Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 131 - 135 of 195

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    We explored that. I did say on their face they appear to
 1be a reference to orders from Hitler to do that which had
 2been done by the time these speeches were made, do they
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     This is precisely why I quoted both speeches in full,
 5those passages on pages 630 and 631 of my biography, so
 6readers could draw their own conclusions.
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That impression which one might take away from reading
 8those two speeches is unsurprising, is it not, if one
 9looks at what Himmler wrote to Berger on 28th July 1942.
10My Lord, we have looked at this document before.
11 A. [Mr Irving]     "This is a task which the Fuhrer has given us and which no
12one can take off my shoulders", is it not?
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     "Die besezten auf gebeten Judenfrage" -- "The occupied
14Eastern territories must be Jew-free"?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     "Will become free of Jews".
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     "Will become Jew-free", "free of Jews". "The carrying out
17of this very hard order has been placed on my shoulders by
18the Fuhrer". That is right? That is what the German
20 A. [Mr Irving]     Absolutely right.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You know it off by heart. Yes? If that is the truth --
22I do not know who Gottlog Berger was, he is said to be a
23senior SS person -- in 1942, two things follow. It is not
24the very least bit surprising to find a reference back to
25that in the speeches in May 1944; second, if it is true,
26Hitler would not be the least bit surprised to find those

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 1references in the transcripts of those speeches, would he?
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     I think the July 28th 1942 letter which we have looked at
 3in some detail is quite clearly proof that Adolf Hitler
 4ordered the physical, geographical eviction of the Jews
 5from those territories. I think this is the one way where
 6they are talking about "Etappenweise von westen nach
 7osten". "Stage by stage from West to East".
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I cannot remember and I have not got it open, but if you
 9want me to look at it, I certainly will do.
10 A. [Mr Irving]     It would be perverse to go two years forward in time and
11say when Himmler is talking about the order which has been
12carried out to say this is clearly a reference to what
13happened in July 1942. It may be, it may not.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I do not want to go over old ground, Mr Irving, but I do
15not believe that to be right, with respect. If you tell
16us as you have done recently -- I cannot remember whether
17it was yesterday or the day before -- that Hitler probably
18knew about the mass shootings in the East, if it be right,
19as it seems to be, that mass killings in the General
20Government took place by gas trucks, at any rate to some
21extent, and then by some, I think your words are, more
22efficient means thereafter, then all those people that
23went from Polish towns to these little villages were
25 A. [Mr Irving]     Clearly, they were not all killed because those that went
26to Treblinka subsequently surfaced again in Mydonek and

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 1the Russians found ----
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     We will chase that up.
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Leave that on one side.
 4 MR RAMPTON:     Leave that on one side but, broadly speaking, that
 5is the picture, is it not? Why on earth should we
 6interpret this Berger letter from Himmler as being a
 7reference to merely, sort of, vanishing them? It is quite
 8obviously a reference to what has been going on, the
 9process that had started in 1941 and is in full swing at
10these Reinhard camps in July 1942.
11 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, if that is the weight of your evidence, I do not
12think you have very much, Mr Rampton. If you are trying
13to read between the lines the whole time instead of
14looking -- we have a huge volume of documentation. We
15have had 55 years to find something more specific than
16that. It has not been found, but what we do find is even
17after these two speeches, any number of references to
18Adolf Hitler meting Himmler where Himmler is still talking
19in euphemisms, talking about "aus siedlung" of the Jews,
20for example, in the summer of 1944; and how do we explain
21that Himmler is still having to use euphemisms when he is
22talking to Hitler, writing his own agenda about it, his
23own notes about it as late as the summer of 1944?
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     We do not know it, Mr Irving. You seem to have the wrong
25end of the stick permanently. I do not know whether it is
26painful always holding the wrong end of the stick. But we

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 1are not trying in this court (at least I am not trying) to
 2prove Hitler's guilt. What I am trying to prove is that
 3any sensible, respectable, honest, open-minded historian
 4would be saying to himself that on the evidence, the
 5overwhelming probability is not only that Hitler knew
 6about all this, but that it originated with him, with an
 7order to him?
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     In which case, Mr Rampton, what could I have done
 9differently than I did in the 1977 edition of Hitler's War
10where I reproduced all these passages from these speeches
11without any omissions, mentioning only in a footnote my
12reservations on the question of pagination.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Mr Irving ----
14 A. [Mr Irving]     I am not the kind of person who likes to read between
15lines and I do not really want to start joining the dots
16up for my readers because they have more brains.
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It is not a question of reading between the lines. It is
18a question of giving proper weight to the evidence before
19your own eyes?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     Which I have then put exactly in that form before the
21eyes of my readers.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, but, let me take page 630 of Hitler's War 1977. True
23it is that you make reference to the speech of 24th May
25 A. [Mr Irving]     On page 631.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Sorry, 631?

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     Shall I read that paragraph?
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, I will read it.
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     But it is my writing. Why can I not read it?
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Do not let us squabble about that. I will
 5read it if you like.
 6 MR RAMPTON:     Yes. Good idea.
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No. You read it, Mr Rampton.
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     Mr Rampton, you win.
 9 MR RAMPTON:     Well, it is normal in these courts -- I do not
10know how experienced a litigant you are?
11 A. [Mr Irving]     I am totally ignorant as you can see.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, you are not. I am talking about Broome and Cassell.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Don't let us get into Broome and Cassell.
15 MR RAMPTON:     I was hoping to avoid it, but that answer will not
16do. Clobbered for exemplary damages? Inexperienced, my
18     "Consider too Himmler's speech of May 24th in
19which again speaking before generals he explained his
20stance somewhat differently. He recalled how in 1933 and
211934 he had thrown habitual criminals into concentration
22camps without trial and boasted, 'I must admit I have
23committed many such illegal acts in my time. But rest
24assured of this, I have resorted to these only when I have
25felt that sound common sense and an inner justice of a
26Germanic and right thinking people are on my side. With

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