The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day024.21

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day024.21
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   Q.   So Himmler was a weak man?
   A.   In a way Himmler had -- in a way Himmler had some
        weaknesses.  You are quite familiar, you wrote biographies
        about the leading Nazis, and you I think are quite aware
        of the fact where are his weakness.
   Q.   Himmler's brother Gebhardt told me that Heinreich was such
        a coward that he would never have done this without
        Hitler's orders.  So he backs you.  But the fact remains
        that we are faced with these baffling documents, are we not?
   A.   Yes.  The question is now whether these documents are
        really sufficient enough to prove the case that the
        Holocaust was carried out by Himmler behind Hitler's back,
        you know, without his knowledge, without his approval.
        Generally speaking, my impression is that it is impossible
        to prove this case.
   Q.   You mention the transportation, that this could not have
        been done without Hitler's orders?
   A.   All this, not only transportation but the whole magnitude
        of this operation.
   Q.   But Himmler referred specifically to the fact that this
        movement of the Jews from the West to East is going to
        proceed stage by stage, is the Fuhrer's orders, September
        1942 I think is the document?

.          P-185

   A.   Yes.
   Q.   So that was covered by Hitler's orders, the actual
        transportation movement.  That was clearly covered by
        Hitler's orders?
   A.   Yes, but all the over -- I can accept that, but it is not
        only the transportation.  It is the involvement of 10,000
        people in police units, in SS units.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  The whole.  You do not need to spell it out?
   A.   The whole operation.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  One can imagine how logistically complicated it was.
   A.   The Holocaust became known in 1942 to the Western world,
        and of course it was used in the Allied propaganda, for
        instance, they dropped leaflets on Germany, and so on.  So
        the whole idea that this process could be kept as a secret
        when, you know, 22 officials in the Foreign Ministry alone
        read one of the activity reports of 1941 which quite
        clearly states that thousands of people are shot, and 22
        diplomats were officially allowed to read this.  Then to
        argue that this was done behind Hitler's back, it seems to
        me it defies reason.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.  I have your very clear and full answer
        on that.  Mr Irving, I do not know whether you are going
        to move on now?
   MR IRVING:  I have now reached effectively my planning for the
        first report.  I will conclude the cross-examination on

.          P-186

        the second report tomorrow, and then I shall be finished
        with Dr Longerich tomorrow, if I may.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, you are really saying you would rather
        break off now?
   MR IRVING:  Quite simply because we did zip through the
        glossary.  I think it does fall naturally in two stages.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am not sure about that, but if you say you
        would like to break off now then I am perfectly happy with
        that.  Can we just see where we are going from here.
        Mr Rampton, are we expecting to have any other witness on
        Thursday?  I suppose that depends on Mr Irving.
   MR RAMPTON:  No.  I can start re-cross-examination Mr Irving on
        Thursday, if we go short with Dr Longerich.  If not I will
        do that on Monday.  I am expecting Professor Funke to be
        here on Tuesday.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Have you got a whole day's further
        cross-examination, do you think?
   MR RAMPTON:  Probably.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am not surprised.
   MR RAMPTON:  Probably, because I have not done the political
        association.  Considering the volume of material there is,
        I am going to keep it short, but it is still bound to take
        a bit of time.
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, ought I to question this witness about the
        Schlegelberger document which he has not referred it in
        his report?

.          P-187

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  He has not, you are quite right, and
        I personally think there is absolutely no need, because if
        there is one topic that has been investigated exhaustively
        it is certainly that one.
   MR IRVING:  I do not want to be criticised for not having done so.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I will not criticise you and I do not think
        Mr Rampton will either.
   MR IRVING:  Your Lordship is aware I attach great importance to it.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I realize you do.
   MR RAMPTON:  I would point out, therefore, that it is likely
        that I will place reliance on what Dr Longerich has
        already said about that, which is that, in effect, he
        thinks it is a document of no historical significance.
   MR IRVING:  Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.  The trouble is you cannot nibble at
        these issues.  I hope Mr Irving will not take that as an
        invitation to open the whole issue.
   MR RAMPTON:  No, but it is only fair that I should say that.
        I would use as corroboration for reliance on that what
        Professor Evans has said about it.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Professor Evans?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.
   MR IRVING:  If Professor Evans wishes to have a chance to
        amplify the reason why he considers it to be insignificant

