Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day016.16 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. The ordinary police under Daleuge? . P-114 A. Yes. Q. He telephones Heydrich and the content of the telephone conversation are the four lines on the right column? A. Yes. Q. And the first one is Verhaftung Dr Jekelius. A. Yes. Q. So far as we can read it. The second one is "Angebl[icher] Sohn Molotow", "apparent son of Molotow", is that correct? A. Or "alleged son of Molotow". Q. "Alleged son of Molotow". Then can you read the next two lines, please? A. "Judentransport aus Berlin. Keine Liquidierung". Q. You are reading the handwriting? A. Yes, I am looking at the handwriting right here. Q. Do we know with a reasonable degree of probability what transport of Jews from Berlin was concerned, where it was going? A. This was going to Riga. The first transport to Riga. Q. Reference to a train load of Jews? A. Yes. Q. Stopping you there for a moment, Professor: if you knew nothing of the surrounding countryside of documentation at all, would any other interpretation of that line or those lines be possible without our 20:20 hindsight? A. It would be an instruction not to, well, as I look at it, . P-115 it would be an instruction not to liquidate that transport from Berlin. Q. Is there any other way which ---- A. Which I would also then say strongly indicates there is a prior policy that this has to ---- Q. That liquidation is in the air, so to speak? A. Well, that, in fact, it had been ordered and now it has to be countermanded is a possible -- I would say -- that one, I would say, is the likely interpretation. Q. That liquidation of Jews or German Jews or that liquidation of transports of Jews was in the air or that liquidation of Jews at the other end was in the air? We cannot say or can we? A. Well, if it is "Judentransport aus Berlin Keine Liquidierung", it would imply that previous transports were being liquidated. In this case we know that five to Kovno were from documents that were also available at the time, the Einsatzgruppen report in which it is reported that those five transports had been liquidated in Kovno. Q. I appreciate it is difficult to answer these questions from memory, but do you recall if there had bee transports from Berlin to the East before this one? Was this the first or? A. No, there is a group of transports first that goes to Louche(?) and then there is a group of transports that goes to Minsk. Neither of those were liquidated. Then . P-116 the third set of transports goes to Kovno. Those five are liquidated. This is the first train of the fourth batch, the one that is going to Riga. Q. The ones that went to Kovno, what date were they? A. I believe they were the 25th and 29th. Q. 25th and 29th? A. That is my memory. Q. Was that the date they departed or the date they arrived? A. I believe that is when the Einsatzgruppen reports them having been liquidated. Those would be arrival date. Q. Would that fact have been known in Berlin at that time, do you think? First of all, in Berlin, would that fact of the liquidation have been known in Berlin? A. My guess is it was ordered in Berlin, that it would not have happened without instruction from Berlin, so, yes, it would have been known in Berlin. Q. Notwithstanding that the trains had been properly provided with all the provisions for starting a new life? A. Yes, because it was standard operating procedure for all the four transports, that if one at a certain point switched what was going to happen at the other end, the process of preparing the transports would not necessarily have been immediately changed. So that you would have had a situation where the people preparing the transports (and this had to be done days, if not weeks, in advance) would have been proceeding by the normal guidelines while the . P-117 order to do something at the other end could have been given almost instantaneously. Q. By the people on the spot? A. No, by Berlin, not necessarily from on the spot. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Were the Kovno, the Jews shot in Kovno German Jews? A. Those were German Jews, yes. Five transports of German Jews. MR IRVING: You mentioned it was standard operating procedure. How do we know that? Are there any documentations or is this presumption on your part? A. It is inference from two facts. One is that it is reported openly in the Einsatzgruppen report, so that it certainly is no indication that it was done against orders or that he had any inclination that reporting this might get him in trouble; and from this the fact that the six transports, keine liquidierung, would indicate that he would not have said this if he had no idea what had happened in Kovno if there was no standing policy at that time to be killing Jews, and that this would indicate that he was reversing a policy, and I would infer that that policy began with Kovno after Louche and Minsk had sent without killing. Q. Would the policy be described in German as "Richtlinien" guidelines? A. That is possible. . P-118 Q. So when Himmler sends a message to Jeckeln on December 1st (as we know he did now from the intercepts) saying, "Your action in Riga has overstepped the guidelines", then in what way had that overstepped the guidelines if the guidelines were, as you have just presumed, that they were going to be liquidated when they arrived? Surely, exactly the opposite is the inference to be drawn from Himmler's messages? A. No. If, in fact, you were not to be doing -- if you were supposed to be taking your guidelines from Berlin and he has sent a message "Keine Liquidierung", and it was liquidated, he is saying, "In principle, that what happens in the East happens under my guidelines". If there is not to be local decisions about who is killed or is not killed ---- Q. Is not a more reasonable assumption the following, that when Berlin or when Hitler's headquarters learned that the earlier train loads of Jews to Kovno had been liquidated, an urgent message was sent when the fifth train went on 30th November, saying, "Not to be liquidated" because it was realized at headquarters that things were going too far. Is that not an equally reasonable presumption on the balance of probabilities? A. Not an equally reasonable presumption because otherwise, if that were the case, Jager would not have reported it in the way he did in Einsatzgruppen reports, making it clear . P-119 that he thought he had been following what was expected. Q. But then, of course, the message came "not to be liquidated", so Jager had obviously got it wrong? A. No, not Jager. Jeckeln -- the policy of killing the Kovno Jews, I think, was approved from Berlin; that they then decided to reverse that with the situation, the sensation of killing German Jews was more delicate than they had anticipated and, therefore, they temporarily backed off, and then we have the Jeckeln/Himmler conversation, "I have not yet decided how we shall kill them", but this was, I would say it was a trial balloon and it turned out to be too sensitive an issue at that point. Q. A trial balloon floated by the people on the Eastern Front? A. No, by Himmler. Q. Floated by Himmler? A. Yes. Q. Just to remind the court of the hierarchy. Jager is, so far as we are concerned, on the bottom rung. Above him comes Stahlecker, as far as the killing operations goes, and although in a different headquarters, Jeckeln is the one who calls the shots? A. Of course, everything is not quite that neat in Nazi Germany in the sense that Stahlecker could report directly to Heydrich because the Einsatzgruppen had been sent out by him. Jackeln would report directly to Himmler because . P-120 the SS and police leaders had been sent out by him. You get sometimes straight lines and sometimes crossed lines in terms of this, but Jeckeln is of a higher rank than Stahlecker. Q. But, fortunately, for the purposes of this action, we are only really concerned with what happens from Himmler downwards. So although it is a terrible tangle of guidelines and crossed lines below Himmler and below Jeckeln, above Himmler it becomes relatively plain because above Himmler there is just Hitler? A. Yes. Q. Am I right in presuming that we have nothing to indicate any kind of systematic link between Hitler and Himmler apart from inferences? A. That is where there is no documentation and one acts from inferences and circumstantial evidence. Q. Thank you very much. Does your Lordship wish to ask any more questions on that? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, just on that last answer. When you say there is no documentation, are you excluding from consideration (and it may be it is not relevant) the notes that Himmler made on the---- MR RAMPTON: December 18th. MR JUSTICE GRAY: --- agendas? Yes. MR IRVING: Shall we take December 18th? A. Yes. No documentation would be too strong. We do not . P-121 have regular documentation, but we have the diary now that shows the December 18th meeting that they discussed this. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is what puzzled me about your answer. A. I am sorry. I would stand corrected on that. You are perfectly right.
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