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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day012.16

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day012.16
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   Read on, please.
   A.   Yes.  Moreover, the last main session in the affair of the
        trial of Schenk has resulted in the information that the
        first known death, a case for the killing of a Jew, and it
        was a Polish national, was reported to Reichs propaganda

.          P-137

        minister, Dr Goebbels, at about 2 a.m., towards 2 a.m.
         "gegen 2 Uhr", on November 10th, and that on this
        occasion the view was expressed that something must happen
        to prevent that the entire operation, the entire Aktion,
        got out of hand, became dangerous, according to what the
        deputy Gauleiter of Upper Bavaria said. Dr Goebbels
        replied in the sense that the messenger should not get so
        upset about the death of one Jew.  Over the next few days
        thousands of Jews would be going for a Burton.
   Q.   Yes.  Can you just read on?
   A.   At this time most of the killings could have been
        prevented, could still have been prevented, by an
        amplifying directive.  If this was not issued, if this did
        not happen, from this fact, as also from that remark by
        itself, you had to draw the conclusion that the result
        that happened was actually desired, and at the very least
        was considered to be possible and desirable.
   Q.   Could you finish the paragraph, please?
   A.   It is terrible, translating German.
   Q.   I am terribly sorry and it is entirely our fault for not
        having a translation which you agree with.
   A.   Translating it on the fly is difficult and I have been
        accused of distorting and mistranslating and here I am
        going on the record with my translation.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think it is most unsatisfactory.
   MR RAMPTON:  There is a translation in Professor Evans.  It is

.          P-138

        one you will not accept and therefore I have to ask you to
        do it.
   A.   Quite clearly, if he says that somebody is going to have
        to believe in it when in fact the correct German sense is
        someone is going to go for a Burton, then it is a very
        gross mistranslation.
   Q.   I am sorry about this.  I know it is tiring and I do
        sympathise.  I mean that sincerely.  Could you please just
        finish this paragraph?
   A.   Yes.  Then the individual actor or perpetrator has not
        only put into effect the intended, but also the
        uncertainly expressed but properly recognized desire of
        the leadership, and for that he cannot be punished.
   Q.   That is right and so no doubt he was not.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   He would be one of those who was not handed over to the
        State prosecution system?
   A.   Numbers were and numbers were not.
   Q.   Two things about it, Mr Irving, and I do apologise.
        I will not make you do it again this afternoon or ask you
        to do it, I should say.  Two things about that.  It is
        quite strong evidence, is it not, that, so far from what
        Wederman said he had heard reported, Goebbels was not on
        the telephone that evening trying to stop the rot.  He was
        on the telephone rejoicing in the death of one Jew and in
        the thought that many thousands more were going to die.

.          P-139

        Moreover, the one that did kill the one Jew on this
        occasion was let off because the Nazi tribunal perceived
        that he had been carrying out the will of the leadership.
        That is right, is it not?
   A.   The latter part is true.  The former part I would dispute
        or I would amplify it to the following effect.  This
        telephone call reporting the death of the one Jew is
        stated in this document as having been shortly before
        2 o'clock, or towards 2 o'clock "gegen 2 Uhr".  I think
        around 2 o'clock is when Goebbels got his epiphany, when
        the news came of the burning of the synagogue next to the
        Hotel Vierjahreszeiten, when Hitler was alarmed as to what
        was going on, things were getting out of hand, the police
        chief was sent for, and shortly afterwards at 2.56 Rudolf
        Hess sent out that famous message to all the Gauleiters
        ordering a stop to whatever they were stopping.
   Q.   You just looked at the message?
   A.   Yes, but I think that it fits perfectly into the
        time-scale which says that it was around about 2 o'clock
        or shortly thereafter that Goebbels realized he was
        barking right up the wrong tree.
   Q.   You translated it, the order from Hess is simply that
        shops and other things like that are not to be burned.
   A.   The order from Hess says that there is to be no burning of
        shops and things like that.
   Q.   That is right.

.          P-140

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is there really no indication even of how
        that Rudolf Hess's message was interpreted?
   A.   I did say, my Lord, that it trickled down through the
        system during the night and that things were then stopped
        but by that time everything is ablaze.  The following
        morning Goebbels realizes that things have got out of
        hand, it is very bad for Germany's image, the image of
        Germany as a state of law and order has been badly
        shattered by this.  But the hours between 2 a.m. and 3
        a.m., the crucial hours which I have tried to look at in
        this particular night, and we have the eyewitness accounts
        from Hitler's private staff, we have that one telegram
        from Hitler's deputy going out, very much in a negative
        sense.  Mr Rampton says it was in a narrow negative sense,
        I would say it was in a broader negative sense.
   Q.   If you look at it in the round, can you think of a reason
        why Jewish businesses or shops should have been singled
        out for protection, if that is the right interpretation?
   A.   You can certainly see reasons why, my Lord.  You can say
        the businesses and shops were probably a shoe shop in the
        centre of a big apartment block, and, if you are going to
        set that on fire, you are going to endanger a lot of
        non-Jewish property.  Put it like that.  I can certainly
        see that there are other reasons that may have justified
        the narrower meaning.  But we have added on to it the fact
        that it is not only the acts of arson, but also the like

