Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 6: Electronic Edition

Pages 11 - 15 of 195

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    "On October 25, 1941, Rademacher's counterpart in the Reich
 1Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories, Eberhard
 2Wetzel ...". Is that a correct description of Herr
 3Wetzel's position?
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Was he of equal rank with Rademacher?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes. He survived the war and he died in his bed at a ripe
 7old age without having suffered any penalty. I remember
 8corresponding with him some time ago.
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     "... Met first with Viktor Brack of the Fuhrer
10Chancellery..." Can I pause there to ask you to explain
11what the Fuhrer Chancellery actually was, please?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     It is a total misnomer really to call it the Fuhrer
13Chancellery. It was an office set up in another building
14many hundreds yards away from Hitler's Chancellery. It
15was a body which was primarily concerned with dealing with
16the public, and in that way it became involved with
17dealing with applications for clemency, and in that way it
18became involved in the euthanasia programme because
19doctors who were required to take part in the euthanasia
20programme had to apply, so to speak, to the head of state
21in advance for clemency for the actions they proposed to
22take. In that way it became involved in the mass killing
23operations. Viktor Brack, I believe, was No. 2 in the
24Fuhrer Chancellery under Philip Buhler.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Can you tell me, I think Viktor Brack was, at any rate,
26one Dr Brack, sometimes German doctors are Dr Dr, but he

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 1is Dr Brack, is he not?
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Do you know what his doctorate was in?
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     No. Probably in law. Most of the gangsters were
 5lawyers. Most of the concentration camp commandants were
 6lawyers.
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     As we shall see shortly. Dr Brack had a chemist called
 8Kalmeier?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     Dr Kalmeier, yes.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I should ask you a further question. Is it your position
11then that, despite the fact that it is called the Fuhrer
12Chancellery, there is not only a hundred yards, but a
13great deal more metaphorically speaking of distance
14between what goes on in that Chancellery and the Fuhrer
15himself?
16 A. [Mr Irving]     I have read a great deal in the files of that department,
17and I cannot remember having seen any correspondence
18between that department and Hitler himself.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What was the Fuhrer's office called?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     The Fuhrer's office?
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes. Did he have actual office of his own?
22 A. [Mr Irving]     The Reichskanzlei would be the closest body to him which
23was under Dr Hans Lammas who we will meet later on this
24morning probably. He was head of the Reichskanzlei, the
25Reich Chancellery as Reich chancellor. As head of the
26Wehrmacht he would be the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht,

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 1which was his military office, so to speak.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     "... of the Fuhrer Chancellery (where he was involved with
 3the so-called euthanasia program for the killing of
 4mentally-and physically handicapped patients in German
 5hospitals and asylums)..." Pause there a moment. This is
 6not an important point but we will mention it, if we may,
 7in passing. That is the so-called T 4 programme, is it
 8not, from No. 4 Theresien Strasse?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     No, Tiergarten Strasse.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I beg your pardon. I muddled up two words.
11 A. [Mr Irving]     The T 4, and they developed the expertise for killing, the
12gas trucks and so on.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That programme did have Adolf Hitler's authority, did it
14not?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     The euthanasia program was authorized by Hitler in the
16middle of September 1939. Around about August 1940, when
17it began to gather momentum voices in the public became
18agitated about it and retrospectively Hitler signed a
19decree on September 1st 1939 authorizing it, in other
20words giving it the force of law.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Authorizing the use of gas trucks to effect
22the euthanasia?
23 A. [Mr Irving]     No, my Lord, authorizing the euthanasia programme.
24Strictly speaking, he specified which doctors were allowed
25to carry it out or to make the decisions of life and death
26over the victims of the euthanasia programme. He did not

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 1talk about the methods.
 2 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     He did not talk about methods at all?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     Not in this decree. It is a five or six line decree.
 4 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Nor anywhere else?
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     No. It is a very interesting document because it is
 6obviously a signed death warrant for thousands of people
 7which Adolf Hitler has himself signed. It is that kind of
 8order which does sometimes exist.
 9 MR RAMPTON:     I do not know, they probably used a variety of
10methods to begin with, did they not?
11 A. [Mr Irving]     To do what?
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     A variety of methods to begin with, the euthanasia people?
13 A. [Mr Irving]     I understand so. I think the order actually spoke of
14humane means, and you can interpret the word "humane" how
15you want if you are a Nazi, I suppose.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     One of the means used, I do not know whether it was the
17most frequently used, was carbon monoxide gas from
18bottles, was it not?
19 A. [Mr Irving]     I believe that is correct, yes. I think this was the
20method. There was a discussion at Hitler's table about
21the most humane ways of doing it. I discussed this with
22the widow of Dr Conte, who was the original chief doctor,
23and she remembered being at her home of the telephone call
24from Hitler to her husband in September 1939. Her
25husband, immediately after the phone conversation, went to
26a dictionary to look up to see what the word "euthanasia"

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 1meant. After that, they had the discussions at Hitler's
 2chancellery about the most humane ways of putting these
 3people to sleep, if you can put it like that.
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Including by the use of carbon monoxide gas?
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     This was one of the methods discussed on that occasion and
 6I believe they did use it, yes.
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It is said by Professor Browning that Wetzel met also
 8Adolf Eichmann, Heydrich's special adviser on Jewish
 9policy. Two things. Is there anything in that short
10account of whom Wetzel met on 25th October 1941, which is
11a matter of history you disagree with? It is not a matter
12of history I disagree with in broad terms, but the
13documentary basis is a bit suspect. I know the documents
14that Browning is referring to and some of them are in
15pencil, some of them had gaps in, I think it was N 0365 or
16something like that is the Nuremberg document number.
17They go through various drafts.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     The second question is this. Is it right that Adolf
19Eichmann was Heydrich's special adviser on Jewish policy?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     He was the head of the Jewish desk of the amtfuhrer which
21was the section 4 of the Riesigerhauptamt.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am not sure whether this is really covered
23by Mr Rampton's question, but do you accept that Brack of
24the kanzlei did declare himself ready to aid in the
25construction of gassing apparatus?
26 A. [Mr Irving]     

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