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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day024.10

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day024.10
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, perhaps you should in that case.
   A.   I will only read the second -- well, I should read the
        whole passage: "In my life I have often been a prophet and
        was generally laughed at.  During my struggle for power it
        was mostly the Jewish people who laughed at my prophecies
        that I would some day assume the leadership of the state
        and thereby of the entire folk, and then among many other
        things achieve a solution of the Jewish problem.
        I believe that in the meantime the then resounding
        laughter of Jewry in Germany is now choking in their
        throats.  Today I will be a prophet again.  If
        international Jewry within Europe and abroad should
        succeed once more in plunging the people's into a world
        war, then the consequence will be not the Bolshevization
        of the world and therewith a victory of Jewry, but on the
        contrary the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe."
                  So "Jewry" is here in the German original
        Judentum, and the annihilation is the vernichtung,
        annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.
   MR IRVING:  Yes.  The words "on the contrary" you just
        interpolated that.  They are not in the original, are they.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  "Sondern".
   MR IRVING:  Sondern, it just means "but"?

.          P-84

   A.   But, yes.
   Q.   It is the word "but" that comes in after a negative, is it
        not, as in French?  I am going to draw your attention to
        the fact that this speech is on January 30th 1939?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Had not a few days earlier Adolf Hitler through Hermann
        Goring as head of the four-year plan, appointed Reinhardt
        Heydrich to set up an agency to speed the emigration of the Jews from Germany?
   A.   Yes.  That is true, yes.
   Q.   Yes.  That was just four our five days previously, was it
        not, or about two weeks previously, something like that?
        It was one of the consequences of the Kristallnacht?
   A.   Yes.  Shall I explain the context?
   Q.   Was that genuine or was that camouflage?
   A.   Sorry?
   Q.   Was the setting up of the Heydrich agency genuine or
   A.   I think this was at this stage genuine, but I think I have
        to explain the background, if you do not mind.
   A.   You know there were international negotiations going at
        this time between the so-called international government
        for refugees and the German Government represented by
        Hischaft.  So the idea was that actually one could, you
        know, force world Jewry, as the Nazis perceived it, to pay

.          P-85

        for the emigration of the Jews from Germany.  In my
        interpretation I think they really thought this was a
        serious idea, a serious plan, that one could actually let
        them pay for the emigration of 400,000 Jews from Germany.
        So I think we have to look at Kristallnacht in this
        context, because I think the policy of the Nazis was to
        start a policy of terror against the Jews, to terrify them
        to leave the country, but also to force the Western powers
        actually to give in and to support this emigration
        programme.  I think the speech has to be seen in this
        context.  It is a threat, it a very violent threat: Look,
        if you don't agree and if we are getting in a kind of
        dispute again and if this dispute again will lead to
        another world war, then of course the life of the Jews in
        Europe is threatened, we are threatening the life of
        them.  So if you look at the context they were, on the one
        hand, planning and preparing a programme for emigration,
        but on the other hand they were looking at the
        consequences if this programme would fail and if they
        would be involved in a military conflict with the Western
        powers again.
                  So if you threaten somebody, you know, it is a
        possibility.  The whole idea I think of, well, threatening
        people is that you, in a way, leave a kind of uncertainty
        what you actually will do with the people you are

.          P-86

   MR IRVING:  I am sorry, did you want to say anything else?
        No.  Would you regard this speech by Adolf Hitler as being
        a further twist to the Jewish arm, saying:  "Get out while you can"?
   A.   I think the motive behind the speech, there are various
        motives behind the speech, and one motive is clearly to
        threaten German Jews to leave the country as soon as
        possible. This is one of the motives behind the speech.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  On what matters, which is what "vernichtung"
        means in that context ----
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   You say it does mean extermination or extirpation?
   A.   I actually said here in the text "annihilation".  You
        know, historians are debating this question.  Some of my
        colleagues would say this is clear, Hitler actually at
        this stage had a clear programme to kill European Jews.
        I am not sure.  I think the motives behind the speech are,
        there were different motives between the speech.  It is a
        violent threat.  It includes the possibility to kill the
        Jews in Europe, but I am not sure whether, you know,
        actually one can interpret this as a kind of programme
        which was already there.
   MR IRVING:  What possible proof is there for the fact that
        Adolf Hitler had at this time, at the beginning of 1939, a
        programme or a plan or intent to liquidate the Jews of
        Europe or anywhere else?

.          P-87

   A.   The historians who would take this line would argue the
        events which followed to actually give us a kind of clue
        that Hitler probably had this plan at a very early stage.
        I do not agree with this view.  I think he still, you
        know, was not sure whether he preferred emigration or
        whether he was going to the next step and actually
        envisaging, was actually trying to envisage what would
        happen in a case of a war.  So I think it is a kind of a
        watershed here.
   Q.   Is he effectively saying:  "We will hold the Jews hostage"?
   A.   I think this is the message.  There are various motives
        behind the speech.  The fact that he is referring here to
        a world war, not simply to a war, a war against Poland,
        let us say, but a world war, which implies the involvement
        of the Western powers.  I think this is a threat against,
        the Western powers against Great Britain, in particular
        against the United States.  But this speech is really open
        for interpretation.  I cannot prove at this stage that
        Hitler had a programme, a blueprint to kill European Jews
        during the next years.  I think it would go too far to
        draw this conclusion from this speech.  It is definitely a
        very violent threat.  It is three months after
        Kristallnacht, and actually I think one has to bear this
        in mind that, you know, it is saying we could actually
        repeat Kristallnacht on a much, much wider scale.  I think

