Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 56 - 60 of 186

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    Yes. There is no question that at the time those igniting
 1like that, thought they were acting in conformity with
 2Hitler's wishes. At 2 a.m. they learned their mistake.
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Did you show your eyewitnesses in 1967 or whenever it was
 4the Eberstein telegram of 2.10 a.m.?
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     That would not be the way I would conduct an interview.
 6I would go there and learn exactly what they knew without
 7showing them documents.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Did you not think it sensible to test a person's
 9recollection, however amicably you do it, after more than
1020 years by reference to the contemporaneous
11documentation?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     Mr Gray, if you read the transcripts of these interviews
13----
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think you are getting confused between
15Rampton and me.
16 MR RAMPTON:     You do me too much of an honour, Mr Irving, I am
17afraid.
18 A. [Mr Irving]     I am sorry, Mr Rampton, I must remember Rampton.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I do not mind but I really would not think it was very
20nice for his Lordship.
21 A. [Mr Irving]     Mr Rampton, you have read the transcripts of my interviews
22with these Adjutants of Hitler because they are verbatim,
23and you will see that we did not go there with a set
24agenda to talk about. I would go along there, we would
25have tea, we would sit for five hours and talk about
26everything they remembered.

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Old Hitler faithfuls and you swallowed their tale, if
 2I may put it like that, hook line and sinker, did you not,
 3because you wanted to?
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     I swallow their tale?
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes.
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     They were Hitler faithfuls?
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You did not take any trouble to test their evidence
 8by reference to the contemporaneous documentation. That
 9is the last time I am going to ask that question.
10 A. [Mr Irving]     On the contrary, once I had conducted the interviews with
11these people, and I had a German secretary transcribe
12verbatim what they said, which transcripts you have had,
13I would then put that into the general dossier on that
14particular episode and I would weigh the interviews
15against the documents, which is precisely what I have done
16over the last 32 years for one book after another.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can I just intervene and ask this question?
18These diaries that Goebbels kept were for his own benefit,
19were they? They were not seen by others at the time?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     My Lord, in 1933 he published the first volumes of diaries
21which covered the years of struggle, shall we say, up to
22the seizure of power and he was recalled from the
23Kaiserhof to the Reichschancellery. In 1936 he sold
24rights in all his diaries in perpetuity to the Nazi
25publishing house for a large lump sum.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     So he was contemplating publication?

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     They were very definitely written in contemplation of
 2later publication. But that not necessarily mean to say
 3that there were not also a lot of private materials in
 4them which he did not intend to publish, particularly the
 5handwritten diaries.
 6 MR RAMPTON:     Now I want to pass on to something else, also part
 7of the aftermath. One of the consequences of this
 8appalling business, Mr Irving, was that some people were
 9brought before whatever the Nazi party court was called.
10Can you remember what it was called?
11 A. [Mr Irving]     The Oberstes Parteigericht, the supreme public court.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Just so we can be clear, that is not part of the
13established orthodox German judicial system at all, was
14it?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     No. It was a party court established under Walter Buch, B
16U C H, who was a sworn and dedicated personal enemy of
17Dr. Goebbels.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That is as maybe.
19 A. [Mr Irving]     It is not as maybe. You have to bear this in mind when
20you consider what the findings are which Buch signed.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     The fact is, it was not part of the established judicial
22machinery, was it?
23 A. [Mr Irving]     No.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     So you cannot describe the people who bring people before
25the party court as the public prosecutors, can you?
26 A. [Mr Irving]     No.

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Would you turn to page 281 of your Goebbels book, please?
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Just above the middle of the page there is a reference to
 4Rudolf Hess. Do you see that?
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     The long paragraph: "Hess confirmed that in his view
 7Goebbels was alone to blame. He ordered the Gestapo and
 8the party's courts to delve into the origins of the
 9night's violence and turn the culprits over to the public
10prosecutors."
11 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     My first question about that is this. Would you agree
13that that was apt to suggest to the reader that anybody
14found guilty of arson, looting, damage, assault, rape,
15murder, or whatever, was going to be prosecuted by the
16State judicial machinery once the matter had been
17investigated?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     I think that what happened, which is covered by the
19sentence, was that a number of people, both inside and
20outside the party, exceeded their orders, if I can put it
21like that, and went on little private rampages. I mention
22one case where somebody murdered an opponent because he
23was going to testify against him in a libel action.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is not really an answer to Mr Rampton's
25question.
26 A. [Mr Irving]     Would you repeat the question, emphasising the part----

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 1 MR RAMPTON:     The question is this. Do you not agree that that
 2sentence, not a long sentence, is apt to suggest to the
 3reader that the matter was going to be investigated by the
 4Gestapo and the party's courts to find out the origins of
 5the night's violence and to turn the culprits, that is to
 6say, those responsible for acts of violence of whatever
 7kind against people or property, over to the public
 8prosecutors so that they could be prosecuted according to
 9the law?
10 A. [Mr Irving]     I will not go beyond what that sentence actually says.
11What I intended it to mean to the reader I cannot recall
12now twelve years later, but it is footed in a very secure
13document of the day, December 1938.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     You are still not really addressing the
15question. If I read that, I think I would be inclined to
16think that these people were going to be prosecuted by the
17criminal system of the country.
18 A. [Mr Irving]     My Lord, there was a large number of prosecutions in the
19regular courts and people went to jail for what they had
20done that night.
21 MR RAMPTON:     Do you know the figures, Mr Irving?
22 A. [Mr Irving]     I can find them for you, yes.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     16 cases in the report of 13th February 1939. I am coming
24back to what actually these people were considering, which
25is an initial limitation, but we will look at that in a
26moment.

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