David Irving's 1988 Testimony at the Trial of Ernst Zündel
David Irving testified as the twenty-third and final witness in the Zündel trial on Friday, April 22, Monday, April 25 and Tuesday, April 26, 1988.
From the digest published by Ottawa legal expert Barbara Kulaszka.
David Irving, the British historian and author, was permitted to testify as an expert in the area of the history of the Second World War. (33-9346)
Irving had worked as a professional historian since 1963 and was the author of between twenty and thirty books. These included Hess: The Missing Years, 1941 - 1945, The Service: The Memoirs of General Gehlen, Accident: The Death of General Sikorski, The Destruction of Dresden, The Secret Diaries of Hitler's Doctor, The Trail of the Fox, The War Between the Generals: Inside the Allied High Command, The German Atomic Bomb, Convoy: The Destruction of Convoy PQ 17, The Mare's Nest, The War Path, Hitler's War, The Morgenthau Plan, Breach of Security, Uprising, and Churchill's War.
April 22, 1988
As a historian, he was interested in contemporary history; that of the twentieth century. Irving himself came from an English service family. His father was a Royal Navy service officer. For twenty-five years, Irving had researched in archives around the world, including Canada, the United States, France, East and West Germany and other countries. He had also had the co- operation of the archives in Israel and the Soviet Union. (33-9312 to 9325)
He was "very familiar with the records of the German High Command and the other German wartime government agencies." He had acquired this knowledge and expertise initially at Alexandria in Virginia, where the archives were originally stored after they were seized by the American army. The documents had been subsequently sent back to West Germany. They were still available in Washington partly in original form and partly on microfilm. A number of records were also held by the British government. (33-9325)
Irving had also done in-depth research into the life of AdolfHitler: "For ten years I researched Hitler's life based entirely onprimary records. I don't believe in buying other people's books orreading them on Adolf Hitler. We can readily surmise there must bemany tens or hundreds of tons of books. I think it's easier to go tothe archives and look at the documents. That way you avoid soaking upother people's prejudices...Dealing with Adolf Hitler, I would lookfor the private papers of his personal staff, people who weredirectly associated with him from secretarial or adjutant level, upto Field-Marshal. I would try and amass a great body of documentaryevidence which passes certain criteria. And these were the criteriawhich the great English historian, Hugh Trevor-Roper, laid down inparticular; three criteria for a document to be acceptable to ahistorian. The first criterion is quite obviously, is the documentyou are looking at genuine? The second criterion is, was the personwho wrote the document in a position to know what he is writingabout? A street sweeper in Berlin may have been in Berlin in the lastdays of the war, but he doesn't know what's going on in Hitler'smind. The third criterion you ask yourself, why does this documentexist? Why has it come into existence? You may look at a documentthat is apparently honest but you find out later on from othersources that the general wrote the document to protect himself. Soyou ask yourself, how did this document meet these three criteria andin the ten years that I worked on the Hitler project, I built up ashelf of about seventy feet of original documents that probably noother historian had ever seen. I persuaded Hitler's staff to trust mewith their private papers that they had not shown to anyone else. Ialso built up a card index of ten or fifteen thousand filing cards ona day-by-day basis so you knew exactly what Hitler was doing, ratherlike a diary. You could say exactly what he was doing which meantthat you had a useful tool to check any document. Any document thatwas shown to you had to fit with that card index. If it didn't, thenthere was something phony about the document." (33-9326, 9327)
Irving was very familiar with German documents, "...with the waythey look, the way they smell - they have a certain physical smell -with the way they are phrased and with the archives they come fromand the language they use, of course. I'm very fluent in the Germanlanguage." (33-9328)
He had also conducted scientific tests as part of his research:"In the twenty-five years I have done research, on occasion documentshave been offered to me that I had reason to suspect. On one occasionI was offered the private diaries of the German Vice Admiral WilhelmCanaris...who is the chief of the German Secret Service. We knew thatthese diaries existed. We have been looking for them. They haven'tbeen found to this day. In the end I persuaded the man who hadoffered these diaries to me and the English publishers, Collins, tocome to London bringing one page of those diaries. In return, we paid50,000 pounds into his bank but we didn't release it into his accountuntil we carried out laboratory tests on the paper. This was in about1970. And the laboratory tests carried out on the paper and the inkand the typewriter showed that the paper was wartime paper. It didn'thave the whiteness that modern paper has; it didn't have melamineformaldehyde added that modern paper has. The paper had been cut tothe German size with scissors, as microscopic examination showed.Also the signature had been written in a ball point pen. The chemicaltests showed that quite clearly. Tests were carried out on the ink ofthe signature normally to show how old the signature is. Thislaboratory in London which I use, Hehner & Cox, carried out atest normally on the iron content [of the] ink. Normally, ifyou write a signature with ink, the iron oxidizes, so I am told, andyou can tell the degree of oxidization, and tell how long a signaturehas been there. This document was signed in a ball- point pen and wasclearly a forgery. I had the man prosecuted for criminal fraud and heavoided the consequences by dying, or by purporting to have died. Atany rate, he submitted a death certificate which I was prepared toaccept as genuine. And of course, I was involved in the very famousdiscovery of the Hitler diaries forgery. I had had the Hitler diariessubmitted to me six months, I recall, earlier along with ancillarydocuments. I had had the Hitler's diaries submitted to me in 1982,November, along with other ancillary documents. And I detected thatthe letterhead on a Hermann Goering notepaper was actuallymisspelled. They misspelled the rank of the Field-Marshal, of theReichsmarschall as he was, which was completely improbable, and whenthe Hitler diaries were presented to the world in April, 1983, Iattended the press conference and exploded that press conference asyou may have seen on "Good Morning America" and the other televisionprogrammes. The diaries were a fake and I had the forensic evidencethey were fake...there had been occasions, sir, when I have usedlaboratories to determine forgeries. "(33-9328 to 9330)
Irving's Hitler research failed to uncover any evidence thatHitler was aware of the alleged "final solution" of the Jews: "At theend of writing the Adolf Hitler biography in draft, I was aware ofthe fact that having written it from primary, original Hitlersources, I, as the author, didn't know about the Holocaust. I hadfound no documents showing any involvement between Adolf Hitler andthe Holocaust which was very disturbing for me. So I re-investigated.I sent a researcher back into the archives where, with a specificjob, the researcher, who was a trained historical scientist at theInstitute of Contemporary History in Munich, I said to her, 'Go backto the archives in Freiburg, Munich and Berlin, and see if I havemissed anything'. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, the factthere were no documents whatsoever showing that a Holocaust had everhappened. I'm using the word 'Holocaust' in the modern sense that thenewspapers tell us to use it. And certainly there was no evidencethat Hitler had ever known such a thing was going on, whatever itwas. This was very disturbing for me and it was even more disturbingfor my literary agent who warned me of the consequences of producingthe Hitler book in this fashion." (33-9330, 9331)
This completed defence attorney Doug Christie's examination ofIrving for the purpose of qualifying him as an expert witness. CrownAttorney John Pearson then rose to cross-examine Irving on hisqualifications as an expert in history. (33-9332)
In response to Pearson's questions, Irving testified that his bookChurchill's War, was published in West Australia by VeritasPublishing Company. David Thompson, the firm's East Australian salesmanager, introduced Irving at a speech Irving gave at the Universityof Sydney. (33-9332, 9333)
And do you remember, asked Pearson, saying that you had noqualifications whatsoever and you were proud of the fact that you hadno qualifications whatsoever?
"I think my precise words would be to say that the onlyexamination I...failed at school is O-level history which is the mostelementary level of history you can fail," said Irving. (33-9333)
You were proud to say you flunked history?, asked Pearson.
"I have started off from such humble beginnings...I have noacademic qualifications whatsoever." (33-9333)
Right, said Pearson, you make your living writing and publishingcontroversial books about history.
"I make my living publishing books about history, yes...Many ofthem are controversial. I don't create the controversy, the mediado...I'm a controversial historian." Irving agreed that his books hadbeen the object of contempt and scorn and that he had been houndedand attacked. He disagreed, however, that controversy was good forbook sales: "Quite the contrary, sir. I rather hinted when Imentioned my literary agent, in the matter of Hitler's War, myliterary agent warned me of the severe consequences of thecontroversy that would develop from omitting Hitler's role in theHolocaust. He told me we would lose the Sunday Times deal, theReader's Digest deal, the Book of the Month Club deal, and we wouldnot sell the book as a paperback in the United States. We lost aboutone million dollars. Controversy is not necessarily good." (33-9334,9335)
Well, are you familiar with the book called Spy Catcher?, askedPearson. Irving replied that he knew of the book and that it had beenbanned when he left Britain five weeks before. And wouldn't you agreewith me it was good for sales?, asked Pearson. Irving agreed this hadbeen true for sales of Spy Catcher in Australia, but said: "Beingbanned ipso facto is not good for sales. You have to be banned in acertain way...There are useful controversies and there arecontroversies which don't promote your purposes as a historian."(33-9335, 9336)
Well, said Pearson, if there's controversies that create mediaattention, that's good for sales because thereby people learn about abook that they'd otherwise not even know about. Isn't that right?Said Irving: "This is true. And I emphasize as a professionalhistorian I have to sell my books. I can't afford to lose mycredibility." (33-9336)
When you say you're a professional historian, asked Pearson, whatyou mean by that is you write books on history and sell them?
"I write books on history as a profession. That's whatprofessional historian means." Irving agreed that he was in a fightfor media attention: "I think that is correct. In England 58,000 newbooks are published every year and only 1,000 will ever getreviewed...So, it's a bit of a struggle of life." (33-9336)
Would you agree with me that you hold academic historians incontempt?, asked Pearson.
"I hold them in contempt for specific reasons," said Irving. "Notall academic historians but the broad majority of them."(33-9337)
Would you agree with me, asked Pearson, that the academichistorians, for instance, Martin Broszat, consider your thesis inyour Hitler book as embarrassing? Irving disagreed: "On the contrary.Martin Broszat went to great lengths in a 54-page review of my Hitlerbook to say on one central issue he considered that I was correct,that there was no general order for the extermination of the Jews...Idon't think he ever used the word embarrassing. I'm not familiar withall his writings." (33-9337)
Pearson produced a copy of an article by Broszat published in YadVashem Studies. Irving indicated he was familiar only with the Germanedition: "...I haven't read this particular one. I don't subscribe toYad Vashem Studies. If he said it was embarrassing, I will acceptyour word for it, but it would be embarrassing for the body ofacademic historians because I have shown them up for not doing theresearch which did I." Irving examined the article and confirmed thatit was an English translation of the original German paper whichappeared in Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte with which hewas familiar. (33-9338, 9339)
And it doesn't matter that it's published in Yad Vashem, does it?,asked Pearson.
"I...think I did emphasize I have co-operation from the Israeliarchives so that does mean it's a two-way co-operation."(33-9339)
Pearson repeated the question.
"I can't see what point you're driving at," said Irving, "I justsaid...I'm not familiar with the Yad Vashem version of it." (33-9339,9340)
The title of the article by Broszat was "Hitler and the Genesis ofthe 'Final Solution': An Assessment of David Irving's Theses."1 AtPearson's request, Irving read the first paragraph:
THE ENGLISH EDITION of David Irving's Hitler book, published inthe spring of 1977, two years after the expurgated German edition,has created a furore both in England and elsewhere. The Britishauthor, who gained a reputation as an enfant terrible with earlierpublications on contemporary history, has propounded a thesis whichis embarrassing even to some of his friends and admirers.
Pearson indicated that Broszat went on to say that Irving was avery good writer. Pearson then continued reading from page 76 of thearticle:
The discovery and utilization of contemporary primary sources haslong been a sort of adventuresome passion of Irving the historian.However, the unprejudiced historian and researcher is obstructed bythe passionately partisan author whose insistence on primary sourceslacks the control and discipline essential in the selectiveinterpretation and evaluation of material.
He is too eager to accept authenticity for objectivity, is overlyhasty in interpreting superficial diagnoses and often seemsinsufficiently interested in complex historical interconnections andin structural problems that transcend the mere recording ofhistorical facts but are essential for their evaluation. Spurred bythe ambition of matching himself against professional historians inhis precise knowledge of documents, he adopts the role of theterrible simplificateur as he intends to wrest fresh interpretationsfrom historical facts and events and spring these on the public insensational new books.
Said Irving: "I think every historian is entitled to hisopinion...What he is saying is I haven't learned to read between thelines the way that the academic historians have." (33-9341, 9342)
Pearson asked whether Irving's thesis in Hitler's War was thatHitler was a bad administrator who liked ideas and not details, andthat it was Heydrich, Himmler, Frank and others who were engaged inperpetrating the Holocaust. Said Irving: "In the introduction I makeplain that I regard Germany, by the end of the Second World War, as aFührer state without a Führer. He had lost control ofwhatever was going on and I'm not going to be so simple as to say itwas quite simply what is now called the 'Holocaust.' Whatever it wasthat was going on, there is no evidence that Hitler knew it. There'snot enough evidence to satisfy an English magistrate's court and itcertainly shouldn't satisfy an academic historian or a professionalone." (33 9342, 9343)
Are you repudiating what you wrote in Hitler's War about theactivities of Himmler, Heydrich and Frank?, asked Pearson.
"I didn't use the word 'Holocaust' to the best of my knowledge.This is a relatively modern invention. I think we have to be muchless simple than using a word like that. We have to try to examinewhat was going on, see if there was a pattern or was it just ahaphazard series of ad hoc tragedies generated by all sorts ofdifferent criminals who were running amok." Irving indicated that hedid not think he repudiated anything he wrote in Hitler's War, butindicated that he "would need to know exactly which passage I ambeing asked to...repudiate." (33-9343, 9344)
Pearson asked if Irving's thesis in his book Churchill's War wasthat Churchill wanted a war because he knew he wouldn't get electedin peacetime and he conducted a lot of his activities during the warin a drunken haze?
"This is not a thesis," said Irving. "That is, in fact, astatement of fact." (33-9344)
David Irving was accepted as an expert witness qualified to givetestimony in the area of the history of the Second World War. Defenceattorney Douglas Christie commenced his examination-in-chief ofIrving. (33-9346)
In your opinion as a historian of the Second World War, askedChristie, what is the 'Holocaust' as it is currently presented?
"The Holocaust as it is currently presented," said Irving, "I cando no better than quote the words used by the chief rabbi of England,Lord...[Immanuel] Jakobovits, who has recently said that inhis view, it has become big business...Which he deplores."(33-9347)
Irving had read Did Six Million Really Die?: "...I have seen thisbook before over several years. I have never read it until two daysago when a copy was sent to me by courier in Florida with a requestthat I should read it for the purposes of this trial. And I read itwith great interest and I must say that I was surprised by thequality of the arguments that it represented. It has obvious flaws.It uses sources that I would not personally use. In fact, the entirebody of sources is different. This is based entirely on secondaryliterature, books by other people, including some experts, whereas Iuse no books. I use just the archives. But independently, the authorof this came to conclusions and asked questions of a logical naturewhich I had arrived at by an entirely different route, so-to-speak. Igive one example. On one page, which I can't remember, he asks theobvious logical question, if you are going to exterminate millions ofpeople, why did you go to all the trouble of shipping them thousandsof miles across Europe first? This is the kind of logical questionwhich the academic historian[s] have ducked until now. And ifI was to ask what is the value of a brochure like this, I think it isthat it provokes people to ask questions, rather as my book onHitler's War provoked the historians. I think I am told that thiscourt has heard about the historians' dispute that has opened up inGermany. That was entirely as a result of my controversial book onHitler. Until 1977, the German historians had never asked the obviousquestions. This is the kind of value which I found this brochure tohave. It was asking proper questions on the basis of an entirelydifferent set of sources. But I do emphasize that it contains flawsand it contains also some opinions with which I personally wouldn'tagree." (33-9347, 9348)
If the 'Holocaust' is represented as the allegation of theextermination of 6 million Jews during the Second World War as adirect result of official German policy of extermination, what wouldyou say to that thesis?, asked Christie.
"There are several elements of that sentence I would dispute,"said Irving. "Firstly, the allegation that it was official Germanpolicy. We are not familiar, neither the academic nor theprofessional historians are familiar with the slightest documentaryevidence that there was any such German policy. And I should befamiliar with it having spent ten years wading around in the archivesof the German High Command and speaking with Hitler's private staff.It isn't there. I am not familiar with any documentary evidence ofany such figure as 6 million and I think I know how the figureoriginated because I am familiar with the private papers of theAmerican Chief Justice at Nuremberg, the Justice Robert H. Jacksonand I saw the actual interview on which that figure was...arrivedat...Many years ago, I wrote a very detailed analysis of theNuremberg trial and the procedures and the sequence of events at theNuremberg trial. In the course of which I obtained privileged accessto all the private and official records of the American chiefprosecutor, Justice Robert H. Jackson, in the course of which Ichanged my opinion about him. I set off with a bad opinion of him andin the light of what I read in his diaries, I came to realize he wasa profound and honest American lawyer." (33-9349, 9350)
Do you have any opinion as a result of your research as to thenumber of Jews who died in concentration camps during the SecondWorld War?, asked Christie. Said Irving: "I am not sure that anopinion here would be of use. I have opinions. I have opinions,however, in the kind of statistical orders of magnitude, where youcan see there's a minimum number and a maximum number, and I can onlyset these two limits and say that to my mind, it must have been ofthe order of 100,000 or more, but to my mind it was certainly lessthan the figure which is quoted nowadays of 6 million. Because on theevidence of comparison with other similar tragedies which happened inthe Second World War, it is unlikely that the Jewish community wouldhave suffered any worse than these communities. You can weigh thefigures in certain ways and look at air raid damage and look at othercommunities like the gypsies and so on and say, this is the balanceof probabilities. But it shouldn't be necessary to talk aboutprobabilities. All Hitler's other crimes are documented instatistical details in the archives. This is supposed to have beenthe biggest crime of all and yet the documents just aren't there sowhy do we have to speculate? Why do we have to have opinions aboutfigures?" Irving pointed out that there was documentary evidence tosupport the German policy of deporting the Jews: "Oh, yes. Quitedefinitely. In the course of my Hitler research I came acrossacceptable German archival evidence which met the criteria which HughTrevor-Roper had taught me, being authentic documents written bypeople in a position to know. I came across documents showing thatHitler had given the orders for the deportation of the Jews to theeast. This deportation was in full swing by the middle of 1942 andyou find, for example, Heinrich Himmler writing to Gauleiters thatthe Führer, Adolf Hitler, has given me the order to make Europefree of the Jews, clean of the Jews from west to east, stage-by-stage, and it's quite clearly referred to as Hitler's order, thedeportation." (33-9351, 9352)
There were, however, no orders for the extermination of Jews:"None whatsoever. I have not found in any archives of the world,including I mentioned the Israeli archives which have beenco-operating with me; I also underline the fact even in the Britisharchives, where we were reading the signals, the code signals of theSS units operating on the eastern front, with our code- breakingmachinery, not even in the British archives are there any decipheredHitler orders for the killing of Jews...There are no explicit ordersand this is where the academic historians start asking us to readbetween the lines and find fancy translations for certain words and Iwouldn't go along with those methods. I want in a crime as big asthis to find explicit evidence." (33-9352, 9353)
Was there a Madagascar plan?, asked Christie.
"The original 'final solution' of the Jewish problem as envisagedby the German High Command," said Irving, "was to deport the Jews todifferent territories. Various different territories were called intoaccount for this. On one occasion, the Jews were going to be shippedto western Australia. On another occasion they were going to beshipped to Palestine and Adolf Eichmann was actually sentto...Palestine in 1939 to negotiate with the Zionists in Palestine.The principal plan was the so-called Madagascar plan. Madagascar isan island off the coast of Africa about the size of Germany. Atemperate island, the kind you have in Canada or in Britain, and theidea was to ship all the world's Jews to Madagascar. In 1940 afterthe German defeat of France, the intention was to incorporate theMadagascar plan in the final peace treaty obliging France to makeMadagascar, which was a French colony, available for the purpose ofJewish resettlement. And there are traces, by which I mean there areextensive files, on the Madagascar plan in the archives of the Germanadmiralty, because they would be involved in the transportation, andthe archives [of] the German Foreign Ministry and in variousother German government bodies. This plan was abandoned when the warcontinued because it was impossible to have an overseas shipment ofJews at a time of war. And finally, in 1942, there is a document inthe records of the German Foreign Ministry which says the Madagascarplan is being abandoned because we now have new territories availablein the east, the occupied Russian territories, to which all the Jewswill be transported instead." (33-9353, 9354)
Is there any one document in the archives, asked Christie, of thevarious ministries which say, as late as March 1942, that there was aplan to exterminate the Jews?
"This is typical of the documents which I have found and which theacademic historians, until I had published it, would not publish it,"replied Irving. "In the archives of the German Ministry of Justice, Ifound a document which was concealed at Nuremberg...which resurfacedin the archives in Koblenz, dated in the spring of 1942. It is a noteof a telephone conversation of the Secretary of State of the GermanMinistry of Justice with the Reich Chancellor...That would be ratherlike a Prime Minister, a Prime Minister in a dictatorship, second mandown from Hitler...[who was] Hans Lammers. Lammers hadtelephoned the ministry in the spring of 1942 and the minister writesa note on the conversation, and I can quote the memorandum frommemory. It says: 'Lammers has said that the Führer, AdolfHitler, has repeatedly ordained that he wants the 'final solution' -that he wants the solution of the Jewish problem postponed untilafter the war is over.' And this document, of course, takes someexplaining and this is the kind of document which embarrasses thehistorians, if I can use the word that Mr. Pearson has reminded meof. They are embarrassed because they haven't found that documentthemselves." (33-9354, 9355)
Irving testified that he was familiar with the Einsatzgruppenreports: "Here we have to look at the third of the Trevor-Ropercriteria. If you remember, the question a historian should ask is,'Why does this document exist?'. A man is out in the field behind theRussian front doing his job for the SS and he is being asked how wellhe is doing and he's going to submit a report containing figures andhe's going to show he's doing a jolly good job and that's the kind ofcategory I... put these Einsatzgruppen reports into. I don't trustthe statistics they contain. Soldiers who are out in the field doinga job or murderers who are out in the field doing a job, they don'thave time to count. I don't think Lieutenant Calley stopped to findout how many people [he] killed. Statistics like this aremeaningless. Documents like this I am very, very worried about as ahistorical source." (33-9355, 9356)
Christie produced Exhibit 118, a document referring to Galicia,which he showed to Irving. Said Irving: "May I say that I am verywary about any Nuremberg document that has the document numberL...This is L-18...Historians are familiar with quite a number of Ldocuments from the Nuremberg series and a lot of them turn out to beforgeries. A lot of them turn out to be produced or manufactured forthe Nuremberg trials to the best of my knowledge. So, this is thefirst thing that would worry me about that." (33-9357)
Crown Attorney Pearson objected to this testimony, alleging thatthis was a serious accusation to make. Irving replied: "If I mayanswer that point, sir, I investigated the Nuremberg trials in somedetail and I was familiar with the fact that at Nuremberg, they didhave a collection of the necessary rubber stamps, the securityclassification stamps in order to manufacture documents and they diddo it. There are several instances where this subsequently turnedout...I have published a book on that sir. It's Nuremberg - The LastBattle...The prefixes on the Nuremberg documents give some index ofthe providence of the document. There's a PS series which was foundby Colonel Storey [in] Paris, the Paris/Storey collection.Many PS series are thoroughly authentic. The L series were a smallcollection of documents used at Nuremberg and contain documentsproduced by journalists and handed over by a very eclectic series ofsources. The NOK documents, the German for the [High] Commandtrial, the private files give us a first sniff, if I might put itlike that." (33 9358, 9359)
Irving testified that he was not familiar with this particulardocument: "...I am not familiar with the document. I am not, Iemphasize, a Holocaust historian." (33-9360) With respect to theauthenticity of the document, Irving testified that he would "acceptthese documents as attached are probably genuine on the basis of thephotocopies but that's just the first impression you get in lookingat an archives - I recognize the numbers at the bottom. I can tellyou which microfilms they come from. They are authentic reproductionsfrom Nuremberg microfilm. . . Prima facie it appears to be genuine."(33-9362, 9363)
Have you yourself ever seen any evidence in any of the archives toestablish the existence of homicidal gas chambers?, askedChristie.
"No, sir. None whatsoever. And certainly one would have expectedto have found it in the number of archives that I've been in."(33-9363)
Yesterday, said Christie, the Crown produced a letter from someonein Auschwitz pertaining to the building of the crematories and theword used there was Vergasungskellers. Are you familiar with thatdocument?, he asked.
"I am very familiar with the German language and I am quitefamiliar with that document also," said Irving. "No German would havereferred to a gas chamber, which of course is quite a common conceptbecause the Americans use[d] gas chambers at that time forlegal executions. No German would have translated the word 'gaschamber' as vergasungskeller. They have a perfectly good German wordfor that... a gaskammer." (33-9363, 9364)
Christie noted that the Crown had quoted a man named MartinBroszat during his cross- examination of Irving. What was Broszat'sjob?
"He is now the director of the Institute of Contemporary Historyin Munich, which is a very good historical institute partly funded byGerman federal funds and partly by provincial funds...My dealing withthe Institute of History began in late 1963 before he became directorof the institute. The institute has acquired my entire researchcollections of documents which are now housed in that building as theDavid Irving Collection and I have suspended further deliveries ofdocuments until Broszat resigns or retires." Irving testified thatthere were personal animosities between himself and Broszat which"began in the 1970s over a certain young lady who is now living withhim...further animosity was caused by the fact that I revealed thatdocuments that the Broszat institute published were forgeries. Thediary of...Engel turned out to have been written on post-war paperand yet the Institute went ahead and published this diary knowingthat it would pollute the writing of history for many decadesafterwards...It is now recognized as a forgery and yet the instituteof Dr. Broszat still publishes it." (33-9366, 9367)
Christie turned to the subject of the Posen speech of HeinrichHimmler. Said Irving: "In October, 1943, Heinrich Himmler, the chiefof the SS, delivered two speeches, one to the SS generals and one tothe Gauleiters - the Nazi party district chiefs, the governors of thedistricts." Irving had examined the transcripts of the speech andother archival materials: "I looked at Heinrich Himmler's handwrittennotes on the basis of which he delivered those speeches, I looked atthe typescript of the transcript made from the recording of thespeeches, I looked at the final copy made that have typescript in thespecial large typewriter face that was used for Adolf Hitler to read,so the speeches exist in several copies and I understand that in theNational Archives, there is also a sound recording of the twospeeches." (33-9368)
Did he have any reason to question the accuracies of the Posenspeech?, asked Christie.
"[In] both speeches which I referred to," said Irving,"Heinrich Himmler made startling admissions to his very selectaudience which amounted to the fact that he was - he had given orderspersonally not only for the killing of certain Jewish men, but alsofor the killing of certain Jewish women and children and he tried tojustify what he was doing, using, if I may say so, rather the samekind of language as [Israeli Prime Minister] Mr. Shamir nowuses in the West Bank, saying that we have to carry out this task inorder to be able to live in security in future. This was the languagethat Himmler used and I arrived at the very strange discovery when Ilooked at the transcript of both those speeches that those two pageshad been retyped at some other date. I can't say whether it wasretyped before or after the bulk of the speech, but they had beentyped by a different secretary on a different typewriter usingdifferent carbon paper. Obviously you only discover this if you lookat the original documents which the average historian is not patientenough to do. They had been retyped and they had been repaginated inpencil at that point and I have to say to preempt your question, Ihave no explanation why. It just raises the fact that a document - ifa document has been retyped at a key point, then I hold that documentto be suspect." (33-9368, 9369)
Do historians generally have any criterion for accepting documentsas being both authentic, genuine and true or do they simply take themat their face value?, asked Christie.
"It depends very much on the historian," replied Irving. "Thegreen historian who is fresh out of university and not inquisitive,will be happy to accept the printed volumes of documents particularlyif they have pictures in them and an index at the end. Later on, youlearn not to trust printed volumes of documents. If I can give oneexample from my Churchill research, there is a report by the AmericanAssistant Secretary of State, Sumner Welles, on a visit to Churchillin March 1940, describing how he found Churchill in a state ofcomplete intoxication in the admiralty. The printed version of thisdocument and the American government volumes omits those sentencesdescribing Churchill's drunkenness, but the original report by theSecretary of State in the Roosevelt library contains those sentences.So, I can only say that a historian must be very careful about usingprinted or even photocopied documents."(33-9369, 9370)
Irving had also studied the Goebbels diaries: "I am very familiarwith the Goebbels diaries insofar as they have been publiclyavailable and in the course of the next twelve months I shall beginreading the entire microfiche of the Goebbels diaries that have nowbecome available to western historians," said Irving. "They appearedin a very mysterious way from the custody of the East Germangovernment, where they have been held since the end of the SecondWorld War unknown to us; we didn't know those diaries were there andthen they suddenly turned up. I have to say from what I have seen sofar, I consider the diaries to be genuine, but we have to apply onceagain the third criteria of Trevor-Roper which is, 'Why did they comeinto existence'? Why did Goebbels write them?" The diaries werepartly written and partly transcribed: "Many early years are writtenin his very difficult, indecipherable handwriting. The later yearswhen he was Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany, he dictated themonto a recording machine and his secretary transcribed them each day,sometimes at very great length. Sometimes 139 pages on one day in1943." (33-9370, 9371)
He was also familiar with the Wannsee Conference documents: "InJanuary 1942, there was a conference at a house in Berlin, Wannsee,an inter-agency or inter ministerial conference between statesecretaries. The state secretaries were like the deputy minister in aministry and they were discussing the technicalities of the finalsolution of the Jewish problem, and to understand the Wannseeprotocol, it is not enough just to look at that document. You have tolook at the entire file containing that document. And you thenrealize what the document is about. Even then it is written in veryobscure civil service language and several of the participants in theWannsee Conference subsequently testified in later criminalproceedings that they emerged from that conversation no wiser thanwhen they went in. Certainly none of them had - certainly none ofthem had any idea that at that conference there had been a discussionof liquidation of Jews." (33-9371, 9372)
Had he investigated the trials of these individuals?, askedChristie.
"I read the records of the Wilhelmstrasse trial," said Irving,"which is the second trial to be held in the post-Nurembergproceedings series after the plain Nuremberg trial. There were twelvesubsequent proceedings. The Wilhelmstrasse trial was the second one.None of them testified that there had been any discussion ofliquidation of the Jews at the Wannsee Conference." (33-9372,9373)
Christie referred to the letter from Goering to Heydrich of July1941 which had figured prominently in both Hilberg's and Browning'stestimony and asked if Irving was familiar with it. Irving repliedthat he was: "On July the 31st, 1941, as is said from HermannGoering's private diary, which I suppose I'm one of the very fewpeople to have used it in the original, on the afternoon of that day,Reinhard Heydrich, the chief of the Gestapo, visited Goering who waspassing very rapidly through Berlin and put a pile of documents onthe desk for Goering to sign, one of which was a piece of what Iwould describe as legal bumph, where Heydrich is just saying toGoering, 'In 1939, you gave me orders to carry out certain measuresconnected with the Jewish solution, will you now extend the authoritygiven by those orders to the new territories in Russia which we'vecaptured'. That is what the document says. I wouldn't attempt torepeat the document from memory. I'm sure it's in the court files.July the 31st, 1941, Goering signs the document for Heydrich withoutever even bothering to read it. It's a piece of legal bumph whichagain says nothing about killing Jews. It is talking about theoverall solution of the Jewish problem which, as I testified earliertoday, was at that time regarded to be the geographical resettlementof Jews, relocating them from where they were at that time."(33-9373, 9374)
Did those sources - the Posen speech, the Goebbels diary, theWannsee Conference and the letter of July 31, 1941 - indicate anyplan to exterminate European Jews?, asked Christie.
"No," said Irving. "There is no explicit reference either implicitin these documents or legible in these documents to liquidation ofJews. They are all equally applicable to any other solution. Ofcourse, relocation of the Jews in the middle of a war was a radicalsolution but it is not what is described as the 'Holocaust.'"(33-9374)
Does the existence of these documents indicate to you that thereis any other material that would corroborate an exterminationprogramme?, asked Christie.
"I think it highly unlikely. It is very difficult to prove anegative to say that documents don't exist. But I will say is, if thedocuments did exist, I would have found them by now and if I hadn'tfound them, then certainly the Holocaust historians would have foundthem by now, explicit documents, and as you may know I have offeredrepeatedly around the world a thousand pounds for any wartimecontemporary document showing that Adolf Hitler even knew what wasgoing on, whatever it was, whatever is now described as the'Holocaust' and they haven't been able to find that let aloneexplicit orders or documentary evidence about gas chambers or thesimilar kind of documentary material." (33-9374, 9375)
In your research as a historian, asked Christie, do you considerit likely that an enterprise of the magnitude of the extermination ofthe Jews of Europe could be accomplished by the people[Germans] knowing the way they conducted their business fromtheir documents without the existence of explicit orders andplans?
"Not only without existence of orders," said Irving, "but alsowithout the existence of any written reference to it. I have to saythat the German wartime civil servant was basically a - a cowardlyanimal and he would not do something that he considered to becriminal without getting a document clearing himself. He would gethis superior to write a letter saying, 'On the Führer's orders,we are doing the following', which is why there are letters showingHimmler saying, 'On the Führer's orders, we are deporting theJews.' Which was the extent of the Führer's orders and which wasthe extent, to my mind, of the final solution. So the documents don'texist where you would expect to find them. Hitler's other crimes, thedocuments are there: the euthanasia order, the order to kill Britishcommandos, the orders to lynch American airmen, the orders for thekilling of the male population of Stalingrad if ever they occupiedit. Hitler's other crimes, simple crimes, the documents are therewhere you expect to find them. And yet this biggest crime of all,there is no document...I think there would definitely have had to beorders and these orders would have been referred to in countlessfiles of different ministerial bodies. So, it would have beenimpossible for these documents to have been destroyed at the end ofthe war. There would always be carbon copies somewhere." (33-9375,9376)
The term ausrotten, said Christie, has been represented to mean'extermination' in the literal sense. Have you examined that word inits context in the various speeches of Adolf Hitler?
