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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day004.09

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day004.09
Last-Modified: 2000/08/01

   Q.   What does it mean here?
   A.   Here it is a sentence, effectively, saying the protocol on

.          P-75

        the sequence of events in the meeting of the main
        department and department heads on January 29th 1942.  It
        is not the same thing at all.  It is not a letter head.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is actually short for "an dien", is it not?
   A.   Yes, thank you very much, my Lord, yes, indeed.  But in a
        letter, the formalities -- I would be very surprised if
        anyone would disagree with me with that.  Although I have
        to say one or two Auschwitz documents also say "um" for
        letter heads.
   MR RAMPTON:  I have not been able to find in the brief scan
        I have just given it the actual German quoted by Professor
        Browning; that is not to say it is not there; simply
        I have just not picked it up at once.  Maybe the best way
        of dealing with it is to look at the German Professor
        Browning cites.  Could Mr Irving have Professor Browning's
        report, please.
   A.   What page of report?
   Q.   It is page 16.  Mr Julius -- yes, that is interesting
        while we are trying to find the actual text, Mr Irving, on
        the first page, at the bottom of the page, the last paragraph?
   A.   Yes, I see that.
   Q.   You see that.  You have seen what you might call the
        "anomalous SS"?
   A.   Yes.

.          P-76

   Q.   How odd, one in Minsk and the other one in Kovno?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   The same illiterate chap with the same rotten typewriter
        going round from one place to another?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  The passage you are looking for is at page
         1382 at the bottom.
   MR RAMPTON:  I am grateful to your Lordship.  It is the third
        sentence of the last paragraph on page 1382.  That is
        using the stamp on page 3 of the document.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   It says, something like this, does it not, a complete
        liquidation of the Jews is not possible due to frost; and
        the word which is used for "liquidation" is "liquduren" is
        it not?
   A.   Absolutely specifically.  They do not use "vernichtung"
        or ----
   Q.   Because the ground is too frozen to dig pits, which would
        then be available as mass graves for the Jews.  Not much
        doubt what they are talking about there, is there?
   A.   None at all.
   Q.   We are in January in Minsk, which is in the Ukraine, yes?
   A.   Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Who are the people who are coming to that
        conclusion?  I do not quite know what the document
   A.   It appears to be a session of local department heads and

.          P-77

        their subordinates on the spot out there rather than in
   Q.   Yes.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, my Lord, Professor Browning tells us that it
        is written by somebody called SS Sturmlandfuhrer Hoffman
        of the Security Service in Minsk and that he explained
        this to a meeting to officials --
   A.   I do not see how signature on page 6 can be made to be
   Q.   -- it may be like you, Mr Irving, Professor Browning has a
        considerable knowledge of this period and this aspect of
        this period.
   A.   We shall see.
   Q.   Because he knows from extraneous evidence that it is
        Hoffman who says this.
   A.   Is there any reference to Adolf Hitler in this document?
        To the originator of this system, as you call it?
   Q.   Mr Irving, can I say at once I hope I do not have to
        invoke help from his Lordship, you will get a chance to
        make your clever speech at the end of this case, I do not
        answer questions.
   A.   It was not a clever speech it, was just an observation.
        This is a sample of the quality of documents which are now
        available to historians which go into the most intimate
        detail about the killing operations going on.
   Q.   That is not why I am looking at it at all.

.          P-78

   A.   I look at it as a Hitler historian.  I try to find anybody
        saying, it is OK, fellows, the Fuhrer has ordered this.
        We are covered.
   Q.   Well, that is a very literal minded way of looking at
        things if I may say so.
   A.   A very safe way of looking at things, being literal.
   Q.   Very literal.  If you do not have a Hitler order "shoot
        all the Jews in the East" signed Adolf Hitler, then you
        have to look at the circumstantial evidence.
   A.   This is evidence of shooting was going on, which I have
        never denied.
   Q.   As a lawyer would, to see what evidence there is which
        might suggest that this was a centrally organized and
        approved operation.  That is stage one.  If you get that
        far, and then you see a report telling Hitler that 363,000
        Jews have been caught, have been shot by these people, and
        put two and two together, and you make four, not five, or
   A.   It is a poor substitute for the real thing, and it is the
        real thing that I have been would have been looking for.
   Q.   We do not have the real thing, but what is your task as an
        historian, Mr Irving?  It is, is it not to give an
        objective, fair, interpretation to the cumulative effect
        of all the evidence, is it not?
   A.   It is surely not suggested that I have concealed any of
        that evidence in my book?  The evidence is there for

.          P-79

        people to read.
   Q.   I know.  You see you will not draw the obvious conclusions
        from the evidence before you, simply because you have not
        got a piece of paper signed by Adolf Hitler saying, "Do
        it".  Where on the other hand you have a piece of paper
        which says simply "from Himmler"; it has not got Hitler's
        name on it either, which simply says to Heydrich "do not
        shoot these Berlin Jews, this train load of Berlin Jews",
        immediately that becomes incontrovertible evidence that
        Hitler gave the order. Do you say anything about double
        standards in that?
   A.   At least there is good quality evidence you advance in the
        opposite direction and I give both kinds of evidence in my
        books and I allow my readers to draw their own
        conclusions.  My readers are not stupid, they are capable
        of drawing their own conclusions from what I write.
   Q.   Not only did that Himmler phonelog become evidence of an
        order from Hitler that those Jews should not be killed,
        but it became incontrovertible evidence that Hitler had
        made an order that no Jews anywhere were to be killed, did
        it not?
   A.   I think we are testing the patience of the court if you go
        over this old ground all over again, Mr Rampton.
   Q.   No, not at all.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, we did go over it.
   MR RAMPTON:  I know that, but Mr Irving, my Lord, supposes that

