Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 136 - 140 of 207

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    Sorry, I am saying that -- they are my quotation marks
 1well, we are talking about 6th March 1942; and there were
 2other proposals, that there be a law passed which would
 3dissolve marriages between Jews and non-Jewish Germans and
 4that was opposed for various legal and other reasons and
 5that it should be made easier for them to divorce. So
 6there was a great deal of talk about all these various
 7different kinds of solutions.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, does it look like a whole bunch of problems they are
 9conjuring up for themselves?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, they are kind of agonising over what to do, given
11their basic anti-semitic premises, it is a problem for
12them.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     What position was Germany in in March 1942? Was Germany
14pretty well down to its uppers? Was it fighting a
15desperate battle on the Eastern Front? Had it nearly lost
16the entire Eastern Army in the previous winter?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Not as desperate as it became later.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     So they had quite a lot of things on their plate apart
19from dealing with these domestic problems?
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, but it was part of their mentality, as you could see
21from the space devoted to the Mischlinger question in the
22Wannsee Conference, that they should kind of split hairs
23and spend a lot of time talking about what seems to us to
24be completely ludicrous problems, but they took these
25extremely seriously ----
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, these lawyers, they sat around all day talking about

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 1pernickety little details, did they not?
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am afraid they did a lot of the time, yes. But for
 3them, of course, it was very serious.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     For the lawyers or for Germany?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     For the lawyers.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     But Germany, you agree, was fighting desperate battles on
 7the on Eastern Front; the air war was just beginning;
 8they had manpower problems developing; they were trying to
 9control an ever expanding Empire; they had unrest?
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, I mean, that is a very long
11question. In the end, it is pretty neutral because the
12fact is they were doing it. That may be odd, may be not.
13 MR IRVING:     I am moving on to the point of the question.
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Good.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     If you were Adolf Hitler -- perish the thought -- and
16somebody came to you with all this red tape and said, "We
17are tackling this problem now, Mein Fuhrer", what would
18your response be?
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     But what do you mean by "this problem"?
20 MR IRVING:     Whatever the problem is, whatever ----
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That begs rather an important question, I
22think. I mean, that is the whole point of the discussion
23you are having at the moment.
24 MR IRVING:     If anybody, if you were the Fuhrer or if you were a
25Dictator of a State in a desperate military situation, and
26somebody came to you with any problem which was not

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 1directly related to winning the war, what would your
 2response be?
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It would depend on the problem, Mr Irving.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you not say, push this on one side, "Let us, for
 5heaven's sake, leave that until this war is over. Let us
 6win the war first and then we will tackle this problem"?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, Mr Irving. I think you could say that Hitler
 8repeatedly the previous December made speeches,
 9statements, about what was to happen to the Jews. He
10spent a lot of time thinking about the Jews and this had
11gone on into the Wannsee Conference.
12     Hitler was an obsessive anti-Semite in whom
13there was really little distinction between the process,
14the progress of the war and the Jewish question. He
15regarded the war as having been started by the Jews. He
16thought they were responsible for it. When America came
17into war on 11th December 1941, Hitler thought that the
18Americans had been put up to this by -- I know he declared
19war in America, but he thought that the American support
20for the allied side was a result of Jewish machinations.
21And all of this weighed extremely heavily upon his mind.
22     On the other hand, the kind of legalistic, you
23know, and to go on, I mean, he also, of course, considered
24that the Soviet Union was run by Judaio Bolsheviks and
25that the Jews were behind that as well. He was completely
26obsessed with this. Therefore, he does not, kind of, he

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 1does not even make a distinction between the exigencies of
 2the war and what he regarded as the problem of the Jews of
 3Germany, Poland and the rest of Europe.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is there any evidence ----
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     On the other hand, just so that I may finish answer the
 6question -- I apologise, it is rather a long answer, but
 7it is an important question to get straight -- of course,
 8when the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of
 9Justice and so on, and all the various other instances
10start agonizing at considerable length as to what to do
11about the half Jews, the quarter Jews, Jews married to
12Germans, where do you draw the line and so on, then it is
13quite likely that Hitler would have said, "Look, this is
14all too complicated. We have got the main problem of the
15Jews solved, we are taking them all out to the East and we
16are killing them in large numbers, let us leave this
17relatively small group, let us put that off to the end of
18the war".
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     That is the spin you put on this document, is it, on the
20Schlegelberger memorandum?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     If you want to date it, if you date it to this period, to
22the kind of bureaucratic fall out of 6th March 1942
23meeting, then that seems to be the reasonable
24interpretation.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you read ----
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     If you want to date it to July 1941, then I think you have

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 1to put a different and broader interpretation on it. It
 2is a matter of balancing out which you think is more
 3equal, which are more likely with this rather problematic
 4source.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Look at the evidence for the 1942 one first, and if that
 6is sufficiently compelling, I will invite his Lordship to
 7decide whether we ought to go back and have a look at the
 81941 scenario.
 9     Have you seen any testimonies of the people who
10were present at these meetings, or on the staff of the
11people involved in this, in which they describe how they
12approached Lammers for a decision and Lammers informed
13them that he had taken it up with Hitler and that Hitler
14had said he wanted it postponed until after the war was
15over? I am referring to the names of Boley, Ficker and
16other members of the various Ministerial staffs who were
17present at the March 6th 1942 conference?
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, yes.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     So that helps to narrow it down to this 1942 period, does
20it not?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That depends how much you rely on their testimony. One
22has to be rather cautious with it.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Because they were Nazis or anti-Semitic? Is this, I mean,
24the usual story, that we are not going to accept them
25because they were in some way loaded?
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     

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