"I am very fluent in the German language, having lived in thatcountry for a long time and having read, of course, millions of wordsin the German language in context," said Irving. "There is no doubtthat in modern Germany the word ausrotten now means murder. But wehave to look at the meaning of the word ausrotten in the 1930s andthe 1940s, as used by those who wrote or spoke these documents. Inthe mouth of Adolf Hitler, the word ausrotten is never once used tomean murder, and I've made a study of that particular semanticproblem. You can find document after document which Hitler himselfspoke or wrote where the word ausrotten cannot possibly mean murder.I can give one or two examples briefly. In August 1936, Hitlerdictated the famous memorandum on the four year plan which containsthe phrase 'if the Bolsheviks succeed in entering Germany, it willlead to the ausrotten of the German people'. Now, clearly, he doesn'tmean that if the Bolsheviks invade Germany it will lead to the murderof 50 million Germans. He is saying it will lead to the end ofGermany as a national state, as a power, as a factor, an end of theGerman people. He says the same to the Czechoslovakian President EmilHácha, on March the 15th, 1939. Hácha has just signedaway Czechoslovakia's independence in a midnight session with Hitlerand Hitler says to him afterwards, 'It is a good thing that yousigned because otherwise it would have meant the ausrotten of theCzechoslovakian people'. Hitler didn't mean, 'If you hadn't signed, Iwould have had to kill 8 million Czechs.' What he is saying[is], 'If you hadn't signed, I would have endedCzechoslovakia's existence as a separate country.' There are variousother examples of that and I defy anybody to find the meaning of theword differently used by Adolf Hitler to mean the word 'murder'. Thisis the kind of analysis which unfortunately the academic historianshave not bothered to conduct." (33-9377, 9378)
Could you give us your opinion of the value of Did Six MillionReally Die?, asked Christie.
"It has a - a value I would suggest in technical terms of acatalyst. It has existed rather like the grain of sand inside anoyster. It has provoked and irritated people [in] rather thesame way but on a different level that my book Hitler's War did. Ithas forced people to prove what they have been maintaining - to puttheir money where their mouth is in common terms - and they haven'tbeen able to do it and because they haven't been able to prove whatthey've been maintaining for thirty or forty years, they resort toextramural methods. In Germany, it is declared a criminal offence nowto question certain historical facts. In other countries, I thinkjudicial notice is taken of them." (33-9378, 9379) Irving estimated"over 90 percent of the brochure Did Six Million Really Die? to befactually accurate on the basis of the facts which I arrived at by anentirely different approach, namely, the documentary basis."(33-9388)
Irving testified that he was familiar with the subject of KurtGerstein: "I have examined the Kurt Gerstein report and its variousadaptations and having read the very interesting doctoraldissertation by the Frenchman Henri Roques, which was produced ayear-and-a-half ago, I came to the conclusion on the basis of thedocuments that Roques found in the French police files, on the basisof my own family experience with a handicapped member of my family,that Gerstein himself was probably unstable when he wrote his variousreports." Irving did not examine the documents in their originalform: "I examined facsimiles. Had I been a Holocaust historian, ofcourse, I would have gone into much greater detail and demanded tosee the originals." Irving had also examined facsimiles of Gerstein'swritings of a personal nature, which were found among his effectsafter his suicide. (33-9379, 9381)
In the course of his research, Irving was required to makeassessments of the credibility of the people who had produced thedocuments: "Indeed I do, and one can do so on the internal evidenceof the document itself or of associated events and documents. In thiscase, the suicide or apparent suicide of the person who wrote thedocument is a clear sign of mental instability...The documentsthemselves are unstable. The most graphic description of that are thewords, that the facts and dates contained by the documents varydramatically," said Irving. As a historian, he had made these typesof assessments in regard to other documents as well: "Yes, over theyears I have repeatedly had to do so. One has to weigh documents."(33-9380)
Irving testified that Professor Hans Mommsen of the University ofBochum now shared his thesis pertaining to the absence of a plan ororder. That had not been the case in 1970. Said Irving: "...At theend of the Second World War, the - the professorial bodies at theinstitutes of higher learning in Germany were extensively re-staffed.New textbooks were introduced; the professors were retaught. Theuniversity system produced, in its turn, new professors. There was abroadly held body of opinion as to what had happened and it has notbeen without - not to be wondered at, as fresh documents becameavailable, then this opinion is changed. Fresh hypotheses are raisedby authorized or unauthorized writers and even the academics thenhave to change their minds." Irving himself had changed his mind overthe years. In a book he published many years before on the VietnamWar, he had referred "to the 6 million who were killed at Auschwitzand if I was to be asked now why did I write that, then I would haveto quote the words of William Casey and I - 'I believe[d]',but since then, since having spent ten years writing the Hitlerbiography and since having worked in the world's archives, I've cometo question that belief which was an oversimple belief." (33-9381,9382)
In your opinion as a historian, asked Christie, from what you haveseen of the information about the subject, has the Holocaust beensufficiently investigated to determine accurately its extent andmeaning?
"I think there has been virtually no investigation of theHolocaust," replied Irving. "When we realize that Mr. Zündel,the defendant in this case, is the first person who has gone to thetrouble to get the aerial photographs of the German concentrationcamps, the kind of concrete evidence that anybody is entitled todemand when you're carrying out an investigation, this shows us howwe can - all the other historians on that field, including myself -have been. And the same kind of forensic examination which has nowbeen made of the site, an idea which hadn't occurred to me one couldconduct - really getting down to the basics of what happened. Thishas not been done by historians of the Holocaust." (33-9382,9383)
Are there factual errors in major history books?, askedChristie.
"Oh, yes. I think it would be a foolish historian who denies hemakes errors on Adolf Hitler. The standard works like Alan Bullock,his book Hitler: A Study in Tyranny, is riddled with errors and yetthat book goes into reprint after reprint. William Shirer's book TheRise and Fall of the Third Reich, is a very good book in its way,written at a very early stage. It is based entirely on theprosecution documents at Nuremberg and, as such, is out of balanceand also contains misstatements of fact. These are gradually reshapedand corrected as the years pass. One never really establishes totaltruth. One only approximates to it." (33-9383)
Christie turned to Did Six Million Really Die? and some of thespecific allegations made in it. Did Irving know of any indicationthat Ohlendorf, for example, was tortured?
"Oh, yes," said Irving. "The SS General Ohlendorf and the SSGeneral Pohl were both very severely maltreated at Nuremberg and inthe internment camps where they were held by the Allies after theSecond World War and prior to their testimony. They subsequentlytestified to that to their fellow prisoners like Field Marshal Milch,who kept a diary which I have and also in the subsequenttrials...Field-Marshal Milch was the second person in the German airforce. He was threatened with severe punishment unless he testifiedagainst Goering. On November the 5th, 1945, an American, who is aMajor Ernst Engländer, who is a Wall Street financier, whopresented himself to Milch as Major Evans, instructed him that hewould be subjected to a war crimes trial unless he agreed to perjurehimself against Goering. Milch refused to perjure himself andalthough there was an animosity between himself and Goering, he wentinto the witness stand and spoke in defence of Goering and on thenext day, Milch was thrown into the punishment bunker at Dachauconcentration camp, a bunker which had been designed by the SS tohold one recalcitrant prisoner, but which the Americans were usingrather more economically in as much as they put six prisoners in thisone-man bunker, all of them Field-Marshals as a punishment. Milch wasthen subjected to a war crimes trial and sentenced to lifeimprisonment. Admiral Eberhard Godt, the Chief of Staff, wasthreatened with hanging unless he...testified that Dönitz hadgiven illegal orders and so on. There's a whole string of examples ofthe coercion of prisoners at Nuremberg." (33-9384, 9385)
Irving testified that "[t]he principal trial was the trialof the major war criminals at Nuremberg from October 1945 to October1946. There was then a series of twelve subsequent proceedingsagainst Milch, who was the first trial, and then the Wilhelmstrassetrial defendants...The legal records, the whole of the legal systemat Nuremberg was unlike any other legal system. No appeal waspermitted. The procedure for hearing witnesses was remarkable. Theaffidavits were submitted [e]ven [if] their witnesseswere present in person and could have testified personally...many,many hundreds of thousands of affidavits were submitted with nochance for the defence to cross-examine the person who had submittedthe affidavit as to the conditions under which he had given theaffidavit, sworn the affidavit." (33-9385, 9386)
Irving was familiar with the book on the Manstein war crimes trialwritten by Paget. Said Irving: "R.T. Paget was a labour member ofParliament who was a King's Counsel, defence counsel of Field-MarshalManstein, one of the most illustrious German soldiers. He was puton...trial by the British in Hamburg. I read that book when I wastwenty-two with great fascination and increasing indignation to readof the methods that had been used to obtain testimony from prisoners,including the very severe maltreatment, brutalization of a number ofwitnesses." As a result, Irving made inquiries of certain documentsfrom the National Archives in Washington: "In the very early 1960s, Iobtained from them a complete photocopy of the Simpson Commission ofInquiries which the American Justice Department, to its credit, sentto Europe to investigate the allegations that American officers weretorturing German defence witnesses." After reading the document, saidIrving, "I formed the opinion that in future, one would have to bevery, very cautious before accepting without verification theevidence sworn by defence or prosecution witnesses in the Nurembergtrials." (33-9387)
In the course of your research, asked Christie, have youdiscovered new documents as you went along or documents now beingmade available that were not available in the past?
"It's a continuous process. For example, I have contacts with theRussians who provided me copies of the German documents that theRussians captured at the end of the war. I am constantly generatingnew sources of documents which I make available to internationalhistorians all over the world." (33-9388)
Irving testified that he was familiar with Sefton Delmer: "SeftonDelmer was a former German citizen who emigrated to Britain fairlyearly on and worked for the British propaganda agency, thepsychological warfare executive, as a clandestine broadcaster,broadcasting what is called black propaganda; in other words,disinformation and lies to the enemy over clandestine radiotransmitters. A very good journalist but not a man that one wouldturn to establish the truth." Irving did not know whether Delmer hadbeen involved in activities in Germany after the war or not: "He mayhave been but I'm not familiar with that." (33-9388, 9389)
Christie turned to the subject of the Hans Frank diaries andwhether Irving was familiar with them. Said Irving: "Very familiarwith the Hans Frank diaries which is - the original Hans Frankdiaries are in very many volumes, seventeen or twenty volumes oftypescript and handwriting containing not just what we describe asdiaries but also the verbatim transcripts of very many records ofconferences which he attended...I read them from the angle ofsomebody...writing a biography of Adolf Hitler, so I was specificallyinterested in any reference to Adolf Hitler's doings and wrongdoingsand the doings and wrongdoings of the Third Reich under Hitler'srule." In Irving's opinion the diaries did not verify the existenceof any plan for or any extermination of the Jews of Europe: "There isno reference in the Hans Frank diaries," said Irving, "and one wouldexpect them, because Hans Frank was the Governor General of Poland,or the Governor General of the area of...Poland where theextermination camps are now supposed to have existed. There is noexplicit reference in the Hans Frank diaries from start to finish togas chambers or to a mass extermination of the Jews as governmentpolicy whatsoever. And this is a unique source because it is sohomogenous the whole way through. The most remarkable passage I foundwas in February or March, 1944, and I have quoted it in Hitler's War,where he has a long conference with Hitler as the Russians areinvading Poland, his own territory, and Frank wants to know what todo and there's a passage there where Hans Frank writes in his diarysaying, 'the Führer said to me how glad we are...solving theproblem by deporting the Jews to all the different territories.'Words to that effect. When you see something like that, you have tosay [to] yourself, are we all writing the same language? Dideither of them know what is supposed to have been going on?"(33-9389, 9390)
Irving referred to Adolf Hitler's reaction when Auschwitz wascaptured by the Soviets in 1945: "On January the 26th or January the27th, 1945, the Russian troops overran Auschwitz and on this day, thestenographers, who took down in Hitler's headquarters every word hespoke, recorded a passage which has survived. We have the fragment ofwhat he said. General Guderian reported to the Führer,'Yesterday the Russians overran Auschwitz', and Hitler just replied,'Oh, yes.' Now, if Hitler had known what was going on, if Hitler hadknown what was supposed to have been going on, he would surely havesaid something like, 'Well, let's hope they manage to get rid of it'or 'They're not going to find anything.' All he said was 'Oh, yes'and move on to the next business. This is the kind of clue that onehas. Straws in the wind. Altogether it makes a very differentpicture." (33-9390, 9391)
Are you familiar with someone by the name of Robert Kempner?,asked Christie.
"Robert M. W. Kempner, an attorney now in Frankfurt, was[with] Goering's Ministry of the Interior in Prussia in 1933.He emigrated to America because of the Nazi anti-semitism. There hebecame a successful attorney. He returned to Nuremberg after the warand he became a leading member of the American prosecution staff inthe rebuttal division...Robert Kempner used methods of coercion toprevent witnesses from testifying in certain ways. Friedrich Gaus...alegal member of the German Foreign Ministry, testified to this in asubsequent trial and affidavit that he had been threatened by Kempnerwith being handed over to the Russians unless he withdrew certainincriminating testimony. By incriminating, I mean testimony that wasgoing to incriminate the Russians." (33-9391, 9392)
Irving testified that at Nuremberg, the "prosecution witnesses,the witnesses who appeared on behalf of the prosecution werecosseted. They were flown in by special plane; they were housed inthe few remaining luxury hotels in Nuremberg. They were lavishly fed.They were well paid and they were promised jobs in the American zoneof Germany." On the other hand, he testified: "The defence witnesseswere universally badly treated. They were housed in the criminalwings in the Nuremberg Palace of Justice. They were housed in cellswith no windows; in winter in unheated cells. They were very poorlyfed. They were subjected to coercion and physical maltreatment." SaidIrving: "I think that not only I but I think reputable lawyers aroundthe world are rather ashamed about the Nuremberg proceedings.Certainly Justice Robert H. Jackson, the American chief prosecutor,was ashamed about them as is quite evident from his privatediary...I've examined it. I've had privileged access to that diary inthe Library of Congress...I have made a copy of it which I could makeavailable if necessary...Shortly after Robert H. Jackson was giventhe job by President Truman of conducting the American prosecution atNuremberg, he learned of the American plans to drop the atomic bombsand from that moment on, he became very uneasy with what he, himself,was doing. Prosecuting for one nation, crimes it had committed, beingfully aware that the United States was about to commit and indeedcommitting a crime of an even greater magnitude." (33-9392 to9394)
The unfairness of the Nuremberg proceedings extended to the mannerin which documentary evidence was handled. "The procedure withdocuments [at] Nuremberg was rather rare," said Irving. "Theprosecution obtained all the documents for its own purposes and thedefence was then allowed to build up its case entirely on the basisof the prosecution collection of documents. No collection ofdocuments by the defence was made possible by the authorities inNuremberg. They were allowed very limited access to the documentscollected exclusively for the purposes of the prosecution."(33-9394)
In Irving's opinion, many of the witnesses at Nuremberg and otherwar crimes trials were unreliable. An example was Karl Wolff: "MajorGeneral Karl Wolff was the liaison officer between Hitler andHimmler, an SS general, a character I would describe as being arather suave character who ended up, by reason of his personalfavouritism with Himmler, in charge of the police units in northernItaly at the end of the war and as the military commander in thatregion, and largely in order to create an alibi, he then begannegotiating with the American secret service in order to speed thesurrender of the German troops in northern Italy...Wolff testified onmany occasions over the years up to his death, frequently varying histestimony according to...which way he was being required to testify.He was always acutely aware of the fact that he had done a deal withthe Americans whereby the Americans...promised him immunity and thesubsequent West German government also promised him immunity fromprosecution if he behaved in a certain way." (33 9394, 9395)
Another example was Dieter Wisliceny: "Dieter Wisliceny was a highSS official who was held by the Communist authorities at the end ofthe war, and among the private papers which Hugh Trevor-Roper, theBritish historian, made available to me, was a long, handwrittenaccount by Wisliceny which greatly amplifies the version which ismore familiar and known to historians...I read the Wisliceny reportwith great interest and entertainment, but one has to say that theinternal evidence suggested that it was not a document that could betaken seriously in the absence of collateral evidence." Irvingcontinued: "He explained things for which there was not a trace inthe archives. He described episodes and matters - well, for example,he describes a conversation with Adolf Eichmann and Adolf Eichmannshowing to him a Führer document, a Führer order. Well,there is no such order. It has not been seen and we then have tounderstand in human terms why Wisliceny is writing this down...It waswritten in Bratislava (or Pressburg) in Czechoslovakia... He wasbeing held in rather inhumane conditions in captivity at the end ofthe war...by the Communist authorities." (33-9396, 9397)
The Allied authorities also ensured that certain witnesses were"not available" for the defence, such as Karl Koller: "General KarlKoller...[w]as the Chief of Staff of the German air force atthe end of the war. I have his private diaries and papers...hispresence was required by the defence at Nuremberg but the Americanspretended that they didn't know where to find him. They had, in fact,locked him away in a prison camp and were interrogating him at thattime. This was one typical example of the Americans obstructing thedefence at Nuremberg. Karl Wolff was locked up in a lunatic asylumand the Americans pretended they didn't know where he was either andhe didn't surface again until 1947." (33-9395, 9396)
Christie turned to the subject of the Eichmann trial and askedIrving if he considered the information there to be of value tohistorians.
"I think the Eichmann trial is already getting very late in theday as far as recollected testimony is concerned. I personallyhesitate to question a witness thirty or forty years after an eventas to what happened. You can no longer separate in his mind, nomatter how willing the witness is, what really happened and what hehas in the meantime read has happened...I recollect from the parts ofhis testimony that I have read - and I can't purport to have read allthe Eichmann testimony for the reason I just said - I recollect atone stage where Eichmann interrupts himself to say 'one moment, Iwant to point out what I just said I can no longer recollect whetherI actually saw this or whether I'm recollecting what you told me Isaw.' And this, I think, is a very honest statement by Eichmann wherehe is questioning his own powers of recollection. In human terms youhave to say it's not unlikely in 1963 or 1964, when that trial washeld, much had happened." (33-9397, 9398)
Irving had been involved in the publication of the book Ich, AdolfEichmann: "Adolf Eichmann's son, who is an engineer in Germany,approached me and revealed he had all the tape recordings that hisfather had made several years before his kidnapping. And the sonwanted to know what to do with these tape recorded memoirs of hisfather. I suggested he should transcribe them and have them publishedby the world's publishers as a historical source. Again ofquestionable value, depending on when the [tape] recordingswere made, but certainly of great historical interest to historiansto see how versions of events had changed over the years. Andsubsequently, those were published, I think, in the English language,the German language and Spanish." (33-9398, 9399)
Had Irving himself undertaken any investigation of the Anne Frankdiaries?, asked Christie.
"The Anne Frank diaries have had a long and checkered history,"said Irving, "which is best described by the present state of play,as a result of a court decision in a libel action. The father of AnneFrank, with whom I corresponded over many years, finally relented andallowed the diaries to be submitted to the kind of laboratoryexamination that I always insist [upon] where a document isin question. As a result of this laboratory examination carried outby the West German criminal police laboratory, in Wiesbaden, it wasdetermined that the Anne Frank diaries were partly written inball-point pen. It's a long story. I'm not going to bore you with thedetails. My own conclusion on the Anne Frank diaries is for thegreater part they are authentic writings of a pubescent teenageJewish girl who was locked up and hidden, that they were then takenby her father, Otto Frank, after the girl's tragic death of typhus ina concentration camp, and her father or other persons unknown amendedthe diaries into a saleable form as a result of which he and the AnneFrank Foundation became rich, but as a historical document they arecompletely worthless by virtue of having been tampered with."(33-9399, 9400)
Irving continued: "Anne Frank's father, Otto Frank, fought anumber of legal actions to defend the authenticity of the diaries andthe first legal action which I believe was fought in Lübeck, heintroduced handwriting evidence of a graphologist and an affidavitswearing that the diaries were written throughout in the samehandwriting. Subsequently, I stated in the introduction of the Germanedition of my Hitler biography, that a number of forged documentsexisted which were unquestionably accepted and I've mentioned them incourt today, the Canaris diary, the Engel diaries, and I mentionedthe Anne Frank diary, which was one of dubious authenticity. AnneFrank's father threatened my German publishers with libelproceedings. The German publishers paid him a cash settlement to shutup without consulting me. I would have told them they were on verysafe ground. Subsequently, he has litigated against other people, butin the meantime this litigation has now been - is being spun out,because the only remaining trial I believe is in northern Germany andthey are playing it for time. They're waiting for the defendant todie." (33-9400, 9401)
Christie noted that one of the publications tendered as an exhibitin the court was the book The Hitler We Loved and Why. Was Hitlerloved in Germany?
"I think I'm right in saying in April 1938, 48 million Germansloved Adolf Hitler and about 200,000 didn't. That was as a result ofa perfectly genuine plebiscite that was held shortly after theannexation of Austria by the Germans. I think there's not theslightest evidence that this plebiscite was faked in any way. I don'tsee how you can fake a referendum on that scale, and yet 48 millionadult Germans voted for Adolf Hitler. I would like to add Ipersonally found the title rather tasteless," said Irving. (33-9401,9402)
Did Churchill have anything good to say about Adolf Hitler?, askedChristie.
"In the 1930[s], when Churchill was not in Parliament andhe lived from journalism and writing in the Evening Standard inSeptember 1937, he had words of high praise for Adolf Hitler...Wordsto the effect that, 'If Britain...should ever come into the positionthat Germany was in, I would hope that one day we would find anational leader of the stature of Adolf Hitler'." (33- 9402)
Christie asked Irving if there was a document called Table-Talk byHeinrich Heim and whether there was a reference in that to theposition of Jews after the war.
"Indeed," said Irving. "Heinrich Heim was the adjutant of MartinBormann who wrote down on a day by day basis a detailed semi-verbatimrecord of Adolf Hitler's lunch-time and dinner-timeconversation...Hitler repeatedly referred to his post war plans withthe Jews. He refers in the Table-Talk in July 1942, I believe I'mright in saying, to his plans for the deportation or relocation ofthe Jews elsewhere and Heinrich Heim was a very reputable Germancivil servant who is alive, in fact. I have no doubt that is anaccurate rendering of Hitler's words." Irving testified that he hadmet Heinrich Heim: "I have also made use of the original paper of theTable- Talk. I'm one of the few privileged historians to have usedthat material. It's in private hands in Switzerland." (33-9402,9403)
Christie referred back to Did Six Million Really Die? and askedIrving for his opinion on its conclusions regarding the number ofJews who survived. Said Irving: "Let me say at this point I thinkthis conclusion...they are aiming at here is justified. I amdelighted that so many Jews survived what they now describe as the'Holocaust' and I am puzzled at the apparent lack of logic: that theNazis are supposed to have had a government policy for thedeliberate, ruthless, systematic extermination of the Jews inAuschwitz and other places of murder and yet tens if not hundreds ofthousands of Jews passed through these camps and are, I am glad tosay, alive and well amongst us now to testify to their survival. Soeither the Nazis had no such programme or they were an exceedinglysloppy race, which isn't the image that we have of them today. It'sanother of the logical questions which is being asked in this historywhich the historians hitherto have not asked." (33-9403, 9404)
Do you consider it possible to be accurate in terms of statisticalanalysis?, asked Christie. Irving did not: "No, I shy away fromstatistics. I am very, very nervous. I had a one year's training instatistics at university. I know how risky it is to operate withstatistics, different tables or different fields or differentsources. It's like subtracting apples from potatoes - you can't saythere were so many Jews here at the beginning of the war and so manyJews there at the end of the war and subtract one total from theother and say this is the difference. I say this whether it helps orhinders the defence or prosecution. I am very nervous about massstatistics." (33 9404)
Was the conclusion of Did Six Million Really Die?, that the numberof Jews who died in concentration camps could only be measured inthousands, legitimate and arguable?, asked Christie.
"Well, I refer to my previous answer," said Irving, "and say thatI'm very nervous giving opinions about statistics. Do we mean died orkilled?" (33-9405)
Christie indicated roughly 6 million were allegedly killed byeither gassing or by the Einsatzgruppen. In your research, askedChristie, has there been any indication of hard evidence for numbersat all?
"Certain numbers for certain specific tragedies. One episodeoutside Dvinsk, being on the road to Dvinsk being in November 1941,certainly there was an episode there ...a mass grave had been dug anda mass execution...of unidentified civilians was being carried out byunidentified people. It was witnessed by one German Major GeneralWalter Bruns. There is another episode which was witnessed byHitler's photographer, Walter Frentz, who described it to me...fromhis own memory what he had seen when he accompanied Heinrich Himmler.Again one isolated episode behind the front, nothing to do withAuschwitz or Treblinka or the so-called extermination camps. So,we're looking there at several hundred if not several thousand peoplebeing killed in specific, isolated episodes which are repeatedlyserved up again and again as being examples of what was going on. Ican only look at them as isolated episodes of what was going on."(33-9405, 9406)
Is there any hard evidence to support the estimates of millions ofJews gassed, for example, 4 million in Auschwitz-Birkenau?, askedChristie.
"No documentary, contemporaneous evidence of the kind that wouldsatisfy me," said Irving, "but I think that other historians mayperhaps be less pernickety...I think Winston Churchill once definedthe job of a historian [is] to find out what happened and whyand those are the major areas of historical fact that a historianshould try to investigate. What happened and why and the Holocausthistorians haven't really established either fact, in the case of theHolocaust, what really happened and why it happened." (33-9406)
In Irving's opinion it was the reader who decided what constituteda historical fact: "The reader. The reader on the balance ofprobabilities having weighed up not just one source but severalsources. He can buy my book on Winston Churchill, he can buy MartinGilbert's book on Winston Churchill and he can decide where on thetwo scales...the truth about Winston Churchill lies, but he has tohave the alternate sources to look at. He can't have one bookpresented to him and be told this is the truth, take it or lump it.Take it or go to prison. That would be a very unacceptable form ofsociety." (33-9406, 9407)
Irving pointed out that history was "constantly being revised. Imentioned the episode of the British code-breaking operations. Until1974, the British official historians, the government historians,were not allowed to be told and not allowed to reveal that we Britishhad been reading the German, the Japanese, the Spanish, the American,the Italian codes by computer. This is a so- called Ultra secret.Knowledge of that is, of course, crucial to the knowledge of how wewon the war and yet our entire multi-volume official history of theSecond World War until 1974 makes no mention of this. They are goingto have to be rewritten. All history books are going to have to berewritten since 1974 since that one fact became known and so it is inmany other fields. It would be a sad day if there was no work for thehistorian to do. I say that with profound conviction as aprofessional historian." (33-9407, 9408)
And does a historian, asked Christie, when he's confronted with adocument, have to take time to test and evaluate that source todetermine its accuracies?
"Certainly with some documents," replied Irving. "Usually ahistorian will very rapidly get the feeling for where he can be easywith a document and comfortable, and where suddenly his ears prick upand say to himself, wait a minute, I didn't know this. This is soegregious, this fact, so unusual, can I trust it? There's one or twodocuments in the Holocaust mythology which make me very suspiciousfor no other reason than that they stand out too much. They arestatistic oddities. It looks nice, it looks neat, it looks as thoughsuddenly there's proof, there's 100,000 Jews been killed as partisansand Hitler's told this. And yet we have to say to ourselves, whysuddenly this one document which looks like none of the otherdocuments in that series? This is where you have to act a bit like amagistrate and say well, it's nice, I will take notice of that but Iwant to see more, please. The historian should be constantly weighingand evaluating and not necessarily accepting without question."(33-9408)
Does the fact that documents are located in archives satisfy thosetests?, asked Christie.
"I shall disappoint you, I think, by saying on balance, usuallyyes," replied Irving. "I have rarely if ever come across an archivedocument which is fake. It is very difficult to get a fake documentinto an archive. Having said that, I would add it's not impossibleand one would then want to look at the file of documents and say doesthis document, which is controversial, look different in any way? Isthe paper newer? Is the ink of the signature fresher? Are the holesin a different position? Questions like that. I mean, the way thedocument looks; it's not impossible to put fake documents intoarchives. Certainly they get stolen out of them. But all the fakesthat have been put to me - I emphasize all the fakes that have beenput to me - come from private hands and not archival sources."(33-9409)
Did you investigate the effects of the breaking of the Germancodes upon the whole question of the Holocaust in relation totransportation of millions of people without orders?, askedChristie.
"Well, it is unlikely that the Germans could have been issuingcriminal orders for the liquidation of millions of people or evenhundreds of thousands of people to their SS or police units on theeastern front without us British knowing of it at the time from ourcode-breaking operations. And of course the Germans, at the end ofthe war, could not have required us to destroy those records."(33-9409, 9410)
There were, however, references during the war to allegations ofmass gassings of Jews in some Allied documents: "I am familiar withthe...British archives, the public records office, of attempts tostart a black propaganda campaign alleging that the Germans wereemploying gas chambers and at one stage the head of the Britishsecret service is being cautioned not to go too far with thispropaganda because it will make the whole - it will undermine thecredibility of the propaganda effort if we go too far with theseallegations...This would have been in 1944," said Irving. The factthat these allegations were now made so freely was due, said Irving,to what the chief rabbi of Britain, Lord Jakobovits, said had"unfortunately ...become big business with whose teams of scriptwriters and screen writers and journalists and newspaper writers,making great money out of it. I think it's a great tragedy." (339410, 9411)
As a writer yourself, you've been involved in publishing, saidChristie. Do you have any knowledge of what would happen if you werewriting about the subject of the Holocaust in your own books in amore favourable way than you have?
"After I wrote Hitler's War, my front door was smashed down by agentleman with a sledgehammer," replied Irving. "I was raided bypeople disguised [as] telephone engineers who turned out tobe from a Jewish organization in Britain. The people who printed thisin Britain...had their printing works burned to the ground by one ofthese fake engineers. They all went to prison. I am an ordinarywriter with a family who is frightened for - I don't like to besubjected to this kind of terror. If I was to write the other kind ofbook, if I was to follow the general line of the present Holocaustmythology, the easy acceptance of it all, 'Adolf Hitler ordered thekilling of 6 million Jews in Auschwitz', I would do a very good jobof it because I'm a good writer and I would be rich beyond the dreamsof avarice, but I couldn't live with my own conscience."(33-9411)
[The testimony which follows was given by Irving in theabsence of the jury in support of an application by defence attorneyDouglas Christie for leave to introduce the Leuchter Report intoevidence and to allow Irving to give his expert opinion on its valueas a historical document.]
Irving testified that the previous day he had read the LeuchterReport in its entirety. Said Irving: "If a future historian was to bewriting the history of the Holocaust controversy, then undoubtedlythey can no longer ignore a document of this validity." (33-9413) Hecontinued: "It is clearly an authentic document. It's clearly adocument written by somebody in the position to know what he iswriting about and it's a document written for a valid purpose. It'snot a spurious document written in order to camouflage something, inmy view...It is very much the kind of document that I, as ahistorian, would hope to find if I was investigating the Holocaustcontroversy. I'm very impressed, in fact, by the presentation, by thescientific manner of presentation, by the expertise that's been shownby it and by the very novel conclusion that he's arrived at and Imust say that as a historian I'm rather ashamed it never occurred tome to make this kind of investigation on this particularcontroversy." (33-9414)
To your knowledge, asked Christie, has any physical examination ofAuschwitz, Birkenau or Majdanek previously been published todetermine if these places could have been used in the manner allegedin the Holocaust literature as homicidal gas chambers?
"There has been...to the best of my knowledge, no forensicexamination of the sites conducted whatsoever. Either in situ by anexpert in execution technology, or in absentia by taking samples forlaboratory analysis elsewhere," Irving testified. (33 9414, 9415)
Crown Attorney Pearson rose to cross-examine Irving and began byasking him if the Leuchter Report was a document he would look to asa historian researching the Holocaust controversy.
Irving replied: "If I was a future historian researching theHolocaust controversy, this is certainly the kind of evidence that Ishould want to make use of." (33-9415)
Are you saying, asked Pearson, that if you were a historian in theyear 2015 and you were doing research with respect to what happenedin Birkenau on August 25, 1944, you would use this document as afoundation for a conclusion?
"This would give me a foundation for a conclusion about what didnot happen in the concentration camps which were investigated by theexpert in [the report]," replied Irving. (33- 9415)
What do you mean by saying the report is 'authentic', askedPearson.
"By that I mean this clearly isn't a fake report. It isn't areport which purports to be what it is but in fact isn't, in thesense of what a fake document is. In other words, this isn'tsomething that has not been written by the purported author. It isquite clearly an authentic investigation by the man who purports tobe the author." (33 9416)
Irving agreed that the document was described as an "engineeringreport" and testified that he "would expect to find it written by aman who has some engineering qualifications." He defined 'engineeringqualifications' to mean "[s]aid qualifications for the jobthat he was purporting to report on...In other words, if he isreporting on execution technology, then I would expect him to be anexpert on the subject of the engineering of execution chambers."(33-9416)
If he was reporting on the residue of hydrogen cyanide, would youwant him to have a background in chemistry?, asked Pearson.
"No," said Irving, "but I would want him to produce...evidencethat - that would satisfy me that he had obtained the samples in ascientific manner and...had sub contracted the quantitative analysisof those samples to a qualified person to make those determinations.It would be too much to expect an engineer to be qualified in thequantitative or qualitative analysis."
An engineer, someone with a degree in engineering?, askedPearson.
All right, said Pearson, issued by a recognized university?
"Is that a question?"
Yes, said Pearson. What I want to get at is you said authentic andyou just said an engineer, someone with a degree in engineering?
"What I actually said was I expect to find him qualified in theengineering field on which he is purporting to report, in this case,execution technology," replied Irving. (33-9417)
So, would you mean somebody who's been recognized by aprofessional engineering body as being a competent person?, askedPearson.
"This undoubtedly would be ideal, but obviously we're looking hereat the - at what is practicable rather than what is ideal. In thiscase this is the best engineering report available to this date onthe execution technology alleged to have been present at Auschwitzand the other camps." Irving testified that he did not knowLeuchter's qualifications personally: "I don't know the author ofthis report personally at all. All I know from having read the reportwith the eye of a historian is that he purports to be an expert, aqualified expert in execution technology and...is recognized as suchby those states of the United States of America which carry outexecutions by gas chamber."
