Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 3: Electronic Edition

Pages 146 - 150 of 204

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    It was one of his stock speeches. So I know with a pretty
 1private gloss.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     But this is something, this is in part at any
 3rate a report by Goebbels of what Hitler said in 1941 to
 4the gaulieter?
 5 A. [Mr Justice Gray]     I appreciate that, yes.
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Nothing to do with 1939. My question, if I can ask you
 7for an answer, is how much do you say of this snippet from
 8Goebbels' diary is a report of what Hitler said to the
10 A. [Mr Irving]     I would say half is.
11 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Which half? Half in reported speech and half where he
12repeats exactly the kind of sentence that Hitler had said
13so many times before, but what I will not accept is that
14he necessarily used the word vernichtung, when Hitler
15frequently used other equally vague and ambiguous words
16and indeed euphemisms. I am quite happy to accept that.
17And personally I would consider it deeply shocking if an
18historian was to pin any kind of hypothesis just on this
19third order information which is what this actually is.
20I know it has been done quite recently by Dr Christian
21Gerlach who is a young Hungarian historian. He has tried
22to pin a major hypothesis on it, but he is on the wooden
23path as the Germans says, and the fact that the sentences
24are not in the subjunctive makes it quite plain that
25Goebbels is not reporting what Hitler said. We can ask
26Dr Longerich this on the question of language if I am

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 1right about the subjunctive.
 2 MR RAMPTON:     You will have the opportunity to do that and you
 3can ask Professor Evans too whose German is probably as
 4good as yours.
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     I doubt it but I would prefer to ask Dr Longerich.
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     He wrote it. Tell me this, is it your belief that Hans
 7Frank, Governor General, was a Poland, Eastern Poland, at
 8this meeting on 12th December?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     He was a Reichsleiter. This was a speech to the
10Garleiters and the Reichsleiter, so the likelihood is that
11he was present.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And the word "vernichtung" is not really capable of what
13we might call being characterized as a Goebbels' invention
14or exaggeration because it was after all the word that
15Hitler used in his speech in the Reichstager in 1939?
16 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     So it would not be the least bit surprising if Hitler had
18used the same word on this occasion, would it?
19 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Why?
21 A. [Mr Irving]     The word "vernichtung" is not killing. It is not
22unambiguously killing. It is destruction.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     So you say. You say that. I do not know accept that
25 A. [Mr Irving]     It is the primary meaning of the word.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Whether you call it extermination or annihilation, which

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 1are his two primary senses, it is a literal ----
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     Excuse me, extermination was not the primary sense.
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No annihilation was?
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     It was the third sense. You said extermination or
 5annihilation which are its primary senses. Extermination
 6is not. It is number 3.
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What difference do you see between annihilation and
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     Can you read out the three meanings?
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, I ask you in English. What difference do you see?
11 A. [Mr Irving]     I have been annihilated by these books but I have not been
12exterminated. Is that sufficient for you?
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, and I annihilate you in cross-examination but I do
14not exterminate you, I hope! Of course I see the
15difference. Seriously, Mr Irving, please, annihilation of
16the Jewish race, come, it is not difficult. German is not
17a mystery language any more than English. What does it
18mean, be honest?
19 A. [Mr Irving]     If Adolf Hitler was considering annihilation to be the
20biological liquidation of the Jewish race, why would he
21have been talking the entire time about the Madagascar?
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     He talked about the Madagascar plan I think as late as
24sometime in 1942 by which time he had already issued an
25order that the Madagascar plan was to be put to sleep?
26 A. [Mr Irving]     He talked about it on July 24th 1942.

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, and it was a dead duck?
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     This is your word, but why would Hitler talk about even in
 3private with his staff?
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Because Hitler it would appears, if one reads his table
 5talk ----
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     He is talking about it in a conversation with Bormann and
 7Himmler, the people who we know were the actual murderers.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It is not to be taken seriously. It cannot be. The Brits
 9had occupied Madagascar in May of 1942?
10 A. [Mr Irving]     The British had occupied large parts of the world which
11the Germans subsequently reoccupied.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Like Crete. So your thesis is that Hitler had it in mind
13the German Navy would travel all the way to the East Coast
14of Africa, that huge island, and spend a lot of ships and
15men capturing the island so they could put the Jews on it
16in 1942?
17 A. [Mr Irving]     I know I am not supposed to ask you questions, but you are
18not suggesting that the table talks are fake, are you?
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, no that they are fake, no, far from it. On the
20contrary, the table talks are very good evidence of a man
21who sometimes waffles, sometimes deceives, sometimes talks
22at endless length about nothing very much?
23 A. [Mr Irving]     Rather like counsel in this case!
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     If you say so.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Do not let us let it descend into...
26 A. [Mr Irving]     Mr Rampton -- my Lord, I am not sure if I can say this,

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 1but Mr Rampton rather left the innuendo in the air -- I am
 2not sure if you are returning to this -- but I had this
 3diary passage in front of me and ignored it when I wrote
 4the book.
 5 MR RAMPTON:     Indeed.
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     Are you going to state that?
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I was going to ask you. You can be personal about it if
 8you like, I do not mind, but I am going to ask you whether
 9you knew about this at the time you wrote these books.
10 A. [Mr Irving]     Thank you very much indeed. The answer is no.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Why?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     I did not have it.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You did not have it?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     No. This was part of the diaries that were in Moscow. A
15Goebbels', typical Goebbels' diary entry would run to 70
16or 50 or 100 pages. One Goebbels' diary entry in
17September 1943 is 143 pages of typescript for one day. In
18Moscow, we were extremely limited for our time, the days
19we were allowed to view these pages. I did, by chance,
20look at these pages around the German declaration of war
21on the United States as it was a matter of interest. My
22commission from The Sunday Times was to obtain the
23material relating to Germany's declaration of war on the
24United States, obviously for commercial reasons. I read
25those passages, those pages, copied them down.

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