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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day026.08

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day026.08
Last-Modified: 2000/07/25

   Q.   One day later?
   A.   One day later.
   Q.   Is it possible that the reason why Hitler compares Hungary
        with Slovakia is because Hitler does not know what is
        happening in Slovakia, is that possible?
   A.   No, that is impossible.  It simply defies reason that
        Hitler at this stage in '43 does not know what is
        happening in extermination camps.
   Q.   April 1943?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   So everything is camouflage, illogical, defies reason, yet
        it all seems to be in the same direction; there is this
        parallel version of history, is there not?
   A.   No, there is no parallel ----
   Q.   There is your version, there is the German consensus among
        modern German historians and there is this alternative
        version which is suggested by quite a few documents.
   A.   Well, I tried to explain that the Nazis in a systematic
        way tried to build up a system of camouflage.  This is, of
        course, sometimes reflected in written documents as this
        one here, for instance.  There is no alternative history.
        I think it is -- if one analyses these documents in a
        careful and systematic way, one can separate the
        camouflage language from actually their real intentions
        and their real aims.
   Q.   Well, the only last ----

.          P-66

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am sorry to ask you this (and I think
        I have asked you before and I have forgotten the answer),
        the Hungarians Jews were not in the end handed over, were they?
   A.   They were handed.  In 1944 they were handed over one year later.
   MR RAMPTON:  450,000 of them were sent to Auschwitz.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is the evidence ----
   MR RAMPTON:  In 1944.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is the evidence there that they were killed
        at Auschwitz, that they were gassed?
   A.   Yes, the evidence is there.
   MR RAMPTON:  It was called the Hungarian action and 450,000
        Hungarian Jews, by which time Hungary had been invaded by
        the Nazis and Horthy put on one side, they were gassed at Auschwitz.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am sorry to have asked that question.  I
        forgot ----
   MR RAMPTON:  In the summer of 1944.
   A.   In the next, in the meeting which actually, the meeting
        actually which preceded the German invasion of Hungary in
        1944, Hitler had literally, you know, threatened Horthy
        with really physical force.  Actually, his life was in
        danger in 1944.  So this was the moment when he more or
        less had to agree that actually, yes, the Germans were
        invading his country and the deportation programme was

.          P-67

        then started after that.
   Q.   You have not referred to the Hungarian episode in your
        expert report, have you?
   A.   I think only in a very short way in the second report, the
        systematic character.
   Q.   I do not really see any need to cross-examine you on that,
        unless his Lordship wishes me?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, is it contentious that the Hungarian
        Jews were----
   MR IRVING:  Certainly on that scale, my Lord.  If you ask
        Mr Rampton to explain how one could liquidate 450,000 Jews
        in three weeks, your Lordship will see part of the problem.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am not asking you him do that, but I am
        asking you whether there is a dispute.  The answer is yes
        as to numbers.
   MR IRVING:  The answer is yes.
                  My final question is that if Adolf Hitler was
        really bent on exterminating all the Jews, then are you
        aware of his conference with Antonescue at about the same
        time as the conference with Horthy ----
   A.   Mm-mm.
   Q.   --- in April 1943?  This is related in a book by Seymour
        Finger who has written a book called "American Jewry
        during the Holocaust".  It is document NG 5049 which is a
        Nuremberg document.

.          P-68

   A.   I do not have it in front of me.
   Q.   But in this record of the talk between Hitler and
        Antonescue, Hitler approved a proposal to permit 70,000
        Jewish children to leave Rumania to travel to Palestine.
        Are you familiar with that episode?
   A.   I am not familiar with this particular episode, but I know
        that during the end of the war it is quite common that
        Hitler made exceptions and he allowed groups of Jews to
        leave his...
   Q.   This is April 1943?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   That is not the end of the war, is it?
   A.   No.
   Q.   This is the height of what you would describe as the
        homicidal Final Solution, and yet here is Hitler, the man
        at the top?
   A.   Yes -- sorry.
   Q.   I am sorry.
   A.   Is it not interesting that it actually needed his personal
        approval to save these relatively small groups of Jews,
        you know, from the extermination programme?  One had to go
        to Hitler if one wanted to save a group of Jews.  We have
        presented earlier in those proceedings, you have presented
        a document actually where Goring complained that he had to
        go to Hitler to save two Jewish scientists from the
        deportations.  So it shows you this complete and total

.          P-69

        will of extermination.  One had to go to Hitler actually
        to ask him for his permission to exempt a single or a
        group of Jews from deportations and death.
   Q.   Of course, Hitler's name would cut through any red tape,
        would it not?
   A.   Yes.
   MR IRVING:  I have no further questions, I do not think.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You have timed it very well.
   MR IRVING:  It was not done with that in mind, my Lord.  It is
        literally I have no further questions.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, thank you very much.  Mr Rampton, would
        you rather re-examine after the adjournment?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, it probably would be less fragmentary if
        I start after the adjournment.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, that is what I would have thought.  So
        shall we say 5 to 2?

(Luncheon Adjournment)
(Dr Longerich, Recalled,  Re-Examined by Mr Rampton QC.)