If you found out that he only had a Bachelor of Arts and he didn'thave an engineering degree, wouldn't that cause you some concernabout his engineering report?, asked Pearson.
"It would cause me some concern but it obviously hasn't concernedthe states of the United States of America which carry out the verygrizzly business of forwarding people from life to death inside gaschambers. They have accepted his expertise." (33-9418, 9419)
Did the states of the Unites States have this man go over toPoland to produce an engineering report about what happened in Polandin 1944?, asked Pearson.
"No, this was, as I understand it, entirely an undertakingorganized and financed at the expense of the defendant in the currentproceedings," said Irving.
And what was the third criteria that Hugh Trevor-Roper mentioned?,asked Pearson.
"That is...the reason why the document has come into existence. Imentioned earlier this morning that sometimes German generals wouldwrite a document for a specific reason, namely to cover themselvesfor an operation. They would fake something to clear themselves infuture. Now, the reason why this document has come into existence isquite clearly as a defence document in this case, and if I wouldelaborate on that, I would say that therefore the author of thatreport would be aware of the fact that the document would besubjected to the most expert scrutiny by the likes of yourself andtherefore he would employ an enhanced accuracy in presenting hisfindings." (33-9419)
Irving testified that he would take into account the fact that thereport was commissioned by the defence. Asked Pearson, And don't youthink that might have some bearing on how much value a historianattaches to it? Irving replied: "Um, this is true, but one wouldn'texpect the author of the report to perjure himself and one certainlywouldn't expect the highly qualified analytical laboratories whichcarried out the chemical analysis on the compounds which wereprocured from the gas chambers so-called and the delousing chambersso-called in the concentration camps, to have falsified theirfindings in any way. And certainly, my eye could detect no sign ofany kind of falsification in these analytical reports."
Do you purport to have any expertise to draw conclusions fromthose analytical reports, sir?, asked Pearson.
"Not on the basis of any more than the quantitative chemistryanalysis one has learned in the course of a university career," saidIrving. "Certainly on the basis of a historian, I can detect fudging.I can detect where something is being omitted. When I exposed theHitler diaries as being a fake, it was on the basis of the fact thatthe magazine purported to carry out tests on the ink but didn't, infact, submit those tests to us at the press conference. They fudgedaround their findings." (33-9420, 9421)
Pearson indicated that the tests themselves did not say anything;it was the conclusions drawn from them that were important.
"I think that if historians are inclined to accept the eyewitnessor hearsay testimony of people who were present on a site, fortyyears later, the testimony of the bricks and stones which can becollected from the site and subjected to objective chemical analysisshould very certainly be relevant to a historian." (33-9421)
You're a historian, said Pearson. You agree with me that you donot have the expertise to draw a conclusion from the absence of achemical compound on the wall of an installation? Irving disagreed:"Well, I'm afraid there's only one conclusion possible. If, fortyyears later, this chemical compound is absent from that wall and weare instructed by the scientific expertise it should have beenpresent if it ever was present, then it never was present."(33-9422)
And whose scientific expertise are you talking about?, askedPearson.
"Going by the expertise of the analytical chemists who werecommissioned to make this report...It was either stated in theanalysis reports or in the findings of the specialist who hasprepared this report on the basis of the evidence presented byDEGESCH, the manufacturers of the cyanide, or on the basis of Dupont,who are the American manufacturers of an equivalent chemicalcompound. But this chemical compound should still have been presentafter that length of time." (33 9422, 9423)
Pearson suggested that the only person who had drawn thatconclusion was Leuchter, in his report.
"Very well, sir," said Irving. "This is if you were to ask me, andI am sure you eventually will, if I find any flaws in this report,this is the kind of flaw which I would have found in this report andwhich I think could have been obviated if more money and time hadbeen spent on it...I'm not saying that the report is perfect. What Iam saying is, it is important. In fact, I think it is shattering inthe significance of its discovery." (33-9423)
If someone is going to draw a conclusion about the absence of acompound on a wall, wouldn't you agree, asked Pearson, they shouldreally know what they're talking about?
"Or consult people who knew what they were talking about," saidIrving. "Yes, I would agree with you. But if I were to amplify myopinion as to the - the expertise of this particular witness, I canthink of a no more suitable expert to go and examine the sites ofpurported gas chambers in Poland than one of the few American expertson the construction of gas chambers. And I think it's a stroke ofgenius on the part of the defence that they should have thought ofthis and gone to the expense of sending this particular expert withhis team out to Poland to collect the samples and bring them back andI think it portrays a certain weakness of the supporters of theHolocaust historiography that they have not undertaken this kind ofanalysis in the past." (33- 9424)
Irving testified that from his understanding from reading thereport, Leuchter was under contract and constructed gas chambers andbeen consulted by the various American states on their construction.He continued that he could be open to correction on this, and thatLeuchter might merely have been consulted as an expert by the variousAmerican states concerned. Said Irving: "My conclusion as a historianis that on the basis of what is in front of me, Mr. Leuchter was in aposition to know what he was talking about when he was investigatingAuschwitz with the eye of a man familiar with the design of gaschambers." (33-9424 to 9427)
Judge Ron Thomas interjected: "Well, I think I can shorten this.You needn't ask any further questions. Do you have any submissions?,"he asked Christie. (33-9427)
Christie said: "Yes, I would submit that it would be a remarkabledouble standard if the Crown can introduce documents without authorsfor them, without any proof of who wrote them in this case becausethey happen to be filed in the National Archives...I would submit toyou that this witness has said that this evidence is important forhistorians, it's a valuable piece of historical evidence. It meetsthe test of historical evidence. The author of the report has beencalled and cross-examined in front of the jury, unlike any of theother pieces of evidence that have been tendered by the Crown throughMr. Browning, who didn't have any first-hand knowledge of any ofthem, and for that reason it's my submission that the witness shouldbe allowed to tender that evidence and give his opinion of the valueof it in a historical context. I would also like to ask the witnesswhether, to his knowledge, any physical examination of Auschwitz-Birkenau or Majdanek have previously been published to determine ifthese places have been used in the manner alleged [as]homicidal gas chambers." (33-9427, 9428)
Judge Ron Thomas ruled: "You will be permitted to ask thatquestion. There will be no comment on the Leuchter Report. Send forthe jury, please. You can refer to the fact, and advise this witness,that Mr. Leuchter testified here and that he had conducted thisanalysation (sic) and then find out from this historian if anythinglike this had been done to his knowledge before in the history ofresearching the Second World War." (33-9428)
Christie asked: "Can I ask him whether he considers such evidencevaluable?" (33 9429)
Thomas replied: "No." (33-9429)
[This ended the voir dire to determine the admissibility ofthe Leuchter Report through the expert historian, David Irving.Thomas gave no reasons for disallowing the admission of the LeuchterReport, which had met all tests of valid historical evidence. Theevidence which follows was given in the presence of thejury.]
Mr. Irving, said Christie, we have had in this trial the testimonyof a Mr. Leuchter, indicating investigations of the physical sitesand he was a person who has certain expertise in execution technologyusing hydrogen cyanide gas and certain chemical analysis was donepertaining to that report in regard to the content of hydrogencyanide in the walls of the alleged gas chamber. To your knowledge,asked Christie, has any physical examination of Auschwitz, Birkenau,Majdanek, Treblinka, Belzec, Sobibor or any of the allegedextermination camps been previously published to determine if theseplaces could have been used in the manner alleged in the Holocaustliterature as homicidal gas chambers?
Irving replied: "No, sir. To the best of my knowledge, there hasbeen no kind of examination prior to this trial and to the evidenceintroduced or the evidence mentioned in this trial of the so-calledmurder camps, the extermination camps. No kind of teams of analyticalchemists were sent there to investigate the soil or the bricks of thechambers, no kind of a determination was made as to the suitabilityof the doors or the levers or the flanges or whether the walls hadany kind of special sealing compound applied to them to protect thepassersby on the street outside. There had been no kind of specialdetermination made as to whether these buildings could ever haveeffectively been used as homicidal gas chambers and it wasn't untilthis trial that an attempt was made to carry out such aninvestigation."
This ended the examination-in-chief of Irving by defence attorneyDouglas Christie. Crown Attorney John Pearson rose to commence hiscross-examination. (33-9430, 9431)
Pearson referred first to the July 31, 1941 document from Goeringto Heydrich and Irving's testimony that Goering could never have readthe document. Said Irving: "He couldn't have had time to read it.It's quite evident that Heydrich was only with him for a matter ofminutes. Heydrich, in fact, had the document prepared on a letterheadwhich Heydrich himself had typed. It wasn't even typed on HermannGoering's notepaper. It was typed on Heydrich's notepaper. It wasslipped in for Goering to sign and slipped out again." Irving knewthis "From the evidence contained in Goering's diary showing howbriefly Heydrich was with Goering." Heydrich was with Goering "tenminutes." Irving pointed out that it was not the only document signedthat day. (33-9431, 9432)
How do you know it's not the only one he didn't read?, askedPearson.
"Because Hermann Goering himself so testified under oath," repliedIrving. "Goering testified that he was unfamiliar with this document.I have the entire series of Hermann Goering interrogations, when hewas interrogated before the trial began, the pretrialinterrogations."
Are you telling us, asked Pearson, that Goering testified that henever read that document?
"It was a surprise to him...To the best of my memory, he was shownthe document under pretrial interrogation and this was the first timehe recalled seeing it. The document itself is very harmless. It justtalks about giving - giving Heydrich, extending his powers for theoverall solution of the Jewish problem to the newlyoccupied-territories." Irving testified that Goering did not denysigning it: "No, in fact, I have the copy as signed by HermannGoering with his signature." He agreed with Pearson that Goering musthave seen it when he signed it but he continued: "Do you have anyidea how many documents Hermann Goering would have signed every daynormally?...It made no impression on him at all...let me say onceagain the document was shown to him in the course of a ten minuteinterview between the chief of the Gestapo, Heydrich, and himself ona rainy afternoon when Hermann Goering was hurrying to the station topick up his wife whom he hadn't seen for three months." Irvingpointed out there were certainly three documents signed by HermannGoering that day for Heydrich in the ten minute period. He agreedwith Pearson that Goering therefore had about three minutes perdocument. (33-9433 to 9435)
Wouldn't you agree, asked Pearson, that you are speculating whenyou say he never read it?
"We have to try to interpret how much a man can do in ten minuteswhen it's such an unimportant document as that." Irving pointed outthat the document in question was two paragraphs long.
How long do you think it takes to read?, asked Pearson.
"Two paragraphs, a piece of bureaucratic bumph, I'm afraid you'renot familiar with Hermann Goering's lifestyle," said Irving. "...hehad a very opulent kind of lifestyle. He wasn't really interested inthe minutiae of the bureaucratic life. He wasn't really interested inReinhard Heydrich, he wasn't really interested in the Jewishquestion. In July 1942, he still is saying in a verbatim conferencethat the Führer has made exceptions all the way down thebureaucratic level. He can't understand why all this persecution ofthe Jews is going on...[t]he same with the Nuremberg racelaws. He couldn't understand how they had come into being."(33-9436)
If the academic historians are right, suggested Pearson, that wasindeed a significant memo, wasn't it?
"Indeed. They clutch at straws."
What was Heydrich's position?, asked Pearson.
"Heydrich was the chief of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, whichput him in overall charge of the Gestapo and various other importantSS police executive agencies." Irving agreed that he held a seniorposition in the Nazi hierarchy and that "Hitler at one time wasconsidering him as a successor." (33-9436, 9437)
Wasn't it right, asked Pearson, that Heydrich, being a seniorperson in the hierarchy, was looking to Goering for approval to dosomething?
"For the reason that Hermann Goering was chief of the four yearplan. The head of the four year plan had very, very substantialeconomic influence in Germany, responsibilities also which had beenassigned to him under the overall umbrella of the four year planoffice. One of those responsibilities which Hitler had given toGoering at the time of the Reichskristallnacht, the night of brokenglass in November 1938, was to oversee the final solution of theJewish problem. Hermann Goering in January 1939 put Reinhard Heydrichin charge of the geographical resettlement of all Germany's Jews andAustria's Jews and Reinhard Heydrich set up at that time a centraloffice for the relocation of the Jews and so it became Heydrich'spenchant, drawing on Hermann Goering's authorities which is why hethen had to go back to Hermann Goering in July 1941 to say, 'LookHermann, we've now taken over all these territories in the east and Ineed you to expand that authority to me so I can carry on the job inthe eastern territories', and that's what Hermann understood was themeat of the document he was signing. In other words, a piece ofbureaucratic bumph, drawing the line a little bit further to theeast." (33-9438, 9439)
Said Pearson, I don't know, sounds pretty important to me.Bureaucratic bumph?
"You're clutching at straws, the same as historians, if I may beso rude," replied Irving.
You are the one, said Pearson, who told us that this was asignificant four year plan and the mandate of the senior official isbeing extended by the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany?
Said Irving: "The four year plan was very important until March1942 and it virtually vanished...Heydrich took it as a usefulconvenience that he could put on his headed notepaper the fact thathe was acting on behalf of the head of the four year plan[in] carrying out these jobs. It was a...short-circuiting[of] any kind of opposition that would come along thatHeydrich could [use] and indeed did. For example, whenHeydrich called the Wannsee Conference, he referred specifically toHermann Goering's July 1941 document which says that theReichsmarschall and head of the four year plan has instructed me tocarry out an investigation of how we're going to carry out the finalsolution. I am therefore calling a meeting, which was the famousWannsee Conference. Heydrich would point to the Goering document and[say] 'This is my authority, so don't start smart-talkingme.'" (33-9439, 9440)
Irving agreed that the document was very important to Heydrich andthat he used it. Pearson pointed out that Irving had neverthelessdescribed it as 'bureaucratic bumph'. Said Irving: "Yes. When...youask me why Hermann Goering himself would have paid little attentionto what he was signing, he would have viewed it as a piece ofbureaucratic bumph...he himself never again referred to it throughoutthe war years...We have seventy volumes of verbatim records ofHermann Goering's wartime conferences so we're pretty well informedabout the way his mind was working. If people take the trouble toread them. But they are in that strange language and people don'ttake the time." (33-9440, 9441)
Pearson asked Irving whether he disputed the authenticity of theWannsee Conference protocols. Irving testified that he did not: "Ihave read the entire file...incorporating the Wannsee Conferenceprotocol and the other versions of the protocol. There are two orthree records of the same meeting in various files." (33 9441)
You would agree, suggested Pearson, that at his trial inJerusalem, Eichmann indicated that that was an important stage in thefinal steps of the creation of the 'final solution.' Irvinginterjected to point out that the trial was "twenty years later" andthen continued: "I think we can agree that Adolf Eichmann atJerusalem, when he was on trial, wasn't exactly attending ahistorical seminar. He was under considerable physical and mentalcoercion. Some of the things he said would have been true; others ofthe things that he said would have been false; and I am not in aposition to determine which was which."
Are you now saying that the important thing is he was beingcoerced?, asked Pearson.
"Yes...I am saying that given the wealth of other documentationthat we have, we should be able to dispense with looking at twentyyear old trials to try and find still further clues as to whathappened."
Pearson pointed out that Irving looked at the testimony of otherparticipants at the conference as being significant.
"At the Nuremberg trials. This is true," said Irving. "The trialsheld in 1945, 1946 and 1947, they were particularly...in '46 and '47,the pretrial of Kritzinger and Lammers and the other...people who hadattended, ...Wilhelm Stuckart, who attended the Wannsee Conference,were interrogated in great detail as to what they recollected."Irving agreed he viewed their testimony as significant: "One year orless after the end of the war, yes. I would consider that to be moreacceptable than what Eichmann would be saying twenty years after thewar." (33-9442. 9443)
So, asked Pearson, the significance now isn't the coercion, it'sthe passage of time, is it?
"There's an element," replied Irving. "There's an element ofpassage of time; an element of coercion. If a man, despite coercion,is saying things in a certain way, then it's more likely to be truethan if a man because of coercion twenty years later is saying thingsin a certain way." (33- 9443)
Pearson asked if Irving agreed that if Eichmann attended andprepared the minutes of a meeting which was integral to the plan toexterminate the Jews of Europe, that the passage of twenty years wasnot going to make him forget that? Irving pointed out that this wasPearson's interpretation of the meeting. He continued: "I think thatyou have to realize the Wannsee Conference is one of very manyinterministerial conferences that were held during the war years onall sorts of different topics, stocks, shipping, barges, economy, thefat supply, nitrogen, this kind of conference. And to single out oneconference and expect a man years later to recollect what went onthere when it's a matter which was as boring to most of them as thesolution of the Jewish problem - who is a Jew, who is a half-Jew,what is a quarter-Jew, what do we do with people who have one Jewishgrandparent - this kind of thing, a lot of them will have had theirminds elsewhere. A lot of them did have their minds elsewhere."
Is it your position, asked Pearson, as a professional historian,that the Wannsee Conference was not a conference to discuss theextermination of the Jews of Europe?
"There is no explicit reference to extermination of the Jews ofEurope in the Wannsee Conference and more important, not in any ofthe other documents in that file. We cannot take documents out ofcontext...In my opinion, it has been inflated to that importance byirresponsible historians who probably haven't read the document,"said Irving.
Pearson pointed out there was also the testimony of Eichmann.
"Twenty years later...I think we talked this morning a bit aboutEichmann's powers of recollection and the fact he himself gotconfused about what he really recalled and what he had in themeantime been told. And this is a human failing which unfortunatelyafflicts all of us, that our memories get bad as we get older."
Forget about the minutes of the meeting and forget about thetestimony, said Pearson. Is it your opinion that the WannseeConference itself was not a conference to discuss the exterminationof Jews?
"That is my opinion." (33-9444 to 9446)
So, suggested Pearson, Eichmann made it up?
"I'm saying that Eichmann was wrong in giving contrary testimony,"replied Irving, "but you would have to tell me precisely whatEichmann said. I'm not prepared to take your word for what Eichmannsaid. I think I have to know his precise words. I don't mean thatoffensively at all. Even in paraphrasing we may oversimplify whatsomebody...had said."
Have you read the transcript of Eichmann's testimony?, askedPearson.
"No, I haven't. I've read a few snatches of it like I mentionedthis morning."
Pearson suggested that this hindered Irving's ability to reach theconclusion he had reached. Irving disagreed: "No. I think that whenone has a given life span, one can decide how one spends that life.You can spend your life in a library reading all the books[on] Adolf Eichmann...and write the X plus one book or spendyour life in the archives and try to write a truer book. If you dothat, you don't have to read and why should you bother with the trialrecords because where you are sitting is right where the truth is, inthe archives, and you haven't got the Israeli Ministry of Justiceputting itself between you and Adolf Eichmann." (33-9447)
Said Irving: "I don't consider that the testimony of AdolfEichmann at Jerusalem would have advanced...my knowledge of whathappened at the Wannsee Conference. It is twenty years after the war,which is five years after the Wannsee Conference, four years afterthe Wannsee Conference, and it would have polluted my knowledgerather than improved it." Irving agreed that Eichmann was present atthe Wannsee Conference but would not swear that it was he who draftedthe protocol: "To the best of my knowledge there is no signature onit." (33-9448)
It's your opinion, suggested Pearson, it's of no value to read thewords of a participant in a conference to determine what theconference was about?
"Having read the fragments of Adolf Eichmann's testimony where hesays his memory is so shaken that he can no longer distinguishbetween fiction and fact, he can no longer distinguish between whathe really recollects and what he is told he recollects, from thatpoint on all the Adolf Eichmann testimony becomes polluted, dangerousto read for a historian. It would be really like watching amade-for-TV movie about Auschwitz. That would not advance myknowledge," said Irving.
Pearson suggested again that Irving relied on the testimony of theother participants at the conference when they were on trial and hada clear interest in denying that it had anything to do withextermination.
"I accept that, yes...I accept your inference too, that they had areason to simulate, they had a reason to deceive...I read it withinterest. That doesn't mean to say I rely on it. You take note ofit."
But you don't take note of Eichmann?, asked Pearson.
"No," said Irving. "Not in that account because of the particularcircumstances where Adolf Eichmann was being [heard]. HadAdolf Eichmann been questioned in 1945 at very great length byAmerican or British interrogators, that would have been ofsubstantially greater evidentiary value for a historian than giventhe circumstances where he is being interrogated under the certainknowledge that he's about to be executed." (33-9449, 9450)
April 25, 1988
Irving agreed that he had written about thirty books andresearched for more than ten years before writing Hitler's War andten years before writing Churchill's War. Hitler's War was firstpublished in Germany in 1975. Said Irving: "The German publishers,without so informing me, willfully excluded and changed parts of thetext. I then obliged them to withdraw the book from publicationovernight on publication day." Among other things, the publishers hadchanged parts relating to Hitler's knowledge of the extermination ofthe Jews. (34-9455, 9456)
Is it your evidence, asked Pearson, that they published that firstrun without letting you see the final version they were going topublish?
"Most unusual," said Irving. "They did not let me see thetypescript of the German translation which I normally like to checkmyself. They did not honour their promise to let me see the proofs.They did not supply me with an advance copy of the book. I had to buya copy of the book myself in a book shop in Munich and I immediatelysent a telegram forbidding them to print any further editions or tosell any more copies." The English language version of the bookappeared in 1977. (34 9456)
Irving agreed that he commenced Hitler's War by saying that theten years that he had chosen to research Hitler were the best tenyears to do so because the archives opened up to researchers and thepeople who had been involved with Hitler, especially his closestpersonnel, were still available. (34-9457)
Irving wrote in his introduction to Hitler's War that "the mostimportant documents were provided by Professor Hugh Trevor-Roper..."Irving testified that "Professor Hugh Trevor-Roper is a verywell-known and eminent professor of history, modern history. He wasthe regius professor of Oxford in history...he is now the master ofan important college at Cambridge University...He is an academichistorian who started initially as a non-academic historian inBritish intelligence." Irving agreed that he had "[not] theslightest" contempt for Trevor-Roper and in fact had written that thehistorian's work The Last Days of Hitler was a brilliant exception tomost weak biographies of Hitler. Said Irving: "This is why I singledhim out for special commendation." He owed Trevor-Roper a "veryconsiderable debt." (34-9457 to 9459)
Irving also agreed that in his introduction to Hitler's War he hadacknowledged the debt he owed to Professor Raul Hilberg. Said Irving:"Indeed, oh, yes. I corresponded with Professor Hilberg who Iunderstand has given evidence in a previous hearing." Irvingtestified he had "[not] the slightest" contempt for Hilberg:"Again, he's one of the few academic historians who has done hishomework, if I can put it in that shorthand form." (34-9459)
Would you agree, asked Pearson, that Hugh Trevor-Roper is probablythe foremost expert on the Nazi regime in Germany of any Englishhistorian?
"Except in one respect," said Irving. "He has very littleknowledge of the German language which is a substantial impediment.But otherwise I agree with your statement." (34- 9459)
After Hitler's War, Irving moved on to Churchill, but kept hisHitler dossiers open "as a matter of professional interest." Hisresearch into Churchill relied more on archival documents thantestimonials as many of Churchill's associates had already died.(34-9460)
Pearson turned to the subject of the assassination of GeneralSikorski, the Polish Prime Minister-in-exile during the war who diedin a plane crash in Gibraltar. Irving gave qualified agreement thathis book on Sikorski claimed that Churchill was responsible for hisassassination. "I will go along with that description. In fact, itwas left more open than that but the reader was invited to draw thatconclusion," said Irving.
Did the law courts consider the proposition that Sikorski wasassassinated by Churchill?, asked Pearson.
"They did indeed...The lower courts, on the basis of a playwritten by a completely different person, considered a libel actionbrought by the sole survivor of the plane, a Czechoslovakiannational. The libel action was rather uniquely fought in as much asthe defendant was a German living in Switzerland who made no attemptto appear and on the basis of that kind of court case, the courtfound, of course, for the plaintiff...to be perfectly specific, ofcourse, my book was not on trial. The pilot, the Czech, Prchal,issued a libel writ against me as the author of the book, Accident:The Death of General Sikorski, and he chose not to, which implies inmy view, he accepted that what I had written was not open tochallenge in the English lower courts. We would certainly havedefended it had he issued a writ." (34-9461, 9462)
Pearson produced a review of Hitler's War written by HughTrevor-Roper which appeared on June 12, 1977 in the Sunday TimesWeekly Review, with which Irving was familiar:
It is well known that Mr. Irving, some years ago, convincedhimself that General Sikorski, who died in an air-crash at Gibraltar,had been "assassinated" by Winston Churchill, to whom in fact hisdeath was a political calamity. Not a shred of evidence orprobability has ever been produced for this theory, and when it wastested in the courts, Mr. Irving's only "evidence" (which was veryindirect at best) was shown to be a clumsy misreading of a manuscriptdiary. (I have myself seen the diary and feel justified in using theword "clumsy"). And yet here is this stale and exploded libel trottedout again, as if it were an accepted truth, in order to support aquestionable generalisation.
Did Hugh Trevor-Roper say that in his article, sir?, askedPearson.
"He did indeed," agreed Irving, "but he is wrong in suggestingthat my theory was ever tested in the lower courts and you can have alook at my book if you wish, Accident: The Death of General Sikorski,and you will find no reference whatsoever in it to the diary which hementions...The newspaper then refused to publish a letter from me inreply. I pointed out he was entitled to his opinions and he could putthem to music and have them played by the Mainstream Guards, but Ideal in facts."
Didn't Sir Frank Roberts say that Churchill wept when he heard thenews?, asked Pearson.
"I have read that statement recently. It's a very recent statementby the head of the Central Department of the Foreign Office in 1943.He made that statement in the 1980s, forty years later to WinstonChurchill's authorized biographer and we can each of us attachwhatever weight we choose to that statement."
You choose not to accept it?, asked Pearson.
"Churchill wept freely and readily," said Irving. (34-9464,9465)
Pearson turned to Hitler's War and read from the introduction:
The negative is traditionally always difficult to prove; but itseemed well worth attempting to discredit accepted dogmas if only toexpose the "unseaworthiness" of many current legends about Hitler.The most durable of these concerns the Führer's involvement inthe extermination of the Jews. My analysis of this controversialissue serves to highlight two broad conclusions: that in wartime,dictatorships are fundamentally weak - the dictator himself, howeveralert, is unable to oversee all the functions of his executivesacting within the confines of his far-flung empire; and that in thisparticular case, the burden of guilt for the bloody and mindlessmassacre of the Jews rests on a large number of Germans, many of themalive today, and not just on one "mad dictator," whose order had tobe obeyed without question.
"I think that today, eleven years later, I still stand by what Ipublished on that date," said Irving. "...There were very largenumbers of massacres which can only be described as bloody andmindless of Jews and other ethnic minorities in occupied Europeduring the Second World War."
I suggest, said Pearson, that the way you have written it - 'theJews', not 'some Jews' - that you're talking about race genocide.
"I think that readers who are picking up my book and looking at itare very familiar with the fact there has long been an allegationabout a massacre or extermination of the Jews in the Second WorldWar. The same as we talk about the extermination or massacre of theArmenians. I think it would - I really hope you have better materialthan this with which to challenge me frankly. I've come a very longway. I don't really want to spend a great deal of timedebat[ing] one word, 'the'." (34-9466, 9467)
Pearson continued reading:
I had approached the massacre of the Jews from the traditionalviewpoint prevailing in the mid- 1960s. "Supposing Hitler was acapable statesman and a gifted commander," the argument ran, "howdoes one explain his murder of six million Jews?" If this book weresimply a history of the rise and fall of Hitler's Reich, it would belegitimate to conclude: "Hitler killed the Jews." He after allcreated the atmosphere of hatred with his anti-Semitic speeches inthe 1930s; he and Himmler created the SS; he built the concentrationcamps; his speeches, though never explicit, left the clear impressionthat "liquidate" was what he meant. For a full length war biographyof Hitler, I felt that a more analytical approach to the keyquestions of initiative, complicity, and execution would benecessary.
Pearson suggested that in that passage Irving was saying that ifone was looking at Hitler's Reich and not just at Hitler, it would belegitimate to conclude that Hitler killed the Jews. Irving repliedthat Hitler "had a constitutional responsibility as head of state."(34-9467, 9468)
What was the significance of the statement that Hitler and Himmlercreated the SS?, asked Pearson.
"Back in the 1930s, back in the 1920s in fact," said Irving, "theSS was created as an elite bodyguard for Hitler and out of whichemerged the various branches of the SS, including the Waffen SS,which was the biggest branch of all, and the sentence means what itsays. They both jointly created the SS." (34-9468)
Pearson suggested that in effect, Irving was saying Hitler wasresponsible for creating the organ that massacred the Jews. Irvingdisagreed: "I don't think I say that the SS is the organ thatmassacred the Jews. I'm just saying what, in fact, I printed there. Ichose those words very carefully in writing the introduction."(34-9468)
Pearson continued reading:
For a full-length war biography of Hitler, I felt that a moreanalytical approach to the key questions of initiative, complicity,and execution would be necessary. Remarkably, I found that Hitler'sown role in the "Final Solution of the Jewish Problem" has never beenexamined.
What did you mean by the "final solution of the Jewish problem"?,asked Pearson.
"Well, earlier in that paragraph, I have talked about theargument, the public perception of what had happened and I haveclearly put that sentence in quotation marks; what the public callsthe 'final solution of the Jewish problem'...We are going to examinein the book what the 'final solution' was, but I am already advancinghere, I am alerting the reader to the fact that in this book he'sgoing to find data on this controversy."
Wasn't the "final solution" the term generally accepted as beingthe term used for the racial genocide of the Jews?, askedPearson.
"On Friday I quoted you from memory a spring 1942 document inwhich Hitler is quoted by the chief of his Reich Chancellery assaying 'the Führer wants the solution of the Jewish problempostponed until after the war is over'. Now, you can't have it bothways. That document is a genuine document." (34-9469)
Pearson suggested that in his introduction, Irving was telling thereader that he was going to prove that Hitler did not have personalknowledge of the extermination of the Jews. Irving agreed: "I am." Hecontinued: "What I am more specifically saying in there is what Iactually write, that Hitler, his role and whatever the 'finalsolution of the Jewish problem' was, whatever that was, is going tobe analysed in this book."
Where are the words 'whatever that was', asked Pearson.
"It's not necessary," replied Irving. "What I am saying is that ifI was writing a history of the Third Reich I would analyse it, butI'm not. I'm writing a biography of Hitler. It's already a thousandpages long. If I'm going to write an analysis of the Holocaust, thebook would be 2,000 pages long."
Are you saying, asked Pearson, that you wrote a book to prove thatHitler wasn't responsible for something that never happened? Irvingreplied that he did not set out to write a book to prove anything: "Iset out to write a biography of Hitler based on the documents asaccurately as I could find them...having written the book, I wrotethe introduction and not the other way around." (34-9470)
And the conclusion, suggested Pearson, was that Hitler was notresponsible for something that never happened?
Said Irving: "I don't say that Hitler wasn't responsible. I amvery clear there that he had a constitutional responsibility. Butcertainly it is questionable whether he ever knew that the 'finalsolution' was going on, whatever the 'final solution' was." (349471)
Pearson continued reading:
For thirty years, our knowledge of Hitler's part in the atrocityhas rested on inter historian incest.
What atrocity are you talking about?, asked Pearson.
"There is no other way to describe what happened," said Irving."Thousands of civilians being lined up on the side of pits and beingmachine-gunned to the pits after being robbed of their personalpossessions. This kind of thing can only be described as an atrocitywhether it happens in Germany, Yugoslavia or Vietnam." (34-9472)
Pearson continued reading:
Many people, particularly in Germany and Austria, had an interestin propagating the accepted version that the order of one madmanoriginated the entire massacre. Precisely when the order was givenand in what form has, admittedly, never been established. In 1939? -but the secret extermination camps did not begin operating untilDecember 1941.
Order for the what?, asked Pearson.
"The order for the atrocities. We are talking about the order thatthese people imagine exist so there was one central order."(34-9472)
Aren't you suggesting there, asked Pearson, that secretextermination camps did not begin operating until December 1941?
"I think I have to say here that this sentence falls into thecategory of sentences that I would not repeat in 1988," said Irving."At the time I wrote that in the 1960s, 1974 thereabouts when Iwrote...that introduction, I believed. I believed everything I hadheard about the extermination camps. I wasn't investigating theextermination camps. I was investigating Hitler." (34-9472, 9473)
But you told us you did ten years of extensive research on theNational Socialist regime, said Pearson, and you had no problemmaking that statement, did you?
"Because I believed," said Irving. He continued: "I believed whatI had read up [to] that point. I hadn't gone to the sites ofAuschwitz and Treblinka and Majdanek and brought back samples andcarried out an analysis. I hadn't done any research into what iscalled the 'Holocaust'. I researched Hitler and his staff." Irvingtestified that he had not done such research in the meantime: "I havecarried out no investigation...in equivalent depth of the Holocaust."(34- 9473)
But your mind changed?, asked Pearson, You no longer believeit?
"My mind has now changed," said Irving. "I have now begun tochallenge that. I understand it is now a subject open to debate...Mybelief has now changed because I understand that the whole of theHolocaust mythology is, after all, open to doubt and certainly in thecourse of what I have read in the last few days, in fact, in thistrial, I am now becoming more and more hardened in this view."(34-9474)
Said Irving: "One sees the sentence, the line of that page, 'thesecret extermination camps did not begin operating until...'. Then Iwrote that on the basis of what all the other eminent academichistorians had been saying, that there were such extermination camps.I believed." (34- 9474)
Pearson returned to Hitler's War and continued reading:
...but the incontrovertible evidence is that Hitler ordered onNovember 30, 1941, that there was to be "no liquidation" of the Jews(without much difficulty, I found in Himmler's private files his ownhandwritten note on this).
Would you agree, asked Pearson, that this November 30, 1941 orderis the lynch-pin of your whole argument in Hitler's War?
