Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day017.15 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. Then you continue with the word: "Nonetheless, we will take some kind of action". If you will now go to page 458 of the original text you will see what you have omitted. It is seven lines down. Do you agree that you have omitted from the front of that quotation beginning with the word "nonetheless" ---- A. I am afraid I have still not located it. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I have the German text. I have not got the English. MR IRVING: Line 2 of page 32 is what I am looking at on the expert report, my Lord. A. I have not found it yet. Q. It is line 2 of the expert report on page 32 and it is line 7 of the original Hans Frank conference. . P-131 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I have the line 2. It is the line 7. MR IRVING: Page 458. MR RAMPTON: One should start from the first complete paragraph. A. Is Judensendt the paragraph you want us to get to? MR IRVING: That is correct. A. OK. Q. His Lordship has not found it yet. Footnote 88 and it is page 488 of the printed text. A. Yes. Q. Would you translate, please, those first five or six lines, the first four lines of that paragraph: "The Jews are exceptionally damaging eaters for us", right? A. Yes. Q. "In the general government we have got an estimated 2.5 million, with the Jewish next of kin and all the rest that depends on them, now 3.5 million Jews", is that correct? A. Correct. Q. Then a significant sentence follows: "We cannot shoot these 3.5 million Jews. We cannot poison them". Then you continue with the passage about: "Nonetheless, we will take some kind of action"? A. Yes. Q. I do not want to get into the content of this particular paragraph. I just want to ask for your motivation for leaving out that opening sentence, unless his Lordship . P-132 feels it is irrelevant? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not feel it is irrelevant at all. No. A. Well, I do not know that it was a specific motivation. I do not see why one concluded or not concluded. What I did is, he rejects certain kinds of or when he says, "We cannot do this or cannot do that", I simply summarized that as ---- MR IRVING: He effectively says: "We cannot shoot them. We cannot poison them." A. Yes. Q. Is he suggesting we should strangle them? A. What he is suggesting is he does not know how they are going to do it. Q. Would you not agree that if another historian had omitted sentences like that at the beginning of a paragraph, without any even any indication of an omission, he would be held up to opprobrium and obloquy? A. I mean by putting precedents, you know, switching out of direct quotes I do not think I indicated that there was nothing that I was continuing directly on. Q. Unless of course the part that was being omitted substantially altered the sense of the gist that you were trying to convey? A. I do not think it substantially alters the gist. Q. If the man who is speaking says "We cannot kill them" ---- A. No, he does not say we cannot kill them. He says, "We . P-133 cannot shoot them or we cannot poison them". Q. Which is another way of saying, in my submission, that we cannot kill them? A. No, I do not accept that. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Apart from gas what are the alternatives? A. Well, the alternatives are that one can starve them. One can keep them in conditions where they will perish. Of course Frank does not know yet, I think, that in fact they were working on ways to poison them. This would indicate Frank has not yet been initiated into the fact that indeed they will be poisoning them. What he does say, and what I think is important, is the fact that he is told there is going to be a big meeting to sort this out, and when they go, when Buhle then is sent to the Wannsee conference he is going to get some answers to this. MR IRVING: But did they discuss methods of killing at the Wannsee conference? A. According to Eichmann it is not literally in the protocol. They use the euphemism we talked about, solutional possibilities or possible solutions when Eichmann was asked ---- Q. Which could mean anything, could it not? A. When Eichmann was asked what did that mean, he said it was ways of killing or something to that effect. Q. When Eichmann was asked in Israel during these interrogations we were talking about a few minutes ago, . P-134 right? A. Yes. Q. And he agreed it could have meant killing? A. Yes. He did not agree that it could have meant. He said that is what it did mean. When he did not want to agree to such things such as Auschwitz, he denied it vigorously, which would indicate that he could say no when he wanted to. Q. We are now on to the Wannsee conference which is quite useful, Professor. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Before we do can I ask this. Do you read Frank at this point in the omitted words, do you read Frank as still quoting Hitler's speech? A. No. I think at the beginning part of his talk in which he says, "We must put an end to the Jews" and he cites the Fuhrer and that he goes on, you know, "We must have compassion only for the German people", these are citings I think in a sense the speech that he got there. Then when he gets down to beyond that I believe he is now not necessarily paraphrasing what he had heard in Hitler's peach on December 12th. Q. He does say, "In Berlin we were told why all this trouble", and so on? A. Yes. My feeling here is that that is more than a speech, that he has had a separate meeting with Hitler and he must have at some point had meetings with people who told him . P-135 about the upcoming Wannsee conference, because there is no indication that Hitler would have mentioned that. So that I think he has talked to -- my interpretation would be that he had talked to a number of people, possibly with Hitler alone, and clearly with someone who let him know that there would be further meetings, because he makes reference to this meeting