The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day004.11

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day004.11
Last-Modified: 2000/08/01

   Q.   Then, low and behold, almost a year later, or just over a
        year later, comes along a report from the East saying that
        just that has happened?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   A report to Hitler?
   A.   December 29th 1942, yes.
   Q.   So, as a matter of historical fact, Mr Irving, you have
        always known about report No. 51 on 29th December 1942,
        have you not?
   A.   Yes.

.          P-94

   Q.   The probability that Hitler saw that report and was,
        therefore, what shall we say, implicated in the murder of
        all those 363,000 Eastern Jews is confirmed, is it not, by
        our subsequent knowledge of this document?
   A.   Yes.  There is no contention between us on that point.
   Q.   So, historically speaking, the fact is that the systematic
        killing of the eastern Jews, whether in Minsk or Kovno
        Kiev or anywhere else, was part of a Fuhrer plan?
   A.   As a part of the partisan combating.  I am trying to
        specify exactly what interpretation one can safely put
        two rather skimpy documents with 12 months between
                  It has to be said that this telephone
        this agenda, is about as skimpy as one can imagine.
        would only wish that Himmler had been more literary in
        endeavours and told us precisely what was going on.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Would it be wrong to read it that they
        to be treated in the same way as partisans were being
        treated, namely they were going to be shot just as
        partisans ----
   A.   Precisely, my Lord.
   Q.   --- because they were supporting the ----
   A.   And I know that some people would say, well, the Jews
        provided the partisan reservoir, but, of course, the
        obvious argument against that is "and the women and
        children too" and the answer to that is, of course,
        were not.  So this was, undoubtedly, part of the

.          P-95

        atrocity on the Eastern Front which I have never
   MR RAMPTON:  Well, then please will you look at report No.
        itself?  I know we have looked at it before, but these
        documents are, in our submission, so intimately
        that it is necessary to look at it again.  You will
        that in (which I hope you have) H3(i) which is the
        tranche of Professor Browning's documents at footnote
        28(ii).  H3(i), do you have?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Then if you turn to FN 28(ii) at the bottom right-hand
        corner of the page, you should have it?
   A.   I have it.
   Q.   This is a report -- I will not go through it all again
        only for a part of the East.  It does not say
        for example, about Ostland.  It talks about South
        Ukraine and the Bialystok area which is to the west of
        White Russia, is it not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   As we noticed before, under paragraph 2, listed as
        helpers, and what was the other word?
   A.   "Partisan accomplices" is the way I would translate
   Q.   Sorry, what?
   A.   "Accused of being partisan accomplices or fellow
   Q.   Yes, fellow travellers?
   A.   And suspects.

.          P-96

   Q.   Or whatever.  Some were arrested, some were executed,
        which is perhaps not very surprising, not in huge
        a total under B of 14,000 -- well, comparatively not
        huge numbers, I should have said.  Under C, as a
        entry for heaven knows why, a separate entry, 363,211
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   So, is it your thesis that Hitler would have been
        to think, "Oh, well, I am sure all those Jews were
        up to no good in the underground or the Resistance or
        whatever, the subversives, and there were all that
many of
        them so the poor old SS had to shoot them", is that a
        realistic scenario, Mr Irving?
   A.   That being sarcastic, presumably?
   Q.   I am being entirely sarcastic.
   A.   Yes, of course not.
   Q.   Not to you, but I mean that is not a credible
        is it?
   A.   Of course it is not, no, and this document I have
        in several of my books.  I think I was probably the
        first person to have drawn attention to it.  I may be
        wrong on that.
   Q.   This is important, Mr Irving.  So you agree with me
        this is just some kind of fiction, really, to put them
        under band helpers and band whatever the other things,
        accomplices.  This is put, coldly and bluntly, a
record of

.          P-97

        the number of Jews deliberately executed for the
        that they are Jews and for another, is it not?
   A.   I have no evidence of that, but that is a reasonable
        supposition.  But I would also continue from that
        and say what worries me about this document is that we
        have no evidence that Hitler took it on board, as we
        now say.  He never referred in later conferences
         "I remember back in December we got that document
        we had killed 3,000 Jews, jolly good show!"
   Q.   But you have had this document for a long time?
   A.   Oh, yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  But the evidence suggests that it was
        before Hitler, does it not?
   A.   I agree, my Lord, but there is a difference between
        documents being laid before a Prime Minister or a Head
        State at a time when disaster, the world is crashing
        around his ears, it is the height of the Stalingrad
        Crisis, and the fact that he actually imbibed the
        and figures contained in it, this may be precisely why
        Himmler put it to him at that time.  This has been
        to happen, that people -- documents are shovelled in
        of them.
   Q.   We now know that he did ask to be kept informed about
        shootings on the Eastern front.
   A.   18 months earlier, my Lord, yes -- that is not
        accurate, my Lord.  He asked to be kept informed of

