Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day023.03 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 Q. "The Jews are now being pushed out of the General Government, beginning near Lublin, to the East", he writes. "A pretty barbaric procedure is being applied here, and it is not to be described in any more detail, and not much is left to the Jews themselves". I have no quarrel with that translation. You then continue: "In general one may conclude that 60 per cent of them must be liquidated, while only 40 per cent can be put to work". This is the sentence on . 20 which you really rely, is it not? A. Among others. Q. Yes. A. I mean, I quote a very lengthy chunk of this because you used this -- you suppressed a great deal of this in your own, in your own work. Q. Now, Dr Goebbles is not stating this as a fact, is he? He is speculating. You have left a word out, have you not, in your translation? You left out the word "wohl. I draw your attention to line 3 of the footnote. A. No, I am sorry. I have not. I have translated that as "In general one may conclude", not that "one must conclude" ---- Q. I draw attention to ---- A. And that, if I may finish, that formulation is intended to convey the sense of strong probability that the word "wohl" indicates. Q. Does not "wohl" mean "perhaps"? A. No, it does not. It means "probably". Q. Even if it meant "probably" which I would participate ---- A. If he wanted to say "perhaps" he would have said "vielleicht". Q. You have left the word out, have you not? A. No, I have not left it out, Mr Irving. Q. "In general one may probably conclude" or "one may perhaps conclude" indicates speculation on his part and not . 21 knowledge. A. No, I am sorry, Mr Irving. "Im grossen kann man wohl festellen", "in general, large scale", "kann" is "can", right, not "may", "man", "one can", "wohl festellen", very well, and it is "very well conclude". MR JUSTICE GRAY: "Wohl" can be translated just as "well" here, can it not, "one can well" ---- A. "Conclude", yes. Q. --- "suppose"? A. I tried to render that slightly better, less awkward English by saying "one may conclude"; the "may" conveying the element of slight uncertainty in that use of the word "wohl". MR IRVING: The meanings are, my Lord ---- A. I have not left the word out. Q. --- "well" "indeed" "possibly" and "probably" in that order or "I dare say" which is a very nice one in this connection. "I dare say". "I dare say one can conclude that 60 per cent of them must be liquidated". Does this indicate and element of certainty? A. It is probably. "Wohl" is stronger than "vielleicht". It indicates ---- Q. But you have left a word out, have you not? A. No, I have not left a word out, Mr Irving. I have conveyed this, I think, accurately by indicating the element of slight uncertainty in the sentence by saying . 22 "one may conclude" instead of "one can well conclude". Q. He is not stating it as a matter fact; he is saying, "this is probably or possibly or I dare say one can say that this happening"? A. He is saying,"This is probably happening". Q. Is this not a very weak and rusty hook on which to hang page after page after page of what now follows? A. It is not the only statement here and it does, I think, reflect the policy accurately even if the percentages can be argued about in the way they were put into practice. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do you read Goebbels as talking about percentages in that sentence or about the fact of what is happening to the Jews? A. Well, he says, "In general one may conclude that 60 per cent of them may be liquidated, while only 40 per cent can be put to work. It is those percentages, I mean, that is obviously again very rough and that again may well indicate the element of uncertainty that he is talking about. I mean, I think the "wohl feststellen" expresses his slight vagueness about these percentages. It might have been 70/30 or 80/20 or some other percentages, but he is saying that the probability is it is about 60/40. 60 will die, be killed, and 40 will be put to work. MR IRVING: In other words, these figures are not contained in the report, are they, these percentages? A. You would have to show me the report, Mr Irving, before I . 23 could comment on that. Q. But you have seen the diary that you are seeking to draw major conclusions from it of the state of people's knowledge, and I am drawing your attention to the fact that it is not knowledge at all, it is speculation. He is saying, "I dare say one can conclude" or even in the bare, stripped down version you have put, "one can conclude". He is making conclusions. In other words, he is speculating on what is behind it. He may very well be right, but I am looking at the fact that you have made no attempt to appreciate the meaning of that word "wohl". "Im grossen kann man wohl feststellen" does not mean any degree of certainty at all on his part ---- A. I do not put that. Q. --- he is saying, "By and large I dare say one can conclude", is he not? A. I do not say that, Mr Irving. I say "in general one may conclude" not "one must conclude" or "the fact is". I say "one may conclude". That is to say, the word "may" is permissive. It means you may conclude 60/40 or you may conclude something else. The probability is 60/40. It is what I would regard as a well informed estimate. Q. Do you now regret not having put in the word "perhaps" or "possible" or "dare say" in that sentence? A. Certainly not, I do not. I think my translation is perfectly all right there. . 24 Q. Well, notwithstanding that you raise your voice and interrupt me, do you agree ---- A. Well, it makes a change from you raising your voice and interrupting me, Mr Irving. