Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 32: Electronic Edition

Pages 101 - 105 of 222

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    I have dealt at length in my statements in the
 1witness box, my Lord, again, and while cross-examining the
 2witnesses with the other contentious items or issues,
 3namely the Goebbels Diary entries for March 27th and May
 430th 1942, the Himmler minute of September 22, 1942 and
 5this note, Himmler's note, for this meeting with Hitler on
 6December 10th 1942.
 7     My Lord, I have nothing to add to what I said in
 8the witness box under cross-examination on that matter,
 9and your Lordship may find it unsatisfactory that I do not
10specifically summarize it in a neat and handy index for
11your Lordship in my closing speech, and once again may I
12mea culpa . Also the meetings with Antonescu and with
13Horthy in April 1943, the deportation and murder of the
14Jews in Rome in October 1943, Himmler's speeches on
15October 4th and 6th, 1943, and May 15th and 24th, 1944,
16Hitler's speech on May 26th, 1944 and Ribbentrop's
17testimony and evidence from his cell in Nuremberg.
18I contend, in each case, that my use of these items is
19quite proper.
20     The only mistake which I do admit is that in the
21conference between Hitler and Horthy in April 1943,
22I transposed two dates from April 16th to April 17th,
231943. I do not agree that the Defendants are entitled to
24make the kind of capital out of that error which they have
25sought to do.
26     I must mention one document and that is the

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 1report, or Meldung, No. 51, which Mr Rampton has referred
 2also to this morning, submitted by Himmler to Hitler
 3through their respective adjutants, and dated December
 429th, 1942. The Defendants, quite properly, have made
 5great play with this document, claiming that it is clear
 6proof that Hitler was apprised by Himmler, by virtue of
 7this document, of the murder of over 300,000 Jews on a
 8transparent pretext in Russia in the previous three
 9months. The document was submitted to Hitler according to
10the notation on it. Your Lordship will remember that
11I established from the same files -- that is why the
12context of the document is so important to know what else
13is in the same files -- that Hitler's was apprised by,
14I am sorry, your Lordship will remember that I established
15that on the same day, December 1942, which was at the
16height of the Battle of Stalingrad, and in exactly the
17same manner as this document, a document of precisely the
18same general character, namely Meldung No. 49, had to be
19vorgelegt or submitted to Hitler not once but twice. In
20other words, there were two such notations on it, which is
21a clear indication he was not reading them on the first
22occasion, on that occasion at least, if at all. If I may
23draw an analogy, which I used before with which the Court
24may well be familiar, sometimes if a series of briefs put
25to a fashionable and expensive Counsel he is obliged to
26read them fully and properly, normally, and he draws a

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 1hefty fee for doing so; but in fact he does not read
 3 MR RAMPTON:     I never heard that.
 4 MR IRVING:     In fact, in law, as in history, the fact that a
 5document -- I am not referring, of course, to Mr Rampton,
 6it is to somebody else -- in law, as in history, the fact
 7that a document has been "put to" somebody does not mean
 8that somebody has read it, unless there is a collateral
 9evidence of feedback, and in this case there was no such
11     Another issue of interest to your Lordship is my
12references to Marie Valliant-Couturier. My references to
13her seem to have been quite justified -- I know that is
14not of issue -- from what we know of her and her full
15testimony in the Nuremberg tribunal in 1946. She had
16married the editor of l'Humanite, she and her father were
17bosom friends of Willi Munzenberg, author of the
18propaganda about the Reichstag Fire -- a founder member
19and of one the most accomplished progagandists of the
20Comintern. It is evident from the way, and this is what is
21relevant, it is evident from the way that the hard-pressed
22defence counsel Marx conducted this cross-examination of
23her at Nuremberg that he was implying to the tribunal that
24she had never even been at Auschwitz. Your Lordship will
25remember that she described to the tribunal a
26beating-machine used by the SS to administer corporal

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 1punishment. Her testimony is riddled with such
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can you just help me about this? You say
 4that hard-pressed defence counsel conducted his
 5cross-examination on her, implying she had not even been
 6in Auschwitz. I have no recollection of seeing anything
 7about that at all. Is that my memory playing me false?
 8 MR IRVING:     Under cross-examination, I put this to a witness,
 9well one of the witnesses, my Lord, I put this to the
10witness that Marx had asked her about her literary career,
11that she had been a journalist in a previous existence.
12He asked the questions in a certain way, that counsel do
13ask if they are asking, trying to elicit from her the fact
14that it was purely fantasy in that she had never been
15there, and this is in the transcripts, my Lord.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Perhaps we could just dig out the reference,
17not you whilst you are on your feet; Miss Rogers may be
18willing to. Thank you very much.
19 MR IRVING:     Your Lordship will remember that she described to
20the IMT, to the tribunal, a beating-machine. I am sure
21you Lordship remembers that.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, I do remember that.
23 IRVING:     All of us who have been to public schools have fond
24recollections of beating-machines and beatings -- used by
25the SS to administer corporal punishment. Her testimony
26is riddled with such absurdities, and when the experienced

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 1American Judge Biddle jotted down his sceptical comment on
 2this witness in his notes, which I used, even as she was
 3still speaking, he meant it -- and I certainly took it
 4that way -- to be a reference to all that he had heard
 5(and largely disbelieved) up to that point. That is the
 6way I took it.
 7     Kurt Aumeier dossier: Kurt Aumeier was like
 8Rudolf Hoess, a very high-ranking official at Auschwitz
 9concentration camp. I found the Kurt Aumeier dossier by
10conducting a systematic, "shirtsleeve" examination of the
11Public Records office files in 1992. Any one of the
12scholars introduced by the Defendants as witnesses could
13have found it equally readily. At first I intended to
14transcribe and publish the document myself, as a bit of a
15scoop, properly annotated, like the 1938 Goebbels
16Diaries. Instead I drew the attention of several scholars
17to it, including, to the best my recollection, both Sir
18Martin Gilbert and Dr Gerald Fleming. I had often sent
19them both documents which I had found which I knew would
20interest them, documents relating to the Holocaust. When
21I abandoned the publication idea, I drew the attention of
22other scholars to it, including Professor Robert Van Pelt,
23the expert witness in this case, in a very lengthy letter
24written to him in May 1997. In his letter I identified to
25him numerous archival references of interest to his
26special subject, including the Aumeier dossier. Not

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