Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day024.06 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 Q. Just one more question on that. Would it not be a parallel if Tony Blair said he wanted to rid of the House of Lords, wipe out the House of Lords, would he not say "ausrotten" there and would that mean that he wanted to stand them against a wall? A. That is a hypothetical question. How can I answer this question? Q. But it is that kind of word and that kind of situation, is it not? "This is a body which is bothering me. I wish I could, "Out, out, damn spot"? A. If you ask me as an historian, I should make a historical comparison, then you have to include in this picture that Tony Blair just killed 91 Conservative Member of Parliament. So this would give you a kind of -- and then if he would use at the same time, at the next day the term "ausrotten", I would look at it and say, "Well, a dangerous man". MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, let us move on because really this is not, I think, a very helpful exercise. A. It is difficult for me to make such comparisons. MR IRVING: I did not drag in the 90 deaths and I am going to have to ask a question. Did Hitler order the Jews killed . P-47 that night? A. Did Hitler? Q. Or did Hitler order the Jews killed in Reichskristallnacht? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think that bears on the issue we are considering at the moment. MR IRVING: It bears on the questions of intent behind the word "ausrottung"? A. Well, I think that Hitler played a centre role in the launching of the Kristallnacht. Q. We know your views on that. A. Pardon? Q. Can you now go to document No. 8, please? MR JUSTICE GRAY: You did ask the question, Mr Irving. MR IRVING: He then answered a totally different question whether Hitler played a central role or not. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us move on if we have to do this exercise, let us do it quite quickly. MR IRVING: Page 8. A. I could not complete my answer, sorry. Q. This is a 1941 document, a book again in German [German - document not provided] A. Yes. Q. Was Hungary exterminating the ethnic minorities? A. Well, you see, give me the chance, you know, to read the book. Maybe the book, it might be a pamphlet from . P-48 somebody who said, well, actually the Hungarians are killing, literally killing, the minorities. I do not know the order. I do not know whether Paclisanu is a reliable author. I have not seen the book and I do not know whether the book says -- I do not know whether you have read the book -- if the book says that the Hungarians are killing the minorities. There might be somebody ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think that is a fair answer. Without that further information, I do not think that particular cover page really helps. MR IRVING: Well, if this expert witness can answer the question whether Hungary was killing ethnic minorities, that would clarify what the title meant. A. No, I do not -- that is in 41. I am a bit hesitating here because, well, they actually were quite rude with the minorities after that, but I cannot comment on that without actually looking at the content of the book. Q. Dr Longerich, at this stage in our discussion, therefore, we can agree that the word "ausrotten" can mean just about whatever you want it to mean? A. No, clearly not. You have to look at the context and the context will help you to establish a meaning of the word, I think. Q. If you turn the page now to page 9, this is my summary of a telegram which I found in the Roosevelt library. A. Yes, I would suggest that I should comment not on your . P-49 summary but on the original, given the experience we have before. Q. That is one way out of answering the question, is it not? MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, Mr Irving, that is not fair. Do you refer to this yourself, Dr Longerich? MR IRVING: No, he does not. A. No. Sorry for interrupting you. MR IRVING: Are you suggesting, therefore, that I have deliberately copied faked quotations from a telegram from my own files? A. No, but I have the experience and that quite upset me that you left out here half a sentence of a sentence without actually ---- Q. Which repeated the precisely the same four words that were earlier in the sentence, right? MR JUSTICE GRAY: We have left that document. Let us look at this one. A. I am just saying, I am not just -- I am not happy, you know, just to comment on your summary of a report I have not seen in the original. I think it would be inappropriate for me, as an historian, to comment on that. I should see the original and I should not draw conclusions from your summary. MR IRVING: Shall we try, unless his Lordship says that I should not ask the question about this? MR JUSTICE GRAY: This appears to be -- is it Swiss? . P-50 MR IRVING: It is an American diplomatic despatch in the Roosevelt Library. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Commenting on whether a word in a report which we do not have has been correctly translated. MR IRVING: It appears that this report may be based on mistranslation of the words ausrottung and entjudung. Is it possible therefore to mistranslate the words ausrottung and entjudung? A. I have to fully digest, just one second. Q. It is a bit of problem if you always have to produce the whole document or the original report, you do appreciate that. A. So your question is what, sorry? Q. The question, if you are prepared to answer a question on this summary, or extracts from an American diplomatic despatch, is it possible to mistranslate the word ausrottung and entjudung in a way which might go one way or might go the other. Even in 1944, in other words, there is no firm and fixed definition or translation? A. Well, somebody speculates about the issue whether the words ausrottung and entjudung were mistranslated. Q. Yes. A. And how shall I comment on that? