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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.02

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Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Let's not get bogged down. What is being put

.          P-9

        to you is that, where you have vernichtung in combination
        with a reference to vermin, there can be no two ways about
        it.  What is being talked about is extermination.  Do you
        not agree with that?
   A.   There is more than one way to skin a cat and I am not
        going to go beyond what the actual document says, my
        Lord.  For example -- it could equally well be destroyed
        as vermin by being locked up for life.  I am just talking
        about theoretical possibilities, but I agree that there is
        a sinister connotation on this document.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You do agree?
   A.   Yes.
   MR RAMPTON:  Professor Browning goes on ----.
   A.  He has also talked about the fact that the Jewish men
        been shot and disposed of, which is many of what he
        the vermin.  This does not really take it much
   Q.   We are coming to the female and the infant vermin in a
        moment.  What did Wurm mean by special measures for
        destruction of Jews in the east, extermination,
        vernichtung, whatever?
   A.   I am not the writer of this letter, Mr Rampton, so I
        not know what he is talking about.
   Q.   No.  Well, we will leave that, shall we?  I do not
        there can be any doubt about what extermination of
        actually means.
   Q.  "On October 25, 1941, Rademacher's counterpart in the

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        Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories,
        Wetzel ...".  Is that a correct description of Herr
        Wetzel's position?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Was he of equal rank with Rademacher?
   A.   Yes.  He survived the war and he died in his bed at a
        old age without having suffered any penalty.  I
        corresponding with him some time ago.
   Q.  "... Met first with Viktor Brack of the Fuhrer
        Chancellery..." Can I pause there to ask you to
        what the Fuhrer Chancellery actually was, please?
   A.   It is a total misnomer really to call it the Fuhrer
        Chancellery.  It was an office set up in another
        many hundreds yards away from Hitler's Chancellery.
        was a body which was primarily concerned with dealing
        the public, and in that way it became involved with
        dealing with applications for clemency, and in that
way it
        became involved in the euthanasia programme because
        doctors who were required to take part in the
        programme had to apply, so to speak, to the head of
        in advance for clemency for the actions they proposed
        take.  In that way it became involved in the mass
        operations.  Viktor Brack, I believe, was No. 2 in the
        Fuhrer Chancellery under Philip Buhler.
   Q.   Can you tell me, I think Viktor Brack was, at any
        one Dr Brack, sometimes German doctors are Dr Dr, but

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        is Dr Brack, is he not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Do you know what his doctorate was in?
   A.   No.  Probably in law.  Most of the gangsters were
        lawyers.  Most of the concentration camp commandants
   Q.   As we shall see shortly.  Dr Brack had a chemist
   A.   Dr Kalmeier, yes.
   Q.   I should ask you a further question.  Is it your
        then that, despite the fact that it is called the
        Chancellery, there is not only a hundred yards, but a
        great deal more metaphorically speaking of distance
        between what goes on in that Chancellery and the
   A.   I have read a great deal in the files of that
        and I cannot remember having seen any correspondence
        between that department and Hitler himself.
   Q.   What was the Fuhrer's office called?
   A.   The Fuhrer's office?
   Q.   Yes.  Did he have actual office of his own?
   A.   The Reichskanzlei would be the closest body to him
        was under Dr Hans Lammas who we will meet later on
        morning probably.  He was head of the Reichskanzlei,
        Reich Chancellery as Reich chancellor.  As head of the
        Wehrmacht he would be the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht,

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        which was his military office, so to speak.
   Q.  "... of the Fuhrer Chancellery (where he was involved
        the so-called euthanasia program for the killing of
        mentally-and physically handicapped patients in German
        hospitals and asylums)..." Pause there a moment.  This
        not an important point but we will mention it, if we
        in passing.  That is the so-called T 4 programme, is
        not, from No. 4 Theresien Strasse?
   A.   No, Tiergarten Strasse.
   Q.   I beg your pardon.  I muddled up two words.
   A.   The T 4, and they developed the expertise for killing,
        gas trucks and so on.
   Q.   That programme did have Adolf Hitler's authority, did
   A.   The euthanasia program was authorized by Hitler in the
        middle of September 1939.  Around about August 1940,
        it began to gather momentum voices in the public
        agitated about it and retrospectively Hitler signed a
        decree on September 1st 1939 authorizing it, in other
        words giving it the force of law.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Authorizing the use of gas trucks to
        the euthanasia?
   A.   No, my Lord, authorizing the euthanasia programme.
        Strictly speaking, he specified which doctors were
        to carry it out or to make the decisions of life and
        over the victims of the euthanasia programme. He did

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        talk about the methods.
   Q.   He did not talk about methods at all?
   A.   Not in this decree.  It is a five or six line decree.
   Q.   Nor anywhere else?
   A.   No.  It is a very interesting document because it is
        obviously a signed death warrant for thousands of
        which Adolf Hitler has himself signed.  It is that
kind of
        order which does sometimes exist.
   MR RAMPTON:  I do not know, they probably used a variety of
        methods to begin with, did they not?
   A.   To do what?
   Q.   A variety of methods to begin with, the euthanasia
   A.   I understand so.  I think the order actually spoke of
        humane means, and you can interpret the word "humane"
        you want if you are a Nazi, I suppose.
   Q.   One of the means used, I do not know whether it was
        most frequently used, was carbon monoxide gas from
        bottles, was it not?
   A.   I believe that is correct, yes.  I think this was the
        method.  There was a discussion at Hitler's table
        the most humane ways of doing it.  I discussed this
        the widow of Dr Conte, who was the original chief
        and she remembered being at her home of the telephone
        from Hitler to her husband in September 1939.  Her
        husband, immediately after the phone conversation,
went to
        a dictionary to look up to see what the word

