Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day004.11 Last-Modified: 2000/08/01 Q. Then, low and behold, almost a year later, or just over a year later, comes along a report from the East saying that just that has happened? A. Yes. Q. A report to Hitler? A. December 29th 1942, yes. Q. So, as a matter of historical fact, Mr Irving, you have always known about report No. 51 on 29th December 1942, have you not? A. Yes. . P-94 Q. The probability that Hitler saw that report and was, therefore, what shall we say, implicated in the murder of all those 363,000 Eastern Jews is confirmed, is it not, by our subsequent knowledge of this document? A. Yes. There is no contention between us on that point. Q. So, historically speaking, the fact is that the systematic killing of the eastern Jews, whether in Minsk or Kovno or Kiev or anywhere else, was part of a Fuhrer plan? A. As a part of the partisan combating. I am trying to specify exactly what interpretation one can safely put on two rather skimpy documents with 12 months between them. It has to be said that this telephone notice, this agenda, is about as skimpy as one can imagine. One would only wish that Himmler had been more literary in his endeavours and told us precisely what was going on. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Would it be wrong to read it that they were to be treated in the same way as partisans were being treated, namely they were going to be shot just as partisans ---- A. Precisely, my Lord. Q. --- because they were supporting the ---- A. And I know that some people would say, well, the Jews provided the partisan reservoir, but, of course, the obvious argument against that is "and the women and children too" and the answer to that is, of course, they were not. So this was, undoubtedly, part of the majority . P-95 atrocity on the Eastern Front which I have never denied. MR RAMPTON: Well, then please will you look at report No. 51 itself? I know we have looked at it before, but these documents are, in our submission, so intimately connected that it is necessary to look at it again. You will find that in (which I hope you have) H3(i) which is the first tranche of Professor Browning's documents at footnote 28(ii). H3(i), do you have? A. Yes. Q. Then if you turn to FN 28(ii) at the bottom right-hand corner of the page, you should have it? A. I have it. Q. This is a report -- I will not go through it all again -- only for a part of the East. It does not say anything, for example, about Ostland. It talks about South Russia, Ukraine and the Bialystok area which is to the west of White Russia, is it not? A. Yes. Q. As we noticed before, under paragraph 2, listed as gang helpers, and what was the other word? A. "Partisan accomplices" is the way I would translate that. Q. Sorry, what? A. "Accused of being partisan accomplices or fellow travellers". Q. Yes, fellow travellers? A. And suspects. . P-96 Q. Or whatever. Some were arrested, some were executed, which is perhaps not very surprising, not in huge numbers, a total under B of 14,000 -- well, comparatively not in huge numbers, I should have said. Under C, as a separate entry for heaven knows why, a separate entry, 363,211 Jews? A. Yes. Q. So, is it your thesis that Hitler would have been likely to think, "Oh, well, I am sure all those Jews were getting up to no good in the underground or the Resistance or whatever, the subversives, and there were all that many of them so the poor old SS had to shoot them", is that a realistic scenario, Mr Irving? A. That being sarcastic, presumably? Q. I am being entirely sarcastic. A. Yes, of course not. Q. Not to you, but I mean that is not a credible suggestion, is it? A. Of course it is not, no, and this document I have printed in several of my books. I think I was probably the very first person to have drawn attention to it. I may be wrong on that. Q. This is important, Mr Irving. So you agree with me that this is just some kind of fiction, really, to put them under band helpers and band whatever the other things, accomplices. This is put, coldly and bluntly, a record of . P-97 the number of Jews deliberately executed for the reason that they are Jews and for another, is it not? A. I have no evidence of that, but that is a reasonable supposition. But I would also continue from that point and say what worries me about this document is that we have no evidence that Hitler took it on board, as we would now say. He never referred in later conferences saying, "I remember back in December we got that document saying we had killed 3,000 Jews, jolly good show!" Q. But you have had this document for a long time? A. Oh, yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: But the evidence suggests that it was laid before Hitler, does it not? A. I agree, my Lord, but there is a difference between documents being laid before a Prime Minister or a Head of State at a time when disaster, the world is crashing around his ears, it is the height of the Stalingrad Crisis, and the fact that he actually imbibed the facts and figures contained in it, this may be precisely why Himmler put it to him at that time. This has been known to happen, that people -- documents are shovelled in front of them. Q. We now know that he did ask to be kept informed about the shootings