The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day021.16

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day021.16
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I know exactly what the dispute and the
        criticism is and I know what your answer to it is,
        Mr Irving, and I am now going to rule that you move to the

.          P-144

        next topic.
   MR IRVING:  Will you look at page 280?  You accuse me of not
        quoting a passage from the diary of Ulrich von Hassell?
   A.   Sorry.  Can I just clear my desk a bit?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is the "My dear Popitz, do you want me to
        punish the Fuhrer"?
   A.   Yes, exactly.
   MR IRVING:  You state that in a conversation -- I will read the
        whole passage.  I am sorry, I want you to look at page
        283.  It is again the Hassell diary.  This is the last
        change.  Page 293 of the expert report, my Lord.  It is
        the Hassell diary that you are referring to in paragraph
        2, is it not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   It is again concerning the involvement of Hitler and
        Hassell -- this again is hearsay -- Hassell is reporting
        what he is being told by his friend, the Bruckmanns, is
        that right?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   About a visit from Rudolf Hess on December 23rd?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Hess "had left them in no doubt that he had completely
        disapproved of the action against the Jews".  He is
        referring to the Night of Broken Glass, is he?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   "He had also reported his views in an energetic matter

.          P-145

        (sic) to the 'Fuhrer'" ----
   A.   "Manner".
   Q.   --- "and begged him to drop the matter" ----
   A.  ... "energetic manner to the 'Fuhrer'".
   Q.   ... "manner to the 'Fuhrer' and begged him to drop the
        matter, but unfortunately completely in vain"?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   What do you think he means by "dropping the matter"?
   A.   Well, I put this passage here because of the sentence you
        left out, Mr Irving, the final sentence:  "Hess pointed to
        against as the actual originator", and what you say in
        your book is that "Hess confirmed that in his view
        Goebbels alone was to blame" ----
   Q.   Yes, but ----
   A.   --- which is a blatant misrepresentation of that sentence.
   Q.   Now will you answer my question?
   A.   That is why it is there.
   Q.   It will speed things up if you answer my question.
        Paragraph 2, you say:  "Irving omits all mention of the
        crucial sentence which reports Hess as saying his attempt
        to get Hitler to stop the pogrom had been futile".  Is
        that what Hess actually said, what the diary said, "Stop
        the pogrom" or to "drop the matter"?
   A.   Let us read it again:  "He had left them in no doubt that
        he completely disapproved of the action against the Jews;
        he had also reported his energetic matter to the 'Fuhrer'

.          P-146

        and begged him to drop the matter, but unfortunately
        completely in vain."
   Q.   [German], is that right?
   A.   Yes, "the thing".
   Q.   The original German?
   A.   Yes, "the thing".
   Q.   What do you think he meant by, dis aher, the matter, the
        thing, the affair?
   A.   The action against the Jews.
   Q.   Is it not possible that by this time, the end of December,
        he is referring to all the persecution measures that had
        been ordained by the Nazis, the billion Reichs mark fine
        and all the rest of it -- all these petty measures of
        persecution that had been adopted by the Nazis which were
        adding insult to injury, if I can put it like that?
   A.   I do not think so, no.  It follows on naturally from the
        notion, what he says about the action against the Jews,
        which you have agreed was the pogrom of 9th/10th November,
        and you still have to explain why you do not quote this
   Q.   That is it not quite obvious that Hess had gone to Hitler
        and upon learning that Hitler and Goring had decided to
        impose this swinging fine on the Jewish community and all
        the other measures, he had put Goring in charge of the
        evacuation or emigration programme, and all these other
        things that had been set in programme by then ----

.          P-147

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is bizarre, Mr Irving.
   MR IRVING:  I beg your pardon?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is bizarre, is it not?
   MR IRVING:  It is not in the least bizarre, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  If you look at what goes before and what goes
        after, plainly, surely, you must accept they are talking
        about the event of Kristallnacht.
   MR IRVING:  No, my Lord, because you have to have a knowledge
        of the Nazi Party hierarchy to know that Rudolf Hess's
        signature was under Adolf Hitler's signature on all the
        anti-Jewish measures that had then followed.  Rudolf Hess
        had found himself counter signing all these orders,
        including the billion Reichs mark fine and all the
        punitive measures against the Jewish community, and he had
        obviously gone to Hitler and said, "For heaven's sake, why
        don't we drop it?  We are just adding insult to injury".
        That is what this conversation is about, and it is
        perverse to translate "sacher" as "pogrom", is it not,
        which is what you have done?
   A.   That is complete, complete -- well, two things.  I do not
        translate it as "pogrom".  I say "begged him to drop the
        matter".  "Matter" is a reasonable translation for
         "sacher", I think, so I do not translate it as that.
   Q.   I am sorry, in paragraph 2 you say:  "Irving omits all
        mention of the crucial sentence which reports Hess as
        saying his attempt to get Hitler to stop the pogrom had

.          P-148

        been futile" ----
   A.   Yes, there has been a translation, Mr Irving.  That is
        what I am saying there.  I am not translating there.  It
        is quite clear that the action against the Jews, as you
        said yourself, referred to the events, the pogrom, the
        destruction and murders of the night of 9th to the 10th.
   Q.   And you do not see there is any possible alternative
        interpretation in view of the fact that, as you and I
        know, you being an expert on the Third Reich, Rudolf Hess,
        as Deputy Fuhrer, counter signed all the orders issued
        against the Jews over the next few days and he obviously
        found it repugnant to do so?
   A.   I do not see any evidence that he did.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr irving, my recommendation is that you move
        on because we can all read what is there.
   MR RAMPTON:  We can also all read what is on page 281 of the
        Goebbels book which is all about Goebbels' blame for the pogrom.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, and he is hardly the originator of the
        criminal proceedings -- the Party court proceedings
        against the perpetrators.
   MR IRVING:  The translation of "sacher" as "pogrom" which is
        what this witness has done ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, you have asked that question.  The
        witness has quite rightly told you it is not a
        translation.  He is giving the sense of it.  It is not the

