Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 21 - 25 of 192

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 1 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I do not think there was a Sprachledlung but I think in
 2the 1950s the generally preferred term was Soviet zone of
 3Occupation. This changed, then in the 1960s, at the end
 4of the 1960s, when it became more common to speak of the
 5German Democratic Republic, but I am certainly not an
 6expert on, you know, on this issue ----
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you ever heard of the word Middle Deutschland.
 8 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, of course.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Was that also an official designation?
10 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     This was also common, yes.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     No kind of revanches sentiment was attached to that word?
12 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I would be very careful to make such a general statement.
13It is a complex issue.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Professor Longerich, I think I can say quite evidently
15that you harbour no personal dislike or animosity towards
16me at this stage?
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No, I am sure not. Mr Irving, shall we move
18towards one of the substantive questions that you are
19going to have to ask about? Let us move on, in other
21 MR IRVING:     On page 8, three paragraphs from the bottom, you
22lecture the German Historical Institute ----
23 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     --- on the policy of destruction, vernichtung?
25 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, that is the title you prefer. I cannot recall the
26exact English title of this lecture.

.   P-21

 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     Politik der Vernichtung. Was I present in the audience on
 2that occasion?
 3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I think I remember you, yes.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Did you invite questions at the end of that function?
 5 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     The Director of the Institute invited question, yes.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Did I ask a question?
 7 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, you asked a question.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     What did the Director of the Institute say?
 9 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     The Director said, "Dr Longerich does not want to answer
10your question".
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     He said, "Dr Longerich has informed me in advance he will
12not answer any questions from Mr David Irving"?
13 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     That is correct, yes.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Thank you very much. Was there any specific reason for
15your refusal?
16 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I think there was a discussion in the Institute whether
17you should be actually asked to leave the building, and,
18well, at this stage I actually know, I actually knew that
19I would be called into the witness stand here, and
20I thought it was better not to answer this question, not
21to have a kind rehearsal of this.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Sorry, you did or you did not know you were
23going to be a witness?
24 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I was quite aware, I think, that I would be.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Oh, you were, even back in 1988?
26 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.

.   P-22

 1 MR IRVING:     Did you state that at the time?
 2 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Pardon?
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Did you state that to the Chairman at the time as the
 4reason why?
 5 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     No. I did not give a reason.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     What was the question I asked? Do you remember? What
 7document was I asking about?
 8 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I think you were asking about the Schlegelberger, what you
 9called the Schlegelberger document.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     I read out the Schlegelberger document and invited you to
11reconcile it with what you had said in your lecture?
12 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I think this was the moment when you called me a
13"coward"? Isn't this this incident?
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     That is right, yes.
15 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes. I can recall this, yes.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     Just a brief answer this time, do you consider the
17Schlegelberger document to be a key document in the
18history of the Final Solution?
19 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     No, absolutely not.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Totally unimportant?
21 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     It is unimportant, yes.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you mentioned it in any of your books?
23 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     No, I do not think so.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     A book, in other words, a document which says the Fuhrer
25has asked repeatedly for the solution of the Jewish
26problem postponed until the war is over, in your view, was

.   P-23

 2 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, that is your interpretation of the document.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am saying what it says.
 4 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, it is third-hand evidence. It is an undated
 5document. We do not know who actually wrote the
 6document. It is third-hand evidence. It is about Lammers
 7who said that somewhere in the past Hitler had said
 8something to him about the solution, not the Final
 9Solution, of the Jewish question. I think we will come to
10the document later in more detail, but I think I could not
11see this and I cannot see this as a major document, let us
12say, for the interpretation of the Holocaust.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     What would have prevented you saying this to what was
14obviously a friendly audience at the German Institute
15on ----
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     He has given his answer. You may not accept
17it, but he felt inhibited by the fact he had been asked to
18give expert evidence.
19 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I should mention that I do not want to find myself on
20Mr Irving's website with my answer. I felt myself ten
21with the full comment, you know, of my behaviour and
22I know that Mr Irving was doing these things, and I do not
23want to get engaged in this kind of argument or debate, so
24I prefer to be silent.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     You prefer there not to be a debate, is that right?
26 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Pardon?

.   P-24

 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     You prefer there not to be any debate on things like this?
 2 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     No, I do not prefer to be involved in this kind of debate
 3that you, you know, should be more specific, not to be
 4with my comment. I do not want to find me on your web
 5page which is what I said during this discussion or during
 6this lecture. This was the second reason.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     We are now going to go to the meaning of words, Professor
 8Longerich. Again this is perfectly straightforward
 9questioning and answering. There are no concealed tricks
10involved here. Would you agree that a lot of the words
11that you have put in your list quite clearly show an
12intention, a homicidal intent, if I can put it like that?
13A lot of the euphemisms used by the Nazis?
14 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, I think that is true.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     A lot of them are ambiguous?
16 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     They are in the way they were used they are. They are
17sometimes ambiguous, yes.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     It is really a bit of a minefield, is it not?
19 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, I think, I cannot speak about minefields. I think
20what an historian has to do, he has to look at each
21document and has to look at the context and then try to
22reconstruct from the context what actually the meaning of
23this, of this passage might be.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     But is not the danger there that you then come back using
25our pre-Ori methods, that you extrapolate backwards from
26your knowledge and assign a meaning to the word rather

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