Irving v. Lipstadt
Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 25: Electronic Edition
Pages 76 - 80 of 212
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1 MR IRVING: Very well, my Lord. I will cross-examine on that
2particular document, if your Lordship wishes. Are you
3familiar roughly with the contents of the Kommissar order?
4 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] This is not the Kommissar order. The Kommissar order is a
6 Q. [Mr Irving] I am asking. Are you familiar roughly with the contents
7of the Kommissar order?
8 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Yes.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] Is it perfectly explicit about killing, about liquidating
10the Kommissars and Jews and the intelligentsia?
11 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] No. The Kommissar order only refers to Soviet Kommissars.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] The guidelines of March 1941, do they make it quite plain
13what is going to happen to these enemies of the Nazis when
14they invade Russia? They are going to be liquidated. It
15is quite specific, is it not?
16 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] The Kommissar order is quite specific, yes.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] Why does this document here then just talk about energetic
18measures, if it is perfectly plain?
19 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] The document does not say every German soldier is entitled
20or allowed to kill every Jew on Russian soil. It gives
21them a guideline how to deal with, let us say, suspicious
22people. They are entitled, encouraged, to take the most
23drastic measure. The other important document we have to
24refer to here are the guidelines concerning the military
25jurisdiction in the Soviet Union, which says that no
26German soldier is automatically prosecuted for atrocities
1against the Soviet population, so the message is, if you
2feel there is something suspicious going on, you are
3entitled, you are in a way free to take the most drastic
4measures against Bolshevik saboteurs and Jews. So you can
5shoot Jews. It does not say you have to.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] It does not say that.
7 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] I think it becomes clear. You have to see this document
8in its historical context.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] The context is other documents that quite freely use
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, you are going to have to start
12putting what your case is. I am going to put what
13I understand you to be suggesting. The suggestion --
14Dr Longerich can deal with it -- is that the 19th May
15guidelines, when they talk of energetic and drastic
16measures against, amongst others, Jews means some measures
17other than killing them. Do you accept that?
18 MR IRVING: Not necessarily killing, I would think.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do you accept that?
20 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] I think that the most drastic measures means to kill
21them. This is the most drastic measures I can think of.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is enough. You do not need to embroider
23on that answer. Mr Irving, move on.
24 MR IRVING: Does it limit it to killing or does it say any
25measures, though drastic and ruthless?
26 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] I think the most drastic measures you can take against
1anybody in a war is to kill him or her. I think this is
3 Q. [Mr Irving] Is there any reason why they should not have said killing
4in that document if that is what they meant?
5 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] I am sorry?
6 Q. [Mr Irving] Is there any reason why they should not have used some
7word for killing if that is what they meant? You are
8entitled to execute or to kill while trying to escape or
9whatever other things they would say if they did in the
11 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] We discussed yesterday the use of language and I showed
12you a document which explicitly said that they were
13particularly cautious to use words like liquidation, for
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, you are suggesting that energetic
16and drastic measures means something other than killing.
17Would you like to put to the witness what exactly you are
18suggesting those measures would be? Precisely.
19 MR IRVING: Were energetic and drastic measures taken against
20Soviet prisoners of war?
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. That is not what I am asking you to do.
22You are suggesting that energetic and drastic measures
23means something other than killing the Jews and the
24others. What are you suggesting those measures would be?
25 MR IRVING: My Lord, I do not think this witness knows.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am asking you to put to the witness what
1you say energetic and drastic measures means, if it does
2not mean killing.
3 MR IRVING: Is it not possible that, by using the phrase
4energetic and drastic measures, the German Army was
5instructing its lower levels to arrest, imprison under the
6harshest possible conditions, torture, interrogate, beat
7up, deprive of their liberty ----
8 MR RAMPTON: I am sorry, this is perfectly terrible. The
9German does not just say energetic and drastic measures.
10It uses the word rucksichtsloses which is translated as
11ruthless energetic and drastic measures. Now Mr Irving
12ought to ask the question again, in my view.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is slightly my fault. I left out the
15 MR RAMPTON: I know.
16 MR IRVING: Start again.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You do not need to start again.
19 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Yes, I think the answer is quite clear that in English the
20most ruthless energetic and drastic measures is to kill
22 MR IRVING: Yes. But there are other measures which are also
23ruthless and drastic which are not killing, is that right?
24 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Yes and this is the reason why it said the most drastic.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] Will you now look at paragraph 9, please, on page 7? You
26say that the Einsatzgruppen received explicit orders --
1this is quite important, is it not -- to murder Jewish
2civilians, and your evidence for that is -- is it a
3document? Are there any such orders in the archives?
4 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] We went through these orders just five minutes ago, and
5there is additional evidence for that if you look at the
6statements of the leaders of the Einsatzgruppen. I am not
7relying completely on this, but I am trying to put
8together here documents and eyewitness accounts.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. Just very briefly, you have listed the eyewitnesses
10on page 8, have you not, in the footnotes?
11 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Yes.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] These are all testimonies that are over 20 years after the
13event, are they not? Every single one. In some cases 30
14years after the event. Do you attach much reliance on
15that in German courts?
16 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich] Yes. Most of them are from the 1970s, 1960s and beginning
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, again I am baffled by this part of
19the case. Are you now suggesting that thousands of Jewish
20civilians were not shot by the Einsatzgruppen?
21 MR IRVING: No, my Lord. I am attacking his credibility as a
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: His credibility?
24 MR IRVING: Yes, his.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You have just put to him that these
26eyewitnesses who say they saw civilian Jews being killed
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