Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 166 - 170 of 207

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    It does, my Lord. What I am saying is that Mr Irving has
 1exterminated or evacuated, and he is in difficulties there
 2because, as I have already explained, if it means
 3exterminated, then Hitler must have known about it. But
 4any responsible historian who did not want to use it for
 5that particular biased purpose would inform the readers
 6that this is an extremely problematical document, that
 7because of its lack of dating, difficulties about its
 8provenance, uncertainties about who wrote it, who it was
 9addressed to, and so on and so forth, all the things that
10we have been through, should alert the reader to the fact
11there are a number of possible different interpretations
12and that, as we have seen in the discussion, almost any
13one of them actually throws up rather serious problems
14when you compare them with other documents. I think that
15would be the way that a responsible, objective historian
16would proceed. That is what I am saying.
17 MR IRVING:     Can I therefore draw your attention to my treatment
18of this very document in the Goebbels biography on page
19388 of the Goebbels biography?
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes. That is exactly what I was looking
21for. Actually I was looking at Hitler's War.
22 MR IRVING:     I will not said I am sadder, but I am certainly
23wiser than when I wrote Hitler's War. I think the
24Goebbels one is the most up to date version of my state of
25mind. Page 388, paragraph 2. The treatment I give it is
26as follows: On the following day he took note of an

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 1extensive report prepared by Heydrich's office, probably
 2on Wannsee conference. Was that accurate, do you think,
 3that Goebbels had received this report and it probably was
 4a summary of the Wannsee conference, in other words the
 5January 20 conference?
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I would have to check. Does this really matter?
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     It does not really matter, no, but, if Goebbels received
 8it on March 5th or March 6th, I think this is the only
 9point there, there were still 11 million Jews in Europe.
10He dictated, Goebbels, summarizing the document, for the
11time being they are to be concentrated in the East until
12later, possibly an island like Madagascar can be assigned
13to them after the war. Undoubtedly there will be a
14multitude of personal tragedies, he added airily, but this
15is unavoidable. The situation now is ripe for a final
16settlement of the Jewish question. In a covering letter
17Heydrich invited Goebbels to a second conference on March
186th. Goebbels sent two of his senior staff. Eichmann
19talked crudely at this meeting of forwarding the Jews to
20the East like so many head of cattle.
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That is Boley presumably, so you accept that there?
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     But you cast doubt on it a few minutes ago.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     No. I asked if it was a self-serving statement.
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     You do not say it is a self serving statement there do
26you?

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     "The Ministry of Justice handled the report on this new
 2discussion like a hot potato". This is a reference to the
 3March 12th letter in which Schlegelberger asks Lammers "it
 4looks like ugly things are brewing, we are going to have
 5to take this up, you and me, before this goes to the
 6Fuhrer". The Reichschancellery referred it all to Hitler?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That relies on Ficker and I do not think that is an
 8accurate statement.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     "Hitler wearily told Hans Lammers that he wanted the
10solution of the Jewish problem postponed until after the
11war was over, a ruling that remarkably few historians now
12seem disposed to quote"?
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes. That is a complete misrepresentation of what we are
14calling the Schlegelberger memorandum.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     In what way is it a misrepresentation?
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Do not let us go through it all over again.
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     There is nothing weary about it. He did not tell
18Lammers. There was not a ruining. The Schlegelberger
19memorandum was not a ruling transmitted to the Ministry of
20Justice, otherwise why would the Ministry of Justice have
21gone ahead quite shortly afterwards and arranged for the
22Jews in State prisons to be taken out and sent off for
23extermination? It beggers belief that this is actually a
24ruling which then does not leave a paper trail, as you
25describe Hitler rulings doing, throughout the bureaucracy
26saying, oh, the Fuhrer has ordered that the solution has

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 1to b e put off, hold it everybody, let us stop. The whole
 2thing goes on. It goes on in the Ministry of Justice
 3which is actually where this document comes from. It is a
 4completely incredible interpretation you are giving there.
 5 MR IRVING:     You have just referred to a subsequent decision to
 6take the Jewish prisoners out of prisons and send them to
 7be exterminated. Was that your word?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     And what is your source for that?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Let me have a look here. It is one of my arguments.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Your expert report pages 391 to 392, paragraph 4.
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     September 1942, you say a meeting between Himmler and the
14new Minister of Justice at which they decided on
15annihilation through labour. Have you given us the
16original document or the original German of that?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I cite it in the footnote there. The German is in
18footnote 51 about again the October 1942 note.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you provided the German for the phrase "annihilation
20through labour"?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Not there, no.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can you hazard a guess at what the German was?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Vernichtung deutsche arbeit, yes.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     We have already seen on several occasions that the word
25"vernichtung" is not necessarily totally identical and
26equivalent to killing?

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I think it means at this time in the war it is. I would
 2like you to provide me with information that it is not in
 3this context. It mostly is. "Vernichtung deutsche
 4arbeit", there is no doubt what that means. They are to
 5be worked to death. Tirak explains. He says: "The
 6judicial system can only contribute in small measure to
 7exterminating members of this race." He is talking about
 8the ----
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can you tell us what word was used for exterminating?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is "ausrotten".
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     "Ausrotten". Are you going to accept that the word
12"ausrotten" is capable of all sorts, an entire spectrum
13of different shades of meaning?
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Do we want to talk about "ausrotten" now?
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     No. I am going to deal with the Germans on that who know
16German.
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I know German, Mr Irving, and I can tell you that by this
18time in October 1942 "ausrotten" means extermination.
19I would like to see documents where it does not from this
20period, and in this context, above all, that is what it
21means. I suppose the exact meaning is extirpation. But if
22you look ----
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you seen a document ----
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     If you look up in the Oxford English Dictionary you will
25find that extirpation means total destruction.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     

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