. "Let the police -- let the Jews have the taste of public anger", yes. Q. That is right, and that may well be Goebbels' (because he often puts those little words in, does he not) observation. You know, do you not (and I am sure you do, although we do not have find it in your book, I do not think), in February of the following year, 13th February or so, the Nazi party judicial system (which is nothing whatever to do with the official state prosecution or court service) held some kind of tribunal or enquiry into what had happened on 9th and 10th November 1938? A. Into the excesses committed by Nazi party members, yes, against the Jews. Q. Yes. How many Nazi party members were actually prosecuted, fined or imprisoned by the State courts? A. Prosecuted or fined or imprisoned? Q. Well take them in order, if you like? . P-86 A. I do not know. Q. Very few, I suggest. A. Well, if that is your evidence, but I do not know either way -- not without consulting the records. Q. Can you look in tab 2 of this document? A. They were prosecutions, definitely, for people who had murdered Jews for ---- Q. Yes. A. --- shall we say -- on one occasion a Jew was murdered because he was going to give evidence in a libel action, I believe, and he was prosecuted for it -- the murderer was prosecuted for it, yes. Can I look at ---- Q. This is not the State justice machinery, is it, this party tribunal or whatever it is? A. No, it is not. Q. It calls itself "Der Oberste"? A. It is the supreme party court. Q. Yes, Der Oberste ---- A. Under Walter Buch. Q. --- Parteirichter? A. Walter Buch -- B-U-C-H. Q. Yes, and this is its report to General Field Marshal Hermann Goring, is it not? A. Yes. Q. If you would like to turn over the page? A. What are we looking at? . P-87 Q. I am so sorry. Are you not in this file? Tab 2. A. Tab 2. Q. It is dated 13th February 1939. A. Yes. Q. What it says, which is of significance for present purposes, is to be found on the next page, page 2. If you would not mind just translating it? In the middle of the page, it says: "Geheim! Geheim!" which is "Secret", presumably, then it says "Bericht" which is "Report on", and then what is it reporting on? A. A report on the episodes and the party court procedures in connection with the anti-Semitic demonstrations on November 9th 1938. Q. Right. Now I would like you to read the next paragraph and down to the line below "seite 2". A. Read it? Q. I mean translate it for us, please? A. "On the evening of 9th November 1938, the Reichs propaganda director, party member Dr Goebbels, informed the party members who had met for a comradely evening in the old Town Hall in Munich that there had been anti-Jewish demonstrations in the gaus, G-A-U-S, of Kurhessen and Magdeburg-Anhalt, A-N-H-A-L-T, and that Jewish shops and synagogues had been smashed -- and the Jewish shops had been smashed and synagogues had been set on fire. The Fuhrer had decided on his briefing that such . P-88 demonstrations were not to be prepared by the party, nor were they to be organized by the party. In so far as they occurred spontaneously, they were, however, not to be opposed or stopped". Q. Yes. Well, now, whereas I suppose you might say that Dr Goebbels might lie to his diary ---- A. Yes. Q. --- he is not likely to lie to the Alten Rathaus gathering of old party comrades, is he? He is representing to them what he and Hitler have been discussing and what Hitler has told him before that dinner which Hitler did not attend, is he not? A. Yes. Q. Do we find that speech by Goebbels at the Alten Rathaus referred to anywhere by you in your Goebbels book? A. I believe that I had the version given by the British Consul in Munich which he reported to the Foreign Office and he obtained an account of what Goebbels had said, and I have referenced that as the source. Obviously, there is no transcript of it. Q. You see, if Goebbels was telling the truth to the party court ---- A. He was not actually one of their witnesses. Q. Sorry, no. If this is an accurate report of what Goebbels said at the Alten Rathausen on the evening of 9th November, probably after Hitler had left, why, then, the . P-89 idea that Hitler did not know what was going to happen is absurd, is it not? A. We are talking about scale, I think, more than anything else. It is quite evident from Goebbels diary that Hitler had said, "OK, so the Jews are going to have, they are going to get ruffed up, pull the police back, let it happen, let the Jews have a taste of the public anger this time". But what is evidenced from all the records that I have seen is that, like a lot of fires, it got out of hand, and by midnight, so to speak, it was quite plain that this was turning into an extremely unseemingly pogrom which in an organised, national Socialist State was something desired certainly not by Hitler, and in the following morning not by Goebbels either, because it reflected badly on them all. Q. I am going to ask you look at one sentence in Goebbels on page 276, your book on Goebbels? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can I just, before you do that, get an impression of the scale of the problem at it was known to Hitler. This document we are looking at is referring to events in Kurhessen and Magdeburg-Anhalt. Where are they? A. Well, they were provinces in central Germany hundreds of miles away from Munich, and he is getting reports of a synagogue set on fire here and the demonstrations there. Q. Well, perhaps a bit more than that, but, at any rate, Jewish businesses being trashed and ---- . P-90 A. Elsewhere, certainly not in Munich yet and not all over Germany, not a huge forest firing spreading with uncontrollable speed across the country. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I just wanted to be clear, thank you. MR RAMPTON: Can I just then -- I want to do two things. One will need his Lordship's permission, but the first does not. Could I ask you to turn to page 276 of Goebbels? A. Yes. Q. And look at the last paragraph. It is precisely because of what you have just said that I want you to look at this. A. Can I just draw attention to the first sentence of the full paragraph: "The pogrom was soon out of control" on that page.
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