The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day007.03

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day007.03
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   Whether or not Hans Ficher is talking about this meeting
        one does not know because one has not got the full text,
        but assume that he is, then what he said was: From the
        invitation, whatever that means, it was evident that
        evacuation or sterilization were on the agenda.  What was
.          P-18

        discussed at that meeting was to how to deal with the
        mischlinge and their parents the mischehen, and the
        question arose should they be sterilized, should they be
        evacuated, should they be allowed to stay where they are?
        That is what was discussed, was it not?
   A.   Well we have of course two different versions of the same
        meeting.  We have several different versions of the same
        meeting.  We have the wartime minute taken by the one that
        you referred to us from the Foreign  Ministry files, which
        of course was before me, but we also have the other
        sources of that meeting.
   Q.   Mr Irving, the document that you referred to and relied on
        in the account that you gave in your book Goebbels is this
   A.   I specifically refer also to these interrogations of
        Ficher and Bohle and the rest in this paragraph.
   Q.   Do not move the goal posts please, Mr Irving.  It is no
        good talking about some other memorandum.  This is the
        memorandum which you footnoted in Goebbels, is it not?
   A.   These gentlemen are clearly referring to this conference
        in their interrogations because they say it was at the
        headquarters of Heydrich, which pins it down as being this
        conference where the talk is about Jews being supplied
        like cattle.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You are missing, I think, Mr Rampton's point
        on this, and I do not think we want to spend very long on

.          P-19

        it.  It is that the evacuation and sterilisation that were
        on the agenda may have been the evacuation or
        sterilisation of mischlinge?
   A.   It may be.
   MR RAMPTON:  You do not tell your readers that, do you? You do
        not tell your readers that the discussion at this
        conference was confined to the fate of the mischlinge and
        the mischehen.
   A.   I am sure that Professor Evans would have spent eight
        pages on this one detail, but I am writing a book which
        has to be kept into the confines of one bound volume.
   Q.   Unless you will answer my questions, we are going to have
        a bad day.  Will you answer my question?  You do not tell
        the readers that the discussion at this conference was
        confined to the fate of the mischlinge and mischehen, do
   A.   Will you allow me to read again what I have written?
   Q.   Yes, indeed.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do not take long because really the answer to
        that question must be yes, that you are conveying to the
        reader that it is the whole question that is being
        postponed until the end of the war?
   A.   I think, My Lord, that I have stated on several occasions
        in the Goebbels' book, and your Lordship will remember the
        case of Gottschalt having caused Hitler particular agony,
        in my submission; that I have repeatedly referred to the

.          P-20

        fact, to the question of the mixed marriages and mixed
        races was a thorn in the side of the Nazis because they
        did not know how to treat them, which side of the line to
        put them.
                  I cannot keep on, in a book which is for
        publication, coming back and reminding readers of things
        that the intelligent reader will be carrying in his brain
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, Mr Rampton was asking you about the
        passage at page 388, I think.
   MR RAMPTON:  I was, yes.
   A.   Well, I think that the lines, about 10 lines down, where
        Goebbels is quoted as saying:  "For the time being that it
        be concentrated in the East, undoubtedly, there will be a
        multitude of personal tragedies, but this is
        unavoidable".  We then go straight on to talk about the
        March 6th conference.
                  I am making it in a way that a responsible
        writer should.  I did not want to put the whole contents
        of this 10 page memorandum into a book at this point.
        That would have been acres of sludge again.
   MR RAMPTON:  Mr Irving, I am going to put it once more and
        I cannot go on making speeches through questions which are
        never answered.  The fact is you that you led the reader
        in this passage to believe that what was discussed at the
        conference on 6th March was the fate of the Jews

.          P-21

        generally, that that then went to Hitler, via Lammers, and
        Hitler made a ruling that the fate of the Jews generally
        was not to be considered or discussed at that time.  That
        is a total distortion of the evidence which you had before
        you when you wrote that.
   A.   I totally disagree with you, Mr Rampton.  The evidence of
        Bohle, that there was talk there of delivering the Jews to
        the East like so many head of cattle, that is no longer
        talking about the mixed marriage problem.  They are
        talking about the overall Holocaust in the way that I have
        accepted it can be defined and perceived.
   Q.   If you can find in this memorandum which you have cited in
        your book reference to the general question, please show
        it to us, otherwise that is my last question.
   A.   Mr Rampton, I have referred to the fact that I do not just
        rely on one document.  I do not jump from mountain peek to
        mountain peek.  I look at all the surrounding hills as
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  There we are.  That is the Schlegelberger
   MR RAMPTON:  I think, my Lord, that will do.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Thank you very much.
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, I was not intending to embark on anything
        new at the moment.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think the plan is we have your witness so
        he is not kept waiting.

