The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day016.19

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day016.19
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   Can we go now to page 11 of your report, which is the same
        page that this document comes from, and look at paragraph
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Page 11 of your report.  Paragraph 4.1.7?
   A.   Correct.  I have got it.
   Q.   This brings us to the famous Meldung No. 51, the report
        number 51 by Himmler to Hitler.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can we try to see if we can locate it unless
        you think it is not necessary?
   MR IRVING:  I do not think it is necessary, my Lord, I am just
        going to deal with the meaning of the word vorgelegt.  As
        you correctly point out in this paragraph, this report
        was, as you say, submitted on 31st December 1942, and the
        word submitted in the German document was vorgelegt.  Is
        that right?
   A.   That is how I translated it, yes.
   Q.   That is correct, and the initial that went with it was
        Hitler's adjutant Pfeifer.  Am I correct?
   A.   When it comes to Hitler's
Adjutants' initials I would
        defer to your recognition of that.  I am not an
expert in
        the initials of his Adjutants.
   Q.   I am not sure that Mr
Rampton would be happy to have you
        deferring to me in any matter of expertise?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I would be happier to have the
document in
        front of me.  Does anybody have any idea where it

.          P-138

   MR RAMPTON:  It is here.  I am just trying to
find it.  It is
        L1, tab 7, page 140.  In fact, I would recommend
        going back as far as page 138, where we see it in
a prior
        incarnation before it got reformed into the Hitler
        large type on page 140.
   MR IRVING:  I am quite happy to do that.  This
is one of the
        few examples, is it not, Professor, where we have
a bit of
        a paper trail, do we not?
   A.   Yes.
   MR RAMPTON:  I hope the Professor can find it.
   MR IRVING:  In the thick bundle.  Have you found
   A.   Yes I have both.
   Q.   Both the preceding
document, as Mr Rampton has rightly
        pointed out, containing the same figures, and the
        large typeface version on page 140.  I am just
        referring to this top line where it says Vorgelegt
        then the date and then the initial PH for
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   I am not going to make
anything about the initial.  If you
        had seen a preceding document, report No. 50,
which is not
        in this file, and if it had got the word Vorgelegt
on it
        twice, with two successive dates on it, Vorgelegt
on 29th
        December and Vorgelegt on 30th December, what
would that
        tell you?
   A.   That he had brought it
back a second time.
   Q.   Why had he had to bring it
back twice?

.          P-139

   A.   I have no idea.
   Q.   What is the logical reason
why he would have had to bring
        it first one day and then put it on Hitler's
        tray again the following day?
   A.   It could be either that he
had not read it or that he
        wanted to see it again.
   Q.   So the fact that word
Vorgelegt is on a document does not
        necessarily mean that it had been read?
   A.   It does not prove that it
had been read, because there is
        no Hitler initial that says "read by", which you
   Q.   Have you seen any
documents anywhere in the archives where
        we can tell that Hitler has read a document?
Would it
        have a different notation on it?
   A.   I do not know.
   Q.   Are you familiar with the
notation Fuhrer hauptkentness,
        or something like that?  F hauptkentness?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   And there is no such
reference on this particular
   A.   No.  That does not have
such a reference.
   Q.   would I be, on the balance
of probabilities, right in
        saying, although it is likely that the document
        submitted to Hitler, it is not proven that it was
read by
        Hitler, this particular document we are looking
   A.   One can say that we have
very strong evidence that it was

.          P-140

        submitted, but we do not know for certain that he
read it.
   Q.   Do you know what else was
happening at Hitler's
        headquarters around that time, what was happening
to his
   A.   Well, of course, he was
worrying about Stalingrad.
   Q.   He was worrying about
Stalingrad, yes, thank you very
        much.  Moving on to page 12, paragraph 4.2.1, this
is the
        document from the Moscow archives, is it not,
        the local SS units to assist the local anti-
Semites in
        starting their own pogroms and keeping out of it
   A.   To instigate the pogroms
without leaving their own
   Q.   It is a remarkable
document, is it not?  Has this just
        recently come into our possession, or has it been
        for many decades?
   A.   The earliest to which I
saw reference was when Helmut
        Krausnik refers to it in his big work on the
        Einsatzgruppen which was published, I believe, in
1979 and
        then it was subject to considerable debate between
        and Alfred Streim at the conference in 1982.  So
it has
        been a document that has been referred to among
        for now 20 years.
   Q.   Can you in three lines
sketch for the court the nature of
        the debate?
   A.   The nature of the debate
was whether there had been an