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I find this frankly an absurd document because the report appears to refer to the extermination of European Jews at camps in Silesia? . P-51 A. Yes. Q. It refers to a cyanide process and to German executions and then Mr Harrison, whoever he may be, thinks that ausrottung has been mistranslated. It is an absolute nonsense. MR IRVING: I am only relying on the mistranslation, the fact that it is possible to mistranslate the word ausrottung. That is all I can do with that particular document. A. If you want me to comment on it, I should be able to know more about the facts than Mr Harrison did, shall I put it this way? At the moment I do not know what I should do with this document. Q. The final sentence, of course, "I spoke yesterday with one of the men who planted the report with the newspaper agencies". Did this kind of thing go on during the war years, that documents were planted with newspaper agencies? A. During the war documents were planted with newspaper agencies, yes. That happened. Q. You always want to see original documents. If you turn the page to the next one which is unnumbered, is this the kind of document you are familiar with from Himmler's files? You may actually know it, in fact, because it is addressed to your subject Martin Bormann, is it not? A. Yes. I became quite familiar with him, that is true. Q. It is dated 21st February or thereabouts, 1944? . P-52 A. Yes. It says that the misstande, what is misstande in English? Q. Bad conditions? A. Yes something like that. Q. Naff, as they say in America. A. Can I ask the interpreter something? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, of course. THE INTERPRETER: Things which are not right, things which need putting right. A. So he is not referring to people. He is referring to things which are not going right. He is saying that these misstande, these things which are not right, will be ausgerotet, so of course the term ausgerotet, you could give me thousands of documents which would show me that misstande ausgerotet were meant, ausgerotet, everything, every possible context. MR IRVING: It has been dictated by Himmler, has it not? A. Yes. Q. Himmler's use of the word ausrottung in a non homicidal sense, that is all I am relying on this document for. A. You can prove from this document so far that Himmler used the term ausrottung once, not referring to human beings but to misstande in a non-homicidal sense, yes, that is true. Q. Dr Longerich, all I am trying to establish here in the beginning of the 21st century is that back in the 1940s . P-53 the word ausrottung did not have necessarily the meaning that we now give it, with our knowledge of all the atrocities that happened. Do you accept that? A. I myself in my report made a little reservation here and I said, well, not every time the word ausrotten means killing, but if it refers to people, or to a group of people, in the historical context of the Nazi period, I did not find a single document in which one would not translate the word ausrotten to kill in large numbers or to kill all as far as possible. This is my provisional conclusion. Q. Wipe out? A. I think wipe out is a possible translation. Exterminate is another one. Kill off, or extirpate, which is the one I preferred. But I think for the German living at this time the term from a leading Nazi or national socialist, the term ausrotten applying to people means quite clearly, I mean for the average German at this time means quite clearly to kill in large numbers. It is a very cruel expression and of course there is a lot of violence in this word. Q. Yes. Can you not put yourself back in the mind set of the 1940 when the word possibly had a different meaning? A. I think particularly at this time, because at this time people lived in the time when people were killed on a massive basis, they were quite aware that the use of this . P-54 vocabulary by leading Nazis referred to mass killing. Why should I speculate in a general way? One could look at the individual documents and establish the meaning. It does not help us, I think, to look at documents which are outside the context. MR IRVING: You have to have some kind of guiding star to look at, do we not? A. That is fine. Q. Go to the next page, page 11, which is a 1944 military dictionary. We are getting pretty close to the actual meaning of 1944 if we accept that the dictionary was probably printed a year or two earlier. No, it was actually printed in 1944. That is what page 10 shows us. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Military dictionary? MR IRVING: Military dictionary, yes. A. Yes. Q. Which is a dictionary produced just for the use of the armies. It contains all sorts of things, too. There you have the meaning of the word ausrotten given in the following sequence: Wipe out, crush, annihilate. Wipe out is probably right. A. I again am not a linguist but, if I look at the other terms on this page, it is obviously that this is a dictionary for military terminology, so it refers I think particularly to the military sphere. But again I am quite convinced that you can present more dictionaries which . P-55 actually do not have the meaning of extermination. I could probably show you dictionaries which have the meaning of ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am really finding this all pretty unilluminating really, because in the end we have to look at the documents which actually do relate allegedly to extermination, and decide whether ausrotten in that context means extirpate. MR IRVING: My Lord, it is an uphill task because we are looking backwards, down through the telescope so to speak, to the events of the 1940s and trying to work out what a word meant when in common usage at the time, when we find the common meaning of the word was quite different from the way every German, and every Englishman, now understands what you mean by it, because we know of the atrocities that happened. MR JUSTICE GRAY: One has to make allowance for that fact, I accept.
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