Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day003.19 Last-Modified: 2000/07/29 Q. No, Mr Irving. No, I will read it: "Yet the blood purge continued. The extermination programme had gained a momentum of its own. Hans Frank announcing to his Lublin Cabinet on December 16th 1941, that Heydrich was calling a big conference in January on the expulsion of Europe's Jews to the East, irritably exclaimed: Do you imagine they are going to be housed in neat estates in the Baltic provinces! In Berlin' - and with Hitler in East Prussia this can only be taken as a reference to Heydrich's agencies -" -- I am coming back to that -- "they tell us", they, the people in Berlin, "tell us", the people in charge in the General Government: Why the caviling? We've got no use for them either ... liquidate them yourselves!" The "yourselves" are the people in Poland? A. Yes. Well, no, not necessarily. Of course I would just like to comment. That is an odd passage for a Holocaust denier to put into a book, is it not, this entire passage; . P-168 somebody who is allegedly denying the Holocaust he puts in this extraordinary passage? Q. It is there, is it not? A. It is indeed, and I am accused of being a Holocaust denier. Q. Maybe. Mr Irving, the true sense of that is that Hans Frank was told while he was in Berlin that it was his problem how to liquidate Poland's two or three million Jews, is it not? A. Mr Rampton, I am sure you have read any number of transcripts of verbatim conferences. Hans Frank is quite clearly not speaking from a prepared script. He is addressing a meeting, his mind darting here and there. He is giving snatches of what he was told in Berlin by them. He is giving snatches of what his retort was. He is not telling the stenographer, "close quotes, open quotes, close quotes again", and the stenographer is taking it down as it said. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That may be, but you would have to accept, would you not, that the way you have recorded this in Hitler's War is that Frank was talking about what Berlin had told him and the General Government? A. I cannot say, my Lord. I do not know who what is talking to whom in that final three words, "liquidate them yourselves". It is not evident on the transcript either. So I have left it, I saw no reason to be specific in my . P-169 book as to who was talking to whom. I would have introduced probably an ambiguity one way or the other. So I left it just as it was in the transcript which I thought was the most accurate thing I could do. We do not know if it is Poland talking to Berlin or Berlin talking to Poland. Q. But if you are disassociating Hitler from what is said, as you plainly are, does that not indicate that you must be seeking to conveying to readers that the instructions are coming from Berlin? A. It is unimportant to me, my Lord, which way those instructions are coming. It is coming all at the same level. Berlin is shrieking at Krakow and Krakow is shrieking at Berlin, and Hitler is somewhere else. This is a biography of Adolf Hitler. It is not a book about the Holocaust. Q. If there were instructions going from Krakov to Berlin there would be no point in disassociating Hitler from it? A. Hitler was not in Berlin, my Lord. Hitler at this time, December 16th, was in his headquarters in East Prussia. Q. I think you understand the question. A. That is the point I make. MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving, that simply will not do. In Berlin you break off to parenthesize, if I can invent that word, "and with Hitler in East Prussia this can only be taken as a reference to Heydrich's agencies (in Berlin)"? . P-170 A. Yes. Q. "They" Heydrich's agencies "tell us: Why the caviling? We" in Berlin "have no use for them either. Liquidate them yourselves", you, the people in Poland? A. These are your interpolations you are putting in of course. Q. No, I am reading your words, Mr Irving? A. No, I did not put in those interpolations. Q. That is what it means though, is it not? A. That is what you submit. Q. Do you disagree? A. I rest entirely on the way that I quote this very ambiguous fragment of stenographic text without making any interpolations one way or the other. As I explained in the Hitler biography, I did not consider it to be necessary really to point out or to try to work out who was talking to whom. I found it such an extraordinary ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: So your evidence is, I am sorry to interrupt you, that this is capable at any rate of meaning that Krakov was telling Heydrich in Berlin "liquidate them yourselves", that is your evidence? A. This is the far more logical interpretation, because I know from all the other documents at this time that Hans Frank was hysterical at the mention that train loads of Jews would be sent to the Governor General where he had . P-171 problems housing and feeding people anyway, and he was saying to Berlin: "Stop trying to shift your problems into Poland. We are not just a dumping ground for your Jews." This comes up in very many of the conferences at that time. There is one particular record I remember taking by Martin Bormann in October 1941, and that emboldens me in putting the alternative interpretation, the alternative arrow direction, shall we say, on that final three words, but rather than get involved in that rather irrelevant discussion in this book which is about Hitler, I just left this extraordinary fragment of stenographic record, this transcript, as it is, because it is so pregnant with hatred and brutality and total callousness towards human life, and it indicates the kind of level at which these decisions were taken and the kind of gormless mentality of the people who took these decisions who were later quite rightly hanged for it. MR RAMPTON: My Lord, I am not going to push that particular point any further. I am going to come back, perhaps not today, to the full text of what Hans Frank said for context. I am getting some clever people to translate it as I speak. A. Mr Rampton, can I then in that case bring on Monday the text I have, which may or not be identical with the text that you have. Q. I think you