under the SS at which much of this will be sorted out. MR IRVING: Are you aware of testimony that Hans Frank gave at Nuremberg, evidence-in-chief I believe, in which he was questioned about his contacts with Hitler, and he mentioned having visited Hitler once and talked to Hitler about Auschwitz and asked him what was going on there, that he described having tried to gain access to Auschwitz but that he was turned back on the excuse that there was an epidemic? Are you familiar with that passage? A. I am not, but Auschwitz is not in the General Government and certainly not in Frank's jurisdiction, and I would see no reason why he could barge into Auschwitz. Q. Was this particular passage put to you in the Canadian trial that I referred to earlier? A. I have a vague recollection but I do not remember in fact that discussion in any detail. I know that we brought up aspects of the Frank testimony at Nuremberg. I do not remember. Q. And that Frank testified on oath at Nuremberg that when he . P-136 put this to Hitler, Hitler said to him, "I do not want to hear about this, this nothing to do with me, this is entirely Himmler's business"? A. I do not remember us discussing that passage. We may have but I just do not remember it right now. Q. If your Lordship is interested I could find the actual quotation and read it to you. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, do not do it now, but that is quite a revealing exchange. MR IRVING: Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It seems to me. MR IRVING: I will do that overnight. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, do. MR IRVING: We are now at the Wannsee conference. Is there any indication at all that Hitler was involved in the Wannsee conference or was even apprised of it? A. We have no evidence of him being apprised of it. We do know that Heydrich cites him as authority that the Fuhrer has now ordered something other than the territorial solutions that now will be sent to the East. Q. Are you referring to the letters of invitation that Heydrich sent out in the middle of November 1941? A. No, I believe it is in the opening of Heydrich's remarks that he cites that he is acting on the authority of Hitler. Q. Is that a reference to the vulmardt which was issued to . P-137 Heydrich by Goring, do you think, on July 31st 1941? A. The fact it includes the Goring authorization with the invitation, I think that is indeed what he is partly referring to. He is bolstering his credentials because he is dealing with people who might not be anxious to take orders from him. Q. Is there a dispute among historians as to the significance of the Wannsee conference? A. I think that most of them view it as an implementation conference, at a point at which they are now trying to initiate the ministerial bureaucracy and in which Heydrich is going to visibly assert his leading position in this. I do not think it is viewed by many historians now as a conference at which a decision was taken. They did not debate should we do A or B and then say we will do B. They said, "Hitler has ordered this and now how are going to implement it? Are we going to include mixed marriage? Are we going to include this?" It is an implementation conference. Q. Are you saying that it has been overrated? A. Not overrated, because it is a crucial part of bringing in the ministerial bureaucracy. I have always seen it that way, so I do not consider it, I am not backing up from something I think that I have claimed more than. Q. Am I correct in describing it as being an inter-ministerial conference at State Secretary level? . P-138 A. Yes. Q. In other words, the ministers themselves were not brought in; it was just at the lower levels? A. Because Heydrich cannot sit there with people higher than his rank. Cabinet ministers would have been parallel with Himmler. If Heydrich is sponsoring it he cannot bring in people higher in his rank in a programme he is trying to assert his leadership. So he would invite the State Secretaries. Q. This rather tends to down-play the significance of Heydrich was acting on Hitler's orders at this meeting then, if he is only able to bring in State Secretaries. As you say, he is only relying on his own rank. He is only pulling his own rank and he is not pulling Hitler's rank on those present? A. Well, at the place he cites Hitler's authority, buried against all protocol for him summoning cabinet ministers. Q. He cited Hitler's authority just proforma, is that what you say? A. I do not think it is proforma. It is setting out his authority and he has the signed Goring letter which, as best we can tell, he drafted and took to Goring for signature and that he, likewise, invokes Hitler's authority at the conference. Q. You said earlier at any rate in the record of the conference (which is not verbatim) there is no explicit . P-139 reference to killing. There is one inference from which killing can be drawn, am I correct? A. There are a number of passages in which -- that most people would view as transparent references. Q. Can you remember one offhand? A. I would suggest two. One is that most of the Jews will diminish away under physical labour and the rest ---- Q. The hard core will remain? A. --- will be treated accordingly. The second is Buhle's reference that where we should we begin, and he said, "We should begin in the General Government because there we do not have to worry about Jews capable of work". They do not mention in the first place what happens to the non-workers. They talk about the workers will diminish, the survivors will be handled accordingly, and there is no reference to the vast majority, the women and children and old people, who obviously are not even going to work. Then Buhle's reference, "Well, let us begin this programme with the General Government because most of the Jews are not even work worthy there any longer", I would interpret it as a fairly -- as a reference to the fact that they can be killed first of all.
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