Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 46 - 50 of 154

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     Of course, once again we are up against that word
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Never mind that. Hitler goes on 11 lines later ----
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     And your experts always choose the perverse meaning of the
 5word "vernichte".
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I think the word which Professor Evans has used is the
 7literal one, annihilated?
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes. You remember I gave the distinction between
 9"annihilated" and "exterminated" once?
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You can argue with my experts later on down the line,
11Mr Irving.
12 A. [Mr Irving]     I shall try to avoid wasting the court's time.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Let us try to deal with matters of substance, shall we?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     Excellent.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Ribbentrop expressed a murderous or barbaric choice
16between annihilation and transport to concentration camps?
17 A. [Mr Irving]     That is correct.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Eleven lines later in the text Hitler jumps in with an
19analogy which is based on the justification for killing
20wild animals, killing wild animals, in case they should
21cause damage. Now, that left the matter as plain as a
22pikestaff at the meeting on 17th, whatever might have been
23said on 16th, the Nazis' blunt final point of view was,
24"They have got to be killed", and that came from the
25Fuhrer himself. You have always known that, have you not,
26because you ----

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     I am sorry, you have taken me by surprise. You said
 2Hitler said they have got to be killed?
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     In effect, yes.
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     Or are you just trying to slide this in under the door
 5while no one is watching?
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I will read it in English. This is unvarnished. "Where
 7the Jews were left to themselves", this is Hitler, "as,
 8for example, in Poland", nothing about the Warsaw
 9uprising, this is general stuff, "gruesome poverty and
10degeneracy had ruled. They were just pure parasites. One
11had fundamentally cleared up this state of affairs in
12Poland. If the Jews did not want to work, they were
13shot. If they could not work, they had to "verkommen"?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     And you are saying that I concealed all this from my
15book. I did not mention any of this? I concealed it?
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, Mr Irving, I am not saying that.
17 A. [Mr Irving]     On the contrary, I put it exactly in the third paragraph
18of that page, and yet I am called a Holocaust denier.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     "They had to be treated like tuberculosis bacilli" ----
20 A. [Mr Irving]     All that is in there too.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     --- "from which a healthy body could be infected. That
22was not cruel if one remembered that even innocent,
23natural creatures like hares and deer had to be killed so
24that no harm was caused. Why should one spare the beasts
25who wanted to bring us Bolshevism more. Nations who did
26not rid themselves of Jews perished." Now, there is

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 1nothing following that ----
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     Can I just read to you the five lines in my book which
 3accurately reflect exactly what you read out?
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, but you have to read the whole of it. "Poland should
 5have been an object lesson to Horthy, Hitler argued. He
 6related how Jews who refused to work there were shot", the
 7word you emphasised, "those who could not work just wasted
 8away. Jews must be treated like tuberculosis bacilli, he
 9said, using his favourite analogy", Hitler's favourite
10analogy. "Was that so cruel when one considered that even
11innocent creatures like hares and deer had to be put down
12to prevent their doing damage?" So what have I left out?
13Tell me what I have left out.
14 MR RAMPTON:     Will you please read the rest of the paragraph?
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think, just to put the criticism,
16I personally do not see anything wrong with your
17paraphrase there.
18 MR RAMPTON:     Nor do I.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     What I think is the criticism (and it is
20important we get the nub of it) is that you have really
21watered down the effect of your accurate paraphrase of
22what Hitler said by adding, as if it were part of the same
23conversation, a reassurance by Hitler, "There is no need
24for eliminating them". That, I think, is the criticism.
25 A. [Mr Irving]     My Lord, I have said that this is quite accurate, you are
26absolutely right. We got that quotation wrong by one

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 1day. But the fact that a man makes it on one day rather
 2than the next does not alter the fact that he said it. He
 3said, "There is no need for that", and I can understand
 4Mr Rampton's disquiet about it. But the fact that it is
 5taken down by an accurate recorder like Paul Schmidt,
 6Hitler saying, "There is no need for that" cannot be
 7ignored, and the fact that I put it down on 16th instead
 8of 17th or the 17th instead of the 16th is -- I think it
 9is a very shaky position on which to build a $5 million
10trial on.
11 MR RAMPTON:     No, Mr Irving. You see, your problem is this. You
12were concerned that if left unvarnished, according to
13Schmidt's text, what Hitler said would appear to be fairly
14conclusive evidence that he intended the physical
15annihilation of the Jews?
16 A. [Mr Irving]     So why did I just not leave out the whole thing about the
17hares and the rabbits and the putting down and the
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Because everybody else can read Schmidt, and what you
20actually did to mislead your English readers was to
21transfer a palliative remark by Hitler from the previous
22day's meeting and stuff into the text for this day?
23 A. [Mr Irving]     You say everybody else can read Schmidt, but, of course,
24at the time I wrote this the Hillgruber was not
25available. I used the original microfilms. All this kind
26of stuff became available much later on. Are you

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 1imagining that your average reader of Waterstones is going
 2to go and get a copy of Hillgruber and find out what is in
 3the original text? No. I put that in when I could
 4perfectly easily have left it out and, of course, I did
 5not because I was writing an honest, accurate paraphrase
 6of what happened.
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, Hillgruber was published in 1970 in Frankfurt.
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     But I could perfectly easily have left it out, could
 9I not?
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And you did not bother to change it when you wrote your
111991 edition either, did you?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     Because I certainly attached no importance whatsoever to
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Well, then, why is Hitler's palliative remark in there at
15all? It has no business to be there at all. It is a
16complete rewrite of what actually happened, is it not?
17 A. [Mr Irving]     Hitler's palliative remark, when Hitler says, "There is no
18need for that"? I should have left that out? Your
19experts would have left that out; that is quite plain.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, my experts give the correct account.
21 A. [Mr Irving]     Your experts have a record of leaving out documents that
22they cannot explain.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Mr Irving, come on. This is not the playground. My
24expert has given the correct account chronologically. He
25describes how on 16th, Horthy said, "But surely I cannot
26murder them?" and Hitler said, "There is no need for

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