Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 136 - 140 of 192

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    I am referring here to the decodes of November 30th, the
 1and principally I am going to ask you now about the deeds
 2codes of December 1st 1941.
 3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     There are three?
 5 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     The first one is a message from Jeckeln to Himmler on the
 7morning. My Lord, do you want to have the items in front
 8of you?
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am trying to follow but the documents are
10now even more scattered about.
11 MR RAMPTON:     No, they are not.
12 MR IRVING:     They should now be ----
13 MR RAMPTON:     They are now collected in here.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I know, but I had marked the previous
15versions of them, that is the problem, and these are all
16in German.
17 MR RAMPTON:     No, they are not.
18 MR IRVING:     I have translated them.
19 MR RAMPTON:     Wherever possible the English has been put
20opposite the German.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     31st December?
22 MR IRVING:     1st December, my Lord.
23 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Page 142, if I am right on this, in this blue bundle.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Thank you very much.
25 MR IRVING:     There should be three altogether. The first one is
26page 141. This is 9.15 in the morning. This is from the

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 1senior SS police commander, north Russia, to Berlin,
 2saying: "I need by next available air courier 10 Finnish
 3military pistols with two drum magazines, each execution
 4of Sonderaktionen". He requests a radio telegram reply.
 5What inference do you draw from that?
 6 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I do not know whether the term Sonderaktionen refers here
 7to shootings, and I do not know whether these Finnish
 8pistols were used.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is it a reasonable inference if I say that this is
10probably a reference to the machine gunning of Jews into
12 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I do not know. It says militairpistol. This is not a
13machine gun or short machine gun.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Execution of Sonderaktionen?
15 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I am not sure. I think it is reasonable to argue this
16line, but I do not know whether ever Finnish military
17pistols were used. They had their own weapons. I do not
18see a reason why they urgently needed for these executions
19Finnish weapons. It does not make sense for me. It might
20be right, but I do not know the background.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Might not there be reasons of camouflage? They wanted, if
22bodies were dug out, to have Finnish bullets found in the
23bodies rather than German bullets? This kind of thing
24might have been in it.
25 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     We have enough expertise information that they use
26normally the standard Army pistol.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     Tommy gun?
 2 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     The 9 millimetre pistol for these operations. Actually
 3I have not found something like that.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Dr Longerich, the ones I really rely on are page 143, two
 5messages that afternoon, or evening rather, 7.30 p.m.,
 6both at the same time. One from Himmler's adjutant,
 7Grotmann, and one from Himmler himself, to Jeckeln.
 8Jeckeln was the chief villain, was he not? He was one of
 9the biggest murderers in Riga.
10 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes he was the highest SS police leader.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     The chief SS police leader. The first one summons him to
12a conference with Himmler on 4th December?
13 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     The second one, even more peremptorily, from Himmler
15himself says to him, "The Jews being outplaced to the
16Ostland are to be dealt with only in accordance with the
17guidelines laid down by myself and/or by the
18Reichssicherheitshauptamt on my orders. I would punish
19arbitrary and disobedient acts".
20 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     That looks like quite an important telegram or message?
22 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I think you will relate this to the telephone call of 13th
23November, and I think you are right to do so.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am anxious to hear your opinion about it because it
25appears to be significant.
26 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes. I think these are two significant and important

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 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. Let me float a hypothesis past you, Dr Longerich.
 3Does this indicate to you that Jeckeln has acted outside
 4the authority that he believed he had to kill Jews?
 5 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I think this is a fair assumption. I think this is
 6absolutely possible. Also, I find it quite striking, if
 7this is right, if Jeckeln is actually responsible for the
 8murder of 6,000 people, what is the consequence of that?
 9Is he then court martialled? Or he is thrown out of the
10SS? No. He got a nasty letter.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     A rap across the knuckles?
12 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes. That is all he got. Then he had dinner with Himmler
13on the 4th and that is it, obviously. It was probably a
14violation of the guidelines but it was not seen as a kind
15of severe disobedience, a lapse or something like that.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     These were just Jews, were they not? They were German
17Jews but just Jews?
18 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     That is probably true, yes. That is definitely true.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     I think no one disputes the fact that this is a gangster
20state and these are gangsters amongst themselves are they
22 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Did the killings then stop for a while as far as German
24Jews were concerned?
25 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     As far as we know, the killing on a large scale, mass
26executions, stopped in Riga until a couple of months,

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 1until they used gas vans at the beginning of 1942.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Just in Riga or elsewhere as well?
 3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, to make this quite clear, there were two waves of
 4deportation, the first one to Lodz of 20,000 Jews in
 5October, and the second one, they planned to deport 50,000
 6people, 25,000 each to Riga and to Minsk. They managed to
 7deport about 21,000 to Riga or 24,000, and 8,000 to
 8Minsk. The general observation is that it was obviously,
 9as far as I see it, not the policy to kill them all
10because we do not have mass executions at this time in
11Lodz concerning German Jews and in Riga concerning German
12Jews. We only have these six trains in Kovno and Riga,
13and this was stopped. It was obviously, as is said here,
14not in accordance with the guidelines given by the
15Reichssichherheitshauptamt .
16 MR IRVING:     It is a strange little glimpse of history which you
17have come across now at the end of the 20th century, 55
18years or more after the events. Is this an indication to
19you of how history is constantly in flux?
20 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     No. These two messages confirm what we actually knew
21before. Obviously these killings in Riga were obviously
22not in accordance with the guidelines of the
23Reichssicherheitshauptamt and now we have another
24confirmation by these two telegrams.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     Has it been very widely noised around among German
26historians that the orders came down from on high that

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