Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day016.22 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. Yes, but our problem is and our problem has been for some weeks in this courtroom, Professor, to try to establish the exact chain of command from the very highest level downwards. We are all agreed at the complicity of Himmler and Heydrich and Stahlecker and Jaeger and all the others, but there is a final bridge that we cannot build yet and it is a very difficult bridge to build. I am going to ask you to go back to page 14 now, if I may, to paragraph 4.2.4. This is another document which I am sure you are very familiar with, August 12th, 1941, the order to drive the Jewish women into the swamps apparently issued by Himmler. Driving people into the . P-160 swamps, is that a familiar kind of phrase at this time? A. I have seen it in three documents. This is the first one and then there is the Hitler table talk, and then there is the citation by Jackelm saying that Himmler used the phrase with him after the early December meetings. So I have come across that phrase now three times in this stretch of five or six months. Q. Is it just a turn of phrase or do they mean it literally, do you think? A. Well, I think the indication here ---- Q. Is it a dangerous turn of phrase? A. It is used in ways I think that have a very, to use your term, a lethal connotation, that it seems to have become one of the slang words for making sure that Jews die. In the first one we see clearly by the response that driving Jews in the swamps meant that they were supposed to drown, because the man replies back: "Driving women and children into the swamps did not have the intended success because the swamps were not so deep that a sinking under could occur". So at least to the recipient it was clear that driving Jews into the swamps was a way in which they would perish. Q. This is the Magill document? A. This is the Magill document. Q. Footnote No. 40. A. Yes. . P-161 Q. That document, of course, comes from a different archive, does it not, somewhere in Czechoslovakia? A. That I believe is the Prague military archive. Q. The Prague military archive? A. Yes. Q. Do you have that document in front of you, please? It is footnote 40. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Page 23. MR IRVING: Page 23. It is only a minor point I am going to make on that. In the second paragraph of that it is evident that the local Ukrainian and white Russian population were helping the Nazi invaders by telling them where the partisans were hiding. Is that correct? Reporting that there was bandits around and helping them to find them so that they could be shot? A. Yes. Q. So this was partisan country? A. Well, of course they use the term Banden and it may or may not mean a real partisan unit at this stage of the war. It most likely means strengthening Russian soldiers that are, as they say, room driven, they are wandering around the swamp because they have been cut off. Q. What period does this report cover? A. This is early August 1941. Q. How many days? A. Well, that would be less than two months into Barbarossa. . P-162 Oh, I am sorry, it covers July 27th to 11th August 1941. Q. Two weeks then, is it not? How big was this reitenabteilung, a mounted, what, brigade, mounted detachment literally? A. Yes. Q. How many men? A. I believe this is one regiment within the brigade. I think there were two cavalry regiments and this is the second. Q. Well, it says that it is the mounted ---- A. Mounted police of the cavalry regiment two, you are right. So this is a group, yes, a mounted group. Q. It is a brigade. A. What the size of an abteilung is. I do not know. Q. It varies, does it not, from unit to unit? A. Yes. Q. Would you turn to the final page, please, page 4, the third paragraph from the end. Does it give a figure there for the gesamtzahl, the overall total? A. It says 6,526 of plunderers. Q. Plunderers have been shot by this unit? A. Yes. Q. In that two-week period. Do you consider that to be a plausible figure for a relatively small unit? I am just enquiring. A. Yes. . P-163 Q. Still on paragraph 4.2.5 - --- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Before we leave that document, which is four pages of rather dense German text, is there anywhere, presumably there is somewhere, a reference to all Jews being shot, sorry, the intended result or the intended success not having been achieved? MR RAMPTON: The top of the last page, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: The top of the last page. A. That is the non-success. MR RAMPTON: Failure. A. Yes. Was your question, is there another document that says what happened? MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. I expressed it rather badly. I have been told that there was somewhere in this document a passage which says, "We did not have the success we had hoped with driving the women into the swamp", and Mr Rampton has identified it. It is the top of page 26 of this clip. Yes. Thank you. MR IRVING: Which does appear to be a direct response to