Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 181 - 185 of 192

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    Yes: "I urgently ask you not to have any ordinance
 1been placed on my shoulders by the Fuhrer. So nobody can
 2take that responsibility from me."
 3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I would agree.
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     So there has been some sort squabbling about
 5what comes within the definition of a "Jew".
 6 MR IRVING:     Who is a Jew.
 7 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     He did not want them to issue a regulation about the
 8definition of the Jew because it was not necessary any
 9more, because the problem has ----
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     And Himmler is saying: "I have been ordered
11to sort the problem out by getting rid of the Jews and get
12on with it."
13 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
14 MR IRVING:     Yes. So the question which arises from that,
15Dr Longerich, is does this not fit in with the scenario
16that I suggested, that Hitler had said to Himmler: "You do
17the job, keep me out of it, I will keep people off your
18back, just get on with it, but don't bother me with it"?
19 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, it says here, this is my reading, that Hitler has
20given Himmler the order that the occupied territories
21shall be free of Jews. So which way this happened I do
22not know, whether this was ----
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     So, "I can do what I want and buzz off"?
24 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, you can speculate about this, but I do not have the
25minutes of the conversation between Hitler and Himmler.
26It could be a very explicit order, a very clear order. It

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 1could also be something general. Why should I speculate
 2about it? I do not have the text in front of me.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Now let me take you ahead to page 72, please, the first
 4indented paragraph, and we get a little bit closer to what
 5I am asking for. This is the second closing speech on
 6October 6th 1943.
 7 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     "I ask you that which I say to you in this circle be
 9really only heard and not ever discussed. We were faced
10with the question "What about the women and children?"
11I took the decision to find a very clear solution to this
12problem here too." "I took the decision". Now is Himmler
13saying Hitler took the decision or is Himmler saying "I,
14Himmler, took the decision"?
15 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, you answered the question yourself I think.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, and that is pretty clear, is it not?
17 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, but he did not say in this, he does not say in this
18speech that he took the decision without having the
19consent of Hitler.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Oh, yes, he has been given the overall blank cheque by
21Hitler, has he not?
22 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, I think it is fair to argue -- I think he is
23referring here to the extension of the shootings in the
24Soviet Union, the extension of the shootings to women and
25children, which happened between the end of July 1941, end
26of October 1941, where actually the various killing units

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 1extended their shootings to include in the mass executions
 2also women and children, shot also women and children.
 3I think, as far as I am concerned, as I tried to
 4reconstruct as precisely as possible the decision-making
 5process, that clearly there is some kind of initiative
 6coming from Himmler, but I have no doubts that this was in
 7full consent and that Himmler acted under the -- that
 8Himmler was convinced, deeply convinced that he acted with
 9full consent of Hitler. I have no doubt about that. Also
10in this he says for the organization which had to execute
11this task. I think also this organization, it could be
12read as a reference to a higher order, an order which was
13given from, well, somebody above Himmler.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     I strongly disagree, Dr Longerich. If he says, "I am the
15one who took the decision that the women and children had
16to be killed too", and that the people who had to do this
17job, it was very unpleasant for them, there can be no
18doubt at all what job he is talking about and who gave the
19order, he Himmler?
20 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, I think you can read this sentence, it also can be
21read as that the SS, a reference to a higher order, but
22I cannot dispute, I do not want to dispute, that Hitler is
23referring here to his own initiative, but I on the other
24hand, looking at the whole history in 1941, in the second
25half of 1941, I have no doubts that he came to this
26conclusion with the deep conviction that he acted

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 1according to the wishes of Hitler. I mean this idea to
 2separate in a way Himmler from Hitler and to insinuate
 3that Himmler would have carried out this operation behind
 4Hitler's back, I really have to say that this looks quite
 5absurd to me, because if you look at Himmler's
 6personality, for instance, Himmler was obedient, he was as
 7loyal as he could be to Hitler. He was an anxious
 8person. I think the whole personality, Himmler can only
 9be explained as somebody who, it is really a remarkable
10example of somebody who really did the utmost to carry out
11the wishes of Hitler. The whole died of idea that this
12whole operation, this enormous operation, killing
13operation of 6 million people could be started and could
14be carried out on a large scale with implications, you
15know, transportation, the building of extermination camps,
16the involvement of 10,000 people who had to carry out this
17programme and the ramifications as far as the foreign
18policy was concerned, the policy towards the German Allies
19was concerned, all this, that this could be carried out by
20Hitler not asking, not being sure that he actually acted,
21you know, on Hitler's, according to Hitler's wishes, this
22whole notion seems absolutely, I hate to say this in a
23very strong way, absurd. I think we cannot build this
24case on three or four documents you find in the archives.
25I think you have to look at the whole system. You have to
26look at the relationship between Hitler and Himmler. You

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 1have to look at the way this was carried out. I simply
 2cannot follow this line of argumentation.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     So Himmler was a weak man?
 4 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     In a way Himmler had -- in a way Himmler had some
 5weaknesses. You are quite familiar, you wrote biographies
 6about the leading Nazis, and you I think are quite aware
 7of the fact where are his weakness.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     Himmler's brother Gebhardt told me that Heinreich was such
 9a coward that he would never have done this without
10Hitler's orders. So he backs you. But the fact remains
11that we are faced with these baffling documents, are we
12not?
13 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes. The question is now whether these documents are
14really sufficient enough to prove the case that the
15Holocaust was carried out by Himmler behind Hitler's back,
16you know, without his knowledge, without his approval.
17Generally speaking, my impression is that it is impossible
18to prove this case.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     You mention the transportation, that this could not have
20been done without Hitler's orders?
21 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     All this, not only transportation but the whole magnitude
22of this operation.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     But Himmler referred specifically to the fact that this
24movement of the Jews from the West to East is going to
25proceed stage by stage, is the Fuhrer's orders, September
261942 I think is the document?

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