Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 96 - 100 of 212

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    Retribution directed against the Jewish population, so it
 1Einsatzgruppen to identify among the 7,000 Jews the people
 2who might have been responsible for thee atrocities. The
 3idea that they started retaliations against the Jews for
 4something the NKVD did, this is the kind of question.
 5This shows actually that this is a part of the war of
 6racist extermination.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. So, when you write on line 4 of page 19, that this
 8use of retribution was just a pretence ----
 9 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     It is a very interesting example. "In German's polar city
10a quarter of whose population was Jewish in the last few
11days, especially the Jewish women, have shown imprudent
12and arrogant behaviour because of limitations imposed upon
13them. They tore their own and their children's clothes
14off their bodies. As provisional retribution the Kommando
15which arrived for the purpose of re-establishing the peace
16shot 50 male Jews". So I think you get a very good
17insight into this kind of retribution or retaliation.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     Does this kind of thing happen in wars like Vietnam and
19elsewhere? Is there a lot of brutality on both sides?
20 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I am not an expert on the Vietnam war.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am at a total loss to understand why we are
22going through the detail of the shooting when you accept
23that hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed by the
24Einsatzgruppen. I do not understand the point, Mr Irving.
25 MR IRVING:     The reason for asking that is that the witness has
26left out a four page description in the most hideous and

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 1ghastly detail of what the Germans found when they got to
 2the town.
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     So it served the 7,000 Jews right, did it?
 4 MR IRVING:     He then suggests that the word "retribution" was
 5unjustified. He says here that the retribution was just a
 6pretext.
 7 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, exactly.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     Having left out all the evidence that it was not.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, I will simply say to you now that
10you are not serving your own cause well by taking up time
11quite pointlessly on these sorts of questions.
12 MR IRVING:     Well, risking your Lordship's wrath, I am going to
13go to page 22, which is something different, line 5.
14Again, you have Himmler saying basically every Jew is to
15be regarded as a partisan. So I must insist therefore
16that the December 18th document shows the initiative came
17from Himmler and not from Hitler to regard the Jews as
18partisans, because this is Himmler stating already back in
19July. He keeps on saying this, that the Jews are to be
20regarded as partisans, so what Hitler may then discuss
21with Himmler in December is neither here nor there
22really. Would you agree?
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     This is a new proposition.
24 MR IRVING:     Well, my Lord perhaps I am expressing myself
25wrongly.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It was discussed between Himmler and Hitler

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 1but that it is neither here nor there?
 2 MR IRVING:     No. The proposition that I am making, my Lord, is
 3that the initiative for regarding the Jews as partisans
 4came not from Hitler to Himmler, but the other way round.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I do not suppose Mr Rampton is particularly
 6bothered one way or the other. The point he makes is that
 7Hitler agreed upon it as a policy. Am I wrong about
 8that?
 9 MR RAMPTON:     I do not care whether Hitler initiated it or
10whether he ratified it. It does not matter a row of
11beans. The fact is he was in on it, in on the murder of
121.2 million innocent people.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think that is the point, Mr Irving.
14 MR IRVING:     The reason that it matters a row of beans is
15because we are looking at Hitler's state of mind and if,
16as in the Reichskristallnacht, the initiative for that
17came from Goebbels, and the initiative for this comes from
18Himmler, tells us something about the likelihood of
19issuing orders, particularly when in the spring of 1942 we
20find a weary Fuhrer saying, "For God's sake, let us leave
21it all until the war is over". It helps to justify that.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     The issue between the parties which I have to
23consider in the context of whether you have dealt with
24this responsibly is not whether it was initiated, all this
25killing, by Hitler, but whether he knew about it. We are
26on Hitler's knowledge, not on whether he was the

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 1originator of all this.
 2 MR IRVING:     My Lord, I wholeheartedly endorse the position that
 3your Lordship adopts on that and your Lordship will see
 4from the position that I put in the two pages this morning
 5that I have never challenged that he was involved in every
 6way in the killing of the Jews behind the Eastern Front.
 7However, when this goes to Hitler's's state of mind, so
 8that we can judge the likelihood of the Schlegelberger
 9document being an accurate portrayal of his intentions or
10not, then I am entitled to draw attention to whether the
11initiative came from Himmler or from Hitler on this
12particular occasion, I think, if I can put it like that.
13I regret if I am expressing myself so obscurely that your
14Lordship does not see the purpose behind my questions
15sometimes.
16     Page 23, paragraph 2.7.2, it goes really to the
17same matter. "These shootings were carried out", you
18write, "under the pretext of 'retribution', punishment for
19'plundering' or portrayed as a struggle against
20partisans". If there was a Fuhrer order to kill Jews, why
21would they need the pretexts? Surely, that would
22overwrite any need for any kind of pretext, would it not,
23if the eyewitnesses are right?
24 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, they in their reports prefer to give specific
25reasons for the killing. They were not just saying, "We
26are killing these people because they are Jews". They

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 1had, obviously, there was a kind of order to actually
 2attach to each killing a kind of reason which could be, a
 3kind of rational argument, you know, why they killed this
 4particular group. They do not -- in their reports they do
 5not refer to a written order by Hitler in these reports.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     But when Eisenhower gave orders to kill all the Germans,
 7as he did, he did not say, "We are going to do this as a
 8pretext that they are plundering and looting" ----
 9 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I cannot comment on ----
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     --- the orders from the Supreme Commander were good
11enough?
12 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I cannot comment on Eisenhower. I am not familiar with
13the order given by Eisenhower to kill all the Germans,
14sorry.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     The first two lines of page 24, please. You say: "The
16behaviour of the units followed a standardized pattern
17which however was not altogether uniform". Does that not
18suggest that there was no system, that there was no
19systematic order?
20 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, I mean, I spent here about 20 pages to describe the
21actions of the different Kommandos and, as you rightly
22say, there are, for instance, some differences so far as
23the numbers of victims is concerned, when actually
24Kommando A started to kill women and Kommando B started to
25kill women. So I think one can argue that there is a
26standardised pattern but it is not completely uniform.

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