The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day022.15
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

MR IRVING:  Yes, I think we can agree that the March 6th 1942
conference was almost entirely concerned with the question
of the half Jews and the Mischlinger, was it not?
A.No, not almost entirely.  It was entirely concerned with
Mischlinger and half Jews.
Q.It was entirely?
A.And Jews in mixed marriages, yes.
Q.As a component of the Final Solution?

.  P-132

MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is there a document that establishes that?
Presumably there is.
MR RAMPTON:  Yes, your Lordship has it.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I know, but I would just like to know where it is.
MR RAMPTON:  Yes, I am trying to get help with that.  I have it
in a file I marked "Schlegelberger" which is terribly
helpful with quotes round it, mind.  It is quite a
document.  I have it just before the 12th March
MR IRVING:  It is page 6 onwards.  Is this the letter dated
April 5th?
MR RAMPTON:  No, I am talking about the minutes.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  6th March, the minutes of 6th March.
MR RAMPTON:  Yes, minutes of the Conference on 6th March.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It seems to me this is quite an important
MR RAMPTON:  It is an important document, yes.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  And I have no idea where it is.
MR IRVING:  That has not been in any of my bundles, I know.
That would have been in one of their bundles.
MR RAMPTON:  Yes.  Mr Irving did not include it in the
he gave your Lordship, so we provided it separately.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is not, I think, entirely fair.
let us find it.  It does not matter whose fault it is.
MR RAMPTON:  All right, I can tell you.  It is in H1(viii),
your Lordship has it?

.  P-133

MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can somebody make a photocopy of it this
MR RAMPTON:  It has been up there, but it has disappeared.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do not start blaming me!
MR IRVING:  Is it in English or in German?
MR RAMPTON:  German.
MR IRVING:  In that case, my Lord, I will ----
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I do not think that probably matters.
MR IRVING:  --- volunteer to obtain an English translation
your Lordship over the weekend.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is very kind.
THE WITNESS:  I do have my own copy of this document.
you very much.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am ready when you are.
MR IRVING:  Very well, my Lord.  I am in the witness's
here which places me in some dread.  Would you give a
brief overview of what the conference was about?  It
about the treatment, we have agreed, of the problem
the half Jews, the quarter Jews, the people married to
A.Yes, or the Jews married to non-Jews.
A.Yes, and various -- basically, various proposals were
thrown about at this meeting and there were some
that they should be sterilized and this raised alarm

.  P-134

bells.  I am just trying to find my own ...
Q.Why would this be, because of the immense burden that
would place on German medical services or the ----
A.Well, the alarm bells in ----
Q.--- red tape?
A.--- the Ministry of Justice because there are legal
proposals.  Right, I have got this here now.
Q.Was it a very daunting task in any way, to carry out
A.There was a proposal that they should be compulsorily
sterilized and remain in the Reich, but some thought
would not be -- that it is not impossible during the
 -- it was not possible during the war.  Mass
sterilizations would take up medical facilities needed
the war wounded, and that in any case this would still
keep them alive, as it were, and that would be a
There was an alternative proposal put forward which
that half Jews would be equated with Jews and
possibly to special so-called settlements set up for
half-Jews alone.
Q.Does it use quotation marks around "evacuated" or does
use the word "evacuated"?
A.Sorry, I am saying that -- they are my quotation marks
because it is, I think, quite possible that that means
they would in the end be killed.  It may well be a
euphemism at this stage of events if we are talking

.  P-135

well, we are talking about 6th March 1942; and there
other proposals, that there be a law passed which
dissolve marriages between Jews and non-Jewish Germans
that was opposed for various legal and other reasons
that it should be made easier for them to divorce.  So
there was a great deal of talk about all these various
different kinds of solutions.
Q.Yes, does it look like a whole bunch of problems they
conjuring up for themselves?
A.Well, they are kind of agonising over what to do,
their basic anti-semitic premises, it is a problem for
Q.What position was Germany in in March 1942?  Was
pretty well down to its uppers?  Was it fighting a
desperate battle on the Eastern Front?  Had it nearly
the entire Eastern Army in the previous winter?
A.Not as desperate as it became later.
Q.So they had quite a lot of things on their plate apart
from dealing with these domestic problems?
A.Yes, but it was part of their mentality, as you could
from the space devoted to the Mischlinger question in
Wannsee Conference, that they should kind of split
and spend a lot of time talking about what seems to us
be completely ludicrous problems, but they took these
extremely seriously ----
Q.Yes, these lawyers, they sat around all day talking

