Holocaust Denial on Trial, Skeleton Argument of the Claimant (long): Electronic Edition, by Adrian Davies

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Reichskristallnacht

168.Re 5.38: It is obvious that the Kristallnacht excesses were committed by the Nazis not because Grynzspan was a young Pole, but because he was a Jew. He was undoubtedly crazed.
169.Re 5.39: No evidence at all was before the Court that the 20,000 were "severely mistreated." Many were unjustly imprisoned, but most were released almost at once.
170.Re: 5.49: Gray J appears to take no account of Irving's rebuttal in his written submission of 21 March 2000 of the Defendants' submission that the acts of arson which were to be halted were limited on Hitler's orders solely to German property and shops [Geschaefte].
 
171. At 3:45 a.m. that same night the following telegram was issued by the Gestapo Section II, signed "p.p. Bartz":
"The following orders of the chief of security police (Heydrich] are to be executed urgently and immediately:
  • (1) according to the latest orders in accord with the Political Leaders all kinds of arson are to hindered;
  • (2)all orders issued and yet to be issued in this affair are to be stamped secret,
  • (3)without exception every Gestapo head office and office is to submit two reports on the execution of the Aktionen and their effects, particularly about egregious episodes, to the Gestapo section II. The first report must be submitted by this morning November 10 at 5 a.m. at the latest, the second report by seven a.m. this morning at the latest to the Gestapo HQ.
  • (4) receipt of confirmation of this message is awaited urgently via the Blitz teleprinter Munich No. 47.767 (i.e. Heydrich's telex number]."
172. In other words Heydrich, who is said in paragraph 5.3 to be acting at all material times on Hitler's direct orders, is seen clearly ordering a halt to all acts of arson, not just acts against German property and shops.
 
173.As Gray J states at paragraph 5.53: "The contemporaneous documents created during the night of violence are likely to prove afar more reliable guide than the self-serving and untested accounts of Hitler's staff."
174.Yet Evans and his experts did not breath a word to the court about the existence of the 3.45 a.m. telegram, in breach of Evans's clear duty to the Court; see the third of Cresswell J's observations in The Ikarian Reefer [1993] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 68 at 81 to 82.
175.Re: 5.52: This description of Hitler's reaction is important. It is not borne out by the Goebbels diaries. It is however borne out by the testimony of Hitler's adjutants. The diary cannot be slavishly followed. It is the diary of a liar, a propagandist, and, Irving argued, of the chief culprit himself. The fact that it was evidently written up not one, but two or even three days later, after the Kristallnacht episode, calls for additional caution in relying on it for chronology and content. It was furthermore in Goebbels interest to maintain that he had been acting at all material times on Hitler's orders, although Rosenberg (writing in 1938), Von Hassell (1938), Groscurth (1938), Hinarnier (March 1939), Ribbentrop (1945), and Hitler's adjutants Wolff (1952), 6rueckner (1945, 1947), Below (1947), Wiedemann (March 1939), all say that this was untrue.
176.Re: 5.53: Gray J refers to the fact that Hitler's adjutants were testifying years after the war, and thus recalling events long ago. His Adjutant Fritz Wiedemann wrote his recollections in February 1939 on a steamship bound for San Francisco, after he had been dismissed Hitler's personal staff (and was thus not likely to be biassed in Hitler's   favour). Himmler, Heydrich, Groscurth and many others referred to Hitler's fury at Goebbels in contemporaneous documents, as most of the dates above indicate.
177.Re: 5.75 the phrase "next" is based on the German word nunmehr. Nunmehr is the element of "apprehension", as in "What now!?" not as in "Let's go home now." Evans, whose grasp of vernacular German was shown to be deficient in the course of his cross-examination, did not know this. Gray J. failed to appreciate the point.
178.Re: 5.78 The Goebbels "stop order" was broadcast all morning, well before mid-day. Gray J's suggestion at paragraph 5.85 that Evans stated that the "only record of the content of the broadcast gives the time of transmission as the afternoon" is not supported by Evans's evidence.
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