Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 7: Electronic Edition

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1996 I. No. 113
 2Royal Courts of Justice
 3Strand, London
 4 Thursday, 20th January 2000
10Claimant -and-
14The Claimant appeared in person
15MR RICHARD RAMPTON Q.C. (instructed by Messrs Davenport Lyons and Mishcon de Reya) appeared on behalf of the First and
16Second Defendants
17MISS HEATHER ROGERS (instructed by Davenport Lyons) appeared on behalf of the First Defendant Penguin Books Limited
18MR ANTHONY JULIUS (of Mishcon de Reya) appeared on behalf of
19the Second Defendant Deborah Lipstadt
21(Transcribed from the stenographic notes of Harry Counsell
& Company, Clifford's Inn, Fetter Lane, London EC4
22Telephone: 020-7242-9346)

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 1 <Day 7 Thursday, 20th January 2000.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, Mr Irving?
 3 MR IRVING:     This morning we are going to be dealing, as
 4I apprehend, may it please the court, with the
 5Schlegelberger document which I brought, as I indicated
 6yesterday evening, with one or two of the surrounding
 7documents. [Document not provided].
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes. I have only just received this clip, so
 9I am afraid I have not had a chance to go through it.
10 MR IRVING:     I appreciate that, my Lord. I do not think it will
11be a very painful exercise. We will also take on board
12this argument, and I have taken the liberty of submitting
13to your Lordship a two-page skeleton, which again you will
14not have had time to reflect upon but I thought it would
15be of assistance to your Lordship.
16     I have also excised the first paragraph of that
17and put it on a separate sheet for your Lordship, in case
18you wish to mark it up and say,"Yes I thoroughly approve
19of this, this is a jolly good idea, I think Irving has it
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     We will come to whether that is going to be
22my conclusion in a moment, shall we? Can we just have open
23the Schlegelberger note, unless it is in your clip?
24 MR IRVING:     It is in the clip, my Lord. It is little bundle D
25which you have just received, and you will find it on page
269. MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am going to put this into J. We

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 1must keep an eye on not having stray bits of paper
 2knocking around.
 3 MR IRVING:     This is a bundle called Schlegelberger, a 25 page
 4document relating to the context and provenance of the
 5Schlegelberger document which I have loosely dated as
 6spring 1942. The document concerned is on page 9, my
 7Lord, Tab 7.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes.
 9 MR IRVING:     The first document is page 1 which your Lordship
10will see is the folder cover of the Reich Ministry of the
11Justice, and I will read the words to you which are rather
12illegible. We have had problems with the German text
13before. Behandlung der Juden, "treatment of the Jews".
14My only gloss on that is to say it is not treatment of the
15mixed race questions. It is a Ministry of Justice file on
16the treatment of the Jews. I have taken the liberty, my
17Lord, of highlighting one or two sentences in the bundle
18I gave you.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is helpful.
20 MR IRVING:     Somebody has my highlighted copy. I do not.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can you date the cover to the file or the
22cover top sheet?
23 MR IRVING:     Only inasmuch as the earliest document in the file
24is early 1942, my Lord. It is a very slim file, the way
25sometimes these governmental jackets, I think they are
26called in English parlance, go.

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes.
 2 MR IRVING:     Page No. 2, my Lord, is the translation into
 3English of the following page. Unless Mr Rampton has any
 4objection, I will just deal with the English text.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes.
 6 MR IRVING:     We read it out yesterday but I will read it out
 7again. It is from Schlegelberger, who is acting Minister
 8of Justice after the death of the Minister, and he is
 9writing to the Reich Minister, Hans Lammers: My personal
10assistant has just briefed me on the result of the session
11of March 6th on the treatment of Jews and mixed races".
12Your Lordship will probably see that I have highlighted
13the fact that it is both A and B, so to speak, not just
14the mixed race.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is your gloss, anyway.
16 MR IRVING:     I am now still awaiting the official minutes. My
17Lord, of course, I will argue that it is not unreasonable
18-- we will be dealing later in the argument with what is
19reasonable and what is not reasonable, what would be
20perverse and what would not perverse. I am now still
21waiting the official minutes. From the briefing by my
22personal assistant there seem to be decisions in
23preparation which I have to consider for the most part to
24be completely impossible. As the outcome of the talks in
25which a personal assistant of your department took part is
26to form the basis for the decision of the Fuhrer, it would

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 1be urgently desirable for me to have a personal talk with
 2you in good time about the affair. As soon as the minutes
 3of the session are before me, I shall permit myself to
 4phone you and to ask you whether and when a discussion
 5between us might take place."
 6     Lammers replies, my Lord, and this is on page 4,
 7that he is very ready to conform. He suggests an
 8appointment at the end of the month; in other words, at
 9the end of March. I do not think it is perverse then to
10say that the conversation which is referred to in the
11memorandum is therefore at the end of March 1942. I may
12be wrong. I allow that I may be wrong. It is always
13possible to be wrong, but we are looking for a deliberate
14or wilful distortion.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     You rely presumably also on the heading to
16that letter which is "overall solution to the Jewish
18 MR IRVING:     "Overall solution to the Jewish problem", yes, my
19Lord, I am indebted to your Lordship for pointing that
20out, the overall solution of the Jewish problem.
21     The next letter, my Lord, pages 6 to 8, I do not
22propose to read out. They do not take us very much
23further. If your Lordship is interested in their content,
24then there is a British summary.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     If are you not going to rely on anything
26there, I am not going to take time on it.

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