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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day013.07

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Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   A.   I am sorry, Mr Rampton, I must remember Rampton.
   Q.   I do not mind but I really would not think it was very
        nice for his Lordship.
   A.   Mr Rampton, you have read the transcripts of my interviews
        with these Adjutants of Hitler because they are verbatim,
        and you will see that we did not go there with a set
        agenda to talk about.  I would go along there, we would
        have tea, we would sit for five hours and talk about
        everything they remembered.

.          P-56

   Q.   Old Hitler faithfuls and you swallowed their tale, if
        I may put it like that, hook line and sinker, did you not,
        because you wanted to?
   A.   I swallow their tale?
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   They were Hitler faithfuls?
   Q.   You did not take any trouble to test their evidence
        by reference to the contemporaneous documentation.  That
        is the last time I am going to ask that question.
   A.   On the contrary, once I had conducted the interviews with
        these people, and I had a German secretary transcribe
        verbatim what they said, which transcripts you have had,
        I would then put that into the general dossier on that
        particular episode and I would weigh the interviews
        against the documents, which is precisely what I have done
        over the last 32 years for one book after another.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can I just intervene and ask this question?
        These diaries that Goebbels kept were for his own benefit,
        were they?  They were not seen by others at the time?
   A.   My Lord, in 1933 he published the first volumes of diaries
        which covered the years of struggle, shall we say, up to
        the seizure of power and he was recalled from the
        Kaiserhof to the Reichschancellery.  In 1936 he sold
        rights in all his diaries in perpetuity to the Nazi
        publishing house for a large lump sum.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  So he was contemplating publication?

.          P-57

   A.   They were very definitely written in contemplation of
        later publication.  But that not necessarily mean to say
        that there were not also a lot of private materials in
        them which he did not intend to publish, particularly the
        handwritten diaries.
   MR RAMPTON:  Now I want to pass on to something else, also part
        of the aftermath.  One of the consequences of this
        appalling business, Mr Irving, was that some people were
        brought before whatever the Nazi party court was called.
        Can you remember what it was called?
   A.   The Oberstes Parteigericht, the supreme public court.
   Q.   Just so we can be clear, that is not part of the
        established orthodox German judicial system at all, was it?
   A.   No.  It was a party court established under Walter Buch, B
        U C H, who was a sworn and dedicated personal enemy of
        Dr. Goebbels.
   Q.   That is as maybe.
   A.   It is not as maybe.  You have to bear this in mind when
        you consider what the findings are which Buch signed.
   Q.   The fact is, it was not part of the established judicial
        machinery, was it?
   A.   No.
   Q.   So you cannot describe the people who bring people before
        the party court as the public prosecutors, can you?
   A.   No.

.          P-58

   Q.   Would you turn to page 281 of your Goebbels book, please?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Just above the middle of the page there is a reference to
        Rudolf Hess.  Do you see that?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   The long paragraph: "Hess confirmed that in his view
        Goebbels was alone to blame.  He ordered the Gestapo and
        the party's courts to delve into the origins of the
        night's violence and turn the culprits over to the public
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   My first question about that is this.  Would you agree
        that that was apt to suggest to the reader that anybody
        found guilty of arson, looting, damage, assault, rape,
        murder, or whatever, was going to be prosecuted by the
        State judicial machinery once the matter had been
   A.   I think that what happened, which is covered by the
        sentence, was that a number of people, both inside and
        outside the party, exceeded their orders, if I can put it
        like that, and went on little private rampages.  I mention
        one case where somebody murdered an opponent because he
        was going to testify against him in a libel action.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is not really an answer to Mr Rampton's
   A.   Would you repeat the question, emphasising the part--- -

.          P-59

   MR RAMPTON:  The question is this.  Do you not agree that that
        sentence, not a long sentence, is apt to suggest to the
        reader that the matter was going to be investigated by the
        Gestapo and the party's courts to find out the origins of
        the night's violence and to turn the culprits, that is to
        say, those responsible for acts of violence of whatever
        kind against people or property, over to the public
        prosecutors so that they could be prosecuted according to
        the law?
   A.   I will not go beyond what that sentence actually says.
        What I intended it to mean to the reader I cannot recall
        now twelve years later, but it is footed in a very secure
        document of the day, December 1938.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You are still not really addressing the
        question.  If I read that, I think I would be inclined to
        think that these people were going to be prosecuted by the
        criminal system of the country.
   A.   My Lord, there was a large number of prosecutions in the
        regular courts and people went to jail for what they had
        done that night.
   MR RAMPTON:  Do you know the figures, Mr Irving?
   A.   I can find them for you, yes.
   Q.   16 cases in the report of 13th February 1939.  I am coming
        back to what actually these people were considering, which
        is an initial limitation, but we will look at that in a

.          P-60

   A.   If we look at the aftermath of this sentence, so to speak,
        there were public prosecutions in the regular criminal
        courts and people went to jail for what they did on the
        night of broken glass in Germany.  If you are interested
        in figures I will obtain them for you.
   Q.   I will give you the figures in a moment.
   A.   I will provide my own figures, if you do not mind.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Wait for Mr Rampton's question.  You may
        agree with it.
   MR RAMPTON:  It is entirely up to you what material you choose
        to put before the court.  This is cross-examination,
        Mr Irving, not a speech by you.  Mr Irving, can we look,
        please, and see what in fact was the directive which went
        out under Hess's authority?  It is in 293 and 4 of Evans.
        It is dated 19th December 1938.  It is translated.  My
        Lord, it is at the bottom of 293 in paragraph
        1.  Professor Evans translates it as follows.  The German
        is at the bottom of 294.
   A.   Yes.  This is the source of that particular sentence.
   Q.   I know it is.  "The aim of the investigation by the Party
        Court is to establish which cases can and must be held
        responsible by the action itself and which cases arose out
        of personal and base motives.  In the latter cases a
        referral to the state prosecution service will be
        unavoidable, indeed it will be just".
   A.   Yes.

