Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day022.17 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 Q.You have read those interrogations in full, have you not, or your researchers have? A.We have read them, yes. Q.Did they find anything which contradicts the impressions he gives there? A.Let us take one step back. The March 6th meeting was about so-called Mischlinge and Jews married to non-Jewish . P-151 Germans, and the discussions there, as I tried to summarize them, when you asked me to earlier, Mr Irving, were precisely about evacuations, sterilization, preliminaries, presumably meaning legal, the passing of laws to do with divorce, and so on. That seem to have been fairly accurate. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not sure where this all goes, Mr Irving. MR IRVING: I am trying to pin down what actually happened at the conference and to find out whether the ambit of the conference is wider than just sterilization issues or whether it was on a broader field, whether really ugly matters were discussed and apparently they were not, and also to establish the credibility of these witnesses, in particular the first one, who says that afterwards somebody took the memorandum, Lammers took this minute to the Fuhrer and returned with precisely the wording of this memorandum, in fact, and here he is remembering it in June 1947 in very much the same terms as the document itself. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Why do you say that Boley was talking about the 6th March meeting in that little extract you have on your page 12? That could have been Wannsee, could it not? A.He was, my Lord. MR IRVING: It is all March 6th. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Why do you say that? Was this conference not at the RSH? . P-152 A.I do not think Boley was at the Wannsee conference. MR IRVING: I do not think he was either. No, he was not there. A.But he was at the March 6th conference and he is talking about that. The point is once more that the minutes of the March 6th conference are all about Mischlinge and Jews in mixed marriages. Schlegelberger in his testimony in his trial at Nuremberg said that is what the conference was about, and the fall out from it in this set of documents is clearly about those questions. MR IRVING: Professor, if we can pause to draw breath here, one point that divides us on the Schlegelberger memorandum, apart from the possible discrepancy on the date, you think there may be a possibility it was 1941, is that you would believe that the Schlegelberger document refers only to the mixed race issue. A.Yes. Q.And the bureaucratic red tape connected with that? A.Yes, if you date it to March 42. Q.I say that the significance of the document shows a general reluctance on Hitler's part to be sucked into talk about the Final Solution? A.No, it is not that. Let us remind ourselves of what it says. Q.Yes. A.Lammers says the Fuhrer had repeatedly explained to him . P-153 that he wanted the solution of the Jewish question put back until after the war. Now you have to ask yourself in this context what does the solution, losung, of the Jewish question, Judenfrager, in this memorandum actually mean? It can mean one of three things. It can mean extermination. Well, if Hitler is talking about extermination being put back until after the war, he must have known about the extermination at this point, and you said, I think, that if Hitler knew about the extermination between the end of 1941 and October 1943, when you admit that he did know about it, then he would approved of it. I do not think it means that. Then does it mean evacuation? Well, evacuation has already been going on. They started pushing the Jews out of Berlin the previous autumn, as we saw this morning. So why is he suddenly turning round now? Have people been disobeying him? That is an absurd supposition as well. So, if we date it to March 1942, the only reasonable context that a historian would put it in would be the series of discussions about Jews and mixed marriages, which comes under the general heading of solution of the Jewish problem, because it is one aspect of that. Q.These are the theoretical discussions, are they not? A.Yes, all this stuff about the Mischlinge and so on, sterilization or other terrible things that they want to . P-154 do to them, they are saying it is too difficult classifying people, perhaps there are too many problems, we know it in early 1943, for example, when they finally did try and deport the Jewish husbands of non-Jewish German women from Berlin to Auschwitz, there was a mass protest by these very brave women in public in Berlin , which stopped it, so there was a fear that this would raise trouble. There are all kind of reasons why they should have wanted, Hitler and others, this solution to be put off. As I said, the Justice Ministry was particularly concerned about the legal implications of trying to deal with this. There were problems about the resource implications of having a mass sterilization programme. There were many reasons why they want to put this off. Decisions about what was going to be done about the great mass of Jews who were not in this situation were neither Mischlinge nor in mixed marriages, they had already been discussed at great length in the Wannsee conference. Indeed, what was left over from the Wannsee conference was precisely this problem, what to do with these marginal problematical minority groups. Q.Can I bring you down to earth now with the actual content of the memorandum? If we look at the second sentence, Lammers says in the first sentence, that the Fuhrer has repeatedly said he wants the solution to the Jewish . P-155 problem postponed until the war is over. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Pause there, Mr Irving. If you are right that the Wannsee conference really decided on a policy of extermination, which as I understand is what you say there happened, that is a very odd thing to have somebody as senior as Lammers saying. A.Indeed, my Lord, at this point. MR JUSTICE GRAY: How do you explain it? A.Because it is to do with -- the Jewish question here, he means the aspect of the Jewish solution to the Jewish question that has to do with the Mischlinge and the Jews in mixed marriages. MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, I do not think that really would do. That is the gloss that Lammers is putting on it. He is saying in effective response to what is to be done about the Mischlinge, "well, the Fuhrer has consistently said postpone the solution until after the war". My question to you is, how could he really be saying that, if you are right about what had been decided at Wannsee, because Hitler would have known what was decided at Wannsee? And Lammers would have known too? A.That is one reason, my Lord, why I think that there is a strong possibility that this is dated from 1941. Q.But you accepted on balance of probabilities that actually it was likely to be 1942? A.Because of where it is in the file, which means it was . P-156 selected by the Americans, or whoever selected it, to put in this particular postwar file. Q.So the only answer that you can really give to my point, as it were, is, well, I put it back to 1941? A.If you think that "losung der Judenfrager" means the whole package, as it were, then it is a deeply implausible thing to be saying at this particular time because so much was going on. Q.That is really my point. A.There are so many uncertainties with this document. If you read that little note in the bottom left hand corner, 17.7, that pushes it back to 1941, and then, on 17th July 1941, it is plausible to say that Hitler repeatedly said he wanted the whole solution put back until after the war, because he was saying that in other quarters and to other people. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I follow the point. A.You can follow this up through a chain of documents which I go into my report at this time in 1942, which are headed things like "gasuntlosung der Judenfrager" or "Losung der Judenfrager", which then consist entirely of material about the Mischlinge and the half Jews. So it is not entirely implausible whether he was giving this kind of meaning to the Mischlinge. I agree it is another problematical aspect of this document. MR IRVING: I think the basic problem, my Lord, if I can put it . P-157 like this, is that the whole operation of whatever the Final Solution was is so ramshackle, and so multi- headed, so hydra-like, that to try and systematise it in a law court 50 or 60 years after the event on the basis of basis of not complete documentation is a rather hopeless undertaking. We all have to try and do the best we can. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I understand. MR IRVING: Can I now go back to where I was in the cross-examination? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I am sorry. MR IRVING: I mean no criticism of your Lordship but I will start again and concentrate on that second sentence. After we looked at the first sentence, which says, Reich Minister Lammers informed me that the Fuhrer had repeatedly stated to him that he wants to know that the solution of the Jewish problem has been postponed until the war is over; therefore, or accordingly, rather, the present discussions in the opinion of Mr Lammers have purely theoretical value. What are the "present discussions"? That was the mixed race discussions, was it not? So therefore that cannot be what they are referring to about being postponed. It is the whole problem is being postponed because the mixed race discussions are referred to separately in the second sentence, saying for that reason, these other discussions about mixed races are going to have purely theoretical value. Do you see the . P-158 point I am getting at? A.Yes, I see the point. I do not accept it. What I would like to know is what do you think "the solution to the Jewish question" means in this document? Q.I am sure that, if it had been said the other way round, if it had been put, the Fuhrer has insisted that the solution to the Jewish problem be pressed with the utmost possible and radical speed, then you would have no difficulty in telling me what you meant by that phrase, would you? A.I am just puzzled. You put it to me what you actually understand that phrase to mean, "the solution of the Jewish question"? What is it here that is being put back until after the war, if it is not the ---- Q.The whole of this absurd doctrinaire business of plucking the Jews out of the arms factories, plucking the Jews out of their homes, putting them into scarce transport base, shipping them east and west, taking up scarce police forces to escort them, all this business, all the red tape that went with it, which was so pointless in the winter of 1941 to 1942, and Hitler is repeatedly saying in his ineffectual way, "why on earth are we doing this? We have a war on, fellows. Let us finish the war first and then tackle the problem". A.I think the problem for the historian, Mr Irving, if you say that then it means the forced evacuation of Jews to . P-159 the East. Q.Yes. A.This had been going on for several months by this time, on Hitler's orders, a fact that you have accepted many times and in many places. Q.Was it on Hitler's initiative, do you think, or was it because people like Goebbels came nagging him, saying "Mein Fuhrer, I want to get them out of Berlin, please allow me to do that", and Hitler kept on saying, "Oh very well, Dr Goebbels"? A.This relates to a whole set of other documents. It was Hitler's initiative. I think you have accepted many times that Hitler ordered the deportation of the Jews from Berlin, and subsequently elsewhere, beginning in the autumn of 1941.
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