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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.18

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.18
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   MR RAMPTON:  We are going to start with the paragraph in the
        middle of the page:  "Early in March 1942".  Do you have
        that, Mr Irving?  I will wait until you have it.

.          P-161

   A.   I am looking at the wrong volume.
   Q.   Did you not have your own book copy, as it were?
   A.   This is the first edition.  I am the only person in this
        courtroom who has not got a copy of my second edition.
   Q.   You must get one.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  How does one tell the date of this document?
   MR RAMPTON:  Well, this is ----
   A.   Internal.
   MR RAMPTON:  --- one of the interesting questions.  It is one
        of the reasons, my Lord, why one cannot ----
   A.   Internal evidence, my Lord.
   MR RAMPTON:  --- we submit make any certain categorical
        assertions about what it means, the interpretation and
        conclusions to be drawn from it.  But that is what I
        going to do sooner or later.
   A.   Yes, I have it now.
   Q.   Probably later.  All right.  Early in March 1942, in
        the date was, I think, 6th March, was it not?
   A.   That is correct.
   Q.   We have the document.  We are going to look at it
        the line, Mr Irving. "Heydrich held a second
        inter ministerial conference to examine the awkward
        problem posed by half and quarter Jews.  If allowed to
        remain, they might perhaps be sterilized.  A 'top
        opinion - i.e. Hitler's - was quoted to the effect
        they must draw a sharp distinction between Jews and

.          P-162

        non-Jews, as it would not be acceptable for a mini-
race of
        semi-Jews to be perpetuated in law.  But this
        classification process would call for a colossal
        administrative effort, so the idea was shelved.  A
        subsequent memorandum in Reich Justice Ministry files
        cited this highly significant statement by Hans
        head of the Reich Chancellery: 'The Fuhrer has
        stated that he wants the solution of the Jewish
        postponed until after the war is over'".  Then I do
        think one needs both with the next sentence, do you
        Mr Irving?
   A.   No.
   Q.   Now we turn, if may, to the introduction on page 18.
        make a reference in the middle of page 18 to the Night
        Broken Glass and say something about "On orders from
        very highest level".  That is something, the Night of
        Broken Glass, we will have to deal with, I am afraid,
        the future.  You write:  "Every over historian has
        his eyes and hoped that this horrid, inconvenient
        would somehow go away"?
   A.   That is a different context.
   Q.   No, no, of course it is, but I am reading it for
         "But it has been joined by others", that is to say,
        horrid inconvenient documents that will not go away,
        the extraordinary note dictated by Staatssekretar
        Schlegelberger in the Reich Ministry of Justice in the

.          P-163

        spring of 1942:  'Reich Minister Lammers', this
        referring to Hitler's top civil servant, 'informed me
        the Fuhrer has repeatedly pronounced that he wants the
        solution of the Jewish Question put off until after
        war is over'."
                  Can I just pause there?  You notice there is
        slide in the tense that you use there (which is what
we in
        English call the perfect tense) to what we see in your
        translation on the web site where you use the
   A.   Well, I would not have bothered to look at the
        translation each item.  I would have just retranslated
        document each time I wanted to use it.
   Q.   What I want to know is which is correct, having regard
        the original German?  There is a difference, is there
        "the Fuhrer has repeatedly" and "the Fuhrer had
        repeatedly", unless we are talking about reported
   A.   We are in trouble, Mr Rampton.  It is the notorious
        subjunctive again.
   Q.   We are in trouble?
   A.   We are in trouble.  We had problems with the
        before, and with the subjunctive it is not quite so
        to work out what is perfect tense and what is
   Q.   No, that is why I am asking you for help.  I am asking
        which of your alternative translations (and they are
        different) you think is correct.

.          P-164

   A.   Well, "Reich Minister Lammers informed me that the
        had told him repeatedly" or that "the Fuhrer has told
        repeatedly".  [German].  It is the subjunctive and we
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  But it is present subjunctive, not past
        subjunctive, is it not?
   A.   I bow to your Lordship's wisdom.
   Q.   No, you tell me because I am not as good at German as
   A.   It can be translated adequately either way, my Lord,
        without any malice in a particular direction, unless
        Mr Rampton wants to make a particular thing of it.
   MR RAMPTON:  No, I do not want to make a particular thing
        it.  You see, my problem with this document is that --
        I am not an historian; I am not trying to prove
        here in relation to history -- it is not an easy
   A.   It is not an easy document for your friends, no.
   Q.   It does not deserve -- what?
   A.   It is not an easy document for your friends at all,
        I agree.
   Q.   No, no, it is not an easy document for any open-minded
        historian to deal with.  It has no date.  There is a
        about the tense.  We have seen that already.
        Evans' report tells us -- it may be wrong -- that even
        way in which it is filed does not give us much clue to

