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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day016.15

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day016.15
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

.          P-106

   A.   Yes.  In the fall of 41 which begins with them going to
        Lodsch and begin with them going to Minsk.
   Q.   I am indebted to you.  You are certainly adding to the
        court's knowledge and this is helping to flesh out the
        picture immensely.
   A.   Were allowed bring a fair amount of luggage.
   Q.   So these early transports of Jews going to the Eastern
        Front, they were going effectively to a new life, wretched
        though it would be?
   A.   They were going to a temporary stay from which, as Himmler
        put it, they would be moved on further East the next spring.
   Q.   Booted on somewhere else?
   A.   Well, we do not know.  He does not say what "further East"
        means, but he was telling Greiser, do not worry, they will
        not be there for more than a few months.
   Q.   So, when the word came back to Hitler's headquarters that
        the first train load or several train loads had been shot,
        why would therefore Himmler have had to send a message to
        Jackeln, saying you have exceeded the guidelines?
   A.   Since nothing happens to Jager, my interpretation, because
        the documentation is incomplete, but my interpretation was
        that Himmler, after sending Jews to Lodsch and to Minsk,
        was sending them to Kovno, and he tried an experiment, we
        will shoot those when they arrive.
   Q.   Who is this?

.          P-107

   A.   We do not know, Jager.  They are not shot immediately.
        Jager reports this.  In the Einsatzgruppen reports he says
        very explicitly, "We shot these five transports".  He is
        not trying to hide anything.  My guess, and again this is
        just construing the documents, they found out that this
        caused more of a sensation than killing Russian Jews, and
        that, when the six transports left, Himmler says, back
        off, we will not do this any more, tells Jackeln do not,
        that message does not arrive in time, the six transport is
        liquidated.  Then Jackeln is brought back and there are no
        more liquidations until the next spring.
   Q.   So we know what happened to Jackeln because the messages
        are there.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   But we do not know what happened to Jager, if anything,
        because there are no messages to inform us?
   A.   We have no messages to inform us, but we do know that he
        reported it quite openly and clearly did not think he was
        doing something that he should not boast of.
   Q.   It tells us something ugly about the Nazi mentality, is that correct?
   A.   No.  I think it shows that he thought he was carrying out
        orders and was doing this according to what he had been
        told to do, and he was reporting that he had carried out policy.
   Q.   He then learned that in fact he had upset people?

.          P-108

   A.   I do not think Jager learned he had upset people because I
        think he was doing what he had been told to do.  Jackeln
        caught the flak because the message did not reach him in
        time, that Himmler decided we were not going to start
        liquidating German Jews yet.  Then, when he calls Jackeln
        back, Jackeln's memory of the conversation, in the
        testimony he gave after the war in the Soviet Union, was
        that he and Himmler discussed it and Himmler said, "I am
        trying to decide how we will get rid of the German Jews",
        and he uses this phrase that occasionally pops up, "shall
        we send them into the swamps or shall we shoot them"?  So
        he is still uncertain how this can be carried out.
   Q.   This Jackeln conversation you refer to is in Soviet custody?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Would he have been under any kind of duress there, do you
        think?  What happened?
   A.   He may be under duress for certain things.  I do not know
        why someone would want to coerce a statement to the effect
        that Himmler had not yet made up his mind as to how he was
        going to get rid of German Jews.
   Q.   What happened to Jackeln?  Did he meet his just desserts?
   A.   Jackeln was executed.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  If you had to say in a single phrase what it
        was that upset people about the Riga shootings, what was it?

.          P-109

   A.   I think that word spread very quickly.  It was a sensation
        when German Jews were being killed.  We know, for
        instance, that, when Lohse in the Ministry of the Interior
        hears, he goes to his superior and says, I cannot do this
        any more, I want another job.  We know, for instance, on
        the day of the 30th, Himmler meets with Dobtell, who has
        had to travel through the East, and immediately thereafter
        he sends out to Jackeln, do not liquidate this transport.
        My feeling is that they were discovering that they had a
        PR problem, that one had to be more careful.  Thereafter,
        for instance, they decide Theresienstadt will be a ghetto
        for the elderly Jews and the medal wearing Jews, that they
        will be more careful about how they deal with German Jews
        as opposed to non-German Jews.
   Q.   It is the fact that they are German Jews?
   A.   Yes.
   MR IRVING:  Who is making these decisions then?
   A.   In this case I think it is Himmler because Himmler, again
        it is just a guess, is going to see Hitler in two hours
        and that he wants to be able to say, we have taken care of
        it, it is settled, we are not going to have problems with this.
   Q.   He expects to take some kind of flak now from Hitler for
        what happened?
   A.   I do not think he is going to take flak.  I think he is
        going to assure Hitler that the PR problem is solved, at