"No, sir. I am aware of the newspapers hav[ing] tried tomake out that was the lynch pin. In fact, that is one minor item in aseries of about ten documents beginning in 1923, 1924 and going rightthrough until 1944. The only documents specifically linking Hitlerwith what was happening to the Jews, and in each Hitler is puttingout his hand to stop it happening. This is just one of those itemsand I have to say there preemptively that the word 'the' in front ofJews is wrong. It is one specific transport of Jews from Berlin goingto the eastern front going to Riga, who were, in fact, at that time,November the 30th, 1941, already dead by some hours. This was one ofthe specific atrocities." (34-9475, 9476)
Pearson suggested that the academic historians had indicated thatIrving had tried to extrapolate from a single order, relating to oneshipment of Jews, a profound conclusion with respect to Hitler'srole.
"They couldn't - they can't establish that. What they haveoverlooked is that is just one document that is referred to in a bookof a thousand pages containing very many similar documents.Obviously, I particularly enjoyed drawing their attention to thatdocument because it gave me the chance of pointing out that all theseworld famous academic historians had not even bothered to transcribeHimmler's own handwritten notes of his telephone conversations. Thisis [why] I referred to it in the introduction."
Don't they suggest that they didn't consider it that significant?,asked Pearson.
"I wouldn't think any of them have had the cheek or the gall oreffrontery to suggest that Himmler's own handwritten notes on amatter like this would not be significant," replied Irving. Hecontinued: "It is very significant. It is one of a series ofdocuments showing Hitler intervening to try and stop mindlesssubordinates carrying out atrocities. There was another identicalhandwritten note by Himmler on April the 20th, 1942, reading inEnglish: 'no annihilation of the gypsies'. Himmler has just been tosee Hitler on that day, it was Hitler's birthday, and Himmler cameout and had to telephone Heydrich, the chief of the Reich SecurityOffice, with the instruction that there was to be no annihilation ofthe gypsies. But you don't see this kind of thing referred to...inthe history books because they can't make it fit. They pretend thatthese documents don't exist." (34-9476, 9477)
Why would Hitler have to give those orders, asked Pearson, ifthere was no annihilation of the gypsies and, as you now claim, noliquidation of the Jews?
"I haven't said there was no annihilation of the Jews," saidIrving. "I specifically said this morning and on Friday that therewere a number of massacres and atrocities. I refer to them here asbeing 'mindless' in the introduction. I am not denying that therewere these ghastly episodes and I think that what happened on thisoccasion, if I am allowed to have an opinion, Himmler went to seeHitler on November the 30th, 1941, in fact his handwritten notesbegin with the words 'from the train'. He makes a number of telephonecalls from his train. Then the next telephone call is from the bunkerat the Wolf's Lair, Hitler's headquarters, 1:30 p.m., November the30th, 1941. Himmler comes out of the bunker and telephones Heydrichand he says, 'Transport of Jews from Berlin. No liquidation.' I thinkHimmler has gone to see Hitler and said 'Mein Führer, why don'twe just get rid of them?' and Hitler says, Kommt nicht in Frage - outof the question." (34-9477, 9478)
He continued: "There were approximately, to the best of myknowledge, between five and 10,000 Jews from the Berlin area who hadbeen loaded onto a train and shipped out to Riga and at the time ofthat telephone conversation, they had already been killed three orfour hours earlier...I can repeat from memory most of what is in thenote. The first item is the arrest of Dr. Jekelius; the next itemafter appeared is apparently son of Molotov; then there's anotherperiod and then it says transport of Jews from Berlin; and thenthere's another period and then it says no liquidation and thenthere's another period." Irving testified that to the best of hisknowledge both Himmler, who was chief of the SS, and Heydrich hadknowledge of this massacre. (34-9478, 9479)
Would you agree, asked Pearson, that Himmler had the authority toengage the machinery of the state vis-a-vis the SS?
"I discussed this with Himmler's brother...Gebhard Himmler, manyyears ago, and he said to me 'I cannot believe that Heini would havedone this without Hitler's authority'. Himmler certainly had theauthority to set the wheels in motion himself and in the famousspeeches at Posen in October 1943, he actually uses the words, 'Itherefore took the decision that the women and children were to bekilled as well'. So this strongly implies that he had theauthority."
Pearson suggested that, with respect to the bloody and mindlessmassacre of the Jews, Himmler was implementing policy. Irvingdisagreed: "I think that it is such an important matter that it'svery difficult to try and bridge that gap without some evidentiarybasis...When you're trying to suggest there was a policy which iswhat I would contest, I don't think there was any overall Reichpolicy to kill the Jews. If there was, they would have been killedand there would not be now so many millions of survivors. And believeme, I am glad for every survivor that there was."
Do you know how many survivors there are?, asked Pearson.
"I don't dabble in statistics," replied Irving. (34-9479,9480)
Pearson continued reading from Hitler's War:
My own hypothesis, to which I point in the various chapters inwhich I deal in chronological sequence with the unfolding persecutionand liquidation of the European Jews, is this: the killing was partlyof an ad hoc nature, what the Germans called aVerlegenheitslösung - the way out of an awkward dilemma, chosenby the middle-level authorities in the eastern territories overrun bythe Nazis - and partly a cynical extrapolation by the central SSauthorities of Hitler's anti-Semitic decrees. Hitler hadunquestionably decreed that Europe's Jews were to be "swept back" tothe east; I describe the various phase-lines established by thisdoctrine. But the SS authorities, Gauleiters, and regional commissarsand governors in "the east" proved wholly unequal to the problemscaused by this mass uprooting in midwar. The Jews were brought by thetrainload to ghettos already overcrowded and underprovisioned. Partlyin collusion with each other, partly independently, the Nazi agenciesthere simply liquidated the deportees as their trains arrived, on ascale increasingly more methodical and more regimented as the monthspassed.
Do you repudiate those statements, sir?, asked Pearson.
"I think [in] the first part of the paragraph there is nota line I would change," said Irving. "The last lines of the paragraphI think I would rubber stamp over the top of that 'at that time Ibelieved'. At that time I believed there had been an increasinglymore methodical liquidation. This is something which I am nowincreasingly inclined to challenge because over the intervening tenyears, I still haven't seen any evidence that there was."
Have you engaged in any research on that question?, askedPearson.
"I have engaged in a lot of research in the German archives not onthat question. When you go through the German archives trolling forsubjects about what you are writing about, you are going to notice ifyou come across blueprints or things referring to gas chambers or themethodical and systematic liquidation. Believe me, I wouldn't haveconcealed it if I had...I have continued writing books since then.I've worked consistently in the German archives. My relations withthe world's historians are still of the very best. I have offeredsubstantial cash rewards for documents that would prove me wrongbecause I have no vested interest. I have no axe to grind. Ifsomebody came forward with a document proving that I am wrong onthis, then I would accept that I am wrong and I would regard it as abattle lost and it's not the way - it's not the result, it's the wayyou play the game, even in writing history, and I would have said tomyself I've had a good run for my money but they've found thedocument." (34-9481, 9482)
Have you offered a reward for anybody who can produce to you adocument signed, for instance, by Himmler?, asked Pearson.
"No. What I have offered is far simpler. I have said I will pay athousand pounds in cash to any historian or private person, anybody,who can find one single wartime document showing that Adolf Hitlerknew what was going on - the 'Holocaust', whatever it was. They can'teven do that."
Pearson accused Irving of being an apologist for Hitler by sayingHitler was not the one that was responsible.
"You want to call me an apologist for Hitler so the newspaperswill use this tomorrow, no doubt."
What is meant by an apologist, sir?, asked Pearson.
"An apologist? I think the word is quite frank. It's a person thatgoes around making apologies for himself like the German people atpresent...If you have read the rest of the introduction - I am quiteprepared to do so; I have the time - I will draw your attention toevery single one of Hitler's crimes which I have set out in theintroduction and drawn the reader's attention to the pages of thisbook where they will find Hitler's other crimes set out in moredetail than in any other Hitler biography." (34-9483, 9484)
Irving agreed with Pearson that he said in his introduction thatthe greatest crime alleged against Hitler was the extermination ofthe Jews. He did not agree that he concluded Hitler wasn'tresponsible for it: "I deny that I say he wasn't responsible. I thinkI said earlier today that he had a constitutional responsibility ashead of state but as his biographer, it is not without interest to meif he knew about it or not, whatever it was that was happening. Itthen draws the conclusion he must have been a very weak Führerof Germany if he didn't know everything that was going on on thisscale." (34-9484, 9485)
Pearson continued reading from page xiv of the introduction toHitler's War:
A subsidiary motive in the atrocity was the animal desire of themurderers to loot and plunder the Jewish victims and conceal theirtraces. (This hypothesis does not include the methodical liquidationof Russian Jews during the "Barbarossa" invasion of 1941, which cameunder a different Nazi heading - preemptive guerrilla warfare; andthere is no indication that Hitler expressed any compunctions aboutit.)
Irving agreed that this passage was a reference to the activitiesof the Einsatzgruppen in Russia: "This is true...it makes me astrange apologist for Hitler when I put in a sentence like that. Ithink he would like for a better apologist for himself in future. Ihave drawn attention to the fact that in the post-invasion operationsof Russia, he had specifically provided for police executive[SS] units to sweep in behind, mopping up anybody - I thinkone document says anybody who looked crookedly over his shoulder atus. He rounded up everybody who was likely to be partisan materialand in this category the Jews figured very strongly...these Jews werenot sent to Auschwitz or Majdanek or Treblinka; they were liquidatedin the battlefield so-to-speak, by these SS and police units. It's anentirely different kettle of fish from what we now commonly regard asthe 'Holocaust'." (34-9485, 9486)
You don't really mean in the battlefield, do you?, askedPearson.
"In the rear battlefield areas," said Irving. "They weren't takenby train across Europe fifteen hundred miles to camps like Auschwitzand Majdanek and Treblinka and subjected to what we now have beentold the Holocaust was. This is why I put that in a differentparagraph. This is police units going along behind the lines,rounding up people, deporting them and liquidating them if they fellwithin the suspect persons categories and I - this is why I used theword 'atrocities.' It was an atrocity." (34-9486)
You don't deny that women and children were liquidated by theEinsatzgruppen, do you?, asked Pearson.
"On Friday I gave two specific instances where people whom Iinterviewed myself had seen this with their own eyes...This isreferred to by Heinrich Himmler in the Posen speech. He said weweren't able to leave the women and children to survive. It was anatrocity. No other way of describing it."
And it had nothing to do with suspect categories, did it, askedPearson, it was racial genocide once again?
"I can't say what was going on in the mind of those who pulled thetriggers. They may very well have been motivated by racialmotives."
Weren't they responding to orders they received?, askedPearson.
"Undoubtedly, the people who were taking part in the executionsquads had received orders to take part in them...I think thatindirectly they [the orders] led up to Himmler," said Irving.(34-9487)
Didn't they actually go to Hitler?, asked Pearson.
"Once again if you can find that piece of paper, then you're goingto be a rich man," said Irving. "You would then collect the reward,but everyone's been trying for twenty or thirty years. They haven'tsucceeded to find that kind of evidence."
In your book, asked Pearson, you cite a memo from Himmler toHitler in which 300,000 Jews are referred to as beingexterminated?
"I'm familiar with this," said Irving. "It's the report number 53or 54 in October 1942. It is a very remarkable report." He continued:"It's a document that raises my eyebrows. It's a document I amunhappy about because it - it is so - it's a rare document. It pokesout above the clouds of the other archives like Mount Kilimanjaro.You wonder what it's doing there. If you work in the archives, you'refamiliar with documents and you're familiar with statistics andtables and suddenly you come across this document which is the onlyone of its kind containing this kind of statistics. It's a monthlyreport or a weekly report. The other weekly reports don't have thatcategory or that kind of figure in it. I am not challenging itsauthenticity; I'm just saying [it's] the kind of document Iam unhappy about. I am unhappy about it because it is such anunusual, isolated document." (34-9488, 9489)
Irving testified that he referred to the document in his book: "Iwould be dishonest if I didn't refer to it." He agreed that he didnot question its authenticity in the book, but added: "If you look inthe footnote to which I refer to this document, I do a very kind ofmild glance at the document in which I draw the reader's attention tothe colossal number of Jews who apparently have been killed on thatweek, 300,000, and the very small number of hand guns and other itemsthat have been picked up in the same operations. This [isthe] kind of thing which makes me suspect that perhaps - perhaps- we shouldn't believe this one document is all that it purports tobe. I would be dishonest if I had ignored the document; it would beequally dishonest to try and build an entire federal case on it. I'msure you're not trying to do that." (34-9489)
The overall heading in the document was 'people killed aspartisans': "They are not killed as Jews. There is a category ofpartisans who have been liquidated in that period allegedly and oneof the sub-headings is suddenly this colossal figure of Jews."
And you don't accept that document as evidence of Hitler beinginformed that the Jews are being centred out for extermination?
"I think that you're looking at the wrong paragraph of this book,"said Irving. "We're talking in this paragraph about the Russian Jewsbeing rounded up and liquidated as partisans and counter-partisanwarfare. We're not looking at - at what we generally understand asthe 'Holocaust'; that is, Jews being rounded up, put in trains inAmsterdam and Paris and put in trains and shipped to Auschwitz wherethey're gassed. This is two completely different operations we'relooking at." (34 9490, 9491)
Do you deny that Hilberg sees the Einsatzgruppen as a prelude ofwhat he calls the 'Holocaust'?, asked Pearson.
"On Friday, I said I consider every historian is entitled to hisopinion. It would be a sad day if they weren't," said Irving. In hisopinion, the activities of the Einsatzgruppen were not "part of anoverall German state policy of exterminating Jews...because there isno documentary evidence to support the...contention." He pointed outto Pearson that the title of the document indicated it was a reporton partisan warfare. (34-9492)
Pearson continued reading from Irving's introduction to Hitler'sWar at page xiv:
We shall see how in October 1943, even as Himmler was disclosingto audiences of SS generals and Gauleiters that Europe's Jews hadvirtually been exterminated, Hitler was still forbiddingliquidations...
Irving agreed that the statement "Europe's Jews had virtually beenexterminated" was based on something he had read: "That's correct.That comes under the category of 'at that time I believed'."
But isn't that your interpretation of what Himmler said?, askedPearson.
"It's my interpretation based on what the perception of theworld's historians up to 1977 was of the 'Holocaust'."
Irving had read Himmler's speeches in great detail. "Now, when weread them again we see that Himmler is admitting quite frankly thatthe German SS troops had been liquidating Jewish men and also Jewishwomen and children, which he then tries to justify in the eyes of hisgenerals and in the eyes of the party Gauleiters. But this of coursefalls far short of what I say in that sentence that 'Europe's Jewshad been virtually exterminated'." Since writing that sentence, hehad studied Himmler's speeches again. "I have repeatedly because Ihave repeatedly been involved in historians asking to see my file ofmaterial on the High Command level decisions and the Holocaust."
So, after reading them in detail, said Pearson, preparing to writeyour book, you reach this conclusion but now you've changed yourmind. Is that what you're saying?
"That is correct," said Irving. "I certainly wouldn't write thatagain." (34-9493, 9494)
Judge Ron Thomas interjected and asked when Irving had changed hismind.
"As I became aware that the whole of the Holocaust was comingunder scrutiny and that the historians of the world were not able toput up a defence," replied Irving. This occurred between 1977 and thepresent day.
Was it at the 1983 convention of the Institute for HistoricalReview?, asked Pearson.
"I have made many speeches since then. I have attended manyconventions. I can't be specific about where I formed any particularopinions. Obviously, this particular change of mind, and historiansdo change their minds over the years as they acquire better andfurther particulars, occurred gradually over the intervening tenyears." (34-9495)
Pearson continued reading:
Wholly in keeping with his character, when Hitler was confrontedwith the facts - either then or, as Kaltenbrunner later claimed, inOctober 1944 - he took no action to rebuke the guilty. His failure orinability to act in effect kept the extermination machinery goinguntil the end of the war.
What facts was Hitler confronted with?, asked Pearson.
"There was an investigation of specific atrocities in SS and otherconcentration camps in 1944," replied Irving. "The investigation wascarried out by Konrad Morgen with whom I corresponded. My attentionwas drawn to this investigation by what Kaltenbrunner, the chief ofthe Gestapo, said under interrogation. Kaltenbrunner claimed thatwhen Morgen made these reports to him about atrocities that he hadfound in concentration camps, he, Kaltenbrunner, had gone to seeHitler who ordered that these atrocities had to stop." Morgen wasreferring to Auschwitz and Treblinka. (34-9496, 9497)
Did Irving now repudiate the last sentence?, asked Pearson.
"Of course, again it makes me look a very odd apologist for Hitlerthat I write things like that. His 'failure or inability to act' onseveral occasions - he failed to act after the Reichskristallnacht inNovember, 1938. He took no steps to punish those who were guilty ofthose atrocities against the Jews. The 'extermination machinery' - Idon't now believe there was anything that you could describe as'extermination machinery' other than the very disorganized ad hocefforts of the criminals and murderers among the SS who were carryingout the liquidations that we described earlier...I would say now 'hisfailure or inability...in effect, kept the atrocities possible untilthe end of the war'."
Pearson suggested that Irving would not even blame Hitler forfailing his constitutional duty with respect to official policy.Irving disagreed: "I didn't say that. I think it was very culpable onhis part. He was so busy fighting the war, defending Europe againstthe Soviet invasion, that he paid very little attention to what thegangsters, Himmler, Bormann, were carrying on inside occupied Europeat that time." (34-9497, 9498)
Irving agreed that Himmler and Bormann, in the hierarchy of theNazi regime, were "right outside Hitler's door." He agreed that inhis book he stated that Hitler often gave his orders to them innon-written form. He also agreed that both men were very interestedin seeing to it that Hitler's wishes were realized. Irving continued:"That is where they [the orders] became paper. Himmler andBormann wrote 'On the basis of the Führer's order, this is whatwe have done', and that is what is lacking in this case."(34-9499)
Pearson continued reading from Hitler's War, page 12 in the firstchapter, dealing with a speech by Hitler:
...[Hitler] reminded his Party faithfuls of that unique1939 "prophesy", adding with ominous ambiguity: "As a prophet theyalways laughed at me. But of those who laughed loudest then,countless laugh no longer today. Nor are those who are still laughingeven now likely to laugh when the time comes...".
While Hitler's overall anti-Jewish policy was clearly andrepeatedly enunciated, it is harder to establish a documentary linkbetween him and the murderous activities of the SS "task forces"(Einsatzgruppen) and their extermination camps in the east.
You repudiate that statement, sir?, asked Pearson.
"I would not use the words 'their extermination camps'," saidIrving. "I think probably there was one camp that could be describedas an extermination camp at that time, 1939, 1940, and that was atChelmno...This was operating on a very small scale and the peopleresponsible, I believe, were subsequently penalized for it." (349500)
Pearson continued reading from page 12 and 53:
For the pogroms that now began, Himmler and Heydrich provided theinitiative and drive themselves, using arguments of Reich security.Hitler's only order to the Reichsführer SS Himmler in thiscontext was one for the general consolidation of the German racialposition; there is no evidence that Hitler gave him any more specificinstructions than this, nor did Himmler ever claim so. When armygenerals became restless about deeds being enacted by the SS inPoland, Himmler reassured them in a secret speech at Koblenz in March1940, of which his handwritten notes survive - though they areinfuriatingly cryptic in parts...
In the east, meanwhile, the "devil's work" was well in hand.Gruesome reports of massacre and persecution began to filter upthrough army channels. Not all of them reached Hitler, sinceBrauchitsch had in September tacitly agreed that Heydrich should havefree rein for his special tasks...
What do you mean by "devil's work"?, asked Pearson.
Irving replied: "Um, the SS units under the command of General vonWoyrsch...had begun rounding up opposition elements including Jews,the clergy and Polish intellectuals and they were being ruthlesslymassacred." This was also the meaning of "special tasks."(34-9501,9502)
Pearson continued reading:
...for Brauchitsch to have protested now would have beenhypocritical, and besides, his row with Hitler on November 5 had madehim reluctant to set foot in the Chancellery again. But conscienceshad to be salved and the reports were dutifully shuttled aboutbetween the adjutants. Thus, soon after the Munich plot, CaptainEngel received from Brauchitsch's adjutant a grisly set ofeye-witness accounts of executions by the SS at Schwetz. An outspokenmedical officer addressed to Hitler in person a report summarizingthe eye-witness evidence of three of his men:
Together with about 150 fellow soldiers they witnessed the summaryexecution of about 20 or 30 Poles at the Jewish cemetery at Schwetzat about 9:30 A.M. on Sunday, October 8. The execution was carriedout by a detachment consisting of an SS man, two men in old bluepolice uniforms, and a man in plain clothes. An SS major was incommand. Among those executed were also 5 or 6 children aged from twoto eight years old.
Whether Engel showed this document and its attached eye-witnessaccounts to Hitler is uncertain.
Would you agree, asked Pearson, that an SS Major here is reportedto have conducted a massacre that was against non-combatants?
"Oh, indeed," said Irving, "and I would like to draw attention tothe quality of the documentary evidence which does exist relating tosmaller crimes. Dealing here with twenty or thirty Poles who arebeing massacred, a small atrocity. Why do we not have documents onthe huge crimes of equivalent evidentiary value?" (34-9503)
Pearson continued reading:
If Hitler still regretted having kindled this holocaust, it wasnot because of the horrors that were beginning to spread like amedieval plague across eastern Europe: they were inevitablebyproducts of his program, and he was more concerned to justify theminwardly than to prevent them. What unsettled him was the unscheduleddelay the war would inflict on his grand plans for the reconstructionof Germany.
What "holocaust" are you talking about?, asked Pearson.
"It's quite remarkable that long before the word 'Holocaust'became trademarked in the way it now has - with a capital H - I usethat word there. This is because I was using it in the medieval senseof the word holocaust, the original Greek origins of the word. It'snothing to do with what is now referred to as the capital Htrademark." (34-9503)
Pearson suggested that Irving was not referring to isolatedincidences in the passage, but to something that was spreading like amedieval plague.
Said Irving: "I think war produces barbarism and as thebarbarisation of the war progresses, then the violence and atrocitiesconducted by both sides increase in scale."
Pearson turned to the subject of the Madagascar project and askedIrving whether the plan did not go ahead because of French refusal togo along with it.
"From my reading of the documents at Hitler's level, the reasonthat the plan could not go ahead was because the conditions of warmade it impossible to ship large numbers of any kind of populationacross the dangerous high seas...I think it was a question ofunnecessary movements of civilian populations across seas that wereinfested by U-boats of either side." (34-9504)
It had nothing to do with the position of the French?, askedPearson.
"This is a novelty, I have to admit," said Irving. "I had neverheard before that Hitler had paid very much respect to the wishes ofthe French government in 1940."
Pearson continued reading from page 270 of Hitler's War:
But for the duration of the war the Madagascar plan was out. HansFrank's Generalgouvernement of Poland would have to accommodateEurope's displaced Jews for the time being. On October 2, 1940,Hitler had discussed this with Frank and Baldur von Schirach,Gauleiter of Vienna. Schirach pointed out that his fifty thousandViennese Jews were the first due for deportation. Frank reported thatWarsaw and other Polish cities had concentrated their Jews inrestricted areas - "ghettos" - and complained that he had noaccommodation available for a fresh influx of Jews. But Hitler haddreamed of ridding Europe of the "Jewish plague" since 1921, if notearlier, and he had strong popular support for his program in theReich.
You don't contest that huge numbers of Jews were displaced?, askedPearson.
"At this time," said Irving, "we're talking about relatively smallnumbers because at this time all that Hitler had physically occupiedwas Poland, part of Czechoslovakia, France, the low countries andNorway. We're not looking at the very large populations of Jews ineastern Europe. But he has certainly by this time begun to issue theorders for the deportation, the relocation, the resettlement ofEurope's Jews in the east instead of in Madagascar." (34-9505)
Would you agree, asked Pearson, that Hitler's blueprint for theJews is evident as early as Mein Kampf? Irving disagreed: "I thinkyou have to be very careful before using Mein Kampf as a source ofHitler's thinking. It was written in 1924 in prison in Landsbergpartly by him, partly by Rudolf Hess. It's very difficult todisentangle which man wrote what. [Of] far more value is whatis known to historians as Hitler's [Secret] Book which wasnever published until after his death, and that really was Hitler'soriginal thinking." (34-9506)
You wouldn't deny that Hitler was virulently anti-Semitic?, askedPearson.
"A strange character," Irving replied. "He was virulentlyanti-Semitic; he was seen from the documents I referred to earlierthe only person in real authority who repeatedly put out his hand toprotect ugly things happening to them in specific instances."
Pearson continued reading from Hitler's War:
Thus Hitler overrode Hans Frank's practical objections to usingthe Generalgouvernement as a dumping ground. The problem with theMadagascar plan in wartime was, he told Martin Bormann, how totransport the Jews that far. "I would dearly like to devote my entirefleet of...ocean liners to it, but in wartime that's not so easy. Idon't want my German crews being sunk by enemy torpedoes." In private- to Keitel, Bormann and Speer - Hitler described it as his eventualambition to eliminate all Jewish influence throughout the Axisdomains.
Irving testified that he agreed with this passage: "I'm not sureit does your case any good because this is clear proof that Hitlerhad no intention, if he did have, of liquidating the Jews. He wantsto ship them overseas which is a very poor way of liquidating them."(34-9507)
Irving agreed that Hitler wasn't able to ship them overseas: "Thewar was continuing unexpectedly...Mr. Churchill's war was continuingfrom June 1940 onwards and so another solution had to be found. Theywere shipped to the east instead." (34-9508)
Pearson continued reading:
As "Operation Barbarossa" approached, it occurred to Hitler thatthe new eastern empire would enable him to humour Hans Frank's loudobjections to the dumping of Jews on his Generalgouvernementterritory and Himmler's growing influence there. Three days after theWehrmacht attacked Russia, Hitler announced this explicitly to Frank;and the latter accordingly briefed his staff that no fresh ghettoeswere to be established, "since the Führer expressly stated to meon June 19 that in due course the Jews will be removed from theGeneralgouvernement - and that the Generalgouvernement is to be, soto speak, only a transit camp". Seven months later, the Madagascarplan died a natural death. A foreign ministry official would thenwrite: "The war against the Soviet Union has meanwhile made itpossible to provide other territories for the final solution.Accordingly, the Führer has decided that the Jews are not to bedeported to Madagascar, but to the east".
What exactly did Hitler mean by "east" of the Generalgouvernement?On the twentieth, Rosenberg had revealed to Canaris, Heydrich, and ahost of other Party and Wehrmacht leaders that White Ruthenia - thearea around Minsk - was to be set aside for "undesirables" andantisocial elements from Germany's dominions. Was this to be the newIsrael, or did Hitler now use "east" just as a vague generic term,whose more precise definition would be: perdition, oblivion,extermination? The documents at our disposal do not help us.
Irving interjected, stating: "A small tingle of pride overcomes mewhen I read those words because I got it so right, I think, on thebasis of the documents then available." (34-9509)
Pearson continued reading from page 330:
Hitherto, Adolf Eichmann, one of Himmler's leading experts onJewish affairs, had continued holding regular conferences with hisregional officials on the various problems associated with the"Madagascar plan"...But on October 18, Himmler scribbled on histelephone pad the message he had just dictated to Heydrich: "Noemigration by Jews to overseas." Instead, on October 15, 1941, thebig exodus from Europe to the east began - the Jews being herdedinitially into camps in Poland and the Lodz ghetto. "In dailytransports of a thousand people, 20,000 Jews and 5,000 gypsies arebeing sent to the Lodz ghetto between October 15 and November 8,"Heydrich informed Himmler on October 19. For the time being Himmlerreluctantly kept the able-bodied Jews alive for the work they couldperform; but farther east the Gauleiters had no intention ofpreserving the unemployable Jews: a letter dated October 25 in SSfiles states that Adolf Eichmann had now approved Gauleiter Lohse'sproposal that those arriving at Riga should be killed by mobilegas-trucks.
Irving testified that he stood by what he wrote concerningEichmann: "That is what that letter stated...Without having anotherlook at the letter now ten years later in the light of our presentinformation, I would stand by what I wrote there." (34-9510 to9511)
Pearson continued reading:
This initially ad hoc operation gathered momentum. Soon the Jewsfrom the Lodz ghetto and Greiser's territories were being deportedfarther east - to the extermination camp at Chelmno. There were152,000 Jews involved in all, and Chelmno began liquidating them onDecember 8.
At this stage of the Jewish massacre it is possible to be morespecific about the instigators, because on May 1, 1942, Greiserhimself mentioned in a letter to Himmler that the current "specialtreatment" program of the hundred thousand Jews in his own Gau hadbeen authorized by Himmler "with the agreement of" Heydrich.
With respect to the first two sentences of this passage, Irvingtestified: "I think I mentioned Chelmno earlier about fifteen minutesago as one of the camps which I am prepared to accept was probablyinvolved in this kind of operation. I think it has to be pointed outwe're not talking about 152,000 Jews being exterminated. I'm justsaying this is one figure which is contained in the document and thatChelmno was certainly involved in killing Jews. I don't think it'sproper to read anymore into that sentence than that." (34-9511)
With respect to the last part of the passage Irving testified: "Ithink that in that document as used by those writers and recipients,the phrase 'special treatment' was probably a code word forliquidation." (34-9512)
Himmler had the authority to engage in a special treatmentprogramme of hundreds of thousands of Jews, right?, askedPearson.
"I think he arrogated to himself that authority," said Irving."But we have to be very cautious with the word 'special treatment'because it belongs in a category of words which means differentthings in different mouths and in different documents." Irving agreedthat particular document "left very little room for doubt" concerningits meaning. He added, however, that: "The only room for doubt wouldcome under the heading, is this document genuine or has it beenfabricated by the Polish government after the war...That would be theonly kind of room for doubt. The document appeared to be authentic.One would have to carry out far more detailed forensic tests on adocument like that if I was to answer it specifically." Irvingtestified that he published the document in his 1977 book"[o]n the basis of the beliefs current in 1977."(34-9513)
Have you asked your publisher to stop publishing Hitler's War?,asked Pearson.
"Hitler's War is out of print in this country," said Irving.
Have you asked your publisher in any other country to stoppublishing it?
"Remember I said earlier I told the German publisher to stop onthe very first day at a very substantial loss to myself because hetampered with the text."
What I want to know, asked Pearson, is since you changed heart anddecided that many of the statements that you put in Hitler's War areno longer accurate, have you asked your publisher to withdraw it frompublication?
"I think that question portrays an ignorance about the way thatpublishers operate. They would not reprint a book if they had tochange lines in the middle of the text. The reprinting is done on astrictly photographic basis. But in the subsequent volume of thiswhich was called The War Path, which is in fact the pre-war years ofHitler's life, I included a very detailed introduction to The WarPath in which I dealt specifically with the Holocaust controversywhich had blown-up as a result of this book being published...Thatwas published in about 1978 or 1979." (34-9514, 9515)
And did you deny that the Holocaust had happened in that?, askedPearson.
"I took exactly the same stand as I adopted in this book here,"said Irving. "Very similar to the stand which I am adopting now,which was to say that the historians have not proven me wrong."
Well, sir, said Pearson, I want to know if you at any pointpublished a disclaimer with respect to those parts of Hitler's War inwhich you clearly indicated that there was an extermination programmegoing on which you now deny?
"There's a limit of how many disclaimers an author can publish. Ihave disassociated myself from three or four books that have beenpublished by me. Accident was published - the Sikorski book - waspublished and I put in the Times on the publication date Idisassociated it from myself because changes were made...The way onedisassociates oneself from something mistakenly written in an earliervolume is to lecture, is...to write articles, it is to correct therecord in subsequent volumes of the book. I have occasionally donethis. My very first book on the air raid at Dresden, I discovereddocuments existed which cast light - which cast doubt, rather, on myown figures, and I wrote a letter to the Times drawing the attentionof the public to the fact that I might be wrong on the air raidcasualties in Dresden." (34-9515, 9516)
In Churchill's War, do you say that the Holocaust never happened?,asked Pearson.
"In volume two of Churchill's War, we come to some veryinteresting documents in the British archives which show the Britishintelligence service suggesting a propaganda campaign against Germanyon the basis of invented allegations of gas chambers and thesubsequent belief that it would be wrong to press this kind of absurdstory too far in order not to make the whole of British propagandaimplausible," said Irving.
And would you agree with me that Did Six Million Really Die? iswrong when it suggests that the Holocaust was invented post-war?Irving replied that he needed to see the exact passage in the bookletreferred to, but added: "I think the simple answer is that the authorof this brochure did not have access at that time to the governmentrecords, the wartime records that I have now seen."
Was the Joint Allied Declaration something that was kept secretduring the war?, asked Pearson.
"It was published in the newspapers in December 1942 along with alarge number of other such propaganda declarations and probablyattracted very little attention," said Irving. (34- 9516, 9517)
Pearson continued reading from Hitler's War, page 330:
At Kovno and Riga the Jews were invariably shot soon after. AtMinsk the Jews did not survive much longer: Richard Kube, Rosenberg'sgeneral commissioner of White Ruthenia, recorded on July 31, 1942,that 10,000 had been liquidated since the twenty-eighth, "of which6,500 were Russian Jews, old folk, women and children, with the restunemployable Jews largely sent to Minsk from Vienna, Brünn,Bremen, and Berlin in November last year on the Führer'sorders". It is not without evidentiary value that Himmler'shandwritten telephone notes include one on a call to Heydrich onNovember 17, 1941, on the "situation in the Generalgouvernement" and"getting rid of the Jews"; two days later Heydrich circulatedinvitations to an interministerial conference on the Final Solutionof the Jewish Problem - delayed until January 1942, it becamenotorious as the Wannsee Conference.
Pearson suggested it was clear from the context that "the FinalSolution" dealt with by the Wannsee Conference was about theextermination of the Jews.
"I stand by what I wrote on this page and on the previous page,"said Irving, "but I don't think you are entitled to extrapolate fromwhat I wrote there the conclusion that the reference to the WannseeConference in that paragraph means that I accept that it was aconference about the extermination of Jews...perhaps I can tell youby reminding you on Friday I stated that Heydrich had been given thejob in January 1939 by Goering of arranging the resettlement anddeportation of Jews out of what was then Germany and Austria, andthat in 1941, in July, July 1941, Goering had signed an order toHeydrich expanding that authority to include the new occupiedterritories in the east, again as Goering understood, for thegeographical resettlement of the Jews to other territories and thathere, this paragraph states quite simply that Himmler and Heydrichare talking on November the 17th about the situation in theGeneralgouvernement of Poland and getting rid of the Jews which wasthe best translation I could find that would give the flavour of theoriginal words in German, Beseitigung, which literally means puttingthe Jews aside, getting rid of them." (34-9519 to 9521)
So when you wrote those words, asked Pearson, you were of the viewthat the Wannsee Conference was a conference about emigration and notabout extermination?
