The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day004.21

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day004.21
Last-Modified: 2000/08/01

   Q.   It was a long question.
   A.   I have taken a very lengthy entry of some 20 lines.
        I have had to condense it into a paragraph of three or
        four or five lines for that particular passage and I think
        I have done an adequate job.  If I was going to write a
        book two or three times as long endlessly boring, as the
        academics write them, then no doubt I could have put in
        the whole of that quotation undigested, unanalysed.
        I have had the difficult job that all authors face which
        is to condense something into a reasonable length while

.          P-189

        not losing any of the essence.  You can pick your
        individual sentences where a word is wrong and take that
        sentence out and the weight of the sentence remains the
        same.  Hitler says: "I wanted to send them out." Hitler
        says: "I have been keeping a little book and one day it is
        going to come out."  Hitler says: "I don't believe in
        looking for problems if we don't have problems.  Look at
        the case of Galen, that is another one that I am going to
        put on the back burner." This is typical Hitler.
   Q.   "That is what I did do with the Jews.  I had to remain
        inactive for a long time too."
   A.   Do not forget, Mr Rampton, we have a whole series of
        documents which lie in my direction and not in yours.
   Q.   What is worst, Mr Irving, I suggest and then I am going to
        leave it, what is worst is that not only have you used a
        translation, not even your translation, a translation by
        somebody else which you knew to be wrong, but you have
        given a reference to the original which will make the
        reader suppose that this is first generation, mint new
        Irving translation?
   A.   I do not think it says that in the footnotes at all.  It
        is the historian's job to give the most accurate source
        reference he can give which will point the reader in the
        direction of the original document, rather than in some
        second or third ----
   Q.   This is a direct quotation of that passage?

.          P-190

   A.   If I were to act like your experts and just take books
        down off a shelf and use those as sources, this would be
        improper.  I would far prefer to point people reading my
        books to where they can find the original documents so
        they can check it for themselves.
   Q.   That is exactly what you have done in this case, is it
        not?  You have actually used some rotten old translation
        by Trevor-Roper or somebody, you have repeated it again
        and again through your editions.  You have the original in
        your ----
   A.   Indeed in discovery.
   Q.   --- in your office all the time.  You do not use it, but
        you tell the reader you have?
   A.   No.  I am satisfied that the translation I use is an
        accurate representation of the document I have, apart from
        that one sentence which has obviously been interpolated by
        the English interpreter which I find absolutely
        unconscionable to put a sentence into a translation that
        does not even exist.  I know that the other historians are
        jealous that I have got all these documents and they did
        not, but they should not start poking fingers and sneering
        at me because I get these things.
   Q.   I do not know.  We will have this bit of the transcript
        relayed to, Professor Evans is here, but some of the
        others are not.
   A.   I am looking forward to when they come.

.          P-191

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  But not to Trevor-Roper because it was not
        his translation.  It was not Trevor-Roper's translation.
   MR RAMPTON:  Can we take that bit of the transcript out and put
        in the right ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think in fairness, yes.
   A.   He was the editor actually.  It is a very good
        translation.  It is a very flowing translation.
   MR RAMPTON:  Now I want to go back, if I may, because that is
        where all this started, to Hitler's War, page 465 in the
        1991 edition.
   A.   Yes.  Is this where I say: "Upon arrival thousands were
        simply murdered"? Is this the passage you are referring
   Q.   I am sorry, Mr Irving, I have just lost my place because
        I moved.  I have found it.  I am just going to ask you one
        quick question about the top of the page, referring back
        to the diary entry of 27th March 1942.  You write in the
        middle of the first paragraph on 465:
                  "But he evidently never discussed these
        realities with Hitler. Thus this two-faced Minister
        dictated after a further visit to Hitler on April 26th:
        I have once again talked over the Jewish question with the
        Fuhrer.  His position on this problem is merciless.  He
        wants to force the Jews right out of Europe.  At the
        moment Himmler is handling the major transfer of Jews from
        the German cities into the Eastern gettoes".

.          P-192

                  Why is it evident that this two-faced
        the odious Dr Goebbels, never discussed these
        with Hitler?  Is it the same point we discussed
   A.   Is it what?
   Q.   The same point as we discussed earlier?
   A.   Which point is that?
   Q.   Well, you said in the earlier part that we looked at:
        "That Goebbels privately knew more is plain from his
        diary entry of 27th"?
   A.   No, the point I am making there is that had Goebbels
        discussed this kind of thing, what he privately knew,
        Hitler, this two-faced Minister, then undoubtedly
        would not have been able to make the kind of remarks
        did in private conversation with Himmler, Lamus and
        Bormann which are recorded in the table talks.
   Q.   Why not?
   A.   Then that would have evoked gusts of laughter from
        Himmler.  Himmler would have said: "Mein Fuhrer, don't
        realize what's going on?"
   Q.   Sorry, I am not following that at all.
   A.   Right.  We have seen, and we can see until the Court
        screams for mercy, in the documents, in the table
        how Hitler repeatedly makes statements which are only
        reconcilable with the notion that he was familiar with
        expulsion, which cannot be brought into conformity
        the notion that he knew what was happening when they