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        meant.  After that, they had the discussions at
        chancellery about the most humane ways of putting
        people to sleep, if you can put it like that.
   Q.   Including by the use of carbon monoxide gas?
   A.   This was one of the methods discussed on that occasion
        I believe they did use it, yes.
   Q.   It is said by Professor Browning that Wetzel met also
        Adolf Eichmann, Heydrich's special adviser on Jewish
        policy.  Two things.  Is there anything in that short
        account of whom Wetzel met on 25th October 1941, which
        a matter of history you disagree with?  It is not a
        of history I disagree with in broad terms, but the
        documentary basis is a bit suspect.  I know the
        that Browning is referring to and some of them are in
        pencil, some of them had gaps in, I think it was N
0365 or
        something like that is the Nuremberg document number.
        They go through various drafts.
   Q.   The second question is this.  Is it right that Adolf
        Eichmann was Heydrich's special adviser on Jewish
   A.   He was the head of the Jewish desk of the amtfuhrer
        was the section 4 of the Riesigerhauptamt.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am not sure whether this is really
        by Mr Rampton's question, but do you accept that Brack
        the kanzlei did declare himself ready to aid in the
        construction of gassing apparatus?
   A.   Yes, I think so, my Lord.  I think we can very rapidly

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        slice through this if I accept most of the contentions
        that are made in these paragraphs.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is helpful.
   MR RAMPTON:  In that case I need not ask you to look at the
        Wetzel letter to Lohse, who is the Reichs commissar
        the Ostland.  You may, if you wish.  It is in H3 (ii)
        footnote 83.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do we need to?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Broadly speaking, the narrative is
   A.   Yes.  I think that would probably just dot Is and
   MR RAMPTON:   I will tell you this.  It is actually marked
        Geheim, which is what was second security
   A.   Could you tell me again what the reference number for
        document is.
   Q.   I think you ought to look at it.  I am sorry about
        my Lord, but I feel uncomfortable being the only one
        the document open in front of me. It is H3 (ii),
   A.   I have it.
   Q.   This is, I think, a Nuremberg document, is it not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   You can tell that from the top?
   A.   Right.  With this document, of course, now I can see
        document you are referring to, I do have a problem

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        it into the actual framework you are trying to ascribe
        to.  It refers to unterkunfte and vergasungsapparate.
        is referring to Riga and by implication it also brings
        Dr Tesch, who was the head of the company that
        manufactured or rather had the sole distribution
rights on
        Zyklon B east of the river Elb, and I am quite
        with the Tesch case because I did take the trouble,
        this action began, to read through the entire
        of the war crimes trial against the Tesch company.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  If I am supposed to follow that, I am
        I am simply not following a word of it.  It is no
        criticism of you, Mr Irving.
   A.   It is just that I have extraneous knowledge, my Lord,
        about what was going on at Riga with Tesch, who had
        sent out with his experts to set up fumigation
        as a central fumigation plant for the huge masses of
        clothing, army clothing, military clothing, refugee
        clothing -- and vergasungsapparate and unterkunfte,
and we
        have one intercept which goes to this and which,
purely by
        coincidence, I actually handed to Mr Rampton this
        the German intercept, which actually deals with the
        provision of the Zyklon to Tesch for this purpose.
   MR RAMPTON:   This is merely a reference to using Dr
        machinery to destroy, literally speaking, vermin.  Is
   A.   Perhaps we had better go through the document in

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   Q.   I think you had better look at the first complete
        paragraph on the second page, the first sentence,
        you commit yourself to that, Mr Irving.
   A.   That is quite plainly a reference to liquidating the
        the second paragraph, yes.
   Q.   Using Dr Brack's machinery means?
   A.   Well, either machinery or methods.
   Q.   Yes, methods, Dr Brack's gassing apparatus.  It is a
        reference to exterminating by means of gas those Jews
        could not work, is it not?
   A.   I am not going to be specific about means.  All they
        saying here is that they are going to be using Brack's
        means or methods, which could be any means.  They used
        various different means to dispose of the euthanasia
   Q.   Could you please read us in translation that first
        sentence of the first complete paragraph on page 2,
        Mr Irving?
   A.   In German or in English?
   Q.   No, in English.
   A.   According to the state of affairs, we have no
        if those Jews who are not capable of working are
        of using Brack's methods.  Yes.
   Q.   So the reference to vergasungsapparate is nothing
        to do with lice or rats or anything else?
   A.   It does have a slight bearing on the fact that there

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        extensive war crimes trial after the war.  Dr Wetzel,
        wrote this letter, was never prosecuted.  He lived in
        complete comfort until the end of his life in Germany,
        how can this be if this is the only interpretation to
        placed on those words?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  What does beseitegen mean?
   A.   "Getting rid of".  It is one of those vague words
        disposing of.
   MR RAMPTON:  There is no objection, or we have no
        if those Jews who cannot or who are unable to work,
        incapable of work, are disposed of by Dr Brack's
   A.   Dr Brack's methods, yes.
   Q.   Again, I am not asserting a positive case, Mr Irving,
        about history.  I do not have to do that.  I am asking
        you, in your role as an open minded objective and
        scholarly historian, what is the natural
interpretation of
        that letter and the word vergasungsapparate?
   A.   I would say quite clearly they are going to be
   Q.   Liquidated by what means?
   A.   Using the methods of Dr Brack.

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