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, I have seen the correspondence
        with Harry Counsel and that seems to have sorted that problem out.
   MR IRVING:  Yes.  Thank you, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Good.  Yes, Mr Rampton?
   MR RAMPTON:  Dr Longerich, I have some questions.  It may take
        a little bit of time because some of the topics are a

.          P-70

        little intricate.  I think on last Wednesday you gave us a
        description, in general terms, of the relationship between
        Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler as you saw it.  Do you
        remember doing that?
   A.   Yes, I remember that.
   Q.   And you told us really, in essence, this, the idea that
        Hitler did not know about the systematic extermination
        which was being carried out by Himmler and the SS was, to
        use your words, absolutely absurd.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Do you remember saying that?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   I would like to expand on that a little bit, if I may?
        How often on average during the war years did Hitler and
        Himmler meet?
   A.   Well, we have a quite clear picture from the Dienst
        calendar, so I think they met at least once a week,
        probably more.
   Q.   How long had they known each other?
   A.   They knew each other since at least 1923.
   Q.   Himmler was part of the 1923 Putsch, was he not?
   A.   Yes, indeed.
   Q.   What was the date of Himmler's appointment as Reichsfuhrer SS?
   A.   It is 1929.
   Q.   And as to the antlosen of the Judenfrager, can you give us

.          P-71

        some dates for Himmler's acquisition of jurisdiction over
        the solution of that question, if necessary, by reference
        to different parts of Europe.
   A.   Well, jurisdiction ----
   Q.   Jurisdiction.  The SS were ultimately responsible for
        carrying out the Final Solution, is that right?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Did Himmler always have complete jurisdiction over this
        question or did he have to fight for it?
   A.   No.  The jurisdiction for the responsibility for the
        Jewish question, or so-called Jewish question, or
        jurisdiction, laid first with the Minister of Interior and
        he had in a way to get this responsibility on board.  He
        had to fight for it.  There is an entry in the Dienst
        calendar at the end of 1940:  "Judenfrager [German]".  So
        you can see here that there was a kind of struggle going
        on between him and the traditional administration in
   Q.   And was it resolved in his favour or not?
   A.   Well, I think it is clear from 1942 onwards that it was
        resolved in his favour.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You give that date because of the speech
        about this "heavy responsibility being put on my
   A.   Yes.  The difficulty is -- it is difficult to answer this
        question because you get this impression from his entries

.          P-72

        in the Dienst calendar from speeches, and it is not easy
        to say, you know, the formal responsibility for the Jewish
        question, you know, was when this was taken over by Himmler.
   MR RAMPTON:  Was there any stage at which Hitler had, as it
        were, to arbitrate jurisdiction as between Himmler and
        other people such as the Reichs Commissarts and people
        like that?
   A.   Yes, I think you can -- it is quite clear throughout 1940
        and 1942 that Hitler was engaged with this question.
   Q.   I want to take July 1942 as a particular illustration, if
        I may, of what you were telling us last Wednesday.  Can
        you take the blue bundle and turn to page 247, please?
        Here you should find copied -- you may need to turn the
        file round -- a run of entries from the Dienst calendar.
        Have you got 247?  It should be an entry for 11th July
        1942.  It may be my page numbering is a little bit -- that
        is right, is it?
   A.   Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do we have translations of this or is it not
        really necessary?
   MR RAMPTON:  Is it what, sorry?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Translations or not necessary?
   MR RAMPTON:  It is not necessary.  They are very simple entries
         -- even I can manage!  If anybody should want to deal
        with the footnotes, that is different, but I am not

.          P-73

        bothered with them at the moment.  Sonnabend which in
        those days was German for Saturday, was it not?
   A.   Sonnabend is Saturday, yes.
   Q.   It is still Saturday?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   11th July 1942.  He makes a journey after 12.30 to the
        Fuhrer headquarters.  It does not matter where they are
        for the moment.  Do you know which headquarters Hitler
        would have been at at that date?
   A.   I think he is still in Wolfschanze.
   Q.   And he has a meal, presumably we could call it lunch, at
        2 o'clock with the Fuhrer?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   And if you turn over two pages to 249, on 14th July, which
        is Tuesday, he speaks to Wolff on the telephone and then
         -- this is the left-hand column -- at 12.30 he goes to
        the Fuhrer headquarters, yes?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   And again at 2 o'clock they have a meal together?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   And they have a conversation, or Himmler does, with
        General Thomas and SS Oberfuhrer Werlin.  Who were they?
   A.   Well, General Thomas is the head of the wehrmacht armament
        department and Werlin, if I am not mistaken, is head of
        Daimler Benz company.
   Q.   He is an industrialist?

.          P-74

   A.   Yes, with an SS rank.
   Q.   Then if you turn over the page once more, I do not know
        what the page number is, 250 might it be?  I do not know.
        Do you see Friday, 17th July 1942?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   The right-hand column.  He goes from Berlin to Catovitz in
        Upper Silesia, do you see that?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   And then he meets Gauleiter Bracht who is the Gauleiter of
        what area?
   A.   Of Silesia.
   Q.   Of Silesia, and some people called Schmaze Kasen Vogel,
        but also Hoess, the commandant of Auschwitz?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   And after that he goes to Auschwitz, does he not?
   A.   That is true, yes.
   Q.   And he stays in Auschwitz until later on that day when he
        goes and has a meal with the Fuhrer Heim -- that is not
        Hitler, that is the ----
   A.   No, that is the ----

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