Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day026.12 Last-Modified: 2000/07/25 Q. "Neither from the orders concerning the Jewish question in the brown file nor from any other ordinance have I hitherto been able to infer or deduce such an order or instruction". Is that correct as a matter of translation? A. Yes. Q. What are they actually talking about, Dr Longerich? A. They are talking -- Lohse is complaining about, as he called it, wild uncontrolled, unauthorized probably, execution of Jews, mass execution of Jews in Lepeier. He says, well, what is the meaning of that, does it mean that all Jews in the Ostland, this is his territory, should be liquidated? This would of course bring the economic consideration of Wehrmacht into danger, and it is not according to the guidelines I have in my own handbook, in the brown ---- Q. No. Can we then turn back to what prompted that letter, which is page 104/105, for which also we have to thank you . P-104 I think. Now this is a very short letter from somebody I think called Librandt? A. Yes. Q. He is in Rosenberg's office, is he? A. Yes. Q. He has written to Lohse, or to somebody in Lohse's office, saying, in effect, "The RHSA has complained that the Reichs Commissioner for the Ostland has forbidden the execution of Jews in Lepeier in the matter referred to above. I request urgently a report from you". Yes? A. Yes. Q. So then we get the response from Lohse saying: "Am I to take (this letter we are looking at) as an order that I have to kill all the Jews?" Is that right? A. Yes. Q. Is that what happened? A. So then again we went through the second letter, and then Lohse writes this letter, well, what do you want me to do about that? We just went through the letter. Q. Yes. He explains that he forbad the executions because of the way in which they were carried out. A. . Yes,. Q. Unauthorized or uncontrolled? A. Yes. Q. Now we can look and see what the response was, which comes on 18th December 1941, I think. . P-105 A. Yes. Q. We can find that, curiously enough, the same day as the meeting between Hitler and Himmler, page 181/182, I hope. I do not know what translation you have beside you, but I much prefer you look at the German anyway. This comes from Rosenberg's office, signed by a man called Brottigan? A. Brottigan has signed it. Q. He is in Rosenberg's office? A. Yes. Q. He is writing to Lohse, and he says, "clarification of the Jewish question has most likely been achieved by now through verbal discussions". Yes? A. Yes. Q. Is that all right? A. Yes. Q. "Economic issues or considerations must fundamentally or generally be disregarded in the settlement or disposition of this problem"? A. Yes, generally. Q. Generally, yes. "As for the rest, moreover, I would ask that any questions arising should be settled directly with the higher SS and police leaders". Is that right? A. This is right, yes. Q. What historical conclusions do you draw from this exchange of correspondence? A. I think there was a kind of battle or a kind of conflict . P-106 going on between the SS representatives, through the higher SS police leader, and the civil administration. Q. The higher SS and police leader was Jeckeln, was it not? A. Yes. Q. Carry on. A. Because the civil administration, in their own handbook they were not aware of the fact that actually the aim of the SS was to kill all the Jews in Ostland, and so this letter first of all led to Lohse stopping these executions in Lepeier, and then asking the ministry for the occupied territories in Berlin, what shall I do? It took them about five weeks to reply, and here the answer is quite clear, the economic considerations do not play a role any more. You can leave this aside and, if there is any further problems, discuss this directly with the higher SS and police leader. Q. So in effect he is being told to surrender, am I right control over this interpretation? A. It would be my interpretation of this exchange. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Surrender control to the SS? A. Yes. MR RAMPTON: Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is it significant or is it not that this is Geheimerreichsacher? MR IRVING: I am just about to point that out, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Were you? . P-107 MR IRVING: Yes. I was wondering how to do so, in fact. MR RAMPTON: Just say it. I do not mind. A. Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: The significance being that, on the face of it, this is not a desperately secret communication? A. Sorry? Q. If you take at face value, it is not a terribly secret communication, is it? A. I think it is quite clear from this communication that, if you take the three letters that this means the death of the Jews in the Generalegouvernement. There is no way the civil administration can interfere any more. Q. That is why they put Geheimer Reichsacher on it? A. That is what I assume. MR IRVING: Just note who signed that letter. It is Brottigan, is it not? A. Brottigan, yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: He is an adjutant of Rosenberg? A. Yes, one of his closest advisers. MR RAMPTON: Rosenberg, Lohse, Brottigan, they are all civil servants, are they not? A. Yes. Q. Are you familiar with -- I call it the evidence -- the conversation of General Walter Bruns, which was recorded by the British when he was in captivity? A. Yes, I am familiar with this document. . P-108 Q. Do you recall that