Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day025.07 Last-Modified: 2000/07/25 Q. Yes. I am not commenting on it. He talks about 70 Jews being killed, 127 Jews. I am sorry, I am back on page 10. Just one general question: Why is there such a disparity in the killing rates or achievements of the various Einsatzgruppen, some of them killing tens of thousands and some of them just 70 or 100 and so on, if there was an overall system from above? A. It depends on various factors. For instance, the number of Jews who lived in the area where the Einsatzgruppen Kommandos were sent to. Then there were two different types of Einsatzkommandos and Sonderkommandos. One was . P-84 attached to the armies and one was actually active in the rear areas. Then, during the first month of the killings, it is obvious that some of the Kommandos were more reluctant to actually kill in large numbers Jews. When they went through a kind of learning process they were instructed and reminded, so that we have in the end in October 1941 a more uniform picture. It depends also on the personal initiative of the leader of each Kommandos. Q. Was there any competitiveness between the Einsatzgruppen to achieve high body counts? A. I would certainly say there was an element of competitiveness between them. Q. Very minor point: Would there have been a temptation then to inflate figures? A. There might be a temptation to inflate figures, but also, on the contrary, we know that the Eichnesmeldung do not contain all figures. There are some figures which were left out. For instance, other Kommandos reported to different institutions and so on, but yes, one cannot exclude this factor. Q. Paragraph 2.1.2, on the Jager report now, it is talking about executions that have been taking place since July 4th at Kornas or Kovno. He quite specifically says they were carried out upon my orders and my command by the Lithuanian Partisans. He is not saying it was done on Hitler's orders, is he? . P-85 A. If you look into, let us say, orders of a Kommando of a regiment, of an Army, he would refer to his own orders. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Chain of command, is it not? A. It is a chain of command, yes. MR IRVING: Did Jager get into trouble carrying out any killings round about this time in 1941? A. Sorry? Q. Did Jager get into trouble for authorising killings in 1941, the same as Jeckeln? A. As far as I am aware, not. The man who had responsibility for killing of German Jews in this area was Jeckeln. We know that he got a nasty letter from Himmler and that was it. Q. Which we have gone into in some detail. Page 13, line 3: What is your evidence that all Jewish men in this age group had been murdered? I am looking at your word murdered. Surely they might just have been sent off to work details or something like that, the fact that they had gone? A. No. The Einsatzgruppen reports refer quite clearly to executions, and I think this is something which I understood as murder. Q. You said that they were just murdering women. Older men and children. A. Yes. Q. You suggested that this was proof that all the rest had . P-86 been murdered already. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, where are we going with all of this? Here we have a whole body of reports from Einsatzgruppen A, B, C and D. They all talk of hundreds or thousands of people, Jews and others, having been killed by them. MR IRVING: Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: What is the point of selecting tiny little aspects of one or two of those reports? If you are saying they made it all up, fine, say so. Put it to the witness. But, if you do not say that, let us move on to what matters. MR IRVING: My point was that he was drawing an unjustified inference on the basis of the evidence in front of him. MR JUSTICE GRAY: You have accepted, and perhaps you are going to resile from this, that hundreds of thousands of Jews and others were killed by the Einsatzgruppen. MR IRVING: Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Why are we going through these reports? I do not understand the point. MR IRVING: I am trying to shake your Lordship's confidence in this witness's ability to draw proper inferences from documents before him. MR JUSTICE GRAY: If there is no dispute between you and the witness that there were hundreds of thousands of killings, what do I gain from a minute point being taken on a . P-87 particular report? MR IRVING: The whole report is full of minute points. MR JUSTICE GRAY: But you accept there were hundreds of thousands of Jews and others killed. MR IRVING: Indeed, my Lord. If the report had been written in global terms like that, then I would have dealt with it in global terms, but he has written an excellent report full of mosaic stones. MR JUSTICE GRAY: But you do not quarrel with the picture made up of all the mosaic. MR IRVING: Paragraph 2.2.4 on page 14. Here you are quoting a witness called Otto Bradfisch, who says quite clearly there was no express order to exterminate the Jewish population in a place or area solely because of its racial origin. What do you make of that statement? I am looking at "no express order". A. Well, it says here that---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: I have read the whole of it. A. "To exterminate the Jewish population in a place or area solely and alone because of its racial origin". I said in the same sentence, "Nevertheless in practice the orders given by the EKB as the Einsatzgruppen B were so broadly conceived that every Jew was regarded as a danger for the fighting troops and