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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day006.04

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day006.04
Last-Modified: 2000/08/02

   Q.   No, that Himmler was worried about the mental and physical
        effect on the troops, the SS people, of having to shoot so
        many people?
   A.   I have heard this said about the same kind of evidentiary
        foundation that Mr Browning has put in.  Let me put it the
        other way round.  There is no letter from Himmler to
        Berger or to Bouhler or to Heydrich saying, "We have to do
        this some other way; this is putting too much strain on my
        men", but there is one episode which I clearly remember --
        I have mentioned it before -- when Hitler's film cameraman
        accompanied Himmler to a mass shooting outside Minsk in
        the middle of August 1941.  Half way through that, one of
        the machine gunners came running across the field to
        Himmler and to this party saying he could not do it, his
        nerves could not take it any more, could he be posted

.          P-28

        somewhere else?  He was sent back into the line.
   Q.   That takes me back, you see, to Wisliceny and to Bruns
        to the suggestion I made some days ago, if you
        that the principal reason why, well, one of the two
        reasons why mass shootings of this kind were to stop
        that they were apt to draw attention to themselves;
        other was that it was a strain on the people who had
to do
        the shooting, and that, in consequence, they had to
        another means of killing Jews and so they hit upon
        gassing.  Now, will you please comment on that
   A.   I do not think that is an adequate suggestion.  I do
        think that the noise suggestion, if I can paraphrase
it as
        that, holds water because these mass killings took
        many miles outside the built up areas; and as for the
        strain on the nerves, of course, then how is it that
        Russians managed to carry out their mass shootings on
        similar scales, if not even indeed even greater
        without having to resort to gas chambers?  I do not
        there is a ----
   Q.   Perhaps, Mr Irving, this is not a trial about the
        Russians.  Perhaps Russian public opinion was not as
        sensitive as German public opinion; who knows?
   A.   Well, exactly.  Who knows the answers to many of these
        questions that you give?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Rampton, will you go this far -- I
        give you chapter and verse for it, but my impression

.          P-29

        that there is quite a lot of evidence -- I think that
        the right word -- to suggest that carrying out the
        shootings was causing, understandably I suppose, real
        anxiety, nervous breakdowns and the rest amongst those
        Germans who were being ordered to carry it out?
   A.   My Lord, with respect, if they intend to make this a
        of their case, then they should lead such evidence and
        allow ----
   Q.   I am asking you if you accept it.
   A.   I do not accept that, my Lord, unless they wish to put
        to us in a slightly better founded form than Professor
        Browning has done saying it is based on an unspecified
        witness statement on an indictment of someone.
   MR RAMPTON:  That is Dr Longerich, begging your pardon, and
        I am just about to show you something which I hope you
        will agree, as it were, helps to found the stability
        this proposition by Dr Longerich.  Can you please turn
        file H4(v) and to footnote 260?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Before you do, can I ask one further
        to see whether you are prepared to accept this, that
        was at least disquiet about the method of executing
        by shooting by the SS?
   A.   Clearly, a lot of the men did not like doing it, but a
        of the men did like doing it.  I think Daniel Goldhart
        brought this out very clearly in his book "Hitler's
        Willing Executioners", that a lot of men actually

.          P-30

        volunteered for the work.  So there is an entire book
        written on this subject recently.  This is Witte,
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, this is two pages from a book, this
        footnote 262, to Professor Longerich's, the second
part of
        his report.  I will, if I may, read from nearly the
top of
        the page.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  260, are you talking about?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, in fact, I had better start with 16.
That is
        the internal page number on the left-hand side.  The
        German personnel, I do not know even know whose book
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yitzhak Arad.
   MR RAMPTON:  "Odilo Globocnik's first" under "German
         "was to organize the manpower required for the
        construction and operation of the killing centres.
        people assigned to Operation Reinhard came from the
        following sources:  1. SS and policemen who served
        Globocnik's command in the Lublin district until
        Reinhard".  Then there is a number.  "Members of the
        and Police staffs or units.  3.  Chancellery of the
         - Euthanasia programme".  A total of 450 men.
                   "The most important group of Operation
        came from the euthanasia programme.  They brought with
        them knowledge and experience in setting up and
        gassing institutions for mass murder.  They filled the
        posts involved with the extermination methods, the

.          P-31

        planning and construction of three death camps -
        Sobibor and Treblinka - and the command over these
        camps".  So far, that is just Mr Arad speaking.
                  Now, Mr Irving, here is a report of
        Dr Brack is later to have said:   "Victor Brack gave
        evidence in his trial after the war about the transfer
        the euthanasia personnel to Operation Reinhard:
                  "'In 1941, I received an order to
        the euthanasia programme.  In order to retain the
        personnel that had been relieved of these duties and
        order to be able to start a new euthanasia programme
        the war, Bouhler asked me - I think after a conference
        with Himmler - to send this personnel to Lublin and
        it at the disposal of SS Brigadefuhrer Globocnik".
        you familiar with that evidence, Mr Irving?
   A.   I was reading this a few days ago, yes.
   Q.   Have you never read it before?
   A.   Just a few days ago I read it for the first time.
   Q.   It is a Nuremberg piece of evidence, is it not?
   A.   According to the footnote, it comes from somebody
   Q.   From what?
   A.   From somebody else's book.
   Q.   I think -- maybe it is not your fault; I made the same
        mistake when I first looked at it -- the footnotes in
        question are those under the heading "Chapter Two" the

