Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 36 - 40 of 159

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    No. The point is, my Lord, if the Germans or the
 1criminal office, they would have arrested everybody
 2involved, particularly as director, and they would have
 3locked them up for a long time.
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     As things turned out, they did not.
 5 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     If they were able to find them.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Get their hands on them?
 7 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     Let us have a look at the authenticity of the document.
 9If you turn to page 216 and look at footnote 29, am
10I right in saying that this letter comes from the
11personnel file of Walter Furl in the Berlin Document
12Centre, which was run by the Americans after the war, was
13it not?
14 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     No. You see, the Berlin Documents Centre, this is
15personnel. Yes, it is personnel, that is true. But we do
16not know actually who put these things into his personnel
17file. It may be that the Americans just put letters
18referring to Furl into this file, so we do not know who
19actually ----
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Sometimes they did that, did they not? They put negative
21photocopies in these files.
22 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     And other things.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is there any reason to believe that the document had been
24faked after the war by anyone?
25 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I do not think there is any indication for that.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can you suggest any reason why Walter Furl, writing to his

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 1Berlin SS comrades, which is the first line of the
 2footnote, should have wanted to pull the wool over the
 3eyes of his own comrades in the SS?
 4 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     It was a private letter, not an official letter, and in
 5his letter he is saying in the last sentence: "But we are
 6not supposed to talk about it". So he is talking about a
 7secret. Also in your translation, you translated the
 8German term "verartzen" with "first aid". Well
 9"verartzen" could also mean we deal with them in a very
10general way. It does not mean that they provide first aid
11and help them in a humanitarian manner. But coming back
12to your question ----
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can I just interrupt you there before there are any more
14aspersions cast on my translation, and draw your attention
15to the second page from the back of that clip which is the
16English translation in the English edition of the Gotz Aly
17book? The second line says, "we provide first aid here".
18 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes. It is probably not the best translation.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is the literal translation, is it not?
20 MR IRVING:     It comes from the route "Arzt" meaning doctor, as
21your Lordship is aware.
22 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     "Verarzten" could also mean to deal with.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I follow what you are saying.
24 MR IRVING:     Is there any reason why writing private letters to
25their SS comrades in a letter where they use very robust
26language, does he not -- he says, who cares what happens

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 1to the Vienna or Pressberg, which I think is now called
 2Bratislava, Jews? It is a robust language, is it not?
 3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     It is the matter of camouflage. These officers in the
 4government of the Generalegouvernement tried of course to
 5keep this operation as a secret. What they would admit is
 6they would tell a story about shipping people to the to
 7the White Sea and to the marshes, but they would not say
 8actually, we are going to transport them to Minsk, I think
 9in this case, and they are killed there. I think the
10interpretation of Aly in this book that it was a
11camouflage letter, I think this is the most likely
12interpretation, but also it is possible that at this
13stage, because he is referring to transports from the
14Reich to Minsk, and the systematic killings of the persons
15transported to Minsk from the Reichs, started in May 1941,
16it is possible, it is not very likely but it is possible,
17that this information had not filtered through to him. So
18camouflage is one explanation, but also it is possible
19that he did not at this stage know about the systematic
20killings of people transported to Minsk at this stage. It
21is a letter to SS comrades, not to one. It is not a
22confidential letter to one of his comrades. It is to
23comrades, so it was shown to 20 people, 30 people. There
24were strict rules as far as secrecy was concerned.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can you explain what significance you attach,
26if any, to Furl having written that the Jews from

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 1Kurfurstendam and Vienna and Pressberg will not survive?
 2What is the implication?
 3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I think this is the same implication which we heard on
 4Thursday when we read through the Wannsee protocol. This
 5is the idea of natural dissemination by hard labour so
 6they will not survive. They will not survive the work
 7labour programme they were getting involved to. If you
 8read the last line, "but not without having first built a
 9few roads". So this is, I think, the same idea which is
10expressed clearly by Heydrich in the Wannsee conference
11minutes.
12 MR IRVING:     We have a logical problem here, which is best
13solved by the question do you believe that Furl, who wrote
14the letter, knew the truth, that he knew what was going
15on, he was writing a camouflage letter, or that he did not
16know what was going on?
17 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     No. I think the camouflage letter, he is referring to the
18official story. The official story is the Jews are sent
19from Central Europe to the East, and they will be used in
20slave labour programmes, many of them will die, but some
21of them will of course survive. This is the official line
22and he is using this official version of the story. But
23at the same time the systematic killing of Jews deported
24from Germany, from central Europe to the East, had already
25started. So I think the idea Gotz Aly said here that this
26is a camouflage, still camouflage, is, I think, very

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 1persuasive.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     It is one plausible explanation, is it not?
 3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I think it is a very good interpretation.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     It is one possible interpretation, but the other
 5interpretation is that Furl is writing to the best of his
 6knowledge what happens in a very brutal letter to his SS
 7pals?
 8 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     As I said, it is possible that this information that the
 9Jews arriving from the Reich in Minsk were systematically
10killed, it is possible at June that this information had
11not filtered through to the office in Krakow.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     You would have noticed that there are two echoes of
13previous documents here, are there not? There is the echo
14of having first built a few roads. Does that remind you
15of the Wannsee conference?
16 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is that the language that was used at the Wannsee
18conference, that they are going to be put to work building
19roads?
20 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, that is used there.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     And this idea of sending into the marsh lands, does that
22remind you of the October 25th 1941 table talk, where
23Hitler says, "who says we cannot send them to the
24marshes?"
25 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, of course, but I cannot fully ignore what happened in
26Minsk at the same time in other places.

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