The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day006.10

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day006.10
Last-Modified: 2000/08/02

   Q.   Mr Irving, let me give you advance notice -- if you have
        not Van Pelt's report two or three times, I quite
        understand you may not have picked it -- of what the best
        view of the history of Auschwitz, so far as gassing is
        concerned, and it is our case, if we had to prove it,
        which we do not; but what that report tells us is this,
        that there were some early gassings, first of all, of
        Soviet prisoners in the autumn of 1941 in the basement of
        block 11 at Auschwitz 1.  They then started using, I think
        later that same year, the crematorium, the morgue in the
        crematorium at Auschwitz 1, for the gassing of Jews again
        to some extent on an experimental scale.  In 1942 they
        developed two gassing facilities.
   A.   What do you mean by "the experimental scale" -- a few

.          P-84

        thousand or?
   Q.   Only a few hundred people at a time, that kind of
   A.   I am just interested in your use of the word
   Q.   "Experimental", Mr Irving, because they were
        with the efficacy of Zyklon B?
   A.   Very interesting.  Exactly the same as I said about
        gas trucks.
   Q.   Yes, but in 1942 (and I cannot give you the exact
        they developed two local farmhouses into much more
        effective gas chambers.  They tipped the Zyklon B
        the windows which they then closed with gas type
        shutters.  That went on for some considerable time.
        you know, in July 1942, Himmler visited Auschwitz and
        following that, and I say as a matter of cause and
        so I shall not be accused of post hoc propter hoc,
        following that the existing plans for the two new big
        crematoria at Birkenhau are altered, so as to convert
        into gas chambers with crematoria, and at the same
        crematoria 4 and 5 are designed and built in the early
        part of 1943 up to about June.  Then they start in
        operation from then until the autumn of 1944.  That is
        Auschwitz story.
   A.   Only yesterday you said that there no mass killings by
        in Auschwitz until the end of 1942.
   Q.   I did not say that, I think, if you look at the

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        transcript.  Do not let us argue about what I said.
        can verify it on the transcript.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Shall we go back it Hitler and Himmler
        because we are going to have to go through Auschwitz
        detail later?
   MR RAMPTON:  I agree.
   A.   It is just that paragraph 2 rather challenged that.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I know.  You made that observation and we
        have dealt with it.  Let us get on.
   MR RAMPTON:  I am going to deal first, since I have now got
        it -- my Lord, the file in question is H1(ix) at page
   A.   Page 260.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I do not think we have had H1 (ix), have
   A.   Page 260?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, page 260.
   A.   It appears to be an orphan.  It has no title.
   Q.   I am sure you have not read it, but you will have
heard of
        Noakes' and Pridom's great work on the history of Nazi
   A.   Whose book is this?
   Q.   You are not going to read it, so I do not really see
        I need to, but, anyhow, it is called J. Noakes, G.
         "Nazis 1919 to 1945" in three volumes, published by
        I think the Exeter University Press in 1988.  This
        260 in our file, is page 1199 of that massive work.
It is
        a translation, presumably by Mr Noakes or Mr Pridom,

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        both of them, I know not, of a speech which Himmler is
        supposed to have made at Posen to, I think, German
        Generals?  Were they German Generals?
   A.   It was the SS Gruppenfuhrer.
   Q.   SS chiefs in Posen, nowadays called Posner, on 4th
        1943.  Unfortunately, once again I do not have the
        German.  I would like to have it and I am hoping to
   A.   It will not be contentious, Mr Rampton.  I will not
        dispute this translation.
   Q.   Have you glanced at it?
   A.   Yes.  It is a very famous speech.  It is referred to
        page 575 of my Hitler's War.  I quote it in full.
   Q.   He says:  "I also want to talk to you quite frankly
        a very grave matter", etc, etc. "We can talk about it
        quite frankly amongst ourselves and yet we will never
        speak of it publicly".  Then he goes on a bit talking
        about an analogous event in the past which is the
Night of
        the Long Knives, it is the SA obliteration, is it not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Then this is the sentence to which I would like to
        your attention: "I am referring to the Jewish
        programme, the extermination of the Jewish people".
        is, you say, a very famous speech.  What words can you
        remember -- I am sorry I have not got the German --
        words can you remember Himmler used when he said what

.          P-87

        see here, "I am referring to the Jewish evacuation
        programme, the extermination of the Jewish people"?
   A.   I shall have to look at the original text, it is
        either Auswotung or Vernichtung -- but it is not a
        material point, because he immediately explains he
   Q.   The point I wish to draw your attention to is this,
        there, Himmler, speaking to SS chiefs, or whatever it
        uses evacuation and extermination synonymously, does
   A.   In that case, yes.
   Q.   It is a jolly good pointer, is it not, Mr Irving, to
        use of such camouflage language habitually within the
        at the very least?
   A.   Yes, it is rather like the Americans talking about
        terminating with extreme prejudice.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think you did agree that "Evakuierung"
        be used and is sometimes used as synonymous with
   A.   It is not always used, but in this case it clearly is.
   MR RAMPTON:  Here is an example one cannot argue with.
   A.   But it would be false to argue automatically the other
   Q.   That as a matter of logic is necessarily right; as a
        matter of history it may not be.  Can we then turn to
        73 of Longerich, please?

