Irving v. Lipstadt
Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 5: Electronic Edition
Pages 6 - 10 of 187
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1 MR IRVING: My Lord, on page 3 I referred to a document in the
2December 1942 time frame, which is so important because
3that is when this meldung, this report, was allegedly
4shown to Hitler at the end of December, but here is Hitler
5at the same time ordering that Jews should be released if
6foreign currency could be provided to barter for them.
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: They are not mutually exclusive, those two
8policies, are they?
9 MR IRVING: I appreciate that, my Lord, but, if the contention
10of the Defence is that Adolf Hitler was hell bent on
11exterminating every Jew that came into his possession, for
12some reason of weltanschauung or a deeper philosophy or a
13deeper streak of human nature, there are several documents
14of this nature which of course go through to the famous
15trucks for Jews deal at the end of 1944, which indicates
16that he was not all that pragmatic.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not understand the Defendants to put the
18case, as it were, at that extreme level.
19 MR RAMPTON: Not at all.
20 MR IRVING: Well, it just is not watertight either way. My
21Lord, I keep trying to drive breaches into the damages of
22defence. We have a much more serious breach coming on
23page 10, my Lord.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Shall I go straight to 10?
25 MR IRVING: Except to have a quick glance at pages 8 and 9
26which is another meldung in that series. It shows Hitler
1was being bombarded with meldungen. This is a much more
2routine one which relates to Operation Hamburg, as it was
3called, an anti-partisan sweep resulting in 6,000 enemy
4dead, and a certain amount of equipment taken, and so on.
5I am not going to rely particularly on that, just to show
6that these meldungen cannot be taken in vacuo.
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is not Hitler vorgelegt, is it, as it
9 MR IRVING: I believe it is, my Lord. If you look at my page
108, you can see "vorgelegt 25 December PF".
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I see.
12 MR IRVING: SS Hauptstungfuhrer Fuhrer, who was Hitler's
13personal adjutant, who happened to have an SS rank. That
14is quite important, my Lord, because we now come to the
15page 10 which I think is going to blow their December 28th
16document, not out of water but it is going to cripple it.
17To a certain degree, my Lord, I myself am crippled
18because, as your Lordship knows, I donated my entire
19archives to the German Institute of History many years ago
20with a rather sad result that I alone in this room am not
21allowed to see them.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can you say that again?
23 MR IRVING: I donated my entire archives of research which I
24had collected for Adolf Hitler ----
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I follow, yes. Now you are banned from going
26into that museum?
1 MR IRVING: I am banned from going into Germany. I cannot set
2foot in that museum and I cannot see my own archives,
3whereas Professor Evans, as I understand it, has had teams
4of researchers clawing over these files, where they would
5undoubtedly have found these very documents to which I am
6now going to refer.
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can you take me through them if you rely on
9 MR IRVING: On the following page you will see the photocopies
10of index cards which is all that remains in my collection,
11the index cards relating to these documents. I have
12translated the index cards into English on page 10. The
13first item is 28th December 1942, a report coming from --
14the other way round this time -- Hitler's adjutant to
15Himmler. The only significance of that is that that is
16feed back. That is an indication that that document to
17which this document, this card, this reply refers was
18clearly shown to Hitler, because there was feed back
19coming back from Hitler's adjutant saying, "Well, Hitler
20wants to know how many of our own troops are being killed
21in these operations".
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Report No. 49 would be two reports before
24 MR IRVING: Yes. It is not the one that is significant in this
25case, my Lord. I am just saying that it is a pity we do
26not have a similar kind of feed back on the crucial one.
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: This rather suggests that Hitler was paying
2attention to what was being laid before him.
3 MR IRVING: I disagree, my Lord. Look at the next card down.
4We now have December 30th 1942, which is another report by
5Himmler to Hitler, signed by Muller this time, the Chief
6of Gestapo. It is dated December 29th, exactly the same
7day as the incriminating one.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Sorry, you have lost me.
9 MR IRVING: This is the second card down on page 10, my Lord.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I see, December 29th.
11 MR IRVING: The reason it is dated December 30th is because my
12card index is organized according to the date that
13something was allegedly shown to Hitler, not the date of
14the document. It is a telegram from Muller, the Chief of
15the Gestapo, back to Himmler on combating the high level
16achievement in Serbia, and it has been sent by Himmler to
17Hitler to have a look at. It is in the big Fuhrer
18typeface, and you will notice, my Lord, that on this
19occasion Fiefer has endorsed the document twice, laid
20before December 30th, laid before December 31st. In other
21words, twice he has put it on Hitler's breakfast tray
22outside his door. He is not looking at it. Is this not,
23my Lord, precisely the point I made yesterday, that Hitler
24had other things on his plate? He was fighting the battle
25of Stalingrad. He had a quarter of a million men trapped
26in Stalingrad. He was waiting for it to break through.
1He had the battle crews out in the Arctic. He had all
2these things going on. Here is Himmler's message lying
3outside his breakfast room door twice, and the adjutant
4putting a note on it, saying he has twice put it out
5there, twice he has laid it before him. He would not have
6had to do it twice if it was read the first time, my
8 I suggest this casts serious doubt on the
9proposition that we can accept that the other document was
10necessarily shown to Hitler. I would not put it any
11stronger than that.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Just let us keep an eye on the reality. You
13did accept yesterday, as I understand it, that the
14shooting of Jews and others on the Eastern Front was a
15programme which was systematic and co-ordinated by Berlin,
16and Hitler was aware and approved of what was going on.
17 MR IRVING: The shootings of Russian Jews, my Lord, yes.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. So, in a sense the issue whether a
19document was laid before Hitler and read by him becomes
20relatively speaking insignificant, in this context.
21 MR IRVING: I disagree, with respect. I think that this shows
22how flaky the whole system was. What Mr Rampton would
23like to describe as being a cast iron, watertight
24bureaucratic system with reports going this way and
25messages coming back, it breaks down at the very top level
26when you are dealing with a man, the head of state
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