Irving v. Lipstadt
Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 25: Electronic Edition
Pages 11 - 15 of 212
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1 MR IRVING: While you still have that bundle in front of you --
2my Lord, this is just by way of putting documents in --
3page 1 is a German document which is a conference dated
4August 6th 1942, on the face of it. Right? It is from an
5American microfilm T 501 which is the records of the
6military government, the generalgouvernenent. Is it a
7record of the conference of 6th August 1942, Dr Longerich?
8 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Again, I have to say I got this document five minutes ago
9and I should really have the time to read it.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us read it together. I am sure we will
11be able to manage.
12 MR IRVING: My Lord, I am just really going to pay attention to
13the title of the document and in the most general terms.
14Is this a document relating to increasing air raid
15precaution measurements in the government general?
16 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] The translation is guidelines for the building up of air
17raid defence in the area of the command of the military
18force in the generalgouvernement. That is the title.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] The remaining four pages just give guidelines for how to
20do this, to build air raid shelters because of the
21increased danger of British air attacks?
22 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] It does not say British air attacks. I think it could
23also refer to Soviet or American attacks but I just trust
24you that this is the case.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Just so that I understand the relevance, this
26is back to Auschwitz?
1 MR IRVING: Back to Auschwitz, my Lord, yes, crematorium No.
2(ii). The next document I want you to look at briefly is
3on page 5. First of all, I draw your attention to the SS
4runes on the first line under be Abschrift. Do you have
6 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Yes.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] You see the SS runes after Reichsfuhrer SS?
8 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Yes.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] So this is probably a genuine wartime document? I have to
10put it like that.
11 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Probably.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] Are you familiar with this document, signed by the chief
13of the concentration camp system, Pohl?
14 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] I cannot recall the document. I am really curious to know
15from which archive the document is. I also have to say
16I did not have the time to read the document. So would
17you say where this document is from, from which archive
18you have that?
19 Q. [Mr Irving] It has been provided to me by a lawyer in Dusseldorf who
20is heavily involved in wartime cases.
21 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] So you cannot say from which archive.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] I will obtain it for the court.
23 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] It is difficult for me to comment on the document if I do
24not know where the original is.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I see that. Was this in your discovery,
1 MR IRVING: My Lord, no it was not.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I thought not. It is typical of last minute
3documents being provided to me by lawyers around the world
4and they know these things. If your Lordship has any
5objection, then I would not take it further.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, I do not. I think this document is
7rather different from your manuscript and I think we will
8proceed cautiously, but for the moment let us assume it is
10 MR IRVING: If you just look at the first page of this document
11and run your eye over it, is Pohl sending a message to all
12the concentration camp commandants, 19 of them, saying:
13"It is time to stop the rough and ready measures with
14prisoners. We are losing them like flies. We need their
15manpower. Look after them better"?
16 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Well, first of all, I have to express my reservations
17about this document. I do not know the context. I do not
18know the archive. But on the assumption that this is an
19authentic document, yes, it is a letter to the 19 heads of
20the concentration camps, and obviously the document is
21saying that they have to improve their measures to keep
22prisoners alive, so which is a kind of reference to what
23happened in the camps before, I think.
24 Q. [Mr Irving] Indeed, and paragraph 5 of that first page says: "Not
25from any false sentimentality but because we need their
26arms and legs because those are helping the German people
1to get to a great victory. That is why we have got to
2start paying attention to the welfare of the prisoners"?
3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Yes. That is stated here in this document.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] Then the next page, page 2, the heading is, "Foodstuffs,
6 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] I do not have the time to read now.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] Well, I am just asking you to look at the headings. That
8all we need, I think. Page 2 he is talking about the
9feeding. The following page, paragraph 2, is called
10"Clothing". Then down to the bottom of that page,
11"Natural Medications" or "Health" ----
12 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] --- "stuff".
14 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Well, I cannot, you know, I cannot read so fast but under
15"Clothing" it is stated here: "I decide that during the
16winter, as far as far as available, prisoners should wear
17coats, pullover, socks", so that should give you an idea
18about the standards which actually existed in the
19concentration camps before this letter arrived, and it
20says, it says "as far as available", so it does not
21actually say, "Give the men, you know, proper clothing".
22It is saying, you know, "You can give them socks if they
23are available and nothing more". So I think this gives
24you a kind of an idea of this.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] Over the page, paragraph 4 is called "Avoiding unnecessary
26exertions". For example, these frequent parades were they
1were held standing for hours while they were counted
3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Yes.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] --- are to be kept as short as possible, and so on. In
5other words, there seems to be a reversal of existing
6policy because they are losing prisoners like flies to
7what I would call non-violent causes.
8 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] That is your interpretation, yes.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, what is yours?
10 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Well, they started in the concentration camps a programme
11which they called "extermination through work". So they
12used hard labour as a tool, as a means to kill prisoners.
13This was the practice before. Now, at October '43, it is
14not really surprising they are a bit cautious here and
15they are trying to improve as far as they can, trying to
16improve in some sense the general conditions of the
17prisoners. But, of course, this is a document, I mean,
18this document is, of course, sent to the head of the
19concentration camps -- nothing to do with the
20extermination camps, for instance.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I was going to ask you about that.
22 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Yes. So, as far as Auschwitz is concerned, it concerns
23the slave labours within the camp. It does not say
24anything about the people who were deported to the camp
25and selected in front of the camp.
26 If one, you know, if I have to -- if I were in
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