Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 191 - 195 of 204

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Do not let us go back on that.
 2 MR RAMPTON:     You can argue about it. Eventually, you see,
 3Mr Irving, whatever you may think and whatever I may put
 4to you, his Lordship will make a decision about what the
 5natural meaning of the word is in these various contexts.
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     But without input from me he will only hear input from
 7you.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Of course you must say what you think it means. Whether I
 9or anybody else accepts what you say is quite another
10matter.
11 A. [Mr Irving]     But I think it is quite useful to say it here in view of
12the fact that this man obviously thought that
13"vernichtung" does not mean killing unless he adds the
14word "biologische" in front of it.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I do not think that is right actually, but
16I have the point. It is obvious what it means if it has
17"biological" attached to it. If it has not, you say it
18does not mean extermination. Mr Rampton says it does.
19I think we really have thrashed that one.
20 MR RAMPTON:     I am afraid I am going to take up, argumentative
21person that I am, one little point on this. You notice,
22do you not, that although you stress the use of the word
23"biologische" to qualify "vernichtung", what is it that
24is being biologically annihilated?
25 A. [Mr Irving]     Judentums.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Judentums?

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     European Judentums?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What is "Judentums"?
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     In this case quite clearly he is talking about the Jews
 6because he has added the word "biological in advance" and
 7you cannot have biological in reference to provision.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     There is no rule of German which says that the word must
 9mean Judaism. It can easily mean Jewish people or Jewry
10as a collective, can it not?
11 A. [Mr Irving]     I do not want to labour the point, but this is why
12dictionaries give orders of priority for the meanings of
13words, the first meaning, second meaning and third meaning
14and so on.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Wisliceny thinks or says that he things, is reported as
16saying that he thinks, that the order for the biological
17annihilation of the European Jews came from Hitler. He is
18saying that, is he not?
19 A. [Mr Irving]     He could set that conviction of his to music and play it
20to the mass bands of the Cold Stream Guards, but it does
21not make it proof.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     He says it again and again. Is it right that you have
23consistently ignored what he said?
24 A. [Mr Irving]     What is the date of this report, Mr Rampton?
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It is 1946, 18th November 1946.
26 A. [Mr Irving]     Just two or three weeks after the unfortunate Nazi

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 1gangsters have been hanged at Nuremberg. Where is he
 2writing this report?
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Is the answer to my question, yes? Give the explanation
 4afterwards, please, Mr Irving. The answer to my question
 5is, yes, you have ignored it. Now the reason ----
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     No. The answer to the question is that I have discounted
 7that kind of evidence as being the fact that he does not
 8say he saw an order. He is saying it is his opinion. He
 9thinks that, yes, there must surely have been some such
10kind of order. What kind of evidence is that given by a
11man sitting in the face of the gallows just after the Nazi
12leaders have been hanged at Nuremberg, and he is sitting
13in Czech Slovac prison knowing that he is going to be
14hanged as well, and he is sitting down there writing the
15first thing that comes into his head, and he says: "Well,
16surely Hitler must have given an order." What kind of
17evidence is that? What kind of historian would I be who
18in the absence of any kind of documentation whatsoever of
19any concrete diamond value of the war archives then
20decides to pollute his work with relying on this kind of
21documentation? Material that Wisliceny himself is an
22expert on -- I remind you of the Trevor Roper criteria,
23something that he himself has experienced, something that
24he is in a position to know. That I would accept, but for
25him to speculate, as he clearly is here, that is neither
26here nor there. It is information of janitorial level.

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes. Janitorial, this is to anticipate something we are
 2going to come to perhaps next week or the week after, Mr
 3Irving, but "janitorial level" is a phrase you often use.
 4Is not "janitorial level" very often the place you expect
 5to find the diamonds?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     Janitorial level is not the kind of place that
 7I frequently inhabit, Mr Rampton.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That is very patrician of you, Mr Irving. If you are an
 9historian you must look even in the basement, the sewer,
10if you want to find the gems, must you not sometimes?
11 A. [Mr Irving]     If one fails to find the gems, my opponents and my jealous
12rivals they have gone down among the sewers looking for
13things, but I found the gems because I have done the work.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You saw some of them, did you not, in Professor van Pelt's
15report, "janitorial gems"?
16 A. [Mr Irving]     We shall have great enjoyment discussing this with van
17Pelt when the time comes.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can I just understand why Wisliceny is being
19put into the janitorial category at all? He is one of
20Eichmann's top officials.
21 A. [Mr Irving]     He is one of Eichmann's top officials.
22 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     And Eichmann was one of the senior officials within the
23Reich carrying out the extermination programme.
24 A. [Mr Irving]     Mr Wisliceny is a man who is in deep trouble. First of
25all he is facing ----
26 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     That is a different point, if I may say so. He is not a

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 1janitor.
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     He is also a man of very dubious character. He is a man
 3who has been not an officer in the SS, but he has been
 4involved in corrupt schemes, in stealing and robbing and
 5disposing of stolen Jewish property and all sorts of
 6things that got him in trouble even with the SS. He is a
 7man whose character I would not give a fig for. He is
 8sitting in a prison cell in a Slovac prison knowing that
 9he is going to be put on trial for his life.
10 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     That is a different point.
11 A. [Mr Irving]     I am sorry, let me cut to the bottom line and say what he
12is actually saying here, I have lost it, he is not saying
13"I know this for a fact"; he is just saying, "I speculate
14that probably this happened." I have lost it totally, the
15actual reference.
16 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     "I am convinced it must fall the decision of Hitler".
17 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, but his conviction that something must fall within, I
18mean, that is not evidence of any kind at all, my Lord,
19and I am sure no court would accept that kind of evidence
20in a matter of great seriousness, somebody's conviction
21that something must surely have happened, not in the total
22absence of any kind of qualifying documents.
23 MR RAMPTON:     I am sorry, Mr Irving. Sometimes my questions
24involve quite a lot of paper chasing. You are quite
25content to use Dieter Wisliceny when it suits your
26purposes, are you not?

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