Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 2: Electronic Edition

Pages 56 - 60 of 189

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    I do, my Lord, I wish to say that if you are not allowed
 1happened. This is slightly exaggerated, that bit I find
 2little evidence for. In other words not to carry out
 3normal kind of analysis that you would do as a writer or
 4as an historian without being accused and defamed as being
 5a Holocaust denier instantly by the assembled mass media,
 6then I would think would be a very sorry state of affairs.
 7To that extent I find it offensive to be called a
 8Holocaust denier because there are aspects of the
 9Holocaust as currently portrayed that I find questionable,
10debateable and they need to be debated. But that is not
11Holocaust denial in my view, my Lord.
12     The defence contention that somebody who
13challenges the figure is a Holocaust denier ipso facto, I
14have read Professor Evans' report in great deal here where
15I think he gives four criteria of what a Holocaust denier
16is. Somebody who says that Adolf Hitler did not give the
17order, somebody who challenges a figure. Somebody who
18says there were no gas chambers. I forget the fourth
19one. It is almost as though those four criteria have been
20tailor made in the way that you would have a suit tailor
21made for this very action, my Lord. I do not think that
22your Lordship will set much store by those four criteria.
23I hope you will not. Because if it is not possible to
24question the 6 million figure, for example, that I have
25been I accused of being a Holocaust denier, you run into
26immediate difficulties, because the Auschwitz authorities

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 1themselves removed the memorial stone for 4 million dead
 2and replaced it with a memorial stone for one million
 3dead; are they Holocaust deniers under Professor Evans'
 4definition? It is an absurdity
 5 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Again, take your own course, but I was being to move on
 6and I was going to skip for the purposes of my so-called
 7examination-in-chief of you, skip altogether the section
 8dealing with Auschwitz and indeed the one..
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     If you had not, my Lord, I would have reminded you of what
10we agreed this morning
11 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Yes, quite. I am also going to skip Treblinka, Sobibor
12and Belsic, because it seems to me they really belong in
13the same compartment of the case as Auschwitz.
14     There is a section though in a subsection in
15section 2, you may be able to find the page 28, which is
16headed: "Mass Murder of Jews by Shootings", I am not sure
17that really belongs in that particular section, but I can
18see why it has landed up there; do you want to say
19anything at this stage about that in fairly general
20terms? I think the criticism is made of you that whilst
21you recognize that many, to use a neutral word, many Jews
22were shot and killed in horrific circumstances, you have
23downplayed it, you have underestimated the number of
24deaths which occurred in this fashion
25 A. [Mr Irving]     I do not like playing numbers games, my Lord, and a lot of
26these numbers are very suspect. Your Lordship may not be

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 1familiar with this, but there was the case against Field
 2Marshall Manstein, conducted by British War Crimes Court
 3in Germany, where Manstein was represented by very eminent
 4and able QC, I think it was Paget, who subsequently wrote
 5a book called "Manstein and His Trials" and he led very
 6good evidence indeed on these figures, proving how totally
 7impossible many of the figures were relating to the
 8Einsatzgruppen, but I say this with the utmost diffidence
 9as I am not a expert and I have no intention of becoming a
10expert on that. What I am an expert on is the role played
11by Adolf Hitler in these killings and if I can just spend
12two minutes of the court's time describing the sequel to
13what happened yesterday, the November 30th 1941 episode,
14documents we have here in the British archives. They are
15of the utmost importance because they go a long way to
16refuting what Mr Rampton said yesterday about my
17interpretation of that Himmler document.
18     If you remember, my Lord, on November 30th 1941,
19an event to which both the defence and I in our opening
20statements have referred occurred. A train load of 1,035
21Jews from Berlin arrived after a two or three day journey
22at Riga. They were unloaded from the train that morning
23in ice cold conditions and had the misfortune to arrive in
24the middle of a mass extermination, a mass shooting of
25Jews being conducted by the local SS commander. They were
26shot immediately in the pits, and, my Lord, I am sure you

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 1will vividly remember the description of that very
 2shooting that was given to us by General Bruns in the
 3Bruns Report, to which I have repeatedly referred
 4 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Yes
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     So that one episode, when great good fortune, having a lot
 6of documentation, the defence as I understand it are going
 7to seize on the fact that in the Bruns Report the local SS
 8junior says it is the Fuhrer's orders. I think there are
 9very grave reasons for doubting that because Heinrich
10Himmler, as we heard yesterday, at 1.30 p.m. on that same
11Sunday, November 30th 1941, was called into Hitler's
12bunker and at or about that time, and I am going to be
13quite careful how I say this, he had reason to make a
14telephone call to SS Obergruppen Fuhrer Reinhardt
15Heinrich, who was his henchman, his closest lieutenant.
16He was the head of the killers, shall we say, he was above
17the Gestapo, Reinhardt Heinreich, and in that telephone
18conversation he said certain things as a result of which
19he jotted down two lines in his note pad. I have the
20actual handwritten notes on the table next to my stand
21there. The first line says: ( German spoken) Jew
22transport from Berlin. I appreciate quite readily that in
23the first chapter of my "Hitler's War" book I wrongly put
24that in the plural. The second line continued with the
25words ( German spoken) "no liquidation".
26     Now, many things can be said about that

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 1document, my Lord, the first is, how is it that it was not
 2until 1974 when David Irving took the trouble to
 3transcribe Heinrich Himmler's note, 30 years after the war
 4was over that this extraordinary note came to the
 5attention of the historical community. Well, I do not
 6know why they do not want to read Heinreich Himmler's
 7handwriting. It is a very difficult handwriting and
 8I have to plead that as being my partial excuse for having
 9misread ( German spoken) and also on the following day for
10having misread word "juden" as "haben" (?) or vice versa
11 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     I think the point they make is not so much about
12legibility, but that this on its face looks as if it is
13talking about a single train transportation to --
14 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, this true, my Lord
15 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     -- to Riga from Berlin
16 A. [Mr Irving]     I should have put in the word "the". I left out the word
17"the" in my text based on it. I should not have said
18"transportation of Jews" I should have said "the
19transport of Jews". But I corrected this as soon as this
20was pointed out to me, my Lord.
21     But I can continue because the inference that
22I drew from this, if this telephone call is made ( German
23spoken), from the bunker, from Hitler's bunker at the
24Wolf's lair in Rustenberg, East Prussia, Himmler has been
25required to telephone Reinhardt Heydrich and tell somebody
26these Jews from Berlin were not to be liquidated, you have

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