Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 81 - 85 of 189

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    In my very first book "The Destruction of
 1an adequate justification but I do not think this goes to
 2the issues in this case
 3 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Yes. The next section is the allegation that is made by
 4the Defendants that you consort and associate with some
 5pretty unsavoury characters in North America and
 6elsewhere; that is to say very right-wing extremists
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     My Lord, can I deal with this in summary in general
 8terms
 9 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Yes
10 A. [Mr Irving]     At this stage, undoubtedly if they want to go through it
11piece by piece and name by name and phrase by phrase
12 MR RAMPTON:      My Lord, I am sorry to intervene, particularly to
13correct a judge, but your Lordship might have missed a
14couple of sections, I think
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Have I
16 MR RAMPTON:      After Dresden comes -- it may be because the way
17the file is arranged
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      There is Hitler's Adjutants
19 MR RAMPTON:      Yes, Hitler's Adjutants
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      That does not belong in Dresden
21 MR RAMPTON:      No
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      That is rather why I skipped it
23 MR RAMPTON:      Another route to the exoneration. But your
24Lordship went straight from Dresden to right wing
25extremism
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Yes

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 1 MR RAMPTON:      Along the way jumping over Hitler's Adjutants
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      And Nazi anti-Semitism
 3 MR RAMPTON:      Yes
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      You are quite right
 5 MR RAMPTON:      Hitler Adjutants is quite an important section,
 6certainly
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Thank you for that, Mr Rampton. Can
 8I therefore invite you to comment on the -- you will find
 9this as page 7
10 A. [Mr Irving]     Page 7
11 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     The allegation that you really ignored the evidence when
12you claim -
13 A. [Mr Irving]     Shall we go through 1 to 6 in detail, my Lord, now
14 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     -- yes, if you would like to because Mr Rampton is quite
15right -
16 A. [Mr Irving]     The allegation is that I ignored the most basic cautions
17in interviewing members of Hitler's staff. Well, jealousy
18place a part in this. Adolf Hitler's personal staff at
19the end of World War II, so far as they survived, were
20very bruised people. He had four female secretaries, they
21were all locked up for periods of several years by the
22Allies. I remember my friend, Ralph Hoffmann, who
23I invited to lunch just to see what it would be like to
24having a liberal playwright lunching with Hitler's
25secretary. When he heard that the Americans had locked
26her up for two years he said but why did they put you in

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 1prison? She said I typed for the Fuhrer. I typed for the
 2Fuhrer. He said, but millions carried guns for the
 3Fuhrer. They were very bruised people. They did not want
 4to speak to their own historians and they certainly did
 5not want to speak to the former enemy. It took me many
 6years to win their confidence by methods that might be
 7found odious. I would become very friendly. In the case
 8Christa Schroeder particularly, I would just invite her
 9out to lunch and say Frau Schroeder we will not talk about
10the War, knowing very well that she would want eventually
11to mention something that happened. But at the moment
12I took out a pen she would clam up. She would not say
13anything, so I had to write a note afterwards. It was this
14kind of situation. Very delicate, drawing them out and
15then eventually after five or ten years Christa Schroeder
16revealed that she had written private letters to a woman
17friend throughout her time with Hitler and she got all
18those letters back. She produced the letters and gave them
19to me.
20     The allegation is -- I think allegation No. 2
21that I would use documents like that in injudiciously.
22 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     -- just one more question on the first criticism; you say
23that you accept that you did not approach the matter in
24what you regard as the ideal way, but you say there was no
25all alternative because that was the only way of getting
26these people to talk

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     A historian is accustomed to going to archives or my
 2reproof to the historians, particularly of the Defendants'
 3historians, is that they sit if their book lined caves
 4taking books out of shelves, taking a sentence and working
 5it into their own fabric and at the end of the day not
 6cricking anything to the sum total of human knowledge.
 7I did the exact opposite. I ignored the book lined
 8caves. I did not reads their books, which they regarded
 9as a personal slight. I went to the very fountainhead of
10the information, the people who had worked at Hitler's
11side for twelve years. By then I aver and I submit and
12I strongly resent in this court on oath at no time was
13I not aware of the fact that I had to treat what they said
14to me with the utmost caution, and it was only when I was
15satisfied they were being completely frank with me, that
16I added weight to the evidence they gave me and I will
17give two examples of that, my Lord. One of them was
18Walter Frentz. He was the personal film camera man
19attached to Hitler's staff and he took the colour
20photographs of Hitler's staff which figure in a lot of my
21books. One day Heinrich Himmler said to Walter Frentz in
22August 1941, which he told me and this is the reason I am
23saying this, because I persuaded him to tell me something
24against himself. He said that Heinrich Himmler had said
25to him in August 1941, Herr Frentz it gets very boring
26here at the wolf's lair, doesn't it? We are going out to

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 1the Eastern Front for a few days, do you want do come with
 2us? Two or three days later Himmler said to Walter Frentz
 3and Frentz related to me this one evening over a body of
 4wine (he is still alive) at Lake Constance. Himmler said
 5to Frentz, tomorrow we are going to be doing a mass
 6shooting, do you want to come along and have a look? The
 7next morning in the misty hours of dawn Frentz and Himmler
 8and Carl Wolf, and a number of other SS gentlemen, Frentz
 9himself is in the airforce, found themselves standing at
10one end of a field outside Minsk, at the other end of
11which, as Frentz described it to me, large pits had been
12dug out by "backhose" or bulldozers and truck loads of
13civilians who were being driven up and stood of this pit
14and being machine gunned in the pit. He described this to
15me in great deal. I do not have to go into all the detail
16he gave here, my Lord. His wife was very astonished to
17hear this. Halfway through this description his wife,
18Mrs Frentz, said, Walter, I have never heard this before.
19And Walter went slightly pink because I suppose he was in
20his cups and he had not realized he had told me so much.
21Mrs Frentz niggled slightly in the way that wives do and
22said, Walter, you say these were civilians being shot,
23were there women and children being shot too? Walter
24Frentz said, "I cannot remember", but you could tell from
25the way he said "I cannot remember" that he could.
26     My Lord, I aver that if I get that kind of

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