Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 91 - 95 of 207

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    No, it is not, I am afraid. In fact, in the book
 1Himmler note. "Fuhrer Hauptquartier, Wolfsschanze
 218.12.41 at 1600 hours", 16H that is?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, that is correct.
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Underneath the XII for December, the Roman 12, Himmler has
 5drawn a line or somebody has, have they not? A vertical
 6line?
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     So the page divides into two columns?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Above the right-hand column underlined is the
11word "Fuhrer"?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And in the left-hand column Himmler has written -- are
14these written in pen or pencil or what?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     Himmler used a green crayon. He or his adjutant,
16Grothmann, would write a list of topics to discuss with
17Hitler on the left-hand side of the line, and then on the
18right-hand side sometimes there would be a one or two word
19comment usually reflecting what Hitler had decided.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     On the left-hand side, this is what you might call the
21agenda then, correct?
22 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Himmler's has written "Juden frager"?
24 A. [Mr Irving]     The Jewish question.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And under "Fuhrer" in the right-hand column he has written
26"aus partizan auszurotten, has he not?

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     "To be wiped out as partisans".
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes. This ----
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Does it say "aus surotten", sorry?
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     "Auszurotten".
 5 MR RAMPTON:     This, Mr Irving, is an important document?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     It is a document, but, as Trevor Roper said once, because
 7it is new that does not mean it is necessarily true, and
 8also you have to look at every document like that and say
 9because it is new, you have to fit it into the general
10fabric. It is one mosaic stone that you have to fit into
11the rest of the mosaic. But I appreciate it is a crucial
12document, a cardinal document.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     When did you first see it?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     I could not actually put a date on it. It became common
15knowledge in, I think, the summer of last year when a
16young German historian published it in a learned essay and
17sometime later I obtained the actual facsimile from ----
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That was the first time you had seen it when you saw it
19last summer?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     That is correct.
21 MR RAMPTON:     And the natural meaning or import, implication,
22significance, call it what you will, for an historian, of
23course, he has to take everything into account, but at
24first blush this would suggest that Hitler had told
25Himmler to wipe out the Jews as partisans? Do you agree?
26 A. [Mr Irving]     This is an interpretation which is put on that document,

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 1yes.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     But the question was, do you agree?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     Not in that form, my Lord.
 4 MR RAMPTON:     Tell me how you read this. I would be very
 5interested.
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     "Jewish question", first of all, the literal translation
 7is: "Jewish question, to be liquidated as partisans".
 8Once again we are faced with the problem of trying to
 9define which Jews we are talking about, which Jews is
10Himmler likely to have been talking with Hitler about on
11that afternoon, on December 16th 1941. Presumably, it is
12the Jews in the Baltic and on the Eastern front.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Suppose you are right about that ----
14 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What else?
16 A. [Mr Irving]     --- to be liquidated as partisans. I am quite happy to
17use the word "liquidated" as that translation for "aus
18hotten" on that occasion. I think it is quite clear that
19they were going to be, I forget the phrase the Americans
20use, terminated with extreme prejudice, partisans on the
21Eastern front were shot, they were executed, and the only
22question, of course, which hangs over this document is
23which Jews specifically are being talked about.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     We have agreed, have we not?
25 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
26 MR RAMPTON:     I do not know, I am not an historian ----

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, is it German Jews being deported to the East who are
 2falling under that ambit or just all the rest?
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Well, you would say no because of the
 4document that we were looking at the other day, "Keine
 5Liquidierung"?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     Precisely, my Lord.
 7 MR RAMPTON:     If may or may not be, Mr Irving, that is not at
 8the moment what we are talking. This is evidence that
 9Hitler gave authority for the massacre at least ----
10 A. [Mr Irving]     Of Jews.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     --- of Jews in the East?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes. That, I think, as I recall, is the view that
14Dr Longerich takes?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     I do not think there is any dispute between the parties on
16this.
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Then, low and behold, almost a year later, or just over a
18year later, comes along a report from the East saying that
19just that has happened?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     A report to Hitler?
22 A. [Mr Irving]     December 29th 1942, yes.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     So, as a matter of historical fact, Mr Irving, you have
24always known about report No. 51 on 29th December 1942,
25have you not?
26 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     The probability that Hitler saw that report and was,
 2therefore, what shall we say, implicated in the murder of
 3all those 363,000 Eastern Jews is confirmed, is it not, by
 4our subsequent knowledge of this document?
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes. There is no contention between us on that point.
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     So, historically speaking, the fact is that the systematic
 7killing of the eastern Jews, whether in Minsk or Kovno or
 8Kiev or anywhere else, was part of a Fuhrer plan?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     As a part of the partisan combating. I am trying to
10specify exactly what interpretation one can safely put on
11two rather skimpy documents with 12 months between them.
12     It has to be said that this telephone notice,
13this agenda, is about as skimpy as one can imagine. One
14would only wish that Himmler had been more literary in his
15endeavours and told us precisely what was going on.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Would it be wrong to read it that they were
17to be treated in the same way as partisans were being
18treated, namely they were going to be shot just as
19partisans ----
20 A. [Mr Irving]     Precisely, my Lord.
21 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     --- because they were supporting the ----
22 A. [Mr Irving]     And I know that some people would say, well, the Jews
23provided the partisan reservoir, but, of course, the
24obvious argument against that is "and the women and
25children too" and the answer to that is, of course, they
26were not. So this was, undoubtedly, part of the majority

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