Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 16 - 20 of 192

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    During your professional career, Dr Longerich,
 1as you say in your curriculum vitae on page 3 of your
 2report, you have received research grants from the German
 3Historical Institute in London, and from the Deutsche
 4Forschungsgemeinschaft and also from Yad Vashem?
 5 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, that is true.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you still in debt to Yad Vashem in any way?
 7 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I started to work on the project. The project has not yet
 8been completed. The relationship, there is no contract
 9between us and in this sense, it is not a book contract or
10something like that, but I still have to complete this
11project we started a couple of years ago.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     I do not want to know any figures or quantum. Does this
13mean to say they paid you in advance for something and you
14are still working on it?
15 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     No. They paid me for ten months actually. It enabled me
16to live in Israel for ten months.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     As you say in this ----
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     What will you be doing for them? What will
19you be researching?
20 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     We started to work on a project, a documentation about the
21deportation of the Jews from Germany to Minsk and Riga and
22I had a partner there. We started to collect the
23documents, but unfortunately the work has not been
24completed yet. It is actually a major project and has not
25been completed yet.
26 MR IRVING:     The Eastern European archives have turned out to be

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 1particularly fruitful, is that right?
 2 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Absolutely, yes.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is it to be regarded as a great tragedy they have only
 4recently in the last ten or 15 years become available to
 5historians? Is that right?
 6 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I cannot comment whether it is a tragedy. It is a fact
 7that it has become available in the last years.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     They were not available at the time I wrote my first
 9edition of the Hitler biography in the 1960s?
10 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     With some exceptions. It was always possible to get some
11of the documents out of the archives. For instance, there
12is a large collection of documents in the German Central
13Agency for the Prosecution of Nazi Crimes. They actually
14managed to get a large collection from this material in
15the 1960s. There is also a large collection in the
16Bundesarchives archive and individual researchers had the
17chance to see not the whole archives but some of the
18documents.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     If I can just dwell briefly on the files in the
20Zentralestelle, which is presumably the ZST source?
21 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Absolutely, yes.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     You did not identify that in your report, did you?
23 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I think there is a list of abbreviations and it should be
24there.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     The documents provided by the Eastern European archives to
26the German Zentralestelle, which is a prosecuting archive

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 1-- could I put it like that?
 2 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     It is the house archive of this agency. They have their
 3own library and their own archival collection.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     At Ludwigsburg?
 5 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is it specifically collected for the purpose of carrying
 7out prosecutions of German and other citizens for war
 8crimes?
 9 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     That is the main purpose of the whole institution and of
10course mainly some historical background.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     They have very valuable collections of documents there, do
12they not?
13 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     They have a very good collection, yes.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     That is where Dr Goldhart worked, for example?
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, do you think we should move on
16from the archives?
17 MR IRVING:     I just want to ask one question which makes the
18point clear, my Lord. Is it apparent to you that, if an
19archive has been collected for the purposes of
20prosecution, it is less likely to include defence
21material, if I can put it like that?
22 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, you can use this material in different ways. I do
23not say that they had a complete set of documents from the
24Russian archives. It is certainly a selection. I did not
25select it. I do not know who selected it and who made the
26decision about this, so I should be very careful to make a

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 1comment on that.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     You would always bear in mind using such archives that you
 3are only seeing one side of the picture and not
 4necessarily the other side?
 5 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I think it is difficult to say because they were
 6interested. They did a lot of work in this Zentralestelle
 7during the 1950s and 60s, and they actually had historical
 8expertise there because they actually worked on the
 9historical background. I would not say that they were
10only interested in this aspect of prosecution. I think
11they had to collect the historical expertise which was not
12available at this time and could not be provided by
13historians. So I would be cautious to make such a
14statement about this collection.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     I see on page 5 of your report that you are an expert, or
16you have written about the Wannsee conference?
17 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, I gave the annual lecture in 1998 at the Haus of the
18Wannsee conference and this published as a booklet.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     I do not want a lengthy answer at this time. I just want
20a brief overview. Is it right that opinions differ as to
21the importance of the Wannsee conference in the history of
22the Final Solution?
23 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I do not think, generally speaking, the short answer,
24I would not say that there is so much difference about the
25significance of the Wannsee conference. It was basically
26a conference on the implementation of what is called the

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 1Final Solution. I think a statement like this could be
 2accepted by most of the historians. Of course, if you go
 3into the interpretation of the text, you will find
 4differences.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Opinions differ?
 6 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Opinions differ among historians.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yehuda Bauer has said one thing, Eberhard Jaeckel has said
 8another, and so on?
 9 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I would be very careful to make a general comment. One
10could look at the writings of Yehuda Bauer and Eberhard
11Jaeckel and then I am prepared to comment on it.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     My Lord, the next question is purely pre-emptive in case
13another matter comes up. This is still on that page,
14three paragraphs from the bottom. You edited something
15called "Was ist des Deutschen Vaterland", a book on German
16unity?
17 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes. That is a collection of documents. Actually
18I issued this in 1990 when this was actually called, as
19you see here, documents about the question of German unity
20so that, when the book came out, the question was solved.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you tell the court please, during the 1960s, 1970s,
22and 1980s, or certainly during the 1960s and 1970s, what
23was the official designation in west German circles of the
24Soviet zone or the German Democratic Republic?
25 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     The official name?
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     The official name, Sprachledlung.

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