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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day012.14

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day012.14
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   MR RAMPTON:  If it be that it was this document which is before
        you that you were purporting to describe in the last
        paragraph on page 276 of Goebbels, it is right, is it not,
        that what you have written in Goebbels is a total
        misdescription of the contents of the telex?
   A.   That is ridiculous hypothesis.  You are comparing one
        document with another.  Professor Evans, if he had done
        his job properly, should have said document No. 3052 is in
        fact a letter from Adolf von Schirott to somebody else and
        totally unrelated to this issue.  But he has not.  He has
        just advanced the bald statement that I got the number
        wrong, when quite clearly the number is different and the
        content is different.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  And the time is different.
   A.   And the time is different.
   MR RAMPTON:  I am sorry, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  The time is different.  This is 1.20 whereas
        the -- no, it is not timed actually.
   MR RAMPTON:  No, it is not timed.  The timing actually fits

.          P-119

        because the text of Goebbels says:  "The Four Seasons was
        set on fire around 1.00.  Heydrich", etc. etc., then he
        went upstairs and then he sent his telegram ----
   A.   He could not have done all that in 20 minutes for a start.
   Q.   --- and bingo 1.20.
   A.   He certainly could not have done all that in 20 minutes,
        but we are arguing in the dark here until I can bring the
        actual document.
   Q.   We should, Mr Irving.  I will chase it up and if you would
        be so good you too, but you may not care to.  If this is a
        wrong assumption and there is a Heydrich telex which says
        what you say it says, then, as I say, I shall climb down.
   A.   Eat humble pie.
   Q.   No, I shall simply climb down.  I shall apologise.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Let us wait and see what happens, see who is
        going to eat what.  Mr Rampton, I really do think that if
        there are perhaps eight important documents on the
        sequence of events that night, the night of 9th, I must
        have translations.  It is just not good enough to hand in
        a whole lot of German documents and expect me to make
        sense of it all.  I probably could but it would take weeks.
   MR RAMPTON:  Some of them are summarised or translated or
        partly translated.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, but then I have to dart around trying to
        find whereabouts that is summarized.

.          P-120

   A.   My Lord, we can share the burden.  I will translate half
        tonight and they can perhaps translate half.
   MR RAMPTON:  I agree with your Lordship.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I do not mind who does it.
   MR RAMPTON:  Those that are important, as most of them are, we
        shall have translated.
   MR RAMPTON:  But not, I hope, now because it would take too
        long.  "The hotel management", you go on at page 276 of
        Goebbels, "telephoned Hitler's apartment at Prinz-Regenten
        Platz, and thus he too learned that something was going
        on.  He sent for the local police chief, Friedrich von
        Eberstein.  Eberstein found him livid with rage."
                  What is that actually based on, Mr Irving?
   A.   Two or three sources.  I secured the confidence of the
        personal Adjutants on Hitler's staff who lived in the
        apartment directly below him in Prinz-Regenten Platz.
        They actually received the telephone call from the hotel
        there and they went up to Hitler's headquarters to warn
        him that something was happening and that they had
        received this phone call from the hotel.  So this was
        either Colonel von Below, or he was a major then, who was
        the air force adjutant, B-E-L-O-W, or the Naval adjutant
        Captain Futkammer.  If I look at the notes no doubt I can see.
   Q.   You just referred to somebody called?

.          P-121

   A.   Nicolaus von Below in an interview with him in 1968 which
        is now 32 years ago.  I will try to remember it as best as
        I can.  In fact it was a verbatim interview recorded on
        tape.  The transcript has been made available to you.
   Q.   Oh, yes, I am sure.  When was that interview taken, May?
   A.   May 1968.
   Q.   Yes, but one has to be very mistrustful of long- remembered
        eyewitness accounts, does one not, Mr Irving?
   A.   I think you are probably right.  By that time it would
        have been 20 years since the event occurred.
   Q.   Would it not have been better to have made reference to
        the message that Eberstein sent at 10 past 2 that morning?
   A.   Well, I disagree, because the message does not add
        anything to the other messages that went before it.  As
        his Lordship rightly said, it just repeats what the
        previous one said.  It is also not physically signed by
        Eberstein.  It just uses Eberstein's number which is a
        common German practice.  They will send a message out over
        the boss's name, which does not mean to say that Eberstein
        was actually in the room when the message went out.  As we
        know, he was actually with Hitler at that time having
        strips torn off him.
   Q.   We do not know that.
   A.   Well, I know it because I have the eyewitnesses.
   Q.   The eyewitnesses, I am afraid, will not do if they are
        inconsistent with contemporaneous documentation,

.          P-122

        Mr Irving.  We know that, do we not?
   A.   With concrete evidence, yes.
   Q.   What concrete evidence?
   A.   Well, the evidence of the documents.
   Q.   Yes, that is right.  Eberstein sends a message at 2.10,
        presumably some time after he has witnessed Hitler's
        apoplectic rage about the consequences of what he, Hitler,
        has authorized, and he sends a message saying "Carry on, chaps"?
   A.   I disagree.  If the news from the hotel came that the
        synagogue next door was on fire, and the telephone call
        went to Hitler's Adjutants, "Come and get your baggage
        from the hotel luggage room because the hotel is now
        endangered by the flames", and they then go up to see
        Hitler and Hitler says, "What's going on?", and there is
        this kind of enquiry that has begun in Hitler's apartment,
        all this thing does not take a fraction of a second.  They
        send for the police chief, Eberstein, who then as to come
        over from police headquarters.  He comes over from police
        headquarters.  By now we are looking at 2 a.m. in the
        meantime what is happening at police headquarters behind
        Eberstein's back, we do not know, but presumably this
        telegram which has come from Berlin headquarters has now
        been forwarded to the lower units with his name on it,
        that is nothing new.  But at the same time Eberstein is in
        Hitler's apartment having strips torn off him and Hitler

