Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 61 - 65 of 192

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     He is talking about the shootings on the Eastern Front, is
 2he not? He is not talking about the western European
 3Jews. He is talking about here about the killings, the
 4machine gunnings into pits and so on?
 5 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I am always quite cautious. He is talking about the
 6killing of hundreds of people. I cannot see whether he
 7refers to shootings, or whether he refers to extermination
 8camps, or to labour camps, I have no idea.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     As you say yourself, he says, "most of you will know what
10it means to have 500 or a thousand corpses lying together
11before you". He is referring to the shootings on the
12Eastern Front is he not?
13 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Not necessarily. He could also refer to extermination
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     This is a speech to SS officers, is it not,
16not to the generals or anything of that kind?
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     To the SS Gruppenfuhrer.
18 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     To the SS GruppenFuhrer, that is true.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     He had this speech recorded on disk, did he not?
20 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     That is true.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Did that indicate that he was particularly concerned about
23 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I think the procedure was, it was not uncommon that he had
24his speeches on disk. He would give the disks to his
25personal adjutant and Brandt, and Brandt would then write
26a good manuscript, what actually improved the wording and

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 1so on. So I think the disk was primarily meant to be used
 2for internal purposes, just to record exactly the words of
 3the speech and to take it as a basis for an extended and
 4improved minute. I think it was not intended to broadcast
 5the speech or something like that, definitely not.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     We had a discussion here about the script of that speech,
 7the transcript that was made.
 8 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you aware that he required those who had not read it,
10or had not attended it rather, to sign a list saying that
11they had in the meantime read the speech?
12 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     It may be right. I cannot recall this, but I think you
13are right.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. It is in my discovery. It is a two or three page
15list of the names of all the SS Gruppenfuhrer and they had
16been required to confirm either that they have heard this
17speech or that they have since read it?
18 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you like to speculate from your knowledge as an
20expert on this why Himmler would have wanted to make sure
21that they had all heard the politics of the Third Reich?
22 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     One should not speculate, but it is a very long speech.
23I think it is probably more than 50 pages or something
24like that.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
26 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     He refers to the killing of the Jews. It might be that he

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 1wants them to share this secret with him, but it could
 2also mean that he just thought it was an important speech
 3and they should listen to him, and they should be aware,
 4because he is speaking about the conduct of war and all
 5other important issues. So I am not absolutely sure that
 6this is particularly this issue, why he is doing that.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     Let me put it like this. Are you aware of any other
 8Himmler speeches where he required those who had not
 9attended to read it like school children afterwards?
10 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I am not sure, I cannot say anything to that.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can you take it from me that I have never seen any other
12such list from any other Himmler speech?
13 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     No. I am afraid I have to say it might be, but I cannot
14recall that.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you prepared to suggest that there is a link between
16the fact that he made this extraordinary expose in this
17speech with the fact that he required all the SS generals
18to sign that they had now taken cognisance of it?
19 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     If I should speculate on it in this sense, yes, it is
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Probably a link?
22 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am not quite sure, Mr Irving, what the
24suggestion you are making is. What are you saying that
25the reason was?
26 MR IRVING:     I was just about to try and elicit this. I think

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 1undoubtedly that Dr Longerich is an expert on these
 2matters and I would be interested to hear his views.
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes. You are perfectly entitled to ask, but
 4I was not quite sure what the suggestion was.
 5 MR IRVING:     Is there some suggestion that Himmler is making
 6them all into accomplices after the fact?
 7 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     That is a possible interpretation.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     Of something that he has done. Is he trying to spread the
 9guilt, do you think?
10 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     It is a possible interpretation, yes.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Am I right, if I can ask a general question here, in
12saying that we are very much in the dark when we get up to
13this rarified level of Heinrich Himmler, Adolf Hitler, we
14do not really know what happened between them? We are
15forced to speculate, depending on our own personal
17 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, to speculate. We are in a way informed speculators
18so I think we have some sources and we should always take
19those sources as a basis for our speculation. And of
20course it is the nature of the system, the genre of
21decision making. We know there is a record of the
22relationship between Himmler and Hitler before this time,
23so we are also allowed, I think, to draw a conclusion from
24this wider context.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     You have not told me what your conclusion is?
26 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     My conclusion?

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     The question really was, we do not know much about the
 2relationship between Himmler and Hitler.
 3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     We know something about the relationship between Himmler
 4and Hitler.
 5 MR IRVING:     Specifically in this connection, am I right, my
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It was your question I was paraphrasing.
 8 MR IRVING:     I am sure it would interest your Lordship too to
 9know, from your own personal knowledge as an expert
10particularly on the Party Chancellery files, for example,
11is there any hint in all that huge body of, as you say,
1250,000 documents which suggests that there were intimate
13discussions between Himmler and Hitler on the Final
14Solution with a homicidal intent, if I can put it like
16 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Not necessarily in the files of the Party Chancellery but,
17if I can expand on that, the sources we have relating to
18Hitler and Himmler, I would say, the most important
19document we have, is the entry in the Dienskalendar, the
2018th December 1941. This is of course an important
21document. We have the speeches, not only this speech, but
22also a couple of other speeches, a couple of speeches
23Hitler made to this issue. We have a number of other
24documents which I refer to in my report number 1.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     We will come to them.
26 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     

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