on the Eastern front. A. 18 months earlier, my Lord, yes -- that is not strictly accurate, my Lord. He asked to be kept informed of the . P-98 activities of the Einsatzgruppen. Broadly speaking, their major activity was policing the rear areas and to them fell the task of killing the Jews. MR RAMPTON: Have you any idea of the cost of ammunition at that time in the history of the Reich? A. Cost of ammunition? Q. Yes. A. I would imagine the price per round was relatively low. Q. So it would not be a huge economic expenditure to kill, let us say, 700,000 Jews by shooting? A. It is much cheaper to kill them with bullets than with cyanide gas. Q. Much noisier too? A. I take your word for it. Q. Well, bullets, they were not using silencers, were they? A. I am afraid you have lost me there. Q. It is more likely to come to public attention, is it not, and it is also, I mean, I do not know how many soldiers they used by per shooting? A. I think there were six machine gunners, according to Bruns, was it not? Q. I do not know. A. Who took it in turns. They were relieved. Q. Evidently, at some stage it became too much for many of the people that had to do it? A. Yes, I am sure. . P-99 Q. Whereas -- we will come to the other matters later on. Now, I would like Mr Irving -- my Lord, this is the last thing, if I may, that I will do before the adjournment ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. MR RAMPTON: --- to have a copy of Professor Evans' report. A. While it is being fetched, my Lord, can I ask you, do you read the newspaper accounts that are published at all of this action? Q. Not much, no. A. Not much? Q. Well, if you have been there, there is not much point in reading about it. A. I agree, but the newspapers sometimes report things that have not been dealt with in the courtroom. Q. Yes, I know. Why do you mention that at this stage? A. Well, over the weekend I have been studying some of the accounts, and it would disturb me if I thought you were accepting what the press reported about things. MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, I rely on what I hear here. A. This is the Evans report. MR RAMPTON: Yes. A. Page? Q. That will probably take us up to, at any rate, 5 to 1. Page 134. There may be more to come of this after the adjournment when I have done a bit more research, but . P-100 these two little snippets will do for the moment. For the moment, I have not fished out original transcripts, Mr Irving, so I hope you will forgive me. If Professor Evans has mistranscribed what you are alleged to have said, then no doubt, you will tell us. Page 134(c) "Systematic nature of the extermination". This is Professor Evans: "A refusal to accept that the extermination of the Jews was systematically organised or centrally directed is a major element in the phenomenon of Holocaust denial"? A. As defined by him. Q. I am reading his words. You can cross-examine him about his words, not me. "Where does Irving stand on this issue? Even before he changed his mind on the numbers killed and the use of gassing as a murder technique, Irving was denying that the Nazi extermination of the Jews had been carried out in a systematic manner. Thus, for example, in 1986, two years before his change of mind on these issues, Irving told reporters in Brisbane, Australia: 'I am not attacking the figure of 6 million. I am not attacking the fact that the Jews were killed, but I am attacking or questioning whether, in fact, it was a tragedy ordered and organized on the very highest German state level, namely by Hitler himself, and I think this is what they find very repugnant'." Who was "they" in that sentence? . P-101 A. I do not know. Q. "'because if my hypothesis is correct, then it means that all these Jews, and it maybe any figure, I don't look at the figure concerned, if my hypothesis is'" -- sorry, it is difficult to read, "'if my hypothesis is correct, it indicates that the Jews were the victims of a large number of rather run-of-the-mill criminal elements which exist in central Europe, not just Germans, but Austrians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians, feeding on the endemic anti-Semitism of the era and encouraged by the brutalization which war brought about anyway'." Then if we go over the page, please, and then there is the bit about these chaps who did it being motivated by revenge for bombing. 135, Professor Evans makes the comments: "Irving did not explain how allied bombing raids on Germany could have turned Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians against the Jews". Maybe you just made a slip, did you, Mr Irving? A. It is quite clearly being misread by whoever -- Professor Evans has misread that. He is reading into the words I used a much tighter link there. Quite clearly, the people living in the Baltic provinces had their own reasons for hating the Jews. I do not propose to go into them here. Q. I do not know whether it is a speech; it is a press conference. . P-102 A. It is a verbatim press conference probably. Q. Yes. Paragraph 3? A. But, as far as the German killers and the Austrian killers went, certainly there are very clearly links between some of the killers concerned and what they experienced in the air raids.
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