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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day013.05

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Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   I am coming to that in a moment, Mr Irving.  Let us look
        at how you dealt with that entry, shall we, in a minute?
        That starts at paragraph 8.  But, first, I want to draw
        your attention to what Goebbels did next, sorry, or before
        which is in paragraph 7:  "On the afternoon of 10th
        November", that is after the meeting with Hitler at the
        Osteria, "Goebbels informed the Nazi Party chief of
        Munich-Upper Bavaria that the pogram was to be terminated,
        and added: 'The Fuhrer sanctions the measures taken so far
        and declares that he does not disapprove'".  It is
        entirely consistent with the diary entry, is it not?  Is
        it not, Mr Irving?

.          P-37

   A.   What, what Evans wrote or what I wrote?
   Q.   No.  What Goebbels wrote, "The Fuhrer sanctions the
        measures taken so for and declares that he does not
        disapprove of them"?
   A.   Which passage are you translating?
   Q.   I am reading from the text of Professor Evans.
   A.   Oh, I see.  I thought you were looking at something
        and concrete.
   Q.   I told his Lordship that, unless forced to do so, I am
        going to keep off the German.  It is much easier for
        us  ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is working much better.
   MR RAMPTON:  --- Anglophones.  "The Fuhrer sanctions the
        measures taken so far and declares that he does not
        disapprove of them".  That is exactly what Goebbels
        reported him as having said at the Osteria, is it not?
        Have you got the place in Evans, Mr Irving.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Paragraph 7?
   A.   I am trying to read three volumes simultaneously.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I know it is difficult.  The bottom
        page 283.
   A.   283?
   Q.   Yes, 283.
   MR RAMPTON:  Then it goes on ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Are you there, Mr Irving?
   A.   I am, but I am wondering where he gets the words "on

.          P-38

        afternoon of".  I mean, the timing appears to be
        important, and ...
   MR RAMPTON:  Well, it is perfectly obvious.  If he saw
        on the day, at the Osteria, and Hitler said ----
   A.   The note 107 refers to something dated November 11th.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am not following your point, Mr Irving.
   A.   Well, I am wondering where he gets the phrase "on the
        afternoon of November 10".
   Q.   Does it matter?
   MR RAMPTON:  Because it comes from the text of Goebbels'
        circular.  If you look at what Hitler said to Goebbels
        the Osteria, it is perfectly natural that later that
        Goebbels should report that "Hitler sanctions the
        taken so far and declares that he does not disapprove
        them".  That is exactly what he had already said to
   A.   Well, we have a difficulty here.  We have just one
        or one line from a message not from Goebbels but from
        Gauleiter, from a Gauleiter's adjutant, the next day,
        other words, it is already third-hand.
   Q.   Then I am going to read on, Mr Irving.  Top of 284:
        another circular", this is Evans, "sent out the same
        to Gau propaganda officials, quoted in Irving's own
        on Goebbels, and quite clearly reporting Hitler's
views at
        the meeting in the Osteria, Goebbels added:  'An order
        to be expected according to which the (cost of the)

.          P-39

        resulting from the anti-Jewish actions is not to be
met by
        insurance companies but by the Jews concerned
        Furthermore, a series of measures against the Jews
        very shortly be implemented through the promulgation
        laws or decrees'."  I am going to show you, if you
        forgotten, Mr Irving, what, in fact, happened next.
        I want you to look next ----
   A.   I am finding it very difficult to see what point you
        thrusting towards.
   Q.   You will see what point I am thrusting towards.  Be
        patient.  These things have to be built in blocks,
        Mr Irving.  Look at paragraph 8:  "How does Irving
        with this particularly incriminating diary entry?  In
        1992, when Irving first read the Goebbels diary
        for the period 9th to 10th November 1938, he was
        that it showed that Hitler approved of the pogrom".
        is a quote from Mr Irving interviewed by Kurt Franz,
        Newsworld in July 1992:  "'According to his diary',
        is Goebbels, 'and I can't emphasise those words
        according to his diaries, Hitler was closely
        with those outrages.  And that's a matter of some
        to me because it means I have to revise my own
        But a historian should always be willing to revise his
        opinion'"?  So far, so good, Mr Irving.  Let us see
how it
                  1993, "A year later he was sounding a

.          P-40

        more sceptical note.  Goebbels diary, Irving said",
        this is part of the talk that you had been going to
        in Australia but which you were not allowed to make,
        Irving "'describes how Hitler thoroughly endorses what
        Goebbels, has done, namely stating'", this is the top
   A.   "Starting".
   Q.   ..."'starting that outrage that night.  This was a
        shock for me'", that is Irving, "'and I immediately
        announced it to the world's newspapers that I had
        discovered this material, although it appeared to go
        against what I had written in my own book Hitler's
        But even there you have to add a rider and say, "Wait
        minute, this is Dr Goebbels writing this".  Dr
        who took all the blame for what was done.   So did he
        perhaps a motive for writing in his private diaries
        subsequently that Hitler endorsed what he had done?
        can't entirely close that file'."
                  Just pause there, Mr Irving, what motive did
        Goebbels have for, as it were, trying to implicate
        in something which Hitler knew nothing about?
   A.   I think if you read the whole of my Goebbels book, and
        I am sure you have, you will note that there were
        occasions on which Goebbels took actions independently
        subsequently sought shelter in either writing in his
        that Hitler had sanctioned it, or actually ly went to