.          P-98

        activities of the Einsatzgruppen.  Broadly speaking,
        major activity was policing the rear areas and to them
        fell the task of killing the Jews.
   MR RAMPTON:  Have you any idea of the cost of ammunition at
        that time in the history of the Reich?
   A.   Cost of ammunition?
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   I would imagine the price per round was relatively
   Q.   So it would not be a huge economic expenditure to
        let us say, 700,000 Jews by shooting?
   A.   It is much cheaper to kill them with bullets than with
        cyanide gas.
   Q.   Much noisier too?
   A.   I take your word for it.
   Q.   Well, bullets, they were not using silencers, were
   A.   I am afraid you have lost me there.
   Q.   It is more likely to come to public attention, is it
        and it is also, I mean, I do not know how many
        they used by per shooting?
   A.   I think there were six machine gunners, according to
        Bruns, was it not?
   Q.   I do not know.
   A.   Who took it in turns.  They were relieved.
   Q.   Evidently, at some stage it became too much for many
        the people that had to do it?
   A.   Yes, I am sure.

.          P-99

   Q.   Whereas -- we will come to the other matters later on.
        Now, I would like Mr Irving -- my Lord, this is the
        thing, if I may, that I will do before the
        adjournment  ----
   MR RAMPTON:  --- to have a copy of Professor Evans' report.
   A.   While it is being fetched, my Lord, can I ask you, do
        read the newspaper accounts that are published at all
        this action?
   Q.   Not much, no.
   A.   Not much?
   Q.   Well, if you have been there, there is not much point
        reading about it.
   A.   I agree, but the newspapers sometimes report things
        have not been dealt with in the courtroom.
   Q.   Yes, I know.  Why do you mention that at this stage?
   A.   Well, over the weekend I have been studying some of
        accounts, and it would disturb me if I thought you
        accepting what the press reported about things.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, I rely on what I hear here.
   A.   This is the Evans report.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.
   A.   Page?
   Q.   That will probably take us up to, at any rate, 5 to 1.
        Page 134.  There may be more to come of this after the
        adjournment when I have done a bit more research, but

.          P-100

        these two little snippets will do for the moment.  For
        moment, I have not fished out original transcripts,
        Mr Irving, so I hope you will forgive me.  If
        Evans has mistranscribed what you are alleged to have
        said, then no doubt, you will tell us.  Page 134(c)
        "Systematic nature of the extermination".  This is
        Professor Evans:  "A refusal to accept that the
        extermination of the Jews was systematically organised
        centrally directed is a major element in the
phenomenon of
        Holocaust denial"?
   A.   As defined by him.
   Q.   I am reading his words.  You can cross-examine him
        his words, not me.  "Where does Irving stand on this
        issue?  Even before he changed his mind on the numbers
        killed and the use of gassing as a murder technique,
        Irving was denying that the Nazi extermination of the
        had been carried out in a systematic manner.  Thus,
        example, in 1986, two years before his change of mind
        these issues, Irving told reporters in Brisbane,
        Australia:  'I am not attacking the figure of 6
        I am not attacking the fact that the Jews were killed,
        I am attacking or questioning whether, in fact, it was
        tragedy ordered and organized on the very highest
        state level, namely by Hitler himself, and I think
this is
        what they find very repugnant'."  Who was "they" in

.          P-101

   A.   I do not know.
   Q.   "'because if my hypothesis is correct, then it means
        all these Jews, and it maybe any figure, I don't look
        the figure concerned, if my hypothesis is'" -- sorry,
        is difficult to read, "'if my hypothesis is correct,
        indicates that the Jews were the victims of a large
        of rather run-of-the-mill criminal elements which
exist in
        central Europe, not just Germans, but Austrians,
        Lithuanians, Estonians, feeding on the endemic
        anti-Semitism of the era and encouraged by the
        brutalization which war brought about anyway'."
                  Then if we go over the page, please, and
        there is the bit about these chaps who did it being
        motivated by revenge for bombing.  135, Professor
        makes the comments:  "Irving did not explain how
        bombing raids on Germany could have turned Latvians,
        Lithuanians and Estonians against the Jews".  Maybe
        just made a slip, did you, Mr Irving?
   A.   It is quite clearly being misread by whoever --
        Evans has misread that.  He is reading into the words
        I used a much tighter link there.  Quite clearly, the
        people living in the Baltic provinces had their own
        reasons for hating the Jews.  I do not propose to go
        them here.
   Q.   I do not know whether it is a speech; it is a press

.          P-102

   A.   It is a verbatim press conference probably.
   Q.   Yes.  Paragraph 3?
   A.   But, as far as the German killers and the Austrian killers
        went, certainly there are very clearly links between some
        of the killers concerned and what they experienced in the
        air raids.

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