Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 19: Electronic Edition

Pages 26 - 30 of 217

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     They are words I put in -- I oiled these remarks out of
 2them, shall I put it like that? If I put this one example
 3to you, that I persuaded an SS officer who was on Hitler's
 4staff to describe to me the meeting between Hitler and
 5Himmler in April 1945, where Hitler gave the order to
 6liquidate all the inmates of Buchenwald if they could not
 7be evacuated in time, do you remember that episode?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, I do.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Was that in any way -- did it reflect well on Adolf
10Hitler, do you think?
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, it certainly did not, but obviously there are some
12places in which they do reveal things, at which some of
13them reveal things, which are not ----
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     I will give you only one further example because I do not
15wish to test his Lordship's patience but it is important
16here because I am accused of having exonerated Hitler and
17fallen for the Adjutants' wiles. You are familiar with
18the colour photographs that are in some of my books of
19Adolf Hitler's staff, are you?
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Will you accept that these photographs were taken by
22Hitler's film cameraman whose name was Walter Frentz?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     He described to me, did he not, a visit to the Eastern
25Front with Heinrich Himmler in August 1941 where they
26witnessed a mass shooting outside Minsk, to which shooting

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 1you also refer of course, do you not?
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     This man Walter Frentz was present. Are you aware that he
 4described to me in great deal at 2 o'clock one morning the
 5whole episode, including how Himmler told him to take
 6photographs of the shootings, and other very vivid
 7details?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Was that in any way in his own interest to tell me that
10story?
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     We are moving slightly away here. What we are talking
12about, of course, is their attitudes to, or what they
13report of, Hitler and Hitler's views, and in that case it
14really does not apply to that.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     We will move on to Hitler's views in this connection in a
16minute, but will you just answer my question? If Walter
17Frentz told me this story, how he was with Himmler and
18witnessed a mass shooting, and took photographs of it, did
19that in any way reflect well on either himself, the
20witness, or on Adolf Hitler, for that matter?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I would think no, but then he might have thought something
22different.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     If I now tell you that Frentz took photographs back to
24Hitler's headquarters and showed them to Hitler's Chief
25Adjutant, and the Chief Adjutant said, "If you know what
26is good for you, you will destroy these photographs,

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 1Mr Frentz", is this a significant contribution to a
 2historical debate which I, with my methods, obtained, do
 3you think?
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     The answer is, if that is the case, then yes. I am not
 5denying, Mr Irving, that your interviews with Hitler's
 6former staff have contributed in some ways to historical
 7knowledge, not at all.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     So your judgment against me in that paragraph is
 9overhasty, would you agree?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, I do not agree. I think, taken as a whole, your
11interviews with Hitler's staff, as I show in a chapter of
12the report, are uncritical, and in some cases also involve
13elements of falsification of what they actually said, or
14of the nature of their sources that you used.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     I will come to those particular episodes later on, but in
16general?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     This is a general statement which is a conclusion drawn
18from the detailed cases that I look at later on in the
19report.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     You have said that I used these statements only in the
21service of their chief, so to speak, and I did not put in
22material from the Adjutants or the secretaries which was
23unfavourable, and that I was uncritical in my assessment
24of these sources, and I have given you three episodes
25where quite clearly I persuaded members of Hitler's staff
26to reveal from their innermost memory things that they

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 1probably told nobody else.
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Where do I say the things that you say I say?
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I do not think the word "always" is to be
 4found, Mr Irving. I think that is the difference between
 5you.
 6 MR IRVING:     That is why I suggested that the phrase overhasty
 7was probably justified, and overhastily rushed a judgment
 8on me, which is not borne out by all the evidence my Lord.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     The evidence I think I am hearing from
10Professor Evans is that usually -- that may be an under
11statement -- you are portraying these Adjutants as having
12told you things which are in Hitler's favour, but
13sometimes not. Is that a broad summary?
14 MR IRVING:     To use one of Mr Rampton's favourite phrases,
15I would say "so what"? Quite clearly, if these Adjutants
16have sat for many hours talking to me, I have used all the
17information they have given me, and some of it has been in
18favour and some of it has not. What I have not done, and
19this is my question now to the witness, did I make
20appropriate use of the information that I obtained from
21these various witnesses, in your opinion?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It depends what you mean by "appropriate".
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Did I make appropriate use? In other words, did I rely on
24them solely, shall we say, for important episodes of
25history when I could not find any documentary
26substantiation?

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, they form an important part of your case that Hitler
 2did not know about the extermination of the Jews, at least
 3before the autumn of 1943, because what you argue about
 4the Adjutants is that they all say that Hitler never
 5actually discussed the extermination of the Jews with
 6them, and in the sense that, if you look at their
 7statements carefully, and I detail some of these later on
 8in the report, you will see that they do not infer from
 9the fact that this was not discussed as they claim, the
10fact that Hitler did not know about it. That is your
11inference. Indeed, a number of them explicitly stated
12that they were pretty sure that Hitler did know.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     There is a typical example of that, Albert Speer. Did
14Albert Speer say to me it was never discussed in front of
15him, but did he then go on to say that in his opinion
16Hitler must have known, roughly?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     As I recall, yes.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is that not an illogical kind of position for an
19intelligent man like Speer to adopt, that it was never
20discussed but somebody must have known? If it was never
21discussed, how could he guess?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     As I recall, Speer argued at some length, and there is a
23degree of self-exculpation here, I think, in Speer, that
24Hitler simply did not want this to be talked about in his
25inner circle.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     

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