.          P-88

        something like is implied here.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, I am conscious that time is
        passing and we are spending huge amounts of time on the
        meaning of these various words.  In a way you have been
        rather pushed into doing it because of the form of the
        glossary, but it does not seem to me terribly helpful all
        this, because it all depends, and Dr Longerich's last
        answer reveals, that exploring what the context of a
        document is can be quite a complicated exercise.
   MR IRVING:  I agree, my Lord, but I hope I am gradually
        bringing it home to your Lordship that when Adolf Hitler
        is concerned, which is the person I am largely concerned
        with, we are all at sea and anyone can draw whatever
        conclusion they want.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We are at sea in 1939.  I am not so sure
        about 1941 and 1942.
   MR IRVING:  Which I hope we will reach in the course ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, let us move on.
   MR IRVING:  In that case I will not draw attention to what he
        said two days previously.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, I think 41 and 42 is the time, when the
        shooting started on the Eastern Front, paragraph 5.7 maybe.
   MR IRVING:  I was up to 5.8 already.
   MR IRVING:  At 5.8 you refer to the Goebbels diary entry, Adolf

.          P-89

        Hitler speech?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   To the Gauleiters on December 12th 1941?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Here the reference is, well, actually the reference is
        not, the "vernichtung" does not come in a speech; it comes
        in the second part, in the Hans Frank diary four days later.
   A.   According to the Goebbels diary he says "vernichtung" in
        this speech, and again the full reference is in, the
        translation is in the other report, in the first report
        which is in chronological order so we should find it.
   A.   Yes.  There is footnote 156, so if we look at the German
        text in the first report, page 61, then we have the
        translation I think in both.
   MR IRVING:  That is in fact harking back to precisely that
        speech, is it not.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is completely circular.
   A.   Yes.
   MR IRVING:  It is exactly the same.
   A.   Yes, he did this a lot of times.  He always came back to
        this speech.  I think he have five or six or more examples
        where Hitler is actually referring to this prophecy,
        particularly at this time.  It is not only on 12th
        December; it is also on 1st January, 30th January and 24th

.          P-90

        February.  He is always giving the same text.  On 21st
        February he is actually replacing the word "vernichtung"
        by "ausrotten".  So he is actually saying, he is
        indicating that things become actually more violent and
        more threatening.
   Q.   You then look at what Hans Frank said on December 16th?
   A.   Yes.  So we are back in the glossary?
   Q.   Yes, back in the glossary, paragraph 5.8.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Is it plain that the word "vernichtung" as used by Hans
        Frank is unambiguously referring to liquidation there?
        Immediately before the passage you quote, has not Frank
        told subordinates that a great Jewish emigration is about
        to begin, meaning the Jews of the German government are
        going to be deported and adopted by the Soviet Union?
   A.   Yes, again I would prefer to see the text here.  I do not
        know who has the full.
   MR RAMPTON:  I think we probably need the new file.  That is
        much the best way of doing it.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am just wondering where we get with this.
        This is Frank putting a gloss on Hitler had said in 1939.
        We have looked at what Hitler said in 1939.
   MR RAMPTON:  No, my Lord, I think the case is Frank is putting
        a gloss, if that be the right word, on what Hitler said on
        12th December 1941.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do we need to trouble with what Frank says?

.          P-91

   MR RAMPTON:  The witness makes the point, and indeed Mr Irving
        accepts, that the understanding which Frank had of what he
        had been told by Hitler in Berlin was quite unequivocal.
        It was about physical liquidation.
   A.   Yes.  He came back from Berlin -- it is four days after
        Hitler's speech -- saying he had discussions in Berlin
        and he is referring to this discussion.  I think it is
        fair to assume, because Frank was as Reichsleiter present
        at the Reichs and Gauleiter meeting, so it is fair to
        assume that he is referring to this speech and may be
        other discussions they had.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I thought he was referring back to 1939.
   A.   Yes, but if you look at the ----
   MR RAMPTON:  I think, my Lord, it would honestly be helpful
        because what we have done in this file is to put in fact a
        long translation provided by Professor Browning against
        the German text.  Would you turn to 172, first of all?
        That is the English of Professor Browning. .
   A.   Where will I find that?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is called N1.  It is also in another file
        but this is probably the best place.
   MR RAMPTON:  Do not worry about the other file.  N1 is the one
        you need.  I hope this should be a long paragraph in
        English indented.  My Lord, may I ask the witness whether
        that is what he has?
   A.   Yes, I have got that.

.          P-92

   MR RAMPTON:  If one turns to page 6 in a bold crayon, 178, one
        finds a third of the way down the page the words "mit den Juden".
   A.   Yes.
   MR RAMPTON:  That I think is the passage we are looking for.
   A.   Yes.
   MR RAMPTON:  I will leave it there.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Thank you very much, Mr Rampton.
   MR RAMPTON:  I should add that it goes over the page to the end
        of a paragraph, the next paragraph beginning "Die ucheiner".
   A.   Yes.

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