Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 26 - 30 of 199

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    The British, in fact, captured all the German Foreign
 1Office records?
 2 A. [Professor Cameron Watt]     They fell into the hands mainly of the British and
 3Americans, were collected in Berlin and were evacuated.
 4The whole project for editing them and publishing them was
 5evacuated from Berlin at the time of the Berlin airlift.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Did they go to a place called Waddon Hall?
 7 A. [Professor Cameron Watt]     Waddon Hall near Bletchley, yes.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     Near Bletchley, near the code breaking establishment?
 9 A. [Professor Cameron Watt]     Yes. We had no relationship with them at all.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Nobody knew about them?
11 A. [Professor Cameron Watt]     Well, we knew they were there. There wee too many of them
12to be concealed and some of them played their part in
13ordinary social activities, but what they were actually
14doing, no, we did not know.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you give the court, in most general terms, one or
16two lines, a picture of the scale and scope of the
17captured German documentation? Was it small or large?
18 A. [Professor Cameron Watt]     Well, at Waddon itself, we had 400 tonnes ----
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     400 tonnes?
20 A. [Professor Cameron Watt]     --- of documents covering the records of the German
21Foreign Ministry and of its Prussian predecessor from 1860
22onwards. We also had access to those files of the German
23Navy, the Reichsmarines, had fallen into British hands at
24Blenzburg and we had an odd collection of documents from
25the Nazi leaders, from the offices of the adjutantur of
26the Fuhrer, for example ----

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     Hitler's Adjutants?
 2 A. [Professor Cameron Watt]     --- and a number of private, collections of private papers
 3that were found with the Foreign Ministry archives.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Interrupting here at this moment, Professor Watt. Can I
 5just ask you, when did we last meet -- 30 years ago?
 6 A. [Professor Cameron Watt]     30 years ago, I think it was, yes.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have we had any discussion about what you are going to be
 8saying today beyond just the invitation and my saying that
 9it would just be very painful and very short?
10 A. [Professor Cameron Watt]     No.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     I have not rehearsed you in any way as to what to say?
12 A. [Professor Cameron Watt]     No.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     In your knowledge, in your time going through the German
14diplomatic documents, and I appreciate you did not read
15the entire 400 tonnes -- nor can I claim to have read the
16400 tonnes of German documents -- were any documents there
17which came to your attention which showed a Hitler order
18for what we can call the Holocaust in the sense of the
19extermination of the Jews?
20 A. [Professor Cameron Watt]     I would not come across them because my work was confined,
21where the original documents were concerned, to the years
221933/1937, and where the editorial work was concerned, to
23the documents from 1939 to 1940. I never had occasion to
24go in and look individually at the later documents. We
25worked with the Nuremberg files and, of course, I was
26familiar with the evidence that was produced at Nuremberg

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 1which dealt with war crimes and I have been consulted
 2about this from time to time.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Did you have discussions with your colleagues at the
 4Research Department about the progress of their work when
 5they were working on different periods?
 6 A. [Professor Cameron Watt]     No, because the whole project was concerned in the years
 7I was attached to it to completing series D of the
 8documents which ended with Pearl Harbour, and to
 9completing or doing the whole of the work on the years
101933, 1937, which were published as Series C in the
11documents. I never had any direct dealings with documents
12dealing with the ----
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     War years?
14 A. [Professor Cameron Watt]     --- war years beyond that, no.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     You never heard from one of your colleagues there that
16they had found, stumbled across, a document of the sort
17that I mentioned, that Hitler had given some extraordinary
18orders about killing the Jews or any other ethnic minority
19or persecuted people directly involving Hitler?
20 A. [Professor Cameron Watt]     No, but I cannot think, see why that would have arisen in
21our discussions. We were working eight to nine hours a
22day on the very large quantities of documents. Each
23document was read by members of two countries.
24I collaborated mainly with the Frenchmen.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     You are familiar, Professor, also with some of the other
26document collections outside your own area of expertise

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 1because of research at that time for the Foreign Office
 2because, of course, you have written a number of
 3distinguished works where you have had to draw on
 4collections outside the Waddon Hall collection?
 5 A. [Professor Cameron Watt]     Oh, I have worked in the archives, in the American
 6archives, for the '30s. I worked in the Public Record
 7Office. I have worked in British private collections and
 8I have worked on published documents from all those
 9European countries I had direct access to and those which
10were translated into languages I could read.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Professor Watt, from your knowledge of these archives that
12you worked in, the Public Record Office in London, the
13national archives in the United States, the Foreign Office
14collection in this country and elsewhere, would you say
15that the records of the Third Reich, one way and another,
16either in original ribbon copy or in carbon copy, are
17largely intact, give or take a few holes of what the
18Russians took?
19 A. [Professor Cameron Watt]     No, there are very substantial gaps in the later period.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     In the later period?
21 A. [Professor Cameron Watt]     From 1941 onwards.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     In specific departments, like the SS or the Army or the
23Air Force?
24 A. [Professor Cameron Watt]     I think that the gaps are consistent with the files not
25ending up in an archive and where they did to destruction
26by one means or another, and to their falling into hands

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 1of people who wanted to hang on them.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     For example, when the Germany archives at Potsdam was
 3burned down in an air raid, that kind of thing?
 4 A. [Professor Cameron Watt]     That kind of thing and, in fact, some of the, one of the
 5worst accidents was when a couple of trucks carrying
 6German Foreign Ministry records in the Secret
 7classification collided with one another and caught fire,
 8and we had only fragments, burnt fragments, and the more
 9you touched them, the more they disintegrated.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Professor Watt, may I ask you, you may not
11know the answer, but was there evidence that documents had
12systematically had gone missing in the sense that somebody
13had said, "We must take out a particular category of
14documents" or not?
15 A. [Professor Cameron Watt]     Not in the Foreign Ministry, sir, because, my Lord, the
16German Foreign Ministry practice, as we found out when we
17were looking at the documents dealing with the origins of
18the First World War, was either to deny the existence of
19files which were relevant or, in a number of cases, to
20unstitch the backs of them and to remove the documents so
21that the researcher was presented with what he understood
22to be a complete file but was not. Since in no case were
23the researchers allowed access to the registries where all
24these documents were and that one had noted, this kind of
25gap misled a number of very prominent American scholars.
26 MR IRVING:     

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