.          P-141

        order to the Einsatzgruppen prior to the invasion
of the
        Soviet Union to kill all Jews, or whether that
order came
        later, and the question was, was gedrangtform or
        compressed form a quick way of referring to a
        comprehensive order which was what Helmut Krausnik
        or do we take the order more literally and, when
        says they will kill all Jews in state and party
        to see that as a beginning of the campaign to kill
        leadership but not yet a comprehensive order to
kill all
        Jews, women and children included.  That was the
nature of
        the debate.
   Q.   If you were to give an
overview of the killing programme
        during 1941 on the Eastern Front, would be it
correct to
        say that initially the victims were Jewish males
of an
        able-bodied military age?
   A.   The first victims were
Jews that were considered in
        leadership positions, or Jewish males in general.
        Sometimes they would be anyone from 16 and 55,
        it would be they want the lawyers and the doctors,
not the
        doctors, they would usually be spared, bring us
        leadership of the town.  So that it was a
        killing and not a total killing, I argued, until
   Q.   Were there military
reasons for carrying out these
        operations or purely ideological at that stage?
   A.   My feeling was that this
was more ideological than

.          P-142

        military, that these people do not present a
        threat to the Germans of any significant kind, and
        this was part of Heydrich's preventative war to
take away
        the leadership of the Jewish community, and that
this was
        a police purge, we might say, and not a strictly
   Q.   Are you saying that they
presented no threat to the
        Germans of any military kind?
   A.   No significant threat.  I
do not think the 50 year old
        Rabbi represents a military threat to the Germans
and he
        would be the kind of person.
   Q.   I am older than 50 and I
would certainly be capable of
        pointing a gun at someone.
   A.   If you had a gun, and they
did not have guns.  Capable of
        it, but the fact is that there is very little
record that
        Jewish resistance was a cause of the German
action, that
        it should be out here very, very early.  The
orders given
        -- put it this way.  The July 2nd document refers
to the
        verbal conversation Heydrich had with his
        leaders before the invasion, and then on July 2nd
he sends
        in compressed form a summary of that to the higher
SS and
        police leaders.  So that the orders to kill Jews
and state
        and party positions precedes the invasion and is
not the
        result of any actions by Jewish communities that
could be
        construed as resistance justifying military
        It is a pre-emptive measure decided on prior to

.          P-143

   Q.   Is it not right to say that the event reports the
        Erreichnichtsmelderung August 1941 onwards primarily
        referred to the emergence of partisan activity which is
        being led or supported by the Jews?
   A.   There are frequent references to Jews as if Jews and
        Bolshevic Jews and partisans are the same thing.  But, if
        one goes down a lower level to people who are reporting on
        partisans for the purpose of what counter measures one may
        take, what I have seen of these is that it is not until
        the summer of 42, and the reference is Jews are fleeing to
        the forest and joining the partisans because of our ghetto
        liquidation campaign.  The Germans are creating a Jewish
        partisan danger because these people are fleeing the death
        that awaits them if they do not.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, I am sorry, I am going to have to
        interrupt you again.  I am sorry to do so.  We have had
        quite a lot of evidence about a document which I have
        eventually tracked down.  There seem to be two versions of
        it, both in German, and I do not know where, if
        I find an English version.
   MR IRVING:  Which document is this, my Lord?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  This is what he has just been
talking about,
        the July 2nd 1941 document.
   MR RAMPTON:  The key part of the document is on
page 11 of
        Professor Browning's report.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I do not think that is really
enough.  Is

.          P-144

        that it as far as a translation goes?
   MR RAMPTON:  The key part is in paragraphs 4.16
and 4.17. It is
        also set out in full in Longerich and Evans.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  In full in Longerich?
   MR RAMPTON:  Longerich 2, page 67.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  What would help me, rather
than just having
        wodges of German text, is some sort of cross-
        There really is not time for me to plough my own
        through, with my inadequate German, to find the
        that matter so, if I could be provided with a
        cross-reference for where I find a translation, I
would be
        very grateful.

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