Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 13: Electronic Edition

Pages 41 - 45 of 186

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    1993, "A year later he was sounding a slightly
 1more sceptical note. Goebbels diary, Irving said", and
 2this is part of the talk that you had been going to make
 3in Australia but which you were not allowed to make,
 4Irving "'describes how Hitler thoroughly endorses what he,
 5Goebbels, has done, namely stating'", this is the top of
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     "Starting".
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     ..."'starting that outrage that night. This was a deep
 9shock for me'", that is Irving, "'and I immediately
10announced it to the world's newspapers that I had
11discovered this material, although it appeared to go
12against what I had written in my own book Hitler's War.
13But even there you have to add a rider and say, "Wait a
14minute, this is Dr Goebbels writing this". Dr Goebbels
15who took all the blame for what was done. So did he have
16perhaps a motive for writing in his private diaries
17subsequently that Hitler endorsed what he had done? You
18can't entirely close that file'."
19     Just pause there, Mr Irving, what motive did
20Goebbels have for, as it were, trying to implicate Hitler
21in something which Hitler knew nothing about?
22 A. [Mr Irving]     I think if you read the whole of my Goebbels book, and
23I am sure you have, you will note that there were several
24occasions on which Goebbels took actions independently and
25subsequently sought shelter in either writing in his diary
26that Hitler had sanctioned it, or actually ly went to

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 1Hitler and informed him what he had done.
 2     One example I quote is the decision to put
 3forward Hitler's name in the presidential candidacy in
 41932 which was a public relations disaster. So there are
 5several episodes where Goebbels acts on his own and then
 6seeks endorsement from Hitler, not just this particular
 7episode. So one is entitled to say, was this another such
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Mr Irving, the evidence is -- we went through it yesterday
10-- if you look at the evidence objectively, the evidence
11is such that it drives one to the inevitable inference
12that Hitler knew along and probably authorized what
13happened. There is no reason why Goebbels should put the
14blame on Hitler if, in fact, that is the case. Second, if
15Goebbels ----
16 A. [Mr Irving]     Can I take these points one at a time?
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes.
18 A. [Mr Irving]     So in cross-examination is always wise to ask one question
19at a time. There no reason why Goebbels should have
20sought refuge in Hitler at this time? Well, the answer is
21that by two days after the Reichskristallnacht, every
22finger in Germany was pointing at Goebbels. He had held a
23disastrous press conference before the Berlin foreign
24press corps where he had been ridiculed. Ribbentrop,
25Himmler, Heydrich, every top Nazi, the entire top Nazi
26brass, were pointing the finger at Goebbels and demanding

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 1that he should be finally dismissed because of this
 2outrage. We know this from all the private diaries,
 3including from the diaries of anti-Nazis like Ulrich von
 4Hassell, and his only protection was to go to Adolf
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     But, Mr Irving ----
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     And, as I made quite plain, Adolf Hitler -- this is one of
 8his weaknesses -- immediately covered for him.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     So what is said in the diary is true, but
10Hitler was, as it were, unnecessarily and inappropriately
11taking the blame, is that what your case is?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     I think your Lordship has summed it, yes, and I would also
13draw your Lordship's attention to the fact that the
14Canadian video tape which quotes my initial apprehensions
15about what I had just found in Moscow is just four days
16after I returned -- six days after I returned from Moscow
17with the Goebbels diaries.
18     You cannot reach snap decisions about the
19content of a document as tricky as this without comparing
20with all the additional surrounding countryside of
21documentation which is what I then did by a year later.
22 MR RAMPTON:     You may think that it is tricky because, of
23course, if it is not tricky, it immediately plants Adolf
24Hitler in the centre of the frame, does it not?
25 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, the tricky thing about the Goebbels' diaries, as I
26have repeatedly said, is they are the diaries of a liar.

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Suppose that Himmler, as I suggested to you yesterday, was
 2as involved, and perhaps more so, than Goebbels, it would
 3be in his interests to pass the buck. It was in all their
 4interests, so far as they could, to leave somebody else
 5holding the baby perhaps?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     Are you suggest that Himmler was involved in it?
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I told you so yesterday.
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     But all the evidence is exactly the contrary. All the
 9contemporary evidence, including the private diary of
10Ulrich von Hassel, says that Himmler and Heydrich were
11absolutely livid with what had happened that night,
12because Goebbels had played fast and loose with the police
13forces which came under them.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Please explain to me, if Himmler and Heydrich were livid
15with what happened, the terminology of that telex of
16Heydrich, which we looked at earlier this morning, timed
17at 1.20 a.m.
18 A. [Mr Irving]     Which was the one restricting certain measures.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Saying continue, I think, carry on.
20 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, "Carry on, have a good time, do not damage
21German property, do not assault foreign Jews, carry on, it
22does not matter what you do so long as you do not injure
23German property".
24 A. [Mr Irving]     They apprehended that they were acting on Hitler's
25instructions and they found out at 2 a.m. that they were
26not, because Goebbels, in his famous speech at the old

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 1town hall, had clearly given the impression that this was
 2what the Fuhrer wanted.
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And then?
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     At 2 a.m., when the Fuhrer found out what was going
 5on right across Germany, he called the people to his
 6private residence and said, "What on earth is going on?"
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Then, on 10th or 11th November, not only does Goebbels
 8record Hitler's approval or lack of disapproval for what
 9happened, he actually circulates Gauleiters with a
10statement to the effect that the Fuhrer sanctions the
11measures taken so far and declares that he does not
12disapprove of them. Now, if Goebbels had been lying in
13his diary about Hitler's approval, he was taking an awful
14risk, was he not, of telling everybody that Hitler did
15approve of it?
16 A. [Mr Irving]     This is typical Goebbels. This is exactly the way he
17operated and, although I point once again to the fact that
18your source for this circular is a third hand item by an
19adjutant of a Gauleiter, assuming that that information is
20correct, this is typical of the way that Goebbels would
21operate. He would tell everybody to, "Shut up with your
22criticism of me, the Fuhrer was behind it".
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     But it is true. The Fuhrer was behind it, was he not,
24Mr Irving?
25 A. [Mr Irving]     Unfortunately, the documents operate the other way. We
26have that document which I produce now in the original on

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