Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 21: Electronic Edition

Pages 156 - 160 of 201

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     Do you infer that there is a belief in certain quarters
 1recorded, do you think, in this form?
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Because Hitler's views were important in the Third Reich,
 3it seems to me.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]      So Goebbels has informed the Nazi Party chief of Munich,
 5who would normally have no reason to believe otherwise,
 6and said, "Oh, by the way, everything we did last night is
 7OK. It is in line with what the Fuhrer wanted", and this
 8is not an unusual message, in your view?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Yes, I mean, it seems a reasonable thing to say, "The
10Fuhrer sanctions the measures taken so far".
11 Q. [Mr Irving]      You do not read into this exactly the same as he is
12putting in his diaries ----
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      It puts them, it puts the recipients in the clear as to
14what they had done which they must have been, obviously,
15very worried about since there was a great deal of talk
16about involving the State prosecution and so on, as we
17have seen from the Party tribunal report. There must have
18been a great deal of concern about it amongst those who
19carried them out. After all, these were beatings up,
20murders, massive destruction of property, arson, looting,
21all these sorts of things. So it seems to me important
22that the people who had done this were reassured in the
23eyes of the Nazi leadership that Hitler sanctioned the
24measures.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]      This is a document that you accept at face value without
26the slightest textual criticism or content criticism at

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 1all? You do not ask yourself why that odd sentence is in
 2it?
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      I have just given my criticism, as it were.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]      In other words, your criticism is no criticism. You
 5accept it at face value?
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Well, criticism in the sense of critique or source
 7criticism when you ask why a document has been issued.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]      You do not say to yourself: "This is exactly the same
 9kind of thing as Goebbels writes in his diaries, saying
10'What we did was entirely with the Fuhrer's consent'" and
11you say to yourself, "Why does he write that in his diary
12then?"
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, you have put that question several
14times. I know the question, I understand your point.
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      The answer is because it is true.
16 MR IRVING:     Well, page 289, paragraph 3. We are now on the
17meeting on November 12th 1938 in the Reich Air Ministry
18building under the chairmanship of Hermann Goring as head
19of the four year plan. This was the meeting at which the
20punitive measures were discussed and agreed between the
21various ministers. Dr Goebbels is present, is he not?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Yes.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]      Yes. You say that Goebbels in his diary writes, "I am
24co-operating splendidly with Goring". Does that strike
25you as being an accurate reflection of the relationship
26between the two on that day and at that time?

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Yes, because the measures which Goring sanctioned were
 2those which Goebbels put forward and which, indeed, had
 3been suggested by Hitler in their meeting at the Osteria
 4restaurant according to Goebbels' earlier diary.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Do you mean a whitewash?
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      No, these are the -- sorry, my Lord.
 7 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]      I am not quite sure what we are talking about.
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      What we are talking about here are the economic measures
 9which on 12th November this conference was held to impose
10all the economic measures, a huge fine preventing the Jews
11from getting any insurance payments for the damage caused,
12and then a whole series of further measures about which
13I quote on page 290 about banning them from being in
14various public places, trains and all the rest of it.
15That is what we are talking about. There is a legal
16wrapping up.
17     This is exactly what Goebbels says, as we see
18when he says in the kind of closing, the message to "Shut
19it all down, stop the actions, we are now going to take
20the legal road", and this is the legal road that he is
21talking about.
22 MR IRVING:     Now we get back to the Goebbels diary where
23Goebbels describes this meeting in the most glowing terms
24of cordial relationship between him and Goring, would that
25be a fair description?
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      He says, "I am cooperating splendidly with Goring. He's

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 1going to crack down on them too. The radical line has
 2won".
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]      Is that a fair and accurate reflection of what is
 4contained in the verbatim transcript of that meeting?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      It is a -- it is a very accurate summary of what
 6transpired at the meeting, that is to say, that Goebbels'
 7-- that Goring was persuaded, if he needed persuading,
 8that there should be a crack down in the legal and
 9economic sense on the Jews, as suggested by Hitler in the
10Osteria restaurant put forward by Goebbels.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]      Are you familiar with the fact that Goring was livid with
12Goebbels for this pogrom that he had started because of
13the costs that it had inflicted on the German economy
14which he was now going to have to make good and the damage
15to the broken glass that they were going to have spend
16foreign currency on, and the insurance costs that the
17German insurance companies were going to have to meet?
18Are you familiar with those passages in that meeting?
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Of course I am. I quote them in the next paragraph,
20Mr Irving.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]      Are you familiar with the fact that Goering sneered and
22said, what we need here is a little bit of public
23enlightenment? What was that a reference to?
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Mr Irving, I am not saying----
25 Q. [Mr Irving]      Can you answer the question, please? What was that a
26reference to?

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      No, I am not saying ----
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]      Can you answer the question, please?
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      I am not saying ----
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]      Can you answer the question, please? What is "public
 5enlightenment" a reference to?
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      I am not saying, Mr Irving, that there were no minor
 7disagreements between the two. I refer to these in
 8paragraph 4 on page 289 to 90. I am not claiming that
 9Goring and Goebbels were bosom pals. The relationships
10between the leading people in that gang of ruffians were,
11as one would expect, not particularly polite or loving or
12courteous. Nevertheless, the fact is that his statement,
13"I am cooperating splendidly with Goring. He is going to
14crack down on them too. The radical line has won", is
15absolutely correct. That is what happened. Goring says,
16as I quote, "I would have preferred it if you had beaten
17200 Jews to death and had not destroyed such valuable
18property". Nice of Hermann to say that. "Once the
19property was damaged, however", I go on, "Goring ensured
20that the meeting took maximum financial advantage of the
21events for the Nazi state". I quote a long example for
22this disgusting collection of people.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]      If you were going to quote a long example, would it not
24have been better to quote an example of the outrage that
25Goring expressed at Goebbels for having inflicted this
26economic disaster on Germany at this time in their

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