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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day024.05

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day024.05
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   A.   I do not know about Hitler's plan, you know, it is a
        hypothetical question.  It is assuming that the Munich
        agreement would not have happened, and so I do not know
        what was going on in Hitler's mind about the future of the
        Czechoslovak people, you know, in the case that would have
        been in 1938.  So I cannot answer this question outside this.
   Q.   Is Hitler telling the Czech State President, "Good thing
        you signed on the dotted line at midnight or 2 a.m.
        otherwise I would have liquidated your entire people", is
        that what he was saying?
   A.   Forgive me, I do not know to which text you are referring now.
   Q.   That is the context there.  If the word "ausgerottet" used
        in Hitler's mouth talking about ----
   A.   Well, we have another document from the conversation
        between Hacha and Hitler where actually Hacha himself
        says, "Well, actually our people felt that -- our people
        are quite relieved because they feel now because they were
        on the assumption that they were going to be vernichtet in
        the case that, you know, the Munich agreement would not
        have kept ----
   Q.   How many Czechs were there?  About 10, 15, 20 million?
   A.   Are we talking about the Czech Republic?
   Q.   Yes.

.          P-38

   A.   I think 7, 8 million or something like that, yes.
   Q.   So Hitler is at this time, is this what you are saying,
         "I would have exterminated 7 million Czechs if you had
        not signed"?
   A.   First of all, I do not know whether actually, but this is
        verbatim document, whether it implies some kind comment on
        Hitler, and then I am not sure -- it is a hypothetical
        question because what happened is that Czechoslovakia and
        the Western powers gave in and the Czechoslovak people
        were actually saved from a major catastrophe, may I say it
        like this, and I do not know what was going on in Hitler's
        mind in '38 about the future of the Czech people in case
        that, you know, he had not signed the Munich agreement.
   Q.   Yes, but ----
   A.   But ----
   Q.   --- you do get the drift of my question, that here is that
        word "ausgerottet" in connection with a volk and Hitler
        saying, "I would have done it to them if you had not signed"?
   A.   You know, it is a hypothetical.  It is also, you know,
        Hitler sometimes uses, you know, he made threats and he
        threatened people and he made completely, you know,
        remarks which shows that he was out of control.  So, you
        know, I do not know the context whether this is a kind of
        emotional reaction or anything like this.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  What you are saying, it all depends on the

.          P-39

   A.   That is absolutely true.
   Q.   And is it also right that sometimes politicians, or Hitler
        anyway, would use a term like "ausrottung" meaning "wipe out"?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Which is not to be taken literally?
   A.   Yes, that is what I would say.
   Q.   That is why I am not really ----
   MR IRVING:  That is precisely the point I was going to ask.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is all context, Mr Irving, is it not, really?
   MR IRVING:  The final question on that quotation, therefore,
        is, is it not likely that Adolf Hitler was just saying,
         "If you had not signed, I would have ended Czechoslovakia
        as a power"?
   A.   I think that is much, much stronger than that,
        "ausrottung", and again from the conversation with Hacha
        I know that Hacha was under the impression that the
        Czechoslovakian people would be vernichtet.
   Q.   What did he mean by "vernichtet"?  I know you used this in
        your glossary.
   A.   I think that people had ----
   Q.   Gas chambers for the entire Czechs?
   A.   No, but I think that people had felt, that people in
        Czechoslovakia in '38, felt that probably their existence,

.          P-40

        probably their life was under danger.  I think that is
        quite fair to say.
   Q.   The entire Czech nation or just a few left wingers
        and  ----
   A.   That people felt that their life was in danger.
   Q.   Move on to the next passage, please?  This is one you have
        quoted, is it not?  This we do not have to argue whether
        he has been correctly reported or not because this is from
        a transcript of a speech that Hitler made to the Nazi
        editors on November 10th 1938.
   A.   Yes.  This is actually the day, the day after
        Kristallnacht, so the day, during the night approximately
        I think 90 or more people were killed, so this gives you a
        kind of background.  Now, the term here Hitler is
        hesitating in this speech.  He says, "Well" -- may be
        I should go, I have to go to my ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is quite a complicated sentence.  Can you
        translate it?
   A.   Sorry, I have to go to my own text and I have to compare
        the two text.  I am sorry about this.
   MR IRVING:  While you are doing that, can I set it in context?
        Is Hitler saying ----
   A.   I am sorry, I cannot do this and listening to you.  I have
        to find my ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Just pause a moment, Mr Irving.
   A.   I have to find my own text.  I know that it is somewhere.

.          P-41

   MR RAMPTON:  On page 21, in paragraph 6.12.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, thank you very much, Mr Rampton.
   A.   Yes.  Yes, and then the sentence -- you did not give the,
        you stop in the middle of the sentence and you did not
        include the last five words, and the last five words in
        German are "aber man brauch Sie leider", "but we need
        them, unfortunately".  So the context is that he is going
        to say, "Well, actually, you know, I could when I look at
        the intellectual classes in Germany, you know, one could,
        I could come to the conclusion", and then he is hesitating
        and saying "ausrottung", and then he goes on and says,
         "Well, unfortunately, we need them".  So he is saying
        this idea to ausrottung, to kill the intellectual classes
        is completely illusionary, and so he has to come back and
        says, "I cannot do it".
                  You see, I have difficulties with this kind of,
        you know ----
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, can I just translate the sentence for you?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, do not interrupt.
   A.   --- I have difficulties actually to with these kind of
        documents which come in the last minute and leave out an
        important passage of the sentence, of the German
        sentence.  Please give me sometime always to find the
        original if I have not got it in my report, I actually
        would like to insist that the original is here because
        I think this is not the way one can do it.

