Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 12: Electronic Edition

Pages 131 - 135 of 154

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    Well, we do not know what "the like" is referring to. It
 1is ambiguous German. It is a poorly phrased telegram.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What is the German word for "property"?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, "eigentum" would be.
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     "Hess's staff began cabling, telephoning and radioing
 5instructions to Gauleiters and police authorities around
 6the nation to halt the madness."
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     If you read on you will see that at the end of that
 8paragraph I said: "20,000 Jews were already being loaded
 9on to trucks. Hitler made no attempt to halt this
10inhumanity. He stood by and thus deserved the odium that
11now fell on all Germany."
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     He had ordered it.
13 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     He had ordered the arrest of 20,000 to 300,000 preferably
15prosperous Jews, had he not?
16 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     This little sentence in your book at 256 down to "halt the
18madness" is just another piece of invention, is it not,
19Mr Irving? No such thing that cable from Hess?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, the burning of all these Jewish businesses and the
21like was total madness.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     They are now businesses, are they? I see.
23 A. [Mr Irving]     Total madness.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Is there any evidence of what actually
25happened as a result of that message going out 2.56?
26 A. [Mr Irving]     You find it trickling down through the system and then

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 1people frantically back peddling, inasmuch as you can try
 2to halt a forest fire by sending out a telegram in the
 3middle of the night. This confirms precisely what
 4Hitler's adjutants told me, both from the content and from
 5the timing.
 6 MR RAMPTON:     Only one last little thing on this interesting
 7tale, Mr Irving. On the same page in the preceding
 8sentence, you say: "Fritz Wiedemann another of Hitler's
 9adjutants, saw Goebbels spending much of that night of
109th/10th 'telephoning ... to halt the most violent
12 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     The reference is to ----
14 A. [Mr Irving]     A handwritten manuscript by Wiedemann which he wrote in
15February 1939.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Am I right that the handwritten manuscript of Wiedemann
17says: "There is absolutely no doubt that this action
18slipped out of the hands of those who instigated it"?
19 A. [Mr Irving]     What are you reading from now?
20 MR IRVING:     Page 278 of Evans. "'It is reliably reported that
21Goebbels as well repeatedly telephoned from Munich during
22the night to stop the worst outrages"?
23 A. [Mr Irving]     If that is a quotation from the Wiedemann manuscript that
24I used, then that is probably an accurate translation,
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I have not got the point, Mr Rampton.

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 1 MR RAMPTON:     My Lord, I am sorry. Fritz Wiedemann, another of
 2Hitler's adjutants, saw Goebbels spending much of that
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, I see that. What do you get from 278 of
 6 MR RAMPTON:     What Wiedemann actually said was: "It is reliably
 7reported that Goebbels repeatedly" -- Wiedemann never saw
 8him at all, did he? Did he, Mr Irving?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     Not on the basis of this particular source, no.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Well, why did you write that he did?
11 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, now I do not know whether you have got the same
12source that I have or not. Wiedemann, he handwrote his
13notes in a very illegible handwriting and I used the
14original handwritten text. He also over subsequent years
15typed up notes, which may or may not have differed from
16the original handwritten version. I would have to go back
17and have a look at my Wiedemann file before I gave you a
18definitive answer on that. It may well be you are right,
19Mr Rampton. I am not going to argue with you on that, but
20it is 14 years or so since I actually wrote that passage
21and I do not know what the actual handwritten text said.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     This is the problem, is it not, Mr Irving? (A) you are
23dealing with post events eyewitness testimony?
24 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     (B), if I am right, if this is right, you are dealing with
26hearsay. You cannot convert that into a categorical

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 1statement of historical fact that Wiedemann saw Goebbels
 2telephoning round trying to put a stop to it?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     I do not mind conceding that I may have made a mistake on
 4that. I may have read his text and taken it as being that
 5he was an eyewitness of this when, in fact, it was just
 6reliably reported to him by those who had seen it.
 7Wiedemann, of course, was on very good terms with all the
 8rest of Hitler's adjutants, but at this time, February
 91939, he had been posted to San Francisco as Consul
10General and it was on the boat that he wrote this passage
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Can I finally ask you to look at page 280 of Evans'
13report? Now at page 281 -- I am sorry, the page numbering
14is confusing because we are about the same place in
15Goebbels -- you quote somebody called Ulrich von Hassell?
16 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Sorry, are we on Evans or Irving's book?
18 MR RAMPTON:     I am on both. It is 281 of Irving's book and page
19280 of Evans.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Right.
21 MR RAMPTON:     You have quoted, I think, Ulrich von Hassell, have
22you not?
23 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What Professor Evans writes is this: "What Irving does
25not do, however, is to quote the following passage in von
26Hassell's diary, relating to a conversation he had on 17th

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 1December 1938 with the Prussian Finance Minister, Johannes
 2Popitz, about the destruction and violence of 9-10
 3November". Quote from von Hassell's diary: "'Popitz said
 4to Goring, those responsible must be punished. Answer'",
 5quote from Goring, "'My dear Popitz, do you want to punish
 6the Fuhrer?'" Now, were you aware of that entry when you
 7wrote this book?
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     I probably did, yes. I probably was aware of it.
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Did you not think it right to draw to your readers'
10attention, at the very least, some evidence at the least
11that in Goring's mind the person responsible for what had
12happened was Hitler?
13 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, it would be marginal to put it in or leave it out.
14It does not add very much to our knowledge and I would
15certainly consider that covered by that sentence that i
16read out to you, "Hitler made no attempt to halt this
17inhumanity. He stood by and thus deserved the odium that
18now fell on all Germany".
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That was the arrests.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Where was Goring? Was he in Munich or
22 A. [Mr Irving]     Goring was in Munich and he travelled back to Berlin that
23night by train because as he arrived, as the train went
24past Haller he saw the planes in the sky and he said,
25"What is going on?"
26 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     

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