Holocaust Denial on Trial, Skeleton Argument of the Claimant (long): Electronic Edition, by Adrian Davies

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The Schlegelberger Memorandum

55. The Schlegelberger memorandum is central to the appeal on the facts. Contrary to Gray J's express finding at 5.162, Irving has never acknowledged that the Schlegelberger memorandum is in any sense "unsatisfactory." On the contrary, he has always contended that it is a contemporaneous, authentic, brief, official, precisely worded, internal ministerial record of Hitler's thinking on the Jewish question, and so of seminal importance.
 
56. Schlegelberger was a civil servant in the Reich Ministry of Justice. In English translation his memorandum reads:--
"Mr. Reich Minister Lammers informed me that the Führer had repeatedly declared to him that he wants to hear that the solution of the Jewish Problem has been postponed until after the war is over. That being so, the current discussions are of purely theoretical value, in Mr. Reich Minister Lammers' opinion. He will moreover take pains to ensure that, whatever else happens, no fundamental decisions are taken without his knowledge in consequence of a surprise briefing by any third party."
57.Gray J errs in the gravest fashion in assessing the real evidence actually before him when he states at 13.33 that the Schlegelberger memorandum was "unsigned" and "an Abschrift (copy) rather than an original document. . . " and that "there is no clear evidence of the context in which the note came into existence."
58.A facsimile of the Schlegelberger memorandum was before Gray J in Court at all times. As is apparent from the facsimile itself, it is not (unlike most of the Defendants' documents) an Abschrift (typed copy or transcript) at all, but an original with holograph signatures. The original is still in German Federal Archives in its original Reich Justice Ministry file called Behandlung der Juden ("Treatment of the Jews"), which provides all necessary contextual material. The whole text makes it plain that the Judenfrage ("Jewish question") to which Hitler refers is by no means confined to the issue of Mischlinge (people of mixed descent), as suggested by Evans.
 
59.On the Defendants' case and Gray J's findings, the Schlegelberger memorandum was generated at a crucial point in the chronology of the Holocaust, just a few weeks after the Wannsee Conference of January, 1942, as to the supposed importance of which see paragraph 62 below. Gray J told leading Counsel for the Defendants on Day 6, 19 January 2000, at page 168 of the transcript:--
"Mr Rampton, does it simplify matters if I say I am prepared to accept that there is good internal evidence that it is March or thereabouts 1942?"
60.While Gray J observes at 5.161 that:--
"The Defendants argue that no reputable and objective historian would nail his colours to the mast in the way that Irving has done by admitting only one possible interpretation of the note,"
he fails to point out that no reputable and objective historian other than Irving has ever mentioned this memorandum at all, yet it mentions the Führer, the "solution of the Jewish problem", and "decisions", all in one paragraph, expressly stating that Hitler wished to see the "solution of the Jewish problem" postponed until the war was over.
61.The Defendants have produced nothing whatsoever of this evidential value relating, to the critical issue, namely the role of Hitler himself. The Defendants' experts have pretended in their books that it does not even exist. Their conduct in this regard amounts to an egregious suppresio veri et suggestio falsi.
 
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