.          P-188

        or less significant than do I, then this would be the opportunity.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think the answer to that is that he will
        not want to.
   MR RAMPTON:  He is in Cambridge.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think you meant Dr Longerich, did you not?
   MR IRVING:  That was the correct inference, yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am sure he will not want to, but Mr Rampton
        is entitled to rely on his commentary about it.  Since
        I know so clearly what the issues are each way on it,
        I really see very little benefit to be derived from going
        through all the points all over again.
   MR IRVING:  I have no desire to.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  If you want to I am not stopping you.
   MR IRVING:  But I thought it would only be fair in view of the
        fact that he did express that negative opinion on it, if
        he wished to have the opportunity to amplify on that that
        he should, but if he does not so ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Just so it is clear, I am not for a moment
        stopping you from cross-examining fully on your reasons
        for saying why the Schlegelberger memorandum is a very
        important document, but I will not hold it against you
        that you did not cross-examine if you do not.  I want to
        be absolutely clear what my position on that is.
   MR IRVING:  If your Lordship will not then I shall not.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Good.  I think that is a sensible outcome,

.          P-189

        because otherwise it is just a waste of time.
   MR RAMPTON:  Can I give your Lordship two more references to
        close the day.
   MR RAMPTON:  Day 2, page 262, lines 11 to 17, I will read it
        out for Mr Irving's benefit so he knows exactly.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Of what?
   MR RAMPTON:  Of my cross-examination in the transcript.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, page 262.  Again I am afraid for some reason
        best known, perhaps it is that I merely lay the ground and
        all the bright questions seem to be asked by your
        Lordship.  Maybe your Lordship has a better facility for
        getting straight answers, I do not know.  Anyway, page
        262, line 11, Mr Justice Gray asks Mr Irving:
                  "Do you accept that means," this is about report
        No. 51, "since it is addressed to the Fuhrer that it was
        shown to him?"
                  Answer: "On a high probability, yes, my Lord.
        I would have accepted that as being evidence that it had
        probably been shown to Hitler, but I would also draw
        attention to one, two or three details, if I may, since we
        are looking at the document."
                  Then bottom of page 264, which is on the same
        physical sheet of paper, line 23, again your Lordship is
        asking the question:

.          P-190

                  "To be asked what you think this would have
        conveyed to Hitler, which is I think what Mr Rampton was
                  Answer: "Firstly, I accept the document was in
        all probability shown to Hitler.  Secondly, I think in all
        probability he paid no attention to it, the reason being
        the date, the height of the Stalingrad crisis".
                  If there is going to be a retreat from that
        position, it is going to have to have, in submission,
        quite a good reason.
   MR IRVING:  Well, my response is that I think documents are
        often shown to learned counsel which learned counsel
        sometimes pay no attention to.  I think Mr Carmen is an
        example of that.
   MR RAMPTON:  I am not Mr Carmen for one thing, and I shall not
        say what I feel about that.
   MR IRVING:  Also your Lordship will remember ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Let Mr Rampton tell us more about it.
   MR RAMPTON:  For another thing, that is only to say that it
        seems that that concession, and I advisedly use that word,
        seems to remain in place.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Indeed it is fortified, because Mr Irving is
        there saying that, all right, it may have been shown to
        Hitler, but he paid no attention to it, well, that is
        almost the same as saying it was not shown to him.  But he
        goes done in day 4 and 5 in the passages that you have

.          P-191

        referred to I think to accept that Hitler knew and approved.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, knew about the systematic mass shootings in the East.
   MR IRVING:  Your Lordship remember that I produced evidence to
        you a day or two later showing that on precisely that day
        or the day before one document of exactly the same nature
        was shown to Hitler on two successive days, submitted to
        him and obviously not read by him.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.  I suspect the position will emerge that
        you have slightly shifted your ground backwards and
        forwards in the course of your answers to Mr Rampton.
   MR IRVING:  It is highly possible that one learns as one goes
        along, and one would be incorrigible if one did not.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I will not comment about that, but you have
        now put your case actually in considerable detail to
        Dr Longerich and we have now had his answers.
   MR IRVING:  Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  So tell me what your final stance is, because
        I would like to know, but the evidence is all in now.
   MR RAMPTON:  I would like to know too.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  So 10.30 tomorrow morning.

                  (The witness withdrew) 
(The court adjourned until the following day)

.          P-192

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