.          P-193

        there, the European Jews.
   Q.   Suppose, as many people have proposed, I do not know
        what persuasiveness, Mr Irving, in your mind, but
        as they have proposed Hitler was as often as not
   A.   Why should he?  He is sitting there at the table with
        arch gangsters, with Himmler, Bormann and the rest who
        know perfectly well what is going on.  Why should he
        euphemise to them when he is sitting with them?  This
is a
        secret record.  It is never going to be published.
        did not know about George Weidenfeld and Hugh
   Q.   Do you have a view of who was at which table talk when
        read the table talks?
   A.   Yes, usually there is a line above the table talks
        who is present as the guests of honour.  Usually three
        four people are listed.  Verna Kopen did the same in
        records of the table talks.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am a bit puzzled about this, because if
        interpret the table talk as meaning that Hitler really
        thinking only in terms of deportation, I know it has
        a long day, but how do you reconcile that with your
        acceptance, because I understand you do accept it ----
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   --- that he knew all about the shooting on a massive
        on the Eastern Front?

.          P-194

   A.   I think your Lordship has grasped the nub of the whole
   Q.   What is the answer?
   A.   The answer is I think that he drew a distinction in
        own mind between the Eastern vermin, the enemy, and
        Germans and the Europeans whom he still regarded as
   Q.   That is not clear from this passage in your book, is
   A.   It will be clear from the other passages that he does
        this distinction, my Lord, and perhaps I ought to look
        some of these passages out and draw your Lordship's
        attention to them.  But this is the only way you can
        explain this very evident dichotomy which does exist
        the records, that on the one hand he is saying these
        things and on other hand he is evidently knowing other
        things.  Also I think you have something which
        only psychiatrists can explain, that people can
        compartmentalize their knowledge of certain things.
        is a kind of Richard Nixon kind of complex comes in
        saying:  "Fellows, do it but don't let me be told".  I
        quite happy to believe that this kind of thing also
        on.  But in the absence of any evidence it would take
        very adventurous writer to set it down, except in the
        speculative terms.
   MR RAMPTON:  Well, Mr Irving, I am going to have to ask you
        look at some of these table talks, I think, because

.          P-195

        contrary to what you say they are nowhere near as
        sanitized, I do not believe, as you say they are.  We
        also have to look at some of the Goebbels' diary
        Would your Lordship wish me to start on that exercise
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Shall we make a bit of a start.
   A.   Would it be useful to start with the very last one,
        1942 where Hitler is still talking about Madagascar.
   MR RAMPTON:  I am sorry, it would not be convenient to me.
        When you cross-examine you will find you have a
        order in your head or on your piece of paper.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You must follow your own course.
   A.   I was trying to cut to the bottom line which is a way
        speeding things on.
   MR RAMPTON:  One might not agree that it is the bottom
        Can we start, please, I am taking these from Professor
        Evans's report because there is a collection in this
        of the report which the court might find useful, first
        all on page 413, this is the bit we looked at before,
        paragraph 15, we read the earlier bit before about the
        donkeys in Rome or wherever it was, Hitler says:
                  "Ich sage nur, er muss weg", "I am just
        he", that is the Jews, "have got to go.  If he goes
        in the course of it I can't help that.  I only see one
        thing, absolute extermination if they don't go of
        own accord."  The German for "absolute extermination"
        English is "absolute Ausrottung", that is at the
bottom of

.          P-196

        the page.
   A.   Yes, literally routing out, "Ausrottung".
   Q.   Yes, it is a word which may change its sense like so
        words in so many languages according to its context.
   A.   And who is speaking it and in what century and in what
   Q.   I do not have to the Ausrottung argument every time we
        come across the word.
   A.   We have not had it yet.
   Q.   It is an argument that could go on until next
   A.   We the vernichtung argument but not the Ausrottung
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You have touched on it.  Let us move on.
   MR RAMPTON:  I am interested in the words "wenn er dabei
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   What do you say those words mean?
   A.   If he goes "caput".
   Q.   And what does "going kaput" mean?
   A.   The word "caput" is like "going for a Burton", it is
        of those words which is a piece of vernacular, a piece
        slang, all the wheels drop off.  It is that kind of
        thing.  If a car goes caput the wheels have dropped
   Q.   If I achieve my object of achieving a complete
        let us compromise, call is extirpation or
annihilation, I
        do not know, of the Jew, it does not matter to me in

.          P-197

        slightest if that means death?
   A.   I am sure it did not, not to Hitler, no.  He did not
        really apply his mind very much to what happened once
        had got out.
   Q.   Then look at the next ----
   A.   You mean by merciless or pitiless?

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