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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day023.05

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Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

    Q.   What does "auzmerzung" mean?

    A.   Literally "extirpation".  It is quite clear what it means
     here.  He goes on to say, "Should the war situation become
     very dangerous at any time the prisoners will have in any
     case to be emptied through liquidations so that the danger
     does not arise at their one day opening their doors to let
     the revolting mob loose upon the people".  That is quite
     clear there that he means by "ausmerzung" it is linked to
     liquidations and those two are linked to the previous

                                 .          39

     Q.   I appreciate why you are putting all this material in, but
     can we now come back to my question?

     A.   Yes, because you do not like this material being brought
     to anyone's attention do you, Mr Irving?  You left it out
     in your work.

     MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Professor Evans, you are reading from a
     translation.  Where are you reading from?

     A.   I am reading from pages 8-9 of the letter I sent on 10th
     January, my Lord.

    MR IRVING:  I would prefer if we adhere to my cross-examination.

    MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Pause a moment, Mr Irving.  Your letter of
     what date?

    A.   10th January 2000, with amendments to my report.

    Q.   Yet another file which it is not very easy to find one's
    way through.  Can anyone help me?  I am looking in what is
    called Evans 2.

    MR RAMPTON:  I think your Lordship might have put this, because
     it is amendments to the original report, in the front or
     the back of the main report.  That is where I have put it.

    MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Quite right.

    MR IRVING:  I really have to protest about these time wasting
     tactics of the witness throughout the last week.

    MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, it does not help.  This is in fact
     my fault if it is anybody's fault.  I am trying to recall

                                 .          40

      where the translation is.

     MR IRVING:  It disrupts the flow of the cross-examination, and
     I am sure this is not the intention of the witness but it
     is certainly the effect.

     MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You will have to bear with me for a moment.

     A.   Then may I just go on very briefly, my Lord?


     A.   I was about to point out the passage in the third
     paragraph of the Goebbels diaries after the again rather
     revealing sentence, "Therefore one must liquidate the
     Jewish danger", there is that word "liquidate" again.
     Then it appears to be almost identical to an account in
     the table talk for the same day.  So Goebbels seems then
     to be switching over to summarizing what Hitler is saying
     in a much larger circle, during a meal, and about how
     little the Jews can assimilate themselves to West European
     life, and so on and so forth.  There of course then he
     engages, as Hitler customarily does in the table talk, in
     a much less direct kind of language, and a more vague kind
     of description.  Hence he then starts to go on about
     settling the Jews in central Africa and so on.

     MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, Mr Irving.

     MR IRVING:  I am being enormously patient.  We will come back
     to the line of cross-examination.  Can I refer you back to
     page 5 of the little bundle?  We just looked at the

                                 .          41

     passage, you will remember (44 at the top, handwritten 5
     at the bottom).  I will continue:  "That is why you have
     to liquidate the Jewish danger, whatever it may cost.  How
     little that the Jews are able to assimilate themselves to
     western European life you see from the fact that, as soon
     as they are sent back to the ghetto, they very rapidly
     become ghettoised again".  I do hope we are not going to
     have any more discursions or excursions now.

     MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Carry on with the question.

     MR IRVING:  Yes.  Over the page:  "Western European
     civilisation is for them just an external veneer".  Then
     he goes on to talk about the fact that among the Jews
     there are elements who go to work with a dangerous
     brutality and vengeance:  "This is why the Fuhrer also
     does not want that they are sent to Siberia, that they are
     evacuated to Siberia".  The that word "evacuiert" there is
     quite clearly geographical, is it not, not homicidal?

     A.   Not necessarily, no.  The word evacuiert is quite
     frequently used.

     Q.   You cannot say "killed to Siberia," can you?

     MR JUSTICE GRAY:  In that context, it must be in its literal

     A.   Evacuated to Siberia, the word "evacuation" can sometimes
     mean by this time it can be a camouflage, or the whole
     phrase "evacuating to Siberia" and all the talk about----

     MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, but Mr Irving's point is not here.

                                 .          42

     MR IRVING:  But under the harshest conditions of life they
     would certainly become a virile element again, would they
     not, as he says?  He would most of all like to send them
     to Central Africa.  How do you translate "am
     liebsten"?  He would rather send them to Central Africa?

     A.   He would prefer to send them, or he would most like to
     send them.

     Q.   If it was "prefer", it would be "lieber", would it not?
     "Am liebsten" is most of all he would like to send them
     to Central Africa?

     A.   Most of all he would like to send them, he would most like

     Q.   Most of all, above what?  Above Siberia?  Above the East?
     Above Riga and Minsk?  Most of all he wants to send them
     to Central Africa?  Is this what Adolf Hitler is really
     about, as reported by Goebbels?

     A.   Yes.  He seems to be saying that, and he says exactly the
     same in his table talk.

     Q.   You rather toned it down in your translation by saying he
     would rather send them to Central Africa, did you not?

     A.   I do not think that is toning it down at all, Mr Irving.
     It is clear from my translation what his preference is, or
     what he claims his preference is rather, in this rather
     camouflaged conversation at the dining table.

     Q.   There they would live in a climate that would certainly
     make them strong and resistance or resistive again.  At

                                 .          43

     any rate it is the Fuhrer's aim, and I am translating very
     loosely as I go along, at any rate it is the Fuhrer's aim
     to make Western Europe completely free of the Jews?

