Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 176 - 180 of 192

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    There were several handwritten memoirs by him, SS General
 1might help to explain this kind of conversation and ask
 2you if you remember it?
 3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Where Karl Wolf says: "I am certain that Hitler did not
 5know what was going on. I think it was kept from him. We
 6had to keep the Messiah of the coming 2,000 years clean of
 7this matter"?
 8 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, I think one has to again ----
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you remember that passage?
10 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     --- I have to look at the document. I do no think -- they
11are not published. I do not think they are accessible to
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     I have seen them.
14 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, but I think ----
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     And they are in my discovery.
16 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     --- as far as I am aware of, this is not a source which is
17accessible to every historian. They are not in a public
18archive on a library. If we, I mean, I would be happy to
19see them, but I think I would have to be in front of ----
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think that is fair. It is very difficult
21to comment on an extract like that.
22 MR IRVING:     But can I just put it this way? Is the suggestion
23that Karl Wolff or the SS were anxious to do the dirty
24deed without getting Hitler, the Messiah of the coming
252,000 years implicated himself, would that explain how
26this situation would arise?

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 1 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Wolff was sentenced in, was it, 199 -- 1965 or something,
 2I think he was sentenced to a 15-year prison sentence,
 3I think, so, really, he was -- his main occupation after
 4the war was, actually his main problem after the war was
 5to distance himself from these murderous actions. He did
 6not want to spend the rest of his life in prison, so I
 7would be very, very cautious to take this as face value,
 8to, you know, what he knew, what Hitler knew. The whole
 9attitude of Wolf is to say, "I was just a military man.
10I had nothing to do with these things. This was even not
11mentioned in my presence".
12     So I am really, first of all, I have not seen
13the document, but really, in general, would be very, very
14hesitant to draw -- to follow him.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would that not explain Heinreich Himmler's later remark on
16October 4th 1943, that this is a matter about which we
17never talk, if they wanted to keep it away from Hitler,
18would that not be the explanation?
19 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I do not think he said in the speech, "We kept it away
20from Hitler". He says, basically, "We do not mention
21it" ----
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     Among others?
23 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     " --- among ourselves". If you go to the Himmler speech
24and if you do it in a more systematic way, you can see
25that actually he refers to higher orders which were given
26to him. So I think you can link this speech with Hitler.

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is the awful responsibility?
 2 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, for instance.
 3 MR IRVING:     On page 66 near the end of that, five or six lines
 4up, you say: "Even talking to his closest associates
 5Hitler avoided speaking openly on mass killing". This is
 6your kind of gloss you put on paragraphs like that, that
 7you are trying to explain how it is that in the documents,
 8contemporary documents there are these baffling passages,
 9if I can use the word "baffling"?
10 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     No. I have only seen one, this is the one in 1985, and
11I think we do not have many examples of that.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     On 69 there is I think the one you were just referring to
13in paragraph 19.3, July 28th 1942, Himmler wrote to
14Gottlegberger, an SS General, saying: "The Fuhrer has
15placed on my shoulders the implementation of this very
16difficult order and the responsibility cannot be taken
17away from me in any case." What order was that?
18 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     That is left out in the translation unfortunately.
19One had to add the first sentence in German. The first
20sentence of this quotation is: "The occupied Eastern
21territories will be free of Jews", and then he goes on:
22"The Fuhrer placed on my shoulders the implementation of
23this very difficult order."
24     This is in July 1942. I think that quite
25clearly Hitler gave Himmler the order to kill every Jew in
26the occupied Eastern territories, and Himmler saw this a

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 1particularly unpleasant and difficult task, but he was of
 2course, as obedient as he was, prepared to carry on. So
 3this is my reading of the document.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Of course the document does not reply to another letter
 5referring to the killing of the Jews, does it?
 6 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     No. It is mentioned in a letter to Berger, but I think
 7this is one of the clearest statements we have.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     It is indeed very clear.
 9 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     "The occupied Eastern territories will be free of Jews",
10it is, "The Fuhrer placed on my shoulders the
11implementation of this very difficult order, the
12responsibility cannot be taken away from me in any case".
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     "Detesbefehl" must refer back, you would say,
14to making the Oskabitte free of Jews.
15 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, I explain this just for the minute. In the
16translation I left unfortunately out the first sentence.
17 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     I follow that.
18 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     And the first sentence is: "The occupied Eastern
19territories will be free of Jews". It is in the German
20text but not in the English text.
21 MR RAMPTON:     My Lord, the full text, in case anybody thinks it
22is important, which it may well be, is in the new bundle N
23whatever it is.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     You mean the words before the omitted words?
25 MR RAMPTON:     Yes. There are two paragraphs and this is a

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think this is worth looking at.
 2 MR RAMPTON:     I think it might be important for this witness in
 3particular. 261, my Lord, we have reproduced
 4Dr Longerich's short English translation of two sentences,
 5and, as he says, defective translation of two sentences.
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Not defective but deficient.
 7 MR RAMPTON:     No, but the whole of the German text is in a
 8microfilm copy on the right-hand side.
 9 MR IRVING:     My Lord, just for the record, I have no objection
10to any of the extracts this witness has made. He has left
11nothing out of any importance.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No, I accept that. Should we just have a
13look. Did you say 261, Mr Rampton?
14 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     261, yes.
15 MR RAMPTON:     261 I think I was told to say.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I see, it is paragraph 1.
17 MR RAMPTON:     It is in paragraph 1. It is the second part of
18paragraph 1.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can you just translate?
20 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     The whole thing?
21 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     The first sentence on paragraph 1.
22 MR IRVING:     Yes: "I urgently ask you not to have any ordinance
23about the concept of the word "Jew" issued. With all
24these stupid determinations we are just tying our own
25hands. The occupied Eastern territories will be free of
26the Jews. The execution of this very difficult order has

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