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Don't let us have you both... MR IRVING: Do you agree that it would have been better to include a proper translation of the word "wohl" in that sentence? A. It is a proper translation of that sentence. It is about the 15th time I have said that, Mr Irving. Q. I have to say this because -- I am not going to move on -- of course, you do rely on that, you agree that you rely on that sentence and the burden of that sentence quite heavily, in refuting me and suggesting that I have manipulated, suppressed and omitted words myself, is that right? A. Well, where is that in your description of these events which I deal with on the previous page? Q. Over the next 27 pages you repeatedly hark back to this one sentence. A. Can you direct me to where I repeatedly hark back to it? Q. I have just said, over the next 27 pages. A. Can you direct me to the exact pages and line numbers in which I refer to it? Q. We are going to come to them bit by bit. A. Then I cannot accept that statement of yours until you . 25 actually do point me to the precise points where I rely and refer to that sentence. Q. Do you agree that even in the stripped down version or truncated version of that sentence as presented by you ---- A. No, I do not agree that it is stripped down or truncated. It is an accurate translation, Mr Irving. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think you interrupted the question, Professor Evans. MR IRVING: Thank you very much. THE WITNESS: I have to dispute the premise, my Lord. MR IRVING: Do you agree that in the version of the sentence as presented by you, you are, even in that version it can be relied upon only as evidence against Goebbels and not as evidence against Adolf Hitler? It is the state of mind of Goebbels, not the state of mind of Adolf Hitler or the state of his knowledge or speculation. A. This is the state, this is the state of knowledge of Goebbels, yes. Who has said that it is anything else? Q. Is this purporting to be a conversation between Hitler and Goebbels ---- A. No. Nobody says that. Q. This is Goebbels in Berlin reading a report that has been put on to his desk in Berlin, is that not right? A. He appears to be reading a report from which he arrives at this estimate that one may conclude that 60 per cent of . 26 the Jews pushed out to the East may be liquidated and 40 per cent put to work, yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Why do you say he has been reading a report? A. Well, he says it seems to be that someone has informed about him about this, and maybe somebody has informed him verbally. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I see. A. I am sorry, I should not have said "reading". MR IRVING: My version of Goebbels diary has vanished, my Lord, but I believe I am right in saying that the preceding sentence, that precedes the part quoted, said something like "I have received an SD report", or something like that. A. If I could see a copy, I could comment on that, if it is important. Certainly somebody has informed him that he has gained some information from somewhere and he is writing down what he has heard. MR IRVING: There is no indication in that diary because, as we said earlier, if there had been, he would have mentioned it, that Adolf Hitler had also received this report? A. No, there is not. There is a statement here in which he goes on to link it to Hitler's views, by referring, as he so frequently does, and indeed as Hitler himself does, to the prophecy that Hitler issued on 30th January 1933, that, if the Jews, as he put it, started a new world war, they would be annihilated. He goes on to use the language . 27 that indeed is Hitler's favourite language in referring to the extermination of the Jews ---- Q. You mean 1939, do you not? A. Yes. Did I not say 39? I meant 39 -- a struggle for life and death between the Aryan race and the Jewish bacillus. This idea of a bacillus is a very common Hitler he goes on and says, "No other government and no other regime could muster the strength for a general solution to the question". "Here too", says Goebbels, "the Fuhrer is the persistent pioneer and spokesman of a radical solution which is demanded by the way things are and thus appears to be unavoidable". I take that to be the same kind of statement as is made about Lammers in what we have called the Schlegelberger memorandum. That is to say ---- MR IRVING: Please, can we keep very much to the questions? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do not interrupt. A. That is to say, it is a statement about a number of occasions on which Hitler has said this thing, or revealed himself to be the persistent pioneer. So it is clearly talking about a number of occasions. It is not talking about a specific occasion on which he is shown a report to, or talked about it to, Hitler. That is what I would describe as the link between this diary entry and Hitler. MR IRVING: You do admit of course that there are other passages in these same diaries which show Hitler in . 28 anything but a homicidal mood towards the Jews? A. Point them to me, please. Q. I am not going to keep on falling for this game throughout the day, Professor Evans, because we have to get through a great deal today. A. Mr Irving, I cannot accept what you are saying without seeing the documentation, I am afraid. I think that is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am afraid it is. It does slow things down but I think, if you put a proposition to the witness, he is not inclined to agree to it unless he see the document you rely on, then he is entitled to ask you to look at it. MR IRVING: Turn to page 404 of your report, please. You will see several such passages referred to by you yourself. Goebbels diary April 26th, May 29th, 1942, Hitler's table talk May 15th, July 24th, 1942. Are those non-homicidal passages, if I can put them like that? A. What I say is that you rely on them to show that Hitler did not know about the extermination of the Jews while Goebbels himself did. Q. Yes. We are going to come to that in sequence, but you asked me to point you to those passages. I have now pointed you to them. A. I am pointing to the use you make of them, which is a slightly different thing. MR JUSTICE GRAY: If we are coming to them in due course, then . 29 let us wait until we do.
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