Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 26: Electronic Edition

Pages 21 - 25 of 159

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    If you look at the last paragraph on that same page of the
 11942", "General Wolff undertook a drive from the Fuhrer's
 2headquarters to Berlin. He found Himmler there in a state
 3of deep depression". Does this strike you as being
 4something that he is really remembering? Is he describing
 5something vividly that he has in his memory?
 6 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     That is typical for Wolff. We know a lot about Wolff. He
 7gave a lot of interviews. He made statements. He met
 8people who wrote books about him, and he made this kind of
 9very vivid statements. So I think he had a very ----
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you think this is his imagination at work, or is it his
12 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I think it was imagination to a large extent.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     When he is imagining something, he actually says it, does
14he not? In the middle of the previous paragraph he says,
15"One can today well imagine that Himmler ordered the
16murder of millions of Jews". So he does make a
17distinction between what he is imagining and what he is
19 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     To sum this up, I am not in a position to accept this
20really as a true collection by Karl Wolff.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     What about the vague hint that Himmler dropped on this
22occasion: "Wolff could have no idea what one had had to
23take upon oneself for the messiah of the next 2,000 years
24in order that this man (in other words Hitler) remained
25personally free of sin". Do you think such a remark was
26made by Himmler to Hitler?

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 1 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I have no idea.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is it a significant remark if it was made?
 3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     This is a hypothetical question. I cannot answer this
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     He continues by saying, for the sake of the German people
 6and its Fuhrer, he had to burden things on to his own
 7shoulders, of which nobody must ever be allowed to learn.
 8Is this self serving again, do you think, in your opinion?
 9 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well ----
10 THE INTERPRETER:     Vivid imagination?
11 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I think that Karl Wolff had a vivid imagination and
12I cannot see here -- he did not take any notes about these
13events. He did not read from notes. He did not write a
14letter about this. It is a postwar statement ten years
15post factum, and I cannot see how one can accept this as
16evidence that Hitler was not aware of the final solution.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     Then I would ask you to turn two pages please. You have
18in the middle of the page, page 34 in square brackets, the
19sentence beginning just before that, "The little clique,
20which effectively carried out the vernichtung of the Jews
21under cover of Himmler and Bormann, simply declared that
22they were relying on a Fuhrer order without this ever
23having expressly been given, and they proceeded in this
24sense on their own authority in order, as they declared,
25biologically to rid German territory of the seeds. The
26announcement of this fait accompli was going to be

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 1Himmler's big moment after the victory". Does this not
 2fit in with some of the documents we have seen?
 3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     If you want to refer to documents, I can recall, of
 4course, the expression, the quote on page 32, "burden on
 5my shoulders" is the expression he used then later on.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     It does sound like Himmler speaking, does it not?
 7 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     It is the same phrase, yes.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     It has to be said, we have no documents to contradict this
 9version, do we?
10 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     The document contradicts the fact that Himmler spoke to
11Karl Wolff in August 1942?
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     No, the contradict ----
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     The Hitler order, in other words.
14 MR IRVING:     The general hypothesis that Wolff is putting up of
15Himmler acting in secret behind Hitler's back and
16intending to present him with a fait accompli when the war
17was over.
18 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     We went through the documents.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It is Pohl and----
20 MR RAMPTON:     I must intervene. That is just not so and
21Mr Irving knows it is not so. Himmler wrote to Begher on
2228th July 1942, just before this meeting that Wolff
23reports and Himmler said that the carrying out of this
24very hard order has been put on his shoulders by Hitler.
25 MR IRVING:     Yes. What is the order that he is referring to,
26Dr Longerich? Do you remember?

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 1 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     This is the order to make the occupied territories of the
 2East free of Jews.
 3 MR RAMPTON:     That is right.
 4 MR IRVING:     That is right, yes. Is that an explicit order to
 5exterminate the Jews, or an order to deport them to the
 6East, in your opinion?
 7 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     At this stage, if I look at the facts what actually
 8happened in the East, it is clear for me that this refers
 9to the mass killings of Soviet Jews, and to nothing else.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Does this fit in with the general picture of Heinrich
11Himmler keeping things secret from people? He is not
12being specific about what is actually happening. He is
13writing these camouflage documents. Is this not exactly
14what Wolff is saying?
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     When you say that, Mr Irving, you are really
16going back, I think, to the communications between Pohl
17and Himmler, and between Greiser and Himmler, is that
18right, where it is true, I think, we went through those on
19Thursday, that there is not any express reference to
20Hitler's authority? That is the point you are putting.
21We have been through it.
22 MR IRVING:     Now I will ask one final question on the Wolff
23manuscript, if I may, Dr Longerich. You worked in the
24Institut fur Zeitgeschichte for what, eight years? Seven
26 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Five years.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     Five years, and you have since then written a number of
 2eminent books on the Final Solution of the Jewish problem?
 3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     And of Hitler's role in this?
 5 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you ever paid any attention at all to Karl Wolff's
 7manuscript, the document that you are looking at?
 8 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Of course. I looked also at Karl Wolff's role and I have
 9to say that I completely dismissed the statement, because
10this interview is, first of all, if you look at the
11technique of the interviewer, for instance, he has a long
12conversation with Karl Wolff, then goes home and writes a
13summary of this conversation. It is not a verbatim minute
14of the conversation. The person who did this interview
15addressed Karl Wolff in 1952 as General Wolff. So this is
16for me a quite bizarre atmosphere in which this interview
17took place. I think, if you look at the history of Karl
18Wolff and the fact that he in 65 was sentenced to 15
19years, this statement in this part is self serving. But,
20on the other hand, for me it is interesting, and I did not
21recollect that, that he is quite openly referring to
22millions of people who were actually put to death during
23the World War II.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     You are now talking about Dr Ziegler? He was
25the interviewer, is that right?
26 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Ziegler was the interviewer, yes.

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