Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day021.16 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I know exactly what the dispute and the criticism is and I know what your answer to it is, Mr Irving, and I am now going to rule that you move to the . P-144 next topic. MR IRVING: Will you look at page 280? You accuse me of not quoting a passage from the diary of Ulrich von Hassell? A. Sorry. Can I just clear my desk a bit? MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is the "My dear Popitz, do you want me to punish the Fuhrer"? A. Yes, exactly. MR IRVING: You state that in a conversation -- I will read the whole passage. I am sorry, I want you to look at page 283. It is again the Hassell diary. This is the last change. Page 293 of the expert report, my Lord. It is the Hassell diary that you are referring to in paragraph 2, is it not? A. Yes. Q. It is again concerning the involvement of Hitler and Hassell -- this again is hearsay -- Hassell is reporting what he is being told by his friend, the Bruckmanns, is that right? A. Yes. Q. About a visit from Rudolf Hess on December 23rd? A. Yes. Q. Hess "had left them in no doubt that he had completely disapproved of the action against the Jews". He is referring to the Night of Broken Glass, is he? A. Yes. Q. "He had also reported his views in an energetic matter . P-145 (sic) to the 'Fuhrer'" ---- A. "Manner". Q. --- "and begged him to drop the matter" ---- A. ... "energetic manner to the 'Fuhrer'". Q. ... "manner to the 'Fuhrer' and begged him to drop the matter, but unfortunately completely in vain"? A. Yes. Q. What do you think he means by "dropping the matter"? A. Well, I put this passage here because of the sentence you left out, Mr Irving, the final sentence: "Hess pointed to against as the actual originator", and what you say in your book is that "Hess confirmed that in his view Goebbels alone was to blame" ---- Q. Yes, but ---- A. --- which is a blatant misrepresentation of that sentence. Q. Now will you answer my question? A. That is why it is there. Q. It will speed things up if you answer my question. Paragraph 2, you say: "Irving omits all mention of the crucial sentence which reports Hess as saying his attempt to get Hitler to stop the pogrom had been futile". Is that what Hess actually said, what the diary said, "Stop the pogrom" or to "drop the matter"? A. Let us read it again: "He had left them in no doubt that he completely disapproved of the action against the Jews; he had also reported his energetic matter to the 'Fuhrer' . P-146 and begged him to drop the matter, but unfortunately completely in vain." Q. [German], is that right? A. Yes, "the thing". Q. The original German? A. Yes, "the thing". Q. What do you think he meant by, dis aher, the matter, the thing, the affair? A. The action against the Jews. Q. Is it not possible that by this time, the end of December, he is referring to all the persecution measures that had been ordained by the Nazis, the billion Reichs mark fine and all the rest of it -- all these petty measures of persecution that had been adopted by the Nazis which were adding insult to injury, if I can put it like that? A. I do not think so, no. It follows on naturally from the notion, what he says about the action against the Jews, which you have agreed was the pogrom of 9th/10th November, and you still have to explain why you do not quote this sentence. Q. That is it not quite obvious that Hess had gone to Hitler and upon learning that Hitler and Goring had decided to impose this swinging fine on the Jewish community and all the other measures, he had put Goring in charge of the evacuation or emigration programme, and all these other things that had been set in programme by then ---- . P-147 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is bizarre, Mr Irving. MR IRVING: I beg your pardon? MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is bizarre, is it not? MR IRVING: It is not in the least bizarre, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: If you look at what goes before and what goes after, plainly, surely, you must accept they are talking about the event of Kristallnacht. MR IRVING: No, my Lord, because you have to have a knowledge of the Nazi Party hierarchy to know that Rudolf Hess's signature was under Adolf Hitler's signature on all the anti-Jewish measures that had then followed. Rudolf Hess had found himself counter signing all these orders, including the billion Reichs mark fine and all the punitive measures against the Jewish community, and he had obviously gone to Hitler and said, "For heaven's sake, why don't we drop it? We are just adding insult to injury". That is what this conversation is about, and it is perverse to translate "sacher" as "pogrom", is it not, which is what you have done? A. That is complete, complete -- well, two things. I do not translate it as "pogrom". I say "begged him to drop the matter". "Matter" is a reasonable translation for "sacher", I think, so I do not translate it as that. Q. I am sorry, in paragraph 2 you say: "Irving omits all mention of the crucial sentence which reports Hess as saying his attempt to get Hitler to stop the pogrom had . P-148 been futile" ---- A. Yes, there has been a translation, Mr Irving. That is what I am saying there. I am not translating there. It is quite clear that the action against the Jews, as you said yourself, referred to the events, the pogrom, the destruction and murders of the night of 9th to the 10th. Q. And you do not see there is any possible alternative interpretation in view of the fact that, as you and I know, you being an expert on the Third Reich, Rudolf Hess, as Deputy Fuhrer, counter signed all the orders issued against the Jews over the next few days and he obviously found it repugnant to do so? A. I do not see any evidence that he did. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr irving, my recommendation is that you move on because we can all read what is there. MR RAMPTON: We can also all read what is on page 281 of the Goebbels book which is all about Goebbels' blame for the pogrom. