Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day017.10 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 MR IRVING: Were there more than three of these ominous trucks of death going around the Eastern Front do you think? Did they go from location to location? A. Some of them were distributed to each of the Einsatzgruppen so there were some operating in Riga, some in Minsk and south, so that they were a few. We know, for instance, that Minsk, I do not have the document, but . P-84 I think they had 3 or 4 trucks and they asked for more. So we know that they had small fleets of these trucks with different Einsatzgruppen. Q. Was this the principal means of killing at that time? A. No. It was a very minor part of the Einsatzgruppen. The vast bulk of the killing in the East was by shooting. The gas vans attached to the Einsatzgruppen were a very minor part of their killing operations. Q. Can you draw any conclusions from the fact that they used different methods of killing people, a lack of system? A. I think we can find a kind of chronological sequence. They start with shooting. The next thing implemented is the gas vans starting at Chelmno and Semlin. Then they move to the fairly primitive gas chambers, which is the gas chambers that Operation Reinhardt and the converted peasant bunkers at Auschwitz. Then they move to the design construction. Once they have experience one can go back and say, how would you do this if you were creating something modern? So I do not find anything haphazard and confusing. I find it quite a logical sequence in which they add new methods of killing at the same time as the old methods continue. Q. Would you not agree that the lack of preparedness at the time Barbarossa began on June 22nd 1941 is in itself an indication that they did not go into Russia with the intention of carrying out systematic liquidations on a . P-85 large scale? A. That has been my argument. We get evidence of preparations at the death camps coming in the fall of 41, which is when I have argued, partly because of that, that one then concludes that they have now reached the point where they want a systematic killing of the Jews of Europe. Q. Yes. My Lord, I wanted to take this witness briefly on to the table talk document which your Lordship may remember, October 25th 1941. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am sure I will when you tell me what it is. Is that the Himmler Hitler meeting? MR IRVING: It is the ugly rumours one, good thing that the rumour goes ahead of us. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us dig it out. MR IRVING: I put in my clip, my Lord, of documents I gave to you. MR JUSTICE GRAY: If it is somewhere else perhaps we will go to where it is already. MR RAMPTON: It is in part 1 of Longerich. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I was wondering about the actual document. MR IRVING: We will find it most neatly on page 25 of the clip I gave you, my Lord, in the actual original Martin Bormann version. A. The problem is that I do not have the document. MR IRVING: It is the clip that I gave you this morning, . P-86 Professor. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Page 25. MR RAMPTON: Page 59 of Longerich 1, paragraph 16.4. It is translated and the relevant part of the German is given at the footnote 149. MR IRVING: Professor, do you have the document in front of you? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Just pause a moment, Mr Irving. MR IRVING: Page 25. A. Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. MR IRVING: Professor, in your absence, before you arrived in the United Kingdom, I was taking stick for having wrongly translated two or three words in the second paragraph of that document. A. Yes. Q. The translation which I relied upon was the Weidenfeld edition of Hitler's table talk. A. Yes. Q. I will read out most of the paragraph. They are talking about the Jews. They are going to have to disappear from Europe. The Weidenfeld translation continues: "That race of criminals has on its conscience the 2 million dead of the First World War -- this is Adolf Hitler allegedly speaking -- and now already hundreds of thousands more. Let nobody tell me that all the same we cannot park them . P-87 in the marshy parts of Russia. Who is worrying about our troops? It is not a bad idea by the way that public rumour attributes to us a plan to exterminate the Jews." I will stop there. That is the translation of the phrase "Es ist gut, wenn uns der Schrecken vorangeht". A. Yes. Q. I would ask you how would you translate the phrase, "it is good if wenn uns der Schrecken vorangeht"? A. It is good if the terror precedes us that we are exterminating the Jews. Q. The terror? A. The Schrecken, the fear of the terror. I certainly would not have translated it as "rumours". Q. You would not translate it as "public rumours"? So they have it wrong and I was wrong, criminally wrong, perversely wrong to have adopted the Weidenfeld---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is for me, not for the witness. MR IRVING: Professor, are you familiar with a historian by the name of Philip Burrin? A. Philip Burrin, yes. Q. Yes. Is he a notable historian? He is not an extremist in some way, is he? Is he a dependable historian? His works are published? A. He is an historian of accepted reputation. Q. Are you familiar with a book that this historian wrote . P-88 called "Hitler and the Jews, the genesis of the Holocaust". A. Yes. Q. Please turn to page 17 of your bundle of documents that I gave you and look at page 145? Would you say that in the second half of that paragraph this historian has done his own translation of the original German? Perhaps I ought to draw your attention, first of all, to the end note 47, which you will find on page 18 of my bundle. MR JUSTICE GRAY: How do you know he did his own translation? MR IRVING: That is what I am just referring to. MR JUSTICE GRAY: How does that prove that?. A. He wrote the book in French and someone else translated it. Burrin's original book is in French. He is a French speaking Swiss historian. MR IRVING: He has not used the Weidenfeld translation from what you can see. