Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 96 - 100 of 207

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    I am referring to the police decodes of December
 1April 1945, on the other?
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Let us have a look. Let me see this decode.
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I know about the Bruns document. This simply
 4refers to guidelines, does it not?
 5 MR IRVING:     The simple question that I have asked first of all
 6is ----
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Could you refer me to the decode, please.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     In the witness's opinion ----
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think it is J1 tab 3, page 17.
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Page 17.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I may be completely wrong, but I do need to
12be anchored to a document.
13 MR IRVING:     I agree, my Lord, and that has narrowed it down
14these two documents.
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     The decode says: "The Jews being out-placed to the
16Ostland are to be" ----
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     Will you answer my question first, please?
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I just want to read this document that you are referring
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Let him read it out. You see, he is just
21reminding himself of what it says, Mr Irving. Just
22because you do not want to listen to some of what is given
23by way of an answer, you must not prevent him.
24 MR IRVING:     We will get to his content later, but I must ask
25him which class of information he considers to be harder
26and he will not answer this.

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Evidence is evidence of something; otherwise, it is just a
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Just read out the bit and then say what you
 4are wanting to say.
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     "The Jews being out-placed" [this is an order from Himmler
 6to Jackeln decoded by British on
 71st December]. "The Jews being out-placed to Ostland are
 8to be dealt with only in accordance with the guidelines
 9laid down by myself and/or by the
10Reichssicherheitshauptamt on my orders. I would punish
11arbitrary and disobedient acts. (Sgd. H HIMMLER)". That
12refers to the Jews being placed, being transported from
13Germany, particularly Berlin.
14 MR IRVING:     Professor Evans, you do not have to know the
15content of a message to be able to answer the simple
16question, in your opinion as a historian and as a person
17who has written books on historiography, which kind of
18evidence is harder, in other words, more dependable as a
19primary source, something which is recorded at the time,
20in real time by British interceptors of decodes, on the
21one hand, or something reported at third hand in captivity
22by a German Army general four years later?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     As a general rule, of course, it is the first. That does
24not mean to say you discredit the second altogether.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     I agree entirely, but you have to attach the appropriate
26weight to each of those sources in the absence of any

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 1other support.
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Right. So, our only information of what Altemeyer said,
 4that it has to be done more surreptitiously in future -
 5or whatever word he used more furtively - out of the
 6public eye, is a third-hand report by Bruns as overheard
 7by the British in April 1945?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, but he also says, Mr Irving (the previous sentence):
 9"Here is an order that has come saying that mass
10shootings of this kind may no longer take place in the
11future, that to be done more cautiously". You cannot say
12that the second sentence is unreliable but the first is.
13In your work, you make use of the first. You not only
14make use of the first sentence, you know now that you are
15just trying to discredit what Bruns says. You actually
16manipulate and distort it by talking about these mass
17shootings, instead of saying it is mass shootings of this
18particular kind.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     What is the difference between the words: "These mass
20shootings" and "mass shootings of this kind".
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is quite clear. "These mass shootings" refers to all
22mass shootings, whereas "mass shootings of this kind"
23refers to ones which are indiscreet. You gather that,
24from me, you are incautious. You gather that, from the
25second sentence, that two sentences belong together.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Did you agree that the reference in the first part of the

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 1statement by Altemeyer, that: "We have received orders
 2from above that mass shootings" (let me put it like that)
 3"are to stop", is a clear reference to the kind of signal
 4contained in the decode?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     You are trying to ----
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     And that therefore one has hard evidence supporting that
 7part of his the statement, right?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Not necessarily, because you are talking about the decode
 9that relates to transports from Berlin, whereas really
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am missing something, Professor Evans, can
12you help me?
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     The decode is said by Mr Irving to be hard
15evidence and obviously one understands why he says that.
16But hard evidence of what, because all that seems to me to
17say is that the Jews, as you say from Berlin, are to be
18dealt with in accordance with guidelines, but we do not
19know what the guidelines are. So I do not quite see what
20it is hard evidence of. Am I missing something?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not think so, my Lord, no.
22 MR IRVING:     Will you read that signal out in full in a clear
23voice so that the court can hear it, please? The one
24talking about arbitrary acts and acts against the
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I do not frankly think it is necessary. It

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 1has just been read, it was read yesterday and today. What
 2is the point pout of reading it again?
 3 MR IRVING:     Because it make clear reference to the fact that
 4these shootings have found disfavour higher up and future
 5such actions will be severely punished, and he
 6simultaneously orders the man who does done it to come to
 7his headquarters?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, it does not. It says: "The Jews being out-placed to
 9the Ostland are to be dealt with only in accordance with
10the guidelines laid down by myself and/or by the
11Reichssicherheitshauptamt on my orders. I would punish
12arbitrary and disobedient acts". So if you took that,
13that could mean that they are only to be shot if Himmler
14says they are to be shot.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     It could mean anything, could it not? It could mean that
16they were going to be sent to Butlin's Holiday Camp, but
17we are going to use common sense here, are we not?
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not think it could mean that, Mr Irving.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     We are going to use common sense here where it says that
20there has been a mass shooting that very previous day
21which has been reported to Hitler's headquarters; the
22words come up the grapevine; now the fat has hit the fan,
23to put it that way, and heads are going to roll and this
24has got to stop. I am going to punish this kind of thing
25in the future. Come immediately to headquarters, which
26then happens. And this the common sense sequence of

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