Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day016.19 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. Can we go now to page 11 of your report, which is the same page that this document comes from, and look at paragraph 4.1.7? A. Yes. Q. Page 11 of your report. Paragraph 4.1.7? A. Correct. I have got it. Q. This brings us to the famous Meldung No. 51, the report number 51 by Himmler to Hitler. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can we try to see if we can locate it unless you think it is not necessary? MR IRVING: I do not think it is necessary, my Lord, I am just going to deal with the meaning of the word vorgelegt. As you correctly point out in this paragraph, this report was, as you say, submitted on 31st December 1942, and the word submitted in the German document was vorgelegt. Is that right? A. That is how I translated it, yes. Q. That is correct, and the initial that went with it was Hitler's adjutant Pfeifer. Am I correct? A. When it comes to Hitler's Adjutants' initials I would defer to your recognition of that. I am not an expert in the initials of his Adjutants. Q. I am not sure that Mr Rampton would be happy to have you deferring to me in any matter of expertise? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I would be happier to have the document in front of me. Does anybody have any idea where it is? . P-138 MR RAMPTON: It is here. I am just trying to find it. It is L1, tab 7, page 140. In fact, I would recommend even going back as far as page 138, where we see it in a prior incarnation before it got reformed into the Hitler legible large type on page 140. MR IRVING: I am quite happy to do that. This is one of the few examples, is it not, Professor, where we have a bit of a paper trail, do we not? A. Yes. MR RAMPTON: I hope the Professor can find it. MR IRVING: In the thick bundle. Have you found it? A. Yes I have both. Q. Both the preceding document, as Mr Rampton has rightly pointed out, containing the same figures, and the large large typeface version on page 140. I am just referring to this top line where it says Vorgelegt and then the date and then the initial PH for Pfeiffer. A. Yes. Q. I am not going to make anything about the initial. If you had seen a preceding document, report No. 50, which is not in this file, and if it had got the word Vorgelegt on it twice, with two successive dates on it, Vorgelegt on 29th December and Vorgelegt on 30th December, what would that tell you? A. That he had brought it back a second time. Q. Why had he had to bring it back twice? . P-139 A. I have no idea. Q. What is the logical reason why he would have had to bring it first one day and then put it on Hitler's breakfast tray again the following day? A. It could be either that he had not read it or that he wanted to see it again. Q. So the fact that word Vorgelegt is on a document does not necessarily mean that it had been read? A. It does not prove that it had been read, because there is no Hitler initial that says "read by", which you sometimes see. Q. Have you seen any documents anywhere in the archives where we can tell that Hitler has read a document? Would it have a different notation on it? A. I do not know. Q. Are you familiar with the notation Fuhrer hauptkentness, or something like that? F hauptkentness? A. Yes. Q. And there is no such reference on this particular document? A. No. That does not have such a reference. Q. would I be, on the balance of probabilities, right in saying, although it is likely that the document was submitted to Hitler, it is not proven that it was read by Hitler, this particular document we are looking at? A. One can say that we have very strong evidence that it was . P-140 submitted, but we do not know for certain that he read it. Q. Do you know what else was happening at Hitler's headquarters around that time, what was happening to his war? A. Well, of course, he was worrying about Stalingrad. Q. He was worrying about Stalingrad, yes, thank you very much. Moving on to page 12, paragraph 4.2.1, this is the document from the Moscow archives, is it not, instructing the local SS units to assist the local anti- Semites in starting their own pogroms and keeping out of it themselves? A. To instigate the pogroms without leaving their own footprints. Q. It is a remarkable document, is it not? Has this just recently come into our possession, or has it been around for many decades? A. The earliest to which I saw reference was when Helmut Krausnik refers to it in his big work on the Einsatzgruppen which was published, I believe, in 1979 and then it was subject to considerable debate between himself and Alfred Streim at the conference in 1982. So it has been a document that has been referred to among historians for now 20 years. Q. Can you in three lines sketch for the court the nature of the debate? A. The nature of the debate was whether there had been an . P-141 order to the Einsatzgruppen prior to the invasion of the Soviet Union to kill all Jews, or whether that order came later, and the question was, was gedrangtform or compressed form a quick way of referring to a comprehensive order which was what Helmut Krausnik argued, or do we take the order more literally and, when Heydrich says they will kill all Jews in state and party positions, to see that as a beginning of the campaign to kill Jewish leadership but not yet a comprehensive order to kill all Jews, women and children included. That was the nature of the debate. Q. If you were to give an overview of the killing programme during 1941 on the Eastern Front, would be it correct to say that initially the victims were Jewish males of an able-bodied military age? A. The first victims were Jews that were considered in leadership positions, or Jewish males in general. Sometimes they would be anyone from 16 and 55, sometimes it would be they want the lawyers and the doctors, not the doctors, they would usually be spared, bring us the leadership of the town. So that it was a selective killing and not a total killing, I argued, until August 41. Q. Were there military reasons for carrying out these operations or purely ideological at that stage? A. My feeling was that this was more ideological than . P-142 military, that these people do not present a military threat to the Germans of any significant kind, and that this was part of Heydrich's preventative war to take away the leadership of the Jewish community, and that this was a police purge, we might say, and not a strictly military operation. Q. Are you saying that they presented no threat to the Germans of any military kind? A. No significant threat. I do not think the 50 year old Rabbi represents a military threat to the Germans and he would be the kind of person. Q. I am older than 50 and I would certainly be capable of pointing a gun at someone. A. If you had a gun, and they did not have guns. Capable of it, but the fact is that there is very little record that Jewish resistance was a cause of the German action, that it should be out here very, very early. The orders given -- put it this way. The July 2nd document refers to the verbal conversation Heydrich had with his Einsatzgruppen leaders before the invasion, and then on July 2nd he sends in compressed form a summary of that to the higher SS and police leaders. So that the orders to kill Jews and state and party positions precedes the invasion and is not the result of any actions by Jewish communities that could be construed as resistance justifying military repression. It is a pre-emptive measure decided on prior to invasion. . P-143 Q. Is it not right to say that the event reports the Erreichnichtsmelderung August 1941 onwards primarily referred to the emergence of partisan activity which is being led or supported by the Jews? A. There are frequent references to Jews as if Jews and Bolshevic Jews and partisans are the same thing. But, if one goes down a lower level to people who are reporting on partisans for the purpose of what counter measures one may take, what I have seen of these is that it is not until the summer of 42, and the reference is Jews are fleeing to the forest and joining the partisans because of our ghetto liquidation campaign. The Germans are creating a Jewish partisan danger because these people are fleeing the death that awaits them if they do not. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I am sorry, I am going to have to interrupt you again. I am sorry to do so. We have had quite a lot of evidence about a document which I have eventually tracked down. There seem to be two versions of it, both in German, and I do not know where, if anywhere, I find an English version. MR IRVING: Which document is this, my Lord? MR JUSTICE GRAY: This is what he has just been talking about, the July 2nd 1941 document. MR RAMPTON: The key part of the document is on page 11 of Professor Browning's report. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think that is really enough. Is . P-144 that it as far as a translation goes? MR RAMPTON: The key part is in paragraphs 4.16 and 4.17. It is also set out in full in Longerich and Evans. MR JUSTICE GRAY: In full in Longerich? MR RAMPTON: Longerich 2, page 67. MR JUSTICE GRAY: What would help me, rather than just having wodges of German text, is some sort of cross- reference. There really is not time for me to plough my own way through, with my inadequate German, to find the passages that matter so, if I could be provided with a cross-reference for where I find a translation, I would be very grateful.
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