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is obvious. A. He has not listed his monologe. MR IRVING: Is that the title of the German edition of the book, Hitler's table talk, Monologe im Fuhrer... A. Yes, but what it looks to me is that his translator got lazy and, instead of translating Monologe, in fact grabbed the Weidenfeld and borrowed an English translation from an earlier edition and goofed it entirely. Burrin has been betrayed by his translator. That is how I would look at . P-89 this. Q. Will you take it from me that this Weidenfeld edition, sad to say, only went through one edition and there were no other editions than this? If he had had this edition before him, he would have used use phrase "public rumour". A. I am in possession of a paper back that presumably was sold in great quantities that has exactly the Weidenfeld translation, so it is not a scarce book to get. Q. They did not change this wording then? They did not use the word ominous reputation, which is the wording that has been used by Philip Burrin? A. I am afraid I am not following you right now. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think this is such an open question that it is not going to get you anywhere really. There is no point in my not saying that. I see the point you are driving at but it is too speculative. MR IRVING: My point, my Lord, is quite clearly that, if this historian uses the phrase "ominous reputation", which is arguably very close to the translation which is adopted both by myself and Weidenfeld translation, then it would be perverse to call me perverse for having adopted a perverse ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. I think the criticism is more focused really, that you saw the German text, saw the word "Schrecken", but were nevertheless content to use the . P-90 word "rumour" because it was in Weidenfeld when "Schrecken" does not mean "rumour". That I think is the point. MR IRVING: So, my Lord, does this translator. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I follow that. In a sense, this is beside the point. A. One have would it to ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is my feeling. I have the point you seek to make. I have told you what I think about it. MR IRVING: The point I am seeking to make is that he is not a Holocaust denier. He is not perverse. Others also use a milder version of it than the outright terror, which is possible translation of "Schrecken" but not the only one. A. One way to deal with it is to get the Burrin original and see what he says in French, because this is what would reflect what he was thinking, and then we could decide whether Burrin, as a historian or a historically ignorant translator, using a different version to save himself the time from a responsible translation, is at fault here. Q. While you have the bundle in front of you, we can now dispose of the bundle in a few minutes, page 32 of the bundle, my Lord, I am just using this witness in order to introduce a document. MR JUSTICE GRAY: You are doing it in exactly an appropriate way, as I say. MR IRVING: Page 32 and page 33: Are you familiar with the . P-91 Harvard University? Of course you are. A. Yes. Q. Are you familiar with the fact that their library at Harvard University is called the Weidener library? A. Yes. Q. Does this appear to be a list of books which the library has in its card file by an author called David Irving? A. Yes. Q. And do there appear to be 47 books by that author in the Harvard University library? A. 47 entries. Some of them are duplicate. Q. Yes. In other words, 47 copies of my books are in Harvard University Library? A. Yes. Q. Is that a commendable total, would you say? A. It is a large number. Q. How many books by Professor Browning are there in the Harvard University Library? Have you any estimate? A. I do not know if they have any of mine! MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, joking apart, what I get out of this is that you are thought by Harvard University or the Wagner Library to be the sort of author of whose many books they have a large number in stock. I think that is a fair point for you to make. MR IRVING: Taken in conjunction with one of the earlier paragraphs of Professor Evans' expert report, my Lord -- . P-92 I am sure your Lordship will remember it -- Professor Evans went to the British Library and found that my book "Hitler's War" was kept on the pornographic and restricted list. Apparently, it is not the case in respected institutions in the United States. MR JUSTICE GRAY: If Professor Evans makes points like that, you are entitled to make this sort of point in reply. A. I would just add that Harvard University tries to have a complete list so they will buy everything. It does not reflect an endorsement of the authors by virtue of the fact they have them available in the library. MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, of course. MR IRVING: Would you turn to page 34 of that bundle? These are just odds and ends and this is the appropriate way to use them, I think. It is the last page. My Lord, this is the German original and also I have translated it into English for your Lordship. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is very helpful. Thank you. MR IRVING: It is German police decodes. It is Traffic of November 13th 1941, is that correct? Intercepted and decoded a month later roughly. There are two radio messages here, is that correct? A. Item 10 and item 32, yes. Q. Item 10 and 32. Would you agree that item 10 appears to be a radio message sent from the SS Chief Medical Officer in Riga to the firm of Tesch and Stabenow in Hamburg? . P-93 A. I do not see the Riga. I see radio message of the SS at Hamburg. Q. The last line says: "Signed, Senior Medical Officer"? A. I was looking at the top. Q. Would you agree this is from the Senior Medical Officer attached to the Chief SS Officer in Riga and it is going to the firm of Tesch and Stabenow in Hamburg? A. Via the Hamburg SS, yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, sorry, can I just ask you this? It is called a decode. Is this is an intercept? MR IRVING: This is a British intercept. MR JUSTICE GRAY: A Bletchley intercept?
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