Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 4: Electronic Edition

Pages 156 - 160 of 207

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Wait a minute, does this not lead to the conclusion Hitler
 2probably did know?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     -- if you propose to link those two documents that you
 4keep on intending to do, the August 1941 document and the
 5December 1942 document, I would refer you to the German
 6Civil Service practice, that the second document in its
 7reference lines on the top left would automatically
 8say, "Referring to Fuhrer order" such and such a date
 9August 1941 then that would immediately state: "This is
10in response to that triggering document" even if it was 18
11months earlier. You will frequently find this in the
12records, that it will specifically make reference to the
13document to which the report is issued in response.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Could we try it a different way, Mr Irving; since it clear
15Hitler knew about the mass shootings by the Einsatzgruppen
16in the East, we can deduce that from report No. 51 --
17 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, can we phrase that slightly differently? Since
18Hitler had no reason not to know it may sound quibbling to
19you --
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     -- I do not mind. You see I am not driven to make any
21proposals about history, as I said, only about
22historiography. You have written that the unequivocal,
23categorical statements about Hitler's lack of knowledge,
24not I.
25 A. [Mr Irving]     -- but you are not suggesting I did not print that No. 51
26in the appropriate place in the Hitler biography.

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It is there somewhere, but you attach no importance to it?
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     I attach -- merely putting the document into the book is
 3not enough?
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Most of these documents, or many of them you just put them
 5in the footnotes very often, do you not?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     I strongly suspect that is the way it was put to Adolf
 7Hitler in December 1942, as a footnote.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I must say that I hesitate to accept, for
 9this reason; it is quite a simple document, and it is
10referring to the killing by shooting of 300,000 Jews.
11Well, you have to be quite a man to just pass over that,
12do you not?
13 A. [Mr Irving]     My Lord, as is quite evident from a study of the history
14of that period at this moment in time, December 29th 1942,
15Hitler's primary concern was focused on saving the Sixth
16Army in Stalingrad.
17 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     That I accept, but that does not mean, does it, he is not
18going to notice a document telling him that 300,000, on
19the face of it, innocent civilians were being shot by his
21 A. [Mr Irving]     It could go either way. All I am entitled to do is to put
22the document in the book in its proper place, not in the
23way we are looking at it in this court surrounded only by
24documents about the Holocaust, putting it in the Hitler
25biography where you have it surrounded by everything else
26that is happening at that time. That may be described as

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 1putting in as footnote, but that is precisely the way it
 2probably came to him and Himmler probably slipped it
 3before. But I have not even suggested that. I have just
 4put it in the proper place.
 5 MR RAMPTON:     Let us, Mr Irving, think about this orphan
 6document for a moment, if we may. Another way of looking
 7at this orphan document is this, is it not, if it is clear
 8enough, as I would suggest to you it is, that this
 9information was conveyed to Hitler and if the result of it
10was not that a whole lot of people were sacked or put in
11prison because they had done something illegal, and
12killing, shooting 363,000 Jews, people, never mind unless
13they are soldiers, is a fairly remarkable achievement, is
14it not, and if it had been against Hitler's policy, surely
15we would know, would we not, because of the consequences
16for those that had done it and authorized it?
17 A. [Mr Irving]     This was typical Hitler, when people acted in this way he
18did not move to take recriminations against them, he just
19allowed things to slide. He was typical (unintelligible)
20as they say in Latin, he was a procrastinator.
21     I also make this point, which is not
22unimportant, Mr Rampton, you have seen the agenda,
23Himmler's agenda, on which he would go and see Hitler and
24put reports to him, like this one, or the one a few days
25previously about the selling off the Jews to the highest
26bidder, this kind of thing, and you have -- can I finish.

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Carry on.
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     You would then have in the Himmler files a paper trail
 3saying what Hitler's response had been. We have no such
 4paper trail. We have no response. We have no letter by
 5Himmler writing two or three days later saying "the Fuhrer
 6has studied report 51", there is nothing like that and
 7that is what I mean when I call it an "orphan". I am not
 8trying to insult the document's integrity. I am
 9suggesting that we lack the paper trail which shows it was
10brought into Hitler's cognisance.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You accepted not very long ago, last week, he probably had
12seen it?
13 A. [Mr Irving]     On the balance of probabilities, because of the use --
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I am only interested --
15 A. [Mr Irving]     On the top, just the same as these documents are lying in
16front of me here, that is not to say I know what is
17written 20 or 30 pages down the heap.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     -- oh.
19 A. [Mr Irving]     Because there is no subsequent paper trail --
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You have evidence that the Fuhrer had a stack like this in
21in his intray, he got to about page 30 and then fell
22asleep and the next morning he did not bother to read the
23particular report?
24 A. [Mr Irving]     -- you may want to put it as sarcastically as that --
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Of course I do.
26 A. [Mr Irving]     -- I knew his Adjutants, who are now all dead very well,

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 1and they would describe to me in very great detail the
 2procedure by which they try to get him to attend to
 3documents and it was precisely that, the same as Winston
 4Churchill, they would have their boxes, Churchill used to
 5read his box in bed in the mornings, Hitler's box was put
 6outside his bedroom with all the documents in it which he
 7was supposed to read. That is what they mean by
 8"foregelegt". It means of course that he has other
 9things on his plate that day.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Even for an idiot like me it is an easy word, it means
11"placed before"?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     No, "lagen" is to lay --
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Laid before, more gently than placed before.
14 A. [Mr Irving]     -- something which should be more impressive for me would
15have been the phrase (German spoken) "the Fuhrer has taken
16cognisance of"; you will always find that on the
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     At all events, I am right it does not have any
19consequences for the murderers of these 363,000 Jews?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     Mr Rampton, this is not a hanging document; I think if
21this document were to be shown to an English jury in a
22murder case they would say, well, it is interesting and
23probably the guy did it, but I will not send him to the
24gallows just on the basis of this one document.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Probably, that is right.
26 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, well, I have allowed that word.

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