Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day012.16 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. Read on, please. A. Yes. Moreover, the last main session in the affair of the trial of Schenk has resulted in the information that the first known death, a case for the killing of a Jew, and it was a Polish national, was reported to Reichs propaganda . P-137 minister, Dr Goebbels, at about 2 a.m., towards 2 a.m. "gegen 2 Uhr", on November 10th, and that on this occasion the view was expressed that something must happen to prevent that the entire operation, the entire Aktion, got out of hand, became dangerous, according to what the deputy Gauleiter of Upper Bavaria said. Dr Goebbels replied in the sense that the messenger should not get so upset about the death of one Jew. Over the next few days thousands of Jews would be going for a Burton. Q. Yes. Can you just read on? A. At this time most of the killings could have been prevented, could still have been prevented, by an amplifying directive. If this was not issued, if this did not happen, from this fact, as also from that remark by itself, you had to draw the conclusion that the result that happened was actually desired, and at the very least was considered to be possible and desirable. Q. Could you finish the paragraph, please? A. It is terrible, translating German. Q. I am terribly sorry and it is entirely our fault for not having a translation which you agree with. A. Translating it on the fly is difficult and I have been accused of distorting and mistranslating and here I am going on the record with my translation. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think it is most unsatisfactory. MR RAMPTON: There is a translation in Professor Evans. It is . P-138 one you will not accept and therefore I have to ask you to do it. A. Quite clearly, if he says that somebody is going to have to believe in it when in fact the correct German sense is someone is going to go for a Burton, then it is a very gross mistranslation. Q. I am sorry about this. I know it is tiring and I do sympathise. I mean that sincerely. Could you please just finish this paragraph? A. Yes. Then the individual actor or perpetrator has not only put into effect the intended, but also the uncertainly expressed but properly recognized desire of the leadership, and for that he cannot be punished. Q. That is right and so no doubt he was not. A. Yes. Q. He would be one of those who was not handed over to the State prosecution system? A. Numbers were and numbers were not. Q. Two things about it, Mr Irving, and I do apologise. I will not make you do it again this afternoon or ask you to do it, I should say. Two things about that. It is quite strong evidence, is it not, that, so far from what Wederman said he had heard reported, Goebbels was not on the telephone that evening trying to stop the rot. He was on the telephone rejoicing in the death of one Jew and in the thought that many thousands more were going to die. . P-139 Moreover, the one that did kill the one Jew on this occasion was let off because the Nazi tribunal perceived that he had been carrying out the will of the leadership. That is right, is it not? A. The latter part is true. The former part I would dispute or I would amplify it to the following effect. This telephone call reporting the death of the one Jew is stated in this document as having been shortly before 2 o'clock, or towards 2 o'clock "gegen 2 Uhr". I think around 2 o'clock is when Goebbels got his epiphany, when the news came of the burning of the synagogue next to the Hotel Vierjahreszeiten, when Hitler was alarmed as to what was going on, things were getting out of hand, the police chief was sent for, and shortly afterwards at 2.56 Rudolf Hess sent out that famous message to all the Gauleiters ordering a stop to whatever they were stopping. Q. You just looked at the message? A. Yes, but I think that it fits perfectly into the time-scale which says that it was around about 2 o'clock or shortly thereafter that Goebbels realized he was barking right up the wrong tree. Q. You translated it, the order from Hess is simply that shops and other things like that are not to be burned. A. The order from Hess says that there is to be no burning of shops and things like that. Q. That is right. . P-140 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is there really no indication even of how that Rudolf Hess's message was interpreted? A. I did say, my Lord, that it trickled down through the system during the night and that things were then stopped but by that time everything is ablaze. The following morning Goebbels realizes that things have got out of hand, it is very bad for Germany's image, the image of Germany as a state of law and order has been badly shattered by this. But the hours between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., the crucial hours which I have tried to look at in this particular night, and we have the eyewitness accounts from Hitler's private staff, we have that one telegram from Hitler's deputy going out, very much in a negative sense. Mr Rampton says it was in a narrow negative sense, I would say it was in a broader negative sense. Q. If you look at it in the round, can you think of a reason why Jewish businesses or shops should have been singled out for protection, if that is the right interpretation? A. You can certainly see reasons why, my Lord. You can say the businesses and shops were probably a shoe shop in the centre of a big apartment block, and, if you are going to set that on fire, you are going to endanger a lot of non-Jewish property. Put it like that. I can certainly see that there are other reasons that may have justified the narrower meaning. But we have added on to it the fact that it is not only the acts of arson, but also the like . P-141 have to be stopped. Q. I