Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 141 - 145 of 195

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    Yes, apart from kind of order that he felt the dictates of
 1vague kind of order, a kind of personal duty.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     In 1977, Mr Irving, you are accepting unambiguously that
 3Himmler meant what he said, whether it was true or not is
 4another question, that he had been ordered by Hitler.
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     I have expanded those two words soldierly order, put them
 6in quotation marks, and said that only Himmler was in a
 7position to issue a soldierly order to Himmler.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That is correct. There is nothing here about the dictates
 9of conscience, is there?
10 A. [Mr Irving]     There is, because Himmler himself talks about the dictates
11of conscience. When later on he talks about this
12difficult task he had, is he talking about an order or
13about what he was doing for Germany?
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     This morning I am right in saying -- I am not quoting,
15I am paraphrasing -- you said in effect that that
16reference to the soldatischen befehl was equivocal or
17something along those lines, did you not?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     I would have to be shown the transcript of what was
19actually said.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I think I asked you whose order, and I think you, with a
21little prompting from me, said the order or the dictates
22of his conscience. We can go back and look.
23 A. [Mr Irving]     It might be useful to go back.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That was a foolish answer, was it not?
25 A. [Mr Irving]     I am not going to answer that unless we know exactly what
26I am alleged to have said.

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Fair enough.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     My Lord, now I move on to page 75 of Longerich Part one
 3for my last item in this little exercise?
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     Can I comment in general just for one minute how
 5unsatisfactory it is that we are even, so long after the
 6war years are over, obliged to scrabble around with these
 7scraps of paper trying to work out what happened.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     We have no choice, have we?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     No, we do not have any choice, my Lord, but you have to
10put yourself in a position of a writer who is trying -- on
11some records, on some matters, you have an immense body of
12evidence which you can draw upon, but on these matter you
13are really fumbling in the dark with occasional little
14gleams coming from documents that then you have to try and
15interpret as you can, on the basis of your knowledge at
16that time. Sometimes it is very easy, looking back in
17hindsight, saying why did you interpret this way or not
18that way, when we know in the meantime a lot more. When
19you are writing at that time and frequently being the
20first person to make use of these records, as I was, it is
21sometimes an unjust judgment, I think. I am not saying
22that defensively at all but I would ask that your Lordship
23bear that in mind.
24 MR RAMPTON:     Mr Irving, if you succeed in persuading his
25Lordship that you are an inefficient or incompetent
26historian, that is fine. You will no doubt win this part

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 1case at least. My suggestion to you yet again, as it has
 2been all along, is that you actually deliberately bend the
 3evidence to produce a foregone result, or a fore wished
 4result, that is to say the exculpation of Adolf Hitler.
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     Had that been the case, Mr Rampton, I would have left
 6these two passages out because nobody no else had found
 7these speeches.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     By doing this, Mr Irving, what you do is this. More than
 9occasionally you do leave things out or you give half a
10translation. We have been through some of those and we
11are going to go through some more. On this occasion what
12you have done is take the credit for printing the
13document, even perhaps telling them, as you repeatedly
14said in this court, that "I am the man who found it" but
15then, when you present the document, you tell the reader
16that there are reasons why they should not believe what
17they read in the document.
18 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, no doubt your experts would have concealed the fact
19that the pages have been tampered with.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I think more likely, though, you should ask them. They
21would simply have said, well this makes it lock as though
22it is another piece of evidence, which makes it look as
23though what happened was done on Hitler's orders, though
24one has to be a bit cautious about it because the document
25which we cannot explain has been not tampered with, the
26document has been retyped. The most likely explanation

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 1for that is that it is a humdrum secretCourier problem and
 2the first version was not good, so it had to be redone.
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     Precisely on those two pages, on these two speeches,
 4I think the coincidence is rather tall.
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I am not sure that that is right, but I am not going to
 6answer because I do not know.
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     To go back to what you just said earlier, I think I would
 8be very surprised if you can satisfy this court that
 9I suppressed any material document that was before me at
10the time I wrote either of these versions and, if the
11earlier speech was cut out in the second version, of
12course the second version was an abridged version.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It was. Indeed it was. Page 75, please, of
14Dr Longerich's report, the first part, paragraph 1920, you
15mentioned this earlier and I said that I would come to it,
16and I have now got there. It is very short:
17     "Hitler himself stated in a speech addressing
18high officers of the Wehrmacht on 26 May 1944: [that is
19two days after the Himmler speech]: 'By removing the Jew,
20I abolished in Germany the possibility to build up a
21revolutionary core or nucleus. One could, naturally, say
22to me: Yes, couldn't you have solved this more simply-
23or not simply, since all other means would have been more
24complicated - but more humanely? My dear officers, we are
25engaged in a life and death struggle. If our opponents
26win in this struggle then the German people would be

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 1extirpated." What is your interpretation of those words?
 2I take it that that is not a controversial translation and
 3that you do not dispute that Hitler said it?
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     No. This is authentic.
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It may not be the most elegant translation, but it is
 6accurate, is it?
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes. Once again, it is a speech that I found and used for
 8the first time.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     What do you make of it?
10 MR RAMPTON:     What do you make of it?
11 A. [Mr Irving]     Exactly what I made on page 631 of my biography, Hitler's
12War, my Lord.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Which edition?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     The first edition. Page 631. "When the same generals came
15to the Obersalzberg on May 26, Hitler spoke to them in
16terms that were both more philosophical and less
17ambiguous. He spoke of the intolerance of nature, he
18compared Man to the smallest bacillus on the planet Earth,
19he reminded them how by expelling the Jews from their
20privileged positions he had opened up those same positions
21to the children of hundreds of thousands of ordinary
22working-class Germans and deprived the revolutionary
23masses of their traditional Jewish ferment: Of course,
24people can say,'Yes, but couldn't you have got out of
25it... More humanely?' I have omitted a few words there
26which do not add or subtract really to the sense.

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