.          P-42

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Dr Longerich, I have some sympathy with that,
        particularly as you have pointed out that there is quite
        an important bit of that same sentence omitted in
        Mr Irving's piece of paper.
   MR IRVING:  Can I just read out the translation of that
        sentence to you, my Lord?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, because it has just been read out.
   MR IRVING:  I do not think he has actually read out the
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, I have read it; I thought he did.
   THE WITNESS:  I can do it if you want to.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do if you want to, but include the last words
        because they make quite a big difference, it seems to me.
   MR IRVING:  Not in my submission, but there we are.  "I look at
        the intellectual classes amongst us, then, unfortunately,
        well, you need them, otherwise, I do not know, you could
        ausrotten them or something like that, but unfortunately
        you need them".  I do not understand why you say I left
        out the words "man brauch Sie an"?
   A.   Because you stop the sentence here with the colon and, in
        fact, the sentence is not stopping.  You give as reference
        [German - document not provided] and this is not a
        complete, a complete sentence.  You stopped in the middle
        of the sentence and left out the last five words.  You
        should have used -- I mean ----
   MR IRVING:  Which are the words that I left out?

.          P-43

   A.   If your interpretation differs, you should have used, you
        know, the normal, you know, these little dots one uses if
        one does not insert the complete sentence.
   Q.   Dr Longerich, which are the words you say that I left out?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  He has said many times, "aber man brauch Sie leider"?
   A.   "So you cannot kill them because we need them".
   MR IRVING:  Are those words not on the fourth line of my
        quotation on page 7?  "Man brauch Sie"?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, they are, but they come in twice
        and don't let us spend too long on this.
   MR IRVING:  Precisely, my Lord, but the whole point I am
        looking at there is this is Adolf Hitler in 1938 when
        nobody is liquidating anybody ----
   A.   Except the 90 people who just died the night before, and
        this is the little exception one has.  I mean, you have to
        realize the context is that this is the most brutal
        killing which happened in Germany since, I think, the
        Middle Ages.  There are more than 90 people, I would say
        several hundred people possibly were killed the last
        night, and in this atmosphere Hitler is giving a press
        conference and speaks about the ausrottung of
        intellectuals.  I think one cannot, you know, one has to
        look again at the historical context because this is, you
        know, an atmosphere which is dominated by brutality and a
        kind of absence of public order and law.  I think, you

.          P-44

        know, this has to be included here.
   Q.   Your answer invites two questions, unfortunately.  The
        first question is was Adolf Hitler, to your knowledge, at
        the time you made this speech on the afternoon of November
        10th aware that 90 people had been killed during the night?
   A.   I do not know.  I do not know that.
   Q.   The second question is, are you, therefore, suggesting
        that the verb "ausrotten" is not a mass extermination but
        a midget extermination, if I can put it like that, of just
        90 people?  Is that the scale you put "ausrotten"?
        I thought that "ausrotten" meant extermination on a huge scale.
   A.   No, I am just saying that when he made this, he made the
        statement and the statement says, "I can't kill them, I
        would like to but I can't kill them", but one has to look
        at the atmosphere of this very day.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It always comes back to context?
   A.   That is what I am trying to say.
   MR IRVING:  Precisely, but a perfectly reasonable
        interpretation of the word "ausrotten" there would be get
        rid of them, abolish the intellectual classes, abolish the  ----
   A.   The translation here ----
   Q.   --- upper classes?
   A.   Sorry.  I think the translation, the proper translation,

.          P-45

        is to kill them all, but, unfortunately, I cannot do it.
        I have said this now three times and I think it is-- I do
        not want to ----
   Q.   Adolf Hitler was telling the editors of the leading
        newspapers in Germany, "I just wish I could kill all the
        intellectuals" in 1938?
   A.   Yes, "But I cannot do it, unfortunately".  That is what it
        says in the text here.
   Q.   Yes.  This is the image you now have of that kind of thing
        55 years later, but how would the editors have picked up
        at the time if that was the meaning of the word
         "ausrotten" in 1938?  You appreciate that the meaning of
        words change over the years and when Adolf Hitler uses the
        word in 1938, the editors sit there thinking, "Yes, he
        wants to abolish them, he wants to get rid of the upper
        classes", just the same as Tony Blair gets rid of the
        House of Lords?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, not the upper classes.  I do not think
        that is right.
   A.   The intellectual classes -- well, then he could have said,
         "Well, actually I want" -- I said this here in my report,
        I said if he were just referring to a kind of, you know,
        social, you know, reform or reform of the educational
        system or some leveling of class, something like that, he
        could have said so.  He could have said, "Actually I want,
        you know, to be more, Hitler jungen in the universities.

.          P-46

        I do not want to get -- I would like to get rid of the
        sons of academics, well-established people", but he says
        he used the term "ausrotten".  I cannot help this-- it is
        here and ----

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