Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day024.16 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 Q. I am anxious to hear your opinion about it because it appears to be significant. A. Yes. I think these are two significant and important . P-138 entries. Q. Yes. Let me float a hypothesis past you, Dr Longerich. Does this indicate to you that Jeckeln has acted outside the authority that he believed he had to kill Jews? A. I think this is a fair assumption. I think this is absolutely possible. Also, I find it quite striking, if this is right, if Jeckeln is actually responsible for the murder of 6,000 people, what is the consequence of that? Is he then court martialled? Or he is thrown out of the SS? No. He got a nasty letter. Q. A rap across the knuckles? A. Yes. That is all he got. Then he had dinner with Himmler on the 4th and that is it, obviously. It was probably a violation of the guidelines but it was not seen as a kind of severe disobedience, a lapse or something like that. Q. These were just Jews, were they not? They were German Jews but just Jews? A. That is probably true, yes. That is definitely true. Q. I think no one disputes the fact that this is a gangster state and these are gangsters amongst themselves are they not? A. Yes. Q. Did the killings then stop for a while as far as German Jews were concerned? A. As far as we know, the killing on a large scale, mass executions, stopped in Riga until a couple of months, . P-139 until they used gas vans at the beginning of 1942. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Just in Riga or elsewhere as well? A. Well, to make this quite clear, there were two waves of deportation, the first one to Lodz of 20,000 Jews in October, and the second one, they planned to deport 50,000 people, 25,000 each to Riga and to Minsk. They managed to deport about 21,000 to Riga or 24,000, and 8,000 to Minsk. The general observation is that it was obviously, as far as I see it, not the policy to kill them all because we do not have mass executions at this time in Lodz concerning German Jews and in Riga concerning German Jews. We only have these six trains in Kovno and Riga, and this was stopped. It was obviously, as is said here, not in accordance with the guidelines given by the Reichssichherheitshauptamt . MR IRVING: It is a strange little glimpse of history which you have come across now at the end of the 20th century, 55 years or more after the events. Is this an indication to you of how history is constantly in flux? A. No. These two messages confirm what we actually knew before. Obviously these killings in Riga were obviously not in accordance with the guidelines of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt and now we have another confirmation by these two telegrams. Q. Has it been very widely noised around among German historians that the orders came down from on high that . P-140 these killings had to stop? I have never heard it before. MR RAMPTON: That is a slightly tricky way of putting that question. What does Mr Irving mean by on high? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think that is right. The problem is -- I think this is what Mr Rampton is really saying -- that there are guidelines. We do not know quite what the guidelines say. That is the difficulty. We cannot assume that the guidelines say no killing, full stop. MR IRVING: I was tempted to say from the Fuhrer's headquarters, but then Mr Rampton would certainly have objected. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is a separate point. MR RAMPTON: No. Himmler was probably somewhere in that complex at the Wolfsschanze when the telephone call of 30th November was made. That is as far as one can push at what one might call wishful thinking. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can I just ask the question? There obviously were guidelines knocking around somewhere? A. Yes. Q. Do you take the view that the guidelines said no Jews, German Jews or any other Jews, to be killed ever? A. No. Q. Or what? A. I have not seen these guidelines. Q. No. Nobody has. . P-141 A. I think I should not speculate on the guidelines. As far as I see this, the Holocaust emerged in different phases. We have the Soviet Jews who were killed during the summer first, and then the killing was extended in the autumn of 41 to parts of Poland and to Serbia, then in the spring and summer of 42 to other areas. So the German Jews at this stage were deported into these ghettoes, and the majority of them survived until the spring of 1941. So it was not policy at this moment, I think, as far as I know, as far as I am able to reconstruct this, to kill systematically German Jews on arrival in the ghettoes in Minsk, Riga and Lodz. Here obviously Jeckeln, let me put it this way, made a mistake, which is quite difficult to say because it involved the death of 6,000 people. But it was obviously not the policy of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt to kill every German Jew who was deported in the East at this stage. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Was it the policy to kill some of them in so far as you can speculate? A. When this happened, as I said, there was no severe punishment for that. It was not seen as a major violation. It was seen as a minor incident. MR IRVING: That is a different matter, whether it was punishable or not. Can I ask you to look back at page 122 of that bundle of German documents, the same one? It is another decode. . P-142 A. Yes. Q. Now this one you may also have seen in view of the fact that I found it in the PRO and brought it to the attention of the court. It concerns the shipment of train loads of Jews. A. Where are we? Q. Page 122 of the bundle of documents. It concerns whether there was a homicidal intention already in store for the train loads of Jews being sent out of Germany. This is a train load of Jews. It is a telegram. I will ask you just to read it first and then I will ask you some questions. A. This is the first train to Kovno. The people were all killed in Kovno. Q. Thank you for telling us. That is very interesting to know that. This is the train load on November 17th 1941, 6.25 p.m., the transport train number DO, presumably that is Deutschland Ost, 26th, has left Berlin for Kovno with 944 Jews on board, details of what the transport escort is. Then it says the transport has been provided with 3,000 kilograms of bread, 27 hundred kilograms of flour, and various other things, which indicates that they were going to have enough food for the journey and some. A. Yes. Q. There is another telegram, I am not sure if it is in this bundle or not, Miss Rogers will know, which actually says . P-143 they are going to be taking their Gerat with them. A. Tools. Q. Their tools or appliances? A. Yes. Q. Does that imply they anticipated the people sending them, anticipated they were going to be going to a new life, if I can put it that way? MR JUSTICE GRAY: We had this this morning, you got the answer you wanted. They were lured into thinking that they were going to a new life in the East. MR IRVING: Very well, but am I right now, Dr Longerich, you said that this particular train load, which was referred to here, which I did not know, I have to confess, ended up being murdered? A. The first five trains to Riga were diverted to Kovno and these are the trains where the people were killed, and the first train to Riga as well. If I am not completely mistaken, I am pretty sure the people on this train were killed. Q. So would this indicate a totally chaotic situation? The people in Germany who were sending them out, assume they are going to need tools and bread for a new life, whereas the people who received them, bumped them off as they arrived? A. Again, the tools and the food was provided by the Jewish community. . P-144 Q. That is neither here nor there, is it, really? A. It was provided by the Jewish communities, so the Jewish communities were assuming that, as a kind of solidarity with the people who were deported, they had to provide them with enough food and tools to survive the first days and maybe to build up new homes. I cannot draw from the fact that these trains were provided with food and tools, I am not able to draw any conclusions as far as the motives and aims of the Gestapo was concerned. It refers to the Jewish communities in Germany, what they thought it was appropriate to do. Q. Yes, but ---- A. The SS or the police did not provide the trains with food from their own stocks. Q. Yes. I now take you to page 124. That is the other message I was referring to, where they are being sent with the food and the money and the appliances. A. Yes. Q. This is a message from the SS, is it not, in Bremen to the commander of the police in Riga, saying, we are sending all these people with this food and with these appliances? A. Yes. Q. Is a reasonable inference, reading that, that the people in Bremen assumed that they were not just carrying all this stuff as camouflage, because they were going to be bumped off when they got there? The people in Bremen had . P-145 no idea they were going to their deaths? A. The Gestapo, you mean? Q. The people who sent this message. A. I do not know. I am really cautious to draw this conclusion from this document. They are just saying the Jews are coming and they are bringing money and tools and food with them. I have to see if it survives the internal correspondence of the Gestapo in Bremen. I would not simply agree. Q. Would not the least perverse interpretation to be put on this message be that it is an innocent message from the people in Bremen, saying we are sending a train load of a thousand people who are members of the chosen race, with all their food and appliances, and they are arriving at such and such a time, and so on? Any other interpretation is pure speculation. A. Every interpretation here is I think speculation. The money, for instance: Do you think this is money from the Gestapo in Bremen to buy food for the Jews in Riga? I would think the money is taken from the Jewish community and it goes into the pockets of the Gestapo. I see this document here and I cannot follow your line of interpretation. Q. I am not interpreting it. I am just reading what it says. A. Yes. So it says that this train was sent to Riga and did they have money and food and tools on the trains? That is . P-146 what I can read from the document. Q. Yes. I think, unless your Lordship has another question to ask about these decodes, we can move on. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Not for me. Q. We now move either onwards or backwards, whichever way you look at it, to the 16th July 1941 conference between Hitler and Rosenberg on the policing of the Eastern territories. Did you use the diary of Otto Brottigan? A. I used part of it which is printed in a German edition. Q. Did you not look at my original diary which is in the Institute of History? I donated the entire diary to the Institute of History. A. Yes. I used the one which is printed and commented. Q. I am not sure how much of it is printed but the handwritten diary describes the atmosphere of rivalry between Rosenberg and Hitler, and Rosenberg coming out full of glee because he had got all that he wanted. A. Yes. Q. There is this typical jealous going on at the top level inside the hierarchy of Third Reich. A. Yes. Q. You agree that in that entire meeting of 16th July 1941 the word "Jew" was not even mentioned? So it is not very important from our point of view, except for establishing the hierarchy in occupied Eastern Russia?
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