.          P-123

        saying, "What on earth is happening now? Put an end to it."
   Q.   What do you mean "at the same time"?  Mr Irving, your
        chronology, if I may say so, is sometimes quite
        extraordinarily, what shall I say ----
   A.   I am afraid you were not listening because you were doing
        something else.  I think it is quite plain.
   Q.   I was listening.
   A.   It is quite s plain that round about 2 a.m. the important
        confrontation between Hitler Eberstein took place to which
        Hitler's Adjutants were the witness.
   Q.   Why do you say it is round about 2 a.m.?
   A.   Because we know that sometime afterwards Rudolf Hess was
        then required to send out a message to all the Gauleiters
        on orders from the very highest level, ordering that this
        nonsense had to stop immediately, and if the deputy Fuhrer
        sends out a message quoting orders from the very highest
        level, we can presume, I think, without stretching the
        bounds of credulity too much, to whom he is referring.
        That is the kind of concrete evidence I am referring to.
   Q.   I am just going to break the chronology.  It is not
        actually breaking the chronology.  We will go on now and
        look at this famous message from Hess's office, shall we?
        It is at page 9 of this bundle.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Has nothing happened between 2 a.m. or 2.10
        a.m. and 2.56?

.          P-124

   MR RAMPTON:  Not so far as I know.  There is something which
        comes after it, but we will look at that in a moment,
        because again it is something Mr Irving has got in his
   A.   I am curious that you have used a different version of the
        telegram from the one that I provided in discovery, which
        has the heading of Rudolf Hess's deputy of the Fuhrer.
   Q.   Mr Irving, I doubt it.  Your text says:  "At 2.56 a.m.
        Rudolf Hess's staff also began cabling, telephoning and
        radioing instructions to Gauleiters and police authorities
        around the nation to halt the madness", footnote 49.  It
        is interesting that the time is the same, is it not?
   A.   You missed what I said, that you have chopped off the
        heading or this version chops off the heading, which makes
        it the deputy of the Fuhrer.  Also it chops off the line
        which says, "This is a repetition of the telephone calls
        that we have been making", in other words ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I would like to see what you say has been cut off.
   A.   My Lord, I am not saying it has been cut off this.  This
        is a different version of the same telegram.  Now the
        other one is in my discovery with these ----
   Q.   That will be in court somewhere, will it not?
   A.   Is my discovery in court?  If not I will certainly bring it.
   MR RAMPTON:  Mr Irving, look at page 9 of the bundle.

.          P-125

   A.   If a copy of the War Path is here in court, then it is a
        facsimile in that book.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I do not think it is.
   MR RAMPTON:  I do not know.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It needs to be chased up.
   A.   Because it does have the important line saying: "This is a
        repetition of the telephone calls we have already made",
        when I was sending a telex to confirm what we said.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.
   A.   It also has a reference number, No. 136/38.
   Q.   This document I think comes from Berlin, whatever that
   A.   The Berlin Document Centre.
   Q.   Yes, and yours comes from where?
   A.   It came from exactly the same folder.
   Q.   Well, there you go.
   A.   But my one was more significant because it had the heading
        of the Deputy of the Fuhrer on it.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think that may be right. Anyway, is it not
        somewhere in court?
   MR RAMPTON:  I am not concerned about whether it comes from the
        Deputy Fuhrer or not.  I am quite willing to accept that
        it does.  What I am concerned about are two things.  First
        of all, it is time which is not in dispute between us?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   2.56 a.m. right?

.          P-126

   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Then it is text.  I remind you what you wrote:  "At 2.56
        a.m.", that is unequivocal?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   "Rudolf Hess's staff also began cabling, telephoning and
        radioing instructions to Gauleiters and police authorities
        around the nation", and these are your words, "to halt the
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Right.  Now look at the text.  You are not saying the text
        of my telegram is different from yours, are you?
   A.   I know the text of that telegram off by heart.  I have
        quoted it so often in speeches.
   Q.   I bet you do.  Now tell us what it says, would you?
   A.   "On express orders from the very highest level", which is
        always ----
   Q.   That is Hitler.
   A.   --- which is always a reference to Hitler.
   Q.   I agree.
   A.   "Acts of arson against Jewish shops or the like are under
        no circumstances and under no conditions whatsoever to
        take place".
   Q.   Good.  Then?
   A.   "Please confirm immediately by receipt."
   Q.   What is underlined -- and is it underlined in your copy as

.          P-127

   A.   No, it is not, but the words here underlined are "acts of
        arson against Jews businesses or shops".
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Why is it underlined on the copy I have?
   A.   This is underlined in pencil, my Lord.  Somebody has
        underlined the copy in pencil or pen.  It is not a
        typewritten underlining.
   Q.   But by whom?
   A.   I do not know.  I have not seen the particular copy.
   MR RAMPTON:  I cannot answer that.  I have no idea.  It may be
        some later underlining by somebody who thought the word
        significant, I suppose, may it not, Mr Irving?
   A.   Quite possibly, yes.
   Q.   "Shops or the like"?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   What is "like", maybe garages, little workshops?
   A.   The German is a bit big ambiguous.  You do not know
        whether it is acts of arson and the like or acts of arson
        against shops and the like.
   Q.   I am quite happy with that, "but we are not here in the
        presence of a general prohibition against damage to Jewish
        property, are we"?
   A.   They do not mention synagogues.

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