The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.14

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.14
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   The very next page it is wrong again?
   A.   Yes.

.          P-124

   Q.   That suggests, does it not, that these pages are for
        final version of the transcript, if that is what this
        done, as it were, at different times, some have the
        date, some have the wrong date.  Is it not odd, Mr
        if they are transcripts rather than drafts, that they
        different dates on them originally?
   A.   Well, I have employed secretaries and you have
        too and dates are frequently things that are wrongly
   Q.   So the fact that one page or another has a date
        and another does not, the fact that some pages are in
        different typefaces, tells us nothing except that
        different people did different pages?
   A.   That is a possible interpretation, yes, but, of
course, it
        is precisely these pages that these phenomena occur.
   Q.   Yes.  Well, it goes on -- my copy does not,
         -- the key page in this document is 31, four pages
        the extract that we have got.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   And the passage in question is at the bottom of that
        is it not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   I am going to read from Longerich's translation?
   A.   These are three pages where the pagination has been
   Q.   No.  It is amended on this page, but not on the next

.          P-125

        succeeding page.  Do you see?  The pagination has but
        the date?
   A.   Yes, the pagination.
   Q.   Pagination has but not the date?
   A.   Well, it might be a clue as to when the retyping was
        done.  She may have been retyping it the next day for
        reason and the way you do when you are writing cheques
        out, you get the date wrong at the beginning of a
   Q.   That is right.  The dating on this page that we are
        looking at has been altered in manuscript in exactly
        same way as the preceding three pages that we have,
        been and they are the first three pages of the speech,
        they not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   So that suggests, no more than suggests, in fact, ever
        faintly suggests, a chronological integrity?
   A.   It suggests to me that whoever has retyped these pages
        so on 25th and hen realized her error when she looked
        the dates and then changed 25th to 24th.
   Q.   Look at the last page.
   A.   I am not sure that it is important.
   Q.   Well, I think it is.  Look on to the last page we
        page 33.  Both the date and the page have been
        have they not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Now look at the page in question, which is the fourth

.          P-126

        we have?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   The last paragraph, and I am going to read from
        Dr Longerich's translation?
   A.   Is this page 32 or 31?
   Q.   31, sorry.  "Another question which was decisive", I
        reading from the beginning of the last paragraph of
        German, "for the inner insecurity of the Reich in
        was the Jewish question.  It was uncompromisingly
        after orders and rational recognition"?
   A.   "On orders", I would say.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It should be in the singular.
   A.   Well, "Rachsmehfahr" (?) would be "on orders", my
   MR RAMPTON:  "On orders" or "in accordance with orders"?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Following in the sense of "in obedience to"?
   A.   "In accordance with".
   Q.   Yes.  Again, the same point, is it not, Himmler does
        take orders from anybody but Hitler, does he?
   A.   His men do.  The men who carried out the orders were
        taking orders from somebody, namely from him.
   Q.   I see.  You are suggesting that this is a reference by
        Himmler ----
   A.   It is.
   Q.   --- to the orders which he gave to his subordinates?
   A.   It is ambiguous.  It is totally ambiguous, Mr Rampton,

.          P-127

        this particular passage.  It could be him referring to
        orders he had received or orders that his men had
   Q.   In that case, there would be no reason, would there,
        this page to be altered in case Hitler should see it
        blow up?
   A.   Yes, we are in no man's land here.
   Q.   I will read on because it is, perhaps you may agree, a
        rather significant document:  "I believe, gentlemen,
        you know me well know enough to know that I am not a
        bloodthirsty person I am not a man who takes pleasure
        joy when something rough must be done.  However, on
        other hand, I have such good nerves and such a
        sense of duty I could say that much for myself."
         "Developed sense of duty" is the words Grosses flicht
        flift berwusstein".
   A.   Yes, conscious of his duty.  "Berwusstein" is
   Q.   "When I recognize something as necessary, I can
        it without compromise.  I have not considered myself
        entitled, this concerns especially the Jewish women
        children, to allow the children to grow into the
        who will then murder our fathers and our
        That would have been cowardly.  Consequently, the
        was uncompromisingly resolved".
   A.   This is the Himmler gramophone record.  He keeps on

.          P-128

        it in speeches at this time.  This is the only
        and the one previously where he hints at an order.
        Normally, he swallows it, so to speak, he bites his
   Q.   There we have two speeches, subject to your point
        what I call your speculation about the reason why the
        pages change or the typeface changes.  Then we have
        speeches which say unequivocally really, especially if
        put them together, that the mass murder of the Jews,
        women and the children, was done by Himmler on
        orders, do you not?  That is what they say on their
   A.   No.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  When you say two orders you mean the 4th
        or whenever it was?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, 5th May.  If you put them together ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  And 24th May?
   A.   24th May.
   MR RAMPTON:  --- what he is clearly saying, and I am
        paraphrasing, but this is the interpretation which any
        right minded person would give to these documents on
        face, Himmler is telling the Generals, as if they did
        already know, "We have murdered all these people.  It
        a hard task, but we have done it.  We have been
        and we did it on the orders of the Fuhrer"?
   A.   We have to look at the entire body of these speeches,
        Mr Rampton, and say why is it that he hints at on
order in