.          P-88

   A.   Yes.
   Q.   At the top of the page, now here I have got the texts.
        "On 6th October 1943 Himmler explained to Gau and
        chiefs in Posen: I ask you that that which I say to
you in
        this circle be really only heard ..."
   A.   Which page are we on now?
   Q.   73 of Longerich one.
   A.   I do not think it can be 73.
   Q.   You must have the wrong part of Longerich.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Are you sure it is Longerich one?
   MR RAMPTON:  Longerich is divided into two parts. Yes, you
        the wrong bit; you are looking at the second bit.
   A.   All Longerich is divided into two parts.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Why he divided it into two, I do not
   MR RAMPTON:  Generalities and then particulars, rather like
   A.   OK, yes, it is a totally different volume.  This is,
        course, a different speech now, isn't it?
   Q.   It is two days later.
   A.   That is right, yes.
   Q.   The audience is different as well.
   A.   The Gau- and Reichsleiter.
   Q.   You will find that and I think we should look at it --
        is going to be particularly important when we come to
        Sonthofen in May 1944 -- in bundle H4 (ii).
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We are darting about a bit.  Are we

.          P-89

        73 of Longerich?
   MR RAMPTON:  No, I am just starting 73 of Longerich; I am
        actually getting the document.
   A.   I am not sure you want to read this out, because this
        supports entirely what I have always said, but carry
   Q.   That is very good of you, Mr Irving; I think we
        will.  The document begins -- have you got the
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   It is quite a long speech, something like 49 pages.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   The first page is marked, my Lord, at the bottom
        right-hand corner, FNA (86).
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I have got it.
   MR RAMPTON:  It says: "Rede des Reichsfuhrer SS".  Does
        mean speeches?
   A.   Speeches of the Reichsfuhrer SS to the Reichs- and
        Gauleiters in Posen on 6th October 1943, and speaking
        always as the Reichsfuhrer SS and as a Party comrade
   Q.   The Reichsleiters and Gauleiters -- how senior are
   A.   The Reichsleiters come directly beneath Hitler and
        have the rank of minister.
   Q.   And they have automatic access to Hitler, do they not?
   A.   Subject to what I said a few days ago, that they would
        have to get an invitation before they could go to see

.          P-90

        Hitler.  They could not just knock on the door or ring
   Q.   If you just turn the page, I am sure you are very
        with this.
   A.   If I may just carry on there, Krista Schroeder,
        private secretary, was a witness of the conversation
        between Hitler and Martin Bormann after the flight of
        Rudolf Hess when Martin Bormann took over as chief of
        Party Chancellory, and Bormann said to Hitler, "Mein
        Fuhrer, what instructions do you have", and Hitler's
        response was:  "Only one.  Keep the Gauleiters off my
        back".  In other words, he did not need them any more.
        I think it is a material point of view of the fact
        you are trying to draw attention to the closeness
        Hitler and the Gauleiters.
   Q.   I think you have accepted a closeness between Himmler
   A.   Yes, they visited two or three times a week.
   Q.   Yes, and here is Himmler talking to high-ranking
people in
        the Nazi machine.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   And the Gauleiters are perhaps subordinate or they are
        less high ranking than ----
   A.   Than the party machinery, yes.
   Q.   --- than the Reichsleiters?
   A.   Yes, a bit like the constituency chairman.

.          P-91

   Q.   This is a gathering of high-ranking people?
   A.   Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Gau is a region or an area, is it?
   A.   It is, yes, like a constituency in the Conservative
        these being the chairmen of the local region.  They
        wore Jackboots and carried guns.
   MR RAMPTON:  If you turn to page 17 -- this is taken from a
        microfilm -- I think I am right that the relevant
        or the passage which is translated in Longerich begins
        just in about the middle page opposite the punch hole,
        "ich bitte Sie"?
   A.   "I do ask you to keep secret, to listen to what I am
        saying, just listen and never to speak about it, what
I am
        saying in these circles.  We came up against the
         what about the women and children, and I took the
        decision here too for a clear solution".
   Q.   Carry on.
   A.   "I did not consider myself justified in liquidating
        the men", in other words he says "auszurotten", which
        the word there he uses and then he expands.  He
        because he feels he has to explain what he means by
        "auszurotten".  In other words, "to kill them" or "to
        have them killed".  He himself is pointing out the
        "auszurotten" is not sufficiently clear even in these
        circles; he has to emphasise what he means by it, and
        leave ----

.          P-92

   Q.   Can you carry on just a bit further, please?
   A.   Yes.  It is very complicated German.
   Q.   I know, something about letting the avengers ----
   A.   Exactly, and "to leave alive the children to act as
        avengers against our sons and grandchildren".  In
        words, the idea is that if you leave the next
        the younger generation alive, then they will come back
        haunt you.
   Q.   You have got to exterminate the whole brood.
   A.   Absolutely what he says that.
   Q.   If you leave one mouse then it may have children?
   A.   That is right.  A highly significant speech in many
   Q.   Carry on reading, please, just two more sentences, "es
        musste der schwer Entschluss".
   A.   "There had to be taken", I am putting it like that,
        had to be taken the grave decision to have this people
        disappear from the face of the earth.  For the
        organization which had to carry out this job, it was
        most difficult that we had so far."
   Q.   Yes.  The method of disappearance about which Heinrich
        Himmler, the Reichsfuhrer SS, is speaking in early
        1943 is murder?
   A.   Quite clearly.
   Q.   Quite clearly.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  By what means?

.          P-93

   A.   I am not sure if it is really relevant here, my Lord.
   Q.   Well, answer would you even so?
   A.   I do not think he is talking about means there, but
        obviously by murder.

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