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, and he is hardly the originator of the criminal proceedings -- the Party court proceedings against the perpetrators. MR IRVING: The translation of "sacher" as "pogrom" which is what this witness has done ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, you have asked that question. The witness has quite rightly told you it is not a translation. He is giving the sense of it. It is not the . P-149 same thing. Please move on, will you? MR IRVING: Page 297. Let us see what kind of spin you can put on this. Line 3 and a half, if I can put like that, at page 297, in other words, the fourth line? A. Yes. Q. It is an entry in the Goebbels diary, is it not? A. Yes. Q. 133, the entry for November 17th. It is in a book by Dr Reuth? A. Sorry, 133? Yes, that edition, yes. Q. Do you know where Dr Reuth got that entry from? A. He got it from you, Mr Irving. Q. Yes, I donated it to him. A. Yes, I know that. Q. You will notice that the quotation is Goebbels diary. Hitler is described as being "in a good mood. Sharply against the Jews. Approves my and our policy totally"? A. Yes. Q. Have you seen the original German of that text? A. I do quote it there. Do show it to me, Mr Irving. Can you refer it to me? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do we need to go beyond the footnote? MR IRVING: No, my Lord, "Billigt ganz meine und unsere Politik", is that correct? A. That is quoted in -- I cite that in my footnote. I try to give the original German for all my translations so that . P-150 you can check it, Mr Irving, and raise objections if you want to. Q. I go one stage better than you. I use the original handwritten text because sometimes you can draw conclusions from the way the handwriting is done. If I tell that you the word "meine" is obviously inserted by accident and that he then, as an after thought, had to include "and our", "und unsere", because he could not very well cross out "meine" because that would be a bit of a give away, would it not? A. Well, there are several things ---- Q. I made that comment in my Goebbels biography. A. I do not want to give a long answer, but, first of all, I would have to see a copy of the manuscript to be able accept that it is as you say. Secondly, it does not make any difference to the statement that Hitler completely approves of Goebbels' policy. Q. But is it not a bit of a give away that Goebbels starts off writing, "He approves my policy" and then he realises he has given the game away, so he then adds "and our" because he knows that he is going to say in the diary that it is Hitler's policy, because he cannot cross out "meine". It is quite obvious if you look at the handwriting, the way it has been done. Did I not make that point in my Goebbels biography which you read? A. At the risk of repeating myself, I cannot accept that . P-151 until I see the entry and, in any case, it does not seem to me to make a great deal of difference to the statement that Hitler completely totally approved of Goebbels' policy or their policy, what is the huge difference there, that he was sharply against the Jews, [German], in a good mood. Q. Are you familiar with the fact that Dr Goebbels frequently in his diaries stated that Hitler had reached decisions when, in fact, Goebbels had reached the decision for him and he then wrote in his diary afterwards that he had the complete approval of Hitler for this, because these diaries were going to be published? A. Give me an example, Mr Irving. Q. Page 136 of my biography of Dr Goebbels. A. 136? Q. From your knowledge of the period of 1932, was Adolf Hitler keen to stand in the Vice Presidential election? A. Well, this is a different matter altogether, Mr Irving. Q. We are still talking about the Goebbels diaries, are we not? A. Yes. Q. And it is the example you asked for. A. Where are we? Q. Page 100 ---- A. Yes, I have 132. Q. 136? . P-152 A. 136. Paragraph 1? I mean the first big paragraph of two? Q. Yes, it is the first full paragraph. A. Yes. Q. "Hindenburg announced on February 15 that he intended to stand again. Taking Hitler's decision for granted, Goebbels began designing election posters. Hitler was still undecided. Hitler then was announced as candidate by Goebbels at a huge mass meeting without having been consulted, found himself railroaded. Writing in his diaries Kaiserhof two years later Goebbels claimed that Hitler had phoned him after the meeting to express his delight that the announcement had gone down so well"? A. Right. Q. Is this not a typical example of Goebbels window dressing? A. Well, I am trying to find the footnote here. Right, well, I think it is two points, the first point I want to make, obviously. Kaiserhof, by that you mean the published version called "Von Kaiserhof [German]" of Goebbels diary, Goebbels published a substantial chunk of his diaries as a book in the 1930s, particularly concerned with the years in which the Nazis came to power. That, of course, is a very heavily edited and amended version of his private diaries. So that really does not tell us anything about the status of his private diaries in 1938. No doubt, had Goebbels actually published his private diaries in 1938 during his own lifetime, he would have monkeyed about with . P-153 them, just as he did those. So I do not think that tells us very much. Q. Have you every compared Kaiserhof ---- A. You also quote in footnote 35: "According to Vossische Zeitung, February 23rd, Goebbels said", and that is a kind of "The Times" of Germany, it is a very respectable quality paper, "said he was 'authorized' to tell them of Hitler's decision to stand". And the source for the idea that Goebbels is to be blamed for the fait accompli is cited here as the so-called "Opposition within the NSDAP". That seemed to me a really very thin tissue of evidence on which to base ---- Q. Have you ever compared ---- A. --- this rather far reaching conclusion that Goebbels was constantly ascribing to Hitler decisions he had taken himself without Hitler actually knowing about them.
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