.          P-129

        these two speeches, if we ignore the discrepancy in
        pagination and so on at moment, but in none of the
        speeches?  It is almost as though he had run his mouth
        here.  He is not speaking from a prepared script.
                  It was a very common trick in Nazi Germany,
        in all dictatorships, to imply that you are doing
        something on the highest orders, "So you had better
        question what I am up to, fellows", and I think it was
        entirely proper, the use that I made of this in my
book on
        pages 630 and 631, looking at the original edition,
        I felt it entirely proper to refer in a two-and-a-half
        line footnote to the fact that there is some reason to
        note that the two pages concerned in both speeches,
        appear to have been retyped on a different occasion,
        we say.
   Q.   Well, that is can be said of a whole lot of pages in
        set which I have only got them all there, I have only
        about six pages?
   A.   Mr Rampton, not in any of the other speeches, only in
        these speeches and these sections.
   Q.   Maybe they were important speeches, I do not know.
   A.   The difference between me and Mr Browning and the
        experts is that I sat with the original papers in my
        looking at the quality, the texture of the paper,
        it was a carbon copy or a ribbon copy, and so on.
   Q.   We explored that.  I did say on their face they appear

.          P-130

        be a reference to orders from Hitler to do that which
        been done by the time these speeches were made, do
   A.   This is precisely why I quoted both speeches in full,
        those passages on pages 630 and 631 of my biography,
        readers could draw their own conclusions.
   Q.   That impression which one might take away from reading
        those two speeches is unsurprising, is it not, if one
        looks at what Himmler wrote to Berger on 28th July
        My Lord, we have looked at this document before.
   A.   "This is a task which the Fuhrer has given us and
which no
        one can take off my shoulders", is it not?
   Q.  "Die besezten auf gebeten Judenfrage" -- "The occupied
        Eastern territories must be Jew-free"?
   A.   "Will become free of Jews".
   Q.   "Will become Jew-free", "free of Jews".  "The carrying
        of this very hard order has been placed on my
shoulders by
        the Fuhrer".  That is right?  That is what the German
   A.   Absolutely right.
   Q.   You know it off by heart.  Yes?  If that is the truth
        I do not know who Gottlog Berger was, he is said to be
        senior SS person -- in 1942, two things follow.  It is
        the very least bit surprising to find a reference back
        that in the speeches in May 1944; second, if it is
        Hitler would not be the least bit surprised to find

.          P-131

        references in the transcripts of those speeches, would
   A.   I think the July 28th 1942 letter which we have looked
        in some detail is quite clearly proof that Adolf
        ordered the physical, geographical eviction of the
        from those territories.  I think this is the one way
        they are talking about "Etappenweise von westen nach
        osten".  "Stage by stage from West to East".
   Q.   I cannot remember and I have not got it open, but if
        want me to look at it, I certainly will do.
   A.   It would be perverse to go two years forward in time
        say when Himmler is talking about the order which has
        carried out to say this is clearly a reference to what
        happened in July 1942.  It may be, it may not.
   Q.   I do not want to go over old ground, Mr Irving, but I
        not believe that to be right, with respect.  If you
        us as you have done recently -- I cannot remember
        it was yesterday or the day before -- that Hitler
        knew about the mass shootings in the East, if it be
        as it seems to be, that mass killings in the General
        Government took place by gas trucks, at any rate to
        extent, and then by some, I think your words are, more
        efficient means thereafter, then all those people that
        went from Polish towns to these little villages were
   A.   Clearly, they were not all killed because those that
        to Treblinka subsequently surfaced again in Mydonek

.          P-132

        the Russians found ----
   Q.   We will chase that up.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Leave that on one side.
   MR RAMPTON:  Leave that on one side but, broadly speaking,
        is the picture, is it not?  Why on earth should we
        interpret this Berger letter from Himmler as being a
        reference to merely, sort of, vanishing them?  It is
        obviously a reference to what has been going on, the
        process that had started in 1941 and is in full swing
        these Reinhard camps in July 1942.
   A.   Well, if that is the weight of your evidence, I do not
        think you have very much, Mr Rampton.  If you are trying
        to read between the lines the whole time instead of
        looking -- we have a huge volume of documentation.  We
        have had 55 years to find something more specific than
        that.  It has not been found, but what we do find is even
        after these two speeches, any number of references to
        Adolf Hitler meting Himmler where Himmler is still talking
        in euphemisms, talking about "aus siedlung" of the Jews,
        for example, in the summer of 1944; and how do we explain
        that Himmler is still having to use euphemisms when he is
        talking to Hitler, writing his own agenda about it, his
        own notes about it as late as the summer of 1944?

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