Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 176 - 180 of 201

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     These two notes now are dated August 3rd 1940. They are
 1had with Hitler, Otto Abetz. Who was Otto Abetz?
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      You have to tell me I am afraid.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]      Otto Abetz was the German ambassador in France in Paris,
 4would you accept that?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Sure, yes.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]      That he visited Hitler and on August 3rd 1940 he had a
 7meeting with Hitler, and the first document does it show
 8Otto Abetz swearing an affidavit saying that he had talked
 9with the Fuhrer about the Jewish problem, and then follows
10the quotation: "He said to me that he wanted to solve the
11Jewish question generally for Europe, and in fact by a
12clause in the peace agreement, the peace treaty"?
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Yes.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]      "In which he made a condition of the vanquished countries,
15the defeated countries, that they agreed to transport
16their Jewish citizens outside Europe", is that right?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Yes, exactly.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]      So again it is a geographical solution he is talking
19about?
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Quite right, yes.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     You can take this quite rapidly because you
22are pushing at an open door.
23 MR RAMPTON:     I do not understand where this is going. Nobody
24on this side of the court has suggested anything else up
25to 1941, and not even then until late 1941 do we get into
26murder on systematic scale.

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is exactly why I said you can take this
 2quite quickly.
 3 MR IRVING:     We are taking it at enormous speed, my Lord.
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Let us keep going then.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]      In that case we will skip the second file. We are now in
 615th November 1941.
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Right.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]      This is apparently a retype by the Nuremberg authorities
 9of a presumably rather damaged or illegible original, a
10letter addressed to the Minister for the Occupied Eastern
11Territories by somebody in the Baltic States, the
12Reichskommissar, the Office of the Reichskommissar for the
13Ostland, stating: "I have forbidden the Jewish executions
14in Liebau because it was quite unbearable or irresponsible
15for them to be carried out in the manner that they were
16being carried out".
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Irresponsible, yes.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]      Irresponsible. "I asked to be informed whether your
19question of October 31st is to be interpreted as a
20directive" ----
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      "Your enquiry". "Your enquiry".
22 Q. [Mr Irving]      "Your enquiry of October 31st is to be interpreted as a
23directive that all the Jews in the Baltic are to be
24liquidated. Is this to be done without regard to their
25age and race and to our economic interest or to economic
26interests? For example, the Wehrmacht's expert skilled

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 1workers in the arms factories"?
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Yes.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]      Does this indicate -- then the final paragraph: "Neither
 4from the directives on the Jewish problem in the brown
 5file nor other decrees allow me to assume that there is
 6such a directive"?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Yes.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]      Does this indicate that at the very highest level in the
 9Baltic there was no indication by October 31st or November
1015th 1941, rather, of any kind that they were floundering,
11they did not know what on earth was going on and what they
12should be doing and what they should not be doing?
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      It is not very clear who this is from or to. Can you just
14remind.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]      It is from the Reichskommissar.
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      The Reichsminister, that is right.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]      To the Reichsminister for the Occupied Eastern Territories
18who was Rosenberg, was it not?
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      That is right. Who is the Reichskommissar?
20 Q. [Mr Irving]      The Reichskommissar for the Ostland was, I believe,
21Lohse. If this a genuine document, and it appears to be a
22Nuremberg document, then from this rather fragmentary
23document we can conclude that on November 15th 1941 at
24least there was no kind of directive from above as to what
25was to happen with the Jews being sent out there, and the
26man who is the asking the questions is saying: "What are

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 1we supposed to be doing?"
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      That is not quite so. He is says he has not been able to
 3find one in his brown file.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]      Yes, which appears to have some kind of great importance.
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      You also left out a sentence [German spoken].
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]      It says that it is quite a laudable task cleansing the
 7Eastern Ostland of Jews, but if we are going to do it we
 8have to do it in a way that it does not damage our
 9economic interests?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      That is right, yes. There is a great deal or a
11considerable amount of argument about the economic
12responsibility.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]      The fact that I rely on is that apparently there is brown
14file which appears to contain directives from top level,
15and he has delved into that file and cannot find any kind
16instructions at all?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      That is right, for all the total liquidation, as he says,
18of all Jews in the Osland in the Eastern territories,
19without any exceptions, and particularly without reference
20to economic interests, and there is a good deal of
21discussion, you find references in the Himmler
22appointments and telephone diaries, for example, to the
23discussions that went on about what should be done about
24Jews who were working, for example, in armaments
25industries, you see references here. So what he is really
26saying is: "Do we have to kill these people too? We must

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 1surely square this perfectly acceptable cleansing", as he
 2puts it, "of the Osland, Juden, this cleansing of the
 3eastland of Jews, that is all right, but it must be
 4economically OK".
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]      His Lordship will appreciate the reason that I attach
 6importance to this is the absence even at this date of any
 7order, systematic order, shall we put it like that. He
 8has looked for a directive, he has looked for a decree,
 9there is nothing there, and so he is asking up the proper
10channels, saying: "What should we be doing?"
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      There is no legal decree, that is right. "Alas" is a
12legal decree.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]      My Lord, I do not propose putting to this witness the
14documents on the November 30th 1941 phone call, because we
15have been over that in very great detail, Himmler to
16Heydrich, transport of Jews from Berlin not to be
17liquidated, and the intercepts which then followed.
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      It is not necessarily Himmler to Heydrich, is it, because
19we do not know from these who phoned whom?
20 Q. [Mr Irving]      Well, a conversation between Himmler and Heydrich.
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      "Oustenbunke" of course is not necessarily from Hitler's
22bunker because there were quite a large number of bunkers
23in that Wolffschansser. Apart from those two points,
24I think we have been over that very thoroughly.
25 MR IRVING:     I am seeking his Lordship's guidance on this.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No, you do not need to go over that again.

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