Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 86 - 90 of 192

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    You know there were international negotiations going at
 1for the emigration of the Jews from Germany. In my
 2interpretation I think they really thought this was a
 3serious idea, a serious plan, that one could actually let
 4them pay for the emigration of 400,000 Jews from Germany.
 5So I think we have to look at Kristallnacht in this
 6context, because I think the policy of the Nazis was to
 7start a policy of terror against the Jews, to terrify them
 8to leave the country, but also to force the Western powers
 9actually to give in and to support this emigration
10programme. I think the speech has to be seen in this
11context. It is a threat, it a very violent threat: Look,
12if you don't agree and if we are getting in a kind of
13dispute again and if this dispute again will lead to
14another world war, then of course the life of the Jews in
15Europe is threatened, we are threatening the life of
16them. So if you look at the context they were, on the one
17hand, planning and preparing a programme for emigration,
18but on the other hand they were looking at the
19consequences if this programme would fail and if they
20would be involved in a military conflict with the Western
21powers again.
22     So if you threaten somebody, you know, it is a
23possibility. The whole idea I think of, well, threatening
24people is that you, in a way, leave a kind of uncertainty
25what you actually will do with the people you are
26threatening.

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 1 MR IRVING:     I am sorry, did you want to say anything else?
 2No. Would you regard this speech by Adolf Hitler as being
 3a further twist to the Jewish arm, saying: "Get out while
 4you can"?
 5 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I think the motive behind the speech, there are various
 6motives behind the speech, and one motive is clearly to
 7threaten German Jews to leave the country as soon as
 8possible. This is one of the motives behind the speech.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     On what matters, which is what "vernichtung"
10means in that context ----
11 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
12 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     You say it does mean extermination or extirpation?
13 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I actually said here in the text "annihilation". You
14know, historians are debating this question. Some of my
15colleagues would say this is clear, Hitler actually at
16this stage had a clear programme to kill European Jews.
17I am not sure. I think the motives behind the speech are,
18there were different motives between the speech. It is a
19violent threat. It includes the possibility to kill the
20Jews in Europe, but I am not sure whether, you know,
21actually one can interpret this as a kind of programme
22which was already there.
23 MR IRVING:     What possible proof is there for the fact that
24Adolf Hitler had at this time, at the beginning of 1939, a
25programme or a plan or intent to liquidate the Jews of
26Europe or anywhere else?

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 1 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     The historians who would take this line would argue the
 2events which followed to actually give us a kind of clue
 3that Hitler probably had this plan at a very early stage.
 4I do not agree with this view. I think he still, you
 5know, was not sure whether he preferred emigration or
 6whether he was going to the next step and actually
 7envisaging, was actually trying to envisage what would
 8happen in a case of a war. So I think it is a kind of a
 9watershed here.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is he effectively saying: "We will hold the Jews
11hostage"?
12 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I think this is the message. There are various motives
13behind the speech. The fact that he is referring here to
14a world war, not simply to a war, a war against Poland,
15let us say, but a world war, which implies the involvement
16of the Western powers. I think this is a threat against,
17the Western powers against Great Britain, in particular
18against the United States. But this speech is really open
19for interpretation. I cannot prove at this stage that
20Hitler had a programme, a blueprint to kill European Jews
21during the next years. I think it would go too far to
22draw this conclusion from this speech. It is definitely a
23very violent threat. It is three months after
24Kristallnacht, and actually I think one has to bear this
25in mind that, you know, it is saying we could actually
26repeat Kristallnacht on a much, much wider scale. I think

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 1something like is implied here.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, I am conscious that time is
 3passing and we are spending huge amounts of time on the
 4meaning of these various words. In a way you have been
 5rather pushed into doing it because of the form of the
 6glossary, but it does not seem to me terribly helpful all
 7this, because it all depends, and Dr Longerich's last
 8answer reveals, that exploring what the context of a
 9document is can be quite a complicated exercise.
10 MR IRVING:     I agree, my Lord, but I hope I am gradually
11bringing it home to your Lordship that when Adolf Hitler
12is concerned, which is the person I am largely concerned
13with, we are all at sea and anyone can draw whatever
14conclusion they want.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     We are at sea in 1939. I am not so sure
16about 1941 and 1942.
17 MR IRVING:     Which I hope we will reach in the course ----
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Well, let us move on.
19 MR IRVING:     In that case I will not draw attention to what he
20said two days previously.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No, I think 41 and 42 is the time, when the
22shooting started on the Eastern Front, paragraph 5.7
23maybe.
24 MR IRVING:     I was up to 5.8 already.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Good.
26 MR IRVING:     At 5.8 you refer to the Goebbels diary entry, Adolf

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 1Hitler speech?
 2 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     To the Gauleiters on December 12th 1941?
 4 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Here the reference is, well, actually the reference is
 6not, the "vernichtung" does not come in a speech; it comes
 7in the second part, in the Hans Frank diary four days
 8later.
 9 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     According to the Goebbels diary he says "vernichtung" in
10this speech, and again the full reference is in, the
11translation is in the other report, in the first report
12which is in chronological order so we should find it.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     61?
14 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes. There is footnote 156, so if we look at the German
15text in the first report, page 61, then we have the
16translation I think in both.
17 MR IRVING:     That is in fact harking back to precisely that
18speech, is it not.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It is completely circular.
20 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
21 MR IRVING:     It is exactly the same.
22 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, he did this a lot of times. He always came back to
23this speech. I think he have five or six or more examples
24where Hitler is actually referring to this prophecy,
25particularly at this time. It is not only on 12th
26December; it is also on 1st January, 30th January and 24th

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