therefore to be liquidated". This is a statement. So he is saying that we had to find another pretext, another cover, to kill them. That is the essence . P-88 of this statement, I think. MR IRVING: Very well. Dr Longerich, you attach great importance, do you not, to this Himmler Hitler conversation of December 18th 1941? A. I think this is quite a remarkable source, yes. Q. You have inferred from that that the als partisan and anzusehen is words used by Hitler to Himmler. A. It does not say as partisan and anzusehen. Q. Ausrottung? A. Yes, to be ausrottung as partisans. This is what it says. Q. Yes, and you considered that phrase is used by Hitler to Himmler? A. Yes. Q. Yes, but is it not equally likely that this was a standard attitude of Himmler's long before he went to see Hitler, that Hitler had always regarded the Jews as partisans and to be treated as such? A. No, I do not read it like this. Q. Can I ask you to look at page 15, line 4? You have here "Himmler had already expressed on his visit to Galestov on July 8th that -- I am quoting now -- basically every Jew is to be seen as a partisan". Is that not precisely the same phrase? A. Yes. Q. Your footnote 67 (German) is that not almost exactly the same kind of turn of phrase that Hitler has used? . P-89 A. Yes. This line in Himmler's calendar is a confirmation of this policy. It is true that Himmler had started this policy earlier. He started it in the summer of 1941 and I will read this as a final confirmation of this policy by Hitler. Q. If I take you please to page 22, line 5? MR RAMPTON: May I once again ---- MR IRVING: Oh dear. Here comes the interruption every time I make a point. MR RAMPTON: This is going to be a very tedious day if I am going to have to keep going back to earlier parts of the evidence. If Mr Irving is now saying, as he appears to be, that that entry in Himmler's log for 18th December 1941 does not record the substance or result of a conversation with Adolf Hitler, he had better put it to this witness, because it is new. MR JUSTICE GRAY: The suggestion that I understand was just made is that in his agenda or appointments book Himmler jotted down what Hitler had said months or years before. MR RAMPTON: I thought until half a minute ago that that had been common ground since the beginning of this case. MR JUSTICE GRAY: So did I. MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving is once again shifting his ground. Now he must put it to the witness. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, that must have been the thrust of your question. . P-90 MR IRVING: My Lord, I would find it very helpful if Mr Rampton, with his unerring eye, does not always interrupt just when I am zeroing in for quite an important point. MR JUSTICE GRAY: We have had a huge amount of cross-examination on the 18th December document. MR IRVING: We now have new material, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It has not been suggested until now I believe that the reference to ausrottung the Jews as partisans was something that was not even discussed between Himmler and Hitler. MR IRVING: That is not the point I make. Can I explain the point that I am trying to make? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, do. MR IRVING: If we had just that agenda note in front of us, we would be entitled to draw the inference which Mr Rampton does that Himmler is writing down an idea expressed and initiated by Adolf Hitler. But we here have evidence that on two occasions, and this is when I was unfortunately interrupted by Mr Rampton, in the summer of 1941 Himmler already has that idea embedded firmly in his mind and he uses precisely the same turn of phrase when he goes to see Hitler, and this may very well have influenced the way he recorded the conversation afterwards. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That, I am afraid, is pure equivocation. What do you mean it may have influenced the way he wrote his note? . P-91 MR IRVING: That he wrote down his own stock phrase rather than quoting what Adolf Hitler had said. MR JUSTICE GRAY: So you are suggesting that that note does not represent something that was discussed between Hitler and himself? MR IRVING: Certainly they discussed the Jewish problem but then Himmler recorded the outcome in his own language rather than in Hitler's language, if I can put it like that. The fact that it was his own language is also borne out on page 22. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us just look at the document. We really have to try to see what the case is that is being made. Can somebody give me a reference in the new file? Page 183, I think. MR IRVING: 184, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: 184, yes, quite right. Now, I had understood the case has proceeded so far on the basis that, and there is a much better copy of this document somewhere than this, on the left-hand side -- Mr Irving, would you answer the question I am going to ask you at the end of this -- Himmler had written down as being the topic he was proposing to raise with Hitler when he saw him "Judenfrager". MR IRVING: Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: And that, and this is what I understood to be accepted up until now, the different notation als partisan . P-92 and ausrottung was what Himmler had written ---- MR IRVING: Subsequently. MR JUSTICE GRAY: -- Following his discussion about that very topic with Hitler. MR IRVING: Very well. Yes, precisely. MR JUSTICE GRAY: You are now suggesting -- tell me if I am wrong about this -- that als partisan ausrottung has nothing to do with any discussion between Himmler and Hitler, it is something that Himmler recalled Hitler having said some time before. Is that your case now? MR IRVING: No, my Lord. It is completely wrong, completely different from what I am suggesting. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Then I do not understand what you are putting to the witness. MR IRVING: What I am suggesting is that Himmler went to see Hitler with Judenfrager written down in his appointment book. Subsequently he wrote down the words als partisan and ausrotten, but this was his own phrase that he wrote down, because it was a phrase that he had used very similarly already twice that summer to summarize the conversation. It is very dangerous trying to extrapolate just on the basis of four words anyway precisely what happened in a conversation that only lasted 10 or 20 minutes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: So are you or are you not saying that the notion of killing the Jews as partisans was something that . P-93 was discussed and agreed between Hitler and Himmler? MR IRVING: Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: You accept it was discussed and agreed between Hitler and Himmler? MR IRVING: Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Then I do not understand what you are seeking to suggest to this witness. We now have that clear so we can move on. MR IRVING: After that successful interruption by Mr Rampton I will not take your Lordship to page 22 where he used it a second time. Page 17 on line 7 after the words, "about 7,000 Jews were collected and shot by the security police in retribution for these inhuman atrocities", you have omitted quite a lengthy passage there, have you not, from that report? A. Yes. This is why I put these three dots in the text after "atrocities". Q. Yes. Do you recall offhand what the lengthy passage? Was it a description of the atrocities in great detail? A. I cannot recall at the moment but we probably have the document there. MR IRVING: My Lord, in the interests of making forward progress I do not think I am going to press this point. It is a four page description of atrocities committed on the Ukranians which were discovered by the Germans when they arrived. Obviously the Germans ran berserk. It . P-94 probably does not -- why did you omit this very lengthy passage? A. I do not see the point you are making here. They were atrocities from the -- where are we here? Q. In July 1941. A. In Lobov, yes, so there were atrocities committed by the Soviet NKVD against Ukranians and, as a result of this, the Einsatzgruppen C shot 7,000 Jews. So I do not see the point between the actions and the so-called retaliation actions. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think the suggestion must be this, Dr Longerich, that these 7,000 Jews had all been involved in some way in the atrocities on the Ukrainians and therefore, in a sense, the shooting of them by the security police was justified. A. Yes. This was a massacre among the Jewish population of this town. We have details about the way it was carried out. There was nothing like a kind of identifying of every of the 7,000 as perpetrators, as one of the people actually who instigated ---- MR IRVING: Was it an active retribution then? A. Retribution directed against the Jewish population, so it was part of the systematic killing, guided out under the pretext of a retaliation action. If you read the whole thing, there is nothing in this text which indicates that there was a kind of extermination done by the . P-95 Einsatzgruppen to identify among the 7,000 Jews the people who might have been responsible for thee atrocities. The idea that they started retaliations against the Jews for something the NKVD did, this is the kind of question. This shows actually that this is a part of the war of racist extermination. Q. Yes. So, when you write on line 4 of page 19, that this use of retribution was just a pretence ---- A. It is a very interesting example. "In German's polar city a quarter of whose population was Jewish in the last few days, especially the Jewish women, have shown imprudent and arrogant behaviour because of limitations imposed upon them. They tore their own and their children's clothes off their bodies. As provisional retribution the Kommando which arrived for the purpose of re-establishing the peace shot 50 male Jews". So I think you get a very good insight into this kind of retribution or retaliation. Q. Does this kind of thing happen in wars like Vietnam and elsewhere? Is there a lot of brutality on both sides? A. I am not an expert on the Vietnam war. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am at a total loss to understand why we are going through the detail of the shooting when you accept that hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed by the Einsatzgruppen. I do not understand the point, Mr Irving. MR IRVING: The reason for asking that is that the witness has left out a four page description in the most hideous and . P-96 ghastly detail of what the Germans found when they got to the town. MR JUSTICE GRAY: So it served the 7,000 Jews right, did it? MR IRVING: He then suggests that the word "retribution" was unjustified. He says here that the retribution was just a pretext. A. Yes, exactly. Q. Having left out all the evidence that it was not. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I will simply say to you now that you are not serving your own cause well by taking up time quite pointlessly on these sorts of questions.
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