Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day006.15 Last-Modified: 2000/08/02 Q. You know it off by heart. Yes? If that is the truth -- I do not know who Gottlog Berger was, he is said to be a senior SS person -- in 1942, two things follow. It is not the very least bit surprising to find a reference back to that in the speeches in May 1944; second, if it is true, Hitler would not be the least bit surprised to find those . P-131 references in the transcripts of those speeches, would he? A. I think the July 28th 1942 letter which we have looked at in some detail is quite clearly proof that Adolf Hitler ordered the physical, geographical eviction of the Jews from those territories. I think this is the one way where they are talking about "Etappenweise von westen nach osten". "Stage by stage from West to East". Q. I cannot remember and I have not got it open, but if you want me to look at it, I certainly will do. A. It would be perverse to go two years forward in time and say when Himmler is talking about the order which has been carried out to say this is clearly a reference to what happened in July 1942. It may be, it may not. Q. I do not want to go over old ground, Mr Irving, but I do not believe that to be right, with respect. If you tell us as you have done recently -- I cannot remember whether it was yesterday or the day before -- that Hitler probably knew about the mass shootings in the East, if it be right, as it seems to be, that mass killings in the General Government took place by gas trucks, at any rate to some extent, and then by some, I think your words are, more efficient means thereafter, then all those people that went from Polish towns to these little villages were killed? A. Clearly, they were not all killed because those that went to Treblinka subsequently surfaced again in Mydonek and . P-132 the Russians found ---- Q. We will chase that up. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Leave that on one side. MR RAMPTON: Leave that on one side but, broadly speaking, that is the picture, is it not? Why on earth should we interpret this Berger letter from Himmler as being a reference to merely, sort of, vanishing them? It is quite obviously a reference to what has been going on, the process that had started in 1941 and is in full swing at these Reinhard camps in July 1942. A. Well, if that is the weight of your evidence, I do not think you have very much, Mr Rampton. If you are trying to read between the lines the whole time instead of looking -- we have a huge volume of documentation. We have had 55 years to find something more specific than that. It has not been found, but what we do find is even after these two speeches, any number of references to Adolf Hitler meting Himmler where Himmler is still talking in euphemisms, talking about "aus siedlung" of the Jews, for example, in the summer of 1944; and how do we explain that Himmler is still having to use euphemisms when he is talking to Hitler, writing his own agenda about it, his own notes about it as late as the summer of 1944? Q. We do not know it, Mr Irving. You seem to have the wrong end of the stick permanently. I do not know whether it is painful always holding the wrong end of the stick. But we . P-133 are not trying in this court (at least I am not trying) to prove Hitler's guilt. What I am trying to prove is that any sensible, respectable, honest, open-minded historian would be saying to himself that on the evidence, the overwhelming probability is not only that Hitler knew about all this, but that it originated with him, with an order to him? A. In which case, Mr Rampton, what could I have done differently than I did in the 1977 edition of Hitler's War where I reproduced all these passages from these speeches without any omissions, mentioning only in a footnote my reservations on the question of pagination. Q. Mr Irving ---- A. I am not the kind of person who likes to read between lines and I do not really want to start joining the dots up for my readers because they have more brains. Q. It is not a question of reading between the lines. It is a question of giving proper weight to the evidence before your own eyes? A. Which I have then put exactly in that form before the eyes of my readers. Q. Yes, but, let me take page 630 of Hitler's War 1977. True it is that you make reference to the speech of 24th May 1944. A. On page 631. Q. Sorry, 631? . P-134 A. Shall I read that paragraph? Q. No, I will read it. A. But it is my writing. Why can I not read it? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do not let us squabble about that. I will read it if you like. MR RAMPTON: Yes. Good idea. MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. You read it, Mr Rampton. A. Mr Rampton, you win. MR RAMPTON: Well, it is normal in these courts -- I do not know how experienced a litigant you are? A. I am totally ignorant as you can see. Q. No, you are not. I am talking about Broome and Cassell. Ignorant? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Don't let us get into Broome and Cassell. MR RAMPTON: I was hoping to avoid it, but that answer will not do. Clobbered for exemplary damages? Inexperienced, my foot. "Consider too Himmler's speech of May 24th in which again speaking before generals he explained his stance somewhat differently. He recalled how in 1933 and 1934 he had thrown habitual criminals into concentration camps without trial and boasted, 'I must admit I have committed many such illegal acts in my time. But rest assured of this, I have resorted to these only when I have felt that sound common sense and an inner justice of a Germanic and right thinking people are on my side. With . P-135 this in mind, Himmler had confronted the Jewish problem too. It was solved uncompromisingly on orders and at the dictate of sound common sense." I am not sure I think your translation is very good, Mr Irving, I have to say so. "One page later Himmler's speech again hinted that Jewish women and children also being liquidated". It did not hint. It said so in plain terms, did it not? A. Well, he does not actually say he is killing them but the hint is plainly there. That is what is happening to them. If I had said he said that he was killing them, then I would have been wrong. He says, it would be wrong to allow them to emerge as the avengers against the fathers and the children. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Not emerge, grow into the avengers. If you are not allowed to grow into something, that means you are stopped from growing. That means you are being exterminated. That is Mr Rampton's point. A. I agree, my Lord. I am being as pedantic as I can in the rendition of this. I am saying that he did not actually say we are killing them, but he dropped a broad enough hint that he is killing them. MR RAMPTON: At the bottom of the page you write the footnote 4: "This page alone was also retyped and possibly inserted at a later date in the typescript". But I want to take you back in that context to what I would call a deliberate distortion of the sense of what Himmler said, to what you . P-136 said about the speech of 5th May, which I cannot find in the 1991 edition that is on page 630. It is in the last quarter of the page: "On May 5th 1944, however, Himmler tried a new version or adapted it to his audience of generals. After revealing in now stereo typed sentences that he had had uncompromisingly solved the Jewish problem in Germany and the German occupied countries, he added: I am telling this to you as my comrades. We are all soldiers regardless of which uniform we wear. You can imagine how I felt executing this soldierly order issued to me but I obediently complied and carried it out to the best of my convictions. Never before, say you and never after"? A. Can I ask just what you are reading from now? I am lost. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Page 630 of the first edition? A. OK. MR RAMPTON: I got to last line on 630: "Never before and never after did Himmler hint at a Fuhrer order"? A. Fuhrer underlined. Q. Fuhrer in italics? A. Yes. Q. "Fuhrer order but there is reason to doubt that he dared show this passage to his Fuhrer ". I am not bothered about that sentence, Mr Irving, because you do set out in the next paragraph an extract from the speech of 24th May. What I am bothered about is the footnote. "This is . P-137 footnote 3, page 28 of the large face typed script containing this pregnant sentence where only Hitler was empowered to issue a soldierly order to Himmler, was manifestly retyped and inserted in the transcript at later date as a different indenting shows". A. Later date should be later time, presumably. Q. Well. A. I am not saying it was necessarily one or more days later. Q. So, although it is true to say that you set out in this book the relevant part of the speech, you do not, as you suggested a moment ago, leave the reader to make up his own mind as to its effect, because you tell us that it was retyped so as Hitler should not see it, the only implication of which can be that Himmler was afraid that he would be caught by Hitler having told a fib about the so-called order. A. Can we read on to the last three lines of the next paragraph:"One page later Himmler's speech again hinted that women and children also being liquidated. The fact remains that in his personal meetings with Hitler the Reichsfuhrer continued to talk only of the expulsion of the Jews even as late as July 1944". Q. You are doing exactly the same thing. You are driving the readers' focus away from the possibility, or the probability as I would suggest, that Hitler had indeed issued such an order to Himmler, are you not? . P-138 A. Let me explain to you about the quality of evidence. If you have a handwritten note by a criminal like Himmler, relating to a conversation he has had with Hitler which is precisely the link we are interested in, and all you find in that handwritten note for his own private papers is reference to having talked about aussiedlung. This is not to be ignored as late as July 1944. It may be you can find evidence of equal quality, and I emphasis the word "quality", not some general speaking after the war in a war crimes trial to save his own neck, but the quality of evidence we are looking at when writing this kind of biography. MR JUSTICE GRAY: By July 1944 that must be either euphemism or camouflage, must it not, because you have conceded that, since October 1943, Hitler knew perfectly well what was going on? A. Yes. Q. So to say that they were only talking of expulsion really is not giving a very full and fair picture, is it? A. They also talk of other things, so this is when the whole conversation starts about selling off Jews in exchange for trucks and so on. The outlines are very confused. Q. continue to talk only of expulsion? A. As far as his own records show. Q. Is that not conveying to the reader that, as far as the Jews were concerned, Hitler's concern was only with their . P-139 expulsion, nothing more sinister? A. To have been completely scientific I should have said, as far as the records show, they only continue to talk about that. MR RAMPTON: Let me repeat my question. A. One assumes, when one is writing a book like this, that you are writing what the records show. Q. Let me repeat my question because I never got an answer to it. It is the fact that you put both speeches into this book, but it is also the fact, is it not, that you immediately qualify what the reader sees in such a way as to suggest that Himmler's reference to a Fuhrer order or soldatischen befehl is not to be relied on as evidence against Hitler? A. I cannot speak for the reasons why the other historians felt that they need not mention the fact that these pages have been tampered with. I certainly would have been delinquent in my duty in quoting these paragraphs without mentioning the fact that they were clearly tampered with at some time. Q. I am sorry, one final thing about this 1977 edition, I do not think it is in the 1991 edition. The footnote at the bottom of page 631 says this: "Only Hitler was empowered to issue a 'soldierly order' to Himmler"? A. Yes, apart from kind of order that he felt the dictates of his conscience, which he also speaks about which is a more . P-140 vague kind of order, a kind of personal duty.
Site Map ·
What's New? ·
Home · Site Map · What's New? · Search Nizkor