.          P-32

        next page?
   A.   Very well.  It is an affidavit, yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is page 16, so it is likely, I think,
        it not?
   MR RAMPTON:  I think so, particularly when we looked a bit
        further down the page.  Anyhow the text goes on as
                  "The first group of euthanasia personnel,
        numbering a few dozen men, arrived at Lublin between
        end of October and the end of December 1941.  Among
        was Kriminalkommissar of Police Christian Wirth, the
        highest ranking officer from the euthanasia programme
        assigned to Operation Reinhard, and Oberscharfuhrer
        Oberhauser.  Additional people from the euthanasia
        programme arrived in Lublin during the first months of
        1942.  Viktor Brack visited Lublin at the beginning of
        1942 and discussed with Globocnik the contribution of
        euthanasia organization to the task of exterminating
        Jews.   Globocnik asked for more euthanasia personnel
        be placed under his command.  His request was
        After this meeting Brack wrote to Himmler:
                  "'In accordance with my orders from
        Bouhler, I have long ago" -- that would mean October
        I assume, according to this historical context, would
        not, Mr Irving?
   A.   It could, yes.

.          P-33

   Q.    -- "put at Brigadefuhrer Globocnik's disposal part of
        manpower to aid him in carrying out his special
        mission'".  Pause there, do you accept that that
        mission was the extermination of hundreds of thousands
   A.   Can I make a general comment about the unsatisfactory
        nature of this kind of evidence?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, but can you answer the question
   A.   No, I do not, not on the basis just of this one
        without knowing what the German document said, without
        seeing the classifications on it, without knowing the
        original wording.  Why are we being presented with
        somebody else's book as a source, just being given
        extracts from it in English?
   MR RAMPTON:  We will try to remedy our negligent behaviour,
        Mr Irving, but assume for a moment that is a fair
        translation of the German of Brack's original letter
        May 1942.  Do you agree that it as reference to a
        mission by Globocnik which means exterminating Jews in
        Eastern Poland?
   A.   On the balance of probabilities, yes, but I would like
        know why we are not being shown the original document.
        You have had teams of researchers working in the
        who could have produced the original affidavit and the
        original letter, and we are only being produced
        gloss, somebody's chosen excerpts.  I will draw

.          P-34

        to one or two -- you are looking weary, Mr Rampton.
   Q.   I am looking weary because.
   A.   But maybe my criteria are different.
   Q.   If you have an application to make, Mr Irving -- this
is a
        court of law and not some forum for you to expound
        views about this, that and the other, in particular
        Defendants' weakness.
   A.   Mr Rampton, frankly I would have hoped that the court
        would have made these observations.
   Q.   Mr Irving, if you have an application to make for
        discovery, make it to his Lordship at the proper time,
        will you?
   A.   I would have hoped that the court would have made the
        observation about the quality of this kind of
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Since you invite me to, I have some
        for what you are just saying because this may be quite
        important document, I do not know.  As far as I can
        the reference for it in the note 7 is to some
        documents, but it does not quite read like an extract
        a Nuremberg document.
   MR RAMPTON:  It is a letter, my Lord, and many of the
        documents are letters.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Are they?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.  We have looked at several of them in the
        last couple of days.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Right.  But, Mr Rampton, the point really

.          P-35

        that is concerning me a little is you are insisting
        it may be you are right to do so) on going in your
        cross-examination of Mr Irving to a lot of the source
        material.  This is a bit second-hand, is it not?
   MR RAMPTON:  Of course it is and I would much rather have
        original.  The fact is I do not have it.  I will try
        get it.  I have a feeling that I have seen it
        but I cannot at the moment remember where.  But there
        is.  I will try to get it.
                  The purpose of this cross-examination is
not, my
        Lord, to, as it were, investigate the Defendants'
        efficiency or bona fides in the material that they
        disclosed.  The purpose of it is to see whether I can
        Mr Irving to agree about what the evidence actually
   A.   May I also point out that the references to Operation
        Reinhard are not apparently contained in the documents
        quoted, but they are the interpolation of the author
        this book, Mr Yitzhak or whoever it is.  I mean, this
        the kind of thing that worries me, that these things
        slid in.  There is no reference to Operation Reinhard
        the quotations actually given.
   Q.   Well, what was Odilo Globocnik's special mission?
   A.   He was chief of police in Lublin at this time.
   Q.   Why should Brack write to Himmler about the
        special mission?

.          P-36

   A.   Mr Rampton, in the final analysis we are probably on
        same side in this document.
   Q.   I think we are too.
   A.   But I do not want to be ambushed with secondhand
        like this.
   Q.   If we are on the same side, Mr Irving, there is no
        is there?
   A.   Well, you are ambushing me with second-hand sources
        this where I have no means of testing the integrity of
        document.  I would like to make certain observations
        the nature of affidavits sworn in Nuremberg which I
        probably do when I come to cross-examination of
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Let us cut this short.  Would the
        if they can, unearth this document?  In the meantime,
        have your answer that "special mission" probably does
        refer to extermination.
   MR RAMPTON:  But I am unapologetic, my Lord, because that
        not actually the most important part of this letter.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You mean you have not get to the most
        important part?
   MR RAMPTON:  No, it is at the bottom of the page.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Shall we press on?

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