Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 66 - 70 of 199

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You do. After the meeting, he goes on, Dr Longerich:
 3"Himmler sent an order to Muller to concentrate these
 410,000 in a 'special camp' (Sonderlager). He stated:
 5'Certainly they should work there but under conditions
 6whereby they remain healthy and alive." You notice the
 7way I read it?
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     we are moving ahead at very great speed on this.
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     We are still on 10th December 1942.
10 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, but we have already gone past the paragraph 19.7 at
11the top of page 71 of Longerich and I did want to draw the
12court's attention to this very bold and adventurous leap
13from the word "Abschaffen" with the neutral connotations
14in only one line's length to using the word "liquidate"
15which is certainly not used between these two top Nazis.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     "Dispose of" is what you use, I think?
17 A. [Mr Irving]     Thank you very much, yes.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes. That is not a very benign word, is it, "disposal"?
19 A. [Mr Irving]     No, but ----
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     This is on page 462 of 1977.
21 A. [Mr Irving]     One has this terrible problem when translating German,
22when you have these multi-purpose words, to strike the
23right nuance without leaning too far in one direction or
24the other.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You see, in 1977, for want of a better word, you believed
26still in the Holocaust, did you not?

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     I believed in the factories of death element of the
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes. You had no difficulty in 1977 in reading the word
 4"Abschaffen" as Fuhrerwunsch, if that is the right thing,
 5that these 6 to 700,000 Jews should be disposed of, not
 6removed from France, that has to happen first, obviously?
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, "disposed of" also does not necessarily imply
 8killing, but contains -- it is one nuance in that
 9direction from the dead centre neutral meaning of the
10word, and I believe Miss Rogers will be able to establish
11that I then continued by stating immediately afterwards
12what the typed version of the document says which is
13"transport away".
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That may be so. I do not know. She is trying to find the
15reference in 1991.
16 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It may not be there at all?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, it certainly is, my Lord.
19 MR RAMPTON:     It is there, but in a footnote.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     She will find it eventually. Let us press on
21in the meantime.
22 MR RAMPTON:     But do you agree that the translation "disposed
23of", I accept that that is a fair translation of
25 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, I think it is exactly the right nuance.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And the nuance -- construct for me, Mr Irving, if you can,

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 1an English sentence in which, according to natural,
 2ordinary meaning, "dispose of" as applied to a person or
 3people does not have a connotation of fatality in it?
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     Oh, yes, it happens in large companies the whole time,
 5downsizing. Additional staff are disposed of. That does
 6not mean to say they are sent to the gas chambers.
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No. Disposed of?
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes. It is exactly the right nuance that I applied to
 9that word. That is my submission.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     So, "These Jews are merely redundant and we have to let
11them go"?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     That is right.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I see. Probably with some nice payment or other?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     That is a rather cheap remark, if I may say so.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I know, but, really, Mr Irving, do you really think that
16is what Himmler meant when wrote "Abschaffen"?
17 A. [Mr Irving]     I remind you that this is a private note being written by
18Himmler for his own private files.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Precisely.
20 A. [Mr Irving]     He had no reason to use euphemisms. If they had said
21"liquidate", as we have seen on other occasions, they
22quite frankly talked about "keine liquiderung", did he
23not? So why would he use a euphemism here?
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I am suggesting there is absolutely no difference between
25"dispose of" and "liquidate".
26 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, why would he have used ----

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think, in a way, I have the point. I
 2understand the basis.
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     That is an important point. Why would he use a euphemism
 4here when he is quite happy to use the plain, blunt
 5language elsewhere in his own handwritten notes,
 6particularly in view of the fact that when he dictated the
 7actual memorandum to Muller, so there could be no dispute,
 8he then used "Abtransportieren", to transport away.
 9 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, of course, and to the East, no doubt?
10 A. [Mr Irving]     No, indeed. They were being transported away to barrack
11encampments being built in the Reich. We have the
12documents on that which your Professor Longerich has not
13shown the court.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What happened to them next?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     We do not know, but, unfortunately, Longerich has not
16introduced into his report the evidence that there are
17encampments actually being built for them, reception
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Sorry, where was the Sonderlager which is referred to in
20paragraph 19----
21 A. [Mr Irving]     Those were the special camps being set up for them.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     But when you say "they" were being
23transported to the Reich, are you talking about the 10,000
24or are you talking about -- whether it was 60,000 or
25600,000 does not matter for present purposes?
26 A. [Mr Irving]     Off the top of my head, I cannot say, my Lord.

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 1 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     It may be quite important ----
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     I agree.
 3 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     --- because one interpretation -- let me put this to you
 4and see if you agree -- is that the 10,000 people for one
 5reason or another were valuable to the Reich, maybe
 6because they whether qualified in some way?
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 8 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Whereas the rest were not and that was why they were going
 9to be "Abgeschaft" or whatever the word would be?
10 A. [Mr Irving]     I will remind your Lordship of the fact that on this very
11same day, Himmler and Hitler on another page which is not
12before the court in this passage were discussing selling
13off Jews for hard currency. That may very well be what is
14going to happen to the 10,000 in the Sonderlager.
15     But the French Jews, in fact, ended up to a very
16large degree working in underground aircraft factories and
17so on inside the Reich. From my extraneous knowledge,
18I know that from the biographies I have written of Field
19Marshal Milsche, and so on. I have read the records of
20the Air Ministry conferences so we know what happened.
21 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Is it or is it not a legitimate inference that if that was
22what was going to happen to the 10,000, something more
23sinister was going to happen to the other French Jews?
24 A. [Mr Irving]     No, it is not, my Lord. It could be they were going to be
25sent to work, as I say, in the German arms industry or
26building fortifications or whatever which I happen to know

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