"No more and no less than what that paragraph states," saidIrving, "which is on November the 17th, there was that telephoneconversation and that two days later, Heydrich issues invitations foran interministerial conference on the final solution of the Jewishproblem. And I don't think it's proper to try and read any more intothat paragraph than what I, myself, wrote." He continued: "When Iwrote that, my intention as a historian was to be of assistance toother historians who hadn't bothered to read the handwriting and whohadn't bothered to look at the Wannsee Conference record, settingthings out in chronological sequence so that they could form theirown opinions." (34-9521)
Pearson pointed out Irving had called the Wannsee Conference"notorious". Wouldn't it have been more helpful to historians, heasked, to have said wait a minute, it shouldn't have been notoriousbecause all they were talking about was emigration?
"I have tried not to be too polemical in this book," said Irving."I was in trouble with the book as it was. As I said on Friday, myliterary agent warned me we were going to lose a million dollars insubsidiary contracts because of the very new stand I was taking evenin this kind of dry, dry as dust treatment of a very emotionalsubject. If I had tried to be more polemical and said it wasnotorious because historians have got it all wrong, if I had kept onsaying that, then I think an editor would very rightly have said 'Mr.Irving, let's leave it as dry and as sober as possible'."
Are you saying, asked Pearson, that back in 1977 you knew that thehistorians had got it wrong? Irving agreed: "Yes, they hadn'tbothered to read Himmler's handwritten notes. For example, I was thefirst person to produce this. This is why I was, with a rather smuggrin on my face - 'it is not without evidentiary value' - this is mygentle way of poking historians in the ribs and say[ing],'Ha, ha, 1977, twenty years after the end of the war - thirty yearsafter the end of the war, none of you has bothered to read Himmler'sown handwriting'...They had not done their homework, that they hadbeen making claims without having exhaustively raked over all the oldashes...I think I was striking a deliberately sober tone in this andin this I was greatly aided by the fact that my editor in New York, aJew, Stan Hochman, a very fine editor and he repeatedly caught me,held my arm and said, 'David, what do you mean by writing this? Canyou be more specific?'." (34-9523)
Pearson returned to Hitler's War and continued reading at page332:
In most circumstances Hitler was a pragmatist. It would have beenunlike him to sanction the use of scarce transport space to movemillions of Jews east for no other purpose than liquidating themthere; nor would he willingly destroy manpower, for which hisindustry was crying out.
That sentence, said Pearson, was very similar to a sentence thatColin Cross had in his book about Adolf Hitler. Did Irving rememberreading that sentence in Cross's book?
"I haven't read Colin Cross's work. I believe from my reading ofthe brochure Did Six Million Really Die? that Colin Cross's book waspublished in 1972...By that time I had long ago written these pages,of course. This book was being written from 1964 onwards, but it isnot without interest that the brochure raises precisely the samelogical questions as I have in this book, about why do you transportpeople if you were going to liquidate them," said Irving. Hecontinued: "I am not prepared to have the opinions of Colin Crossquoted against my own. Colin Cross can't read German to the best ofmy knowledge. He hasn't read the documents that I used in thisparagraph, Himmler's telephone notes. He hasn't interviewed HeinrichHeim, Martin Bormann's adjutant. He didn't do the work I did informulating my opinion." (34-9524, 9525)
Pearson continued reading from Hitler's War at page 332:
It was Heydrich and the fanatical Gauleiters in the east who wereinterpreting with brutal thoroughness Hitler's decree that the Jewsmust "finally disappear" from Europe; Himmler's personal role isambivalent. On November 30, 1941, he was summoned to the Wolf's Lairfor a secret conference with Hitler, at which the fate of Berlin'sJews was clearly raised. At 1:30 P.M. Himmler was obliged totelephone from Hitler's bunker to Heydrich the explicit order thatJews were not to be liquidated; and the next day Himmler telephonedSS General Oswald Pohl, overall chief of the concentration campsystem, with the order: "Jews are to stay where they are."
Once again, asked Pearson, why was Hitler giving orders that Jewswere not to be liquidated if they weren't being liquidated?
"We discussed this in the earlier session today. This was, infact, a reference to one trainload of Jews as becomes evident in thefacsimile of that page of Himmler's handwritten notes which Ipublished in the book so that readers could see it for themselves.It's a reference where a transport of Jews from Berlin and the nextsentence is in Himmler's handwriting, Keine Vernichtung - not to beliquidated."
Pearson suggested that the only reason why someone would issuethis order is they assumed that in the normal course if they didn'tissue the order, the Jews were going to be liquidated. Said Irving:"It is correct to say, and I will go along with you to this extent,that the territories behind the advancing German armies in Russiawere not a very healthy place for the Jews to be sent to becauseHitler's commissar order existed at that time and Hitler's otherorders for the ruthless combatting of partisans, which had, as wehave seen, resulted in the tragic execution of very large numbers ofJews and women and children." (34-9527, 9528)
So you will agree, asked Pearson, that the person who issued theorder knew that if the order didn't issue, those Jews were going tobe liquidated?
"Not quite the same," said Irving. "I think what I said just nowwas that it wasn't a healthy place to be sent to because Jews werefree game, so-to-speak, in the area behind the advancing Russian -behind the German armies in Russia." (34-9528)
Pearson continued reading at page 332:
Yet the blood purge continued. The extermination program hadgained a momentum of its own. Hans Frank, announcing to his Lublincabinet on December 16, 1941, that Heydrich was calling a bigconference in January on the expulsion of Europe's Jews to the east,irritably exclaimed: "Do you imagine they're going to be housed inneat estates in the Baltic provinces! In Berlin" - and with Hitler inEast Prussia this can only be taken as a reference to Heydrich'sagencies - "they tell us: why the caviling? We've got no use for themeither...Liquidate them yourselves!"
Said Irving: "Magnificent piece of evidence. A first-rate piece ofevidence. A shorthand record taken by a stenographer in Hans Frank'sgovernment in December 1941 in Poland, a cardinal piece of evidenceshowing how the tragedy happened. Somebody on-the-spot taking adecision for himself. Saying Berlin has got [no] idea of theproblems we've got here, we say why put them - why dump them on us?We can't use them either. Liquidate them yourselves. This bears outwhat I said in my introduction that the whole of the ghastly tragedywas an ad hoc measure taken, a decision taken by local peopleon-the-spot who just found that the Jews were a bother. They werebeing dumped on them and they didn't want them. Just like we inBritain didn't want them, like the Americans didn't want themeither."
Irving testified that Hans Frank was the governor of Nazi-occupiedPoland and its highest authority. He continued: "Remarkable thing isthat this is, I think, the only explicit reference in Hans Frank'sentire diaries which occupy many feet of shelf space to the tragedythat was occurring." (34-9529, 9530)
So what did Hans Frank mean at Nuremberg when he said his owndiary convicted him?, asked Pearson.
"I think he is referring to probably all the Nazi atrocities thatoccurred," said Irving, "not just this kind of specific episode. He'sreferring to the whole of the Nazi occupation regime. Hans Frank atNuremberg was a changed man. He wasn't a very morally upstanding man.He was a lawyer. He was - I don't mean that offensively. He wasn't asoldier; he wasn't an SS general. He was just a man who did what hewas told or what he was paid to do. Perhaps I better say no more."(34-9530)
Who was the only person who could tell Hans Frank what to do?,asked Pearson.
"I think it depends which hat he was wearing. Certainly he cameunder Adolf Hitler's overall regime and in other respects he wouldcome under Himmler's regime as the Reich Commissioner for theconsolidation of Germandom."
So, when you say the extermination programme gained a momentum ofits own, asked Pearson, you now repudiate the terms "theextermination programme"?
"I think I would go along with the terms there. I think it'ssufficiently vague and we've described in the earlier paragraphs whatI am referring to so I would let them stand there. I wouldn't want tochange them." Irving testified he was referring in the sentence "toHans Frank and the local governors, the police chiefs, meeting himand in Lublin at that conference...I think probably he was addressingthe dictates of his own conscience there rather than any dictatesfrom Hitler's headquarters." (34-9531)
Irving continued: "When he went to see Hitler in 1944, and therewas a seventeen page record of their conversation, it's quite obviousthat Hitler is still under the misapprehension that the Jews havebeen transferred further east out of Poland."
And what in fact, asked Pearson, had happened to them?
"Well, we are now taught to believe, and I stress the wordbelieve, that they have all been exterminated," said Irving.
What did Hitler misapprehend then?, asked Pearson.
"Well, Hitler had been led to believe by his commanders they werebeing sent further east," said Irving. "We are now looking at it froma 1988 knowledge. I am looking at it from your side of the bench.From your point of view it could be a misapprehension...Because thepresent Holocaust belief is that all the Jews who were sent toAuschwitz and Treblinka and Majdanek and the other camps in HansFrank's government generally were sent there for the purpose ofliquidation. And this, of course, is now what is now open todispute." (34-9532)
Pearson returned to Hitler's War and read from a chapter note onpage 851:
In view of Himmler's note of November 30, 1941, I cannot acceptthe view of Dr. Kubovy, of the Jewish Document Centre, Tel Aviv,expressed in La Terre Retrouvé on December 15, 1960, that"there exists no document signed by Hitler, Himmler or Heydrichspeaking of the extermination of the Jews". Of equal evidentiaryinterest is Himmler's telephone call to Heydrich on April 20, 1942 -after a day with Hitler - on which the Reichsführer noted: "Noannihilation of gypsies". Yet the gypsies were also deported en masseto the death camps by the SS.
Pearson turned to Did Six Million Really Die? and quoted from page29:
Finally, Professor Rassinier draws attention to an importantadmission by Dr. Kubovy, director of the World Centre of ContemporaryJewish Documentation at Tel-Aviv, made in La Terre Retrouvée,December 15th, 1960. Dr. Kubovy recognised that not a single orderfor extermination exists from Hitler, Himmler, Heydrich orGoering.
Would you agree, asked Pearson, that the pamphlet inaccuratelydescribes Dr. Kubovy's organization? Irving did not: "It wouldundoubtedly be translated from the Hebrew and [the] twotranslations are equally valid." (34-9534)
You do agree with Dr. Kubovy?, asked Pearson.
"Well, I take exception to the - to his statement there that hesays there is no document signed by Himmler speaking of theextermination of the Jews, because I have given a facsimile in thebook of this telephone conversation in Himmler's handwriting speakingof 'no liquidation of the Jews'...The statement is really 'nodocument'. That is the operative thing there. It's quite clearlyevidentiary material written in Himmler's own handwriting relating[to] liquidation of the Jews using those precise wordsvernichtung juden....All that I am really doing - this is anotherpoke from me in the ribs of the historians when I am saying youhaven't found this document because you didn't bother to readHimmler's own handwriting." (34 9534, 9535)
Pearson suggested Did Six Million Really Die? was wrong.
"I think the difference is that my quotation is a direct quotationin quotation marks and the author of this brochure has paraphrased itinto a different form...What he really said is what I have inquotation marks and it has apparently been paraphrased by the authorof this pamphlet...'That not a single order for extermination existsfrom Hitler...' - well, clearly, if no document exists signed byHitler, Himmler, [Heydrich] or Goering, equally it followslogically there could not have been an order signed by them speakingof the extermination of the Jews...He has drawn a conclusion in hisparaphrase. He is saying if there's no document then there's also noorder...it follows if there's no single document then there's noorder either. The one embraces the other." (34-9536, 9537)
You don't agree with the conclusion?, asked Pearson.
"With his conclusion? I do agree with that and I equally agreewith this except that they haven't seen that Himmler did signdocuments speaking of the extermination of the Jews because Himmler'stelephone note uses the words 'no liquidation of the Jews'...itspeaks of it in a negative sense," said Irving. (34-9537)
What were the 'death camps of the SS'?, asked Pearson, referringback to Hitler's War.
Said Irving: "I thought you weren't going to ask. 'Yet the gypsieswere also deported en masse to the death camps by the SS'. Thepresent belief is that gypsies were liquidated to some degree by theSS in Germany and I therefore assumed that they had gone to the deathcamps for that purpose. That was my state of belief in 1977 when thisbook was published. This was clearly against the orders of Hitler whohad told Himmler on the 20th of April, 1942, there was to be noannihilation of gypsies." (34-9539)
Pearson suggested that a major thesis of Hitler's War was thatHitler didn't know about the mass extermination of Jews. Irvingdisagreed: "Not quite right. The other way around. There is noevidence that he did know what was going on, whatever it was."(34-9539)
Now your position, asked Pearson, is it's all irrelevant becausethere wasn't anything going on?
"Well, I would semantically say it is now all irrelevant becausethe mythologists have failed to produce any evidence that it wasgoing on."
Have you read Professor Hilberg's three volume work?, askedPearson.
"No," replied Irving. "But Professor Hilberg was kind enough tocorrespond with me to say that he was inclined to share myconclusions on Hitler's responsibility."
Pearson requested that Irving not shift ground. Would he agree,asked Pearson, that Hilberg had chronicled the mass extermination ofthe Jews in his three volume work?
"I think that Professor Hilberg will eventually also come tochange his beliefs," said Irving. He had not read Hilberg's threevolumes: "I don't read people's books if I can avoid it...It'seasier...to go into the archives and read the original documents."(34 9540)
Pearson turned to page 390 of Hitler's War:
"It would have been a scandal if these cities' priceless treasureshad suffered from air bombardment," he [Hitler] told aneutral diplomat. But now the boot was on the other foot: quitewithout their wanting it, the peoples of Europe were breathing a newclimate of brutality.
Said Irving: "...I'm talking about the fact...that we have startedsending one thousand heavy bombers to bomb the interior of Germancities...It's quite plain from that paragraph I am talking about thebrutality of sending bombers to drop bombs, not like the bombing ofTripoli a day or two ago, but sometimes ten thousand tons of bombs ona civilian city in one night." (34- 9541, 9542)
Pearson continued reading from page 390:
Germany's contribution to this new climate, the elimination of theJews from central Europe, was now gathering momentum. Hitler'sradical followers saw the eleven million Jews as "Europe'smisfortune" - as an eastern plague threatening friend and foe alike.Hitler felt that in time all Europe would understand his hatred."Somehow we must get rid of them, if they are not to get rid of us",reasoned Josef Goebbels. It seemed no coincidence that the Jews wereat the bottom of the spreading partisan movement everywhere.
The precise mode of "elimination" met with varyinginterpretations. Hitler's was unquestionably the authority behind theexpulsion operations; on whose initiative the grim procedures at theterminal stations of this miserable exodus were adopted, isarguable.
What were these "grim procedures" at the "terminal stations"?asked Pearson.
"I think in 1977 we had all seen the movie films of Auschwitz andthe other so-called death camps. This was the image I had in my eyeswhen I was writing that paragraph." (34-9543)
Pearson continued reading at page 391:
In January 1942, Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the Gestapo, hadbriefed the leading government officials in Berlin thus: theFührer had sanctioned the evacuation of all Jews to the easternterritories, substituting this for the overseas deportationoriginally planned. In the east they would build roads, until theydropped. At a further Heydrich conference early in March the awkwardproblem posed by half- and quarter-Jews was examined. One solutionwould be to sterilize them, but it would take ten days' hospitaltreatment to sterilize each of the seventy thousand people involved,so this procedure would have to wait until the war was over; a "toplevel" opinion - i.e., Hitler's - was quoted to the effect that asharp distinction must be made between Jews and non-Jews, as it wouldnot be acceptable for a mini race of semi-Jews to be perpetrated inlaw.
Irving testified that in this paragraph he was referring to theWannsee Conference. He said: "I think that this document shows quiteclearly that one thing...the Wannsee Conference didn't discuss wasthe extermination of every Jew in Europe which is now what we are ledto believe. We're talking here about subsequent conferences, lookingat what to do with the residual problems caused by the deportationand all the other problems of it." (34-9544)
Pearson continued reading:
In a paper circulated early in March 1942, Heydrich's officeadvised the ministries that Europe's eleven million Jews were to beconcentrated "in the east" for the time being; after the war theymight be allocated a remote territory like Madagascar as a nationalhome. Thus the official version.
Irving testified that the figure of 11 million Jews was given inthe paper itself, which Irving felt was the approximately correctfigure. The "official version" he referred to was that "given by thearchives. I am accepting there that it's possible, if we rememberTrevor-Roper's three criteria - we ask why does a document exist, forwhat purpose was it written? I am accepting that it's possible thesedocuments might have been written by Nazi criminals to cover theirtracks. I think it would have been irresponsible, I believe, for menot to accept that possibility." (34-9545, 9546)
Pearson continued reading:
The actual operation proceeded differently. Starting in March andApril the European Jews were rounded up in occupied France, Hollandand Belgium, and in the eager Nazi satellite Slovakia; for politicalreasons Hungary - which had nearly a million Jews - and Romania werenot approached yet but were told that their Jewish "problems" wouldbe left unresolved until the war was over. From Hans Frank'sGeneralgouvernement of Poland too - beginning with the ghettos ofLublin - the Jews set out eastward under the direction of one of thecruelest SS leaders, Brigadier Odilo Globocnik, the Trieste-bornformer Gauleiter of Vienna. Upon arrival at Auschwitz and Treblinka,four in every ten were pronounced fit for work; the rest wereexterminated with a maximum of concealment.
Where did you get the figure four in every ten?, askedPearson.
"I believe that at that time I had been shown a document in theBerlin Document Centre of the U.S. Mission in Berlin which was oneunsigned purported eyewitness account. And at that time I had noreason to challenge its reliability." Irving testified that intalking about the "official version" he was not talking about publicpropaganda: "I'm not talking about public propaganda. I'm talkingabout the official version contained in the official documents in thearchives." He agreed that he went on to say in the passage that thatwas not what was really happening: "On the basis of my 1977knowledge, yes." (34-9547, 9548)
Pearson put to Irving that he had written this passage after tenyears of research that he had not duplicated since. Irving disagreed:"I have repeatedly been through the archives of the Nazi agency sinceI have written the memoirs of Field-Marshal Milch, Field-MarshalRommel, Reichsmarschall Goering, and I have written all of thesebiographies which required me to go over the same ground again andexpand the basis of the archival research." (34-9548)
So do you now repudiate what you've written in your book?, askedPearson.
"I am now uncertain," said Irving, "because I now understand thatthe whole of the story of what happened in Auschwitz and the othercamps is controversial and with that knowledge of the controversy atthe back of my mind, I have kept my eyes that much more open andgoing through the archives again in the hope of finding a documentthat would resolve the controversy."
But you haven't read Professor Hilberg's three volume work?, askedPearson.
"Professor Hilberg's three volume work isn't a document. It's theproduct of another historian's mind. Certainly he would make no claimthat he has found evidence definitely that there was such anextermination programme directed by Hitler, because in a privateletter to me he conceded that I was probably correct," repliedIrving.
You made it clear in 1977, suggested Pearson, that there was anextermination programme going on, didn't you? Irving disagreed: "Imade it clear that I have believed what was at that time the acceptedversion of events...Even in this book, I was challenging about howthat tragedy...happened." (34-9549)
And yet you haven't read Professor Hilberg's three volume workwhere he sets out his findings for how it happened?, reiteratedPearson.
"I am sure when the time comes you will put his documentation tome and ask me my opinion on it," replied Irving.
What did you mean when you wrote "the rest were exterminated witha maximum of concealment"?, asked Pearson.
"By virtue of the fact that apart from this one document that Isaw in the archives of the American government in Berlin, there wasno similar kind of evidentiary proof of the existence of such anextermination programme," said Irving. (34-9550)
Pearson continued reading from Hitler's War at page 391:
Two documents shed some oblique rays of light on the level ofresponsibility for this. At a cabinet meeting in Cracow on April 9,Hans Frank disclaimed responsibility for the disruption in the workprocess caused by the order to turn over all Jews for liquidation."The directive for the liquidation of the Jews comes from higherup."
Irving testified that he had no reason to doubt the authenticityof the report but pointed out that in a footnote he indicated thatthe German phrase for "higher up" referred to an intermediary level,not the highest level: "It doesn't come from Hitler." (34-9550)
Irving indicated that "at that time there was quite definitely aliquidation of Jews going on. I haven't challenged that. I've made itquite plain. I accept that there were a large number of atrocitiesbeing conducted during the war." In Irving's opinion, however, Frankwas "trying to shift responsibility away from himself. He doesn'tcare where." (34-9551)
Pearson returned to Hitler's War and continued reading:
In a letter of June 26 it became clear that Himmler was anxious toconceal the massacre, for Globocnik was quoted as being eager to getit over with as quickly as possible in case one day force majeureshould prevent them completing it: "You yourself, Reichsführer,once mentioned that you felt the job should be done as quickly aspossible if only for reasons of concealment". The concealment wasalmost perfect, and Himmler's own papers reveal how he pulled thewool over Hitler's eyes. On September 17, while the murder machinerywas operating at peak capacity, the Reichsführer still calmlyjotted down in his notes for that day's Führer conference:"Jewish emigration - how should we proceed?" And in March 1943 he wasto order a too-explicit statistical report rewritten to remove astray reference to the massacre of Europe's Jews before it wassubmitted to the Führer!
The ghastly secrets of Auschwitz and Treblinka were well kept.Goebbels wrote a frank summary of them in his diary on March 27,1942, but evidently held his tongue when he met Hitler two dayslater, for he quotes only Hitler's remark: "The Jews must get out ofEurope. If need be, we must resort to the most brutal methods."
Would you agree, asked Pearson, that what you wrote in 1977 wasthat the Goebbels diary entry for March 17, 1942 was a "frank summaryof the ghastly secrets of Auschwitz and Treblinka"? Irving did not:"No, sir, he doesn't refer specifically to Auschwitz and Treblinka,he just refers to the grizzly fate that is befalling the Jews ontheir arrival in the east from what he has read in a report submittedto him by the SD, the German Gestapo." (34-9552, 9553)
Irving agreed that, grammatically, the "ghastly secrets ofAuschwitz and Treblinka" were joined with "Goebbels wrote a franksummary of them in his diary." He continued: "But I repeat thatAuschwitz and Treblinka are not referred to in that Goebbels diaryentry. He is referring to a report he claims to have read and I mustadd that nowhere in the German archives is this report itselfcontained...It's very difficult what reason Goebbels would have hadto write this entry in his diary...It is Goebbels diary which washeld in American custody after the war. It's...one of the volumespublished by Louis Lochner." Irving testified that he was not in aposition to say whether the diary was authentic or not: "I haven'texamined its authenticity to this date." (34- 9554)
Irving agreed that if the diary was authentic, it indicated thatGoebbels knew what was going on: "I agree. Goebbels was one of themost vicious anti-semitists in the Nazi regime...We have a largenumber of Nazi potentates knowing about atrocities against the Jews."(34-9554)
Pearson continued reading at page 392:
In reality, Himmler was simultaneously throwing the murdermachinery into top gear, while he was careful not to placeresponsibility for the massacre itself on Hitler in writing. (Thus onJuly 28 he wrote to SS General Gottlob Berger: "The occupied easternterritories" - meaning Poland - "are to be liberated of Jews. TheFührer has entrusted me with the execution of this arduousorder. Nobody can deprive me of this responsibility.") On July 19,three days after seeing Hitler, Himmler ordered the "resettlement" ofthe entire Jewish population of the Generalgouvernement to becompleted by the last day of 1942. Each day after July 22, atrainload of five thousand Jews left Warsaw for the exterminationcentre at Treblinka; each week two trains left Przemysl for thecentre at Belsec. Moreover, in August the first informal approach wasmade to the Hungarians to begin deporting their one million Jews tothe east immediately.
Would you agree, asked Pearson, that this is talking about thesystematic emptying of countries for the purpose of sending the Jewsto extermination centres?
Irving replied: "Well, I do note, and I think I am entitled torefer to it - you put it on the screen -2 you specifically avoidedreading this paragraph here. The middle paragraph which makes quiteplain that Hitler was of the belief as late as July the 24th, he wasstill referring to his plan to transport the Jews to Madagascar...bynow already in British hands - or to some other Jewish national homeafter the war was over. This is a verbatim record written by HeinrichHeim which was in my possession and I am sure your omission wasinadvertent, but it does tend to throw doubt on what is happening inthe next paragraph for which I have religiously reported on the basisof the documents and belief that was current in the mid 1970s."(34-9556)
Judge Ron Thomas interjected: "Well, let's just be accurate here.Unless I'm mistaken, isn't the thrust of this passage in the book atthis time clearly that Hitler was being duped by more than oneperson?" (34-9556)
"This is the thrust of the book which I wrote at that time, sir,"said Irving. He continued: "But obviously, ten years later now, Iwould be inclined to question what I wrote in the last line there. Weknow that each day after July the 22nd, a trainload of five thousandJews left Warsaw because there is a document specifically saying thatand it continues with the words 'for Treblinka' because the documentadds those words, but it doesn't use the word 'for the exterminationcentre' which I put in intending to help my readers but nowunfortunately I would have to say on the basis of my 1988 beliefs, Iwouldn't use those words." (34-9556, 9557)
Irving testified that he did not deny that murders took place on acolossal scale, but he had seen no credible evidence that Treblinkawas an extermination centre as alleged.
Have you talked to anybody who was at Treblinka?, askedPearson.
"I'm afraid I have to say I wouldn't consider what a survivor ofTreblinka could tell me in 1988 to be credible evidence," saidIrving. He continued: "I would prefer the evidence of photographicaerial reconnaissance. I would prefer the evidence of somebody whogoes to the site with expert knowledge now, and carries out concreteexaminations, to the very human and fallible human memories after atragic wartime experience forty years after the event." (34-9558)
What would Irving have a person go and see at Treblinka today?,asked Pearson.
Said Irving: "I would want them to, if they had been there at thetime, I would then want them to identify where they had been on anaerial photograph and see if I could see what they have purported tohave seen. I would want experts to go and examine the site and informme with their own expert knowledge whether the site could have beenused as some kind of extermination camp."
If they went to Treblinka today, what would they find?, askedPearson.
"I think they would have to go to the real Treblinka," saidIrving. "They would have to locate Treblinka first, the actual site.They would have to locate it on the basis of existing SS or GermanReich government maps. They would have to look at aerial photographsto see what buildings were there [at] that time in 1944 onthat site. It's very [easy] to be misled." (34-9559)
Have you seen documentation that orders Treblinka to be razed anda farm placed over it?, asked Pearson.
"Mr. Pearson, I said on Friday I am not a Holocaust historian andI have not dealt in- depth as an investigator on the Holocaust. Myexpertise is largely on the command level decisions which includedthe final solution."
Just so I get this straight, said Pearson, back in 1977 after tenyears of work on National Socialist records to produce the biographyof Adolf Hitler, you state conclusions about Treblinka, you now nolonger accept your own conclusions, you haven't read ProfessorHilberg's work, you wouldn't know what was at Treblinka if you wentthere and yet you no longer are prepared to accept - .
Irving interjected: "Mr. Pearson, I was in trouble as it was bysuggesting in a Hitler biography what I did suggest. I was in deeptrouble. If I had gone on to suggest Auschwitz, Treblinka, Majdanek,perhaps even they weren't what they were supposed to be, I think Icould have packed up my writing gear forever and gone back to being asteel worker. We have to look at realities, I'm afraid." (34-9559,9560)
So, you're saying, said Pearson, that you misled your readers soyour book would sell?
"I saw no reason in 1977 not to believe the then existing versionthat Treblinka, Majdanek and Auschwitz had been death camps," repliedIrving. (34-9560)
Pearson returned to page 393 of Hitler's War:
By August 1942 the massacre machinery was gathering momentum - ofsuch refinement and devilish ingenuity that from Himmler down to theex-lawyers who ran the extermination camps perhaps only seventy menwere aware of the truth.
Where did you get the August 1942, the massacre machinery wasgathering momentum?, asked Pearson.
Said Irving: "...this is from a date that I picked out of thepost-war confidential writings of General Karl Wolff, who wasHimmler's personal adjutant and liaison officer to Hitler. And hedescribes very shortly in this paragraph a conference with Himmlerand this is why I dated this paragraph August 1942...At that time,Wolff himself had no knowledge of the massacre machinery being inoperation...All you see Himmler telling Wolff is for the sake ofGermany, he's having to do something which nobody can find out aboutand Wolff himself then speculated years later that this must be whatHimmler must have been talking about." (34-9560)
Irving testified that he considered Wolff "to be a rather unstablewitness inasmuch as he tended to flop and flip." He did not rely onWolff in his book for "important matters, for substance. For thisrather neat conference with Himmler, I put it in because I thought itwould be irresponsible, I believe, not to mention this because wedon't have very many verbatim descriptions of Himmler's ownreferences to what he was doing." (34-9561)
Irving did not believe that Wolff was lying when he said Himmlersaid these things: "No, it's possible that Wolff may havemisinterpreted it. Wolff may have assumed after the war that Himmlerwas talking about this, what is now called the 'Holocaust'. It may bethat Himmler was talking about something completely different, theproblems of growing artificial rubber perhaps or something likethat." (34-9562)
But in 1977, asked Pearson, you had no such doubts in your mind,did you? Irving agreed: "No, you're quite right. It's very difficultto cast our minds back to 1977 before the first serious doubts aboutthe Holocaust mythology began to arise." (34 9562)
Who are the people who brought those doubts forward?, askedPearson.
"Partly myself," said Irving, "because I first began to question,from looking out from behind Hitler's desk, Hitler himself has noknowledge of what is going on but I assumed that something had beengoing on because the whole world was saying it. Now we find thatother people are independently asking whether these systematicextermination programmes had been progressing." Irving testified that"[a] whole host of people have begun questioning it,"including Robert Faurisson. (34-9563)
Who else denies the Holocaust happened like you seem to be doingnow?, asked Pearson.
"Wait a minute," said Irving. "What I am saying is that I am notdenying that the Holocaust happened in some degree. I am saying thatthere were a large series of unrelated atrocities. But the idea ofthe Holocaust mythology, 'Adolf Hitler ordered the killing of 6million Jews in Auschwitz,' in simple terms, that, I think, is nowvery suspect." (34-9563)
Asked Pearson, if we define the Holocaust as, in essence, the massmurder and extermination of Jews in Europe by the Nazi regime duringthe Second World War, would you deny that the Holocaust happened?
"If you limit it to that definition, I wouldn't deny that thathappened, that there was a mass murder of Jews by the Nazis duringthe Second World War," said Irving. His thesis in 1977 was that"Himmler and other senior associates of Adolf Hitler were aware thatmass murders of Jews and others were taking place." (34-9580)
Pearson suggested that if Himmler and other senior officers wereaware that it was taking place, it had to be considered officialpolicy because they were the policy makers of the Nazi regime. Irvingdisagreed: "I think that statement derives from a lack of knowledgeof the Führer principle which exists in a Führer state likeNazi Germany. Policy is only that which is laid down by theFührer himself if it is going to be considered to be statepolicy. And if it is surmised that something was happening, of whichthe Führer was unaware, then it could not be considered to bestate policy for that reason." He continued: "State policy in aFührer state would be a policy which the Führer himself hadordered." (34-9581)
Pearson pointed out that Did Six Million Really Die? did not talkabout state policy; it spoke of official German policy ofextermination. Was it Irving's position, asked Pearson, that unlessHitler knew about it, it could not be called an official Germanpolicy of extermination?
"I think it would be quibbling over words to try to draw adistinction between official German policy and the policy of Germanofficials," replied Irving. "Certainly, certain German officials wereaware that Jews were being massacred, but to try to derive from thisa broad statement that this makes an official German policy, is, Ithink, quibbling with words and would not be justified."(34-9582)
Irving agreed with a statement by Pearson that Hitler was consumedand preoccupied with military objectives "at the operative time...";that beneath Hitler was an hierarchy competing for his favour andthat the name of the game was basically to anticipate theFührer's will. Pearson put to Irving that Hitler had delegatedto Himmler policy-making with respect to security matters. SaidIrving: "In addition to security matters, the consolidation ofGermandom, which was the racial kind of policy which was entrusted toHimmler." (34-9583)
Isn't it your conclusion in 1977, asked Pearson, that Himmlerdecided to use that delegated power which he derived from theFührer to exterminate Jews?
"I would alter the word 'used' to 'abused', and then I wouldaccept your statement. Himmler abused the authority to exterminatelarge numbers of Jews and other enemies of the state at a time whenit was clear from Hitler's statements that Hitler was intent on ageographical solution instead...Himmler repeatedly said that Hitlerhad given him the job of making Europe free of Jews. Hitler wasenvisaging this as a geographical resettlement, a relocation.Himmler, it is quite plain from the documents, was carrying out thetask in a different way." (34-9581)
Pearson suggested that if one were looking for the official policyof the Nazi regime in security matters, one would look to whatHimmler did. Irving disagreed: "Himmler was not the highest authorityin the Reich. Himmler was only [an] intermediary authority.The highest authority in the Führer state was Hitler himself."He continued: "Hitler had given authorities and powers to Himmler,but he had not, so far as I'm aware from the documents that I haveseen, at any time, either orally or in writing, given to Himmler thejob of carrying out a mass extermination of Jews on any scalewhatever." (34-9584)
Pearson put to Irving that in his book he claimed that later inthe war, Hitler did find out what Himmler was doing.
"There [are] one or two documents of a post-war nature - Iemphasize post-war - which indicate that this possibly happened,"agreed Irving. He continued: "I repeat what these documents said; theversion of events as given by these documents. I felt it was tooimportant not to mention." Irving pointed out that in Hitler's lastwill and testament of April 29, 1945 "...Himmler was thrown out anddemoted from all his positions of power and responsibility." (34-9585, 9586)
When did you place Hitler with knowledge of what Himmler was upto?, asked Pearson.
"In my book, I'm very specific in the way I put it. I say afterOctober 1943, Hitler had no real excuse for not knowing. This is asfar as I was prepared to go."
