Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 26 - 30 of 192

<< 1-5191-192 >>
    But is not the danger there that you then come back using
 1than using the word to help you itself?
 2 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     That is the problem with all interpretations. You have to
 3come back. Of course, you cannot analyse the word
 4completely, you know, outside. You have to look at the
 5meaning of the word, but always in a historical context.
 6I am not a linguist, so I prefer to actually, as I said,
 7to look at the context and to ----
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     You speak English very well, Dr Longerich, if I may say
 9so, and I think we are all very impressed by that and I am
10certainly impressed by the arguments you have put forward
11in your glossary. Would you agree also that the same word
12can have different meanings when uttered by different
13people?
14 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes. That is exactly why I think it is important always
15to look at the context because, as you rightly said, the
16same word could have different meanings in different
17contexts.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     The same word can also have a different meaning depending
19on when it is uttered?
20 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Exactly.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Even by the same person?
22 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Exactly.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Or in what circumstances it is uttered?
24 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     That is what I call the context.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     The only two words I am really concerned with (but we will
26certainly look at the other words in your glossary) are

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 1the words "vernichtung" which is destruction or
 2annihilation?
 3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I said, I translate it as, I could accept this
 4translation, but I also think in our context, I said
 5probably the translation "extermination" is the better one
 6or the more appropriate one.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, well, "extermination" is a possible one, but you will
 8appreciate it is not always proper to go for the third or
 9fourth meaning of a word?
10 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I do not know what you mean by "the third or fourth
11meaning". If you mean the use of dictionaries, I think
12that is a rather mechanical way, you know, at looking at
13dictionaries. Of course, a dictionary offers various
14meanings and you have to probably go to the third or
15fourth meaning if the context suggested that, the context
16in which the document stands. So I do not think a
17translator or an historian would always in a mechanical
18way take the first meaning in the dictionary.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Here is a 1935 dictionary that says -- I will just check
20it -- "vernichtung" has only two meanings and that is
21"annihilate; destroy"?
22 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     This looks rather small, your dictionary, if I may say so,
23and you find other dictionaries -- actually, I do not
24think that.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     I have any number of other dictionaries going back over
26the years.

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 1 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     We can go, if you want, to the dictionaries.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think what the witness is saying is you can
 3swap dictionary definitions until the cows come home and
 4no-one is at the end of it any the wiser.
 5 MR IRVING:     The other word I want to look at is "ausrotten" and
 6I am going to ask you very quickly, Dr Longerich, to take
 7this little bundle of documents which is on the left-hand
 8side there which I just gave you.
 9 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I just see this for the first time, I have to say.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is that the little bundle there?
11 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. I have given it to you for the first time because
13perhaps I can ask an interim question. When you compiled
14your glossary, Dr Longerich, did you have before you a
15number of documents from a dossier on the word "ausrotten"
16that had been provided by the Defence solicitors?
17 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Sorry, a glossary of terms of what the word ----
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     When you wrote your glossary ----
19 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     --- did you before you a number of documents provided to
21you by the Defence solicitors?
22 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     No, I cannot actually -- I cannot recall this. I wrote
23this in Munich but, of course, it was holidays and when
24I did this, I did not have anything in front of me.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     Very well. The first page, page 1 -- I am looking at the
26big numbers at the bottom -- the ausrottung des Prostesten

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 1tismus?
 2 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Your bundle, yes.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     It is my little bundle, yes. This is 1900 ----
 4 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     -- published by some church body, and it is about the
 6ausrotten des Prostesten tismus in Salzburg?
 7 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     Obviously, they are not talking about liquidating all the
 9Protestants, are they?
10 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I do not know, I mean, you know, in Germany in the 17th
11century, for instance, they had what they called religious
12wars and many people were actually ausgerot for religious
13reasons. So if you give me a chance to find out whether
14this is about the 30 year war.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It appears to be dated 1900. I do not know
16whether the Gothic script means it is older than that.
17 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     It is written 1900, but is it not historical subject?
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, if I may say so, I do not think we
19will get very much help out of that.
20 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I see. It is about the church history of the 18th
21century.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am looking just at the use of the word, my Lord, and
23suggesting strongly that at this time they were not -- it
24is in close parallel to the phrase the ausrotten des
25Judentums?
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes. I follow the point you are making, but

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 1can one not put it this way? Do you accept or not, I do
 2not know, Dr Longerich, that you can use "ausrotten" to
 3mean "rooting out". It depends on the context?
 4 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I am not sure about "rooting out". I think the meaning
 5here of "ausrotten" is to wipe out, to get completely rid
 6of.
 7 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     All right, wipe out?
 8 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     This applies not to -- I do not know, I mean, I am not
 9familiar with the -- I mean, if you give me the time
10I will try to do my best to get familiar with the history
11of the churches, of a church in Salzburg in the 19th
12century, I am not sure whether they kill anybody or so.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Let us forget about ----
14 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I think the term "ausrotten" applies to an organization
15which probably Protestentismus is here. It does not
16necessarily mean that everybody who belongs to this
17organization is going to be killed. You can also speak,
18I mean, today about "ausrotten" of criminality, for
19instance, if you mean, you know, that you get rid of this
20problem. But I think what is more important is that, you
21know, it is more tricky when it comes actually to the
22ausrotten of human beings, then I think the meaning is
23quite clear, as far I see it.
24 MR IRVING:     Can we now go to page 2 which is a 1935 Nazi
25reference to it, one which you have not adduced in your
26glossary. This is a speech by Rudolf Hess on May 14th. My

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