Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 91 - 95 of 222

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    As I stated under cross-examination, I did not
 1unlikely to attach the same importance as does learned
 2counsel for the Defendants, to what the famously anti-Nazi
 3Abwehr Chief Wilhelm Canaris allegedly told Lieutenant
 4Schulz-Dubois of Hitler's reaction. The British decodes of
 5the SS signals, to which I introduced the Court, and the
 6subsequent events (the actual cessation for many months of
 7the liquidation of German Jews) in my submission speak
 8louder.
 9     Your Lordship asked in your list of questions
10for my comments on the reference in Hitler's table talk of
11October 25th 1941. Well, your Lordship is familiar with
12the Defendants' argument and with mine. My extract from
13this document which I used was based originally on the
14original Weidenfeld translation, in fact, I used the
15original Weidenfeld translation into English, as is well
16known, in disagreement with the Defendants' experts I
17still maintain and others have followed me in this
18(notably Professor Phillippe Burrin, who translates
19Schrecken as "the ominous reputation") in that context,
20that the appropriate translation here for the word
21"schrecken" is indeed "rumour" and not "terror", a word
22which makes for a wooden and uncouth translation anyway.
23     Ladies and gentlemen, it will make no sense,
24unfortunately, this passage, unless you see the document.
25A relevant passage from the SS Event Report from
26activities in the rear of the eastern front, dated

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 1September 11, 1941 front (provided by the Defendants),
 2shows that this is precisely what was meant: "The rumour
 3that all Jews are being shot by the Germans had a salutary
 4effect". The Jews were now fleeing before the Germans
 5arrived. The rumour! To accuse me of wilful
 6mistranslation and even worse distortion when (a) I used
 7the original (sic) Weidenfeld translation, not at that
 8time having received the original German from Switzerland,
 9and (b) the word "rumour" gives precisely the nuance, the
10correct nuance that the surrounding history shows the word
11was meant to have, this accusation seems to me an
12excessively harsh judgment on my expertise.
13     The next in line is the Goebbels diary entry for
14November 22nd, 194: Again, I just pick out what seems to
15matter to me in that particular entry here, for the
16purposes of today's submissions.
17     This diary entry, my Lord, includes a fair
18example of how dishonest the reporting by Goebbels was
19when it comes to his meetings with Hitler. He records
20"the exceptional praise" of Hitler for the weekly
21newsreel produced by his ministry, the propaganda
22ministry; in fact Hitler was forever criticising this very
23product of the Goebbels ministry, as the diary of
24Rosenberg shows. Goebbels then continues, here is the
25quote: "With regard to the Jewish problem too the Fuhrer
26completely agrees with my views. He wants an energetic

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 1policy against the Jews, but one however that does not
 2cause us needless difficulties." Goebbels diary entry
 3continues: "The evacuation of the Jews is to be done city
 4by city". So it is still not fixed when Berlin's turn
 5comes; but when it does, "the evacuation should be carried
 6out as fast as possible". In other words, he had not got
 7his way. He had been agitating once again that the
 8evacuation should start but Hitler had not come into line.
 9"Still not fixed when Berlin's time comes". Hitler then
10expressed the need for "a somewhat reserved approach" in
11question of mixed marriages -- that is marriages between
12Jews and non-Jews. What do you do with them? Are you going
13to keep them in Germany or deport them? Hitler's view was
14the marriages would die out anyway by and by, and they
15should not go grey worrying about it.
16     Now I have suggested that on the balance of
17probabilities Hitler was alluding to the public unrest
18when he said he wanted a policy that does not cause us
19needless difficulties. I have suggested on a balance of
20probabilities Hitler was alluding to the public unrest
21caused by the suicide a few days earlier of the popular
22actor Joachim Gottschalk and his family. Apart from
23"needless" becoming "endless", in an irritating typo
24which hardly amounts to manipulation, in other words, in
25the original German, the original translation started off
26as "causing us needless difficulties", which is correct,

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 1and somehow it became "endless difficulties" is an
 2irritating typo which hardly amounts to "manipulation".
 3This passage bears out what I have always said of Hitler.
 4While Goebbels was the eternal agitator, as witness his
 5anti-Semitic leading article published in Das Reich only a
 6few days before, November 16th 1941, Hitler was (even by
 7Goebbels own account) for a reserved approach towards the
 8Jewish problems; and he was doing so, even as the
 9trainloads of Jews were heading eastwards from Bremen and
10Berlin, for example to the conquered Russian territories
11and the Baltic states. Your Lordship will not need
12reminding of the curious British decodes, which revealed
13the provisioning of the deportation trains with tonnes of
14foods for the journey. These are messages which we
15British decoded, which reveal the provisioning of the
16deportation trainloads of Jews with tonnes of food for the
17journey, stocks of many weeks food for after they arrived
18and even deportees' appliances, "Gerat", appliances. So
19the evacuation at this time evidently meant just that to
20very many Reich officials, and no more.
21     My Lord ----
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Press on. Let us get as far as the
23Schlegelberger document, shall we, on the next page.
24 MR IRVING:     Jolly good, yes, good point.
25     Mr Rampton went to some effort and expense to
26suggest that I suppressed vital information from the newly

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 1discovered Goebbels diary, December 13th 1941. In this
 2day's entry Goebbels reported on various things and he
 3reported on Hitler's rhetoric to the Gauleiters, speaking
 4on December 12th 1941 in Berlin, the Nazi governors.
 5Anybody who is as familiar as I am with Hitler's speeches,
 6and with Goebbels' diary entries relating to be them will
 7effortlessly recognize this entire passage as being usual
 8the Hitler gramophone record about his famous 1939
 9"prophecy". It was part of his stock repertoire when
10speaking to the Party old guard -- they had carried him
11into power, the Party old guard had carried him into power
12and they expected to hear from him that he had not
13abandoned the hallowed Party programme. I can understand
14the temptation for the younger generation of scholars,
15unfamiliar with Hitler's rhetoric, to fall greedily upon
16such freshly discovered morsels as though they were the
17answer to the great Holocaust mystery: None of the
18witnesses to whom this item was put by myself, or by
19counsel for the Defendants, was able to identify any part
20of this passage which was out of the ordinary for Hitler.
21     Even if I had read that far on that day's glass
22plate in the Moscow archives, and even if I had seen those
23lines of diary entries, some 20 pages after the page where
24I in fact stopped reading for that that day -- and I must
25emphasise again that I did not read that far on that day
26because that did not come within my remit, I doubt that

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