Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 176 - 180 of 237

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    --- and I do not personally see that there is
 1that they are to be taken no Mauthausen as "hostages".
 2That is what it comes to.
 3 MR IRVING:     I will ask one supplementary question.
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     May I just comment on what Mr Irving said which included
 5several gross misrepresentations of the document ----
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Briefly.
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     --- so I am afraid I really do have to point this out.
 8The telegram giving Hitler's view did not say they are not
 9to be liquidated. That is a complete fabrication that has
10emerged from Mr Irving here. The point is that the
11original protest, as it were, from the local officials in
12Rome are saying that the SS wants to liquidate them, and
13what is Hitler's response? "Leave it up to the SS".
14     Finally, also, of course this is in mid October
151943 and Mr Irving has made it quite clear that from
16October 1943 Hitler knew perfectly well that the
17extermination of the Jews was taking place.
18 MR IRVING:     He had no reason not to know is what I say, of
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     You actually have said that he did know.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     But, Professor Evans, can I just ask you
22this, I mean, if you look at the instructions that came
23back from Hitler's headquarters, they do say in terms that
24the Jews are to be taken to Mauthausen as hostages?
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
26 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     And it is true it goes on to say, "Leave it to the SS".

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 1That does not mean leave it to the SS to decide what to do
 2with them, or would not appear so on the face of this
 3telegram. It means, "Leave the handling of the hostages
 4and the arrangements", I suppose, "for taking them north
 5to the SS". Is that not a fair reading of the reference
 6to the SS?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, my Lord, well, it is saying, the two telegrams
 8I quote are saying to the local officials: "Keep out of
 9it. Leave it to the SS", and the SS, of course, are the
10instrument through which the Jews are being exterminated.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Who would have arranged for their transport
12north -- the SS, presumably?
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     The SS, my Lord, yes. The message is quite clear: "No
14local works, no use of labour. Just take them off and
15kill them".
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I follow that point, yes.
17 MR IRVING:     Are you familiar very briefly with the Otto
18Brottigan diary of September 1941 where Hitler agrees to
19the notion that the Jews should be held as hostages ----
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That is September '41. This is October '43.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Does Hitler frequently order Jews kept alive as hostages
22in bulk, en masse?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     There are instances up until the American declaration of
24war -- the declaration of war by Germany on America on the
2511th December 1941 where Hitler does talk, in general
26terms, about using Jews as hostages for the event of a

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 1World War. It seems to disappear after that. There are
 2some -- we have already discussed the rather odd idea of
 3keeping a small number of Jews with connections in America
 4in a special camp and keeping them alive. But this,
 5I think, I cannot conceive why these should be used as
 6hostages. It is simply one word. There is not
 7explanation of any larger policy, as you usually have when
 8hostages are discussed.
 9     I think this is simply a little piece of
10camouflage thrown in to try to appease the obviously
11disquieted local officials in Rome where the situation is
12extremely difficult, the Pope is threatening to
13intervene. It is quite clear that the local Italian
14population are extremely unhappy about the Jews being
15taken away and doing their best, such as it was, to
16protect them.
17     The members of the Foreign -- of the Embassy in
18Rome were connected with the German opposition, which
19eventually came out in 1944, the bomb plot. So it is a
20very convoluted and difficult situation. It is not
21surprising that they should want to sugar the pill a
22little bit by describing them as "hostages".
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     We do have several SS documents from this episode, do we
24not, a couple of documents?
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is there any indication in any of the Himmler files or the

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 1SS files that this document from Hitler was regarded or
 2recognized as being camouflage, and that "Although Hitler
 3says, 'Send them to Mauthausen as hostages', we all know
 4what the old boy really wants" is not in any of the SS
 5files, is it?
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am going to move on now, my Lord, because otherwise we
 8are not going to cover the ground. Page 491, the last few
 9lines, please, of the main text. You say: "This last
10mentioned claim is an obvious untruth. It is undermined
11by Ribbentrop's knowledge of the activity and situation
12reports of the Einsatzgruppen". Do you remember writing
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     What evidence do you have that Ribbentrop read or received
16the SD Einsatzgruppen reports, the Einsatzgruppen reports?
17The mere fact that they are in the Foreign Office files?
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, I am relying here on the two standards works on the
19Foreign Office and the Jewish question of the Third Reich
20by Professor Browning.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you aware that we heard Professor Donald Watt state
22here in the witness box that there were hundreds of tonnes
23of Foreign Office records?
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     As I remember, Professor Cameron Watt said that he was not
25really competent to judge on the nature of records during
26the Second World War. His expertise covered the period

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 11933 to '39.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you aware of any copies of these SD reports which have
 3Ribbentrop's big letter "R", his initial on them, to
 4indicate that he has read them?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I would have to check that up in the sources that I used
 6which make it clear that Ribbentrop knew of these things.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     In your opinion?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     In the opinion of Professor Browning whom you had ample
 9opportunity to question about the matter.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, but I am questioning you on your report. You say
11there is ample evidence that Ribbentrop knew, and I am
12asking you what the evidence is and your information is
13second-hand, is that correct?
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Indeed, yes. I rely o Professor Browning for that.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     Page 484 ----
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That is not the only evidence, of course. There is also
17the Horthy conversation with Ribbentrop which I have also
18mentioned. Page 484?
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Page 484, you write two-thirds of the way down: "Irving
20is, of course, aware of this exchange which suppresses it
21altogether". What proof do you have in writing that I am
22aware of this exchange?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Because you used the Goebbels Nuremberg diary as a source.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     No, I did not.
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Right, then "Nuremberg, the last battle" ----
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     I have used one extract from the Gilbert book.

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