Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 96 - 100 of 195

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    But if you remember what I clearly allow is that from this
 1spoke to them.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     My googolies are I think a little bit more subtle than you
 3sometimes think, Mr Irving. Can you turn on just for
 4reference in this bundle to the next document which is
 5after page 49 of Himmler's Posen speech. My Lord, it is
 6footnote 187.
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     My Lord, would be it be helpful if I pointed out that
 8after making this speech Himmler had everybody who was
 9present sign a list to agree that they had hear the
10speech, or if they had not heard it to agree that they had
11read it subsequently. All the SS Generals who were
12present were required -- I have never seen that on any of
13Himmler's other speeches.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     What do you say is the significance of that?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     It is very interesting to speculate, my Lord. I think he
16was making them into accomplices in his own mind. He was
17saying: "There you are, now I have told you. Now we are
18all in it together." It is a very interesting historical
19document. I have never seen that on any of Himmler's
20other speeches, that he listed all SS Generals present and
21made them sign that they had been present and heard the
22speech or if they not been present that they had read it
24 MR RAMPTON:     Mr Irving, Heinrich Himmler kept copies of these
25speeches, did he not?
26 A. [Mr Irving]     In various versions. There was the original raw

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 1transcript and then a corrected transcript.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I know, I happen to have for the 5th May which we are
 3coming to in a minute, I happen to have both versions.
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes. There are also his handwritten notes on the basis of
 5which he spoke.
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, Mr Irving, your knowledge is extensive. I want to
 7know why you think it is that Himmler kept copies of his
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     I keep copies of me speeches.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     But you do not talk about having given the order for the
11extermination of millions of Jews, do you, in your
13 A. [Mr Irving]     I have not exterminated millions of Jews, Mr Rampton.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Mr Irving, maybe it is late in the morning or something.
15Heinrich Himmler's speech is not just this one. We had
16the one earlier, the 4th October at Posen. We have this
17one here. We have two more in May 1944, which are quite
18explicit, at any rate about his role in the extermination
19of the whole Jewish race?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     Letting them vanish from the face of the earth, brutally
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, by killing them?
23 A. [Mr Irving]     Brutally explicit, yes. As he says, by murdering, and not
24just the men but the women and children too.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, I know that. Why would he keep those admissions of
26guilt, particularly in 1943 and 1944 by which time he must

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 1have known that the German world was probably going to
 2come to an end?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     Why would he have kept it to himself?
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes. Why did he commit these things to writing and then
 5keep them after he had uttered them to his Generals or his
 6Reichsleiters or whatever they are?
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     I think the problem is we are so often on exactly the same
 8side, Mr Rampton. Have I not frequently allowed in all my
 9books that from this point on Hitler had no reason not to
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Hitler did know, come on.
12 A. [Mr Irving]     On precisely this point I have said Hitler had no
13justification for pleading ignorance, because everybody
14else immediately around him had been informed, but also
15you have to set this kind of speech in the context. This
16is 5th October, 4th and 6th October 1943 rather, at the
17height of the bombing campaign. There is a reason why
18Himmler is making a speech like this to the disgruntled SS
19Generals. Morale is at a low ebb and he is saying, "Hey,
20we are hitting back, we're doing this to them".
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am really puzzled. Can I explain why,
22Mr Irving. When Mr Rampton was putting that passage from
23the October 1943 speech, 4th October 1943 speech, you were
24at pains to point out that Himmler was saying that it was
25he who would have taken the decision, but if you are
26accepting, as you have throughout, that by October 1943

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 1Hitler knew about the extermination policy ----
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     I say "from this point on", my Lord, because on the
 3following day ----
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     But what is the significance of emphasising that it was
 5Himmler's decision if you accept Hitler was in on it?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     Because Himmler is accepting the responsibility for the
 7job which has now been completed. Himmler is kind of
 8reporting ----
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I see, ex post facto.
10 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, saying, "We've done it all, the job has been done,
11I had to take the decision, it was a difficult job for us,
12but we done it, and I am proud of you, my SS men, for
13having carried out such a difficult task."
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     So the knowledge you say Hitler had from October 1943 did
15not include knowledge of what had been going on in 1942,
16is that what you are saying?
17 A. [Mr Irving]     I am saying it is quite likely that he will have
18ex post facto have learned about all these things,
19particularly the Gauleiters who went to see him the next
20day and the SS Generals who went to see him. The same
21audience went effectively to see Hitler where he lectured
22them, and it would be stretching the bounds of probability
23too far to say that not one of them went up to Hitler, one
24of the old veterans, and said, "Mein Fuhrer, we heard
25something yesterday which rather disturbed me", but I do
26not think it did disturb them. I think they rather liked

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 1it. The eyewitness accounts we have of one of these
 2speeches says that there were roars of applause.
 3 MR RAMPTON:     It was ----
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     The Germans were like that.
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     If you are right, it is something of which Himmler was
 6very proud, is it not?
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     He was proud of his men for having carried out those
 8extremely distasteful tasks.
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     But he was pleased, if your interpretation is right, and
10I am going to suggest it is not, but he was pleased to
11announce to this august gathering that he personally had
12made the decision to carry out this difficult task?
13 A. [Mr Irving]     Would it not have been wonderful for him if he had said:
14"The Fuhrer gave us this task and look how well we have
15performed his duties for him.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Of course he did.
17 A. [Mr Irving]     The great temptation would have been there, but he does
18not say this.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     He does not?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     He says specifically: "I was the one who took the
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     So that being so you would not expect that in May 1944 he
23would reveal that he done what he did in consequence of an
24order, and the only person of course who could have given
25an order is Hitler?
26 A. [Mr Irving]     

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