Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 26 - 30 of 159

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 1 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     I do not quite understand why this interview came to take
 2place in 1952.
 3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Because the Institute at this stage more or less
 4systematically tried to interview everybody who was
 5interesting for them.
 6 MR IRVING:     What was the name of the Institute at that time?
 7Do you remember?
 8 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Still the same name, Institute fur Zeitgeschichte.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     It was called the Institute for the Research into Nazi
10Crimes or something, was it not?
11 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     No. In the first year, 48 and 49, it was called Institute
12for the Research of the History of the National Socialist
13Period, or something like that.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am right in saying that they had a number of trained
15professional historians who went around Germany
16interviewing characters like General Wolff and Ziegler was
17one of them?
18 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes. But at this stage researchers were not able to
19actually confront most of their interviewees with
20documents that actually challenged their views. So, if
21Wolff said something like that, this interviewer was not
22able to refer to documents, the documents which we have
23now, to say, for instance, that the Hitler speech of 12th
24December 41 is ordered to Himmler, and so on and so on.
25So in a way this interview was done in quite a naive way,
26I would put it like this.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are such interviews totally valueless?
 2 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Absolutely not.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Did you make any use whatsoever of this Karl Wolff
 4manuscript when you wrote your books?
 5 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I remember that I read it but I decided not to use it for
 6my books.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     The same as you decided not to use the Schlegelberger
 8document and various other items?
 9 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     That is your comparison. I cannot comment on that.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you agree that the Schlegelberger document, this
11particular manuscript and various other items that have
12been ignored until I dredged them out of the archives, all
13tend to suggest a totally different picture to that
14presented by what you call the consensus of German
15historians?
16 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     If I look at this document here, the interview of Karl
17Wolff in 1955, I think it does not prove anything.
18I commented briefly on the so-called Schlegelberger
19before, because it is a third hand evidence.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am going to interrupt you. I do not think
21we need to go through the Schlegelberger document.
22 MR IRVING:     Can I ask one more question on this document?
23There is a reference here to Martin Bormann and Rudolf
24Hoess, the Kommandant of Auschwitz being old buddies
25because they had both been in prison for the Famer
26murders. Is that right?

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 1 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can you tell the court what the Famer murders were?
 3I could not remember the translation myself.
 4 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     In the early 1920s the right-wing circus in Germany tried
 5to build up a secret Army, if you put it this way.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     The Freicor?
 7 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     The Freicor and other paramilitary organisations, which
 8was illegal under the Versailles Treaty, and they also
 9engaged in preparing Putsches and other things like that,
10and they on various occasions actually killed or murdered
11people in these groups who they thought actually betrayed
12them or passed information on the state authority and so
13on.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Like vengeance killing, was it not?
15 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Vengeance killing, yes.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     So they were old buddies, they were not just anybody,
17Martin Bormann and Rudolf Hoess were thick as thieves
18would you say?
19 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes. They spent several months together in a state prison.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     That is the only questions I have to ask on Karl Wolff
21unless your Lordship has any to ask?
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No. Thank you very much.
23 MR IRVING:     Dr Longerich, you wrote a book called "Politik der
24Vernichtung", is that right?
25 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, that is right.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you remember writing in that book on page 464 -- I just

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 1give it to you.
 2 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I have it here.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     You have it there. Your take on the famous Himmler
 4telephone call of November 30th, 1941, this is the way you
 5interpreted it. You have written, if I may say so, a very
 6good account of the deportation of the European Jews, the
 7German Jews, to Minsk and to Riga, and you have reported
 8the fact that large numbers of them were liquidated as
 9soon as they arrived, which is common ground between us.
10But then you look at the interesting business of the
11famous telephone call of November 30th 1941. On page 464
12of your book, the third complete paragraph begins: "The
13shooting of Jews from the Reichs territory, on the other
14hand, after some 6,000 in six transports from Kovno had
15been murdered in Kovno and Riga, was initially stopped.
16In this connection there is an entry in Himmler's
17telephone calendar, which has the Reichsfuhrer SS who was
18at this time in the Fuhrer's headquarters making a note on
19a telephone call to Heydrich, or a telephone conversation
20with Heydrich, on November 30th. Then there are the
21famous words, Jew transport from Berlin, no
22liquidation." You attribute to this the fact that the
23killings of German Jews abruptly stopped, to use your
24phrase in the next paragraph, "der abrupte stop", this
25telephone call from Himmler, or this telephone
26conversation between Himmler and Heydrich, led to the

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 1abrupt stop.
 2 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes. No. I am in a difficult position here because
 3I wrote actually an expert report and I do not know how
 4much we shall go back to my book, because in the book it
 5says ----
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It is a legitimate question about it, I think
 7that is the answer, Dr Longerich.
 8 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     There are two sentences. In the first sentence I say that
 9these shootings were abruptly stopped. In the second
10sentence I said (German) well, we have an entry ----
11 THE INTERPRETER:     Relating to this matter.
12 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     So I am trying not to make any conclusions. I am very
13careful to say the shootings were stopped because Himmler
14ordered this. I say we have this entry here and it is
15open. It is actually more or less, it is open for
16interpretation.
17 MR IRVING:     The conclusion you draw on in those two pages, if
18I am right, is that the killers in Riga had exceeded their
19authority?
20 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     That is my interpretation, yes.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     And therefore the killings stopped because of this word
22effectively from Hitler's headquarters, as you say?
23 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     From Himmler, who at this time was -- I was very careful
24when I wrote this passage because I know that it is a
25disputed area. It is a minefield, if you want to say so.
26It came from Himmler and he was in Hitler's headquarters.

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