follow that. A. It was a message that was sent out in great haste. It is certainly does not fit in with the general pattern of trying to trigger or to ignite things. This is very much with a minus sign in front of it. Q. Were the Jewish businesses -- maybe this is too broad a question -- and shops Jewish owned? A. This came out in the subsequent enquiry that Herman Goring held, that most of the damage that had been inflicted had been inflicted on the German economy for several reasons. Firstly, the plate glass windows that were smashed had to be replaced with plate glass supplied by Belgium at the cost of foreign currency. Secondly, the insurance that the Jews had taken out on their property had to be paid by the German insurance companies. Thirdly, the stores and even the stocks that they sold were being sold on commission. They were stocks physically owned by German banks and being sold on commission by the Jewish vendors. Q. Would all or any of that explain why the businesses and shops were singled out? A. Not at this time, my Lord. This was an ugly realisation. We are very well informed on that because two or three days Herman Goring held a conference at the Air Ministry which was recorded in shorthand, and we have the entire stenographic record where everybody is pointing a finger . P-142 at everybody else and saying you are to blame for this. Herman Goring utters the famous phrase, it is about time that Dr Goebbels got a little bit of public enlightenment, which was the name of his ministry. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Sorry, Mr Rampton, for interrupting. MR RAMPTON: That is all right, my Lord. I am just wondering whether I would go back to something else but I think not? A. It gave me a chance to display what I know. Q. In any event, Mr Irving, however you like to characterize that message, it is not, is it, a blanket prohibition against the destruction of, or damage to, Jewish property generally? A. No, it is not. Q. No. My Lord, I am in this position now. We are all waiting for Dresden with bated breath, but the file will not be ready until tomorrow. We need help from Mr Irving with it anyway because the copies we have of his discovered documents are in many cases very difficult to read because they are photocopies of microfilm, a lot of them. I have one more brief topic with which I can deal this afternoon, but I cannot sensibly make a start on Dresden unless everybody has the documents. MR JUSTICE GRAY: If you cannot, you cannot. MR RAMPTON: We are running to catch up with each other. We could spend time reading Civil Evidence Act notices . P-143 perhaps. MR JUSTICE GRAY: On what topic? MR RAMPTON: On any old topic really just so that they are read into court. I do not want to waste the court's time. There is no point in my starting. Dresden will be the last of my Evans topics. I shall certainly comfortably complete that tomorrow and then I shall start on something else, as it were, more modern. MR JUSTICE GRAY: More modern being what? MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving's recent utterances. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Denials? MR RAMPTON: Denials I think we have done, apart from Moscow, which I can also do tomorrow. The last topic, either Moscow or this, is where the speeches are made and who the people were. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. MR RAMPTON: The political associations, which means that I think that my cross-examination of Mr Irving will finish comfortably this week. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. MR RAMPTON: Probably Thursday morning, maybe Wednesday evening. MR JUSTICE GRAY: There is a witness coming on Thursday. I cannot remember who it is. A. Peter Millar. I do not think he will be more than about an hour. . P-144 MR RAMPTON: Which presents this difficulty, I am afraid, if that is right, because I do not think Dresden will take more than one day, perhaps less. We may have to find something to do for the rest of this week. A. I can bring another witness. I can have Dr John Fox in. MR RAMPTON: That would be very helpful because my Professor Browning is not arriving until Monday. A. I can bring in Dr Fox eye this week. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is Browning your next expert? MR RAMPTON: He is my next witness. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Rather than Evans? MR RAMPTON: Yes. It is a matter of academic convenience. That is the only reason. Browning has a full calendar after next week. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. MR RAMPTON: I do not think he will be very long, so I will have to have somebody lined up for the later part of next week. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. You said you had something else that you want to deal with. MR RAMPTON: I do. I want to deal very briefly with Ribbentrop's testimony at Nuremberg. It starts at page 478 of Evans. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Are you dealing, Mr Rampton -- I am sorry to keep asking. I just want to know where we are getting in terms of the summary of your case. Are you going to be . P-145 dealing with the aftermath of Kristallnacht? MR RAMPTON: No. I made a judgment about that in the light of the cross-examination this morning. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Does that mean that you are not relying on it or that it is something that you are relying on but do not think it is helpful cross-examine on? MR RAMPTON: It is difficult to rely on whatever Professor Evans may say about it. It is difficult to rely on it if it has not been put in cross-examination for Mr Irving to deal with, I would have said. I do not know what your Lordship thinks? A. Could your Lordship explain what that exchange is about?
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