.          P-141

        have to be stopped.
   Q.   I follow that.
   A.   It was a message that was sent out in great haste.  It is
        certainly does not fit in with the general pattern of
        trying to trigger or to ignite things.  This is very much
        with a minus sign in front of it.
   Q.   Were the Jewish businesses -- maybe this is too broad a
        question -- and shops Jewish owned?
   A.   This came out in the subsequent enquiry that Herman Goring
        held, that most of the damage that had been inflicted had
        been inflicted on the German economy for several reasons.
        Firstly, the plate glass windows that were smashed had to
        be replaced with plate glass supplied by Belgium at the
        cost of foreign currency.  Secondly, the insurance that
        the Jews had taken out on their property had to be paid by
        the German insurance companies.  Thirdly, the stores and
        even the stocks that they sold were being sold on
        commission.  They were stocks physically owned by German
        banks and being sold on commission by the Jewish vendors.
   Q.   Would all or any of that explain why the businesses and
        shops were singled out?
   A.   Not at this time, my Lord.  This was an ugly realisation.
        We are very well informed on that because two or three
        days Herman Goring held a conference at the Air Ministry
        which was recorded in shorthand, and we have the entire
        stenographic record where everybody is pointing a finger

.          P-142

        at everybody else and saying you are to blame for this.
        Herman Goring utters the famous phrase, it is about time
        that Dr Goebbels got a little bit of public enlightenment,
        which was the name of his ministry.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Sorry, Mr Rampton, for interrupting.
   MR RAMPTON:  That is all right, my Lord.  I am just wondering
        whether I would go back to something else but I think not?
   A.   It gave me a chance to display what I know.
   Q.   In any event, Mr Irving, however you like to characterize
        that message, it is not, is it, a blanket prohibition
        against the destruction of, or damage to, Jewish property
   A.   No, it is not.
   Q.   No.  My Lord, I am in this position now.  We are all
        waiting for Dresden with bated breath, but the file will
        not be ready until tomorrow.  We need help from Mr Irving
        with it anyway because the copies we have of his
        discovered documents are in many cases very difficult to
        read because they are photocopies of microfilm, a lot of
                  I have one more brief topic with which I can
        deal this afternoon, but I cannot sensibly make a start on
        Dresden unless everybody has the documents.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  If you cannot, you cannot.
   MR RAMPTON:  We are running to catch up with each other.  We
        could spend time reading Civil Evidence Act notices

.          P-143

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  On what topic?
   MR RAMPTON:  On any old topic really just so that they are read
        into court.  I do not want to waste the court's time.
        There is no point in my starting. Dresden will be the last
        of my Evans topics.  I shall certainly comfortably
        complete that tomorrow and then I shall start on something
        else, as it were, more modern.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  More modern being what?
   MR RAMPTON:  Mr Irving's recent utterances.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Denials?
   MR RAMPTON:  Denials I think we have done, apart from Moscow,
        which I can also do tomorrow.  The last topic, either
        Moscow or this, is where the speeches are made and who the
        people were.
   MR RAMPTON:  The political associations, which means that
        I think that my cross-examination of Mr Irving will finish
        comfortably this week.
   MR RAMPTON:  Probably Thursday morning, maybe Wednesday evening.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  There is a witness coming on Thursday.
        I cannot remember who it is.
   A.   Peter Millar.  I do not think he will be more than about
        an hour.

.          P-144

   MR RAMPTON:  Which presents this difficulty, I am afraid, if
        that is right, because I do not think Dresden will take
        more than one day, perhaps less.  We may have to find
        something to do for the rest of this week.
   A.   I can bring another witness.  I can have Dr John Fox in.
   MR RAMPTON:  That would be very helpful because my Professor
        Browning is not arriving until Monday.
   A.   I can bring in Dr Fox eye this week.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is Browning your next expert?
   MR RAMPTON:  He is my next witness.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Rather than Evans?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.  It is a matter of academic convenience.
        That is the only reason.  Browning has a full calendar
        after next week.
   MR RAMPTON:  I do not think he will be very long, so I will
        have to have somebody lined up for the later part of next
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.  You said you had something else that
        you want to deal with.
   MR RAMPTON:  I do.  I want to deal very briefly with
        Ribbentrop's testimony at Nuremberg.  It starts at page
        478 of Evans.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Are you dealing, Mr Rampton -- I am sorry to
        keep asking.  I just want to know where we are getting in
        terms of the summary of your case.  Are you going to be

.          P-145

        dealing with the aftermath of Kristallnacht?
   MR RAMPTON:  No.  I made a judgment about that in the light of
        the cross-examination this morning.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Does that mean that you are not relying on it
        or that it is something that you are relying on but do not
        think it is helpful cross-examine on?
   MR RAMPTON:  It is difficult to rely on whatever Professor
        Evans may say about it.  It is difficult to rely on it if
        it has not been put in cross-examination for Mr Irving to
        deal with, I would have said.  I do not know what your
        Lordship thinks?
   A.   Could your Lordship explain what that exchange is about?

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