Irving testified that from October 9, 1943 to April 29, 1945,Hitler left Himmler in command, an action which was "[v]erymuch in character with Hitler..." (34-9587)
After he found out what Himmler was up to?, asked Pearson.
"After it would - after, we must assume, Hitler had had everychance to find out," said Irving. "I based that statement on the factthat in October 1943, as we have seen, Himmler made a speech to theGerman Gauleiters and on the following day the German Gauleiters alltrooped into Hitler's headquarters and, as I say, it would be humanto assume that they had discussed this matter with Hitler, but thereis no evidence one way or the other." (34-9587)
Pearson returned to Hitler's War and continued reading at page393:
Early in August, Himmler made to Wolff the melancholy confessionthat for the sake of the German nation and its Führer he hadshouldered a burden of which nobody could ever learn, in order thatthe "Messiah of the coming two millennia" might remain personallyuncontaminated. At the time, Wolff was unable to elicit from Himmlerprecisely what that burden was.
Irving testified: "It is - Wolff related this in 1952 in aconfidential memorandum for the Institute of History in Munich thathe had had this conversation with Himmler and after the war he onlyassumed that this must have been a reference to what we now call the'Holocaust'." (34- 9589)
Didn't Wolff go on and say how many people he thought were awareof what Himmler was up to?, asked Pearson.
"He reconstructed his own knowledge of the SS hierarchy, what wasthe number of people who would therefore have had to be in the knowif this had in fact happened...'Probably only some 70 men' were the[words] that Wolff used. In other words, it would have been avery, very small chain of command, a very small number of people inthe know." Irving agreed that Wolff was an SS General; he did notagree that this put Wolff in a position to know who knew: "It's avery difficult thing to speculate on, somebody being in a position toknow about something that one doesn't know about oneself...He neveradmitted that he had ever known about this during the war. I notethat there are some documents which implied strongly that he did knowabout it during the war from roundabout this period. I'm referring toKarl Wolff, but certainly in his testimony, he never admitted that hehad known about the mass extermination of Jews, nor ever proven tothe contrary, because he was not ever punished for it." Irvingnevertheless believed that Wolff was "in a very good position to haveknown." (34-9590, 9591)
By the post-war period, Wolff had been told there was aliquidation programme of the Jews and he believed in it. Thispost-war testimony was the basis for Irving's note with respect topage 392 of Hitler's War, where he had written:
Hitler still referred to the "Madagascar plan" in Table Talk, July24, 1942. SS General Karl Wolff estimated - in a confidential postwarmanuscript - that altogether probably only some seventy men, fromHimmler down to Hoess, were involved in the liquidation program. Theonly evidence of a "Führer Order" behind the program came frompostwar testimony of SS Major Dieter Wisliceny, Eichmann'sthirty-one- year-old adviser on Jewish problems attached to theSlovak government (e.g., in pretrial interrogations at Nuremberg onNovember 11 and 24, 1945, and a written narrative dated Bratislava,November 18, 1946). He claimed the Slovaks had sent him to Berlin inJuly or August 1942 to check up on the fate of 33,000 next-of- kin ofthe 17,000 able-bodied Jews supplied for the German arms industry.Eichmann admitted to him that the 33,000 had been liquidated, and -said Wisliceny - pulled from his safe a red-bordered ImmediateLetter, stamped "Top State Secret," with Himmler's signature andaddressed to Heydrich and Pohl. It read (from memory): "TheFührer has decided that the Final Solution of the JewishQuestion is to begin at once. I herewith designate [Heydrich andPohl] responsible for the execution of this order." However,there is a marked difference between Wisliceny's 1945 and 1946recollections of this text; and when years later Eichmann was crossexamined about this in his trial on April 10, 1961, he testified thathe had neither received any such written order nor shown one toWisliceny (who had long since been executed himself). He had onlytold Wisliceny verbally, "Heydrich sent for me and informed me thatthe Führer has ordered the physical annihilation of theJews."
Irving agreed that in this passage he cited Eichmann'scross-examination at his trial: "I have compared the testimony of oneman mentioned in Wisliceny's evidence, with Wisliceny's evidence inorder to assess the validity of quite an important historicaldocument and, as I say in the paragraph of that footnote that youdidn't quote: 'This kind of evidence, of course, would not suffice inan English magistrate's court to convict a vagabond of bicyclestealing, let alone assign the responsibility for the mass murder of6 million Jews, given the powerful written evidence that Hitler againand again ordered the 'Jewish Problem' set aside until the war waswon.'" (34-9593)
While you were reading what Eichmann said about this, askedPearson, didn't you think that you must as well read what he saidabout Wannsee?
"No," said Irving. "Probably a researcher who I had employed forthis specific task of investigating if I had missed any evidence,came to me with the appropriate pages of the Eichmann trial testimonyand said, 'Mr. Irving, Eichmann has addressed the problem ofWisliceny's statement as follows...in his trial in 1961', and I thenmerely compared those pages with Wisliceny's statement."(34-9594)
Is that the researcher who disassociated herself from yourconclusions?, asked Pearson.
"She subsequently disassociated herself from the printeddisassociation; [there] has been quite a lot of monkeybusiness in this controversy. The newspaper announced she[had] disassociated herself from my research and that she[had] never worked for me, and she then wrote a letter to theSunday Times saying she had very definitely worked for me and thatthis disassociation previously mentioned was nothing to do withher...she certainly couldn't disassociate herself from the researchbecause I had all the receipts and invoices for the work she had donefor me." (34 9595)
Did she disassociate herself from the conclusions?, askedPearson.
"She is presently the wife or common-law wife of Professor MartinBroszat, previously mentioned in this case," said Irving.
Irving did not agree with a suggestion that there was a personalreason for Broszat being critical of his book. "I think probably itis unfair to impute that. I can't read his mind. I don't know why hedoes certain things. It will be wrong for me to speculate."(34-9596)
Irving agreed with Pearson that there was evidence from twoseparate sources, Wisliceny and Eichmann, that the Führer hadordered the physical annihilation of the Jews, but, he continued, itwas: "Mutually contradictory evidence. It is hearsay evidence andreferring to a document alleged to exist which has, however, neverbeen found. And which, of course, both men had every reason toindicate had once existed because they were both facing the gallows."(34-9596)
Did Irving say that from the outset Eichmann knew he was condemnedto be hanged?, asked Pearson.
"If my name was Adolf Eichmann," said Irving, "and I've beenkidnapped at great expense from Argentina, and taken to Israel andput on trial, then I think that no insurance company would haveoffered me life insurance." (34-9597)
Pearson put to Irving that if Eichmann knew he was going to behanged no matter what he said, why would he admit to killing millionsof Jews if he had not done it.
Said Irving: "He apparently made this kind of statement on severaloccasions. I'm not going to put myself in the position of apsychiatrist and suggest why he did things because you would protestthat I don't have these qualifications, and I think it would be wrongfor me to speculate on why Eichmann made certain statements."
Irving testified that it was not correct to say that he had accessto the tapes that were used to make the book Ich, Adolf Eichmann:"Eichmann's son approached me with the information that he had thetapes and he asked advice on what should be done with them, with thetranscript, and I said they are a historical document which should,of course, be published." Irving never listened to the tapes and madeno assessment whatever of them. (34-9597, 9598)
Pearson continued reading from Hitler's War, on page 858:
On the "resettlement" of the Jews from Poland, see Himmler'sletter of July 19, 1942, to SS General Friedrich Krüger, the SSand police chief at Cracow:... and the report by the Reich transportministry's state secretary, Theodor Ganzenmüller, nine dayslater to Himmler's adjutant Karl Wolff that since July 22 one trainper day with five thousand Jews was leaving Warsaw for Treblinka, andthat twice a week a train was leaving Przemysl with five thousandJews for Belzek. Wolff replied on August 13 that it gave him "specialpleasure" to learn this - that "daily trainloads of five thousandmembers of the Chosen People are going to Treblinka and that we arethus being enabled to accelerate this migration". He assuredGanzenmüller he would do all he could to smooth their way. Wolff- as ignorant as Ganzenmüller of the true functions of Treblinkaextermination camp - was tried in 1964 by a Munich court andsentenced to fifteen years in prison. In the Wolff trial, thenotorious SS General von dem Bach-Zelewski testified on July 24,1964, that in his view "Hitler knew nothing of the mass destructionof the Jews" and that "the entire thing began with Himmler."
In Irving's opinion, Himmler was aware of the fact that largenumbers of Jews were being killed. Karl Wolff was Himmler's adjutant.In 1977 Irving believed Treblinka's true function was extermination;thus he had described it that way in this passage. (34-9599,9600)
Pearson asked Irving if he could agree that this passage dealtwith the mass destruction of the Jews.
"Well, that is again hearsay evidence or quoting the evidence ofan SS General, Bach- Zelewski, who was tried by a German court...in'64. He is repeating perceived opinions, received opinions, that in1964, the overwhelming opinion was that there had been a massdestruction of Jews, what you call the Holocaust." Irving agreed itwas possible that the document was written for the purposes ofcamouflage, but believed it would be unusual. (34-9602)
Pearson continued reading from Hitler's War at page 436:
In private Hitler regretted the Italians' kid-glove treatment ofthe Serbs. Only brute force bereft of inhibitions would work - justas only brute force would work in the war against the partisans inRussia. "On principle, when combatting illegals, anything that worksis right - and I want that hammered into everybody", he laid down."This gives everybody the freedom of action they need...If theillegals use women and children as shields, then our officer or NCOmust be able to open fire on them without hesitation. What matters isthat he gets through and wipes out the illegals". Hitler wanted no"pedantic" disciplinary action against the officer afterward. Himmlertook the hint. In August, September, October and November hissecurity forces counted 1,337 dead Russian partisans and executed afurther 8,564 taken prisoner. His report to Hitler for the sameperiod listed 16,553 "partisan accomplices and suspects" captured, ofwhich 14,257 were executed; an additional 363,211 Russian Jews wereclaimed to have been executed under the same heading.
Pearson produced and showed to Irving Exhibit 62B (Einsatzgruppenreport no. 51). Irving testified that this was the document he wasreferring to in the passage from the book, and that he had no reasonwhatever to doubt its authenticity. It set out the results of thecombatting of partisans from 1 September 1942 to 1 December 1942 andlisted the Jews executed under the heading "accomplices of bands andpersons suspected of helping the bands." A note written on the top ofthe copy used by Irving indicated that the note was shown to theFührer. (34-9604, 9605)
Pearson put to Irving that the number for Jews executed was far inexcess of the numbers for the other groups executed. Irving agreed:"This is precisely what I referred to this morning as being - or whatmakes it such an extraordinary document." He continued: "But I canonly repeat what I said previously, that this was such anextraordinary document, that the figure was so unusual that it is thekind of thing which makes one raise one's eyebrows and questionfurther. If I may just expand in two sentences, one would then lookfor a reference to this document in perhaps the war diary of theGerman High Command or in some other collateral source where youwould find the same figures turning up quoted. It would be sufficientto make me mistrustful of the document because it is such anextraordinary figure, and to have that item, 'c) Jews executed',inserted there almost as an afterthought, a figure that is twenty orthirty times as large as any other figure on the page, it would makeme want to find collateral evidence in another archive or in anotherdocument... I'm suggesting it is possible that at the time someoverzealous SS officer decided to put in a fictitious figure in orderto do Heinrich Himmler a favour. Who knows what the - once you beginspeculating, you're in the wrong field for a historian."(34-9606)
Pearson accused Irving of already speculating about theEinsatzgruppen reports when he testified that the figures wereinflated by people in the field.
Irving replied: "I haven't said that. Again you asked me tosuggest the reason why a figure might have been tampered with. Ioffered the same reason that the people on the spot have a duty toshow productivity. Just like in the Vietnam War, the Americanofficers had to have a body count...This would be the same possiblemotivation why that figure is suddenly so startlingly high."(34-9607)
So you're prepared to reject the Einsatzgruppen reports on thebasis of this speculation?, asked Pearson.
"I'm not prepared to accept them without being an expert on them,but as a historian, what I would want then is to find collateraldocumentation in another Ministry perhaps where you see the same kindof figures bearing out these figures as being authentic. You wouldfind the German High Command and...their war diary. Occasionally itwould summarize or report that it has been received about partisanwarfare on the Russian front and it would give figures, and then youwould hope to find a figure like that repeated in this completelydifferent archival source, and then I would, without the slightesthesitation, say this document is genuine because it is in anotherdocument of the Nazi archives. This document...unfortunately isunique." (34-9608)
Who else is going to be around to report on those things?, askedPearson.
"Well, let me give you three examples," said Irving. "The reportlike this would have gone quite possibly by code from the German SSpolice unit at the Russian front back to Berlin headquarters, and weBritish would have intercepted it because we were reading the GermanSS code at that time, and then we would find in British files thosefigures, terms. That is one example...Just one example of the kind ofcollateral evidence we historians would expect, now, forty yearsafter the event."
That could be a false message sent out to fool the Brits, couldn'tit?, asked Pearson.
"Yes, but this document is very much an orphan," said Irving. "Itis all by itself, without parents, and I'm very sorry for it. It'srather pathetic and it arouses my mistrust. I emphasize that I'm verysorry to see a single figure under the heading 'Jews executed'. I'mvery sorry to see that. But as a historian, I have to say whysuddenly this colossal figure was inserted there in this report whenall the other reports of that series contained no such figure. I wantto know. It raises questions in my head and I'm uncomfortable withit." (34-9609) He continued: "This report was going to HeinrichHimmler, and he took it along with him, apparently typed on thespecial Führer-type typewriter to show toHitler...[p]ossibly because he wanted subsequently to push itunder Hitler's desk, so to speak, and get cover for what he wasdoing. Again, we're in the field of speculation. Himmler's diary isunfortunately in the hands of the Israelis. It is a point worthmentioning that the Israeli government would not allow any historiansto make use of Heinrich Himmler's private diary. If HeinrichHimmler's private diary contained evidence that there had been aHolocaust, such as defined by you, or your interpretation of thesedocuments is correct, then I'm sure the Israelis would have been thefirst to release the diary and make it available, but they don't."(34-9611)
Isn't that a bit of speculation, sir?, asked Pearson. Irvingdisagreed: "No, I think it is a very reasonable assumption, whenarchives or universities offer documents of a quality like that, theyare very keen to make it available unless it contained something theydon't want to make available."
Irving agreed with Pearson that he did not suggest in Hitler's Warthat the figure might have been inflated or that it might have beenadded. Said Irving: "This is true. You will have seen that I wasleafing through the book just now. I was trying to find a footnotewhich I had originally included and which I thought was included,doing a few internal statistical checks on the document, the numberof handguns that had been captured and so on, and comparing that withapparent number of partisans that have been captured, but I couldn'tfind it. But again this book is written in 1977, at a time when a lotof people believed that there had been a Holocaust as you definedit." (34-9612)
Irving agreed that on page 462 of his book, he made reference toHitler authorizing Himmler to remove six or seven hundred thousandJews from France. Said Irving: "Yes, that is based on, again, ahandwritten note by Heinrich Himmler which...I was the firsthistorian to find and transcribe...Himmler's notes contained theheading about the removal of the six or seven hundred thousand Jewsfrom France, and written next to that, in Himmler's handwriting, wasHitler's decision - abtransportiert - transport them away. Again,Hitler took the decision to transport them." (34-9613)
Pearson asked Irving to look at the chapter note on page 867:
Himmler's own handwritten agenda for discussion with Hitler onDecember 10 survives...against Item 3, "Jews in France", Himmler puta tick and the word abschaffen...
Irving testified that abschaffen meant "dispose of." He continued:"The word abtransportiert occurred in a subsequent memo from Himmlerto the Gestapo chief Müller. He used the milder words verhaftetund abtransportiert - arrested and transported away." (34-9614)
Pearson returned to page 867 of Hitler's War:
There are other illuminating references to the "Jewish problem" inHimmler's files at this time. On October 2, 1942, he wrote to Pohl,Krüger, Globocnik and Wolff about his determination to extractthe Jews from their protected status within important arms factoriesin Poland too. "It will then be our aim to replace these Jewishworkers by Poles and to merge most of these Jewish concentration-campworkshops into a very few big Jewish concentration-camp factories, asfar as practicable in the east of the Generalgouvernement. But theretoo the Jews must one day, in accordance with the Führer's wish,disappear [verschwinden]."
Irving testified that Pohl was an SS general who was the chief ofthe Economic Office of the SS and had overall responsibility forconcentration camps. He interpolated between Himmler and theconcentration camps. General Krüger was one of the policecommanders in the eastern territories. Globocnik, whom Irvingdescribed as "one of the mass murderers, one of the real Nazicriminals," was one of the SS police commanders in the occupiedPolish area. (34-9614, 9615) Irving believed the document "isperfectly authentic...But it highlights, of course, one particularproblem. You had to be very careful, how you translate. He is beingvery precious about the word he's used...he says 'to disappear', andhe is not being specific what he means by the word 'disappear'.That's why I used the German word in brackets next to it."(34-9616)
Isn't it clear, asked Pearson, that when he says "there too theJews must one day disappear" he was talking about a solution that wastaking place on the site? Irving disagreed: "Mr. Pearson, in anearlier document in 1942, Himmler talks about, and I quoted it in thebook, about Hitler having given that order that Europe is to becomefree of the Jews, that Hitler has ordered that Europe is to be riddenof the Jews...stage by stage, from west to east, and what he'stalking about here is one part of Poland further to the east, butthere too they must disappear and go even further to the east."(34-9616, 9617)
Irving testified that he put the document in the book "because Iwanted to help the historians who weren't doing their jobs, and I wasprovid[ing] documents for them which they hadn't seen before.I was translating the words that were the precious delicate words,that they had a chance to make up their own mind how they are goingto interpret these words, and I very much tried to avoid drawingconclusions myself." (34-9617)
Irving himself continued to read from the next passage in Hitler'sWar:
On November 30, Himmler sent to Gestapo Chief Müller a very"interesting [press] announcement about a memorandum writtenby Dr. [Stephen F.] Wise [President of the AmericanJewish Congress] in September 1942," and commented: "Given thescale of the Jewish migration, I'm not surprised that such rumorscrop up somewhere in the world. We both know there's a high deathrate among the Jews who are put to work. But you are to guarantee tome that at each location the cadavers of these deceased Jews areeither burned or buried, and that nothing else can happen with thecadavers wherever they are. You are to investigate at once in allquarters to find out whether there have been any such abuses as the -no doubt mendacious - rumors disseminated around the world claim. Allsuch abuses are to be reported to me on the SS oath of honour"...Thisletter was the purest humbug, and Himmler's suave reaction to twospecific Allied press reports on the extermination of the EuropeanJews proves it. On November 24, 1942, The Times (London) published adispatch from the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem on the holocaust, partlyfanciful but with an unmistakable hard core of truth. Himmler'soffice obtained it from Sweden and forwarded it with a noncommittalletter to the SS Reich Main Security Office in Berlin "for yourattention". On February 14, 1943, the same newspaper published areport received by the British Section of the World Jewish Congressfrom Central Europe, claiming that the extermination of Jews wasbeing accelerated: Bohemia-Moravia was to be "judenrein" by March 31,deportations from Germany were continuing, and the massexterminations in Poland were proceeding, in one place at the rate ofsix thousand daily. "Before being massacred, the Jews are ordered tostrip and their clothes are sent to Germany." Rudolf Brandt,Himmler's adjutant, sent the news report to Kaltenbrunner's office."On the instructions of the Reichsführer SS I am transmittingherewith to you a press dispatch on the accelerated extermination[Ausrottung] of the Jews in Occupied Europe."
Irving testified: "When I write here there is an 'unmistakablehard core of truth', I'm comparing the Times report of November 1942with what our state of knowledge was in 1977 when that was published,and I'm saying, 'Look, it appears to be the same. They're talkingabout gas chambers, about people being forced to strip and havingtheir property robbed and all the rest of it. The reason I printedthis very long footnote at the back of the book, because I[found] these documents in Himmler's files in the privatepapers of the chief of the SS, and I thought they were such unusualdocuments that they deserved to be mentioned. It would beirresponsible not to quote them at length but they do sometimes havethe feel of the kind of document that Trevor- Roper was warning aboutwhen he said why has this document come into existence? What is thepurpose of this document? The real purport? Is somebody trying topull the wool over somebody's eyes? And you very much get the feelingof that when you read some of these documents, and that's why I putthat in. I get the feeling there that Himmler is writing a letter andpassing it on to Müller and winking and nodding at the sametime, and now saying 'Put this [in] your file, Müller.You may need it.' Who knows? We're speculating again, but it isimportant to speculate on the basis of responsible information fromthe archives, which is what I considered my job to be." (34-9620,9621)
Irving pointed out that the words "I am transmitting herewith toyou a press dispatch on the accelerated extermination of the Jews inOccupied Europe," was Brandt's translation of what the Times waswriting in the news report "and the Times in 1943 was very much intothe business of publishing British propaganda." Irving agreed thatBrandt did not point out that it was propaganda and that logically,he should have put "the alleged accelerated extermination." (34-9622)
Pearson returned to Hitler's War at page 503, where Irving haddealt with a two-hour meeting between Himmler and Hitler on March 30,1943:
Nor did Himmler evidently raise with Hitler the progress made onthe "Jewish problem" during their two hour mountain stroll on March30 - Hitler wearing a soft peaked cap to shade his eyes against theAlpine glare. Earlier in 1943 Himmler had submitted to him astatistical report on a similar topic - the population migrations hehad sponsored since Hitler's written order of October 1939; thereport was typed on the special large-face typewriter and clearlywent to the Führer. But did Hitler ever see the statisticalreport the Reichsführer had commissioned at the same time on the"Final Solution of the Jewish Problem in Europe"? In dry tones,Himmler's chief statistician, Dr. Richard Korherr, had analyzed thefate of the world's estimated 17,000,000 Jews: Europe's 10,000,000had dwindled by 45 percent since 1937, owing to emigration, the highnatural mortality rate, and the enforced "evacuation" that had begunwith the prohibition of emigration late in 1941. To Himmler'sannoyance, on reading the sixteen-page document on March 23 he foundthat it stated expressis verbis on page 9 that of the 1,449,692 Jewsdeported from the eastern provinces 1,274,166 had been subjected to"special treatment" at camps in the Generalgouvernement and a further145,301 similarly dealt with in the Warthegau.
Irving agreed that Dr. Richard Korherr had been instructed to makehis report to show Himmler how things were going with theextermination of the Jews. "It's a very, very questionable document,but I accept the figures it contains. It's a report that does asomersault after it comes from existence, because Himmler demandedthat the report should be rewritten in a form suitable for showing toHitler." Irving termed the document "questionable" because "of theextraordinary manner in which Himmler protested about the documentand asked it be rewritten in a more suitable form. It was onlyintroduced in part in Nuremberg at the Nuremberg trial. The evidence,these covering letters, showing that it had been tampered with byHimmler or by other people, subsequently was omitted from theNuremberg exhibits." Irving did not believe the document was tamperedwith after the war, but tampered with during the war by Himmler. Thesuggestion he made in his book was that Himmler tampered with it to"pull the wool" over Hitler's eyes. (34-9625, 9626)
Pearson put to Irving that in the Korherr report, the words"special treatment" meant liquidation.
"This is one possible interpretation on this document, but Korherrhimself is still alive and has challenged it," said Irving. "He saidhe did not mean that when he wrote it...He wrote a very long letter,as I understand it, to the German news magazine, Der Spiegel, a veryirritated letter saying he's fed up with his report always beingadduced as evidence that there was a mass murder of the Jews. Thereport that he wrote was quite a straightforward statistical reportand at no stage in his report had he referred to the mass killing oflarge numbers of Jews...I have to be honest and say that I haven'tseen Korherr's letter to Der Spiegel. I'm just repeating what Iunderstand the letter to have said, that he protested against theimputation that his document was an explicit proof of the liquidationof Jews, large numbers of Jews." (34-9627)
Irving agreed that in 1977 when he wrote his book, he believedthat the words "special treatment" in the Korherr report meantliquidation: "...I agree it is difficult to conceive what else'special treatment' can have been at one point, 3 million Jews beingsubjected to it at camps in the Warthegau...it can't have been ahaircut. But I just have to add the rider that the author of thereport himself says this is an improper imputation to place on hisown report." (34-9628)
Irving agreed that the document was strong proof that 1.2 millionJews died in the camps in the General Government: "Indeed, and thisis why when you asked what my estimate would be, I said the upperlimit at that kind of figure, making the mental reservation in mymind if this document is accurate and 'special treatment' was meaningthat, and if Korherr was lying after the war when he said it didn'tmean that, then it would be proper to put that figure as the upperlevel." (34-9629)
Pearson questioned whether this would have been the upper limitsince there were two more years to go in the war. Irving explained:"It was prepared and submitted to Himmler on March the 23rd,1943...At that time, there were no more territories under Germancontrol from which they could have extracted more Jews. It wasn'tuntil they marched into Hungary that they then had a furtherreservation for their problems. Statistics then changed. This wasbasically a ten-year report." (34-9629)
Irving pointed out that Himmler himself objected to the use of thewords "special treatment" in the report; Himmler indicated that theJews hadn't been submitted to "special treatment" but had beenchanneled through the camps to the east. (34-9630)
But I thought you said that the reason for that was becauseHimmler wanted to "pull the wool" over Hitler's eyes?, askedPearson.
Said Irving: "This is one possible interpretation. I don't know.He doesn't say, 'The reason I'm asking for this different report isin order to pull the wool over the Führer's eyes.'"(34-9630)
Pearson returned to Hitler's War and continued reading at page504:
Himmler knew too well that the Führer had in November 1941ordered that the Jews were not to be liquidated. On April 1 he hadthe report edited "for submission to the Führer"; and a few dayslater - lest he had not made himself plain - instructed that in theversion for the Führer he "did not want there to be any mentionof 'special treatment of Jews' whatever". According to the new text,the Jews would have been "channeled through" the camps...As he wroteon April 9, the report would serve magnificently for "camouflagepurposes" in later years.
"I don't know what he's camouflaging," said Irving. "I have notthe faintest idea what he's camouflaging, but it does show thatdocuments get created for different reasons than they apparently seemto portray. If on...Friday, you may have thought I was being a bitprecious saying there was three criteria: is the document authentic;written by somebody in a position of authority who knows; for whatpurpose was the document written? This is a typical example of a verysuspicious document which has been written for a reason quite clearlyother than what it appears to portray." (34-9631)
Pearson put to Irving that Himmler was concerned with camouflagingwhat was going on, not keeping anything from Hitler who would haveknown what was going on. Irving disagreed: "You are entitled to youropinion. I have felt I have done my duty in representing that report.It is noteworthy that this particular page about the camouflage wasremoved by the Nuremberg authorities. It wasn't included in theirexhibit because it was embarrassing, but my job as a historian is totry and present the total truth as I see it, and the total truth isnever, never completely clear. It is always confusing at theedges."
Pearson read the note on page 871 in Hitler's War with respect tothe Korherr report:
Himmler had ordered Korherr to make a statistical analysis of theFinal Solution, by letter of January 18, 1943...explaining thatKaltenbrunner's office "lacked the necessary expert precision." Thedraft and shortened final reports, and Himmler's relatedcorrespondence, are on microfilm...As the ribbon copy of the shorterversion is still in Himmler's files, it may not even have gone toHitler. Nor did several letters which at about this time reached Dr.Hans Lammers alleging that Jews were being methodically exterminatedin Poland...At the Nuremberg war crimes trials, Lammers stated thathe followed up these reports by asking Himmler. "Himmler denied thatthere was any authorized killing going on and told me" - makingreference to the Führer's orders - "I have to evacuate the Jewsand in such evacuations there are...obviously fatalities. Apart fromthose, the people are being housed in camps in the East." And hefetched a mass of pictures and albums and showed me how the Jews werebeing put to work in the camps on war production, in shoe factories,tailors' shops, and the like. Then he told me: "This job comes fromthe Führer. If you think you must put a stop to it, then go andtell the Führer."
Irving testified that Kaltenbrunner was the successor of Heydrichas chief of the Reich Main Security Office. He did not agree withPearson's suggestion that Himmler was lying to Lammers: "Himmlerdenied that there was any authorized killing going on. It's a bitvague. What does he mean about that? Does he mean there is noofficial policy to kill? I think that does mean just what it says."(34-9633)
Pearson returned to Hitler's War at page 575:
Early in October  the remaining Jews were deportedfrom Denmark. Himmler also considered the eight thousand Jews in Romea potential threat to public order; Ribbentrop brought to Hitler anurgent telegram from his consul in Rome reporting that the SS hadordered from Berlin that "the eight thousand Jews resident in Romeare to be rounded up and brought to Upper Italy, where they are to beliquidated." Again Hitler took a marginally more "moderate" line. Onthe ninth Ribbentrop informed Rome that the Führer had directedthat the eight thousand Jews were to be transported to Mauthausenconcentration camp in Austria instead, where they were to be held "ashostages." It was, Ribbentrop defined, purely a matter for the SS.(The SS liquidated them anyway, regardless of Hitler's order.)
Irving testified that he did not repudiate that paragraph: "No,sir, I stand by that paragraph. The German document referred to theeight thousand Jews resident in Rome are to be rounded up and broughtto Upper Italy where they are to be liquidated...You can't disputethat at all, and this belongs to that category of document Imentioned earlier showing whenever Hitler is personally involved inthis process he always puts out his hand to stop something uglyhappening to the Jews. In this case, he intervened to stop them beingliquidated and ordered them transported to Mauthausen instead, and Iunderstand that nevertheless they were still killed, and I understandthat the Jews of Rome suffered that fate." Irving did not know wherethe Jews were liquidated: "I've only heard that the Jews of Rome didsuffer that fate." (34-9635, 9636)
Ribbentrop was the Reich Foreign Minister. Said Irving: "I thinkon this occasion, he very clearly acted to prevent it happening. Assoon as he received information from his diplomats in Rome that theSS had a plan to liquidate the Jews in Rome, Ribbentrop immediatelytook that telegram around to Hitler in Hitler's headquarters andshowed it to Hitler and obtained an order that that was not tohappen."
Wasn't there another occasion when Ribbentrop counseled the leaderof Hungary, Horthy, to liquidate the Jews of Hungary?, askedPearson.
"I'm sure you will remind us of the episode in precise wordingrather than your summary," said Irving. (34-9637)
You tell us how you summarize it then, said Pearson. Wasn't therea conversation involving Hitler, Horthy and Ribbentrop in April,1943?
"Hitler, Admiral Horthy and Ribbentrop had a discussion of thefuture fate of the Jewish population of Hungary," replied Irving,"which is very large, to the order of one or two million Jews inHungary, and the Nazi leaders [urged] the Hungarians to bemore radical, to agree to them being rounded up and put away, lockedaway, in security because they were a security threat. And I amspeaking from memory here. I've dealt with this previously in thebook and we can probably look it up, if you had it on one of yourphotocopies. The German record of their conversation makes nospecific reference from which you could deduce that the Jews were tobe killed. In fact, on the second day of their discussion, Hitleractually said to Admiral Horthy, 'You can't really expect of us thatthey should be killed', or words to that effect. And of greaterinterest is the Hungarian record of the conversation which I lookedat in the Hungary archives, which makes it quite plain that there wasnever any discussion about recommending that the Hungarians shouldkill the Jewish population." (34-9637)
Irving located where he had discussed this in Hitler's War on page509 and read the passage to the court:
Poland should have been an object lesson to Horthy, Hitler argued.He related how Jews who refused to work there were shot; those whocould not work just wasted away. Jews must be treated liketuberculosis bacilli, he said, using his favorite analogy. Was thatso cruel when one considered that even innocent creatures like haresand deer had to be put down to prevent their doing damage? Whypreserve a bestial species whose ambition was to inflict bolshevismon us all? Horthy apologetically noted that he had done all hedecently could against the Jews: "But they can hardly be murdered orotherwise eliminated", he protested. Hitler reassured him: "There isno need for that."
In a footnote, Irving had written:
According to Schmidt's notes, Ribbentrop went even further thanHitler in one outburst to Horthy, exclaiming "that the Jews musteither be destroyed or put in concentration camps - there is no otherway."
Irving testified that he believed this was said in a separatediscussion between Ribbentrop and Horthy. He continued: "And then, ina letter in the Hungarian archives, there is a letter from Horthy toAdolf Hitler, on May the 7th. Horthy says in his draft letter, thereis a sentence which he later deleted: 'Your Excellency' - meaningHitler - 'further reproached me that my government does not proceedwith stamping out Jewry with the same radicalism as is practised inGermany.'" (34-9640)
Pearson suggested to Irving that it was clear to Horthy that whatwas happening in areas where the Nazis were in control was racialgenocide. Irving disagreed: "No, I think it is quite plain, from page509, which you haven't photocopied for the jury, that Hitler toldAdmiral Horthy that nobody is talking of murdering the Jews. There isno need for that. I'm sorry, here we are: 'Hitler reassured him thereis no need for that.'" (34-9640)
I suggest, said Pearson, that what Hitler was telling him is thatAdmiral Horthy didn't have to do that to the Hungarian Jews, that hedidn't have to go as far as Hitler's own regime was going.
"I don't think that interpretation is borne out either by theGerman document when read in full or by the Hungarian version of thesame conversation." (34-9641)
Pearson returned to Hitler's War, page 575:
Coincidentally, it was at this time that Himmler first revealed totwo audiences - of SS Gruppenführer (generals) on October 4, andGauleiters on October 6 - an awful secret which he forbade them todiscuss in public; by the end of 1943 the last Jews in occupiedEurope would have been physically exterminated. That Himmler'sintention was to make all his SS generals and the Gauleiters,regardless of their guilt, accessories after the fact to the massacreis strongly suggested by one curious document in his files: aname-by-name list of those who had not attended his speech!
Irving testified that "Himmler is saying that he's talking aboutthe liquidation of Jews to his men . . . He is explaining it to them.We discussed this on Friday. He is also justifying why they arekilling the Jewish women and children in these operations because hesaid it would be wrong to leave them, to come back when they grow up. . ." (34-9642)
Did he say, asked Pearson, that "by the end of 1943 the last Jewsin occupied Europe would have been physically exterminated"?
