Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day007.02 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 MR IRVING: Wannsee on January 20th 1942 -- W-A-N-N-S-E-E -- and the subsequent conference, which was held at the headquarters of Heydrich on March 6th 1942. I wanted to find out what the participants said, what they recalled immediately afterwards, after the war. They were interrogated in detail by the Americans. We have the verbatim transcripts in German and English. I did not copy the transcripts, but I typed extracts on the filing cards which you will see on pages 13 and 14, my Lord, the relevant parts. I have translated them on page 12 which I think is all we need to look at today. Cabinet counseller, Dr Hans Ficher of the Reich Chancellery (Lammers department) stated that from the invitation it was evident that evacuation or sterilisation were on the agenda." I skip on to the next sentence: "Lammers took this minute to the Fuhrer and . P-8 returned with a memorandum. The discussion of the whole affair is to be postponed until after the end of the war". That must have been in March 1942. That is the opinion of Bohle. "To our horror", and I rely on this sentence, my Lord, "we learned that that then continued behind the scenes. We learned that that then continued behind the scenes". Although Hitler had given this order, leave everything until the end of the war, to our horror, they learned that it went on behind the scenes, rather like the Bruns business, your Lordship will remember. The order comes down from Hitler's headquarters. What we are looking for, I would submit, is any indication that I have been perverse in putting on this kind of document the meaning that I did in my various writings and utterances. If I continue now to the next statement by Mr Gottfried Bohle, who is also at the Reichs Chancellory Department, he testified that he had been interrogated about this on more than one occasion. The conference, he recalled, was at the headquarters of Heydrich's department, the RSHA. Eichmann opened, and I am relying on this purely to show that it was not just a discussion about the mixed race, my Lord. It was a discussion about the Jews as a whole. Eichmann opened with the need for a quick solution of the Jewish Question. Bohle told his wife . P-9 afterwards that they had talked of Jews being supplied like cattle. One man had objected, one cannot proceed against Jews who had behaved correctly, Eichmann's No. 2, that was SS van Fuhrer Gunter, said "that comes under our police judgment". MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not at the moment see what bearing that has on the issue we are concerned with. MR IRVING: It is an indication where the kind of decisions are being taken, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I see. Anyway Bohle again? MR IRVING: Bohle in another interrogation said, and I draw attention only to the second two sentences, Hitler wanted postponement until after the war. "Whether the security police knew about the different orders from Hitler, I cannot say." In other words, different to what they were doing. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. MR IRVING: My Lord, your Lordship may attach no significance whatsoever to these documents. I am a historian looking at these documents. I submit that it is perfectly proper for me to pay attention to them, and it is not perverse for me to attach the significance to them that I did and the meanings that I did. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. MR IRVING: That is all that I have to submit on this Schlegelberger memorandum, my Lord. . P-10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You did that very, if I may say so, effectively and briefly. MR IRVING: Your Lordship will have apprehended that I attach importance to the Schlegelberger memorandum. I have quoted it frequently, I have illustrated it in my books, and I wish to make sure that it stayed upright without being sunk. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It would not be exaggerating to say that it is something of a linchpin for your thesis about the extent to which Hitler knew about what was going on. MR IRVING: One of the chain of document to which we occasionally refer, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is Schlegelberger. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Rampton, do you want to add anything? MR RAMPTON: I have some questions remaining about Schlegelberger, particularly in the light of these documents. MR IRVING: Do you wish me to go into the box? MR JUSTICE GRAY: We have to keep an eye on the time. MR RAMPTON: Your Lordship need not fear; we have enough material for today. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not worrying about having enough. Mr Irving, perhaps you would go back into the box? < MR DAVID IRVING, recalled. < Cross-Examined by MR RAMPTON QC, continued. MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving, there is one document which you have . P-11 not included in that little clip, is there not? A. Mr Rampton, I spent a large part of the night in looking for my Schlegelberger file, but the documents came back from solicitors for the Defendants in such disarray that it was in vain. I had to reconstruct it from other sources. Q. Curiously enough, I did the same exercise myself last night, and the document that I have included in my little clip which I will hand in---- (Document not provided) . MR JUSTICE GRAY: Where are we going to put these? MR RAMPTON: For the moment they can go together. Perhaps they can both go in whatever the J number is. MR JUSTICE GRAY: J7. MR RAMPTON: Some of them may in due course be filed away into the core file. A. May I express incidentally my amazement that this bundle of documents did not turn up in the bundles that were put to the court? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I know. I understand the point. Let us get on. MR RAMPTON: There is a document, Mr Irving, that you did not include -- I am not saying it is deliberate, at least not at the moment -- in the little clip and that is the actual minute of the meeting on 6th March 1942, is it not? A. That is correct. The reason for that being that it did not come from that Ministry of Justice file. This comes . P-12 from, as the serial numbers at the foot of it clearly show, the Foreign Ministry files. Q. It did not, but it is one of the footnotes to your Goebbels book, is it not? A. I am sorry, the footnote is referred to in the Goebbels book? It is indeed, yes. Q. It is footnote 36 to page 388, and one knows it is the same document for two reasons: First because the personnel mentioned at as being at the meeting include Karssonsen and Schmidtburg? A. Yes. Q. And because the film roll number at the bottom right hand corner of the page that you have got there is the one which you give in your footnote. So we are looking now at the right document, are we? It is 371962? A. Yes. Can you show me again the page reference in the Goebbels? Q. Yes I have copied it for convenience. It is page 388, and it is note 36 in the upper half of the page, the big paragraph before the word Eichmann. My Lord, I have copied for your Lordship note 36 which is on page 647, where Mr Irving said -- perhaps I will read the Goebbels text first so that it will become a little clearer what it is that I am driving at. I will start if I may on 388. "On the following day" -- that is he and one can see from the previous page that that is Goebbels and the following day . P-13 is 6th March -- "Goebbels took note of an extensive report prepared by Heydrich's office, probably on the Wannsee conference. There were still eleven million Jews in Europe, he dictated, summarizing the document. 'For the time being they are to be concentrated in the east [until] Later; possibly an island like Madagascar can be assigned to them after the war.' 'Undoubtedly there will be a multitude of personal tragedies,' he added airily,'But this is unavoidable. The situation now is ripe for a final settlement of the Jewish question.' In a covering letter Heydrich invited Goebbels to a second conference, on March 6. Goebbels sent two of his junior staff." Then one goes to note 36, and one sees that it says they, that is the two junior members of staff, were Karssonsen and Schmidtburg of its Eastern territory subsection. Minutes of conference, March 6th 1942, on Final Solution of Jewish problem. Then your Lordship sees inside the bracket right at the end is the same film roll number, whatever it is, reference number 371962. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Right? A. "Eichmann talked crudely at this meeting"-- that is the meeting of 6th March attended by Karssonsen and Schmidtburg - "of 'forwarding' the Jews to the east, like so many head of cattle. The ministry of justice handled the report on this new discussion like a hot potato." -- That is note 38. That is the letter of 12th March, which . P-14 your Lordship has, to Herr Lammers in the Reichkanzlei "The Reich Chancellery referred it all to Hitler." That is an is interrogation of Hans Ficher, that footnote. I ask you to note the words "it all", Mr Irving. "Hitler wearily told Hans Lammers that he wanted the solution of the Jewish problem postponed until after the war was over - a ruling that remarkably few historians now seem disposed to quote." That suggests, does it not, to the reader, Mr Irving, that the conference on 6th March was about the overall solution of the Jewish question? A. The final solution of the Jewish question is the title given on the minutes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: But that was not the question. The question is you are conveying to the readers there that it is the final solution which is postponed. MR RAMPTON: That was what that conference discussed, is what you are telling the reader. A. Yes. Q. Now would you please look at the minute of the conference, the one you footnoted? A. Yes. Q. Please read it yourself. Tell me when you have finished and I will ask you a question. A. I think I am familiar enough with the document. My Lord, can I mention the fact that we have one of my . P-15 witnesses present. Is he allowed to be in court? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. It is only in criminal trials that generally speaking you do not. A. Yes. I think I am sufficiently familiar with the content of this memorandum to answer questions. MR RAMPTON: The only topics that were discussed at that meeting on 6th March 1942 are the fate of the mischlinge, that is to say the children of mixed marriages, and their parents, the mischehen. There are two items, there are not? A. Yes. Q. The first is the mischlinge on page 478 at the bottom? A. Yes. Q. And the second, on page 483 at the bottom, is the mischehen, that is to say mixed marriages? A. Yes. Q. There is not a word in that memorandum of that conference about the solution in general, apart from the heading which was a general heading always used for these documents. Am I right? A. You can say that about this document, yes. Q. Then, if you will, turn to the next page in my little file. A. 371? Q. Yes. I will use yours because you have translated it and I have not. . P-16 A. This refers clearly to the conference concerning the Jews and the mixed races. Q. I will just find your English first. I am going to read it again. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do not, because we have been through it once before. MR RAMPTON: "My personal assistant has just briefed me on the result of the session on March 6th, meeting might be a better word, on the treatment of Jews and mixed races". That personal assistant was a man called Masfelder, was it not? A. That I do not know. Q. If you look at the protocol, you can see Masfelder, sorry. The front sheet of the protocol, which is one of your own documents. MR JUSTICE GRAY: We can short circuit this. Mr Irving, this must be a reference to the conference of which we have just seen the record, is it not? A. Yes indeed. MR RAMPTON: That conference had nothing whatever to do with what was to happen to the Jews overall. It was under that general heading, but it was specifically about mischlinge and mischehen, was it not? A. The minutes of the conference record only those parts dealing with the mischehen, the mixed marriages. Q. So, in effect, you have totally distorted what was . P-17 discussed at that meeting. You have totally distorted therefore the reason why Schlegelberger wrote to Lammers and therefore, if the Schlegelberger has a place in this chronology, you have distorted the effect of that, too, have you not? A. This omission that you repeatedly make, and I beg to differ on that because of course I am looking at the other documents in the file and also looking at the interrogations of the people who were at the meeting. Q. Let us look at the interrogations, shall we? A. If you remember, the business about Jews being supplied like cattle and so on. Quite clearly that is not in the minutes either. There is a lot of stuff that happened at that conference which is not recorded in the minutes. I think it is a mistake to adhere slavishly to the Nazi memoranda taken by these gentlemen, the minutes, which as you yourself have said frequently were written for camouflage purposes. Q. It is page 12 my Lord. Let us look at your extract from the postwar interrogation, shall we? A. Yes.
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