Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 36 - 40 of 192

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    Yes. Page 6, again we are still in 1936, but
 1now about the expropriation, the humiliation and the
 2vernichtung of the Jews in Germany ----
 3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     --- since the government of Adolf Hitler. This time it is
 5the word "vernichtung".
 6 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     1936, of course, the Jews as such had not been vernichtet,
 8had they, and yet this is a history of the destruction of
 9the Jews?
10 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I have to make here a general observation. I just have to
11trust that this is all, you know, this is original.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     I have the original documents here.
13 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     And I always prefer to look at documents in the
14appropriate context, but, of course, it is possible that
15somebody in '36, and I think these are the Jews who
16emigrated from Germany, would use the term "vernichtung"
17in a sense that, you know, "vernichtung" there, you would
18use it in the sense that he would not refer to the actual
19killing of the Jews because the actual killing, as we
20know, did happen later on. So I do not think how this
21document can help us to interpret or to put the Nazi
22terminology into the historical context.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, I agree. It is a low grade document. It is outside
24Germany but there is the phrase "vernichtung der Juden" in
251936.
26 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, and who actually published it, do you know that?

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Let us move on. It is a low grade document.
 2 MR IRVING:     The next one is high grade. It is page 7, Walter
 3Hewel?
 4 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Walter Hewel was a diplomat on Hitler's staff. He was the
 6liaison officer, von Ribbentrop, was he not?
 7 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     H-E-W-E-L?
 9 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     And he wrote a memorandum on the conference between Hitler
11and this Czech State president Hacha -- H-A-C-H-A -- on
12March 15th 1939, which is in the official published
13volumes, is it not, ADAP?
14 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, again I cannot recall the document. I just trust
15that this is correct what you are saying. I do not have
16the ADAP with me and I do not have ----
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     Well, if this is a fig quotation, no doubt, I will be shot
18down in due course by the Defence. The phrase in German
19is [German - document not provided] which I will translate
20as "If in the a autumn of the last year, 1938,
21Czechoslovakia had not given in, then the Czech volk would
22have been ausgerottet?
23 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     What is Hitler saying there?
25 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well...
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is it important, do you think, this use of the word here?

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 1 MR RAMPTON:     Do let him answer. One question at a time.
 2 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I do not know about Hitler's plan, you know, it is a
 3hypothetical question. It is assuming that the Munich
 4agreement would not have happened, and so I do not know
 5what was going on in Hitler's mind about the future of the
 6Czechoslovak people, you know, in the case that would have
 7been in 1938. So I cannot answer this question outside
 8this.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is Hitler telling the Czech State President, "Good thing
10you signed on the dotted line at midnight or 2 a.m.
11otherwise I would have liquidated your entire people", is
12that what he was saying?
13 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Forgive me, I do not know to which text you are referring
14now.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     That is the context there. If the word "ausgerottet" used
16in Hitler's mouth talking about ----
17 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, we have another document from the conversation
18between Hacha and Hitler where actually Hacha himself
19says, "Well, actually our people felt that -- our people
20are quite relieved because they feel now because they were
21on the assumption that they were going to be vernichtet in
22the case that, you know, the Munich agreement would not
23have kept ----
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     How many Czechs were there? About 10, 15, 20 million?
25 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Are we talking about the Czech Republic?
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes.

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 1 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I think 7, 8 million or something like that, yes.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     So Hitler is at this time, is this what you are saying,
 3"I would have exterminated 7 million Czechs if you had
 4not signed"?
 5 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     First of all, I do not know whether actually, but this is
 6verbatim document, whether it implies some kind comment on
 7Hitler, and then I am not sure -- it is a hypothetical
 8question because what happened is that Czechoslovakia and
 9the Western powers gave in and the Czechoslovak people
10were actually saved from a major catastrophe, may I say it
11like this, and I do not know what was going on in Hitler's
12mind in '38 about the future of the Czech people in case
13that, you know, he had not signed the Munich agreement.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, but ----
15 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     But ----
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     --- you do get the drift of my question, that here is that
17word "ausgerottet" in connection with a volk and Hitler
18saying, "I would have done it to them if you had not
19signed"?
20 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     You know, it is a hypothetical. It is also, you know,
21Hitler sometimes uses, you know, he made threats and he
22threatened people and he made completely, you know,
23remarks which shows that he was out of control. So, you
24know, I do not know the context whether this is a kind of
25emotional reaction or anything like this.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     What you are saying, it all depends on the

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 1context?
 2 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     That is absolutely true.
 3 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     And is it also right that sometimes politicians, or Hitler
 4anyway, would use a term like "ausrottung" meaning "wipe
 5out"?
 6 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
 7 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Which is not to be taken literally?
 8 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, that is what I would say.
 9 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     That is why I am not really ----
10 MR IRVING:     That is precisely the point I was going to ask.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It is all context, Mr Irving, is it not,
12really?
13 MR IRVING:     The final question on that quotation, therefore,
14is, is it not likely that Adolf Hitler was just saying,
15"If you had not signed, I would have ended Czechoslovakia
16as a power"?
17 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I think that is much, much stronger than that,
18"ausrottung", and again from the conversation with Hacha
19I know that Hacha was under the impression that the
20Czechoslovakian people would be vernichtet.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     What did he mean by "vernichtet"? I know you used this in
22your glossary.
23 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I think that people had ----
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     Gas chambers for the entire Czechs?
25 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     No, but I think that people had felt, that people in
26Czechoslovakia in '38, felt that probably their existence,

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