certainly should. . P-172 A. It may be shorter or longer. This is the reason why I say it. Q. You certainly should. A. I have the pages in the original photocopy. Q. That is absolutely fine. Bring whatever you like you feel you need to defend yourself with. It is right, is it not, that having written both in 1977, as I say if you want to check it, on pages 427, 428 of 1991 Hitler's War, which I think is identical ---- A. Yes. Q. --- having written "man hat uns gesagt" or "in Berlin" and then a quote, on page 386 of Goebbels you write this. A. Yes. Q. I will read it out: "Hans Frank's Government General was flatly refusing to accept any more", Jews that is. "Frank had exclaimed irritably at one of his cabinet meetings in Krakov that Berlin was telling them they got no use for the Jews either, 'liquidate them yourselves', was his, that is Frank's, retort? A. Yes. Q. I notice, and perhaps you did too, as I read that there is no reference there to Heydrich's agencies or to Hitler being absent, is there? A. We are talking about Berlin and we are talking about Frank retorting. Having now advanced something like ten years down the road of research and read a very large number of . P-173 further documents relating to this particular context and these questions, I am that much more certain that the arrow goes from East to West rather than from West to East as far as those three words are concerned. Q. Be honest, Mr Irving, in Hitler's War ---- A. Excuse me, I am speaking here on oath, I am being honest. Q. I do not believe you are. In Hitler's War the arrow went firmly from West to East. You changed the account for Goebbels, did you not? That is why there is no reference to Hitler or to Heydrich in this text? A. I do not accept that contention at all. In Hitler's War I gave the transcription exactly as it occurs in the records and I left it for the reader to make up their own mind. Here I am that much more certain which way the arrow went. Q. Why did you insert in Hitler's War the parenthesis "and with Hitler in East Prussia this can only be taken as a reference to Heydrich's agencies"? A. This is like an obiter from on high where the judge says to the jury, "I think that you need to take account of this but of course make up your own mind", and where you are telling the reader, well, make up your own mind, here is what is what the transcript says, but just in case you have forget it, Adolf Hitler lives in East Prussia and he is not in Berlin on the day this speech is being made. Q. He was not in Berlin on 16th December 1941, Mr Irving? . P-174 A. Yes. Q. Because on 16th December 1941 he went to the Wolf's lair, did he not? A. He was certainly, at the time that Frank was speaking here Hitler was back in East Prussia. Q. On page 383 ---- A. May I also say that if he was referring to Hitler by the use of the word "man", which is the equivalent of the French "on". Q. I did not say that. A. If he was referring to Hitler then he would have said, "at the very highest level we have been told". He would not have used the rather offensive "man". Q. "On" in French, I do not know any German but I have quite good French, Mr Irving, "on" in French is not the least bit offensive. It is merely a form of expressing a passive sense. A. Yes, but he would have been specific. He would have said "uns getstella(?)" or [German spoken] but more likely "uns getstella(?)" at the highest level. Q. According to your first version, "Heydrich's agencies". A. Had he wished to refer to Hitler by that, yes. Q. To what? A. If by the use of the word "man" in Berlin he would not have used the very impersonal version of saying "man". Q. Anyway, you have got Hitler away from whatever Frank was . P-175 told because you have got him in East Prussia? A. Continue, yes. Q. Yes. In fact he did not go to the Wolf's lair until 16th December, did he? A. He probably left Berlin on the night of the 15th, took the overnight train back to East Prussia. I could tell you from the Hitler's War, the headquarters' war diary which I have in the blue volume there. Q. All I can tell you is that in Goebbels Mastermind of the Third Reich on page 383 you write this: "Returning by train on December 16th to the Wolf's lair"? A. Yes. Q. "Hitler dictated a famous order", something like that? A. Yes, but I can tell you whether he left Berlin on the night of the 15th or not. Q. So he was in Berlin when Hans Frank was in Berlin receiving this instruction? A. You are now referring to 12th December? Q. Whenever. He did not leave Berlin until the night of the 15th or the morning of the 16th. Hans Frank has got to go further. He has got to go all the way back to Krakov which is further than East Prussia? A. I am sorry to admit I am now totally at sea. Which times in Berlin are we talking about? Q. Hans Frank is reporting what he was told in Berlin. When he was ---- . P-176 A. Yes, by somebody whom we have not identified. Q. Maybe, but Hitler was in Berlin at that time? A. He was in Berlin on, well, he was in Berlin on the 12th, 13th and 14th definitely. Q. Yes, and probably on the 15th as well? A. Yes, but we do not know if he is referring to Hitler. He says "man". "We have been told in Berlin". Berlin's population is two million. Q. I wish you would not make speeches, Mr Irving, but listen to my questions. Why was it relevant to observe, if it is perfectly certain or more or less certain or as certain as an historian would like, that Frank and Hitler were in Berlin at the same time, why do you say "in Berlin" close quotes, " - and with Hitler in East Prussia this", that is to say Berlin, "can only be taken as a reference to Heydrich's agencies"? A. In Berlin people tell us -- had it been Adolf Hitler who had told him this, he would not have said the slightly depricating "in Berlin people tell us", certainly not in the company of Reichsministers and Reichsleiters. Somebody would have reported back. MR JUSTICE GRAY: You are slightly at cross purposes. I think all that Mr Rampton is putting at the moment is that they were in Berlin at the same time? A. This I accept. Q. Namely, Frank and Hitler. . P-177 A. This I accept.
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