.          P-41

        Hitler and informed him what he had done.
                  One example I quote is the decision to put
        forward Hitler's name in the presidential candidacy in
        1932 which was a public relations disaster.  So there
        several episodes where Goebbels acts on his own and
        seeks endorsement from Hitler, not just this
        episode.  So one is entitled to say, was this another
   Q.   Mr Irving, the evidence is -- we went through it
         -- if you look at the evidence objectively, the
        is such that it drives one to the inevitable inference
        that Hitler knew along and probably authorized what
        happened.  There is no reason why Goebbels should put
        blame on Hitler if, in fact, that is the case.
Second, if
        Goebbels ----
   A.   Can I take these points one at a time?
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   So in cross-examination is always wise to ask one
        at a time.  There no reason why Goebbels should have
        sought refuge in Hitler at this time?  Well, the
answer is
        that by two days after the Reichskristallnacht, every
        finger in Germany was pointing at Goebbels.  He had
held a
        disastrous press conference before the Berlin foreign
        press corps where he had been ridiculed.  Ribbentrop,
        Himmler, Heydrich, every top Nazi, the entire top Nazi
        brass, were pointing the finger at Goebbels and

.          P-42

        that he should be finally dismissed because of this
        outrage.  We know this from all the private diaries,
        including from the diaries of anti-Nazis like Ulrich
        Hassell, and his only protection was to go to Adolf
   Q.   But, Mr Irving ----
   A.   And, as I made quite plain, Adolf Hitler -- this is
one of
        his weaknesses -- immediately covered for him.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  So what is said in the diary is true, but
        Hitler was, as it were, unnecessarily and
        taking the blame, is that what your case is?
   A.   I think your Lordship has summed it, yes, and I would
        draw your Lordship's attention to the fact that the
        Canadian video tape which quotes my initial
        about what I had just found in Moscow is just four
        after I returned -- six days after I returned from
        with the Goebbels diaries.
                  You cannot reach snap decisions about the
        content of a document as tricky as this without
        with all the additional surrounding countryside of
        documentation which is what I then did by a year
   MR RAMPTON:  You may think that it is tricky because, of
        course, if it is not tricky, it immediately plants
        Hitler in the centre of the frame, does it not?
   A.   Well, the tricky thing about the Goebbels' diaries, as
        have repeatedly said, is they are the diaries of a

.          P-43

   Q.   Suppose that Himmler, as I suggested to you yesterday,
        as involved, and perhaps more so, than Goebbels, it
        be in his interests to pass the buck.  It was in all
        interests, so far as they could, to leave somebody
        holding the baby perhaps?
   A.   Are you suggest that Himmler was involved in it?
   Q.   I told you so yesterday.
   A.   But all the evidence is exactly the contrary.  All the
        contemporary evidence, including the private diary of
        Ulrich von Hassel, says that Himmler and Heydrich were
        absolutely livid with what had happened that night,
        because Goebbels had played fast and loose with the
        forces which came under them.
   Q.   Please explain to me, if Himmler and Heydrich were
        with what happened, the terminology of that telex of
        Heydrich, which we looked at earlier this morning,
        at 1.20 a.m.
   A.   Which was the one restricting certain measures.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Saying continue, I think, carry on.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, "Carry on, have a good time, do not
        German property, do not assault foreign Jews, carry
on, it
        does not matter what you do so long as you do not
        German property".
   A.   They apprehended that they were acting on Hitler's
        instructions and they found out at 2 a.m. that they
        not, because Goebbels, in his famous speech at the old

.          P-44

        town hall, had clearly given the impression that this
        what the Fuhrer wanted.
   Q.   And then?
   A.   At 2 a.m., when the Fuhrer found out what was going
        on right across Germany, he called the people to his
        private residence and said, "What on earth is going
   Q.   Then, on 10th or 11th November, not only does Goebbels
        record Hitler's approval or lack of disapproval for
        happened, he actually circulates Gauleiters with a
        statement to the effect that the Fuhrer sanctions the
        measures taken so far and declares that he does not
        disapprove of them.  Now, if Goebbels had been lying
        his diary about Hitler's approval, he was taking an
        risk, was he not, of telling everybody that Hitler did
        approve of it?
   A.   This is typical Goebbels.  This is exactly the way he
        operated and, although I point once again to the fact
        your source for this circular is a third hand item by
        adjutant of a Gauleiter, assuming that that
information is
        correct, this is typical of the way that Goebbels
        operate.  He would tell everybody to, "Shut up with
        criticism of me, the Fuhrer was behind it".
   Q.   But it is true.  The Fuhrer was behind it, was he not,
        Mr Irving?
   A.   Unfortunately, the documents operate the other way.
        have that document which I produce now in the original

.          P-45

        the headed notepaper of the deputy of the Fuhrer,
        from orders from the highest level these acts of arson
        similar things against the Jewish property are to
        forthwith, a message sent out at high urgency, high
        priority, at 2.56 a.m.
   Q.   Do we get those words "Jewish property" again?  When
        were caught unawares with that document yesterday, you
        correctly translated the word "geschaften" as shops.
   A.   The important element of that telegram is not the
        translation of the word "geschafte" but the fact that
        is an order being sent out by Hitler's deputy saying,
        highest level has ordered these things to stop", at
        a.m. You cannot get out of that telegram. This is the
        thing that destroys your entire case.
   Q.   Mr Irving, it does not say it.  It says the burning of
        Jewish shops and the like should stop.
   A.   If you were right, Mr Rampton, that telegram would say
        "carry on, not enough, more so, more so", and in fact
        says precisely the opposite.
   Q.   It does not say precisely the opposite.  We went
        this yesterday, Mr Irving.
   A.   If you are saying Adolf Hitler was behind the
        what is his deputy doing sending ought a telegram at
        a.m., of which you provided a copy yesterday, without
        heading showing that it came from the Deputy Fuhrer,
        saying these outrages and the like against Jewish

.          P-46

        Jewish businesses, are to stop.
   Q.   No.
   A.   This is exactly the opposite of what Adolf Hitler would
        have said.

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