.          P-110

        this delicate part of the war there will not be reports
        spreading around Germany of killing German Jews.
   Q.   You are familiar with the telephone call that went from
        Himmler to Heydrich on November 30th at 1.30 pm?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   To Heydrich, transport of Jews from Berlin, kindly liquidieren?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   What is the spin that you would put on that particular
        message, do you think?  How would you interpret that?
        What happened?
   A.   My interpretation, and again because we do not have the
        full documentation, it is an interpretation.
   Q.   Tantalising, is it not?
   A.   Yes.  If one has to send a message, do not liquidate,
        that, beginning with the Kovno shootings, Himmler in fact
        had said, we will begin shooting these transports.  The
        Kovno operation backfired.  He therefore, before he sees
        Hitler, takes measures that they will temporarily hold
        that in abeyance and sends that message out.  You do not
        send it out unless you think you have to countermand
        something, so Jackeln, having had Jager kill five
        transports in Kovno, was prepared and ready to do the same
        thing with the incoming transport to Riga.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, I am going to interrupt you.  I
        think this is a document that one needs to take a bit

.          P-111

        slowly, and I am going to suggest we do it at 2 o'clock.
   MR IRVING:  Can I just enquire whether Jager was a subordinate
        of Jackeln?
   A.   Jager is the head of Einsatzkommando 3, which is under
        Stahlecker of Einsatzgruppen A, but all SS units in the
        north would have been under Jackeln, who is the man to
        co-ordinate the operations of the different SS formations
        Einsatzgruppen Gendarmerie police battalions.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Shall we look at the document- ---
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, am I doing this right, do you think? Am
        I asking the right questions or would you prefer me to be terser?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  If I may say so, it is cross-examination
        being conducted absolutely appropriately, but I would like
        to look at that document because I think it is an important one.
   MR IRVING:  We will have it out, thank you.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  2 o'clock.

                  (Luncheon adjournment).
   (2.00 p.m.)

   (PROFESSOR BROWNING, recalled.  Cross-Examined by MR IRVING, continued.)

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, Mr Irving?
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, the document is in bundle J1.
   MR IRVING:  At tab 3, pages 11 and 12.

.          P-112

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Thank you very much.
   MR IRVING:  This is the page from Himmler's telephone log
        November 30th 1941.  Do you recognize that page?  Have you
        ever looked at that either that page or the handwritten page?
   A.   I have seen the handwritten page.  This is the first time
        I have seen the English one.
   Q.   Yes.  Right, does it appear to be a page in Himmler's handwriting?
   A.   It is consistent with the other writing in the log.  I am
        not sure that I can recognize Himmler's handwriting.
   Q.   It is very difficult handwriting, is it not?  Would you
        agree?  Have you had difficulty reading Himmler's
        handwriting yourself?
   A.   I have difficulty with all German handwriting.
   Q.   If you had made a mistake in reading handwriting like a
        letter E or an A, would you consider this to be wilful?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am not really sure that that is a question
        he can answer.
   MR IRVING:  Very well.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think that is a matter of argument and
        comment, but not for this witness.
   MR IRVING:  You see that the first indication is that he is
        making telephone calls "aus dem Zug", from the train, is
        that correct?
   A.   At the top, yes.

.          P-113

   Q.   And that he is going to the Wolfsschanze.  Can you tell
        the court what the Wolfsschanze was?
   A.   That would be Hitler's headquarters.
   Q.   The Wolf's Lair, is that correct?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   At 1.30 p.m. he is apparently in the bunker because he is
        making a telephone call "aus dem Bunker"?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   What does "aus dem bunker" mean?
   A.   "From the bunker".
   Q.   "From the bunker", and he telephones on the left at 13.30
         -- who does he telephone?
   A.   To Heydrich.
   Q.   Heydrich?
   A.   His deputy in Prague.
   Q.   His deputy in Prague.  What function did Heydrich have at
        that time apart from his function in Prague?
   A.   He was the head of the Reichs security main office which
        included the security police and the criminal police in
        the security service.
   Q.   So that was the executive arm of the SS, was it, I suppose?
   A.   It was one of the two police arms, the ordinary police
        under Daleuge, the political and basic secret police, we
        would call it, under Heydrich.

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