Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 22: Electronic Edition

Pages 116 - 120 of 207

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    Can you now answer the question? Does the document appear
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It appears to be an authentic document.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can you agree that this document comes with an amazing
 4pedigree by way of all the documents indicating where it
 5has been and in whose hands ever since the end of the war,
 6which we do not have in one single case in connection with
 7the documents whose integrity I have impugned?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No. You said yourself it went missing for a long time.
 9But that is an amazing pedigree, Mr Irving?
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. Can you agree that the document is referred ----
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is? A document has gone missing for many years. That
12is an amazing pedigree.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can you look back to page 22, please, which is the letter
14from the National Archives to me in 1972? In the final
15paragraph does it say: "The documents are black
16photostatic reproductions of originals certified by R M W
17Kempner to have been located among the Justice Ministry
18files at the Ministerial Collection Centre in West
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes. They describe it as an alleged note on Hitler's
21intentions and so on.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     We are looking just at the pedigree of the document.
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That is part of it. Clearly the National Archives do not
24want to accept that it actually exists because they cannot
25find it.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Could we proceed on the assumption that it

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 1has a lot of odd features, but you are prepared to accept
 2that it does appear to be authentic?
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, certainly.
 4 MR IRVING:     To repeat my previous question, does this document
 5come with a somewhat better pedigree by way of documents
 6tracing its provenance than the document whose integrity
 7I have impugned?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     On which basis do you place that statement? The document
10whose integrity I have impugned dated June 24th 1943 has
11come without any pedigree whatsoever, it is just a
12document which has turned up in the Auschwitz Museum
13Archives, having been delivered to them by East Berlin?
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     This document is the document that has turned up in a
15postwar file, claimed to have been located amongst the
16files of the Ministry of Justice. We do not know. We do
17not have that original pedigree.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am not going to spend much more time questioning this,
19but have you seen correspondence between myself and
20Mr Kempner, who was the Deputy Chief American prosecutor
21at Nuremberg, in which he accepts that this document was
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am accepting it is genuine, Mr Irving.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     So the whole of that was just a bit of a ----
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No. It was an answer to your question.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     The question I asked was, do you accept that this document

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 1is authentic, and now we have a yes from you?
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes. The question you asked, Mr Irving----
 3 MR RAMPTON:     That is not fair because the question was two
 4barrelled, or sometimes five or six barrelled. The
 5question also was, do you accept this has a better
 6pedigree than the document which actually comes from two
 7archives, in two different forms, that Mr Irving impugns?
 8The answer to that is no.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     True, but that was another question. Yes,
10I accept that. Anyway, we have now got to the point where
11Professor Evans accepts, despite the odd feature, that it
12is an authentic document. Shall we now see what it
13actually means?
14 MR IRVING:     Very well. Professor Evans, would you propose a
15translation, or read to us the translation you have given
16of the document on page 364, of the Schlegelberger
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Audibly so that the courtroom can here, please?
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I hope I always do this. Do I mumble, Mr Irving? It is
21in the sort of past reported speech, which makes it
22somewhat difficult to translate exactly.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Past reported speech?
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes. Herr Reich Minister Lammers informed me that the
25Fuhrer had repeatedly, or has repeatedly, declared or
26explained to him that he, well, wanted, literally wanted

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 1to know.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     You can read out your translation on page 364, if you
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     -- wanted the solution of the Jewish Question put back
 5until after the war. Accordingly, the present discussions
 6possess a merely theoretical value in the opinion of Reich
 7Minister Lammers. But he will be in all cases concerned
 8that fundamental decisions are not reached by a surprise
 9intervention from another agency without his knowledge.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. It is actually written in the subjunctive, is it
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That is right. It is reported speech.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     You indicate it as reported speech.
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     It is the equivalent of the perfect tense, I suppose. In
16other words, "he has said", "the Fuhrer has repeatedly
17stated", you have said "had" but, if we cannot agree on
18that, we will move on to the next one.
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     The initials that are on the bottom left hand corner, is
21that where you would normally expect on a German document
22the distribution list to be, who the document is addressed
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     It is addressed to State Secretary Freisler?
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Not necessarily. I think a possible reading of that is

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 1"17.7.Freisler" or, in other words, 17th July, which
 2would make it 17th July 1941. It is rather difficult,
 3because the S looks to me like "17.7.Freisler".
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Why do you say 1941?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Because that more likely would fit in for other reasons.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     I see, for extraneous reasons.
 7 MR IRVING:     I missed this. Where do we see the 41 then?
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is what I have just asked.
 9 MR IRVING:     Thank you very much, my Lord.
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I said it said "17.7", which would be 1941 in more
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you not accept that the first hieroglyph is the Zutelin
13German handwriting S, followed by a T, followed by another
14S, which is the correct abbreviation for State Secretary,
15which is what his rank was?
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Very obscure, but I think it is a possible reading of it,
17that it is a 17.7.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. If it was Freisler and if he was State Secretary,
19you would not expect to see him there without a rank in
20front of his name, would you? You would not expect
21somebody just to write down just "Freisler"?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is rather peculiar. It looks almost as if there is a
23capital F, and then somebody else has written in after it
24the rest of his name. It is not his initials, it is not
25the normal way in which he would himself indicate that he
26received it. It is another peculiarity of this document.

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