Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 71 - 75 of 237

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    --- otherwise we are not going to complete today. We will
 1come to that document in sequence and in the order that
 2I dictate and not the order that you dictate.
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     You have just said you want to discuss it now, Mr Irving.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am discussing it now.
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Now you are accusing me of bringing it up out of
 6sequence. This is ridiculous.
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     This is all degenerating.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am discussing it now ----
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Professor Evans, do not be provoked and,
10Mr Irving, can we try to get on?
11 MR IRVING:     Yes.
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is very hard, my Lord.
13 MR IRVING:     My Lord, the reason I did it here is because in
14this one footnote the word "Auswanderer" is used five or
15six times in the clearly emigrating sense.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     We have been over this many times.
17"Auswanderung" can be used euphemistically, but it is not
18always used euphemistically.
19 MR IRVING:     It is a rubber word.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     But can I ask just about a general question
21which I think can be answered quite briefly? The table
22talk on page 407 of your report and the Goebbels diary
23entry on page 408 talk in terms of getting the Jews out of
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
26 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Do you regard either of those documents because that is

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 1what they are, as being on their face sinister?
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, I do, my Lord. I mean, I think by this time ----
 3 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Because it is euphemistic or for some other reason?
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is euphemistic and particularly in the table talk in
 5May 1942 this linkage of mass death with emigration, not
 6to mention the statements about beating racial pests to
 7death. I mean, they are wrapped up -- he is, of course,
 8trying to be euphemistic and then spins these ridiculous
 9fantasies about the climatic, supposed climatic,
10resilience of Jews and so on. But they are both rather
11sinister, particularly when you take into account what was
12happening in the extermination camps at this time.
13 MR IRVING:     With respect, I suggest the word "sinister" is
14wrong. "Homicidal" is probably what his Lordship meant.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I was using a euphemism as well, if you like,
16but I thought everybody understood what the term meant.
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, I certainly did.
18 MR IRVING:     But would you not expect precisely this kind of
19conversation to happen around the dinner table if somebody
20said, "Adolf, we are getting word from the BBC and from
21Voice of America, whatever it is, that killings are
22happening and that the Jews are dying like flies in the
23East", whereupon Hitler says, "So what! Look at the way
24our people suffered"? Is it not exactly that kind of
25conversation that you are looking at here? It is a "so
26what" conversation, is it not?

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am not sure I follow the argument there.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is it not Adolf Hitler being tough, talking tough to his
 3dinner table people saying, "Show these people no mercy.
 4Look at how our people suffered when the boot was on the
 5other foot"?
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     He certainly is saying that, yes.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     So, in other words, although it is tough talk, it is not
 8necessarily Adolf Hitler saying, "Yes, we are killing them
 9too like flies"?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That does not follow at all, Mr Irving.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, thank you very much.
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     When I say "it does not follow at all", I mean your
13conclusion does not follow at all. Let us get that quite
14clear what I mean by that. I think you might have
15misunderstood it. I do not think that because he is
16talking tough, it is just tough talk, that there is a
17reality behind it with which he is quite aware.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, but there is no evidence for that in these lines. I
19do not want to start nit-picking, but it is just tough
20talk that is recorded at this dinner table conversation?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, this is the leader of ----
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     Ugly talk?
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     We can go through it, Mr Irving, if you want
24to, but I have the witness's answer and I know you do not
25agree with it, but I have the witness's answer.
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     The question is that Goebbels, of course, was quite aware

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 1that resettlement meant that the Jews were being killed --
 260 per cent of them were being killed, he says in his
 3diary -- and so why would he have described Hitler's views
 4as being radical and unrelenting if that had only meant
 5emigration? The fact that he knew it involved killing
 6must, surely, have meant that Hitler's views were in
 7favour of yet more killing.
 8 MR IRVING:     On page 410 of your report -- we are slowly chewing
 9our way forward -- line 3, you say there is a large number
10of instances where Hitler spoke openly about
11exterminating ----
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     In my letter of 10th January -- I am sorry to
13interrupt ----
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     You have withdrawn that, have you?
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     --- I have withdrawn the word "openly", yes. That was
16rather careless.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     Very well.
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is open to misinterpretation.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Three lines from the bottom of that same page, you quote
20the Goebbels diary: "It would end with the annihilation
21of the Jews". Once again we have that old, familiar,
22rubber word "vernichtung", do we not?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, I think "annihilation" is an exact etymological
24translation of that. I tried to be careful to render it
25in that terms. "Nicht" means "nothing", so "vernichtung"
26means "making nothing of" or "annihilation", in other

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 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     On page 412 of your expert report we have all those old
 3words again. On line two you have the destruction of the
 4Jewish element, which again is the "Vernichtung" is it
 5not? That is in the Mufti conversation.
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes. That should mean annihilation then.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     You did not give us the German text of that, did you?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, I did not.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     But you will find that I provided you with the German text
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     To save time, are you prepared to accept that
12is "vernichtung".
13 MR IRVING:     At page 33.
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Let us have a look at the German text, my Lord. This is
15very easy.
16 MR IRVING:     Page 33 of my bundle. I went to the original
17microfilm last night and transcribed the passage in
18German, so it is "vernichtung" there again?
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, that is "vernichtung". I am quite happy to render
20that as annihilation.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     On December 12th, the indented passage two lines down,
22they would experience their own annihilation. We have
23"vernichtung" again.
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Indeed, yes.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     By way of variety, three lines from the bottom, "the
26extirpation of Jewry", that is now "Ausrottung"?

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