Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 36 - 40 of 201

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     Do we have any contemporary records of what went on in
 1Adolf Hitler's private residence, any contemporary records
 2whatsoever of went on in his private residence?
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Not directly, no.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]      So we are really then on our uppers, are we not?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      We are comparing a lost of post war reminiscences and we
 6have to be very careful in treading through this
 7particular minefield of documents.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]      So ideally we want to have more than just one source that
 9says the same thing?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Whole range of sources, indeed.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]      How many would you accept? Two sources?
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      I am not going to put a number on it, Mr Irving.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]      But, if we have another source that says the same thing,
14then we are getting convergences of evidence beginning to
15kick in, are we?
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Well, it is a problem with the evidence of Hitler's
17entourage, that they of course had a major incentive after
18the war for trying to exculpate them for involvement in a
19number of crimes such as the Reichskristallnacht. They
20also seem to have been a fairly close knit group who had
21the opportunity to discuss their line, as it were, amongst
22themselves, so I think one has to be very cautious.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]      Any common sense historian would adopt that line, that is
24correct. But, if we ignore for a moment the main trend of
25these statements, and I am going to introduce another one
26to you in a moment, and we look for the little bits of

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 1verisimilitude which tend to support the main trend, for
 2example he was livid with rage and he shouted at Goebbels,
 3those kinds of things which appear to figure in several of
 4the statements or certainly more than one, then the
 5convergence of evidence then becomes more convincing.
 6Would you agree?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      No, not necessarily. This might have been a story they
 8cooked up.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]      Can we now turn to a third witness?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      The sentence you are relying on here claiming such a
11tremendous piece of evidence is-- I will quote it: "As AH
12on this Sunday" -- we know it was not a Sunday.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]      Do you attach much important to the fact he got the day of
14the week wrong?
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I do not.
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Yes. It is pretty easy to remember. "As AH heard on that
17Sunday about the anti-Semitic excesses, he was angry with
18Goebbels". It does not seem to me to be very
19circumstantial.
20 MR IRVING:     He was furious with Goebbels. You are changing the
21words.
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      It is angry, very angry, furious, yes.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]      He made a frightful scene, did he not?
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Yes.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]      Told him that this kind of propaganda was just damaging.
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Yes. Mr Irving, I do not know how much detail I ought to

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 1go into here, but there is an enormous amount of evidence
 2which is laid out in my report and which was gone over in
 3your cross-examination ----
 4 MR IRVING:     But not of the events in your----
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Do not keep talking over the witness.
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      -- about Hitler's responsibilities for these events.
 7 MR IRVING:     We are not talking about that at this point.
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      You know that, and accepted that what Goebbels said in his
 9speech to the party assembly at between about 10 o'clock
10at night on 9th November that (I quote) on Goebbels'
11briefing the Fuhrer has decided that such demonstrations
12should not be quelled. That is contemporary evidence,
13Mr Irving.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]      I really have to halt you here because this is a totally
15different matter.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Please do not interrupt, Mr Irving.
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      That is contemporary evidence that Hitler had decided that
18these excesses should continue, they should continue to
19burn synagogues and destroy the dwellings and shops of the
20Jews. It seems reasonable to suppose that, if Hitler had
21been angry and had not approved of this, if Goebbels was
22making this up, then the consequences for Goebbels would
23have been extremely serious. I cannot imagine that
24Goebbels would have said that to a mass assembly of senior
25party officials if that was not true. Indeed, you have
26accepted that what Goebbels said in his speech was what

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 1Hitler told him at the dinner. You have also accepted
 2that, when Heinrich Muller telexed the police, ordering
 3them again not to interfere in the excesses, the burnings
 4and the destruction, and to arrest 20,000 Jews at 11.55
 5p.m., that is an order that came from Himmler to Muller,
 6from Himmler who had had it from Hitler, i.e. that
 7Hitler's order was the source of this Muller telegram.
 8 MR IRVING:     Can we now halt your flow of verbiage and get back
 9to the point I am asking about?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      We have a whole series of contemporary----
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am finding this extremely helpful and
12please will you stop interrupting.
13 MR IRVING:     This is not the point I am asking about. I am
14asking about the events in Hitler's home.
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      We have a whole series of contemporary documents going on
16to the telex from Heydrich, to the German police again
17saying they are not to interfere unless German property is
18threatened or foreigners are threatened at 1.20 a.m.,
19again which Mr Irving has admitted under cross-examination
20was a result of Hitler and Himmler having discussed this
21issue. So right through the night -- and this goes on.
22There is a whole string of further documents, a telegram
23from Eberstein, a telegram from Hess at 2.56, which
24indicate all the way through that Hitler was fully
25apprised of the situation, right from the very beginning,
26that he approved of Goebbels' idea and ordered that these

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 1excesses should be carried out.
 2     These are contemporary documents and therefore
 3they undermine wholly the credibility of postwar
 4ex post facto self-serving justifications by members of
 5Hitler's entourage who were heavily involved in these
 6events, that Hitler somehow did not know about it, and got
 7very angry when he heard about it.
 8 MR IRVING:     Are you saying ----
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      We know from Goebbels' diary, as I quote on pages 257 to
108, that Schaub himself was involved. Schaub is completely
11worked up, says Goebbels, his old shock troop past is
12waking up. So Schaub himself was heavily involved.
13Obviously, all these things are things that Schaub does
14not really want to admit after the war.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That was a very long answer but what are you
16really saying -- and this is condensing it absurdly -- is
17that, when you are approaching the testimony of the
18Adjutants, you have to weigh what they say happened
19against the whole background and consider the likelihoods?
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      Yes. It is not a question of dismissing them totally.
21 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]      No. I said "weigh against".
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]      But you have to weigh them up, yes, and particularly the
23circumstances in which these statements were made after
24the war.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes.
26 MR IRVING:     

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