Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 24: Electronic Edition

Pages 126 - 130 of 192

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 1 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, he is then -- what he gets then is special tasks.
 2He gets ----
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Pacifying the rear areas?
 4 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, he wanted more. He wanted the overall political --
 5he wanted a political -- he wanted the responsibility, the
 6political responsibility, in a way to reorder the whole
 7area. What he got there on 16th is the competence for the
 8political -- for the security -- for securing.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Securing the rear area?
10 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Securing the rear area. So it is the word "police" is the
11crucial word in this.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     "Police"?
13 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     "Police".
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     So did Hitler on that 16th July 1941 meeting effectively
15give Himmler carte blanche? I am anxious not to lead you
16in any way on this. If you disagree, then please say so.
17 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, I think the meeting is decisive and we can see after
18the meeting that actually Himmler sent more men to the
19East and the killings were radicalized and, you know, and
20the whole process escalated.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     And is it possible (and I put this as a hypothesis to you
22and it may militate against me or for me, I do not know)
23that Hitler may have said to Himmler, "Herr Reichsfuhrer,
24do what you see best, do whatever you think is right, but
25do not tell me what you are doing"? Would that be
26possible? "Just keep me out of it"?

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 1 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     It is difficult for me to speculate about this.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     On the basis of their relationship, as we know?
 3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     It is really difficult for me to speculate about this
 4question, what he actually said, because I do not have
 5minutes or anything about that. I find it difficult
 6to answer this question.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     But later on we do find in 1942 the documents where
 8Himmler says: "The Fuhrer has ordered the Eastern
 9territories to be rid of the Jews. He has placed this
10burden on my shoulders. Nobody can take it off me"?
11 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     And that rather fits in with that kind of hypothesis?
13I only want to put it you if you think you are comfortable
14with it.
15 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I find this difficult to answer. You can, of course,
16argue that, in general, how this system, the political
17system, worked, the decision-making worked, that Hitler
18would make a general statement, gave general guidelines,
19and then leave it to other people responsible for this
20area actually to fill this out, you know, with their own
21energy and their own ideas, but really I do not know about
22the exact content of this guidelines.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     If it repeatedly happened that somebody like Hans Lammers
24went to see Hitler to protest about this or that, and
25Hitler would answer, or Ribbentrop would go to Hitler, and
26Hitler would answer, "Keep me out of this. Take it up

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 1with Himmler. It is his pigeon, it is his business"?
 2 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, I think, if we want to, if we want to discuss it,
 3I think we have to discuss these individual letters or
 4pieces of documents.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     It is just a general impression I was asking you about
 6from your knowledge of the papers. So what we differ on,
 7Dr Longerich, is this, am I right in saying this, that the
 8March 1941 documents, you think it was an ideological
 9preparation for the ideological war in the East, that
10Himmler was being given orders for, and I say it was a
11typically military securing the rear areas kind of job he
12was being given?
13 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, you cannot separate the Nazi ideas of warfare in the
14East from their ideological goals. I mean, for them it
15was not contradiction to speak about securing of areas and
16to speak of ideological goals. I do not think one can
17separate these two issues.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can I just ask you this, Dr Longerich. Do
19you regard it as legitimate in deciding what the objective
20was to look and see what actually happened?
21 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, of course.
22 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Because we know pretty precisely what happened?
23 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, of course.
24 MR IRVING:     I will come to that question as question B, but,
25first of all, I will ask question A, if I may, my Lord?
26Would you agree that the documents before us fit entirely

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 1with the notion of military securing of rear areas?
 2 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     No, because it says, if you just look at the documents and
 3leave out what happened after that, it says here:
 4"Special responsibilities by order of the Fuhrer for the
 5preparation of the political administration. These
 6special responsibilities arise from the ultimate decisive
 7struggle between two opposing political systems". So it
 8is not just about policing and security.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would that include the murder and extermination of the
10political and military leaders on the other side, the
11intelligentsia?
12 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, I think so.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     Now, if we turn the page and now we come to the four
14Einsatzgruppen, page 57?
15 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am only going to ask you one question about this because
17I think we accept what happened there, that killings
18began, but this is going to be now questions B to start
19with, the fact that the killings began, is there any
20indication that they began as a direct result of these
21orders and guidelines or did they just begin of their own
22accord like a spontaneous combustion?
23 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     No. We have, I think, quite good documentation because we
24have Heydrich's order of 29th and Heydrich's letter to the
25highest SS police leader of ----
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     I think the 2nd July.

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 1 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     --- 2nd July which actually gives you a very clear idea
 2what the task of the Einsatzgruppen was.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     The 2nd July one which, my Lord, I am afraid I still have
 4not translated for your Lordship -- we are working on it
 5-- this is 2nd July 1941 where Heydrich, am I correct,
 6says to the people in the Baltic states: "If pogrom
 7start, you are not to stop them and, in fact, you are to
 8help them along"?
 9 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes. I ----
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     "But don't let it be seen"?
11 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I think I translated this in the second part of my
12report. This is at page 6, and if you look at the English
13translation, I have to say here that I have,
14unfortunately, made a mistake here which I have to correct
15because if you read this indented paragraph "To be
16executed are", you have to add the word "or" to the first
17line, "To be executed are all" and then it goes on
18"functionaries of the Comintern", and so on, so that the
19word "all" ----
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     So all of the lot of them?
21 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     "All" also relates to the last line, "All Jews in Party
22and State functions", so this is the way the original
23German document is arranged. So we know from this
24document that Heydrich ordered the Einsatzgruppen to
25execute all Jews and part -- all Jews in Party and State
26functions and the more, I think most interesting word in

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