Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 1: Electronic Edition

Pages 41 - 45 of 103

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    "Translation: Bruns: As soon as I heard those
 1November 30th 1941, "I heard that they had already started
 2on it. The Ghetto was cleared. They were told: 'You're
 3being transferred: take along your essential things.'
 4Incidentally, it was a happy release for those people, as
 5their life in the Ghetto was a martyrdom. I wouldn't
 6believe it and drove there to have a look".
 7     The person he is talking to says: "Everyone
 8abroad knew about it; only we Germans were kept in
 9ignorance".
10     Bruns continues his narrative: "I'll tell you
11something: some of the details may have been correct, but
12it was remarkable that the firing squad detailed that
13morning - six men with tommy-guns posted at each pit; the
14pits were 24 meters in length and 3 metres in breadth -
15they had to lie down like sardines in a tin with their
16heads in the centre'", like that in the pit.
17     "'Above them were six men with tommy-guns who
18gave them the coup de grace", who shot them. "When I
19arrived those pits were so full that the living had to lie
20down on top of the dead; then they were shot and, in order
21to save room, they had to lie down neatly in
22layers. Before this, however, they were stripped of
23everything at one of the stations - here at the edge of
24the wood were the three pits they used that Sunday and
25here they stood in a queue one and-a-half kilometres long
26which they approached step by step - a queuing up for

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 1death. As they drew nearer they saw what was going on.
 2About here they had to hand over their jewellery and
 3suitcases. All good stuff was put into the suitcases and
 4the remainder was thrown on a heap. This was to serve as
 5clothing for our suffering population - and then a little
 6further on they had to undress and, 500 metres in front of
 7the wood, strip completely; they were only permitted to
 8keep on a chemise or knickers. They were all women and
 9small two-year old children. Then all those cynical
10remarks! If only I had seen those tommy-gunners, who were
11relieved every hour because of over-exertion, carry out
12their task with distaste, but no, nasty remarks like:
13 'Here comes a Jewish beauty!' I can still see it all in
14my memory: a pretty woman in a flame-coloured chemise.
15Talk about keeping the race pure: at RIGA they first
16slept with them and then shot them to prevent them from
17talking.
18     "Then I sent two officers out there, one of
19whom is still alive", in April 1945, "because I wanted
20eye-witnesses. I didn't tell them what was going on, but
21said: 'Go out to the forest of Skiotawa(?), see what's up
22there and send me a report'. I added a memorandum to
23their report and took it to Jakobs myself. He said: 'I
24have already two complaints sent me by Engineer
25 "Bataillone" from the Ukraine'. There they shot them on
26the brink of large crevices and let them fall down into

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 1them; they nearly had an epidemic of plague, at any rate a
 2pestilential smell. They thought they could break off the
 3edges with picks, thus burying them. That loess there" --
 4that is a kind of ground -- "was so hard that two Engineer
 5 'Bataillone' were required to dynamite the edges; those
 6 'Bataillone' complained. Jakobs" -- he was the engineer
 7general in charge of the pioneer corps -- "had received
 8that complaint. He said: 'We didn't quite know how to
 9tell the Fuhrer'", Adolf Hitler. "'We'd better do it
10through Canaris', the Chief of the German Intelligence.
11     "So Canaris had the unsavoury task of waiting
12for the favourable moment to give the Fuhrer certain
13gentle hints. A fortnight later I visited the
14Oberburgermeister, or whatever he was called then,
15concerning some over business. Altenmeyer(?)" who was the
16man on the spot "triumphantly showed me: 'Here is an
17order just issued, prohibiting mass shootings on that
18scale from taking place in future. They are to be carried
19out more discreetly'. From warnings given me recently,
20I knew that I was receiving still more attentions from
21spies".
22     Then his interlocutor says to him: "It's a
23wonder you're still alive". Bruns says: "At Gottingen, I
24expected to be arrested every day".
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Mr Irving, I see the time. I think probably
26we will adjourn. My recollection of this document is

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 1(which I have not seen as a document before) that it is
 2relied on by the Defendants for the reference to the
 3Fuhrer's orders on page 1, is that right?
 4 MR RAMPTON:      And also the one on page 2.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Towards the end.
 6 MR IRVING:      I have no objection to that, my Lord. The reason
 7why I rely on it now will become plain as we continue
 8after lunch.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Of course. Yes, I am not stopping you; it is
10just that now it is after 1 o'clock. Yes, Mr Rampton?
11 MR RAMPTON:      Can I ask your Lordship's indulgence? I too have
12written an opening statement. Your Lordship has not seen
13it. It is very short, comparatively speaking. Can I hand
14it up so that your Lordship can read it over the lunch?
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Yes. Mr Irving has had a copy?
16 MR RAMPTON:      Yes. It is only by that route that the press can
17have copies of it.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      I do not know whether we are going to manage
19to get to your speech today in a way -- if we did, yes.
20 MR RAMPTON:      That is why. Once this court has read it, then it
21is a public document.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      I will look at it over the adjournment.
23 MR RAMPTON:      I am grateful.
24 (Luncheon adjournment)

25 (2.00 p.m.)
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Yes, Mr Irving?

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 1 MR IRVING:      My Lord, when we adjourned I just completed reading
 2out to what you I was calling the Bruns Report ----
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Yes.
 4 MR IRVING:      --- which was an eyewitness account by a German
 5General (unaware he was being overheard) of a mass
 6shooting of Jewish civilians which he had witnessed in
 7Riga on a particular Sunday which I maintain was November
 830th 1941.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Yes.
10 MR IRVING:      He had said, you will recall, that one of the
11gunmen had called out: "'Here comes a Jewish beauty.
12I can see it all in my memory: a pretty woman in a flame
13coloured chemise." I understand Mr Rampton to say that he
14is going to rely on the last sentence which is a reference
15to the Fuhrer and the order.
16     I will now continue.
17     My Lord, permit me a word about the credentials
18of that particular document. It is authentic. It comes
19from the British archives. A copy can be found in the
20Public Record Office this very day, if anyone wishes to go
21and see it.
22     First: is the General describing something he
23had really seen? I mention this because later, on his
24sworn oath in the witness stand in Nuremberg, this same
25General claimed only to have heard of this atrocity; yet
26there can surely be no doubt of the verisimilitude. It

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