Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 81 - 85 of 212

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    You have just put to him that these
 1are not to be treated as reliable because they gave their
 2evidence so long after the event. How does that go to
 3this witness's credibility?
 4 MR IRVING:     If I was to write a history based entirely on
 5testimonies given in court 30 years after the event, I
 6would be derelict.
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I repeat, are you suggesting now that
 8thousands and thousands of civilian Jews were not executed
 9by the Einsatzgruppen?
10 MR IRVING:     Quite the contrary. We have seen any amount of
11evidence to show that they were.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     So why are you casting doubt on the
13reliability of these eyewitnesses?
14 MR IRVING:     I am casting doubt on the reliability of the report
15as a whole because it depends on such sources.
16 MR IRVING:     It does not depend on those sources. It depends
17heavily on the contemporaneous----
18 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     The report as far as the Einsatzgruppen is concerned is
19based, first of all, on orders. We went through that.
20Then on accounts of eyewitnesses, and then in the next
21chapter I am going in fine detail. I am looking at every
22command and I am showing you, again on the basis of the
23Eichnesmeldung and other sources, that these orders were
24carried out and the Einsatzgruppen killed hundreds and
25thousands of people. I am not relying only on some
26witness statements made in the 1960s in German courts.

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving does not seem to be disputing that
 2so why we are spending so long on it, I do not know.
 3 MR IRVING:     Let me look at the word orders and ask the specific
 4question which I think probably will help the court. Is
 5there any suggestion that these orders came from Hitler
 6for these particular killings?
 7 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Many of these eyewitnesses referred to explicit Fuhrer
 8order they got. We are not able to trace this back.
 9There is no written evidence for that.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     My Lord, this is the reason that I asked the earlier
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I do not accept that, but you have asked a
13relevant question now and I am listening to the answer.
14 MR IRVING:     It was actually the follow up question in my list.
15I shall have to ask it again. In other words, the only
16evidence which you would advance for any connection
17between this and the Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler, giving such an
18order is eyewitness testimony of 20 or 30 years after the
19event. Is that right?
20 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I think we went through this yesterday. The problem is we
21do not have a written explicit order signed by Adolf
22Hitler which says European Jews or the Jews in the Soviet
23Union ----
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     The answer is yes?
25 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     -- has to be killed. I do not have this document

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     What we do have -- may I make
 2sure I understand your evidence and then we can move on --
 3is the Muller document, which you have given evidence,
 4rightly or wrongly, which suggests that Hitler wanted the
 5reports from the Einsatzgruppen to go to him, and we have
 6at any rate some reports going to Berlin.
 7 MR IRVING:     Munich.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Berlin, which set out in great detail the
 9numbers of Jews killed.
10 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes. Yesterday we went through the documents and we had
11Himmler's entry in this diary, 18th December. You will
12recall that. We mentioned briefly the report No. 51 which
13states that actually more than 360,000 Jews were killed
14and so on. So we can make this connection but, as I say,
15there is no explicit order on Hitler's letter head with
16Hitler's signature which actually would say that he is
17ordering the killing of all European Jews.
18 MR IRVING:     So the answer to my question was yes, in other
19words it is just eyewitness testimony 30 years after the
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It is not, for the very reason that he has
22just given, because we have the Muller document followed
23by reports going to Berlin.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     My Lord, the Muller document is not a Hitler order. It
25shows that Hitler is quoted as saying that he wanted to
26see visual materials relating to the activities of the

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 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think we went through this. I bear in mind
 3the concession you made in your cross-examination and the
 4cross-examination yesterday, and I really do not think we
 5ought to spend any more time on this. We have a lot of
 6ground to cover.
 7 MR IRVING:     On page 10, four lines from the bottom, this goes
 8purely to your translation ability, gewalte Ladung, which
 9you translate as a massive load. In fact that is a
10military phrase for hand grenade, is it not?
11 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Gewalte Ladung, you put together a dozen or so hand guns,
12this thing about gewalte Ladung.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     Page 12, paragraph 2.12, this is the Jager report. This
14is another document from Soviet archives, is it not?
15 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, available since the beginning of the 1960s.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. I am not commenting on it. He talks about 70 Jews
17being killed, 127 Jews. I am sorry, I am back on page
1810. Just one general question: Why is there such a
19disparity in the killing rates or achievements of the
20various Einsatzgruppen, some of them killing tens of
21thousands and some of them just 70 or 100 and so on, if
22there was an overall system from above?
23 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     It depends on various factors. For instance, the number
24of Jews who lived in the area where the Einsatzgruppen
25Kommandos were sent to. Then there were two different
26types of Einsatzkommandos and Sonderkommandos. One was

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 1attached to the armies and one was actually active in the
 2rear areas. Then, during the first month of the killings,
 3it is obvious that some of the Kommandos were more
 4reluctant to actually kill in large numbers Jews. When
 5they went through a kind of learning process they were
 6instructed and reminded, so that we have in the end in
 7October 1941 a more uniform picture. It depends also on
 8the personal initiative of the leader of each Kommandos.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Was there any competitiveness between the Einsatzgruppen
10to achieve high body counts?
11 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I would certainly say there was an element of
12competitiveness between them.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     Very minor point: Would there have been a temptation then
14to inflate figures?
15 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     There might be a temptation to inflate figures, but also,
16on the contrary, we know that the Eichnesmeldung do not
17contain all figures. There are some figures which were
18left out. For instance, other Kommandos reported to
19different institutions and so on, but yes, one cannot
20exclude this factor.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Paragraph 2.1.2, on the Jager report now, it is talking
22about executions that have been taking place since July
234th at Kornas or Kovno. He quite specifically says they
24were carried out upon my orders and my command by the
25Lithuanian Partisans. He is not saying it was done on
26Hitler's orders, is he?

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