Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 36 - 40 of 207

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     He is reporting that, so far as the Jewish question is
 2concerned, the Fuhrer is determined to make a clean sweep?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes. That is direct speech, is it not?
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     If you look over to the other side of the page, the first
 7complete paragraph, the first sentence of the first
 8complete paragraph, "Im Osten sieht der Fuhrer uberhaupt
 9unser kommendes Indien" is in reported speech, is it not?
10 A. [Mr Irving]     No.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     It would be in "osten siehe der Fuhrer", S-I-E-H-E, would
13be reported speech, that would be the subjunctive.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That is fine. The next sentence is also in direct speech,
15is it not?
16 A. [Mr Irving]     That is direct speech.
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And so is the next sentence, is it not?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     That is correct, yes.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And the next one, well, this is in the past in the sense
20that he is reporting that the Germans have overrun and
21settled in the past?
22 A. [Mr Irving]     The whole paragraph is in direct speech.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It is, is it not?
24 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And do you say that those are Goebbels' private thoughts
26and not a report of what Hitler said?

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     He is reporting in his own words what Hitler's opinions
 2and intentions are.
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Precisely. So would you care to withdraw your criticism
 4of Dr Longerich for putting what is in direct speech into
 5Hitler's mouth?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     Are you not referring to the same passage, Mr Rampton?
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, but it is all part of the same two paragraphs.
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     No, the specific allegation that you made was that
 9Longerich was quoting Hitler when, in fact, he was quoting
10Goebbels which is my comment.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     How can you tell that the first paragraph on the
12right-hand side is not also just Goebbels quoting
14 A. [Mr Irving]     We can refer back to the specific sentence that was the
15subject of your complaint, because we have now moved on to
16a different paragraph and you are trying to ----
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What I am suggesting to you, Mr Irving, is very simple.
18It is simply this. You cannot tell from looking at these
19two paragraphs which is Hitler and which is Goebbels?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     I think that is a very fair comment, yes.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes. So if (and we are dealing in probabilities, as
22I remind you, not certainties) as seems likely, the second
23of those two paragraphs is, as you have just told us,
24Goebbels' version of what Hitler said to the Gauleiters on
2512th December, then so is it as likely that the first
26paragraph is in precisely the same case, is it not?

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     Mr Rampton, that is not what I said. I said it is
 2Goebbels' version of Hitler's intentions, not what he
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Where do you think that Goebbels derived his impression of
 5Hitler's intention?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     Over a long period of sitting with him and talking with
 7him over many weeks and months.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     So this is nothing whatever to do with what Hitler is
 9supposed to have said to the Gauleiters, is that your
11 A. [Mr Irving]     When you are writing a diary this is what happens. You
12put in information from what has just been told to you,
13but also your own external knowledge of what the person is
14thinking and saying. You cannot encapsulate individual
15phrases like that. If it was a shorthand record, it would
16be different. I prefer using shorthand records or even
17the table talk which is written in the first person form.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Well, I do not think I will push it any further,
19Mr Irving. We have your answer. I certainly do not
20accept it. I put it to you that it is perfectly clear
21that this is Goebbels' version of what Hitler said on 12th
22December 1941.
23 A. [Mr Irving]     I think it is possible that you and I and Dr Longerich
24have different criteria when we are evaluating documents.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Mr Irving, does it not read very naturally as a direct
26speech account of the Fuhrer's thoughts as expressed on

.   P-38

 1that occasion?
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     Which sentence are you referring to?
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Any one you like.
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, I mean, if I give you a general statement of
 5opinion, then you are going to apply it to one particular
 6sentence and say, "Here you have agreed that this sentence
 7is Hitler's statement on that day" and that is ----
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Well, look at the second paragraph. Let us leave out the
 9paragraph you do not like.
10 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Let us look at the second paragraph at the top of page
13 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     "In the East, the Fuhrer sees above all" -- you correct me
15where I go wrong -- "our approaching India".
16 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes. "This is colonial territory that we are going to
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes. "This is colonial territory that we shall settle.
19Here great ----
20 A. [Mr Irving]     "Farmsteads".
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     "Homesteads" -- what?
22 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, "he already established great farmsteads for our
23peasant sons and the" ----
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, and what are the "Kapitulanten"?
25 A. [Mr Irving]     I do not know what that word means, I must confess.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No. "unserer Wehrmacht gesch werden"?

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     "Created".
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     "Created", exactly. It is all part of the same thought
 3process, is it not?
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     It may be but it may not be. Nowhere does he say, "This
 5afternoon the Fuhrer said". This is just Goebbels writing
 6down, waffling about what Hitler's views on the future
 7are, and it is not ----
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I am sorry. Finish your answer. I do not mean to
10 A. [Mr Irving]     But may I also state and remind the court once more that
11was material which was not in front of me at the time
12I wrote the book, so I cannot really see, with respect,
13I would rise if I was now sitting and say, "What is the
14relevance of this material?"
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It may in the end turn out to be a small point, but, you
16see, Mr Irving, you are in the habit, are you not --
17I drew something to your attention on Thursday -- of
18asserting certainties where all that a cautious and
19responsible historian would do would be to say "It looks
20like it"?
21 A. [Mr Irving]     I agree, this is absolutely right and in this particular
22case a responsible historian would say, "On this occasion
23Goebbels reported and it may well be that Hitler had told
24him on this occasion".
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     But you told on Thursday that it was quite certain that
26this could not be Hitler, it must be Goebbels in the

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