Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 146 - 150 of 207

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    "Cabinet Counselor Hans Ficker of the Reichs Chancellery
 1were on the agenda'. They took minutes. Lammers took
 2this minute to the Fuhrer, and returned with a
 3memorandum, 'The discussion of the whole affair is to be
 4postponed until the after the end of war'"?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     That must have been in March 1942, full stop, and he
 7continues, "'To our horror, we learned that that then
 8continued behind the scenes'"?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     And the original German is on the following pages,
11I think. Now, do you agree that on the basis of that
12evidence they did not just discuss sterilization, but
13wider matters as well?
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, no. This is rather unreliable evidence, particularly
15this, "'To our horror, we learned that that then continued
16behind the scenes'" ----
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. I understand you do not like that, yes.
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     --- which I think is a very obvious piece of
19self-exculpation.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Unless it is true?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Ficker, if you look at the Himmler Dienstagebuch, Ficker
22actually had dinner with Himmler seven times in 1942 to 3
23at the height of the extermination of the Jews and it
24beggars belief to suppose that it continued. It also
25beggars belief to think that the, I suppose he means
26extermination of the Jews here, carried on behind the

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 1scenes without Hitler or anybody in the senior positions
 2knowing about it. Ficker and Boley, Ficker himself
 3admitted that he and Boley were together in an internment
 4camp after the war, and they discussed the meeting of 6th
 5March 1942 more than a dozen times. In other words, they
 6cooked up a story, or a kind of version of the events,
 7between themselves, which would exculpate themselves.
 8That does not mean to say that everything they said was
 9wrong, but one has to regard what they said with extreme
10caution, particularly what Ficker says, because he was not
11actually at the meeting of 6th March 1942 himself.
12     There is also a problem when you look at what we
13are calling the Schlegelberger memorandum, because that
14simply reports Lammers's view that Hitler, in a kind of
15ongoing way, had said, repeatedly said, that he wanted the
16solution to the Jewish question postponed until after the
17war. It does not say that there was a specific meeting
18about the event. So I think we have to regard all of
19these later documents ----
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Unless Lammers had gone to Hitler and Hitler said, "Herr
21Lammers, how often have I told you I do not want to hear
22about this"?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I think he would have said that he had gone to Hitler
24because then that would have meant that he had got from
25Hitler a kind of decision about this, and that is not what
26happened. That is not what happened.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     We do not know. We are just tied to the documents in
 2front of us.
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     In you take the contemporary documents, still remembering
 4that it is uncertain whether it really was from the spring
 5of 1942, and if you regard the contemporary document as
 6superior evidence of these cooked up stories from after
 7the war in allied captivity by people who were trying to
 8save their skins, then I think there is no indication that
 9Herr Lammers did go specifically to Hitler. I think, if
10Lammers went specifically to Hitler and got a ruling, as
11it were, then it would have been in a different form from
12this rather unsatisfactory scrap of paper we have.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Professor Evans, do you think that that is
14borne out if you look at the text of the Schlegelberger
15memorandum? Because whatever the tense of "habe" and
16however you translate that, what it appears to me to be
17saying is that the Fuhrer has been on and on about
18postponing the solution of the Jewish question.
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
20 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Then he (Lammers) infers that the present discussions,
21which you say are about Mischlinge, are only of
22theoretical value.
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Exactly, my Lord.
24 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Which is a very odd way of expressing himself if he had
25actually gone to Hitler and had, as it were, an
26instruction from Hitler.

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Precisely the point.
 2 MR IRVING:     Is it possible, my Lord, I discussed this question
 3with your Lordship, that Lammers, being an experienced
 4Civil Servant, did not want to burn his fingers by taking
 5it up with Hitler again and just said this to the
 6minister?
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is not your case.
 8 MR IRVING:     No, it is not. But it is dangerous to speculate
 9too far, to go too far outside ----
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Of course. I agree.
11 MR IRVING:     -- the parameters of the documents. We are just
12trying to establish what the document can have meant, who
13knew about it and whether in fact these statements are
14self serving. Professor Evans, if there were a number of
15people who were at this meeting and they were all held in
16allied internment camps, would there not have been a
17strong temptation for one of them to have purchased early
18release by shopping the others? Did that not happen quite
19a lot?
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I thought you said we should not speculate too much.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can I ask you if you have ever heard the witness Wilhelm
22Hottl H-O-T-T-L, who was an SS officer?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Where does he appear in relation to the Schlegelberger
24memorandum?
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     This is a typical example of a witness at Nuremberg who
26purchased favourable treatment by providing statements

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 1that the Allies wanted to hear.
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     What has this to do with the Schlegelberger memorandum?
 3Which of these people, I mean Ficker or Boley? Ficker was
 4not there so we discount him. Is it Boley then, whom you
 5are saying purchased ----
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am not trying to trick you into an answer. I am just
 7asking you if it is not likely that, if there were several
 8people in the allied interrogation centres or internment
 9camps who had knowledge of this very delicate matter, and
10one of them had information that is the kind of
11information that the Allies wanted to hear, he would have
12been quite happy to shop his colleagues by turning it in
13in order to get an early release date?
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That is totally hypothetical. Which person are you
15talking about here who did that in relation to the
16Schlegelberger memorandum, and what is the evidence for
17it?
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     Was Gottfried Boley present?
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, at the 6th March meeting. Indeed.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Did he on September 14th 1945 -- I am now on the second
21paragraph of my page 12, my Lord -- describe Eichmann's
22uncouth behaviour at this conference and say how Eichmann
23used language about Jews being supplied like cattle or
24being shipped around? One man had objected, "one can't
25proceed against the Jews who behave correctly", and
26Eichmann's number 2 said, "that comes under our police

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