Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 25: Electronic Edition

Pages 146 - 150 of 212

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    --- a station for gas vans. Yes? Then we have evidence
 1The same applies to Riga. We have the famous letter, 25th
 2October 1941, where actually the Reisigerhauptamt a gas
 3van -- a gas killing installations to Osland. There is
 4this plan in Mogilev.
 5     So this I think, in my view, gives a very clear
 6picture. They are sending Jews from Central Europe to
 7certain ghettos in the East and they are either making
 8preparations for gas killing installation at exactly these
 9places, or they have plans to do so.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     This is the confusion because you said that in section A
11there was no indication during that same time span of any
12overall plan for extermination?
13 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, the extermination, I am not sure whether I did not
14say this clearly enough, but the extermination, first of
15all, relates to the local Jews, so the non-German Jews,
16the Jews who lived there, the Jews of Lodz, the Jews of
17the district of Lublin, the Jews of Riga, the Jews of
18Minsk. They are not at this stage, they are not -- they
19are, obviously, not killing the German Jews on arrival.
20They are making preparations or are about to kill the
21local Jews.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     To make space for the arrival of the German Jews?
23 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     If you want to say it in a cynical way, yes.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     So was this an integral part of the German plan to
25exterminate all Jews, is that what you are saying?
26 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I do not know whether you can call it a plan, but I think

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 1it gives you an idea of the systematic character of the
 2operation. They are -- you have in 1941, autumn 1941, to
 3spring 1942, the killing extended to certain areas, and
 4these are exactly the areas where actually Jews from
 5Germany are deported to or where they are waiting for the
 6trains from Germany. I think if you look at this, if you
 7tie the loose ends together, it gives you an idea that
 8behind this is a system, an idea, to systematically
 9kill ----
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     So you are going back on your suggestion that section A,
11during the section A period of your report, there was no
12overall plan to exterminate?
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No, because I think -- can I just check
14I understand -- your section A was really talking about
15European Jews?
16 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Central European Jews.
17 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Central European Jews?
18 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
19 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     And the beginning of the systemized killing that you have
20described in October or thereabouts of 1941 applied still
21to the local Jews?
22 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
23 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     I think that is the way he is putting it. You may not
24accept it.
25 MR IRVING:     Right. Perhaps I can clarify with another
26question. Are you saying then that all these

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 1preparations, the exporting of the gas technology, is part
 2of an overall plan to kill all Jews under German control?
 3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, I am not trying to perceive as a kind of preplanned,
 4of a kind of blueprint or a plan which actually existed
 5in, let us say, 1940, 1941. I am trying to explain that
 6the killing of the European Jews was a process which
 7emerged, you know, step by step, and we are now in a phase
 8where obviously the killing was extended to other parts of
 9Europe than the Soviet Union.
10     My argumentation, I am simply very cautious.
11I am saying, here are the facts, we know what happened and
12I am really hesitant to say this was the result of a plan
13which existed before the killing actually started. I am
14just showing you, I am trying to lead you through the
15different phases of this policy.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. Are you aware that the judgment in the Eichmann
17trial said that all these preparations were part of a plan
18to exterminate all Jews under German control.
19 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, first of all, again I would like to have the verdict
20here, but, you see, the Eichmann trial was held in 1960,
21and we cannot ignore that we have historical research on
22the subject now for four decades and, of course, in some
23areas we have much, much more evidence than the Judges in
24the Eichmann case.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, but I think somewhere else in your report you admit
26that we know virtually nothing. We still do not find any

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 1orders about extermination -- I do not want to turn up the
 2actual page, but I could, I suppose, find it, I
 3have flagged it -- and it struck me as odd that here we
 4are, 55 years down the road, and we are still floundering
 5in some respects. That is page 46, paragraph 16. Let us
 6go briefly back to there where you admit that we do not
 7know the answers. So do we know much more than we did in
 81960?
 9 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, we have a lot more evidence.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     The state of contemporary research does not give
11sufficient evidence, you say, and here we are at the
12beginning of the 21st century?
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No, no, I think that is taking, if I may say
14so, that particular little section right out of context.
15 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes. I am referring here to the question whether the
16deportation of Jews to the East was at this time already a
17matter for the plan. What I am saying, I do not know.
18The research does not allow us to make such a statement.
19 MR IRVING:     So there are lots of areas where we still, even
20after 60 years, cannot make a firm statement.
21 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     That is due to the fact that many of these decisions, you
22know, were done obviously orally between, you know, Hitler
23and Himmler. The Nazis systematically tried to destroy
24the files concerning this question. As far as the files
25are survived, they are scattered around Europe. We
26actually have only access to Eastern European archives

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 1since a couple of years, so it is...
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is that not a bit of a cop out, if I can use a phrase, to
 3say that the files have been destroyed and it was done
 4verbally between Hitler and Himmler? Is it not a bit of
 5an ausflugt?
 6 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     No. Himmler said it himself in the speech. This is
 7history which has not been written and will never be
 8written. So they tried systematically to destroy the
 9evidence and to mislead the following generations
10about ----
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Having said that, he then had the speech printed in
12numerable copies and shown to every member of the SS
13General Staff?
14 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I replied this yesterday. It was not, it was a secret
15speech. It was not planned to publish it. It was just to
16have a copy available for internal use.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     Page 53, paragraph 1.3, please? We looked at this
18document once or twice already. Do you agree that the
19approval for the mass killing came from Heydrich and
20Himmler, and that there is no evidence that Hitler himself
21approved of this operation or, indeed, was even informed
22of it?
23 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I have only can refer to this document and if you read the
24document, it is only a reference to Himmler.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
26 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     And to Heydrich, of course.

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