.          P-22

   MR RAMPTON:  As Professor Cameron Watt is here, he had
        give evidence.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is what I think so, Mr Irving, if
        would like to revert to your role as counsel?
                  < (The witness stood down)
   MR IRVING:  Can Professor Cameron Watt be called?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, of course.
                  < PROFESSOR CAMERON WATT, sworn.
                    < Examined by MR IRVING.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Professor Watt, would you be more
        sitting down?  You are welcome to sit down.
   MR IRVING:  I was going to make precisely the same
        my Lord.  (To the witness):  Professor Watt, thank you
        very much for coming today.  You are appearing, of
        under a witness summons.  I want to make that quite
        to the court and you are not appearing voluntarily, so
        odium can attach to you for coming and being called
        the defence, for my defence, in other words, for the
        Plaintiff in this action.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Shall we introduce Professor Watt and ask
        about his background?
   MR IRVING:  Yes.  Professor Watt, your name is Donald
   A.   It is.
   Q.   You are Emeritus Professor of International History at
        London School of Economics and Political Science?

.          P-23

   A.   Yes.
   Q.   How long were you teaching at the London School of
   A.   From 1954 to 1993.  39 years altogether.
   Q.   39 years a Professor of History at the London School
   A.   I did not have the rank of Professor until 1971, but I
        on the staff.
   Q.   You enjoy the reputation of being something of a grand
        gentleman, a doyen, of the historical profession in
   A.   I think it is very difficult for an individual to say
        their reputation is in the minds of other people.
        I certainly can only say that I have held a number of
        senior positions in international organizations
devoted to
        historical research.
   Q.   Thank you.  You describe yourself as an historian,
        and broadcaster.  You are all three things?
   A.   These are the various sources of my income, yes.
   Q.   You were educated at Rugby and at Oriel College in
        is that correct?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   You served in the Army in the Intelligence Corp.?
   A.   I did.
   Q.   And that you were with the British troops in Austria
        the occupation forces after World War II?

.          P-24

   A.   From 1947 to '48, yes.
   Q.    1947 to '48.  Would you tell the court, Professor
        what you were engaged with in the years following your
        Army service?
   A.   Following my Army service, I had three years reading
        politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford because
        that way could you deal with 20th century history at
        time; and I indulged myself in the usual activities of
        undergraduate.  That is to say, I wrote, I played
opera, I
        ran the Poetry Society -- I had a number of activities
        that kind.
   Q.   And you became a member of the Foreign Office Research
   A.   I was attached to it, yes -- I do not think I was ever
        full member -- from 1951 to 1954, and then again on a
        part-time basis from 1957 to 1960.
   Q.   Yes.  Interesting.  So you are quite familiar in a way
        with the kinds of documents, Foreign Office,
        documents, that we have been looking at in this court
        morning, for example.  The ones with the serial
        the six digit serial numbers stamped on the bottom?
   A.   The ones with the serial numbers are the ones -- those
        serial numbers are the way we recorded them on our
        cards.  They represent the serial number of the
        film and the frame number of the particular page.
   Q.   The British, in fact, captured all the German Foreign

.          P-25

        Office records?
   A.   They fell into the hands mainly of the British and
        Americans, were collected in Berlin and were
        The whole project for editing them and publishing them
        evacuated from Berlin at the time of the Berlin
   Q.   Did they go to a place called Waddon Hall?
   A.   Waddon Hall near Bletchley, yes.
   Q.   Near Bletchley, near the code breaking establishment?
   A.   Yes.  We had no relationship with them at all.
   Q.   Nobody knew about them?
   A.   Well, we knew they were there.  There wee too many of
        to be concealed and some of them played their part in
        ordinary social activities, but what they were
        doing, no, we did not know.
   Q.   Would you give the court, in most general terms, one
        two lines, a picture of the scale and scope of the
        captured German documentation?  Was it small or large?
   A.   Well, at Waddon itself, we had 400 tonnes ----
   Q.   400 tonnes?
   A.   --- of documents covering the records of the German
        Foreign Ministry and of its Prussian predecessor from
        onwards.  We also had access to those files of the
        Navy, the Reichsmarines, had fallen into British hands
        Blenzburg and we had an odd collection of documents
        the Nazi leaders, from the offices of the adjutantur
        the Fuhrer, for example ----

.          P-26

   Q.   Hitler's Adjutants?
   A.   --- and a number of private, collections of private
        that were found with the Foreign Ministry archives.
   Q.   Interrupting here at this moment, Professor Watt.  Can
        just ask you, when did we last meet -- 30 years ago?
   A.   30 years ago, I think it was, yes.
   Q.   Have we had any discussion about what you are going to
        saying today beyond just the invitation and my saying
        it would just be very painful and very short?
   A.   No.
   Q.   I have not rehearsed you in any way as to what to say?
   A.   No.

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.