.          P-165

   A.   He may not have seen the staff evidence analysis sheet
        which I saw back in 1970, but then again I do not
think he
        has done the work that I have.
   Q.   Do you understand what I am saying?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   If the German translation is difficult because it is
        clear -- we will have to get Dr Longerich to tell us
        this in due course -- but if the German is difficult
        translation and it is uncertain whether it is a
perfect or
        a pluperfect that is being used, that is quite an
        important question for an historian because if it is
        pluperfect that is being used, then it may very well
        that all Lammers is saying is that he remembers, as we
        know, that in the early years of the war Hitler had
        saying, "We will put this off to the end of the war
        then we will send them all to Madagascar".  Do you
   A.   Yes.  That would be one escape route if it was
        but I think it would be the most perverse possible
        translation or interpretation of this document.
   Q.   It is just a little point along the historian's road
        he is trying to reach a tentative conclusion about
        this document is to be placed in time and in topic
        therefore, what its significance is?
   A.   Being "placed in time", do you mean when it was

.          P-166

        composed or what period it is referring to?
   Q.   (A) when it was composed; (B) what period it is
        to, and (C) what topic it is dealing with when it uses
        words "die Losung der Judenfrage"?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   You have, if I may say so, taken a big jump into space
        declared, in effect, on numerous occasions that it is
        evidence of Hitler's determination in March 1942 or
        1942 that the Jewish Solution or the Solution of the
        Jewish Question should be put off until the end of the
        war, have you not?
   A.   Put on the back burner, yes.  Let me put it this way
        round.  If the document had said not what it does say,
        if the document had said, "The Fuhrer has repeatedly
        declared that he wants the Jewish Problem solved
        immediately in the most radical possible means", there
        not an historian in this room who would say, "Well, it
        quite clearly refers to the Final Solution in the
        sense of killing", but because it says Hitler saying,
         "Let's put it on the back burner", everybody starts
        getting into a fuss and saying, "Oh, dear, what does
        mean?  When was it written?"
   Q.   I agree.
   A.   I appreciate problems it causes for you.
   Q.   I agree, if the document were dated to, let us say,
        sometime in the early 1941, and that is what it said,

.          P-167

        it were dated early 1941 and that is what it said,
        of course, historians would be excited about it?
   A.   But, Mr Rampton, you will notice that at the top left-
        corner of the document there are serial numbers that
        been stamped 01/111 and so on, and we are in the
        position of knowing what the other documents in that
        were and what date they were, so what it was filed
        which is a very reasonable indication of approximately
        what week and month it was generated.
   Q.   If you take the trouble to read Professor Evans'
report at
        any rate before you cross-examine ----
   A.   Well, he, apparently, knows a great deal less about
        than I do.
   Q.   Please, Mr Irving.  Calm down and let me finish my
        question.  You will find all of this laid out with
        care and detail (which I am certainly not going to go
        through now) ----
   A.   Has he mentioned the staff evidence analysis sheets?
I do
        not think so.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Rampton, does it simplify matters if I
        I am prepared to accept that there is good internal
        evidence that it is March or thereabouts 1942?
   MR RAMPTON:  No, I really think that would be unsafe.
There is
        some internal evidence.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  All right.  Just assume that, but really
        it may become a question of what the Judenfrage was?

.          P-168

   A.   I agree.  But even that I am not ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am not clear, sorry, you are getting it
        from every direction.
   MR RAMPTON:  I am sorry.  Your Lordship was interrupted by
        I call harassment from my right.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can I harass you and just ask you, where
        one find the material on which Professor Evans bases
        proposition, namely that the Jewish question that is
        discussed is the problem of half-Jews, as I think they
        were called?
   MR RAMPTON:  This is one of the things that one can see if
        goes back to page 464 as a starting point in Mr
        book, he himself draws attention to that.
   A.   Oh, yes.  What was at that time actuel was the
question of
        who is a Jew, which I think they still cannot decide
   Q.   Your Lordship can see the first part of the main
        in the middle of page 464 makes reference to this what
        called the "Mischling" question.  It says, quite
        correctly, that Heydrich held a second conference all
        about that on 6th -- it does not give the date, but
        date is 6th March.  You will find that, my Lord, on
        375.  It may be one should start earlier, but this is
        long and detailed part of Professor Evans' report and
I do
        not believe that it is going to help anybody if I read
        great chunks from it at the moment.

.          P-169

   A.   But is it not a reasonable inference that this
        therefore, came after that conference?
   Q.   It is certainly one of the available inferences and it
        one which Professor Evans himself has said in his
        that he thinks is the likeliest?
   A.   So we have wasted an awful lot of the court's time ---
   Q.   No, we have not, Mr Irving, because there are problems
        with that interpretation, and this is my whole point.
        will not face up to the problems of the documents
        you embrace so enthusiastically.  You will just have
to be
        patient until I tell you what I believe the problems
                  My Lord, I wonder if your Lordship might
        from paragraph 7 on page 374 and going down to
paragraph 9
        on page 376?  We have the source documents here.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  To the end of 9?
   MR RAMPTON:  Sorry, my Lord, end of 9, yes, if your
        pleases, yes.  That will do fine.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I had read that before.  That is what I would
        be interested to know what Mr Irving says about that.

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