they recorded him -- I am going to torture you with some of my German but it saves getting it out -- as having said that a man called Altemeyer, he had been upset, so he said, with these shootings? A. Yes. Q. They sent somebody back to Berlin they said with a message for Hitler via Canaris. You know the story? A. Yes, I know the story. Q. This SS person Altemeyer comes back from Berlin with triumphantly a message, and saying this: Here is (German) do you remember that? A. Yes. Q. I expect you know it off by heart. A. Yes. Q. The question is whether that last remark of Bruns has in your mind any resonance with this exchange of correspondence between Lohse and Rosenberg? A. Well ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: The date of Bruns, that was 1st November, was it? MR RAMPTON: He was talking about what had been going on in Riga. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, but 1st November being the date when that conversation ---- MR RAMPTON: I cannot the remember the date. It was sometime in 1945, I think. . P-109 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, I mean when whatever his name was came back ---- MR RAMPTON: Early December, after the message from -- I think early December. I think we are agreed about that. MR IRVING: It was a few days later. MR RAMPTON: Yes, after the message from Himmler to Jeckeln. My question is this. Do you see any relationship or resonance between what Bruns said later in captivity and the correspondence between Lohse and Rosenberg about the manner of the shootings? A. This correspondence means, in a way, a carte blanche for the SS to carry on with the executions, so I think it is a complete contradiction to this. Q. Contradiction? A. Sorry, maybe I did not recall the ---- Q. I am sorry, perhaps you should have the Bruns in front of you. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think that is the problem, is it not, in a way? I am trying to find it and I cannot remember where it is. MR RAMPTON: I am reading it off Mr Irving's website. Your Lordship has it in J1, tab 4, but not the German. Do not look at the English. It is very bad English. It is a bad translation. Can we just put that in front of witness, please and one for the judge. (Same handed) The relevant piece of German, Dr Longerich, is at the top of the page, . P-110 4 of 5. Do you have it there? A. Yes. Q. What Altemeyer is reported by Bruns as having said is this, and I will do my best in English: Here is an order come that mass shootings of this kind in future must no longer happen". Is that all right? A. Yes, that is right. Q. I am getting on like an interpreter. I am doing well today! "That shall be done more discreetly in future". A. Yes. I was a bit confused at the moment because I did not take the second ---- Q. No, I am sorry. It is my fault. You should have had it in front of you. A. Because he does not say that the mass executions are supposed to be stopped, but it says clearly this should be done in different, more careful way. So obviously, it does not give any date for that. This is a kind of reaction to the complaints of the civil administration that one should not allow these wild executions to be carried out. I think that is quite clear. Q. I think we are now are on the same ground. Lohse has stopped the shootings in Lepeier, perhaps elsewhere, one does not know, because of the way in which they were carried out. He is then told by Berlin that that is wrong, in effect? A. Yes. . P-111 Q. And here comes Altemeyer at about the same time, am I right? A. Yes. Q. Saying, you must not do it in this way any more, you must do it more discreetly. A. Yes. Q. Do those two pieces of evidence in your mind corroborate each other? A. Yes, I think they corroborate each other. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Except for this, that Altemeyer is describing an order which prohibits mass shootings (underlined) on that scale. MR RAMPTON: No, of this kind. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Oh. I am reading from the translation. MR RAMPTON: No. That is why I do not want to use the old English translation, because it is wrong. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Even so, I think the point needs to be answered, of this kind and they need to be carried out more discreetly. You do not find that in the 31st October directive. A. Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: There is a discrepancy between the two. That has to be accepted. A. Discrepancy? Q. Difference. A. Why is there a discrepancy? I do not get the point. . P-112 Q. The point I am putting to you is that, if you look at the message from Berlin, the top secret message from Berlin signed by Brottigan, all that is really saying is, well, do not worry about economic considerations, just leave it to the local SS. I think Mr Rampton was really asking you whether Altemeyer was not referring to that message when he triumphantly showed General Bruns the order just issued. That was the question, was it not, Mr Rampton? MR RAMPTON: More or less. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am just wondering whether that is well founded, because it appears that he is referring to something slightly different. A. Altemeyer? Who is Altemeyer. MR JUSTICE GRAY: He is a junior officer. MR RAMPTON: He is a junior SS officer. A. So it obviously is not the same letter.
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