Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day003.06 Last-Modified: 2000/07/29 A. No, right. But in other words I wrote that. This is what is important. Q. I follow you wrote it. MR RAMPTON: I had assumed you wrote that. This is why I called it a confession. A. Confession implies that something is wrong. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Put the substance, Mr Rampton. MR RAMPTON: It is quite inconsistent with the version you have been giving us in this court? A. It is absolutely consistent with my methods as an historian as saying here is one version, but the audience should know there is an alternative version. This is absolutely consistent with -- you remember how I sent that letter to The Times in 1966 saying there are other figures on Dresden and it is right that the public knows this. . P-46 I know it is unusual for historians to do this, but I do that kind of thing. Q. But you did not say, but on reflection I think this suggestion that I was mistaken is probably wrong, and I adhere to my original thesis that it was a Hitler order? A. I draw attention to the first two words on page 1043 "this suggests". Q. I know that? A. It does not say "this confirms" or "proves". MR JUSTICE GRAY: But to be blunt about it, Mr Irving, what I think is the suggestion made on the basis of your website entry is that it was because a journalist tipped off Himmler what had been going on that the message went out to Riga; have I understood it correctly? A. I think I would be reading very much between the lines, my Lord. Q. That is what you are saying here, is it not, Mr Irving? A. No, not at all. I am saying exactly what happened. What his timetable was. MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving, the position is this, you quite properly in this website entry recognize the possibility, I would say the probability, it does not matter, that your original thesis, that it was an order from Hitler was wrong, do you not? A. Well, you say "probability" and "possibility"; I would say what I am saying here is it is important that the learned . P-47 public, academics and others who are accessing this website realize there are documents which indicate a discrepancies in The Times. However, we should not lay every word on the gold balance, as the Germans say, because it is quite possible and indeed highly probable that as soon as Himmler arrived at Hitler's headquarters he did not go and have a shower or something, he went straight in to see the boss, and said "boss I am here, what time shall I come past" and the boss said "oh by the way Heydrich I will have to tear a strip off you because of what is happening at the Eastern Front". Q. Mr Irving, who reads these books of yours? Do not take that as a suggestion that nobody does, at all, I do not mean that, but who are they aimed at? A. How would I know. Q. Who do you write your books for? When are you writing a book, if I write something to my wife I do not use the kind of pompous language I use in court, I hope. So you know, you have an audience? A. Obviously, I am trying to write for as wide an audience as possible so that it is both learned enough for the academics to use as a source book, in the case of the Goebbels biography but also entertaining enough for the general public to look at and read from end to end without putting it down at the end of a chapter. Q. Exactly. It is meant to be readable and it is also . P-48 scholarly and authoritative, is it not? A. Yes. Q. All three of those things. Do you not think, Mr Irving, that the respectable approach to this problem of the Himmler telephone call, for problem it is, historically? A. Yes. Q. Would have been to put both possible "theories", as you call them, in this website into your book? A. Well, here you have another time discrepancy, Mr Rampton, because the book was delivered to the publishers in 1995, and this Moscow diary came to my hands in 1998, three years, so it would have been quite a feat of imagination to imagine what was in the archives and I had not at that time seen. Q. No, but you had assumed without more, had you not? A. This is not the point you were just trying to make, you were trying to imply I concealed what I knew, which would fall within the grounds of manipulation and mistranslation. Q. What I put to you is this, that you inserted an order from Hitler without evidence? A. I inferred an order from Hitler with very strong evidence. Q. You state it as a categorical fact? A. In my introduction to the book, yes, I draw conclusions. Q. And also in the text, if I may say so. A. No, in the text I state exactly what the documents say. . P-49 Q. And you mistranscribe the word Judentransport so as to make Hitler appear the more merciful because that is what it is about? A. No, I applied the wider interpretation of the "transport" rather than the narrow interpretation, which one could subsequently apply once one knew more about the history of that particular train load. Q. You do not agree now that you have been caught out by the full entry in the Hitler log? A. Mr Rampton, historians are constantly being caught out by fresh documents that come into their purview and one is -- I am personally very satisfied how infrequently I am caught out. I the entire Goebbels biography initially, for example, without access to the diaries in Moscow. I was pleased to find out how much I managed to work out correctly from secondary sources. So it is with particular episode, the decodes only came into our possession within the last four or five years and yet they confirmed exactly what I inferred 20 years, 25 years ago. I do not think it is a question of being caught out. If one revises and updates information it is not because one has been caught out, with all pejorative implications. Q. I am afraid they are pejorative. I would like to know why you say that the decodes (we will go it now, I will come back to where I was in a moment) why the decodes confirm your account? . P-50 A. I think I have gone through the little bundle this morning in some detail, I am glad I did. Q. You show me the decode, I suppose mean the one on page 17? A. December 1st. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Rampton, you are moving to a slightly different topic, may I ask one more question? MR RAMPTON: Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is back to your website, looking at it now, forget what you have written in the past, but looking at it now, it is obvious that there was some sort of discussion or meeting between Himmler and the journalists; is that not right? A. My Lord, I regard this meeting between Himmler and the journalist as being a matter of very low priority, I just put it in purely because it shows what he was doing that morning. It never occurred to me that Gunther d'Alquen who is in fact still alive, I believe -- no, he died three or four months ago in fact, that he would brought to Himmler any kind of serious information about was going on. I have never heard that implied or inferred. D'Alquen has been questioned on very many occasions, both by the courts and by journalists, and I am sure that that kind of information would have come into my possession, if it had had I would have immediately used it. Q. The entry does suggest that this journalist did have some news to give to Himmler, does it not? . P-51 A. I shall go straight home and change the wording of the entry, my Lord, because was that not what I intended as the author of this passage. Q. What is Reisebericht? A. It is a travel report. He has been travelling around, presumably on the Eastern Front and he comes back to Himmler. He reports back to Himmler, tells him what he has seen, when he visited the SS police divisions and whatever -- Q. How would you translate Totenkopfdivision? A. -- Death's Head Division, which is a division on the Eastern Front which was not connected, as I understand it, with the killing operations, it was actually operating on the Eastern Front. I am prepared to be corrected on this but I believe that the Death's Head Division was one of the elite SS divisions which was fighting on the Eastern Front at Moscow at this time of course in severe difficulties. Q. Yes, thank you very much. I am sorry, Mr Rampton. MR RAMPTON: It is of no matter, my Lord. THE WITNESS: I would be very willing to write material in between the lines here if I thought it assisted the evidence that on this particular case, on the balance of probabilities beyond putting the name in, that is all one can safely do. But your Lordship will notice that I do not hesitate to publicise information which is possibly . P-52 hostile to my own interests. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I see that. MR RAMPTON: The original of I imagine the two documents that you are talking about when you are talking about the - - is on page 20 of your little bundle; do you have the little bundle there? A. Yes. Q. Items 24 and 25; is that right? A. 24 and? Q. 25, items 24 and 25 on page 20? A. Is this April 20th, you are talking about? Q. No, I am sorry, this is the summons to Jeckeln? A. Would you give me the page number. Q. Page 20. A. Yes. Q. Items 24 and 25. A. I see, this is actual the intercepts. Q. Yes, we go back to page 17 for the English. A. Yes. Q. It is quite clear, is it not, I mean I agree with you, that Himmler was very cross with Jeckeln for what had happened? A. For overstepping the guidelines. Q. Sure. We do not know what guidelines are you tell us? A. I do not know what the guidelines are, no. Q. It is common ground for once between you and me and the . P-53 people who inform me, teach me, educate me, that following that incident because no doubt the meeting took place between Himmler and Jeckeln on 4th December 1941, yes? A. Yes. Q. Probably following receipt of the telegram or whatever it was on the 1st December. A. Mr Rampton, may I remind you of the very lengthy Bruns Report I read out. Q. I am coming to that. A. Can I answer. Q. Certainly remind me of that if you wish, yes. A. Yes. In which there is talk in the Bruns Report of Bruns saying we sent an urgent message to Hitler's Headquarters, how could we do it, then the word comes back to the Riga front to the young SS man, he said, we received orders, this kind of thing has to stop. This is the kind of extraneous information one takes on board when one draws inferences from documents. Q. Mr Irving, I think sometimes you set traps for yourself. A. I try not to. Q. Actually what Bruns said was mass shootings on this scale have got to stop, this has to be done more discreetly? A. Yes. Q. That is quite different? A. That is what the local SS officers said to him. Q. It is quite different, is it not, it is not the same thing . P-54 at all? A. They wanted to carry on, yes, they wanted to carry. Q. No, no, Bruns's report of the order through the mouth of Altemeyer was that the order which had come from Berlin was that mass shootings of this kind on the scale have to stop, that has to be done more discreetly? A. This is Bruns' version four years later of what the 22 year old SS officer who wanted to carry on killing Jews told him. He said, we have gone been told by East Prussia we have to stop, however, the way he phrased it was, they have to stop on this scale and we are going to carry on doing it in a more discreet way because that is what they wanted to do. But of course they did not, they did not carry on, they stopped, as that footnote shows.
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