Irving v. Lipstadt

Appeal

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Appeal Judgment: Electronic Edition, by Lord Justice Pill

Table of Contents
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Hitler's meeting with Antonescu and Horthy in April 1943

78. The judge regarded this issue as important in assessing the applicant's historiography. In 1943 there were in Hungary some 750,000 Jews. The Nazis brought pressure on the Hungarian government to deport them and the Hungarians were reluctant to comply. Meetings between Hitler and Admiral Horthy, leader of the Hungarian government took place on 16 and 17 April 1943. The Hungarians refused to hand over the Jews and Hungary was subsequently invaded and occupied by the Germans.
79. While the judge found that the applicant's account of Hitler's meeting with Antonescu, military dictator of Romania on 12/13 April 1943 was misleading we regard the judge's only relevant finding on this issue to be that the applicant "materially perverts the evidence of what passed between the Nazis and Horthy on 17 April" (13.44). There was evidence that at the meeting on 16 April Hitler sought to persuade Horthy to agree to the expulsion of the Hungarian Jews but reassured him that there would be no need to kill them. On 17 April, Hitler and Ribbentrop expressed themselves more explicitly. The judge accepted that the minutes taken by officials at both meetings were reliable. The judge found that, on 17 April, both Hitler and Ribbentrop "spoke in uncompromising and unequivocal terms about their   genocidal intentions in regard to the Hungarian Jews". Hitler is recorded as having said (5.204):
"If the Jews [in Poland] didn't want to work, they were shot. If they couldn't work, they had to perish. They had to be treated like tuberculosis bacilli, from which a healthy body can be infected. That was not cruel; if one remembered that even innocent natural creatures like hares and deer had to be killed so that no harm was caused. Why should one spare the beasts who wanted to bring us bolshevism? Nations who did not rid themselves of Jews perished".
80. That statement is quoted in Hitler's War but is followed by the statement:
"But they can hardly be murdered or otherwise eliminated". [Horthy] protested. Hitler reassured him: "There is no need for that."
81. The judge stated (13.44) that he was not persuaded "that Irving had any satisfactory explanation for this transposition from 16 to 17 April of Hitler's comforting remark, made on 16 April, that there was no need for the murder or elimination of the Hungarian Jews".
82. Mr Davies asks the Court to consider afresh whether the transposition was innocent and whether, taken in isolation, the transposition can bear upon the applicant's historiography. The judge concluded (13.44) that in his judgment "Irving materially perverts the evidence of what passed between the Nazis and Horthy on 17 April". We see no reason to doubt that conclusion. It has a significant bearing upon the attitude of Hitler to Jewish questions and upon the applicant's approach to Hitler's involvement.
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