"I think that this was the burden of those two speeches, as Iunderstood it when I read them at the time." (34-9642)
Pearson asked Irving to go to page 11 of Did Six Million ReallyDie?:
* ...the files of Himmler's headquarters and Hitler's own wardirectives there is not a single order for the extermination of Jewsor anyone else. It will be seen later that this has, in fact, beenadmitted by the World Centre of Contemporary Jewish Documentation atTel-Aviv. Attempts to find "veiled allusions" to genocide in speecheslike that of Himmler's to his SS Obergruppenführers at Posen in1943 are likewise quite hopeless.
Irving agreed that he didn't have any trouble finding an allusionto racial genocide in the Posen speech, the precise words of which hehad put in a footnote, where he had quoted Himmler saying: "The harddecision had to be taken to make this race disappear from earth."(34- 9643, 9644) Irving continued: "... but I think I discussed onFriday, the reasons why I'm unhappy about the integrity of those twodocuments because of the remarkable fact that precisely at this pointthe typescript changes, a page appears to have been inserted by adifferent typist, the numeration of the pages changes from atypewritten page number at the top to a pencilled page number at thetop, and there are various other indications about that speech thatmake me queasy. I don't accept that the text ..."
Pearson interjected: Are you now telling us that this is not aspeech that Himmler delivered?
"I'm saying," replied Irving, "that the text of the speech, usingthe words that I just quoted as the text of the speech, is containedin the original archives...But examination of this text - examinationof this script reveals the odd fact that precisely at that point thetext has been tampered with." Irving could not speculate on when orby whom the text was tampered with. He had not listened to the soundrecording of the speech which he understood was in the NationalArchives in Washington. Said Irving: "...I made the discovery at thetime when I was writing my book on Field-Marshal Milch that somesound recording[s] of the Nuremberg trials, for example, werealso not of integrity. They had been tampered with." Irving believed,however, that it would be improper for him to suggest that the soundrecording of the Posen speech of Himmler had been tampered withwithout first listening to the speech. (34-9645)
Why did you raise the topic of some other speech at Nuremberg ifyou thought it was improper for you?, asked Pearson.
"You raised the topic of the sound recording at the NationalArchives and I said that I haven't heard it, but that I'm familiarwith the fact that certain other recordings in the same archives arenot of 100 percent integrity." Irving agreed it would be a good ideato listen to the sound recording, "but it would also be a good ideafor the Holocaust historian to look at the original script and notjust the printed text..." He continued: "I think that in connectionwith this brochure, this brochure was wrong to suggest that thatspeech, as it is known to us historians, contains no allusion togenocide...I'm also saying that the speech as known to historians hasquite clearly been tampered with at that point, and I know of noreasonable explanation for why." (34- 9646, 9647) Irving pointed outthat what was contained in these pages "changes very much the essenceof the speech, depending on whether it is an authentic transcript ofthe speech or whether that has been tampered with for some reason...Idon't think we need to know the motives of people tampering withspeeches. It is sufficient for historians to look at a document andsay 'This document has been tampered with'; for him then to say, 'Inthat case, I must set it aside.'" (34- 9647)
Doesn't he have to have some evidence before he does that?, askedPearson.
"I think the evidence is what I mentioned," said Irving, "the factthat at that point in the script, the page relating that verydamaging and incriminating sentence has quite clearly been retyped bya different typist on a different typewriter using different carbonpaper, and that page has been numbered by pencil and inserted at thatpoint." (34-9648)
Irving pointed out that the speech was about 70 or 80 pages oftyped script: "You know this is a different page that has beeninserted in an otherwise homogeneous script. One only notes it if onelooks at the actual script in the archives or on microfilm, not fromthe printed text of course."
What are you suggesting by all this, sir?, asked Pearson.
"I'm suggesting that this is sufficient to make a reasonable mindhesitate to use this document rather in the same way as that partisancombatting report. You hesitate over that because, once again, thereis a reason to suspect - "
Pearson interjected: It didn't stop you from using it in 1977, didit?
"I wasn't trying to prove a case," replied Irving. "I was writinga book about Adolf Hitler." The speech was quoted at length in hisbook because "It would be very, very irresponsible not to." (34-9649)Irving continued: "I'm suggesting I would hesitate before hanging afederal case on this particular page...I didn't 'hang it on a bigbell' as the Germans said. To me, it was just one more [part]in the story." (34 9650)
Would you agree, asked Pearson, that if somebody like ProfessorHilberg went and listened to the sound recording, they'd be in abetter position than you to reach a conclusion with respect to thevalidity of the speech and the document?
"I would say that if he had taken the trouble to look at theoriginal typed script, he would also be in a better position, but I'mthe only person to have taken that trouble. As I said on Friday, Inot only looked at the typed script, I looked at Heinrich Himmler'soriginal handwritten note on the basis of which he delivered thespeeches. I looked at the original typed script, the transcript, thefinal version of the typed script." (34-9651)
Do you have any reason to suggest that Professor Hilberg has notlooked at the original typed speech?, asked Pearson.
"What if he has? He hasn't spotted this very obvious and glaringfact," said Irving. (34- 9652)
Perhaps he doesn't think it's significant because perhaps he haschecked with the sound recording and seen there is no difference.Those are possibilities, aren't they, sir?, asked Pearson.
Said Irving: "Everything is possible, but do you want to base your-"
Judge Ron Thomas interjected, stating that this was speculationsince Irving hadn't read the book. Defence attorney Christie asked ifthe Crown was suggesting that this was in the book somewhere. Thomasreplied: "Not that I heard." Christie again objected on the groundsthat it was improper for the Crown to make submissions in theirquestions that they were not prepared to prove. Thomas said. "Thankyou." Christie asked for a ruling on his objection. Thomas replied:"I have ruled on it." (34-9652)
Pearson returned to Hitler's War at page 575:
Against the fifty-one names were checks marking whether or notthey had since read his speech or otherwise "taken cognizance of it".The shorthand record and magnetic recordings show that he did not yetclaim to be acting on Hitler's orders. Himmler clearly considered hisstanding with the Führer impregnable, to admit so openly that hehad disregarded Hitler's veto on liquidating the Jews all along. Thesame Gauleiters were Hitler's guests at the Wolf's Lair on October 7;from this point on, he could no longer logically plead ignorance ofwhat his "faithful Heinrich" had done.
Irving testified that he had examined the shorthand record oftranscripts of the magnetic recordings, but repeated that he had notlistened to the recording itself. Irving pointed out that the suspectsentence, "The hard decision had to be taken to make this racedisappear from earth," appeared on the suspect page, the one wherethe typing suddenly changed. (34-9653 to 9655)
"There must be a logical explanation why a page has been taken outof a script and retyped by somebody else at this point of allpoints," said Irving. "Nowhere else in the script, and...nowhere elsein all of Himmler's other speeches - and he made a whole series ofspeeches week after week, month after month, always repeating thesame old gramophone record of what he is doing and why, does thispassage appear. It is unique." Irving testified that "from the waythat the transcript at this point appears to have obtained anenhanced quality by virtue of the fact that it's been retyped andrenumbered and inserted at this point, one begins to suspect that allthis may have been said for a special reason. In other words, it maybe another of these famous German 'camouflage' documents orstatements that we were looking at an hour ago." (34-9657)
He continued: "I don't challenge that he may well have used thesehorrendous words, 'The hard decision had to be taken to make thisrace disappear from earth'...But for some reason, they were beingspoken for a special reason because that page has, for some reason,been taken out and put in and retyped, that page of all pages, and hedoesn't make this statement anywhere else when he's delivering almostidentical speeches to...similar audiences." (34-9658)
Doesn't he start out his remarks on the Jews, asked Pearson, bysaying that he was going to deal with a subject that must not bespoken of in public?
"He says this...kind of cautionary statement in very manyspeeches. I think there is something like ten or fifteen speechesthat he delivered between 1942 and June 1944 to the same kind ofhigh-level audience where very frequently he raises the same kind ofmatter, of what he is up to, with his famous task of consolidatingGermandom in the east. But this is the only occasion where he makesthis kind of statement, and it's the only occasion where thistranscript has been tampered with." (34-9658, 9659)
Why would he be admitting to the extermination of Jews forcamouflage purposes?, asked Pearson.
"We're now speculating," said Irving. "It may be that because heis talking to a party, political audience, that he is lighting abonfire [under] them and saying: 'At least we're doing it.We're really carrying it out.' Who knows what his reasons forappearing to say something were?" Another possible interpretation wasthat he had done it: "He has carried out the job. He thinks themission is complete and now is the time to broaden the responsibilityamong other generals. This is another possibility." (34-9659,9660)
So he has carried out racial genocide, asked Pearson, and youadmit that that's what he is talking about?
"This is a possibility that I contemplated in 1977 at the timethat I believed and at the time that I wrote that book," saidIrving.
Has that belief changed now?, asked Pearson.
"My belief has not changed that this particular page is a verysuspect page. This particular remark by Himmler is a very suspectremark...can his statement be taken at face value? Because that isthe only time he says it. This is the only time that this particularpage in his speech has been tampered with. This is the kind of verydetailed forensic examination that has to be applied to importantspeeches like this." (34-9660)
Pearson returned to Hitler's War on page 576:
To the SS generals on October 4, 1943, Himmler praised thetoughness of those who had had to carry out the massacre: "This is apage of glory in our history which has never been written and isnever to be written." To the Gauleiters two days later he referred to"the Jewish problem" as the most difficult he had handled. "The Jewsmust be exterminated," was easier said than done. Even where womenand children were concerned he, Himmler, had opted for a clearsolution. "I did not consider myself justified in exterminating themenfolk - that is to kill them or have them killed - while leavingtheir children to grow up and take vengeance on our sons andgrandsons. The hard decision had to be taken to make this racedisappear from earth." He could not have been more explicit as to hisown responsibility.
Irving testified: "'The hard decision had to be taken to make thisrace disappear from earth', and yet he hasn't taken the decision,because at this very time millions upon millions of Jews are withinthe Nazi clutches and yet they are surviving; they are not being sentto extermination, firing squads or whatever. They are working in thefactories or working in the fields. They are working in the labourcamps. Millions and millions of them have survived the Second WorldWar, and I'm glad for every single one. So here, he's apparentlysaying, 'I took the hard decision to make this race disappear fromearth', and yet he didn't do it." (34-9662)
Irving repeated that he was unhappy because of the tampering whichhad occurred with this page of the transcript of the speech. Hecontinued: "...this isn't just any page...I suppose it is probablythe most important page of the most important speech in the whole ofthe Holocaust history, and this page, of all pages, when we look atit, turned out to have been tampered with." (34-9663)
Pearson read a note to page 575 found on page 879:
At one stage in his speech of October 6, 1943 - according to thewire-recording archived in Washington (NA, 242-299) - Himmlerdirectly addressed himself to "You, Herr Reichsminister," whichindicates that Speer was a listener. Few generals later admitted thatthey had known; perhaps they did not realize the enormity of whatthey were being told in such dry sentences. Field-Marshal Weichsfrankly told interrogators of the U.S. Seventh Army on May 30, 1945,that Himmler had once visited him in the Balkans and confirmed thatthe rumors were true - that the (unspecified) victims were loadedinto railroad trucks without knowing that a sudden, painless deathawaited them. "They are just criminals of whom we must get ridourselves," was Himmler's explanation.
Irving testified that he never heard the wire-recording, but hadhad a correspondence with Albert Speer regarding it: "...he told methat he had a transcript of the wire-recording which used thosewords. He sent me a number of affidavits relating to it."(34-9664)
With respect to the interrogation of Field-Marshal Weichs, Irvingtestified: "I think we have to look very carefully at that source andsay this is a record written by an American NCO or sergeant of whatan interpreter has told him that a Field-Marshal has told him thatHimmler has told him. It is at sixth or seventh removed, so we can'treally attach...too much weight to precise words here in a statementmade after the war is over." (34-9665) He continued: "Mr. Pearson, Ican help you by saying I can accept that that is an accurate reportof what Himmler said. I don't think it is very important one way orthe other." (34-9666)
Irving pointed out that the American government was also gassingcriminals at this same time. Looking at the precise wording used,said Irving, "Weichs is saying that unspecified people, according toHimmler, were being sent to camps where they were being executed.This isn't what we're talking about in your specification of theHolocaust." Irving indicated that what Pearson had read was afootnote to a footnote, adding: "...I think that's about as muchweight as can be assigned to it. Certainly, I gave it no moreimportance than that." (34-9667)
Pearson continued reading from Hitler's War at page 630:
The motives of Hitler and Himmler still diverged, though theFührer's attitude had noticeably hardened. Hitler was primarilyconcerned that this potential Fifth Column be removed from theBalkans...but Himmler - however much he protested that he was notjust "bloodthirsty" - was eager to see what he called an"uncompromising," an irrevocable, and above all a Final Solution.When Hitler instructed him in April to provide two 100,000-strongcontingents of Hungarian Jews to work on Saur's bombproof tank andfighter factories in the Protectorate and elsewhere, theReichsführer SS expressed unconcealed displeasure at this"singular" arrangement.
Irving testified that Hungary had been invaded in March, so that the Jews of Hungary were now within theGerman as opposed to the Hungarian government's clutches. Horthy didnot proceed with the radicalism that the Germans expected from him,said Irving, in that he was not rounding the Jews up and locking themaway. (34-9668)
Pearson suggested that Irving was saying that Himmler wasinterested in killing all the Jews of Hungary. Said Irving: "That iscorrect at the time I wrote that book." (34 9668)
Do you not now think that Himmler was interested in an"uncompromising, an irrevocable, and above all, a Final Solution"?,asked Pearson.
"Himmler, by 1944, had become a very different person. He wasalready negotiating with the Allied governments to ship Jews out ofHungary in...exchange for thousands of trucks, in exchange for cash,all sorts of scams that Himmler was operating...if he was purelyconcerned with the racial solution of liquidating every Jew from theface of the earth, he was allowing the bucket to leak in severalplaces." (34-9669)
Pearson suggested that in the last sentence Irving was saying thatHimmler was upset that he lost an opportunity to exterminate two100,000-strong contingents of Jews.
"I think that here I put in a sentence speculating on whatHimmler's feelings were. It's probably irresponsible speculation onthe basis of evidence or beliefs in 1977." Irving continued: "I haveto be frank and say that since I wrote this, which was in 1965 or1966, I'm...no longer familiar now, twenty years later, with thedocuments that it's based on and I'm not in the position really tooffer any constructive comment on that. I would have to look at theoriginal documents again that I used." (34-9670)
Pearson continued reading at page 630:
In theory he might therefore have found the passage in Himmler'sseventy-page speech of October 6, 1943, where he bluntly disclosed toAlbert Speer and the Gauleiters that he, Himmler, had decided tomurder Jewish women and children as well as adult males...On May 5,1944, however, Himmler tried a new version - or adapted it to hisaudience of generals. After revealing in now stereotyped sentencesthat he had "uncompromisingly" solved the "Jewish problem" in Germanyand the German-occupied countries, he added: "I am telling this toyou as my comrades. We are all soldiers regardless of which uniformwe wear. You can imagine how I felt executing this soldierly orderissued to me, but I obediently complied and carried it out to thebest of my convictions." Never before, and never after, did Himmlerhint at a Führer Order; but there is reason to doubt he daredshow this passage to his Führer.
Irving pointed out that there was a footnote to this passage whichought to be read, and he read it to the court:
Page 28 of the large-face typescript, containing this pregnantsentence - for only Hitler was empowered to issue a "soldierly order"to Himmler - was manifestly retyped and inserted in the transcript ata later date, as the different indenting shows.
"Another example of a document being tampered with," said Irving."A reason which I speculate at here, that Himmler didn't want Hitlerto see that he was actually putting the - passing the buck to Hitler.We keep on having to ask: How does a document come into existence,and why? That's a really good example." (34 9672)
Pearson continued reading from Hitler's War:
Consider too Himmler's speech of May 24, in which again speakingbefore generals he explained his stance somewhat differently. Herecalled how in 1933 and 1934 he had thrown habitual criminals intoconcentration camps without trial, and boasted, "I must admit I havecommitted many such illegal acts in my time. But rest assured ofthis: I have resorted to these only when I felt that soundcommon-sense and the inner justice of a Germanic - and right-thinking- people were on my side." With this in mind Himmler had confrontedthe "Jewish problem" too: "It was solved uncompromisingly - on ordersand at the dictate of sound common-sense."
Irving again pointed out that a further sentence and its footnoteought to be read:
One page later, Himmler's speech again hinted that Jewish womenand children were also being liquidated.
The footnote read:
This page alone was also retyped and possibly inserted at a laterdate in the typescript.
Said Irving: "This is what I mean when I say that thesetranscripts of Himmler's speeches are very odd. Every time there is areal killing reference, in both senses of the word, that page hasbeen retyped...my conclusion is that there is reason to suspect thatthis speech may have been, or the transcript may have been, puttogether for camouflage purposes." (34-9673, 9674))
Pearson continued reading from Hitler's War , page 631 - a speechby Hitler to his generals:
Of course, people can say, "Yes, but couldn't you have got out ofit...more humanely?" My dear generals, we are fighting a battle oflife and death. If our enemies are victorious in this struggle, theGerman people will be extirpated. The Bolsheviks will butchermillions upon millions of our intellectuals. Those who escape thebullet in the nape of the neck will be deported. The children of theupper classes will be taken away and got rid of. This entirebestiality has been organized by Jews. Today incendiary and otherbombs are dropped on our cities although the enemy knows he ishitting just women and children. They are machine-gunning ordinaryrailroad trains, or farmers working in their fields. In one night ina city like Hamburg we lost over forty thousand women and children,burned to death. Expect nothing else from me, but that I do just whatI think best suits the national interest and in the manner bestserving the German nation.
(Prolonged loud applause).
Kindness here as indeed anywhere else would be just about thegreatest cruelty to our own people. If the Jews are going to hate me,then at least I want to take advantage of that hatred.
(Murmurs of approval)
The advantage is this: now we have a cleanly organized nation, inwhich no outsider can interfere.
Look at the other countries...Hungary! The entire countrysubverted and rotten, Jews everywhere, Jews and still more Jews rightup to the highest level, and the whole country covered by acontinuous network of agents and spies waiting for the moment tostrike, but fearing to do so in case a premature move on their partdrew us in. Here too I intervened, and this problem is now going tobe solved too. If I may say this: the Jews had as their program theextirpation [Ausrottung] of the German people. On September1, 1939, I announced in the Reichstag, if any man believes he canextirpate the German nation in a world war, he is wrong; if Jewryreally tries that, then the one that will be extirpated is Jewryitself.
In Auschwitz, the defunct paraphernalia of death - idle since late1943 - began to clank again as the first trainloads from Hungaryarrived.
What "defunct paraphernalia of death" were you talking about?,asked Pearson.
"Well, my belief then was that Auschwitz had been a majorextermination camp which ceased operation in late 1943 and resumedoperation after the occupation of Hungary in the summer of 1944."(34-9676)
April 26, 1988
Pearson turned to page 883 of Hitler's War, where Irving had dealtwith Himmler's views on Admiral Horthy's initial actions to stop thetransports of the Jews out of Hungary:
Himmler's views are evident from his handwritten speech notes,e.g., for his speech to field commanders at Posen on January 26,1944..."Jewish question. In the Generalgouvernement [Poland]huge calmdown since Jewish problem solved. - Racial struggle. - Totalsolution. - Don't let avengers arise to take revenge on ourchildren."
Irving testified that he had looked at the actual handwrittennotes made by Himmler and had transcribed them himself. The noteswere the basis on which he delivered his speech. (34- 9682, 9683)
Pearson suggested that the notes showed Himmler was talking aboutracial genocide.
"I am unhappy about your introduction recently of this wordgenocide...I think you really ought to be specific...if you use theword, I think you ought to define it. The word genocide doesn't occurin these notes. That's why I say that." Irving pointed out that thelast sentence of the Himmler notes "is an echo of what he said in theearlier speech in Posen in October 1943, where he was explaining whythey had had to kill women and children too." (34-9684)
Would you agree, asked Pearson, that he is going beyond talkingabout individual massacres, that he is talking about the solution toa racial struggle with respect to the Jews? Irving disagreed: "I amanxious not to try to read more into the notes than they actuallyportray. Trying to read between the lines and add things on has, Ithink, bedeviled the whole of the history of the Holocaust."(34-9684)
So, asked Pearson, unless Himmler had written 'we have subjectedthe Jews to racial genocide', you would not be prepared to admit thatthat is what he's talking about?
"Not in a matter as important as this," said Irving. "I believe Iam right in saying that we don't actually have the text of the speechhe made on that occasion and so I introduced just the handwrittennotes for it. But I think, if I may repeat, that the whole of thehistory of the Holocaust, the writing of the history of the Holocausthas been bedeviled by eager historians trying to write things betweenthe lines which aren't justified. I don't accuse Hilberg of that. Ithink Hilberg is very good. I've had a chance since yesterday to lookat some of Hilberg's writing. If I may just say this, particularly onthe case you introduced yesterday about the Roman Jews, and I'vechecked up on Hilberg's description of the expulsion of the Jews fromRome, the eight thousand that we were talking about yesterday, andHilberg makes plain that in fact 1,007 Jews were finally expelled toAuschwitz. He doesn't say that they were killed there. He writes theywere sent to the killing centre of Auschwitz and so in as much asHilberg modifies what I said, I'm happy to accept his version ofhistory...I am very impressed by the clinical precision of hislanguage. He didn't say they were sent to Auschwitz and killed. Hesaid they were sent to the killing centre at Auschwitz becauseHilberg has also found no evidence that they were killed. He thenwrites two or three pages later of the total of seven thousand Jewsdeported from the whole of Italy, fewer than eight hundred returnedto Italy. But he doesn't then look at the possibility that they mayhave been trans-shipped straight from the displaced persons camps toPalestine, for example. I think Hilberg is a very accurate andprecise writer. He phrases his words very closely...I'm veryimpressed by the quality of his writing." (34-9684, 9685)
So when he says 5.1 million Jews were exterminated, that is theconclusion of a man who is conservative in his approach and precise?,asked Pearson. Irving replied that he "would like to know exactlywhat he said and how he phrased it." (34-9686)
Pearson turned next to the subject of the Wannsee Conferenceprotocol and read an excerpt of Hilberg's translation from page 94 ofhis book Documents of Destruction :
In the course of the final solution, the Jews should be broughtunder appropriate direction in a suitable manner to the east forlabor utilization. Separated by sex, the Jews capable of work will beled into these areas in large labor columns to build roads, wherebydoubtless a large part will fall away through natural reduction.
The inevitable final remainder which doubtless constitutes thetoughest element will have to be dealt with appropriately, since itrepresents a natural selection which upon liberation is to beregarded as a germ cell of a new Jewish development. (See the lessonof history.)
After Irving confirmed that this was an "acceptable translation,"Pearson put to him that what this really said was what Himmler hadsaid, that women and children would have to be killed to stop futureavengers from taking revenge.
"It says nothing of the sort," said Irving. "There's no referenceto women or children in that paragraph whatsoever. What they aresaying there is that after those who have built roads until theydrop, which is the phrase I use in the book and it's a very adequatedescription of the first paragraph, that they will build roads untilthey drop, the others, the ones who don't drop, the ones who aretough enough to survive - they're going to be a tough element andwe're going to have to deal with them appropriately. There's not ahint as to what that appropriate dealing is...it could be lockingaway in a very secure prison camp somewhere. There's not a hint. Youare beginning to read between the lines. I admire the skill withwhich you do it...What it does say is if we liberate them, they willbe a germ cell so from that you can conclude that the alternative wasgoing to be the choice chosen; they weren't going to be liberated...Iam suggesting to you there are very many different ways of readingbetween the lines of that paragraph and I said I admire the ingenuitywith which you try to read women and children into that paragraph andyou try to read a massacre into that paragraph. It just isn't there.There are other alternatives." (34 9688, 9689)
Would you agree, asked Pearson, that it was ridiculous to suggestthat the object of the Nazis would have been to create a new Jewishdevelopment of the toughest elements of the Jews?
"There is a strong Zionist element in the pre-war Nazi history,"said Irving. "They sent Adolf Eichmann to Palestine to negotiate withthe Zionist leaders about the Jewish immigration to Palestine. Sothere was certainly as at that time, there was an idea of sending theJews out."
So are you suggesting, asked Pearson, that here they are talkingabout putting together through natural selection the germ cell of anew Jewish development?
"They are concerned a new germ cell will derive which, ifliberated, will cause them, the Germans, problems." (34-9690)
If it's liberated by the Allies, for instance?, asked Pearson.
"If it's liberated by anybody...I can't see the words 'Allies' inthere. I am reading clearly what the document said...The words hereare 'which, upon liberation, is to be regarded as ... a germ cell ofa new Jewish development'. But there is no explicit reference tosolving that problem by liquidating this final remainder."(34-9690)
Would you agree that was Himmler's solution?, asked Pearson.
"I'm not certain who wrote this paragraph," said Irving. "I thinkwe would have to know who is the author of this paragraph. I'm justputting it to you in my reply that there are other alternatives. Iaccept you can read the lines the way you do. Equally other peoplecould read between the lines with alternative interpretations."Irving continued: "If I might just...mention that that effectivelydeals with the Wannsee protocol, this famous, notorious document upon[which] so much of the Holocaust history depends. There isnothing in it...it is a balloon which collapses." (34-9691, 9692)
Pearson returned to Hitler's War, page 645, regarding a speech byHimmler made in 1944 that may have been shown to Hitler. Thespeech:
...covered the familiar ground, though he no longer claimed to bemurdering the Jews on Hitler's orders. He conceded that ("at most")fifty thousand Germans were now in concentration camps, includingsome fifteen thousand political prisoners. He asked for the generals'sympathy in having had to eliminate the Jews: Germany could not havewithstood the bombing terror if the Jewish germ had remained, heargued, nor could the front line have been held east of Lemberg...ifthe big Jewish settlements had still existed in that city - or inCracow, Lublin, and Warsaw. And using the familiar arguments heanswered their unspoken question as to why the Jewish children had tobe murdered too.
Irving testified that he did not dispute that Himmler said thosethings: "Very similar to his previous speeches. He's just going overthe old familiar ground, answering their questions because of thequestions that were on the minds of a lot of army generals at thistime; they had seen the atrocities behind the lines; they wanted toknow what the hell was going on." (34-9693)
And it's clear, suggested Pearson, that he was talking abouteliminating the Jews as opposed to talking about ad hocmassacres.
"I would have to look again at the entire text of the speech if Iwas going to answer that question honestly. He certainly is talkingabout the elimination of the Jews which the German generals in hisaudience had been concerned about. There were a number of Germangenerals at that time, like Field-Marshal von Weichs...who wereconcerned about what they had seen. So they had to have this kind ofpep talk from the chief of the SS to explain the politics of it."(34- 9693, 9694)
Pearson turned to page 660 of Hitler's War and asked Irving if atthis page he was dealing with the Hungarian Jews and the fact thatHitler and Himmler were very interested in getting the Jews out ofHungary. Irving testified that it "was a security problem. Theyregarded Hungary as a major strategic security threat so long as ithad a large Jewish element in the population." (34- 9694)
Pearson read from page 660, where Irving explained why Horthy didnot go along with it:
But now Himmler's ghastly secret was coming out, for two SlovakJews had escaped from Auschwitz extermination camp, and theirhorrifying revelations were published in two reputable Swissnewspapers early in July. Horthy refused to deport the Jews fromBudapest; instead, he announced that a general would bring Hitler aletter on July 21.
Do you repudiate what you wrote there?, asked Pearson.
"This is a very well-known report by two Slovak Jews who claimedto have been in Auschwitz camp...I have to use that wording...withoutbeing able to be too specific, because I haven't come prepared toanswer questions on that Slovak report. I now understand that thatreport is open to some question...It is a very, very detailed report.A copy is in the Roosevelt Library. It came out to the United Statesand it has every appearance of being authentic." Irving testifiedthat he had not talked to the two Slovak Jews in question. He stoodby what he wrote about the report being published by two reputableSwiss newspapers. (34-9695)
And you'd agree, asked Pearson, that the Swiss were neutralsduring the war?
"The Swiss were neutrals," replied Irving. "They had to acceptwhatever propaganda was fed to them by either side." (34-9696)
The report was one among other causes which had stopped Horthyfrom deporting the Jews. Said Irving: "Horthy certainly believedsomething was going on which he disapproved of...But having sincewritten this book in 1977, I understand that that Slovak report isopen to some question...over the last ten years I suppose I haveheard on two or three occasions people say, oh, that report you mustbe careful of. We're not certain how it came into existence and whatthe motives were of the two Slovaks concerned." (34-9696)
Irving testified that during the war Hungary was a "very reluctantally. They came and went. They came when there was something to pickup, like a piece of Czechoslovakia, and they went when there was anyfighting to do. They came again then reluctantly in March 1944 whenHitler invaded them and his troops overran Hungary to reinforce andbolster...the sagging eastern front...It had its own government untilOctober the 15th, 1944, when the Germans actually overthrew theHungarian government and imposed their own regime." (34-9697)
Pearson suggested to Irving that the leader of Hungary was in agood position to know what was going on in Europe. Irving disagreed:"...as you know having read Hitler's War, my contention is even AdolfHitler didn't know what was going on in Europe in every respect."(34- 9697)
Pearson turned to Did Six Million Really Die?, page 24:
* In the Federal Archives of Koblenz there is a directive ofJanuary 1943 from Himmler regarding such executions, stressing that"no brutality is to be allowed" (Manvell & Frankl, ibid, p. 312).Occasionally there was brutality, but such cases were immediatelyscrutinised by SS Judge Dr. Konrad Morgen of the Reich CriminalPolice Office, whose job was to investigate irregularities at thevarious camps. Morgen himself prosecuted commander Koch of Buchenwaldin 1943 for excesses at his camp, a trial to which the German publicwere invited. It is significant that Oswald Pohl, the administratorof the concentration camp system who was dealt with so harshly atNuremberg, was in favour of the death penalty for Koch. In fact, theSS court did sentence Koch to death, but he was given the option ofserving on the Russian front. Before he could do this, however,Prince Waldeck, the leader of the SS in the district, carried out hisexecution. This case is ample proof of the seriousness with which theSS regarded unnecessary brutality. Several SS court actions of thiskind were conducted in the camps during the war to prevent excesses,and more than 800 cases were investigated before 1945. Morgentestified at Nuremberg that he discussed confidentially with hundredsof inmates the prevailing conditions in the camps. He found few thatwere undernourished except in the hospitals, and noted that the paceand achievement in compulsory labour by inmates was far lower thanamong German civilian workers.
Irving testified that he had not quoted the Himmler directivementioned in the booklet; however, he was familiar with it: "It's areference to ordinary, disciplinary executions inside institutionsand concentration camps for whatever reason and Himmler had orderedthere be no photographs and no brutality." (34-9699) Irving agreedthat the directive had "nothing at all" to do with extermination, butlater said: "I would modify my previous answer and say it wasindirectly to do with the extermination controversy because it showeda certain squeamishness on Himmler's part. I think several historianshave suggested that Himmler was personally squeamish." Irving addedthat he thought all brutality was unnecessary and that Harwood"obviously" didn't. (34-9700, 9702)
Would you agree, asked Pearson, that the passage in Did SixMillion Really Die? was not an honest summary of Konrad Morgen'stestimony?
"It is some fifteen years since I read Konrad Morgen's testimonyand corresponded with him...But to the best of my recollection, it isa fair reflection of Morgen's testimony except in the detail. I amnot sure that Koch was convicted of brutality. I have a feeling thatthe original indictment was in connection with fraud and embezzlementat the Buchenwald camp ... Certainly the impression I had from theMorgen testimony was that he found himself being drawn into a sink ofiniquity, of SS inequity at camp level. He found that mostextraordinary things were happening and that there was a lot ofreluctance by higher-ups to allow him to investigate further and heran into the usual kind of [obstruction]. He was obviously avery unusual and dedicated judicial inquirer. Having said that, Iwould once again say that this paragraph fairly reflects the essenceof what the Konrad Morgen report was." (34-9702, 9703)
Pearson turned to page 718 of Hitler's War where Irving had dealtwith Morgen's report:
In October 1944, Himmler ordered the extermination of the Jews tostop. What led to this order is uncertain. SS General ErnstKaltenbrunner, chief of the Reich Main Security Office, stated in hisclosing speech to the Allied tribunal at Nuremberg two years laterthat he had received a stunning report from an investigating judge hehad appointed in 1943 to prosecute corruption at top level in theconcentration camp system: this lawyer, Dr. Konrad Morgen, had beendrafted into the SS for the purpose, and his early inquires atBuchenwald convinced him that illegal murders of witnesses of thecommandant's corrupt practices had occurred. Morgen had secured theexecution of the commandant, Karl Koch, and eventually procuredindictments in two hundred other cases. Late in 1943 he had realizedthat a systematic mass murder was proceeding at two camps - Auschwitzand Lublin. The commandant at Lublin, a former Stuttgart lawyer namedWirth, told him "they were destroying the Jews on the Führer'sorders," and he was running altogether four extermination camps inthe eastern Generalgouvernement of Poland, including Majdanek nearTreblinka, in which five thousand Jews were themselves operating themachinery (before being systematically liquidated themselves).Shortly after telling him this, Morgen later reported, Wirth vanishedfrom Lublin, having been instructed to raze his extermination campsto the ground. Late in 1943, he continued, while following up a majorgold smuggling racket, he stumbled on the truth about Auschwitz,where one Rudolf Hoess was commandant. Believing at that time thatHitler himself had ordered all this, Morgen felt powerless tointervene. He began a merciless prosecution of the camp officialsover the "lesser" murders, however - outside the general massacreprogram, hoping in this way to ventilate the whole issue. But aninvestigating judge sent to scrutinize the files of the Reich MainSecurity Office itself - under whose Departments IV and IVb themassacre had begun - found that no general order for the massacre hadever been received or issued. Morgen himself was the target ofharassment; his staff's barracks were burned down one night, with alltheir files, but he fought on and eventually laid the dossier beforeKaltenbrunner.
