Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 121 - 125 of 207

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     Could you answer the question? You would not expect, if
 2he is the second most important man in the Ministry, that
 3he would be happy to get a document addressed to him just
 4as Freisler?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, we do not know who has put this on this. It might
 6well be somebody else at some other time.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     This goes back to my earlier question. Is this the place
 8where, on German Civil Service documents the distribution
 9list was always placed, on the bottom left-hand corner?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Normally. It has two, seems to be UB4 and U something 5
11underneath it, UB5, which would be presumably divisions
12where it was going to be sent to.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would I be right at this point in suggesting that your
14reluctance to make progress with this document is because
15you are very unhappy about this document?
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No. I am trying to point out, Mr Irving that, if you did
17not like this document's contents, you would be saying
18everything that I am saying and no doubt a great deal
19more. It is normal on a document, this is a kind of scrap
20of paper with no letter heading, no date, no signature, it
21would be normal actually on a formal important document to
22type the distribution list on the bottom, particularly if
23it was relating to a decision that was made.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you worked ----
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     This looks like some kind of note made by somebody to
26themselves as a kind of aide memoire.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     A minute?
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, a minute. It is not a formal minute. It is clearly
 3a kind of aide memoire of a rather informal sort, as it
 4does not have any of the normal things that you get with a
 5formal document.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. It has some kind of paginated number in the top
 7left, which appears to be, as you state in your expert
 8report, probably put on there by the Nuremberg
 9authorities, is that correct?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, crossed out.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I thought we were proceeding on the
12assumption that it is accepted to be authentic?
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes. I am happy to go along with that.
14 MR IRVING:     Yes. So it is a memorandum that has been drawn up,
15unless I am wrong, for the attention of State Secretary
16Freisler and two other departments of the Justice
17Ministry?
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes Freisler certainly seems to have been, I guess, an
19addressee of it.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Somebody is passing on to him the information from Hans
21Lammers, who is the head of the Reichschancellory, is that
22correct?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes. His own information about a meeting or a phone
24conversation or something with Lammers. That is what he
25is passing on. His own report on a meeting with Lammers.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     In which Lammers has passed on the not insignificant

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 1information that the Fuhrer has repeatedly said he wants
 2the solution of the Jewish problem postponed until the war
 3is over.
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes,.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     So it would be interesting, would it not, to find out when
 6this memorandum came into existence?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Exactly, yes.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are opinions divided on that?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is very difficult because it does not actually have a
10formal date on it, so you have to weigh up the
11possibilities. I think there are two possibilities. One
12is that it came into existence on 17th July 1941, which is
13the day after an important meeting at which arrangements
14were made about the administration of the Eastern
15territories, at a time when the decision to, as it were,
16solve the Jewish question in the Nazis' own terminology
17had not been taken. Or it is possible that it belongs in
18a series of discussions that took place between the
19Ministry of Justice and other instances in the spring of
201942, in the wake of the Wannsee conference about the fate
21of half Jews and Jews in mixed marriages. That second
22context indeed is the one in which it is placed in this
23made up set of documents.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you agree that on the Staff Evidence Analysis sheet,
25which is page 18 of the bundle, it states that the date
26covered by the file is March to April 1942?

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes. That is wrong, of course, because one of the
 2documents dates from 21st November 1941.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. Is that document out of numerical sequence?
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     The documents are not in chronological order. That is to
 5say, it depends how you look at it, but sheet 153 is what
 6we are calling the Schlegelberger memorandum, and then
 7sheet 154 is a document of 21st November 41, sheet 155 is
 812th March 1942, sheet 156 is the 18th March 1942, and 157
 9is 5th April, and 159 is 20th November. So, if you are
10going in strict chronological order of the pagination on
11the top right hand of the page, you would have to say that
12this document came from 1941, because the next document is
1321st November 1941. However ----
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Mr Rampton , do you want to say something?
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     -- because this is a made up collection, you cannot be
16sure that it is in chronological order.
17 MR RAMPTON:     Miss Rogers -- I will do at some stage -- asks me
18to point out that the clip that Mr Irving is using is
19missing a document.
20 MR IRVING:     In November 1941?
21 MR RAMPTON:     No, no, no -- is missing. If on that list is the
22minutes of the meeting on 6th March 1942, it is missing
23from Mr Irving's clip.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am not sure I quite followed that. Does it
25matter?
26 MR RAMPTON:     I am not sure that I do either.

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think we might just press on a little bit.
 2 MR IRVING:     Yes.
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It could be 41, it could be 42. I think in
 4the end, if I have understood you right, Professor Evans,
 5you were inclined to accept that it might well be 42?
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     On balance, but it is a very fine balance, my Lord.
 7 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     I understand that.
 8 MR IRVING:     It is exactly the position I am trying to steer
 9towards.
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     One has to make it very clear to anybody reading this
11document its peculiar nature, uncertainties about its
12date, its origination, who made it, and all of these sorts
13of things.
14 MR IRVING:     In that case I will put to the witness the evidence
15that goes towards supporting the 1942 dating. Is there a
16letter from Schlegelberger to Lammers after the March 16th
171942 conference?
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     We will come back to the March 6th 1942 conference because
20I know we want to discuss the contents of the memorandum.
21At present we are just dealing with the dating.
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Right.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is there a letter from Schlegelberger to Lammers in which
24he says words to the effect: I have read the report on the
25meeting. Decisions appear to be brewing here which look
26pretty murky. They must not get away with this. You are

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