     A.   Yes.

     Q.   Here they may not have a national home any more?

     A.   That is right.

     Q.   So he is talking purely geography, is he not?  He is not
     talking gas chambers, if I can put it like that.  He is
     talking geography.  He is saying well, the East, Siberia,
     Africa, anywhere but Western Europe.

    A.   Yes I think this is----

    Q.   This is real Hitler.  This is not Goebbels.  This is not
     his gloss, is it?

    A.   Well, nor is the previous account of what Hitler is
         saying.  As I say, he is here at the dining table and he
         is really camouflaging.  This is camouflage language.
         Quite a number of subjects, as you have said yourself,
         Mr Irving, were taboo at the dining table.  Hitler talked
          in very vague terms and on pages 10 to 11 of my letter of
         10th January I quote the table talk for that day at some
         length, which is almost exactly ----

    Q.   You quote everything at some length.

    A.   I am sorry?

    Q.   You quote everything at some length.

    MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is not a helpful intervention.

    MR IRVING:  We are very short of time, my Lord, and this has

                                 .          44

          taken far longer----

     A.   The problem is, Mr Irving, I have to quote things at
          length because you leave so much out that is inconvenient
          to your thesis.

     MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Let us skip the argument and get on with the
          questions and the answers.

     MR IRVING:  Do you agree that the Final Solution was top state
          secret in its homicidal sense, that all the SS documents
          and the documents generated by the SS gangsters were top
         state secret?

    A.   Those are two rather different questions, or points.

    Q.   What I am asking about is this.  Is this diary being
         dictated to a Civil Servant, a lowly Civil Servant, and
         every day Goebbels is taking him out at the beginning of
         every morning and spending, sometimes it is 150 pages long
         for one day, this diary?

    A.   Yes.

    Q.   Is one likely, therefore, to be able to put, with any
          safety, a homicidal interpretation on any passages in the
         diary if it was top state secret?

    A.   One assumes that, like all secretaries, he was pledged to

    MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can I ask you a slightly different question
         because I am not sure I understand this.  The original
         part, the first part, of this diary entry you say is
         private diary entry in the ordinary sense of that term?

                                 .          45

     A.   Yes.

     Q.   Suddenly in the middle of it you say Goebbels sort of
          flips into reproducing the table talk of the 29th May?

     A.   It is not reproducing, my Lord.  He is really summarizing
          two different conversations, one he has had with Hitler
          alone it appears, or in a very small group of people, and
          the second one simply goes on seamlessly.

     Q.   That is what is so odd about it, why should he go on
          seamlessly to do that when it is inconsistent with what is
         in the earlier part, which you say is straight forward

    A.   It seems strange, but I think there are similarities
         between what he says there in the second part of that, and
         the table talk.  They are too striking to allow of any
         other conclusion.

    Q.   I accept that, but what strikes me as odd is that he
         should reproduce in his diary camouflage language used by
         Hitler in his table talk.

     A.   These are the golden words of his Fuhrer.  He will put
         them down because he has heard them to preserve them for

    Q.   But they do not mean what they say?

    A.   No.

    MR IRVING:  You are saying that the whole of this talk about
         Siberia and central Africa and so on is hog wash?

    A.   Yes.

                                 .          46

     Q.   Do you have any evidence for that kind of thought?  Is
          that just your speculation again?

     A.   The evidence is what is going on at the same time.  We are
          talking now the end of May 1942 ----

     Q.   And the killings have started, have they not?

     A.   They had more than started, gassings and death camps are
          in full swing.

     Q.   So either Hitler is totally in the dark as to what is
          going on, or he is the biggest hypocrite there has been?
    A.   I would go for the second of those two alternatives, Mr Irving.

    Q.   Do you have any evidence for that apart from your own gut feeling?

    A.   It is quite clear.

    Q.   Even one line, even one document?

    A.   Yes, I have already quoted two.  Again, comparing the two
         halves of this diary entry, when he links the
         extermination of criminals, the liquidations of prisoners,
          to his earlier talk about the evacuation of the Jews.
         Even here Goebbels is using words like evacuation, but it
         is a give away in the second paragraph.

    Q.   Yet at about the same time at the end of March, early
         April, we have had Schlegelberger document, Hitler wanting
         everything postponed until the war was over?

    A.   We have already been through this document at great
         length, Mr Irving, I do not accept what you say about the

                                 .          47

          so-called Schlegelberger memorandum.

     Q.   Was it not typical of Hitler's desire to postpone tricky
          things until the war was over, until the fighting had
          stopped?  Did he not do that with several problems?

     A.   I do not see this in this diary entry.

     Q.   Will you please look at page 7, and then you will see it?

     A.   Page 7 of what?  Yours?

     Q.   Numbered page 60 at the top.

     A.   Right.

    Q.   I will read to you the middle paragraph in English.  We
         briefly then touch upon the church question.  Here the
         Fuhrer has reached a decision which is absolutely
         irreversible.  He tells me to take care that nothing is
         done, that there is complete silence about the church question.

    A.   Public silence.

    Q.   The hour would come when we would then be able to speak
         more clearly than ever.  Is this not another example of
          Hitler saying, "hey, put that on the back burner, too"?
    A.   I think this derives from the problems which they had in
         the previous autumn with Cardinal von Galen.  After some
         discussion, it was decided, Cardinal von Galen's protest
         about the euthanasia, the Nazi leadership decided that
         during the war it would be too upsetting to morale to make
         a serious attack on the church and start arresting
         cardinals and the like.

                                 .          48

     Q.   I refer you to page 404, to footnote 22 ----

     A.   This is my report?

     Q.   Of your report.

     A.   Yes.

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