Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 61 - 65 of 212

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    That is due to the fact that, in Germany, there was no
 1prosecution of Nazi war criminals between 1949 and 1958.
 2It actually started in 1958. It took them five years to
 3get the evidence together and then prosecution started.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am just using this as one example, you appreciate that,
 5but ----
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Example of what? I am not following what the
 7point is, Mr Irving.
 8 MR IRVING:     The unreliability of testimony of people like
10 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I am not sure here. I do not refer here to Bach-Zelewski
11but if I refer to ----
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     On page 3, can I draw your attention to paragraph 4?
13 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     In this paragraph, yes.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Former higher SS and police leader Erich von dem
15Bach-Zelewski testified on this question during the
16Nuremberg trials.
17 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, but this example is not the only source. I quoted
18here to say that he referred to a meeting with Himmler and
19just before the beginning of war against the Soviet Union,
20and that Himmler stated there that the Slavic population
21had to be decimated by 30 million.
22     We have other sources for the same fact. There
23is, for instance, referring them to Goring, the Goring's
24remarks to Ciano and particularly important here is
25meeting of the Secretary of States of 2nd May 1941, and
26I am referring them to more documents which actually show

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 1that there was plan in the German leadership to kill
 2millions of Slavs in the war against the Soviet Union. So
 3I am not relying only on Bach-Zelewski's statement; it is
 4actually ----
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Why do you rely on him at all if at he has such very
 6dubious credentials.
 7 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Bach-Zelewski was a witness in the main trial.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am sorry, I am going to interrupt again if
 9I may because I am simply not following the point here.
10I thought that it was accepted that the object of invading
11Russia was do decimate the Slav population.
12 MR IRVING:     Not by me, my Lord, but that is not the point that
13I am trying to make. The point I am trying to make is that
14if we are going to write expert reports, one should avoid
15sources like Bach-Zelewski like the plague.
16 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     No. I think you can use these statements, if you find
17that this is -- I am mainly relying on documentary
18evidence but, of course, one can use this postwar evidence
19if it is supported by other sources. I think this is
20something which is generally accepted among historians.
21I am not saying that the plan of the Germans to
22decimate -- we only have Bach-Zelewski as evidence for
23this plan. We have lot of evidence for that.
24Bach-Zelewski was a colourful figure, so he said, in his
25interrogation, that there are other very interesting
26things, and I think one should follow them, one should not

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 1just ignore them.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Like Scheherezade, she sang like a canary, did she not, in
 3order to survivor?
 4 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     That is your comparison.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can I now take you further down that paragraph No. 4,
 6where are you quoting now the directives which stated
 7that, without doubt, umpteen millions of people will
 8starve to death when we take what we need from the
 9country. The original German, you have rather embellished
10it, have you not? "Zig Millionen Menschen verhungern",
11verhungern, that just means go hungry.
12 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, and then it goes on: "Wenn von uns das fur uns
13Notwendige aus dem Lande herausgeholt wird" - if you take
14out of country which is necessary for us.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     What we need, yes, but is it not that they are not
16starving death? You have embellished that slightly, and
17that is the whole point.
18 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     They are starving to death because they are agricultural
19products which were taken out of the country. There is
20nothing left for them so they will starve to death.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Starve to death is: "Ein Hunger tut erleben", or
22something like that. "Verhungern" is just "will go
24 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     The context is quite clear, because "we will take
25everything out of the country which we need for
26ourselves"; that is the context.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     Will you agree that that was a bit clever translation by
 2you to make the point you wanted to make?
 3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Sorry this is ----
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Paragraph 4, four lines from the bottom, on page 3.
 5 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I think it is from the context.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     It is fundamental to your argument, of course.
 7 MR RAMPTON:     I do wish Mr Irving would stop interrupting. It
 8is very difficult to follow the witness.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I personally would also like to move on,
10because we are not here concerned with criticising the
11historical approach of Dr Longerich but dealing with the
12criticisms he makes of your historical approach,
13Mr Irving. I think spending a very long time on this
14paragraph in which he cites really quite a number of
15sources for what, he says, was the plan to kill the very
16large number of Slavs. I do not think that is
17productive. I think there are substantive points that you
18have to tackle.
19 MR IRVING:     If, on the one hand, your Lordship says that there
20is great deal of evidence for the desire to decimate the
21Slavs by whatever means, then it turns out that one of his
22sources is obtained by just a clever translation of a
24 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     No. The meaning of the words becomes clear from the
25context. It is not the only source. If you read the next
26sentence, it is the guidelines for the economic

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 1organization of the East Agricultural Staff Group: "Many
 2tens of millions of people will be made superfluous in
 3this area and will die or be forced to emigrate to
 4Siberia". I think this is quite clear.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Dr Longerich, are you not confusing there the possible
 6consequence with a criminal intent, which are two totally
 7different things?
 8 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     The intent was to systematically take the agricultural
 9products out of country and to use them for their own
10purposes, and to let the population in this country starve
11to death. This was the intention.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. On page 5, paragraph 3.
13 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     That is the background. I quoted this because this is the
14background for the Holocaust. I am not making a statement
15about the starvation of the Slavic population. I think
16that this is background information that you need to
17understand the violent and cruel intent of the SS when
18they invaded the Soviet Union. This is background
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Dr Longerich, do you agree that if I translated
21"verhungern" as starve to death, then I would have been
22rightly criticised for mistranslation or distortion?
23 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Probably, but again I repeat myself, I think the context
24is clear but they just do not starve to death because of a
25catastrophe; the natural catastrophe is because it is a
26part of the systematic plan.

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