.  P-136

pernickety little details, did they not?
A.I am afraid they did a lot of the time, yes.  But for
them, of course, it was very serious.
Q.For the lawyers or for Germany?
A.For the lawyers.
Q.But Germany, you agree, was fighting desperate battles
the on Eastern Front; the air war was just beginning;
they had manpower problems developing; they were
trying to
control an ever expanding Empire; they had unrest?
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, I mean, that is a very long
question.  In the end, it is pretty neutral because
fact is they were doing it.  That may be odd, may be
MR IRVING:  I am moving on to the point of the question.
Q.If you were Adolf Hitler -- perish the thought -- and
somebody came to you with all this red tape and said,
are tackling this problem now, Mein Fuhrer", what
your response be?
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  But what do you mean by "this problem"?
MR IRVING:  Whatever the problem is, whatever ----
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That begs rather an important question, I
think.  I mean, that is the whole point of the
you are having at the moment.
MR IRVING:  If anybody, if you were the Fuhrer or if you
were a
Dictator of a State in a desperate military situation,
somebody came to you with any problem which was not

.  P-137

directly related to winning the war, what would your
response be?
A.It would depend on the problem, Mr Irving.
Q.Would you not say, push this on one side, "Let us, for
heaven's sake, leave that until this war is over.  Let
win the war first and then we will tackle this
A.No, Mr Irving.  I think you could say that Hitler
repeatedly the previous December made speeches,
statements, about what was to happen to the Jews.  He
spent a lot of time thinking about the Jews and this
gone on into the Wannsee Conference.
  Hitler was an obsessive anti-Semite in whom
there was really little distinction between the
the progress of the war and the Jewish question.  He
regarded the war as having been started by the Jews.
thought they were responsible for it.  When America
into war on 11th December 1941, Hitler thought that
Americans had been put up to this by -- I know he
war in America, but he thought that the American
for the allied side was a result of Jewish
And all of this weighed extremely heavily upon his
  On the other hand, the kind of legalistic,
know, and to go on, I mean, he also, of course,
that the Soviet Union was run by Judaio Bolsheviks and
that the Jews were behind that as well.  He was
obsessed with this.  Therefore, he does not, kind of,

.  P-138

does not even make a distinction between the
exigencies of
the war and what he regarded as the problem of the
Jews of
Germany, Poland and the rest of Europe.
Q.Is there any evidence ----
A.On the other hand, just so that I may finish answer
question -- I apologise, it is rather a long answer,
it is an important question to get straight -- of
when the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of
Justice and so on, and all the various other instances
start agonizing at considerable length as to what to
about the half Jews, the quarter Jews, Jews married to
Germans, where do you draw the line and so on, then it
quite likely that Hitler would have said, "Look, this
all too complicated.  We have got the main problem of
Jews solved, we are taking them all out to the East
and we
are killing them in large numbers, let us leave this
relatively small group, let us put that off to the end
the war".
Q.That is the spin you put on this document, is it, on
Schlegelberger memorandum?
A.If you want to date it, if you date it to this period,
the kind of bureaucratic fall out of 6th March 1942
meeting, then that seems to be the reasonable
Q.Have you read ----
A.If you want to date it to July 1941, then I think you

.  P-139

to put a different and broader interpretation on it.
is a matter of balancing out which you think is more
equal, which are more likely with this rather
Q.Look at the evidence for the 1942 one first, and if
is sufficiently compelling, I will invite his Lordship
decide whether we ought to go back and have a look at
1941 scenario.
  Have you seen any testimonies of the people
were present at these meetings, or on the staff of the
people involved in this, in which they describe how
approached Lammers for a decision and Lammers informed
them that he had taken it up with Hitler and that
had said he wanted it postponed until after the war
over?  I am referring to the names of Boley, Ficker
other members of the various Ministerial staffs who
present at the March 6th 1942 conference?
A.Yes, yes.
Q.So that helps to narrow it down to this 1942 period,
it not?
A.That depends how much you rely on their testimony.
has to be rather cautious with it.
Q.Because they were Nazis or anti-Semitic?  Is this, I
the usual story, that we are not going to accept them
because they were in some way loaded?
A.Well, not necessarily not going to accept them, but

.  P-140

I think again what you have here is postwar evidence
memory by people who were involved in these decisions
were quite clearly concerned not to incriminate
themselves.  I think one has to approach that kind of
evidence with a great deal of caution.  You yourself,
Mr Irving, have gone on repeatedly about the superior
nature of contemporary evidence over this kind of
Q.If Lammers, for example, had said in the witness box
he wanted to find out for himself and he fixed an
appointment with the Fuhrer, "whereupon the Fuhrer
told me
that, yes, it was quite right that he had given the
evacuation order to Himmler, but he did not want to
any more briefings about this Jewish problem during
war", is that all very much part of this scenario?
A.You will have to provide me with the documents, I am
Q.If you would look at page 10, please, of the little
I gave you?
MR IRVING:  My little 25 page bundle of documents.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  The one you put in yesterday?
MR IRVING:  No, it has been before your Lordship for about
days.  It is bundle B, I think.
A.This is J1, is it?

.  P-141

A.J1, tab 7.
Q.You may found this unsatisfactory, but these are the
original source notes and end notes for Hitler's War, as you will see ----

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