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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day024.12

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day024.12
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   MR IRVING:  My Lord, my general impression is that Adolf Hitler
        abandoned that particular plank once he came to power.  It
        had been very useful for getting him into power but, once
        he was an absolute dictator, he did not need it any more
        and it bulked less large.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  The point Mr Rampton makes is do we need to
        spend very long exploring anti-Semitism in the 30s, given
        that you accept that he was a radical anti-Semite over the
        entirety of that period?
   MR IRVING:  The question is whether he was a cynical
        anti-Semite and used it in the same way that an Enoch
        Powell might use immigration as a means of establishing a
        political position, or whether he was profoundly
        viscerally anti-Semitic.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Which option are you going for?
   MR IRVING:  I am going for the cynical version, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  So he was not really an anti-Semite, it was
        just a political gambit?

.          P-102

   MR IRVING:  He was when it served his purpose.  He was a beer
        table anti-Semite.  He used it to whip up support, but in
        private, and this is what counts, his state of mind was
        slightly different, which is what I was trying to elicit
        from just one or two episodes of his own----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I find that slightly difficult difficult to
        reconcile with your acceptance earlier on in this trial
        that he was without qualification a rabid anti-Semite, at
        any rate in the 30s.
   MR IRVING:  I would then say it is perfectly possible for him
        to have been like that originally and then drifted out
        when he no longer needed it, just as with Goebbels it was
        the other way round.  Goebbels was originally viciously
        anti-anti-Semitic and wrote his letter to his girl friend----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do not let us worry about Goebbels.  Can you
        put this point that you are now making in a general way to
        Dr Longerich?
   MR IRVING:  Two more questions and then we will have it, I
        think.  Adolf Hitler's dietary cook was also Jewish,
        Marlene Exener.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is not putting it in a general way.
   MR IRVING:  I was going to say -- well, is the answer do you
        know that or not?
   A.   No.
   Q.   If somebody maintained people like that on his private

.          P-103

        staff, is it an indication that personally he had no
        real -- what is the word I am looking for -- distaste
        for Jews as individuals?
   A.   I think I made my point.  I think, if you look into the
        history of anti-Semitism, you cannot draw conclusions from
        these personal relationships, because the anti-Semite
        would always argue, well, this is an exception, this is
        not a typical Jew, this person is different.  I remember
        vaguely these rumours that one or the other person was
        Jewish, or what they called half Jewish, but I do not
        think one can actually write a kind of history of Hitler's
        anti-Jewish policy on this basis.  This might be the case,
        but it does not -- it is a well-known stereotype in the
        history of anti-Semitism, as I said.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can I interrupt you rudely and just ask you
        the question which was the one I had in mind?  Do you
        accept what Mr Irving is contending, that Hitler's
        anti-Semitism in the 1930s was not an expression of a
        genuine anti-Jewish feeling, but was simply a political
        gambit to enable him to achieve power?
   A.   No, I do not think so.  I do not agree.
   Q.   Pursue it, if you want to, Mr Irving, but that was the
        general question I had in mind.
   MR IRVING:  I would ask again the general question.  If he was
        viscerally anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic, would he have
        tolerated Jewish members of his personal staff?  Would he

.          P-104

        have tolerated Field Marshal Milsch, who was a well-known
        half Jew?
   A.   I think I made my point clear.  As far as I see
        anti-Semitism  -- my English runs out a little bit --
        there is no contrast, no juxtaposition.  I think this does
        not actually disturb my view.  It does not surprise me.
   Q.   OK.  Just one final question to round off this context.
        In that little league table I was beginning to draw up of
        Himmler, Goebbels, Goring, Bormann, Lammers, Hitler, where
        would Hitler come on the anti-Semitism scale?  Would he be
        above or below Dr Goebbels?  Would he be more or less
   A.   I would just say that Hitler was a radical anti-Semite
        like Goebbels.  The degree of percentage, I cannot make a
        judgment about that.  I do not know how one measures
        radical anti-Semitism.
   Q.   Which way did the anti-Semitic current flow?  From
        Goebbels to Hitler, or Goebbels to Hitler?
   A.   If you look at this group of people, I think I would
        describe it as a consensus.  It was a general radical
        anti-Semitic consensus among them and it is impossible to say.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think we understand the difficulty you are
        in and I think, Mr Irving, you must move on.
   MR IRVING:  If you had read the Goebbels diaries right through,
        would you be able to form an impression on who was making

.          P-105

        the suggestions to whom, or who was just listening?
   A.   Again, I would prefer to look then at certain
        passages.  As a general view I think my interpretation is
        that there was a high degree of anti-Semitic consensus
        between Hitler and Goebbels, and of course Goebbels in his
        diaries, one of the motivations, motives, why Goebbels
        wrote the diaries is that he wanted to show, the diaries
        should present him as a very active energetic person.  So
        of course, he is in a way the actor, and others actually
        are reacting to him.  My general impression is that there
        was an anti-Semitic consensus among them.
   MR IRVING:  Can we now go to page 12 of your report, paragraph 1.4?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   In general terms you are saying that, between the outbreak
        of war in summer 1939 and the middle of 1941, the Nazis
        were look for a territorial solution to the Jewish problem.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Is this commonly accepted or do most historians now accept
        that there was no homicidal plan?
   A.   This is accepted, but I made a little comment there at the
        end, and I said, well, actually, if you look at the
        so-called territorial solution, one should actually say,
        and this is my argument, that this increasingly offers a

