Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 171 - 175 of 192

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    As you point out just three days earlier in one of the
 1table talks, this is now the following page, the second
 2indented paragraph: "The Jew must get out of Europe. The
 3best would be if they went to Russia! I have no sympathy
 4with the Jews. They will always remain an element which
 5stir up the peoples against one another". Again he is
 6talking of a geographical solution even in private, to his
 7own private staff? So why would camouflage be necessary
 8there?
 9 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, when you refer to the so-called [German], the table
10talks, one has to take into account that the table talks,
11you know, there were various people present on the table,
12so you could not, you cannot just assume that this is what
13Hitler really thought, that this really, you know, you are
14getting deep insight into his real world. This is always
15addressed to all kinds of people who were just present
16there. So he would be very cautious to speak about his
17real intentions, as far as the Jews are concerned. So
18I would hesitate to draw this conclusion from that.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     He never had any outsiders at these table talks, did he?
20They were always members of his private staff.
21 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, but the members of his private staff, I mean, for
22instance, his secretary and others were not to, you know,
23Hitler has very specific rules about keeping secrecies and
24they were not, you know, just because they were his
25coworkers, they were not allowed to share all the secrets
26with him.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     But on occasion in his table talks he speaks pretty
 2tough. He talks pretty violent language, does he not, in
 3the table talk?
 4 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, that is true, but I do not think that the table talks
 5are the best, the ideal source to find out, you know, what
 6was really going on in Hitler's mind because Hitler was
 7very careful, particularly as far as the Holocaust is
 8concerned, very careful what he was saying there.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Well, the only justification for saying that kind of
10thing, of course, is if you have anything explicit
11anywhere else and there is not, is there? Is it not
12possible that he is just saying what is in the table talk
13and in Goebbels' diary and elsewhere is an accurate
14reflection of what Hitler really knew? Is that not a more
15logical explanation?
16 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, I think the Goebbels diaries are different from the
17table talks but I ----
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can I take you to paragraph 18.7 which is two pages later,
19page 56? The last paragraph there, you do not quote it in
20full, but this is the paragraph, my Lord, that we were
21looking at yesterday which is ----
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, I remember.
23 MR IRVING:     --- the deportation to Siberia.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Central Africa too.
25 MR IRVING:     Central Africa, yes. Is that also more camouflage
26and even with Dr Goebbels sitting there who knows very

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 1well what is going on or suspects what is going on?
 2 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, you know, if we look at the situation what was going
 3on in April '42, we know that probably three quarter of a
 4million or one million Jews in the Soviet Union were
 5shot. They had started to systematically kill Jewish
 6women and children in Serbia. They had opened the -- if
 7this is the right way to say it -- extermination camp in
 8Chelmo in December, they had just opened the extermination
 9camp in Belzec and were carrying out mass extermination
10there. So one has to take this into account.
11     Really, I have difficulties, I have to say, to
12find, you know, an easy answer to this document because, I
13mean, they are in the middle of mass extermination and
14Goebbels is quite aware of that, and they are still
15talking about the idea that they could force the Jews out
16of Europe. I find this really difficult to explain.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can you not see any possible explanation?
18 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Possible explanation ----
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     That Hitler did not know?
20 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     The possible explanation would be that they just used
21among themselves this kind of camouflage language because
22they did not, they did not -- I mean, I have no trace, no
23evidence, that they spoke among themselves really about,
24"We are going, we are about to kill 6 million people. We
25are going to kill men, women, children, everybody", so
26they would use this kind of, this kind of language among

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 1themselves, and, yes, that is the explanation which seems
 2most plausible to me.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     They were in a state of denial then, they were doing these
 4things but pretending they were not?
 5 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Among themselves, I think, you know, they were in a way or
 6Hitler was in this way using double standards. He was,
 7I think, I am convinced that he was quite aware what was
 8happening ----
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     You keep saying that.
10 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     --- but among one of his best friends, so among themselves
11they would use a different language, they would not speak
12about, they would not say, you know, "We are actually
13killing so many children per month". They would just ----
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     But if he knew, supposing, assuming that
15Hitler knew all about the death camps and all the rest of
16it, what puzzles me a little bit about this camouflage
17theory is I do not quite see why it was necessary to talk
18about the Jews at all. Would you not keep your mouth shut
19rather than have this pantomime going on?
20 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, if you look into the conversation between, you know,
21Goebbels and Hitler, this was a constant, you know, a
22topic which was constantly raised among them. It was a
23kind of tour de raison. They would cover every
24interesting, evert aspect which looked interesting from
25their point of view. They would speak about the war, the
26conduct of war, they would speak about the -- the

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 1situation, the foreign policy, and they would cover this
 2topic, the Jews, the Jewish question, and they would --
 3this is my reading of this -- they would encourage
 4themselves, "Yes, they are dangerous, we have to do
 5something against them, we have to carry on with our
 6policy".
 7 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     That does not really explain why you then talk about it in
 8camouflage language at the table talk; why not keep your
 9mouth shut?
10 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I think, if you remember the speech Himmler gave on 4th
11October, he said, "Well, actually we do not speak among
12ourselves about this. It is a question of taste. We do
13not speak about this". It is a history which has not been
14written which will never be written, and I think they went
15so far that even among themselves they would, you know,
16hesitate at this wonderful day in spring 1942 actually to
17say, "Yes, actually we are killing them". So that is the
18best explanation I can offer. It is clear from the
19documents that it stood in clear contrast to what they
20were doing.
21 MR IRVING:     Dr Longerich, in the Institute have you read the
22memorandum by Karl Wolf who was Himmler's adjutant and
23liaison officer to Himmler for sometime?
24 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Which?
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     There were several handwritten memoirs by him, SS General
26Karl Wolf. Can I put to you one passage from them which

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