Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day023.17 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: What is wrong with that? MR IRVING: It was all in the background of his mind. He is dealing with these Hungarians who are being obstreperous. They are not towing the line in the way that he expects all these visiting dignitaries to do to the Nazi dictator so all these things were welling up within him. He knows about Katyn. There is no question he knows about Katyn at this time. Any suggestion to the contrary is rubbish. He . 160 know about the air raids. He has just taken a train right across Germany and seen the devastation of the cities. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is why he talks about killing the Hungarian Jews? MR IRVING: I think that comes under the category of increasing the climate of barbarism. It increases the atmosphere. Things that would have been unthinkable in 1939 become more thinkable and that is when you start talking tougher. They are talking tough. They are saying, if you do not want to lock them up, what alternative do you have? You are either going to have to lock them up or you are going to have to kill them, which means effectively you can only lock them up. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is there any more on Horthy because I thought we had dealt with Horthy this morning. MR IRVING: No, we moved on from Horthy a long time ago. A. I did not take that as a question, my Lord, that I dispute virtually everything Mr Irving has said. MR IRVING: 453, Professor. You take it ill that I have left out entirely the Hitler Antonescu conference? A. Well, you do not leave it out entirely, Mr Irving. Q. The second half of it? A. Yes, exactly. Q. Yes. Should I have mentioned every single diplomatic conference in which Hitler engaged during World War II? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Obviously not. . 161 MR IRVING: Obviously not. That is exactly my answer. A. But you do mention it. Q. You accuse me of having left out the half that matters, the second half. A. Yes. Q. Because it was in two halves, this conference, was it not? A. That is right. Another two day meeting, 12th April, 13th April 1943, just before Hitler met Horthy. Q. Does this particular conference that you set out on page 453 add one iota to our knowledge of the whole problem? Is not our aim always to try and simplify the issues rather than just keep on repeating and repeating? A. You discuss the 12th April meeting but you omit the 13th April because here again is Hitler giving voice to extreme anti-semitic sentiments. Q. Well, big deal. A. I know you think it is not a big deal, Mr Irving. The Fuhrer took the view that one must proceed against the Jews, the more radically the better. The Fuhrer said he would rather burn all his bridges behind him because the Jewish hatred is so enormously great anyway. Q. Does it add anything to our knowledge? A. Yes, I think it does. Q. Which word adds something to our knowledge? A. I think Hitler's anti-semitic statements here are another example of his extreme anti-Semitism at this time, which . 162 was not a chance or temporary product, exceptional product, of anger against bombing raids which he dismissed as being trivial or against the Kateen massacre which you do not mention in these contexts. These are just another example of Hitler's extreme anti-semitism. MR JUSTICE GRAY: If Mr Irving is right about the Schlegelberger memorandum, he is talking about a problem that he had already decided should be postponed until the end of the war. A. Yes. It does not look very much like that here, does it, my Lord, since he is exerting enormous pressure on these foreign governments to deliver up their Jews for extermination. MR IRVING: Or to lock them away? This is what the Horthy conference is about, is it not? A. It is not about locking them away, Mr Irving. We have been through this many times. MR JUSTICE GRAY: We have had that argument. Let us press on, Mr Irving. MR IRVING: Yes. But you said to deliver them up for extermination, you have no evidence for the second half of that phrase, do you? A. That is what happened, Mr Irving. Q. So in other words, you are extrapolating backwards from what allegedly happen to the intention of this conference? A. From what happened, and it seems a reasonable connection . 163 to make. Q. My Lord, the next point is the deportation of the Jews from Rome, and here again I am not sure whether I have to attend to this or not. I am prepared to attend to this or not. I am prepared to attend to it but I am not sure if Mr Rampton ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: On Thursday I think you said that you were wanting to because it was a completely false criticism. MR IRVING: Obviously there are bits that I want to take out of it but if I can just look at page 457, line 4, the allegation or the comment is made that I omitted a sentence from the 1991 edition of Hitler's War. A. Yes. Q. The SS liquidated them anyway, regardless of Hitler's order. A. Yes. Q. Now, is the quality of information on the liquidation as good as it is for the deportation as far as Hitler is concerned? MR JUSTICE GRAY: You are going to have to just slightly set the scene for me, Mr Irving. If we dart from one topic to another, I have not spent 30 or 40 years on this, so can you help me a little bit? MR IRVING: I will do it in two lines rather than allow the witness to do it in 25. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That was what I was inviting you to do. . 164 MR RAMPTON: I do believe that Mr Irving should stop being so offensive. It does not improve the climate in court and this is a distinguished scholar. He may not be an expert on the Holocaust, and I really do think Mr Irving ought to mind his tongue, if I may respectfully say so. MR IRVING: I will do it in two lines then. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think that is a point to be heeded. I know tempers run high and they inevitably do, but I think, if one can try and keep it civil on all sides, that does help. MR IRVING: My Lord, with respect, for seven days and in 750 pages of this report, I have had to listen to the most defamatory utterances poured over my head by witnesses who speak in the knowledge that their remarks are privileged. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is why I said I understand that tempers run high, but lack of civility is not the way to deal with an attack of the kind that is mounted on you in Professor Evans' report. That is all I was saying. MR IRVING: I would hate to think that I had been uncivil on any occasion in the previous seven days, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us move on. MR IRVING: Undeservedly uncivil, anyway. MR JUSTICE GRAY: You were going to tell me in two lines. MR IRVING: In two lines as opposed to -- well, in two lines. MR JUSTICE GRAY: A few lines. Do your best. I know you are darting from one topic to another as well. . 165 MR IRVING: On October 6th 1943 the SS chief in Rome said we have received orders to transfer 12,000 Jews from Rome to northern Italy and liquidate them. This message went to Ribbentrop, who dashed across to Hitler's headquarters and back went the message from the Foreign Ministry down to Rome, saying they are not to be liquidated they are to be taken to Mauthausen and kept as hostages. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I know. I have read about it but now you have reminded me, thank you very much. A. My Lord that is Mr Irving's version. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Wait for the question? A. I make it clear I do not accept it. MR JUSTICE GRAY: What is the question? MR IRVING: Professor Evans, which part of that statement do you not accept? A. Well, if I can just say that the actual context is that the German military diplomatic representatives in Rome, which had been occupied by the Germans, the local representative there wanted to stop the Jews of Rome being killed by proposing that they should be employed locally as forced labour in military installations. Hitler intervened via Ribbentrop to override them and ordered the Jews to be taken off and murdered, which eventually they were in Auschwitz. So that what Mr Irving is portraying as an intervention by Hitler in order to save the Jews was, when one looks at the documents and restores the bits . 166 which he suppressed, actually the opposite. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Does it depend a bit what is meant by taking them to northern Italy and keeping them as hostages? A. That does to some extent, my Lord, yes, but also Mauthausen of course is notoriously a concentration camp in a class of its own, where the purpose was essentially to kill the inmates off by working them to death. MR IRVING: How would you keep 12,000 just as hostages, if you kill them off by working them to death? A. Let us have a look at the document, shall we? We are getting down to business here. Q. You have none of these documents in your head, Professor? A. I need ---- Q. Have you noticed that throughout this cross-examination I have ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, that is unhelpful. If he does not have it in his head, I, for one, would not criticise him for a second. A. I want to be absolutely clear about what the documents said, say, and we must look at them in order to do that because your interpretations are so often wildly implausible. The problem with that is that there seems to be nowhere at this time where they could have been kept. There is a not a concentration camp there. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mauthausen does not sound as if it is northern Italy. . 167 A. Mauthausen, no, it is... Q. It is in southern Germany? A. Yes -- as it was at that time. So, talk of "Upper Italy" seems to be camouflage language. MR IRVING: Who was talking of "Upper Italy"? Hitler or the SS? A. Let us have a look. Q. It was the SS, was it not? The SS said: "They are to be taken to northern Italy and liquidated" which is quite plain. They do not even use euphemisms, do they? A. No, that not quite true. Q. Well, "liquidated" does not appear to be a euphemism? A. No, I do not think it is the SS who say that. Q. "Liquidiert"? A. Yes, I do not think that is the SS. I think it is the local consul in ---- Q. Consul Eitl Moellhausen? A. Yes, it is the local Foreign Office official in Rome. It is not the SS who say that. Q. Yes. He says: "The SS have told us they are going to take 12,000 Jews from Rome to northern Italy and liquidate them"? A. That is right, yes. Q. And the message goes straight to Hitler's headquarters? A. An extremely tactless use of language by this man. Q. No euphemisms, no "auswanderung", no "umsiedlung", . 168 nothing? A. No, but, of course, he was trying to stop this. Q. What you cannot get around is the fact that the order comes back after Ribbentrop goes to see Hitler saying, "They are not to be liquidated. They are to be kept alive as hostages in Mauthausen". It could not be more specific? A. Yes. Q. And all the other messages are irrelevant in that connection? A. No, I am sorry, that is not true at all. What you suppress is the fact that the local officials wanted to use them for, as it says, the telegram 201, "prefer to use the able-bodied Jews of Rome for fortification work here". So the local Foreign Office and military officials are proposing two telegrams, in fact, that it would be better business, says the other one, to use the Jews for fortification work rather than bringing them to Upper Italy where they are to be liquidated". So, let us get this quite clear. We are not talking about hostages in Upper Italy. I will read this telegramme in full. "Obersturmbannfuhrer Kappler has received orders to arrest the 8,000 Jews resident in Rome and bring them to upper Italy where they are to be liquidated ... (reading to the words)... Please advise Moellhausen". . 169 Then another telegram, Field Marshal Kesselring has asked Oberstrunbannfuhrer Kappler to postpone the plan Juden Aktion for the time being, but if something has to be done, he would "prefer to use the able-bodied Jews of Rome for fortification work here". So that is their proposal that they are making to the authorities in Berlin, particularly to Ribbentrop, and they, in other words, the idea, the notion of Upper Italy, since there is nowhere they could be taken there, is, I think, a euphemism for taking them off to somewhere like Auschwitz ----
Site Map ·
What's New? ·
© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012
This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and
to combat hatred.
Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.
As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may
include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and
provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist
and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.
Home · Site Map · What's New? · Search Nizkor
© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012