Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day023.13 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 Q. I am going to come back after lunch to that if I may, my Lord, because I spent a great deal of yesterday evening . 119 reading through the entire memoranda and also the interrogations that Schmidt conducted by the US State Department which I still have in my files here. There is no reference to this kind of homicidal conversation going on in the interrogations. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, well, speaking for myself, I do not find that all that surprising, but it would be interesting if Schmidt does record some other reason for wanting to get rid of the Hungarian Jews. MR IRVING: That I will try and elicit today, my Lord, but there is one final question I would like to ask before we adjourn and this is following. (To the Witness) Is there any reason why in their own internal foreign ministry memoranda in Budapest the Hungarians would have had to use euphemisms to conceal what they perceived the Germans were going to do with the Hungarian Jews? Is not likely that they would have been brutally frank to their own officials in saying "what is this madman Hitler up to now? He is going to take our Jews away from us and liquidate them. We have to stop it however we can". Is that not the kind of memorandum you would expect to find and have you found such memorandum? A. Well, the memoranda you are referring to I think is a report by the Hungarian representative in Berlin to the Prime Minister in Budapest, which you say summarized the talks between Hitler, Horthy, and Ribbentrop and said that . 120 the Jews are not to be liquidated only interned, and in fact the document deals with a separate conversation between the minister and Ribbentrop, and all it says is that "Hitler personally drew the attention of His Highness the Regent [which is Horthy] to the necessity of settling in a more thorough and penetrating manner the Jewish question in Hungary". That is all it says. It is about many other things as well. As for euphemisms, that is just a diplomatic phrase. Q. No, but why should they have pussy footed around in their own internal Hungarian memoranda? I can understand why the Germans adopted euphemisms for their murderous programme, but why should the Hungarians have had to adopt euphemisms? A. Well, this is an extremely sensitive issue, as we know. The Hungarian government actually refused to deliver the Hungarian Jews and for that and because the Hungarian forces were partly withdrawn from the war effort as Germany's ally, Hungary was actually invaded and Horthy was pushed aside. This is a very, very sensitive issue within the Hungarian ministries. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I was under the impression they had voluntarily in the end handed over the Hungarian Budapest Jews. MR IRVING: It was not voluntary. They sent Adolf Eichmann to do it. . 121 A. It was not, no. The Germans invaded and sent Eichmann in who organized it himself. MR IRVING: They question is, my Lord, and I am sure your Lordship appreciates it. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I understand why you put the question. It was my ignorance, I did not realise what had been... MR IRVING: (To the Witness) The question is, quite simply, you have not found anywhere in the Hungarian files, or in my copies from the Hungarian files, any explicit references that make plain that the Hungarians were aware that killing was what lay ahead? A. Well, they must have been -- the Hungarian file? Q. Yes. A. Well, no, and I think obviously Storgzy (?) who was the minister concerned, is much more favourable to the Germans than Horthy was, and was, in fact, put into power by the Germans when they invaded. So he may well have felt it necessary internally, in the internal power games he was playing to cloak what was being asked in a certain amount of euphemism, but that is only speculation on my part. I do not want know enough about the ins and outs of bureaucratic Hungarian politics at this time. Q. Thank you, my Lord, I think we have made good progress. MR JUSTICE GRAY: But it is a fair point, is it not, that if this was something that they were being dragged kicking and screaming into doing against their will, you would . 122 think from their own point of view that they would have recorded in their own internal documents something to the effect that, you know, this is all ghastly. We know what is going to happen to these Jews and we are doing everything we can to prevent it happening. THE WITNESS: Well, I think, my Lord, one has to make a distinction between this particular politician, Storgzy, who was no doubt looking for the main chance, which he eventually got when the Nazis invaded and was put into power and Horthy who was the one who really objected. I think Storgzy was much less hostile towards the idea and therefore may well have felt the need for euphemism. MR RAMPTON: Perhaps one should draw attention, save me coming back to it, to paragraph 3, the last part, on page 444, and the last sentence of page 445 in Professor Evans' report. THE WITNESS: Yes, this is Horthy deleting the reference to "extirpation" from his letter to the Germans. It is not an internal memorandum. MR IRVING: Reference to "ausrotten", right. Was Horthy surrounded by a large staff of people with him? Did he have interpreters with him and flunkeys who also attended the conference? A. I have to say I do not know how many people came with him. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, shall we say five past 2? How are you doing, Mr Irving, are you more or less on course? . 123 MR IRVING: We have made excellent progress. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, do not rush your fences, particularly on the big points. MR IRVING: If your Lordship thinks I am rushing then please slow me down. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, I have tried to slow you down on the odd occasion. But five past 2. (Luncheon Adjournment) (2.05 p.m.) MR JUSTICE GRAY: Professor Evans, you were going to help us about the Adjutants, I think, were you not? If you had the chance to see whether there were any who, on reflection, did say that they thought Hitler knew about the extermination? I think that was the point, was it not? A. Yes, I have looked very hastily at my report. I refer you to pages -- oh, yes, well, first of all, page 622 of my report and pages 15 to 16 of my letter of 10th January this year which makes it clear that the conversation which Engel reported was on 2nd November, and Himmler was reporting to Hitler about what was going on with the Jews in Riga and Minsk at the very time when shootings were taking place. It seems highly likely that they were discussed. Pages 629 to 30. MR IRVING: Can I take them one at a time, my Lord? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I think that probably is better in the . 