.          P-80

        this evidence is useless, or at any rate not much use
        without a Hitler order on a piece of paper.
   A.   That is not what I said.
   Q.   Double standards, Mr Irving.
   A.   I said I would expect to find in a document of this
        where you have people discussing crimes of this
        that one person would have said, would have made
        to ... Fuhrer liquidierung or something like that,
just so
        that everyone at the meeting is covered.  What the
        cowardly call a (German spoken), a piece of paper that
        covers them if things go nasty.  And they do not
bother to
        do it.
   Q.   This puzzles me, you have used this argument in
        to some of the entries in the Goebbels' diaries, you
        used it in relation to entries occurring, for example,
        27th March 1942, that in some sense Goebbels, by
        to Hitler for the more excessive anti-Semitic
        appearing in those diaries, as some kind of alibi; why
        March 1942 or here we are in January 1942, should
        think that they needed an alibi for what they were
   A.   Because the war is going very badly at this moment for
        Germany.  All sort nasty things can happen.  People
        on the Eastern Front can see the writing on the wall.
        They lost half the German army to frostbite.
   Q.   Stalingrad is not until the next year, is it?
   A.   The winter of 1941/42 42 was touch and go for Germany

.          P-81

        already.  Thinking people if they had any brains would
        start covering their tracks.
   Q.   These are just run of the mill janitorial level, to
        your attractive phrase, janitorial level routine
        reports back to headquarters in Berlin, we are doing
as we
        are told, here is the number of Jews that we have
        this is why we do not do it any more in the East land,
        reason is we have done it already, does not need
doing, we
        cannot do much in Minsk at the moment because the
        is too hard, but it goes on, does it not --
   A.   Can I correct one point you said, you said this was a
        report back to Berlin.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, that is not right, Mr Rampton?
   A.   -- minute of a meeting somewhere in East.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is why this document to me does not
        to carry the issue very much further in terms of
        it was authorised at the highest level.
   MR RAMPTON:  Except for this, Mr Irving, if this was
        unauthorized, unsystematic, contrary to orders, it
        not be reported at all, would it?
   A.   If the calling was unauthorized -- I am afraid you
        my attention there for a moment, my mind wondered.
   Q.   I am sorry. I will repeat it.  I will put it in
        way. when, what was his name Lieutenant Kalley?
   A.   K-A-L-L-E-Y.
   Q.   He did what at Mi Li, this is a parable you used

.          P-82

        so you know what I am talking about.
   A.   In a climate of barbarism he took revenge on a village
        wiped out every man, women and child.
   Q.   Did he or his adjutant or his NCO sit down and write a
        laborious, typewritten report about it?
   A.   I think there were documents, there was a paper trail
        established at the court martial.
   Q.   Was there a written report signed by Kalley, "this is
        I have done", and no reports of such atrocities sent
        from Vietnam to Washington on a regular basis?
   A.   Mr Rampton, neither you nor I am is an expert on the
        Vietnam war and it would be wrong for me to speculate.
        Can I just point out, my Lord, even if this document
        established the kind of evidence Mr Rampton is looking
        for, I would submit it could not be held against me
        because it is only recently submerged from the Moscow
        archives.  It could not have been on my desk at the
        I wrote my books.  I could not have manipulated,
        mistranslated or distorted it.
   Q.   You would have known, this document serves three
        one it shows it was happening, but we all know that
        anyway, we do not need this document for that, the
        is that somebody thought worth writing about it in a
        formal written note of a protocol for a meeting.  And
        other is it gives two very good reasons why there
        have been a lull in the Eastern shootings --

.          P-83

   A.   Because the ground was frozen.
   Q.   -- yes, and in the Ostlands the job had already been
   A.   I appreciate that.
   Q.   You said you did not know about that document, it has
        recently come out in Moscow.  I am in no position to
        dispute that.  Have you been aware of the EMs, I say
        to avoid my awful German; have I got it more or less
   A.   Yes, commendably so.
   Q.   Thank you very much.  They do go back to Berlin, or
        they are composed in Berlin from information sent from
        East by the Einsatzgruppen; have you been aware of
   A.   I am aware of their existence, yes, I have not studied
        them in detail.
   Q.   No.  Have you been aware of those reports, was my
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Since when?
   A.   Certainly since the beginning of this case.  Over the
        three to five years I would say I have become familiar
        with them.
   Q.   Have they all come out of Moscow as well?
   A.   They have come out in dribs and drabs.  Some turned up
        the Nuremberg trial, some of them turned up
   Q.   If they were in the Nuremberg files they were sitting

.          P-84

        there where they could be looked I assume, I do not
        where the Nuremberg files are?
   A.   How big they are?  A lifetime task.

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