Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day020.19 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 Q. Do you accept that without the existence of such a body there would have been such major concessions in the Holocaust story that have occurred since the end of World War II? A. No, to the question and no to the premise. Q. Have there been major concessions in the story since the end of World War II? A. You would have to tell me exactly what they were and demonstrate that they were based on the work of the Institute of Historical Review before I accepted that. Q. Is it true that the Israeli authority at Yad Vashim now officially agree that the Nazis never manufactured soap from bodies? A. I think that has long been the case. Indeed ---- Q. Can you put a date on it? A. No, I cannot, no. Q. Was it about 1989? A. I would have to see documentation of that. Q. Do you agree that the figure of Auschwitz has been brought down from 4 million to 1.5 million? A. We have already been through that. MR JUSTICE GRAY: We had this, I think, last Thursday. MR IRVING: I am just trying to look at the concessions that have been made largely as a result of revisionist . P-169 agitation, if I can put it like that? A. I do not think, Mr Irving, that that was the result of the work of the Institute of Historical Review which was not founded at the time that that number was changed. MR IRVING: Have you read the work of Michael Berenbaum -- I am sorry, of Aberhard Jackeln who states that it was not until 1977 that the whole of this Holocaust research industry began, that the historians started doing their job? A. I think we have already been through that, I think, when you cross-examined Professor Browning, that certainly I would need to see a copy of that statement by Professor Jackeln, but if he does say that, then he is certainly not correct. Q. You would not agree, therefore, that the revisionists, having created the Aunt Sally which the genuine historians needed, the scholars needed, you do not agree with the premise that the scholar would not have done the job as rigorously as they have had to? A. No, not at all, no. I have to say, on the whole, I do not serious scholars pay any attention to the work of the Institute of Historical Review at all. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I wonder whether the time has not come to move on to what is important which is page 205, what you have written about Hitler. MR IRVING: Well, I, in fact, leapt on to page 207, my Lord. . P-170 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Good. MR IRVING: Would you look at that quotation at the top of page 208? A. 208? Yes. Q. Yes. Have you left anything out of that quotation, do you think? A. Not that I can see. Q. It is about the euthanasia programme, is it not? A. Yes. Q. If I start reading about where it says: "About a quarter of a million hospital beds", I am going to read it from the book which is the actual source, which is the 1977 edition at page 20? A. Could I have a copy, please? Page 20? Q. Yes. "About a quarter of a million hospital beds were required" -- this is the actual text -- "for Germany's mental institutions for Germany's disproportionately large insane population, a result of centuries of lax and indiscriminate marriage laws: of some 7 or 800,000 people all told, about 10 per cent were permanently institutionalized. Others were in and out of hospitals. They occupied bed space and the attention of skilled medical personnel which Hitler now urgently needed for the treatment of the casualties of his coming campaigns". You missed passages out without indicating it, have you not? A. Let me just have a look at this. . P-171 Q. Three passages have vanished? A. Well, let me try to sort this out. Certainly, those two passages, the passage you read and this passage, would seem to indicate that. Now, here I refer to, it is actually pages 227 to 8 of the 1991 edition that I am citing, as you can see from the bottom of the previous page. Could I have the 1991 edition, please? We have 227 to 8. No, it is the wrong one. 227 to 8. MR JUSTICE GRAY: About a third of the way down. A. Right, let me read this from page 227 of the 1991 edition: "About a quarter of a million hospital beds were required for Germany's disproportionate large insane population: of some 7 or 800,000 victims of insanity all told, about 10 per cent were permanently institutionalized. They occupied bed space and the attention of skilled medical personnel which Hitler now urgently needed for the treatment of the casualties of his coming campaigns". So I have quoted absolutely correctly from the source that I give without any omissions at all. Q. But you have not actually realized that, in fact, the original quotation was fuller and you preferred the abbreviated version to base your ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, really! What sort of a point is that? MR IRVING: Page 209. . P-172 A. May I just say, Mr Irving, I think you are entirely right to condense that quotation because the reference to lax marriage laws in 1977 is entirely wrong. German marriage laws up to the middle of the 19th century, in most of south Germany, at least, were extremely strict. As you say yourself, you are condensing all the way along. There is no fault in that. Q. Page 209, paragraph 4.1.8 please. This is the Night of the Long Knives? A. Sorry, could you remind me? Q. 4.1.8, 209? A. 209? Yes. Q. 209, you say in the final sentence of that paragraph 4.1.8: "Irving defended the Night of the Long Knives in June 1934". This is rather like saying I applauded the Holocaust, is it not? A. No, I think it is somewhat different. Q. I "defended the Night of the Long Knives"? A. I go on in the next paragraph to outline your views. You say that "the SA was planning to" was underlined -- "overthrow Hitler's