124 end, Professor Evans, if you would not mind? A. I have 10 references my Lord. It may take some time. MR IRVING: We will deal with them very rapidly. Is this the only reference to Engel on which you are going to rely? A. Yes, this is all we had time to look at really. Q. Major Engel or Lieutenant General Engel, as he became, was Hitler's Army Adjutant, is that correct? He was the Army Adjutant on Hitler's staff? A. Right, with Hitler, yes. Q. You never met him, did you? A. I did not meet him, no. Q. Did you ever see the original diary or pages of diary on which this is based? A. Yes, well -- oh, I see what you mean. I explain the background to the diaries on page 617 to 18 of my report and again on pages 15 to 16 of my letter. Q. I am not going to discuss contents ---- A. This is a shorthand diary you are saying or? Q. I am not going to discuss the content of the diary. Am I right in saying that there is a dispute over the time when the diaries were written? A. I think there is some confusion which was partly his own fault, but I think it is fairly clear what happened, and that is laid out in my report and in the letter. Q. I am going to ask you questions. Is it right that the diaries were purchased by the Institute of History in . 125 Munich in the 1960s from the General for a sum of 50,000 deutschemarks? A. I will accept if you say that, yes. Q. Is it right that the Institute then learned to their consternation that the diaries were written on postwar paper? A. It is clear that the diaries were, in short -- that what Engel did -- I am trying to find the place here -- is that he seems to have sort of made up another version of the diaries or used a copy of the diaries after the war to answer questions which are put to him, and that he added in some extra, some additional notes, and then somehow the originals got lost, so that what exists is a sort of hybrid which consists partly of original material and partly of copied out and partly of the later editions, and the problem is trying to disentangle these things. What one can say is that there is some original material there and then some material written down from memory. So they have to be treated with a considerable amount of caution, particularly where dates are concerned, as I make clear in the editions to my report where he reports a conversation on 2nd October 1941 which can, in fact, be dated to 2nd November 1941. Q. Would a genuine diary do that? A. I have already explained the status of the diary which was copied by Engel with some additions, so it is not a . 126 question of being genuine or fake. It is a question of a kind of hybrid document. Q. Would why he copy dates wrongly in his own diary? A. Well, we all make mistakes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: A slip of the pen, I suppose. MR IRVING: I beg your pardon? MR JUSTICE GRAY: A slip of the pen, could be? MR IRVING: Are there many such slips of the pen? A. There seem be a number, yes, and it is also, of course, in shorthand, shorthand notes. And Engel, in fact, went to the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich twice to read out his shorthand notes for copying, and so there are a lot of opportunities for error there in all these various processes. Q. Is it not likely that, in fact, he tried to reconstruct years later what had happened and when and that in that process he got the dates wrong? A. Not entirely, no. I mean, it is very difficult to second guess exactly what went on. Q. Are you familiar with the passage in the Engel diary dated November 24th 1942 where he describes a heated conference between Hitler and Goring over the Battle of Stalingrad at a time when Goring was, in fact, nowhere near Hitler's headquarters but was on a shopping expedition in Paris? A. There are many instances like that, but if one looks at it patiently, I think one can disentangle them and to track . 127 down the right date as we have done in once instance that we had time to do. Q. Have you seen several items of correspondence from me to the Institute in which I have drawn their attention to genuine entries in genuine diaries, like Walter Hayhol or the widow of Schmunt, which makes the entries in the Engel diary completely impossible? A. Yes, and if you check them against the Himmler Diensttagebuch, you can also find some misdating there as well. Q. How can ---- A. That does not mean, however, that the whole diary has to be dismissed. Responsible historians do not dismiss whole sources just because of complex problems of this sort. You have to find out how the sources came into being and then try to track down what went on there. The point, since we seem to have got on to the Adjutants on a kind of larger scale, the point that I make in my report is, of course, that because you find Engel's diary/memoirs, I think one should call it, in many ways embarrassing, you dismiss it altogether just simply as a forgery which is completely irresponsible. Q. How can one have the slightest confidence in a diary ---- A. Whereas the very similar diaries/memoir of Friedrich van Owan you treat quite uncritically because he says he was a neo-Nazi after all and says what you like. . 128 Q. You say that I treat it uncritically. Have you seen the reference in the Goebbels biography to the faults that are contained in the Owan diary and the evidence has quite obviously been constructed postwar? There is this very lengthy footnote in my Goebbels biography. A. If you point it me to? Q. I will point it out later on because I do not want to be distracted from this. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Right, we have dealt with Engel, have we not? What about your second reference? MR IRVING: I want to ask one summary question. How can one have the slightest confidence in a diary of a man who has repeated mistaken dates, invented fictitious events ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: You have asked that question, Mr Irving. You have asked that question. A. And the answer is through the use of painstaking objective scholarship of a kind which you seem unfamiliar with, Mr Irving. Q. Are you aware that I am the person who has exposed the Engel diary as being suspect? A. It is suspect now, is it? Not completely falsified? Q. And that until I did so, the Institute of History had not the slightest idea that these pages had been faked? A. It is not at all -- it has no relevance at all to what I am saying. Q. What is the next name? . 129 A. What we are dealing with here is the point that while the Adjutants said that the subject of extermination of the Jews was not mentioned in so many words in Hitler's headquarters, it is not legitimate to draw from that the conclusion that they thought that Hitler did not know about it which is the conclusion that you draw. On page 632, for example, we have Karl-Jesco von Puttkamer who says, "I can state with certainty that Dr Dietrich knew nothing of such things", and we are talking here about the press spokesman Otto Dietrich. "Because of Dietrich's sensitive nature, Hitler would have completely oppressed him with the knowledge of it", talking about the extermination of the Jews, "and Hitler, who knew precisely this quality in Dr Dietrich, took care, alone on these grounds, not to initiate him." Thus, what Puttkamer says is that Hitler knew but did not tell Dietrich. MR JUSTICE GRAY: So that is the second one?
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