the telegram, does it not, the order? A. Yes. Q. A remarkable -- it does not often happen in the archives, does it, two archives? A. That you will have a meeting of documents from two different archives, yes. Q. If you would now go back to 4.2.5, please, the only reason . P-164 to look at this is because on line 5 of that paragraph you mention the higher SS and police leader von dem Bach-Zelewski? A. Yes. Q. Von dem Bach-Zelewski. He was one of the major war criminals, am I right? A. He is the counterpart of Jackelm in the North, Bach-Zelewski in the middle, and he was certainly considered by many to be a war criminal. Q. How many scalps did he have, do you think, by the time the war ended, tens of thousands on his belt? I mean how many lives did he have on his conscious, that man, when the war ended as a mass murderer? A. My guess is that it was quite a few. Q. Quite few tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands? A. Yes. Q. What happened to him after the war? Was he executed? A. No. He was tried in a court in Munich and as I ---- Q. When? A. In the 1960s I believe. Q. In the 1960s? So he survived 15 years in relative comfort being used in any way by the Allies as a witness? A. He appeared as a witness I believe in the Wolff trial. I do not know what other trials he may have appeared as a witness. Q. Is this not an extraordinary state of affairs, in your . P-165 opinion? A. It would not be the first miscarriage of justice in Germany in which people should have been tried and were not. Q. This is, in my view, or would you agree, a particular egregious example of somebody who should have been hanged relatively early on who somehow escaped the hangman's noose, would you agree? A. I think he certainly should have been brought to trial much earlier, and his verdict should have been much more severe. Q. He made a number of witness statements on behalf of the Americans and the British and the other Allies after the war, did he? A. I am not sure on that. I could not answer that. Q. Well, you say he testified at Nuremberg? A. He testified at the Karl Wolff trial and also in Bavaria. Q. How much credence do you think you could attach to the evidence of a witness like that? A. It would depend upon looking at what he was saying and in what context and what corroboration. I would not make a blanket statement. Here again it would be a case where there is a witness and you would want to look very carefully at the particular testimony in question, but this would be one to be approached with caution. He did send apparently his doctored and sanitized diary to the . P-166 Bundesarchiv all nicely typed up and all references to things that you have referred to, that he probably has many hundreds of thousands on his conscious nicely deleted. Q. Does this kind of happen in the archives, that documents turn up in the archives that have been sanitized in some way? A. If they are submitted by the private party himself, as in this case, I suppose it is not necessarily uncommon. I think there was a feeling that maybe Sper had done the same thing. Q. I know Sper did the same thing. Would you not agree that in a case of a man like Bach-Zelewski who you know and I know and the world knew was a mass murderer who had somehow managed to survive like Scheherezade by singing or by telling tales, that is the kind of evidence that you should drive a very wide circle around and not under any circumstances use? A. I would not say not to use under any circumstances. It would depend upon what he was saying and whether it had other kinds of corroboration. He might be saying something that other witnesses would confirm. Q. I mention this just as a particularly gross example, because are there any other names that would occur to you of witnesses where you think, well, it is funny that he got off so lightly? Are there any other names in . P-167 connection with the Holocaust where witnesses have been ---- A. I think Wolff got off fairly lightly. Q. Karl Wolff? A. Yes. Q. Because he was an accomplice or he was -- what would his particular crime have been, to your knowledge? A. Certainly in facilitating of the procuring of trains for Operation Reinhard, that was one key document. Q. Yes. He survived, but are you familiar that in the case of Karl Wolff -- no, I cannot lead evidence on that obviously. What about Wilheim Hoertel, Eichmann's liaison in the Balkans, shall we say? A. I am not aware that Hoertel was involved in the deportation the way Sedonika or someone else. I do not know of any situation in which Hoertel knew Eichmann, but I do not believe he worked for him or was instrumental in the Final Solution. Q. I will put to you to two facts in connection with Hoertel. Is he one of the sources for our overall figure of the total on the Holocaust, the total number of victims? A. He is the person who gave such a figure. I do not think that that is why historians come to the numbers that they do. Q. Where did he get his figure from? . P-168 A. He claimed he got it from Eichmann.
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