.          P-106

        perspective of the physical end of the Jews in Europe.  So
        I think the territorial solution, it was not meant that
        the Jews should actually come back from this reservation
        or whatever they planned, and they should stay there for
        300 years.  I think, if you look seriously at this
        territorial solution, these plans had clearly a genocidal
        implication, but they were still plans.  They were not carried out.
   Q.   So that, although they were talking in terms of geography
        and moving them out beyond the pale, even then you suspect
        that they would really like to kill them?  They were
        thinking in terms of killing?  You want to have it both
        ways, really?
   A.   I would come back to this phrase there is obviously a
        strong genocidal element in those plans, so they were
        considering among themselves the question how and whether
        the Jews would survive or they would not survive.
   Q.   Are you talking about the European Jews here or the
        Russian Jews?
   A.   I am talking about the European Jews.
   Q.   But there is no actual document which indicates a
        homicidal intent.  It is just that your feeling is they
        were talking geography but thinking in terms of bullets?
   A.   I could expand on that.  There are two arguments.  First
        of all, if you look at the plans themselves, at the
        comments they made on the plans, I think you can come to

.          P-107

        the conclusion that these so-called reservations would not
        offer sufficient means for existence to the Jews.  On the
        other hand, I collected quite a number of comments from
        top Nazis, which actually made quite clear from the
        context that what they envisaged was that the Jews, the
        Jewry, Judentung, the Jews would actually not survive in
        the end this deportation to reservations.
   Q.   They hoped they would perish in the process?
   A.   They would perish and put to death by a combination of
        diseases, epidemics, simply insufficient means for
        survival, hard labour and things like that.
   Q.   Dr Longerich, you appreciate there is a difference in
        intent there, just saying, "I want them to get out and who
        cares what happens to them when they are out"?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   That is one thing, but that is not quite the same as
        saying a homicidal intent?
   A.   Yes.  I think that is to say very short, that is the
        difference between the idea to let them perish out there
        and to immediately kill them by executions or gas and so
        on.  That is the difference.
   Q.   I do not want to go right back to the 1920s, but you do
        rely in part on Mein Kampf, do you not?
   A.   Yes, of course.
   Q.   I have a copy of Mein Kampf here, one of these little
        things you collect over the years, given to me.  I hasten

.          P-108

        to add I have never read it.  Am I right in saying that
        Adolf Hitler was not the only person whose hand is to be
        seen in Mein Kampf?  In fact a number of other people
        wrote it with him, Rudolf Hess and others?
   A.   I should say I read the book.  I think it is a very
        interesting book.  One should read it.  Hitler dictated it
        to Hess.  It is unclear.  Some historians would argue that
        actually he helped to improve in a way the text, but
        I think the fact that Hitler's name is on the book
        indicates that he is responsible for every word in the
        book.  I think also one recognizes of course his thoughts in the text.
   Q.   Do you see a direct line then between what Adolf Hitler
        put his name to in Mein Kampf in 1923 or 1924 and what
        subsequently happened 20 years later?
   A.   No.  I think the policy developed gradually, but we have
        to take the fact into account that Hitler made very
        radical anti-Semitic statements as soon as the mid 20s.
        We cannot overlook this fact.
   Q.   He made anti-Semitic statements in it?
   A.   Yes, Mein Kampf.  He spoke about putting 12 to 15,000 of
        these people to gas and so on.
   Q.   They could be held under gas?
   A.   Yes.  He did not say that he was intending to kill
        European Jews, but he made some very, very interesting
        statements concerning the fate of the Jews.

.          P-109

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, this is only a suggestion.  It
        seems me that the key phase really is when talk moved, as
        Dr Longerich says it did, from deportation to Madagascar
        or wherever else ----
   MR IRVING:  1941 is the key year.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, exactly.  Do you think that is where
        your quarrel with Dr Longerich really starts, is it not?
   MR IRVING:  This is absolutely true and that is why your
        Lordship will see that I am rapidly leafing through the
        pages which are heavily annotated by me, the
        Reichskristallnacht and so on.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I know it is a temptation, but if you can
        resist the temptation.
   MR IRVING:  In the meantime we have dealt with the
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think you have.
   MR IRVING:  I do not know what the law is here.  If I do not
        traverse these matters here in court ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I have said this already.  I think in the
        context of this case, if you have already cross-examined
        another expert on a particular topic, and you have
        certainly cross-examined Professor Evans on Kristallnacht,
        that is quite sufficient, unless Mr Rampton wants to
        persuade me otherwise, by way of putting your case, and
        you certainly do not need top traverse the same ground
        again with Dr Longerich.  Mr Rampton, you do not disagree

.          P-110

        with that?
   MR RAMPTON:  No, I do not.  Reichskristallnacht is mentioned in
        passing only in the first part of Dr Longerich's report.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think the same applies really to the
        shooting by the Einsatzgruppen.
   MR IRVING:  To much else, which is not a matter of great
        contention between us.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is true.
   MR RAMPTON:  I think it has gone really as an issue.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  So really I think we are looking towards the
        40s in terms of pagination.

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