Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 161 - 165 of 195

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    This staff evidence analysis sheet is dated June
 1authorities in Nuremberg did not want that document to
 2surface.
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Why not?
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     Because it would have been used by Lammers, in particular,
 5who was on trial in 1947 as a document to mitigate
 6punishment or in some way to disculpate himself for any
 7part in the Final Solution; that he would have pointed out
 8that, as far as he knew, Hitler had ordered that nothing
 9was to happen. We conducted quite a paper trail.
10I contacted Mr Kempner which drew up this staff analysis
11sheet and we had quite a long search for it.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     You eventually got it in about '78?
13 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, a rival historian got hold of the original document
14Professor Jekkel(?) because by that time the German
15Government archives had processed the file and found it.
16But it took 23 years just to process that file.
17 MR RAMPTON:     Can we please go, therefore, to page 464 of
18Hitler's War?
19 A. [Mr Irving]     Of the?
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     1991. My Lord, that is volume 2, but your Lordship will
21shortly need volume 1 because I am going to refer to the
22introduction. I want to look at the text first.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, I have 464.
24 MR RAMPTON:     We are going to start with the paragraph in the
25middle of the page: "Early in March 1942". Do you have
26that, Mr Irving? I will wait until you have it.

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     I am looking at the wrong volume.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Did you not have your own book copy, as it were?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     This is the first edition. I am the only person in this
 4courtroom who has not got a copy of my second edition.
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You must get one.
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     How does one tell the date of this document?
 7 MR RAMPTON:     Well, this is ----
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     Internal.
 9 MR RAMPTON:     --- one of the interesting questions. It is one
10of the reasons, my Lord, why one cannot ----
11 A. [Mr Irving]     Internal evidence, my Lord.
12 MR RAMPTON:     --- we submit make any certain categorical
13assertions about what it means, the interpretation and
14conclusions to be drawn from it. But that is what I am
15going to do sooner or later.
16 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, I have it now.
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Probably later. All right. Early in March 1942, in fact,
18the date was, I think, 6th March, was it not?
19 A. [Mr Irving]     That is correct.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     We have the document. We are going to look at it along
21the line, Mr Irving. "Heydrich held a second
22inter ministerial conference to examine the awkward
23problem posed by half and quarter Jews. If allowed to
24remain, they might perhaps be sterilized. A 'top level'
25opinion - i.e. Hitler's - was quoted to the effect that
26they must draw a sharp distinction between Jews and

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 1non-Jews, as it would not be acceptable for a mini-race of
 2semi-Jews to be perpetuated in law. But this
 3classification process would call for a colossal
 4administrative effort, so the idea was shelved. A
 5subsequent memorandum in Reich Justice Ministry files
 6cited this highly significant statement by Hans Lammers,
 7head of the Reich Chancellery: 'The Fuhrer has repeatedly
 8stated that he wants the solution of the Jewish Problem
 9postponed until after the war is over'". Then I do not
10think one needs both with the next sentence, do you agree,
11Mr Irving?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     No.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Now we turn, if may, to the introduction on page 18. You
14make a reference in the middle of page 18 to the Night of
15Broken Glass and say something about "On orders from the
16very highest level". That is something, the Night of
17Broken Glass, we will have to deal with, I am afraid, in
18the future. You write: "Every over historian has shut
19his eyes and hoped that this horrid, inconvenient document
20would somehow go away"?
21 A. [Mr Irving]     That is a different context.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, no, of course it is, but I am reading it for context.
23"But it has been joined by others", that is to say, other
24horrid inconvenient documents that will not go away, "like
25the extraordinary note dictated by Staatssekretar
26Schlegelberger in the Reich Ministry of Justice in the

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 1spring of 1942: 'Reich Minister Lammers', this states,
 2referring to Hitler's top civil servant, 'informed me that
 3the Fuhrer has repeatedly pronounced that he wants the
 4solution of the Jewish Question put off until after the
 5war is over'."
 6     Can I just pause there? You notice there is a
 7slide in the tense that you use there (which is what we in
 8English call the perfect tense) to what we see in your
 9translation on the web site where you use the pluperfect?
10 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, I would not have bothered to look at the original
11translation each item. I would have just retranslated the
12document each time I wanted to use it.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What I want to know is which is correct, having regard to
14the original German? There is a difference, is there not,
15"the Fuhrer has repeatedly" and "the Fuhrer had
16repeatedly", unless we are talking about reported speech.
17 A. [Mr Irving]     We are in trouble, Mr Rampton. It is the notorious
18subjunctive again.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     We are in trouble?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     We are in trouble. We had problems with the subjunctive
21before, and with the subjunctive it is not quite so easy
22to work out what is perfect tense and what is pluperfect
23----
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, that is why I am asking you for help. I am asking you
25which of your alternative translations (and they are
26different) you think is correct.

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, "Reich Minister Lammers informed me that the Fuhrer
 2had told him repeatedly" or that "the Fuhrer has told him
 3repeatedly". [German]. It is the subjunctive and we are
 4----
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     But it is present subjunctive, not past
 6subjunctive, is it not?
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     I bow to your Lordship's wisdom.
 8 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     No, you tell me because I am not as good at German as you
 9are?
10 A. [Mr Irving]     It can be translated adequately either way, my Lord,
11without any malice in a particular direction, unless
12Mr Rampton wants to make a particular thing of it.
13 MR RAMPTON:     No, I do not want to make a particular thing about
14it. You see, my problem with this document is that --
15I am not an historian; I am not trying to prove anything
16here in relation to history -- it is not an easy
17document.
18 A. [Mr Irving]     It is not an easy document for your friends, no.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It does not deserve -- what?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     It is not an easy document for your friends at all,
21I agree.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, no, it is not an easy document for any open-minded
23historian to deal with. It has no date. There is a doubt
24about the tense. We have seen that already. Professor
25Evans' report tells us -- it may be wrong -- that even the
26way in which it is filed does not give us much clue to its

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