Irving v. Lipstadt
Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 24: Electronic Edition
Pages 116 - 120 of 192
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1 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] No, I do not accept this thesis. I think it does not
2convince me at all. These historians have not produced,
3in my opinion, enough evidence to prove that Hitler was
4just, well, fighting a preventive war.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] Preventive war?
6 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Yes.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] I did not say he was just fighting a preventive war
8because I said that there was certainly evidence that he
9had always wanted to fight the Soviet Union. I chapter 14
10of Mein Kampf goes that way, does it not? But Stalin's
11biographer, General Volkagonov, has presented documents
12from Stalin's own private archives indicating that the
13Russians were planning to attack Germany?
14 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] I do not think there is enough evidence now. I mean,
15I know that research is going on, and one actually can
16find more material in Soviet archives, but at the moment
17I do not think that the case is made that Hitler was just
18fighting a preventive war against the Soviet Union and
19that Stalin had decided to attack Hitler somewhere in the
21 Q. [Mr Irving] Once again, I did not say he was just fighting a
22preventive war, but it had a preventive element?
23 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] I do not accept this. I think, from the German side, if
24you follow the preparations, I mean, I am, of course, more
25an expert -- expert on the Germans, not on the Soviets.
26I am just following the discussion, but on the German
1side, it is quite clear in the preparations, from my point
2of view, that Hitler actually is planning this war since
3the summer of 1940, and in the documentation that there is
4actually, as far as I am aware, almost no reference to the
5policy of behaviour of the other side. So I think it is
6the main reason for this was really, on the one hand, the
7ideological belief of Hitler that he has to destroy this
8so-called Bolshevik Empire and, on the other hand, he is
9trying to find a way out of the general, the war situation
10he found himself in in the summer of 1940 when Britain was
11not prepared to surrender. So I do not share this view,
12that it was to some extent a preventive war.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] Or to any extent at all a preventive war?
14 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] No, I do not share this view.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] I do not want to labour the point, but I am just drawing
16attention to the fact that in that first line you do
17appear to throw around words like "extermination" rather
19 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] I do not think I throw around; I just say that, in my
20opinion, if you follow this documentation, I think it is
21fair to say that this was a racist war of extermination
22from, you know, as both, if you look at the preparation
23and planning and, on the other hand, if you then look at
24what happened after the 22nd June 1941.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] We are looking now at Hitler's instructions to the High
26Command Operations staff, March 3rd 1941. These are the
1guidelines which I believe I gave your Lordship in
2complete translation a few days ago, the English
3translation of the document.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I think you did.
5 MR IRVING: Is there any indication in that document, apart
6from that quoted paragraph, that there is an intention
7when the Russian campaign begins to liquidate the Jews as
8such rather than just the leadership?
9 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] I do not have the full document in front of me, so
10I cannot answer this, but you could probably help me.
11 Q. [Mr Irving] But you would have quoted it if it was in the document?
12 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] I think I looked through the document and if I did make a
13mistake, it is nothing, there is not such a phrase in
15 Q. [Mr Irving] I think we can take it that Hitler himself is the author
16of this document, can we?
17 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Yes.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] When Hitler refers to the Jewish Bolshevik intelligentsia,
19der Judisch Bolschewikisch intelligentsia, he is referring
20to the people around Stalin and the leadership of the NKBD
21and the Commissarts, that kind of people?
22 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Well, I think the top leadership but also the Party
23functioners, I think.
24 Q. [Mr Irving] Whether they were Jewish or not, he just put them all into
26 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] The Jewish Bolshevik intelligence, yes, Jews and non-Jews
2 Q. [Mr Irving] This was part of the Nazi party jargon, was it not? It
3was part and parcel -- it was a word they liked using a
5 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Yes, but it refers to the fact that they were convinced
6that Bolshevism or Marxism is a kind of sinister, you
7know, tool of the Jews, you know, in order to destroy the
8Aryan people. This is, I think, the background. It is
9just not, it is just not kind of jargon. It has a thing,
10it has a background.
11 Q. [Mr Irving] The further quotations that you put on that page from the
12papers of General Thomas ----
13 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Yes.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] --- who I incidentally learned was the father-in-law of my
15private secretary after 20 years she worked for me, oddly
16enough. It is a small world. These are just references
17to destroying the Soviet leadership?
18 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Yes.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] Or murdering them or killing them?
20 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Yes.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] Would that be a legitimate military aim to discuss with
22the German High Command?
23 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Well, it gives you a kind of insight about the nature of
24this war because they are not planning only to annihilate
25or exterminate the Russian Army, but also they are trying
26to crush the whole system, including killing, obviously,
1the leadership. So it is far more than a normal war when
2two armies fight against each other, and, yes, and ----
3 Q. [Mr Irving] So it is just one step up the ladder, shall we say, of
5 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Yes.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] So it is not the whole way, but it is an interesting rung
7in the ladder?
8 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Yes.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] If we can put it like that? Turning to page 56, please,
10paragraph 15.4, you refer to Hitler's guidelines of 3rd
12 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Yes. It is a mistake. 3rd March. Sorry about that.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] 3rd March.
14 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] 15.4, first line, should have "March" instead of
16 Q. [Mr Irving] In this directive it says, this is the directive of March
1713th issued by General Alfred Jodl: "In the operation
18area of the Arm, Himmler is granted special
19responsibilities by order of Hitler for the preparation of
20the political administration."
21 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Yes, but it is also -- yes, sorry.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] It looks pretty sinister and it probably is pretty
23sinister, but is this not within the guidelines of
24military operations, securing the rear areas?
25 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Yes, but it says if you take the full, if you look at the
26German terminology, "die sich aus dem endgultig
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