Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 23: Electronic Edition

Pages 171 - 175 of 237

<< 1-5236-237 >>
    Thank you, my Lord. There is an additional document where
 1the SS. Please inform Ambassador Rahn".
 2     Another, still a telegram, again the same thing,
 3taken to Rome -- taken to Mauthausen as hostages. The
 4Reich Foreign Minister requests that Moran and Moellhausen
 5be told under no circumstances to interfere in this affair
 6but rather to leave it to the SS from Sohn Leitner".
 7     And a further or even tougher line, Foreign
 8Minister insists to his local officials that "you keep out
 9of all questions concerning Jews". The SS, they should be
10the exclusive competence of the SS.
11     So what they are being told on Hitler's orders
12is, "Stay out of it. Go away with your proposal that they
13be used locally in Rome on building works." They are all
14going to be taken off on Hitler's orders to Mauthausen.
15     Now, hostages, well, one has to look at what
16went on in Mauthausen. This was, as I said, a
17concentration camp in a class of its own in which murder,
18mass murder by brutality and overwork and malnourishment
19was the order of the day. It had an extremely high
20mortality rate.
21 MR IRVING:     What use is a dead hostage?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     "Hostages" I think is a camouflage word again.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Another euphemism, another camouflage word?
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Indeed, yes.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     Goodness! They are more useful than aspirin, are they
26not, these words?

.        P-171

 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Of course, taking them to Mauthausen was a euphemism and
 2in the end they were, in fact, taken to Auschwitz.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     I have been very reluctant ----
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     If you want to know what happened to hostages taken to
 5Mauthausen ----
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can I take it piece by piece what you have been
 7saying ----
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Outline it on page ----
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Let him complete this because once they have
10got to Auschwitz, that is the end and then you can ask
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     If you want to know what happened to so-called "hostages"
13taken to Mauthausen, I outline it ----
14 MR IRVING:     In great detail?
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     --- on page 476:
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     Why not read it all out and waste another 10 minutes?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     400 young men rounded up in the Jewish quarter in
18Holland ----
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     We have the reference. We have the
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     --- taken as "hostages" to Buchenwald and then 348 to
22Mauthausen. Most, nearly all of them, apart from one,
23were killed. That is that happens to hostages at
24Mauthausen. As I said, these ones went to Auschwitz where
25the vast majority were also killed. It is quite clear
26this Hitler knew that would happen to them.

.        P-172

 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Now, that was a long answer and now,
 2Mr Irving, you have had the case spelled out, as it were
 3and ----
 4 MR IRVING:     And I have also read it and your Lordship has read
 5it and I do not think it really needed to be read out.
 6Still, here we go with some short questions and let us
 7have some short answers, please. Kesselring wanted to use
 8them for fortification work, is that right?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Were they used for fortification work?
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     So that was a rather needless detour in this particular
13argument, was it not?
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, absolutely not.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No, Mr Irving, that will not do. We have to
16tackle this point properly if it is going to be tackled at
17all. As I understand what the witness is saying, he is
18saying that, basically, those on the ground in Rome,
19including Kesselring, wherever he may have been -- in
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     General.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, all basically wanted the Jews to stay in Rome?
23 MR IRVING:     For whatever reason they wanted them kept alive.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     For whatever reason.
25 MR IRVING:     They wanted them kept alive and not liquidated.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     One of the points he makes is that when it is

.        P-173

 1sent up to Hitler, they do not remain in Rome as a result
 2of Hitler being consulted, they go north for whatever
 3fate. So Kesselring's attitude towards the Jews is
 4relevant, is it not? Can you not see why the Professor
 5says that?
 6 MR IRVING:     I see those telegrams in Rome as being purely
 7evidence that different people in Rome advance different,
 8all very plausible, reasons why these Jews should not be
 9rounded up and liquidated, which is what the SS wanted,
10but they should be kept alive, and Kesselring, who was a
11decent chap, said, "Well, I can use them for
12fortifications, let us use them for that, let us put that
13in the telegram" or whatever, and all of this, to all of
14this, and I say this quite boldly knowing that it will
15provoke the wrong reaction, I attach no significant
16whatsoever and far less significance than the fact that
17Ribbentrop took the message to Hitler, as we know from
18Hitler's register, the register kept by Heinz Linge, of
19the visits by Ribbentrop that day, and back came the
20telegram from Hitler's headquarters, effectively, back to
21Rome saying, "They are not to be liquidated. They are to
22be taken to Mauthausen", and I rely on this, "as
23hostages", and I emphasise hostages have, by their very
24nature, to be kept alive, so whether or not Mauthausen was
25a highly infectious place to be sent, or a place where
26people died like flies, which is unfortunately true, is

.        P-174

 1neither here nor there; what is significant is that the
 2message from Hitler to Ribbentrop clearly was, "See that
 3they are taken to Mauthausen and kept alive, we can use
 4them as hostages". I then also rely on the fact that,
 5notwithstanding that this very clear order is in the files
 6(which I understand the Defence have great problems with
 7because it is much better than this kind of memoir quality
 8of document that they rely upon) notwithstanding that,
 9these orders from Hitler are flagrantly violated and they
10are taken off to Mauthausen, but 1,000 of them are rounded
11up, 1035, or thereabouts, that is all they can get their
12hands on, because in the meantime the local officials have
13managed to let the Jews escape, and the 1,000 are taken
14elsewhere and they are never seen again. They are taken
15to Auschwitz or somewhere. This is another, to my mind,
16highly significant fact that Hitler's orders have been
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     If may say so, Mr Irving, that was not a
19question, and I do not criticize you at all for that
20because you have set out your case as clearly a Professor
21Evans set out his case ----
22 MR IRVING:     Now I will ask the Professor ----
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     --- and I do not personally see that there is
24a great deal of need to amplify it by lot of
25cross-examination because it all turns on the question
26whether one takes at face value and literally the order

.        P-175

<< 1-5236-237 >>