.          P-149

        same thing.  Please move on, will you?
   MR IRVING:  Page 297.  Let us see what kind of spin you can put
        on this.  Line 3 and a half, if I can put like that, at
        page 297, in other words, the fourth line?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   It is an entry in the Goebbels diary, is it not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   133, the entry for November 17th.  It is in a book by
        Dr Reuth?
   A.   Sorry, 133?  Yes, that edition, yes.
   Q.   Do you know where Dr Reuth got that entry from?
   A.   He got it from you, Mr Irving.
   Q.   Yes, I donated it to him.
   A.   Yes, I know that.
   Q.   You will notice that the quotation is Goebbels diary.
        Hitler is described as being "in a good mood.  Sharply
        against the Jews.  Approves my and our policy totally"?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Have you seen the original German of that text?
   A.   I do quote it there.  Do show it to me, Mr Irving.  Can
        you refer it to me?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do we need to go beyond the footnote?
   MR IRVING:  No, my Lord, "Billigt ganz meine und unsere
        Politik", is that correct?
   A.   That is quoted in -- I cite that in my footnote.  I try to
        give the original German for all my translations so that

.          P-150

        you can check it, Mr Irving, and raise objections if you
        want to.
   Q.   I go one stage better than you.  I use the original
        handwritten text because sometimes you can draw
        conclusions from the way the handwriting is done.  If
        I tell that you the word "meine" is obviously inserted by
        accident and that he then, as an after thought, had to
        include "and our", "und unsere", because he could not very
        well cross out "meine" because that would be a bit of a
        give away, would it not?
   A.   Well, there are several things ----
   Q.   I made that comment in my Goebbels biography.
   A.   I do not want to give a long answer, but, first of all,
        I would have to see a copy of the manuscript to be able
        accept that it is as you say.  Secondly, it does not make
        any difference to the statement that Hitler completely
        approves of Goebbels' policy.
   Q.   But is it not a bit of a give away that Goebbels starts
        off writing, "He approves my policy" and then he realises
        he has given the game away, so he then adds "and our"
        because he knows that he is going to say in the diary that
        it is Hitler's policy, because he cannot cross out
         "meine".  It is quite obvious if you look at the
        handwriting, the way it has been done.  Did I not make
        that point in my Goebbels biography which you read?
   A.   At the risk of repeating myself, I cannot accept that

.          P-151

        until I see the entry and, in any case, it does not seem
        to me to make a great deal of difference to the statement
        that Hitler completely totally approved of Goebbels'
        policy or their policy, what is the huge difference there,
        that he was sharply against the Jews, [German], in a good mood.
   Q.   Are you familiar with the fact that Dr Goebbels frequently
        in his diaries stated that Hitler had reached decisions
        when, in fact, Goebbels had reached the decision for him
        and he then wrote in his diary afterwards that he had the
        complete approval of Hitler for this, because these
        diaries were going to be published?
   A.   Give me an example, Mr Irving.
   Q.   Page 136 of my biography of Dr Goebbels.
   A.   136?
   Q.   From your knowledge of the period of 1932, was Adolf
        Hitler keen to stand in the Vice Presidential election?
   A.   Well, this is a different matter altogether, Mr Irving.
   Q.   We are still talking about the Goebbels diaries, are we not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   And it is the example you asked for.
   A.   Where are we?
   Q.   Page 100 ----
   A.   Yes, I have 132.
   Q.   136?

.          P-152

   A.   136.  Paragraph 1?  I mean the first big paragraph of two?
   Q.   Yes, it is the first full paragraph.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   "Hindenburg announced on February 15 that he intended to
        stand again.  Taking Hitler's decision for granted,
        Goebbels began designing election posters.  Hitler was
        still undecided.  Hitler then was announced as candidate
        by Goebbels at a huge mass meeting without having been
        consulted, found himself railroaded.  Writing in his
        diaries Kaiserhof two years later Goebbels claimed that
        Hitler had phoned him after the meeting to express his
        delight that the announcement had gone down so well"?
   A.   Right.
   Q.   Is this not a typical example of Goebbels window dressing?
   A.   Well, I am trying to find the footnote here.  Right, well,
        I think it is two points, the first point I want to make,
        obviously.  Kaiserhof, by that you mean the published
        version called "Von Kaiserhof [German]" of Goebbels diary,
        Goebbels published a substantial chunk of his diaries as a
        book in the 1930s, particularly concerned with the years
        in which the Nazis came to power.  That, of course, is a
        very heavily edited and amended version of his private
        diaries.  So that really does not tell us anything about
        the status of his private diaries in 1938.  No doubt, had
        Goebbels actually published his private diaries in 1938
        during his own lifetime, he would have monkeyed about with

.          P-153

        them, just as he did those.  So I do not think that tells
        us very much.
   Q.   Have you every compared Kaiserhof ----
   A.   You also quote in footnote 35:  "According to Vossische
        Zeitung, February 23rd, Goebbels said", and that is a kind
        of "The Times" of Germany, it is a very respectable
        quality paper, "said he was 'authorized' to tell them of
        Hitler's decision to stand".  And the source for the idea
        that Goebbels is to be blamed for the fait accompli is
        cited here as the so-called "Opposition  within the
        NSDAP".  That seemed to me a really very thin tissue of
        evidence on which to base ----
   Q.   Have you ever compared ----
   A.   --- this rather far reaching conclusion that Goebbels was
        constantly ascribing to Hitler decisions he had taken
        himself without Hitler actually knowing about them.

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.