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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day012.07

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day012.07
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   And you transferred the earlier conversation to the later
        conversation as though it took place after Hitler had
        remarked upon the need to kill animals?
   A.   I do not agree.  I did not say this was said on 17th or
        this was said on 16th.  I have put everything into one
        paragraph.  I have not said all this was one conference or
        all this was on the first conference.  I have assigned no  ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do you agree that what Hitler was actually
        talking about on 17th was actually the extermination of
        the Hungarian Jews?
   A.   In what sentence, my Lord?
   Q.   Well, "extermination" meaning killing them?
   A.   I would have to see exactly which sentence you are
        referring to.
   Q.   I am referring to the whole of the quote, including the
        deers and rabbits and "Why preserve or spare these
   A.   Oh, yes, he is talking about not killing them, yes.
   Q.   Not killing them?
   A.   Yes, "There is no need for that".
   Q.   No, I am sorry.  I was asking about the 17th.
   A.   Yes.

.          P-55

   Q.   And asking you whether the words that Hitler, apparently,
        used actually contemplated the killing of the Hungarian Jews?
   A.   He says that how Jews who refused to work are shot, and so
        on, yes, that is killing.  But this is the grizzly logic
        he introduces.  He says, "You can always find excuses to
        kill them if you want to".  And I am not going to argue
        with that, but this falls far short of some overall order
        for the Final Solution, unless your Lordship may feel
        differently, but I think ...
   Q.   No.  I am just asking you what your view as an historian is.
   A.   Not on the basis of that one sentence.  I would hesitate
        to hang such a major conclusion on just one sentence like
        that.  I tend to attach more importance to him saying, "We
        could hardly do that" which tends to go very much more
        strongly in the opposite direction.  Whether it was said
        on one day or the next day, I do not think is of great moment.
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, I would like now to move on to something
        else which, I am afraid, is going to have to be
        Reichskristallnacht.  That is because the Dresden file --
        Dresden is quite complicated chronologically and it is
        very desirable that everybody has the same set of papers
        in the same order.  It is not yet ready.  It will be ready tomorrow.

.          P-56

   A.   My problem with the Dresden file is that a lot of the
        letters that you have included in it are illegible.  It
        may well be the same in his Lordship's file.
   Q.   Yes, I am told that may well be right.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I have not got it.
   MR RAMPTON:  There is not much point including ----
   A.   But if I know that you are going to be dealing with that
        tomorrow, then I will read the microfilm tonight of the
        original letters so that I have boned up on them.
   Q.   Yes, I think that is probably a good idea.  But, my Lord,
        I have another problem which is though I have got a
        Reichskristallnacht file, your Lordship has not yet.  It
        is being copied at the moment.  I would prefer if it were
        possible to wait until it is ready.  It went away to be
        copied this morning.  It should be ready quite soon,
        should it not.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am bound to say I am finding -- I mean,
        I can understand why you want to go to the source
        material, but I am finding it usually possible to follow
        these things in Professor Evans's report.
   MR RAMPTON:  Well, in that case ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I mean, Mr Irving can always say, "Well, you
        know, Professor Evans has got it wrong or he has missed
        something crucial out", but it does not seem to me always
        necessary to go to the original source material.  Is that
        wrong?  Do you disagree with that?

.          P-57

   MR RAMPTON:  I agree with it when it is right and I disagree
        when it is wrong.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That sounds reasonable.  Is it often wrong
   MR RAMPTON:  I do think the Reichskristallnacht documents are
        important.  I am not talking about postwar testimony or
        anything like that, selective interviewing or whatever.
        I am talking about the contemporaneous documents.  They
        provide a circumstantial base -- quite a lot of it not
        even mentioned in Mr Irving's Goebbels' book -- for
        proposing that it is more or less certain that, contrary
        to what Mr Irving contends, Hitler knew perfectly well
        what was going on and probably authorized it.
                  That being so, I am afraid I think it is
        probably helpful, at the very least, to have the file.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  The logic is that we all go away until the
        photocopying has been done which I am a bit reluctant to do.
   MR RAMPTON:  I know, but, on the other hand ----
   A.   I do consider the original documents are of importance in
        some cases.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, in some case that may be, but as a general ----
   A.   Because I work from original documents in preference
        to  ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, I know you do and I respect that, but,

.          P-58

        as general rule, one can manage very well with the
        quotations that one finds in Professor Evans.  I am sure
        there are odd instances where you need to go to the source
   A.   I think Professor Evans' report is highly tendentious and
        I am very loath to rely too much on it.
   MR RAMPTON:  In this particular case, we say because it is not
        ready, we say nostra culpa, nostra maxima culpa, if it be
        needed.  It is our fault, it should have been, but I think
        in the end, if I may say so, it will save time because
        what is going to happen, I know, and quite naturally, I am
        going to refer to something in Evans and Mr Irving is
        going to say, "Well, I am sorry, I do not accept that, we
        have got to look at the document"?
   A.   Almost certainly.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  When is it going to be ready?
   MR RAMPTON:  It will certainly be ready -- someone has just
        gone to phone to check.  Can we take five or 10 minutes to
        find out what is happening and I will come back into court
        and report to your Lordship.  I do apologise.  I mean, we
        should have had it ready.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  If we cannot do Dresden and we cannot do
        Reichskristallnacht, is there anything else we can do?
   MR RAMPTON:  Well, there is nothing much of any interest left,
        apart from Hitler's trial in 1924.  That is very easy.  I
        can ask one more question in relation to early Hitler

