Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day026.04 Last-Modified: 2000/07/25 Q. Do you remember writing in that book on page 464 -- I just . P-28 give it to you. A. I have it here. Q. You have it there. Your take on the famous Himmler telephone call of November 30th, 1941, this is the way you interpreted it. You have written, if I may say so, a very good account of the deportation of the European Jews, the German Jews, to Minsk and to Riga, and you have reported the fact that large numbers of them were liquidated as soon as they arrived, which is common ground between us. But then you look at the interesting business of the famous telephone call of November 30th 1941. On page 464 of your book, the third complete paragraph begins: "The shooting of Jews from the Reichs territory, on the other hand, after some 6,000 in six transports from Kovno had been murdered in Kovno and Riga, was initially stopped. In this connection there is an entry in Himmler's telephone calendar, which has the Reichsfuhrer SS who was at this time in the Fuhrer's headquarters making a note on a telephone call to Heydrich, or a telephone conversation with Heydrich, on November 30th. Then there are the famous words, Jew transport from Berlin, no liquidation." You attribute to this the fact that the killings of German Jews abruptly stopped, to use your phrase in the next paragraph, "der abrupte stop", this telephone call from Himmler, or this telephone conversation between Himmler and Heydrich, led to the . P-29 abrupt stop. A. Yes. No. I am in a difficult position here because I wrote actually an expert report and I do not know how much we shall go back to my book, because in the book it says ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is a legitimate question about it, I think that is the answer, Dr Longerich. A. There are two sentences. In the first sentence I say that these shootings were abruptly stopped. In the second sentence I said (German) well, we have an entry ---- THE INTERPRETER: Relating to this matter. A. So I am trying not to make any conclusions. I am very careful to say the shootings were stopped because Himmler ordered this. I say we have this entry here and it is open. It is actually more or less, it is open for interpretation. MR IRVING: The conclusion you draw on in those two pages, if I am right, is that the killers in Riga had exceeded their authority? A. That is my interpretation, yes. Q. And therefore the killings stopped because of this word effectively from Hitler's headquarters, as you say? A. From Himmler, who at this time was -- I was very careful when I wrote this passage because I know that it is a disputed area. It is a minefield, if you want to say so. It came from Himmler and he was in Hitler's headquarters. . P-30 I did not say he was in Hitler bunker because I do not know whether he was in Hitler's bunker or not. So I think it is very careful and I think it is ---- Q. Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not that I know quite what the point is. Is the point, Mr Irving, that you are suggesting that the way it has been written by Dr Longerich in his book is to suggest that "keine liquidierung" actually meant "stop this altogether" rather than just "do not liquidate this transport"? MR IRVING: My Lord, the point that I am making, the point which he makes slightly more strongly in the book than in his expert report, if I am right, that, in consequence of this telephone call from Himmler at Hitler's headquarters, the killings of Germans stopped because the killers had exceeded their authority. MR JUSTICE GRAY: And that "keine liquidierung" therefore had, according to Dr Longerich's book, a general application rather than a specific one to that train load? MR IRVING: I am not going to go so far as to say that, my Lord. I just wanted to underline the point once more that this is a document. You do not have to join very many dots to find out what happened here, because of course we had the police decodes the following day, which Dr Longerich obviously did not have at the time he wrote the book. I am now going to move on to another document, . P-31 Dr Longerich. We looked at this very briefly on Thursday, and this is the Furl letter. A. Yes. Q. You actually have referred to this letter, have you not? A. I do not think so. Q. No? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can we have a reference for it, so that I can follow. MR IRVING: I have given you a translation of it on one page. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Have you? MR IRVING: Headed page 175, on the top left hand corner somewhere. A. But not from my book. Q. No. You are quite right. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It may be that this is somewhere in the Defendant's bundles and, if it is, perhaps we can follow it there. MR RAMPTON: No. I do not think it is. This is a different version from the one that I was given last week. Your Lordship was given it too. It was another of Mr Irving's clips. This is not a complaint against him, but I do confess to the impossible difficulty of keeping track of these things as they come flooding in. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am having the same difficulty, as it were, on both sides. MR RAMPTON: On I think it was probably Thursday or Wednesday . P-32 last week one got a rather larger extract from Gotz Aly's book, the same page but a longer extract. It is in the back of J2, says the boss, so that is where it will be. Now we have a different version, I do not know why. I am not suggesting there is anything sinister about having two versions. MR IRVING: You are familiar with the book by Gotz Aly? A. Yes. I know the book. MR RAMPTON: The new clip has a printed version of the English edition of Gotz Aly's book at the back of it. I have not had a place for this new clip allocated yet. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I have only one page. MR RAMPTON: Is that the page your Lordship had last week? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I have got the first page of last week's clip. MR RAMPTON: Now comes a new version. MR IRVING: That is more like it. Now we have it. This clip is entirely connected with the Furl letter. My Lord, just so you can see what is the clip, on the first page is the translation of the passages which interest, which is all that we have of that letter. The second and third pages are the two pages from the Gotz Aly book, which is a very reliable authority, which quotes the letter in German. I will just take Dr Longerich, if I may, through the text of the letter. In June 1942 Walter Furl, who is a administrative officer based in Krakow, wrote to his . P-33 comrades in the SS, "Every day trains are arriving with over a thousand Jews each from throughout Europe. We provide first aid here" -- I think the word he uses verartsten -- "give them more or less provisional accommodation and usually deport them further towards the White Sea to the white Ruthenien marshlands, where they all, if they survive, and the Jews from Vienna or Pressberg certainly will not, will be gathered by the end of the war but not without having first built a few roads. But we are not supposed to talk about it". That is what I want to ask you about, Dr Longerich. On the following page we have the translation in German, the original German. A. I do not have the German here. Q. Pages 2 and 3. My Lord, obviously the significance of this passage is that the Jews were not being sent from Krakow to Auschwitz, which are just next door, but they were being shipped on to strange locations in the East. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Where is the White Sea? MR RAMPTON: That is up in the north of Russia, beneath the Kola Peninsula, near Mamansk. It is quite a long way away. The white Ruthenien mashes I think are probably the same as the Pripyat marshes as far as I know. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Are they? MR RAMPTON: Yes, I think so. MR IRVING: Dr Longerich, your contention is, is it not, that . P-34 this letter is camouflage? Like the Gotz Aly contention also? A. Yes. Q. I have to ask you then, first of all, what do we know about Walter Furl? He was an official of the ---- A. Yes. He was in fact the Deputy Director of the Department for Population and Welfare in the government of the Generalegouvernement. Q. Knowing the answer already in advance, can you tell me if any members whatsoever of that department were ever prosecuted after World War II? A. I have no idea at the moment. I cannot tell you. Q. None were prosecuted. Is that correct? You say you have no idea. A. It is possible, yes. Q. So they were not engaged in criminal activities? A. This is a conclusion you draw from this. We know that the German courts, to say the minimum, in the 50s were quite lenient to prosecute systematically German war crimes done by Germans. So this conclusion, I think, does not lead to anything. He was not prosecuted. It does not mean that he was not involved in war crimes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Especially he would not know in 1942 whether he was going to be prosecuted or whether he was not. MR IRVING: No. The point is, my Lord, if the Germans or the Poles or the Russians had determined that this was a . P-35 criminal office, they would have arrested everybody involved, particularly as director, and they would have locked them up for a long time. MR JUSTICE GRAY: As things turned out, they did not. A. If they were able to find them. Q. Get their hands on them? A. Yes. Q. Let us have a look at the authenticity of the document. If you turn to page 216 and look at footnote 29, am I right in saying that this letter comes from the personnel file of Walter Furl in the Berlin Document Centre, which was run by the Americans after the war, was it not? A. No. You see, the Berlin Documents Centre, this is personnel. Yes, it is personnel, that is true. But we do not know actually who put these things into his personnel file. It may be that the Americans just put letters referring to Furl into this file, so we do not know who actually ---- Q. Sometimes they did that, did they not? They put negative photocopies in these files. A. And other things. Q. Is there any reason to believe that the document had been faked after the war by anyone? A. I do not think there is any indication for that. Q. Can you suggest any reason why Walter Furl, writing to his . P-36 Berlin SS comrades, which is the first line of the footnote, should have wanted to pull the wool over the eyes of his own comrades in the SS? A. It was a private letter, not an official letter, and in his letter he is saying in the last sentence: "But we are not supposed to talk about it". So he is talking about a secret. Also in your translation, you translated the German term "verartzen" with "first aid". Well "verartzen" could also mean we deal with them in a very general way. It does not mean that they provide first aid and help them in a humanitarian manner. But coming back to your question ---- Q. Can I just interrupt you there before there are any more aspersions cast on my translation, and draw your attention to the second page from the back of that clip which is the English translation in the English edition of the Gotz Aly book? The second line says, "we provide first aid here". A. Yes. It is probably not the best translation. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is the literal translation, is it not? MR IRVING: It comes from the route "Arzt" meaning doctor, as your Lordship is aware. A. "Verarzten" could also mean to deal with. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I follow what you are saying.
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