Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 56 - 60 of 212

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 1 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes. I stated this before that, in the document about the
 2duties of concentration camps, it is quite clear that it
 3is not the duty of the doctor to care for the welfare.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Just so that it is a matter of record, Dr Longerich, page
 577, where you used the phrase annihilation through labour,
 6you give no reference, do you?
 7 MR RAMPTON:     I was going to interrupt because that is a false
 8point, too. On page 89, three lines up from the bottom,
 9there is, in the bibliography, a reference to a book by
10Ham and Keienburg called Vernichtung durch Arbeit: Der
11Fall Neungamma von 1990.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, thank you.
13 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I think I made it clear in this final section of the
14report that the annihilation through labour is part of the
15extermination system. I was trying to explain the system
16in a kind of summary because I think that, from 1942
17onwards, it is absolutely not possible to dispute that
18there was such a system for extermination.
19 MR IRVING:     Can we be absolutely specific and make quite plain
20for the record that this phrase Vernichtung durch Arbeit
21is not a wartime phrase used by SS, but is a title of a
22post-war book, a secondary source on which you relied, is
23that right?
24 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     No, this is one of the major studies about this problem
25and it refers to a wartime phrase which was currently used
26among the SS.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     You have not referenced the actual wartime document, you
 2just referenced somebody's secondary source, the title of
 3a book?
 4 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     My report tries to explain how this system of systematic
 5murder was built up. Maybe it was mistake, and also you
 6did not have the chance to ask me for more evidence for
 7that a month ago, it was not my intention here to explain
 8in great detail the existing system of extermination after
 91942, because I thought that this is something which is
10generally acknowledged and there is no major dispute about
12     I am trying to explain that the building up of
13the system mainly through the years 1940, 1941 and 1942.
14Then the system is in operation and the annihilation
15through work is one aspect of this system. I am referring
16to second-hand literature. I did not go into detail here;
17I am just referring to general works on this topic in
18which this is described in full detail.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     If there had been one document referred to that secondary
20literature, which was particularly tempting because it
21used that actual phrase, you would no doubt have drawn our
22attention to it, would you not?
23 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     As I said, this is a summary, this is not the main purpose
24of this report. I actually I wrote a book on the policy
25of destruction. I had a chapter on this matter in the

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     So you are all feeding upon each other, all the historians
 2are just feeding upon each other.
 3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     This is a research process and, of course, you rely, in
 4your central parts of argumentation, on primary evidence,
 5but you do not have to invent the reel every time. This
 6is why i accept that you can rely on the research of
 7others, if their work is generally accepted in the
 8historical profession. This is nothing which is
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can we rely on a German historian's consensus that the
11consensus of opinion among German historians. What
12happends to a German is ----
13 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     It is an internationally well-established consensus.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     What happens to a German writer who adopts a different
15position on Auschwitz in Germany today, can you tell us?
16 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     You are quite free to express if you have -- as historians
17have doubts and you are quite free to express your doubts
18and to put them down in writing, I do not see what the
19consequences could be.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     I do not want to labour the point, but are you familiar
21with the fact that a number of writers in Germany have
22been sent to prison for expressing these doubts?
23 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I am only aware of the fact that there is a law in
24Germany, paragraph 130 of the German penal code, which is
25against the denial of genocide. I do not know whether you
26refer to this case, but I think if you want me to discuss

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 1that, you ----
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     My actual question was more specific. Were you aware that
 3certain historians who have written doubts, shall we say,
 4about Auschwitz and the Holocaut, have been sent to prison
 5for expressing these doubts?
 6 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I do not know a historian who actually wrote something on
 7Auschwitz and whose works is suppressed for that.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     I think we have had better start making progress on his
 9report, my Lord. On page 3 of your report, you refer to
10an SS General called Bach-Zelewski, and you referred to
11him again on page 28, 311 -- I am sorry 3.1.11. This
12paragraph on page 28 shows General Bach-Zelewski carrying
13out the most appalling murderers and atrocities, murdering
14women and children on a huge scale, 2,208 Jews of both
15sexes and so on.
16 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     In this paragraph, it is only said that one Company of the
17Police Battalion 322 Mogilev killed, according to their
18own reports, 2,208 Jews and in this town was
19Bach-Zelenski's headquarters and he was ----
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can I draw attention to the last paragraph?
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Which paragraph are you on; I cannot see the
23 MR IRVING:     3.1.11, my Lord, on page 28.
24 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, and Bach-Zelewski ----
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     With these two massacres in Mogilev, Bach-Zelewski began a
26whole series of further similar Gross Aktionen - major

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 2 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, Bach-Zelewski was the higher SS police leader in the
 3centre, so he was responsible for the killing actions of
 4the ----
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     A mass murderer on a most horrendous scale.
 6 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     This is your phrase. Yes, I think it is acceptable.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     Somebody whose units kill those kinds of women and
 8children, and carried out several such actions?
 9 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, It is quite fair to say that.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Even one of those murders makes him a murderer?
11 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I would agree, yes.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     He has been used as quite a source by the allied courts
13and by the historians after the war, has he not? What
14happened to Bach-Zelewski? Was he immediately hanged at
16 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     No, he was not hanged at Nuremberg.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     Or did he die in his bed?
18 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I am not sure about this, but the history of his
19persecution after he was not hanged by the Allies, I think
20he was prosecuted but, as far as I am aware, he was never
21sentenced, if I am not wrong.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     He was prosecuted in 1963, is that right?
23 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     1963. Yes, that is true.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     About 20 years after the war was, he lived life as a
25country gentleman in Germany.
26 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     

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