Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 156 - 160 of 207

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    Can I bring you down to earth now with the actual content
 1problem postponed until the war is over.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Pause there, Mr Irving. If you are right
 3that the Wannsee conference really decided on a policy of
 4extermination, which as I understand is what you say there
 5happened, that is a very odd thing to have somebody as
 6senior as Lammers saying.
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Indeed, my Lord, at this point.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     How do you explain it?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Because it is to do with -- the Jewish question here, he
10means the aspect of the Jewish solution to the Jewish
11question that has to do with the Mischlinge and the Jews
12in mixed marriages.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No, I do not think that really would do.
14That is the gloss that Lammers is putting on it. He is
15saying in effective response to what is to be done about
16the Mischlinge, "well, the Fuhrer has consistently said
17postpone the solution until after the war". My question
18to you is, how could he really be saying that, if you are
19right about what had been decided at Wannsee, because
20Hitler would have known what was decided at Wannsee? And
21Lammers would have known too?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That is one reason, my Lord, why I think that there is a
23strong possibility that this is dated from 1941.
24 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     But you accepted on balance of probabilities that actually
25it was likely to be 1942?
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Because of where it is in the file, which means it was

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 1selected by the Americans, or whoever selected it, to put
 2in this particular postwar file.
 3 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     So the only answer that you can really give to my point,
 4as it were, is, well, I put it back to 1941?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     If you think that "losung der Judenfrager" means the whole
 6package, as it were, then it is a deeply implausible thing
 7to be saying at this particular time because so much was
 8going on.
 9 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     That is really my point.
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     There are so many uncertainties with this document. If
11you read that little note in the bottom left hand corner,
1217.7, that pushes it back to 1941, and then, on 17th July
131941, it is plausible to say that Hitler repeatedly said
14he wanted the whole solution put back until after the war,
15because he was saying that in other quarters and to other
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, I follow the point.
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     You can follow this up through a chain of documents which
19I go into my report at this time in 1942, which are headed
20things like "gasuntlosung der Judenfrager" or "Losung der
21Judenfrager", which then consist entirely of material
22about the Mischlinge and the half Jews. So it is not
23entirely implausible whether he was giving this kind of
24meaning to the Mischlinge. I agree it is another
25problematical aspect of this document.
26 MR IRVING:     I think the basic problem, my Lord, if I can put it

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 1like this, is that the whole operation of whatever the
 2Final Solution was is so ramshackle, and so multi-headed,
 3so hydra-like, that to try and systematise it in a law
 4court 50 or 60 years after the event on the basis of basis
 5of not complete documentation is a rather hopeless
 6undertaking. We all have to try and do the best we can.
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, I understand.
 8 MR IRVING:     Can I now go back to where I was in the
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, I am sorry.
11 MR IRVING:     I mean no criticism of your Lordship but I will
12start again and concentrate on that second sentence.
13After we looked at the first sentence, which says, Reich
14Minister Lammers informed me that the Fuhrer had
15repeatedly stated to him that he wants to know that the
16solution of the Jewish problem has been postponed until
17the war is over; therefore, or accordingly, rather, the
18present discussions in the opinion of Mr Lammers have
19purely theoretical value. What are the "present
20discussions"? That was the mixed race discussions, was it
21not? So therefore that cannot be what they are referring
22to about being postponed. It is the whole problem is
23being postponed because the mixed race discussions are
24referred to separately in the second sentence, saying for
25that reason, these other discussions about mixed races are
26going to have purely theoretical value. Do you see the

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 1point I am getting at?
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, I see the point. I do not accept it. What I would
 3like to know is what do you think "the solution to the
 4Jewish question" means in this document?
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am sure that, if it had been said the other way round,
 6if it had been put, the Fuhrer has insisted that the
 7solution to the Jewish problem be pressed with the utmost
 8possible and radical speed, then you would have no
 9difficulty in telling me what you meant by that phrase,
10would you?
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am just puzzled. You put it to me what you actually
12understand that phrase to mean, "the solution of the
13Jewish question"? What is it here that is being put back
14until after the war, if it is not the ----
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     The whole of this absurd doctrinaire business of plucking
16the Jews out of the arms factories, plucking the Jews out
17of their homes, putting them into scarce transport base,
18shipping them east and west, taking up scarce police
19forces to escort them, all this business, all the red tape
20that went with it, which was so pointless in the winter of
211941 to 1942, and Hitler is repeatedly saying in his
22ineffectual way, "why on earth are we doing this? We have
23a war on, fellows. Let us finish the war first and then
24tackle the problem".
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I think the problem for the historian, Mr Irving, if you
26say that then it means the forced evacuation of Jews to

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 1the East.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     This had been going on for several months by this time, on
 4Hitler's orders, a fact that you have accepted many times
 5and in many places.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Was it on Hitler's initiative, do you think, or was it
 7because people like Goebbels came nagging him, saying
 8"Mein Fuhrer, I want to get them out of Berlin, please
 9allow me to do that", and Hitler kept on saying, "Oh very
10well, Dr Goebbels"?
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     This relates to a whole set of other documents. It was
12Hitler's initiative. I think you have accepted many times
13that Hitler ordered the deportation of the Jews from
14Berlin, and subsequently elsewhere, beginning in the
15autumn of 1941.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     I think this is a very important and very useful
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     If it refers to that, then how can he possibly now
19suddenly in March 1942 turn around and say that he has
20repeatedly said that this should not happen? It goes
21against all the other documentation we have of Hitler's
22orders and Hitler's views on this matter.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     We do have a problem, do we not? We have, on the one
24hand, people like Goebbels and Himmler saying, do this,
25the Fuhrer has placed this order on my shoulder, the Reich
26is going to be emptied out of the Jews, all these

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