government". "In an act of rare magnanimity Hitler ordered state pensions provided for the next of kin of the people murdered in the Knight of the Long Knives. Even so he began to suffer nightmares and could not sleep" although, in fact, as I point out, Hitler personally marked crosses against the names of . P-173 considerable numbers of people that he ordered to be murdered. Q. I am going to come to that in a minute. The idea of defending the Night of the Long Knives suggests that I defended the murder of people when they were planning a revolution? A. Well, the nub of it, of course, is were they planning a revolution or not. Q. Well ---- A. And in any case, and also, of course, the murder, that was done wholly outside the judicial process. Q. If I establish in a biography of Hitler that, in fact, these SA leaders were plotting something, this is not the same as defending their murder, do you agree with that? A. I think it is -- I am prepared to jettison the word "defending" and say "excusing". We have been down this road before. Q. "Excusing" is almost as bad as "defending". But can we now move to the next paragraph where you are saying that the charges were trumped up. Do you not accept that the brown shirt movement were, in fact, planning the overthrow of the Nazi government of Germany? A. I think the evidence is very thin. Q. Have you read various works on the subject, for example, by Heinz Werner? A. I have read some. . P-174 Q. So you have read some works, but just on the basis of having read some works, you are prepared to say that I am wrong and that these other authors are wrong? A. Well, let me see what I say. You see: "Most authors have seen the Night of the Long Knives as a shocking violation of moral and legal norms" ---- Q. Yes. A. ---- "in which Hitler not only brought retrospectively trumped-up charges against the SA leaders of plotting a coup, but also used the opportunity to bump off politicians, such as Kurt von Schleicher and Gustav von Kahr, who he felt knew too much about his past, or whom he simply strongly disliked, and against whom no conceivable political suspicions could be directed in 1934". Q. On the basis of your limited knowledge of the Night of the Long Knives, what evidence do you have that Hitler ordered the murder of Schleicher which was an appalling act -- there is no question -- that Hitler was personally involved in that? Do you have any evidence? A. I do not present it here, no. I would have to do some research on that. Q. And what evidence do you have for saying that Hitler personally ---- A. Let me respond to that by saying can you present evidence that he did not? Maybe that is the way to go. Q. Are you familiar with the excellent paper on the murder of . P-175 General Schleicher that was published by the Institute of History about 35 years ago, giving the entire background of the case? A. I thought you did not read work by other historians, Mr Irving. Q. For some historians I make exceptions? A. Ah, so you do read work by other historians? Q. This was a documentation. You appreciate the difference between a documentation and a book? Two lines from the bottom you say: "Hitler personally marked crosses against the names of scores of people on the night in question". What evidence do you have for that? A. That is what I understand from my reading. I agree, I cite in footnote 11 the sources which I have used for my extremely brief account of this. Q. So this is one of those cases where the historian has sat in his book lined cave and taken four books off a shelf and written a fifth, effectively? A. No. Q. He has not really added to our knowledge? A. I do not think -- oh, you mean me? Q. Yes. A. Well, if you can show that they are wrong or somebody can show that they are wrong, then I would be quite happy to accept that. Q. If you can take it from me that Field Marshal Milch . P-176 described to me personally, sitting at the Execution Council, together with Himmler and the other leading members of that gang, watching as Himmler read out a list of names and they personally approved and wrote little ticks against the names of those to be liquidated which were handed out through the door to the flunkers who ordered it carried out, that this was the way the Execution Council took place, and that Hitler was nowhere near, would you accept that version? It is contained in one of the books you have read, the rise and fall of the Luftwaffe? A. No, Mr Irving. That is a recollection a long time after the event. It is not a contemporary document. You yourself would be the first to impugn the reliability of that source if that source if it said something you did not like. Q. Would you accept that Milsche kept diaries throughout that episode and also that Milsche would hardly relate something to me which under circumstances could be taken as counting against himself if he was a participant in or an eyewitness of this Execution Council? A. Well, this is getting rather hypothetical. If you present to me documents that demonstrate that what I say here is wrong, I will be quite happy to accept it. Q. That is not the way it works, Professor. A. I thought it was the way it worked. . P-177 Q. You are saying here in an expert report which you now concede is written on rather flimsy evidence that Hitler personally ---- A. I do not think I did that at all, Mr Irving. Q. --- marked crosses against the names of scores of people? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think if you are wanting to say that there is documentary support for what you write, Mr Irving, and for what Professor Evans criticises, you really ought to be equipped to show Professor Evans what you rely on. For example, I mean, did you record what General Milsche was telling you about the absence of Hitler, and so on?
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