Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 20: Electronic Edition

Pages 116 - 120 of 215

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    I am an unskilled cross-examiner, as your Lordship
 1bring it to the witness's attention.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Of course I will. That is one of my jobs and
 3it has not happened yet though.
 4 MR IRVING:     I say that because we are now going to come to
 5Madagascar briefly at paragraph 57 on page 172. Can
 6briefly say, in your view, whether the Madagascar plan was
 7not a feasible option when the Nazis talked of the
 8Madagascar plan, whether it was a pipe dream or it was a
 9realistic project.
10 MR RAMPTON:     Sorry, can I just interrupt? Before we move to
11Madagascar, my Lord, the reference is, in fact, in K4, tab
128. It is an interview called Cover Story on 4th March
131997, in fact -- that is the date of the programme. It is
14an Australian television company, and the relevant passage
15is at page 7 of that transcript.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Thank you very much.
17 MR IRVING:     Was Madagascar ----
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am sorry, can you pause again? I have a
19slight problem with my screen.
20 MR RAMPTON:     K4, tab 8, page 7.
21 MR IRVING:     In that case, before we come to Madagascar, in view
22of the fact it was an Australian company I was talking to,
23can I ask you one question? Witness, what is the time
24difference between Florida and Australia, approximately?
25Is it about 12 hours?
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I have no idea actually. I imagine, probably, yes.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     So if an Australian radio station is conducting a live
 2interview in the day time, in fact, you are being
 3telephoned in the middle of the night?
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     If it is a live interview.
 5 MR RAMPTON:     No, I am afraid again we have gone way off course
 6somewhere around the end of the world. This is an
 7Australian film crew travelling with Mr Irving in America
 8and doing the interview when they are there.
 9 MR IRVING:     Right. In other words, this is another of the
10edited broadcasts which I shall have to pay attention to.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, if you want to make a point that
12the context affects what you said about the Jews bringing
13it on themselves, then, by all means, go to the full
14transcript. You have been told where it is. But if you
15do not make that kind of point, then I think we really
16ought to get on to Madagascar.
17 MR IRVING:     There would be a better time to do it, my Lord, in
18view of the fact that your Lordship is anxious to make
19progress. If I were to look at that transcript now, I
20would have to be provided with a bundle, look it up, sit
21down and read it and we would lose at least 10 minutes.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     So Madagascar?
23 MR IRVING:     Madagascar. (To the witness): Was Madagascar a
24feasible operation, in your view?
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     On the basis of the continued British effective command
26over the seas, it became clear well into the war that it

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 1was not. I mean, obviously, it requires the ability to
 2travel across -- this is the plan, the solution, the plan
 3to deport the Jews to Madagascar clearly requires command
 4over the seas.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     But if the war had come to an end and an agreement had
 6been reached with Vichy France or whichever French
 7government was in power?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     This is getting into extremely hypothetical realms because
 9that makes assumptions about how the war might have come
10to an end and then about international agreements, and so
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     I think the question I am really asking is did the Germans
13regard it as a feasible operation or was it just baloney?
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     At what date? I think that is the relevant
15part of the question.
16 MR IRVING:     At all relevant dates when Madagascar was
17discussed, in other words, from 1938 in, I think, June
18when it was first mentioned by Adolf Hitler to Goebbels
19right the way through to July 24, 1942 when it vanishes
20from the map of history?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I think they certainly took it seriously. There is quite
22a large amount of discussion about it in 1940 through
231941. I think it became increasingly clear in the course
24of 1941 that the conditions were not right. Of course,
25the invasion of the Soviet Union changed the picture
26somewhat and I think by the middle of 1942 it certainly

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 1was not taken seriously and references to it, I think, can
 2be regarded as camouflage.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Were these discussions that you are talking about at
 4Hitler's level as well?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Including at Hitler's level, yes.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Including at Hitler's level. At least for sometime, in
 7your view, the discussions were not baloney, they were
 8meant seriously?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It certainly looks like that from the documents, so
10whether it was realistic is another matter, but they
11certainly took it seriously.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is it not difficult to reconcile that notion with a Nazi
13ideological desire to exterminate all the Jews they could
14get their hands on?
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, as we know, the Nazi desire to exterminate all the
16Jews they could get their hands on only became, at least
17it grew in the course of war. I think while -- there are
18really two answers to that. One is that the systematic
19extermination of the Jews did not begin until well on into
20the autumn of 1941, and about the time in which the
21Madagascar plan began to, as it were, take second rank and
22then began to fade away.
23     Secondly, of course, I do think that one has to
24remember that the Madagascar plan, such as it was, I do
25not think it was ever seriously worked out in detail, was
26one which deported the Jews across the seas in, one

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 1presumes, extremely poor conditions, and just dumped them
 2on a large, somewhat inhospitable tropical island in
 3conditions that were entirely unsuited to sustaining a
 4large society of millions of Europeans.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would those conditions have been worse than in a slave
 6labour camp like Auschwitz or better?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not accept that the conditions in the slave -- sorry,
 8I do not accept that Auschwitz was simply a slave labour
 9camp. That is the first thing I would say. The second is
10that it is very conjectural, but they may well have been
11comparable certainly in terms of disease, malnourishment.
12It is sort of a parallel in a way to the ghettoization,
13I think.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you accept that the population of Madagascar has grown
15from around 2 million in 1938 to 13 million now?
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not see what the relevance that is to -- of that is
17to Nazi plans in 1940 and '41.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     The final question on this field. What you are saying, in
19other words, is that Nazi ideology towards exterminating
20the Jews changed sometime in 1941 from getting them out of
21sight, effectively, to exterminating them? Is that what
22you are saying, there was a change in their ideology?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     There is a sort of continuum. I think that Nazi
24anti-Semitism always had its murderous elements, as became
25clear immediately on the invasion of Poland or, indeed, in
26the Reichskristallnacht and so on. But the systematic

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