.          P-61

   Q.   The only people who were going to be handed over to be
        prosecuted by the State criminal justice machinery were
        those who had acted out of base motives of their own.
        Anybody else, however grave their crime, would be let off?
   A.   That is correct.
   Q.   Where do we find that in your book?
   A.   In this sentence.  That document justifies the sentence
        I gave: "He ordered the Gestapo and the party's courts to
        delve into the origins of the night's violence and turn
        the culprits over to the public prosecutors." We have
        already seen in the previous pages that a lot of the
        violence was authorised by the head of state, so quite
        clearly those culprits are not going to be turned over.
   Q.   Wait a minute, Mr Irving.  I am afraid I have now gone
        spinning round in 360 degrees.  A lot of the violence was
        authorised by the head of State?
   A.   Yes.  We have seen that. There is no question about that.
   Q.   In what sense?
   A.   Hitler has said pull the police back.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is authorizing the burning of
   A.   My Lord ----
   MR RAMPTON:  And the killing of Jews.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  What is the answer to that question,
        Mr Irving?
   A.   It is authorizing what happened in the run up to the

.          P-62

        Reichskristallnacht.  If you remember, it was not on the
        actual night of the broken glass once it got out of
        control.  When Hitler heard that there were individual
        outbursts in Kassell and Magdeburg and other provinces, he
        said the police are not to intervene, they are to hold
        back, the public must be given a chance to express their
        outrage and so on.  That is what I mean when I say that
        that kind of violence was certainly authorized by the head
        of State, and it was not appropriate to turn people like
        that that over to the law courts.  But there were other
        people who then went and settled private scores and that
        is what has been winkled out by these party court operations.
   MR RAMPTON:  Shall we just have a look at some figures?  Page
        295 of Evans, Mr Irving.  Paragraph 3, my Lord.  Set out
        are what the people's court, or whatever they call
        themselves, set out above are what I take to be what they
        saw as their terms of reference.  Perhaps I ought to read
        that as a preliminary:
                  "The Fuhrer's's Deputy", that is Hess, is it
        not, "shared the view of the Supreme Party Court that the
        excesses which had become known should in any case first
        be investigated by the party jurisdiction ... The view of
        the Supreme Party Court", this is in February 1939, "is
        that it must be fundamentally impossible for political
        offences which primarily touch on the party's interests,

.          P-63

        offences which ... are desired by the party as illegal
        measures," you notice that wording, do you not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.  "desired by the party as illegal measures, are confirmed
        and condemned by state jurisdiction, without the party
        previously having the possibility of creating clarity
        about the events and contexts through its own courts, in
        order if necessary to ask the Fuhrer to quash the trial
        before the state courts at the right moment". This was
        just intended to be a complete whitewash, was it not?
   A.   Unfortunately, Professor Evans has, in his amiable way,
        translated only a fraction of the actual document which
        you will find under tab 2 of trial bundle L2, and you will
        find there that he lists there horrendous outrages
        conducted during the Reichskristallnacht at the end of
        1938.  I will translate very roughly to you, Mr Rampton:
        The Supreme Party court -- does your Lordship wish to look
        at the original German?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No.  I am listening to you.  I am happy to
        follow you.
   A.   This is on page handwritten 3 of that document which
        Professor Evans has quoted from.  At the end of November
        1938 the Supreme Party court received from various gau
        courts, in other words the provincial party courts,
        information that in the conduct of the demonstrations on
        9th November 1938, that is the Reichskristallnacht, in

.          P-64

        considerable degree there had been plundering and killings
        of Jews which are already being investigated by the police
        and public prosecutors, and so on.
                  It then continues about how these various things
        are going to be investigated and it specifies particular
        episodes on the following day, crime committed by
        individual people who are named here, a whole series of
        them, then 16 specific episodes given just in that one
        party court file.
   MR RAMPTON:  I hear what you say.  If we need it, we will have
        a translation made of the whole that report.
   A.   It does seem that Evans -- I mean, the dot dot dot he has
        put in there does conceal quite a lot.
   Q.   No doubt with an eye to saving paper.  We can have it
        translated if necessary. You can take it up with Professor Evans.
   A.   You keep saying I can take these things up with Professor
        Evans, but at present his Lordship only has your word and
        this document in front of him in translation.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No.  I have got what you tell me is also
        there and, unless and until Professor Evans says that you
        are wrong about that, I will assume you are right.
   MR RAMPTON:  I cannot possibly take it up with you, Mr Irving.
        I do not have a translation.  Paragraph 3 on page 295 of
        Evans, please?
   A.   Yes.

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