.          P-59

        which if I get the answer "yes" puts that in the cupboard.
        (To the witness):  Mr Irving, do you accept from his own
        written and recorded words that Hitler was deeply
        anti-Semitic from, at any rate, the end of the First World War?
   A.   Yes -- until he came to power.
   Q.   Yes.  Do you also agree that anti-Semitism in one form or
        another was one of the foundations of the Nazi, the
        NSDAP's, what shall we call it, political platform?
   A.   Yes, indeed.
   Q.   My Lord ----
   A.   That was one of the 24 points.
   Q.   My Lord, that gets that out of the way.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Does that get rid of Hitler's trial in 1924
        altogether, as it were?
   MR RAMPTON:  No, it does not.
   A.   I am accused of having distorted again.
   Q.   I am sorry?
   A.   I am accused of having distorted again, am I not?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, looting the shop?
   A.   No, the choice of witnesses, that I should have known,
        I should have known more about the witness that I rely on.
   MR RAMPTON:  Tell me, when you relied on the witness Hofmann?
   A.   Hofmann, yes.
   Q.   Did you know that he was a long standing Nazi mate of

.          P-60

   A.   No.
   Q.   Did you not?
   A.   I would not use those words, but I knew nothing at all
        about his background.  That was not before the court.
   Q.   You did not know anything about him; you just quoted him,
        did you?
   A.   You have heard what I said, Mr Rampton.  I knew nothing
        about Hofmann's background that was not before the court.
        I read the entire court transcript, which was many
        thousands of pages, which was adequate for writing a
        biography of Hermann Goring.
   Q.   And you did not know that Hofmann actually participated in
        the Putsch of the 8th and 9th November 1923?
   A.   Not from the transcript parts that I have read, no.
   Q.   And you did not notice the judge saying to Hofmann, "It is
        nice testimony that you are speaking out on behalf of your
   A.   Those are not the words he used.  Would you like to quote
        the actual German to us?
   Q.  "Es ist ein schones Zeichen von Ihnen, wenn Sie zu Gunsten
        Ihres Fuhrers aussagen".
   A.   "It is very good of you to speak on behalf of your Fuhrer,
        on behalf of your leader", yes.
   Q.   Yes.  It was obvious, was it not, that Hofmann was likely
        to be a tainted witness?
   A.   Tainted?  It is possible, but he was giving evidence on

.          P-61

        oath, and I can only say that what was before the court
        was what was before me.
   Q.   Have you got Professor Evans's, what is it called, report
   A.   Have I got what?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Professor Evans' report?  Yes, you have.
   A.   Of course, I am writing a biography of Hermann Goring and
        I am not writing a book about the Putsch.  You appreciate
        that, do you not?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, but, Mr Irving, you are an historian and
        historian when, for needs of reference or whatever else,
        when they make reference to some event in the past, they
        can generally be expected by their readers to have some
        regard for accuracy, authenticity and so on, can they not?
   A.   Let me give you the impression of how much attention I pay
        to accuracy.  In order to write that one or two sentence
        passage about Hofmann and the looting of the delicatessen,
        I read 6,000 pages of transcript of the trial of Adolf
        Hitler and others.
   Q.   In Goring, page 59 -- I have not got it with me, but this
        is quoted on page, my Lord, 225 of Evans, at the bottom of
        the page, you wrote this:  "Meanwhile, Hitler acted to
        maintain order.  Learning that one Nazi squad had
        ransacked a kosher grocery store during the night, he sent
        for the ex-army lieutenant who had led the raid.  'We took
        off our Nazi insignia first!' expostulated the officer -

.          P-62

        to no avail, as Hitler dismissed him from the party on the
        spot.  'I shall see that no other nationalist unit allows
        you to join either!'"  That is Hitler, apparently.
         "Goring goggled at this exchange, as did a police
        sergeant who testified to it at the Hitler trial a few
        weeks later"?
   A.   That was Hofmann, yes.
   Q.   That was Hofmann?
   A.   Yes.  The whole episode is based on Hofmann.
   Q.  "Goring goggled at this exchange"?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   How do you know Goring was there?
   A.   Have you ever heard of author's licence?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Author's licence or ----
   A.   Are you criticising "Goring goggling" or being there?
   Q.   I am asking both questions, I think, am I not, Mr Irving?
        Do you know that Goring was there?
   A.   Yes.  It is -- he was there because it is evident from the
        timetable of Einsatnacht(?) that he was there.
   Q.   And how do you know that Goring goggled?
   A.   That was author's licence.
   Q.   You mean it was an invention?
   A.   Yes.

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