Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 146 - 150 of 195

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What could you not have got out of it?
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     More humanely.
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I am reading from the bottom of the page in Longerich,"Man
 4kann mir naturlich sagen: Ja, hatten Sie das nicht
 5einfacher"- yes?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes. Could you not have done it more simply, as
 7Mr Browning has translated it.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     More simply, and then there is the parenthesis, or not
 9more simply since all other things would have been ware
10komplizierter gewesen, aber humaner, more humanely, losen
11konnen?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Not got out of it, solved it, the solution of the Jewish
14question, the losen konnen?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     I do not think you are going to make much mileage out of
16it, getting out of something and solving something.
17I have taken the essence of that sentence, stripped out
18this complicated mess that he got into in the middle of
19the sentence and put the essence of the sentence, which is
20could you not get out it more humanely?
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Do you agree, Mr Irving, that one sensible interpretation
22of that little passage in Hitler's speech is, I could have
23solved it more humanely, I could not have solved it more
24simply, that is to say the Jewish question, since all
25other means would have been more complicated. That is
26what he is saying, is it not?

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And what do you think he means by that?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     He means I solved it inhumanely. Or I am solving it
 4inhumanely.
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes. This is May 44, it is less than a year before the
 6war ends. He could have solved it more humanely. What is
 7the simplest and least humane way of solving such a
 8problem?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     He does not actually say I have solved it in the least
10humane way I could. He says, I have solved it less
11humanely, in other words, not more humanely.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Exactly.
13 A. [Mr Irving]     I do not want to split hairs, but let us go by what the
14document actually says.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Answer my question, please.
16 A. [Mr Irving]     What is less humanely?
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Answer my question, please, Mr Irving. What is the
18simplest and the least humane way of getting rid of the
19Jewish problem?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     Killing them.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes. So what was the simplest way, if it was not killing
22them that he was referring to here, and relatively
23inhumane way, that he is referring to?
24 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, we do not know what he is specifically referring to,
25but somewhere between humane and the least humane would be
26being woken in the middle of the night by the Gestapo and

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 1given half an hour to pack your bags and get on to a
 2cattle truck.
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What is the simple way of solving the problem that he is
 4referring to here? Simple means than which all other
 5means would have been more complicated?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     Simple means than which all other means would have been
 7more complicated -- this is the kind of tangle he got
 8himself into this in this sentence.
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I am asking you in your role as historian to tell us what
10you think Hitler was referring to by this simple means
11than which all other methods or means were more
12complicated or would have been more complicated?
13 A. [Mr Irving]     They could have been anywhere on that scale between humane
14and least humane, and you can put your individual personal
15preference where you want.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     But, you see, the point is this, is it not, Mr Irving? If
17Hitler on 26th May is talking to the generals of the
18Wehrmacht, as Himmler had been on the 24th and I think the
195th as well, and if Hitler has read what Himmler said to
20the generals on the 5th and 24th of the same month, it
21would not be the very least surprising, would it, if
22Hitler merely goes back over the same ground and says:
23Well, do not object to my inhumanity, it was the simplest
24way of doing it but it had to be done, you know the
25details from what Reichsfuhrer SS Himmler has told you
26earlier this month?

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     This is one possible interpretation.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Where do I find that interpretation coming anywhere from
 3you in any of these published works?
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     I am inclined to stick more closely to what I find in the
 5records without doing this quantum leap forwards or
 6backwards, and I prefer just to get the records in as much
 7volume as I can and allow my readers to draw the
 8appropriate conclusions. I would have preferred obviously
 9if Adolf Hitler in this speech had said, you know as well
10as I do what is going on at these camps rather as Goebbels
11said in his March 27th 1942 entry, that not very much
12remains of them. There are things happening there that
13beggar description, but unfortunately Hitler does not say
14that in his speeches, so we are left rather in suspense.
15I am sure that the Martin Gilberts or the William Showers
16will be quite happy to extrapolate and read between the
17lines but I am well known for the fact that I do not
18extrapolate.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, you do not extrapolate at all where the conclusion you
20hit from the extrapolation is one you do not like. Where,
21however, it is necessary to, as it were, what shall we
22say, convert what Hitler actually said into something
23else, you are quite happy to do so. Could I ask you to
24look again at page 631 of this book?
25 A. [Mr Irving]     Is this an example of what you just said.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, it is.

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     Right. I am looking.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You say at the end of the first complete paragraph: "The
 3fact remains that in his personal meetings with Hitler,
 4the Reichsfuhrer (Himmler) continued to talk only of the
 5expulsion (aussiedlung) of the Jews even as late as July
 61944. When the same generals came to the Obsersalzberg",
 7so it is the same audience, you see, Mr Irving.
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, it is the same army course.
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes. "... on May 26th Hitler spoke to them in terms that
10were both more philosophical and less ambiguous. He spoke
11of the intolerance of nature, he compared Man to the
12smallest bacillus on the planet Earth, he reminded them
13how by expelling the Jews from their privileged positions
14he had opened up those same positions..."
15S" etc.. Did you have the text of what Hitler said before
16you when you wrote that?
17 A. [Mr Irving]     I almost certainly had the original text, the whole text.
18In fact I still had the original text as a shorthand
19record.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Do you think expelling the Jews ----
21 A. [Mr Irving]     From their positions as dentists, lawyers and doctors and
22so on?
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Do you think from their positions as dentists is a fair
24translation in its context of these words: In den ich den
25juden entfernte (?)
26 A. [Mr Irving]     

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