Kaltenbrunner stated (in August 1946) that he was "stunned by thereport." He himself had been interested only in the Intelligence sideof his office. He sent the document by special courier that October1944 day to Hitler. Hitler sent for him in person the next day, andafter a long discussion agreed to call Himmler and Oswald Pohl, chiefof the concentration camps, to account for their actions. InKaltenbrunner's presence - as he described at Nuremberg - theFührer ordered SS General Fegelein to ensure that Himmlerreported to him immediately. (According to the manservant's register,Himmler came on October 17, and then again on November 7.) Hitlergave Kaltenbrunner his word, as they shook hands and parted, that hewould put an immediate end to the massacre. (We have onlyKaltenbrunner's account of all this; he himself was hanged atNuremberg, and his widow possesses none of his personal papers whichmight have thrown light on the truth. Morgen, now a respected lawyerin Frankfurt, supports only part of the SS general's account, whilemotivated by an obvious and understandable antipathy toward him.)
The following scene, is, however, independently testified to. OnOctober 27, 1944, news reports reached Hitler that the Russiansclaimed to have found a former concentration camp, Majdanek, nearLublin, at which 1,500,000 people had been liquidated; according toHeinz Lorenz, his press officer, Hitler angrily dismissed the reportsas propaganda - just as German troops had been accused of "hackingoff children's hands in Belgium" in 1914. When Ribbentrop pressed himfor an answer, the Führer replied more revealingly, "That isHimmler's affair and his alone". He betrayed no flicker ofemotion.
Is that what you wrote in 1977?, asked Pearson.
"Indeed. I don't think I would change a line of it. I think Ibuilt in all the necessary safeguards to point to the obviousinadequacies of the testimony." (34-9707)
Pearson asked Irving what he was referring to in the firstsentence regarding the order by Himmler to stop the extermination ofthe Jews. Irving testified that he was referring "to the testimony ofKaltenbrunner at Nuremberg, where he in turn refers to the steps thathe took after getting the reports from Konrad Morgen that theseexcesses were occurring in certain camps." (34-9704)
Was Kaltenbrunner lying?, asked Pearson.
"Since we took care of making sure he couldn't speak afterwards,it's difficult now to tell," said Irving. (34-9704) He continued: "Icorresponded with Morgen, I visited the widow of Kaltenbrunner. I dideverything I could to establish precisely what had happened...I wasunhappy that the Allies had not made greater use of the man. Here's aman, Konrad Morgen, who investigated what you called the Holocaust.He investigated it. He was obviously a first- hand witness and yetthe Allies made hardly any use of him whatsoever as a source."(34-9708)
Pearson put to Irving that Morgen's investigation led him toconclude that there were a number of extermination camps operating inPoland. Irving disagreed: "He didn't get to them. He got to some ofthe people who reported atrocities to him and from that he concludedthat something extraordinary was going on. But when I correspondedwith him, as I say in the book, he denied Kaltenbrunner's account ofthe story, but I thought again it was so important that the wholematter had to be ventilated in this book on Adolf Hitler...And Hitlerhimself dismissed it angrily and said this is just Alliedpropaganda." (34-9708)
Pearson pointed out that Irving had gone on to say in the bookthat the Führer had replied "more revealingly" toRibbentrop.
"It is 'more revealingly' in connection with Adolf Hitler if wewant to know what his own knowledge was of affairs, if he on repeatedoccasions brushed it away from himself and said all of this kind ofthing is Himmler's pigeon. The buck stops with him. As we know,Himmler had been given the job for the consolidation of Germandom andhe had been given the job of police security in rear areas and underthat category fell the liquidation of Jews as partisan material. Thiswas probably what was going through Hitler's mind when he said that."(34-9709)
Irving testified that he had a "very good" source for the exchangebetween Ribbentrop and Hitler and that his statement that "Hitlerbetrayed no flicker of emotion" probably came from the testimonygiven by Ribbentrop in the source that he had used.
What you are saying, suggested Pearson, is that Hitler was notsurprised that 1.5 million people had been liquidated?
"If you read the paragraph closely, you'll see this is the Alliedpropaganda saying that 1.5 million people have been liquidated. Thiswas among a number of very large similar claims put out by theBritish psychological warfare executive on the instructions of theBritish secret service. The gas chamber story originated in theBritish secret service. The psychological warfare executive and thefiles on that are now available in the British Public RecordsOffice." (34-9710)
Irving agreed that Harwood should have mentioned that Morgen'sinvestigations led him to conclude that there were exterminationcamps in Poland and that Harwood should then have examined theallegation. Irving believed Harwood should also have mentioned thatthe initial investigation was touched off by charges of corruption.(34-9711)
Pearson pointed out that Irving had described Morgen as a"respected" lawyer and asked whether Irving had any reason to doubtthe honesty of what Morgen had told him.
Said Irving: "He is a lawyer. He is a very respected lawyer. He isobviously not eager to get caught up in this controversy. He is notanxious to have people recall that he was Heinrich Himmler's chiefinvestigating judge. So, he would certainly temper his statements inthe modern Federal Republic of Germany with an element of caution."(34-9711)
But his investigations, asked Pearson, had proceeded to the stagewhere he actually talked to the commandants?
"Yes," said Irving, "but here we must introduce an element ofcaution. What we are reading is a fourth or fifth-hand account. It isKaltenbrunner relating what Morgen was told by Wirth about what hehad heard...And Morgen in his correspondence with me was verycautious indeed. He was anxious not to confirm what Kaltenbrunner wassaying...I very much regret that the Allies didn't interrogate KonradMorgen in very much greater detail in 1945." (34-9712)
Pearson returned to Hitler's War, page 791:
As American troops advanced across Thuringia, Hitler wasconfronted with the problem of the concentration camps. Goeringadvised him to turn them over intact and under guard to the WesternAllies, who would sort out the criminals from the foreign laborersand Russian prisoners, thus preventing hordes of embittered exconvicts from roaming the countryside and inflicting additionalhorrors on the law abiding. Hitler did not share Goering's trust inthe enemy. Sitting casually on the edge of the map table after onewar conference, he instructed Himmler's representative to ensure thatall inmates were liquidated or evacuated before the camps wereoverrun.
"This was the testimony given to me by the SS Colonel OttoGünsche," said Irving, "...who was the colonel who subsequentlyhad the task of burning the bodies of Hitler and Eva Braun. In my tenyears working on Hitler, I went to very great lengths to persuadethem to talk the truth to me and not just to tell me the attractivefacets of his character, few though they were, but also all the uglydetails. And when I asked each of Hitler's private staff in turn, andGünsche was his personal adjutant and bodyguard, what had beendiscussed at Hitler's headquarters about the killing of the Jews orconcentration camp prisoners, instead of just saying, 'Mr. Irving,there was no such discussion', he said, 'Mr. Irving, I remember oneepisode only. Right at the end of the war, when Heinrich Himmler inHitler's war conference said, 'Mein Führer, the American troopsare advancing on Weimar. They are about to overrun a concentrationcamp' - I believe it must have been Buchenwald - 'What are yourinstructions about that camp? Should I evacuate the prisoners?' AndHitler said to Himmler, 'Herr Reichsführer, stay behind untilthe conference is over.' After the conference was over, according toOtto Günsche, who was the only eyewitness, Hitler said toHimmler, 'Make sure that all the prisoners are liquidated before theAmericans overrun the camp, if they cannot be evacuated.' The secondtime I [had] Günsche tell the story to me, which was twoor three years later as a check to see if his memory had changed, headded the sentence in Hitler's mouth, he said, 'Hitler said, Makesure that all the prisoners are liquidated if they cannot beevacuated. I don't want to think of these criminals being turnedloose on the local German population.'" (34-9714)
Pearson turned to Did Six Million Really Die? at page 24:
* The orderly situation prevailing in the German concentrationcamps slowly broke down in the last fearful months of 1945. The RedCross Report of 1948 explains that the saturation bombing by theAllies paralysed the transport and communications system of theReich, no food reached the camps and starvation claimed an increasingnumber of victims, both in prison camps and among the civilianpopulation of Germany. This terrible situation was compounded in thecamps both by great overcrowding and the consequent outbreak oftyphus epidemics. Overcrowding occurred as a result of prisoners fromthe eastern camps such as Auschwitz being evacuated westward beforethe Russian advance; columns of such exhausted people arrived atseveral German camps such as Belsen and Buchenwald which hadthemselves reached a state of great hardship.
Wouldn't you agree, asked Pearson, that in talking about what wascompounding a terrible situation, one would have to add Hitler'sorder that the prisoners be liquidated before the camps wereoverrun?
"I think it likely that Mr. Harwood was not aware of thatparticular order. But I think his description is a fair descriptionexcept perhaps in detail. I am not aware of prisoners being evacuatedwestward from Auschwitz, but this may be my ignorance. Certainlyconcentration camps were evacuated where possible and the people whowere brought back were often under conditions of great hardshipbecause these columns of prisoners were ruthlessly attacked byRussian and British and American fighter planes, causing greatcasualties among the prisoners. And when they arrived in the campslike Bergen-Belsen and Buchenwald, which had been relativelywell-organized until the closing weeks and months of the war, greatchaos then did set in and the chaos was unfortunately compounded byour Operation Clarion which was the ruthless bombing of all thecommunications networks in January and February 1945, and by oursaturation bombing of the German cities, including the pharmaceuticalfactories, so that by March, 1945, there had been a complete collapseof the provision of medications and the necessary medicines toprevent the outbreak of epidemics." (34-9716)
But, said Pearson, you testified that if they couldn't beevacuated, Hitler ordered that they be liquidated?
"As a security measure in this one camp, Buchenwald, which was nota Jewish concentration camp as such, it was a regular - I know weEnglish call it an internment camp - containing all sorts ofpolitical prisoners, religious prisoners and enemies of the regime,"said Irving. (34-9717)
Pearson asked if people who had things to sell with respect tomemoirs, diaries of the Second World War often went to him.
"As an expert," said Irving, "the publishers come to me and ask mefor value judgments on the material or the people possessing thematerial come to me and ask me for information on a good profitablemarket to sell it in." Irving testified that he himself "very seldom"purchased records: "I think I can recall only two episodes. I oncebought a diary for twenty-five pounds of a naval officer and I paidfive thousand pounds to rent Churchill's stolen desk diaries from theman who stole them, his bodyguard." (34-9721, 9722)
Pearson asked Irving to explain the manner in which he wasapproached with respect to the Eichmann tapes. Irving testified thathe received a letter from the son of Adolf Eichmann, by the name ofKlaus. This was the name printed on the letterhead and he introducedhimself in the letter as being the son of Adolf Eichmann. SaidIrving: "And he announced that he had the tapes which his father hadalready recorded in the years prior to his kidnapping by the Israelisand that these had never been published and that he was anxious tosee they should be published and that there was a problem - I have tosay quite fairly - inasmuch as the tapes might be held to damage theright-wing cause, if I can put it as simply as that...I would justsay that if one was to hope that...the tapes by Adolf Eichmann wouldbe a total denial, then these hopes would be disappointed."(34-9723)
Irving agreed that there were neo-Nazi groups who hoped for suchmaterial to surface. He continued: "So I then contacted one or tworeputable publishers and I put this material to them as a projectwithout being able to enclose the actual material, which I emphasizeI have never handled. I just said that I had learned that Eichmann'sunpublished memoirs did exist. Clearly they had an enormousevidentiary value depending on how honest Eichmann was. Having notlooked at it, I couldn't judge, of course. And I left it at that. Anumber of publishers then came forward and took up direct contactwith the son and I was interested to see that the American publishersmade no effort to publish the book at all, so clearly it wasn'tconsidered to be as helpful as they had hoped...The German publishersdid publish it. I believe it is a right-wing publishing house. Yes, aright-wing publishing house published it in Germany and it waspublished in the Spanish language as well." (34 9724)
Pearson referred to Did Six Million Really Die? at page 20:
* Strangely enough, the alleged "memoirs" of Adolf Eichmannsuddenly appeared at the time of his abduction to Israel. They wereuncritically published by the American Life magazine (November 28th,December 5th, 1960), and were supposed to have been given by Eichmannto a journalist in the Argentine shortly before his capture...
Said Irving: "I remember reading that and thinking to myself, Iwonder if this was the same as the book but then I formed theimpression that it probably wasn't because I am familiar withAmerican newspaper methods of inventing interviews with people whomthey've never seen." Irving testified that he had never heard of alive interview with Adolf Eichmann. (34-9725)
Pearson produced a copy of Adolf Hitler's last testament. Irvingtestified that he was familiar with the document: "There were sevenversions of the political testament. Three were originally typed byhis secretary, Traudl Junge, and four more copies were made by MartinBormann on the following day." (34-9730) At Pearson's request, Irvingtranslated two paragraphs of the testament:
Three days before the outbreak of the German-Polish war, Isuggested to the British ambassador in Berlin a solution of theGerman-Polish problem, similar to the solution adopted in the case ofthe Saarland, putting it under international control. This offercannot be denied either. It was only rejected because theauthoritative circles of the British high policies wanted war partlybecause of the business deals they hoped to make out of it, andpartly driven on by a propaganda campaign organized by internationalJewry.
But nor did I leave anybody in any doubt that if the nations ofEurope were once more...regarded just as a kind of bundle of stocksand shares in the hands of these international gold dealers andfinancial conspirators, then this race, this folk would also becalled to account. The race which are the real culprits in thismurderous struggle: the Jews or Jewry! Nor, moreover, did I leave anydoubt that this time it would not be millions of children ofEuropeans of the Aryan races who would be starving, not only millionsof adult men would be suffering death and not only hundreds ofthousands of women and children would be...burned to death in thetowns and cities without the real culprits having to pay the penalty,even if by far more humane means.
Irving testified that the culprits, the international Jews, weregoing to have to pay the penalty for having started this murderousstruggle: "He says this was going to happen." (34-9732) Pearson beganto move on to other subjects. Irving interjected: "I'm sorry, are yougoing to ask me to comment on the testament or just use me as atranslator on those, because I would have wanted to comment on thefact that all he is saying is that the Jews are going to suffer butin a far more humane way than the millions of people who died in theair raids." Irving continued: "He actually says it. He says 'in a farmore humane way.' Humane - you can't challenge the translation ofthat word. He is not explicit. He is not saying I have arranged thatthey would be killed. He is...just saying I'm going to make thempay." (34-9733)
There's no way he could have been saying that it's less painful tobe gassed to death than to burn to death in bombing?, askedPearson.
"I'm sorry you asked me that question because when I interviewed amarshal of the Royal Air Force, Sir Arthur Harris, many years ago in1962, and he was the commander-in-chief of RAF Commander bombers, andI asked him why he hadn't bombed Auschwitz. His reply was, 'Mr.Irving, if I was a concentration camp prisoner, I would prefer to diefrom gas than to be burned alive by an incendiary bomb,' which wasthe fate of two million people in Europe in the 1940s." (34-9734)
So Air Marshal Harris may have been saying the same thing as AdolfHitler?, asked Pearson.
"No," said Irving. "Hitler's actual words were he had predictedthat he would make the Jews pay the penalty but in a far more humaneway than the millions who had died in the air raids...Harris istalking about gassing and Hitler is not talking about gassing, he istalking about a humane way which can equally be deporting or ageographical location, throwing them out of [Germany] lock,stock and barrel. What happened to the Jews isn't humane...on anyscore." (34- 9734)
Have you read the memoirs of the commandant of Auschwitz, RudolfHoess?, asked Pearson.
"I haven't because I understand that these memoirs are verysuspect and I considered it unnecessary to the work I was...doing onAdolf Hitler," said Irving.
Before he radically changed his view of what went on in Auschwitz,didn't he think it would be of assistance to read the memoirs?, askedPearson.
"If I had had a document I was satisfied was the genuine memoirssigned at the end in affidavit form by a man saying 'I have made thisstatement under no kind of coercion whatever,' then I think perhaps Iwould attach some importance to it but as I understand it, thememoirs of Rudolf Hoess were extracted in a rather more painfulsurgery." (34-9735) Irving testified that he had read "quite a bithow various prisoners were interrogated in the post-war years...It isquite easy to be psychologically coerced; you can have promises madeto you, threats made to you." (34-9736)
What kind of psychological coercion was used against RudolfHoess?, asked Pearson.
"I'm not going to be specific about that because I would be takingfrom a memory that is twenty years old," replied Irving. "All I cansay is I was unwilling to use the Hoess memoirs because I wassatisfied that in doing so I was introducing a probable element ofuncertainty." Irving had not read the Nuremberg trial testimony ofHoess: "My view was that when you only have one given life span andone doesn't have a vast team of researchers working, you have to useyour reading and researching time at the most profitable andefficient level which in my case was looking at the original wartimedocuments in the archives and my feeling was that if you did enoughwork on those, then you would do without using the post-war testimonyof people like Hoess which was bound to be suspect." (34-9737)
Pearson produced a document from the National Archives of theUnited States, Nuremberg Document NO-4473, being a letter from thechief of the Central Construction Management, Auschwitz to SSMajor-General Kammler, WVHA, in Berlin, dated January 29, 1943.(34-9738; filed as Exh. 155 at 34-9747)
Irving testified that he was familiar with the document and had noreason to question its authenticity, although the providence of thedocument was not clear from the Nuremberg Staff Evidence AnalysisSheet attached to it. Irving explained that staff evidence analysissheets were attached to exhibits at the Nuremberg trial. The purposeof the sheet was to inform where the document had been found. (349739)
Pearson read the document to the court:
The crematorium II has been completed (save for some minorconstructional work) by the use of all the forces available, in spiteof unspeakable difficulties and the severe cold, in 24 hours-shifts.The fires were started in the ovens in the presence of OberingenieurPrüfer, the representative of the contractors, the firm of Topf& Söhne, Erfurt and they are working most satisfactorily.The planks from the concrete ceiling of the cellar used as a mortuary(Leichenkeller) could not yet be removed on account of the frost. Itis, however, not very important, as the gazchamber (gassing cellar)can be used for that purpose.
The firm of Topf & Söhne was not able to start in timedeliveries of the installation for aeration and ventilation as hadbeen requested by the Central Building Management because ofrestrictions in the use of railroad-cars. As soon as the installationfor aeration and ventilation arrives the installing will start sothat the complete installation may be expected to be ready for use by20 February, 1943.
We enclose a report of the testing engineers of the firm of Topf& Söhne, Erfurt.
Irving testified that the word vergasungskeller, which had beentranslated as "gas chamber" should have been translated to mean acarbonization process in some kind of oil fire heater. By translatingthe word as gas chamber, said Irving, "it is giving possibly adeliberately wrong translation of the word. It is a possibletranslation but it is an unlikely translation because if a German wasgoing to write the word 'gas chamber', he would not writevergasungskeller. He would write [gaskammer]."3 (34-9741)Irving agreed that the translator had added the alternativetranslation of 'gassing-cellar' but pointed out that no Englishmanwould use the term 'gassing- cellar'. (34-9741) Said Irving: "We needto know more from the context of that document. We would need morefrom the documents of this file. I would like to see the blueprint ofthe Crematorium II to see what the vergasungskeller was and see whatpipe work went between the vergasungskeller and the crematory becausethat would answer all my questions." (34-9741)
Irving pointed out that the translation had also incorrectly usedthe word 'fires.' The German word used was the plural of oven orfurnaces. The correct translation was therefore 'the furnaces werefired up', not 'the fires were started in the ovens.' (34 9742)
Irving also pointed out that Pearson had failed to read the firstline of the letter which Irving translated as:
Re: Krematorium No. II, construction status
Said Irving: "In other words, this entire document refers toKrematorium No. II, not to any other building or any otherinstallation. Purely to the crematorium. I think that needs possiblyto be underlined. I think this justifies me in suggesting that ifwe're looking for which of the alternative translations to lookfor...this key word underlined here, vergasungskeller, it is somepiece of equipment to do with a crematorium process and not to dowith any other process." (34-9744)
Pearson returned to a review of Hitler's War written by HughTrevor-Roper which appeared in the Sunday Times Weekly on June 12,1977, and read excerpts to the court:
Mr. Irving's essential point is that it is "hard to establish adocumentary link" between Hitler and the extermination programme.This is certainly true. That whole programme was veiled in secrecyand carried out at a safe distance. Himmler himself explicitlyforbade all discussion of it, and, if it had to be mentioned, it wasalways disguised as "resettlement" or "transport to the east."Therefore we should not expect it to appear openly in formaldocuments. Indeed, it is because of this official silence that ournew anti- semites brazenly declare that the Jews were notexterminated at all. For the same reason, Hitler's notorious"commissar order" (whose authenticity Mr. Irving does not dispute)does not survive in documentary form.
Irving testified that he had reflected on this criticism afterreading the review: "It is an opinion. Different historians havedifferent opinions. I would have pointed out to him that all Hitler'sother very many crimes are dealt with in some detail in the archivesand can be proved on the basis of archival documents and yet this issupposed to have been the biggest crime of all and there is a suddenlack of any...comparable documents." (34-9748)
Irving agreed that he did not dispute the commissar order butpointed out that Trevor- Roper was wrong in saying that the order didnot survive. Said Irving: "The commissar order exists in the files ofthe German High Command as dictated by Hitler to Colonel GeneralAlfred Jodl." This was the order which specified that all "the Sovietcommissars who were principally, in my understanding, Jews, were tobe liquidated on the field of battle." This was the order under whichthe Einsatzgruppen operated and was issued one month before theSoviet invasion, in May of 1941. (34-9748, 9749)
Pearson continued reading from the review:
However, a historian must not only read the official documents: hemust also look behind them. I believe that, if we do this, Hitler'sresponsibility for the policy is clear.
Of course the extermination was carried out by Himmler's SS. Butcould Himmler have mounted so vast a programme without Hitler'sauthority?
Had Irving reflected on that point?, asked Pearson. Irving repliedthat Trevor-Roper was "asking a question and...is virtually doing inthat article what you have spent three days in doing which is readingbetween the lines because there is no evidence. After forty years,we're entitled to expect evidence." (34-9750)
Pearson continued reading:
Did he not always insist that the SS was built on the basis ofunquestioning obedience to the Führer? He explicitly claimedHitler's authority for the action, and although, in documents writtenfor Hitler, the references may have been muted or expunged, that isexplicable by the public pretence.
Said Irving: "I would challenge his statement earlier in thatsentence where he says he explicitly made reference to Hitler, to hisauthority from Hitler in carrying out the operation." Irvingtestified that the speeches of Himmler where he said 'This is why Ihave had to take this severe decision' was more evidence that Himmlerwas "very much acting on his own when he carries out these isolatedatrocities." He continued: "...from...October 1943, when Himmlerbroke the secret to his generals of what he had been doing, from thatmoment on Hitler has no excuse not to have known because those samepeople trooped in to see him the next day. This again is a long wayshort of proving that he did know." Irving pointed out that Himmlerused circumlocutions but was never specific: "...and this is thetragedy. The whole way through with the tens of thousands of tons ofdocuments, there's no one specific line which would help us." (34-9751, 9752)
Pearson continued reading:
It is quite unnecessary to suppose that the whole policy was a"violation of Hitler's orders" and that Himmler used the conventionaleuphemisms of "re-settlement" and "transport to the East" in order"to pull the wool over Hitler's eyes." Hitler (as Mr. Irving oftenreminds us) had an extraordinary grasp of the details of his war, andsince his anti-semitism was essential to his ideology, it is unlikelythat he totally ignored that sector of it.
Would you agree, asked Pearson, that Hitler made public statementswhich reflected his anti-semitism?
"Indeed," said Irving, "and I have drawn attention to the strangeparadox that he makes these public statements and yet every one ofthe dozen or so documents directly linking Hitler with again, whatyou call elements of the genocide, show him putting out his hand tostop something ugly happening to the Jews. The Roman case we werelooking at yesterday. That specific other case of the transport ofJews from Berlin to Riga. He evidently tells Himmler they are not tobe liquidated. Every specific document linking Hitler with the Jewishquestion is him intervening to say postpone it until the war is over,don't liquidate them, I don't want them liquidated in northern Italy,I want them kept alive as hostages." (34-9752)
Sir, is it your position Hitler was a friend of the Jews in thewar?, asked Pearson.
"Mr. Pearson, you are again trying to give the newspapers quotesfor tomorrow morning," said Irving. "I don't think this is what thiscourt action is about. I would, to answer your question...say withoutthe tragedy of the Third Reich, the state of Israel would probablynot exist and in that respect he was doing the Jewish nation afavour." (34-9753)
Pearson continued reading:
Moreover, the extermination was not a private secret of the SS. Itwas well known, though not discussed, at Hitler's court. Goering,Goebbels, Keitel showed that they knew it.
Irving testified that he did not agree with this statement:"Goering showed no knowledge whatsoever of the genocide as youdescribe it. Goebbels showed limited knowledge of it in his diariesbut now that his entire diaries have become available to us thatweren't available in 1977...[w]e see his ignorance was asprofound as that of the rest of us. Keitel appears to be largely inthe dark. I know of no document showing that Keitel was aware ofanything approaching what you describe as the genocide or theHolocaust." (34-9754)
So Hugh Trevor-Roper is misleading us here?, asked Pearson.
"He's misleading us on that," replied Irving. "I think he iswriting off the top of his head and at that time, 1977, he was amongthe believers."
Pearson continued reading:
The euthanasia programme, which trained the personnel for it, hadoriginated in the Führer's Chancellery.
Do you deny there was a euthanasia programme in Nazi Germany?,asked Pearson.
"I don't," replied Irving. "I don't deny that at all. Theeuthanasia programme went under the code name T-4...from which itoperated...under the control of Philipp Bouhler...who was the head ofthe Führer's Chancellery, but that was a building, an office, anagency in Berlin and Hitler was operating from his field headquartersin East Prussia...I think it's specious to suggest the title is theFührer's Chancellery, therefore it was Hitler's programme."(34-9754, 9755)
How many people were killed by the euthanasia programme?, askedPearson.
"About 50,000 people, as many as in one small British air raid,"said Irving.
Pearson continued reading:
The breath of the courtiers may have been bated, but the whispercan still be heard. In his diary, on March 27, 1942 - that is soonafter the famous Wannsee Conference which had launched the fullprogramme of extermination - Goebbels gave what Mr. Irving calls a"frank summary" of "the ghastly secrets of Auschwitz and Treblinka."Mr. Irving explicitly refers to this entry in the course of hisargument, but he forbears to cite Goebbels' words. I therefore supplyhis omission. "It is a pretty barbarous business," Goebbels wrote,"and it is best not to mention details," but the Jews had asked forit. Now the Führer's threat of "annihilation" was to be realised"in the most dreadful manner. We must not be sentimental in thesematters...it is war to the death between the Aryan race and theJewish bacillus...Here too the Führer is the inflexible championof a radical solution."
Are you suggesting there is no reference to death in there?, askedPearson.
"I am suggesting this is typical of Goebbels shooting off hismouth. It's a radical solution if I am a Jewish family living inBerlin [and] in the middle of the night somebody comes alongand says, 'Out, there's a truck waiting downstairs,' you're going tobe shipped off to the east, God knows what happens to you, you'regoing to work until you drop; that's a radical solution." (34-9756)
Isn't that reading between the lines, sir?, asked Pearson. SaidIrving: "No, sir. I am entitled to draw that inference from thatentry as you are to draw the inference that Goebbels is talking aboutthe 'Holocaust', 'genocide', racial mass murder, the killing of 6million people. We need something far more explicit than that andsurely we are entitled to it after forty years, and tens of thousandsof tons of documents. They're all available to us and you can't helpus." (34- 9757)
Pearson continued reading:
Against this explicit evidence what does Mr. Irving offer? Atleast four times he refers to a brief note of a telephone-call whichHimmler made from Hitler's headquarters on November 30, 1941 - i.e.before the Wannsee Conference. Himmler then told his henchmen,Reinhard Heydrich, the "Protector" of Bohemia, that there was to be"no liquidation" of a transport of Jews from Berlin. Mr. Irvingprints a photograph of this note, which he represents as a generalveto on the liquidation of Jews. To me, it bears no suchimplications. Specifically, it refers only to a particular convoy,which is not to be liquidated - at least not yet. Generally speaking,one does not veto an action unless one thinks that it is otherwiselikely to occur.
Would you agree, asked Pearson, that in your book you do suggestthat that order from Hitler was a general order?
"Taken in conjunction with all the other documents that I referredto, yes. It's part of a chain of evidence and if I may just amplifyon that, you've just quoted the Goebbels entry to us of March the27th, 1942, which I described as Mr. Goebbels himself shooting offhis mouth. At precisely the same time as that document, of muchgreater evidentiary value, there is a telephone call from the chiefof the Reich Chancellery to the Minister of Justice saying, and Iquote: 'The Führer has repeatedly said he wants the solution ofthe Jewish problem postponed until after the war is over.' How do youclimb out of that one, Mr. Pearson." (34-9758)
Pearson continued reading:
Mr. Irving's argument about the Jews typifies his greatestweakness as a historian. Here, as in the Sikorski affair, he seizeson a small and dubious particle of "evidence"; builds upon it, byprivate interpretation, a large general conclusion; and thenoverlooks or re-interprets the more substantial evidence andprobability against it. Since this defective method is invariablyused to excuse Hitler or the Nazis and to damage their opponents, wemay reasonably speak of a consistent bias, unconsciously distortingthe evidence.
"I wouldn't accept the word distorting," said Irving. "I am quiteprepared to be accused of bias. I think every historian has thearrogance to believe that his opinion is better than that of hisrivals. And I believe that my opinion was better having done theresearch among Hitler's staff and among Hitler's documents that HughTrevor-Roper and Alan Bullock and the other Hitler historians had notdone. Therefore I felt I was entitled to change opinions at thatpoint." (34-9759)
Pearson pointed out that Irving had acknowledged Trevor-Roper inhis book as exceptional. Irving agreed: "He's very good but we arereferring there to his book called The Last Days of Adolf Hitler andI don't challenge his account of the last days of Adolf Hitler exceptin unimportant detail." (34-9760)
Do you agree, asked Pearson, that in your latest book, Churchill'sWar, you suggest that during his period out of power, Churchill fellunder the influence of Jewish moneylenders?
"This is approximately one page in about 300 pages describing thatperiod," said Irving. "We are looking at the very interestingquestion how a Member of Parliament, Winston Churchill, with nogovernment office whatever and a 500 pound per annum salary is ableto maintain himself in considerable luxury, support a very largehousehold, private and secretarial staff, and do this with no visiblemeans of support. And I then built up from various sources, includingthe Czechoslovakian government archives, the archives of ChaimWeizmann in Israel, the captured records of the French and othergovernments, I then built up a picture of where Mr. Churchill's moneyhad come from, which I considered to be germane to a WinstonChurchill biography." (34- 9760, 9761)
And then you say that war starts and Hitler makes overtures forpeace to Churchill which Churchill refuses, suggested Pearson.
"Not quite as simple as that. Hitler had made very many offers ofpeace, usually just after he secured a major military victory, andWinston Churchill secured increasingly from June 1940 onwards therefusal of these peace offers by one means or another. It wasextremely urgent for him to do so because by that time, half theBritish people wanted peace - particularly the working classes - andif peace had broken out in the summer of 1940, Winston Churchillwould have been finished as Prime Minister. So he used varioustechniques to prolong the war."
So, asked Pearson, it's your thesis that to avoid peace breakingout and him losing office he prolonged the war and part of the reasonwhy he didn't agree to the overtures of peace was the influence thatJews exerted on him?
"No, sir," said Irving. "I haven't expressed that view in the bookat all but in volume two which is...in the process of production, wedo come to the extraordinary meeting between Chaim Weizmann, theleader of [the] world Zionist movement, and the firstpresident of the state of Israel, and I remind you I have had privateaccess, privileged access to Weizmann's papers, and there was ameeting between Weizmann and Mr. Churchill in September 1941, whenChurchill was very keen to drag the United States into his war andWeizmann used to him the words which he records in his ownhandwriting: 'We managed to bring the United States into the FirstWorld War and if you tow our line over Palestine and the Jewishfighting force, then we can persuade the Jews of the United States todrag the United States into it again this time', which I find anextraordinary document, frankly, and I am very, very anxious abouthow to present this in a balanced historical review and it's typicalof the problems which confront me as an honest biographer."(34-9762)
What do you say about Churchill's American roots?, askedPearson.
"He was half-American...I refer to the fact that he was not a manof the British Empire at all. He put the British Empire second," saidIrving. He pointed out that when Churchill first met PresidentRoosevelt in August 1941, almost in Canadian waters off the coast ofNewfoundland, he didn't tell Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie Kingthat he was coming. "The Canadian government found out bycode-breaking that Churchill and Roosevelt were meeting in Canadianwaters. This was the respect that Churchill had for the GreatDominion leaders who were helping him in his war." (34-9763)
And you state that Churchill conducted most of his war in adrunken state?, asked Pearson.
"I wouldn't go so far as to agree with you on that, Mr. Pearson,"said Irving. "The diaries of some of Churchill's cabinet ministers,the diaries of some of his officers when he was First Lord of theAdmiralty reveal that Churchill repeatedly attended Admiraltymeetings or cabinet meetings in a state of intoxication. For example,on July the 6th, 1944, the diary of the Chief of Naval Staff, AdmiralCunningham, reveals that Churchill arrived at the cabinet meeting ina state of drunkenness. We know from the cabinet records that on thisoccasion, Churchill issued the criminal order for the launching ofpoison gas warfare on German cities." (34-9763)
And it's your position, asked Pearson, that if Churchill hadacceded to the peace overtures of Adolf Hitler, the British Empiremay have survived and that would have been the best thing for theBritish Empire?
Irving replied: "If the peace offers had been accepted in June1940, we can speculate on how the world would have been differenttoday. Two million people killed in bombing would have survived. Themillions of people who were suffering in the various massacres of theSecond World War would also not have died. However many people werekilled because they were Jews...whether it was 100,000 or a million,whatever the figure we choose, they would also in all probability nothave been killed. The great cities of Europe would not have beendestroyed. Britain and her Empire would not have been bankrupted."(34-9764)
Pearson suggested to Irving that his thesis was the same as oneHitler had presented in one of his last conversations where he said,'If fate had granted to an aging and enfeebled Britain a new Pittinstead of this Jew-ridden, half-American drunkard, the new Pittwould have at once recognized that Britain allied to a united Europewould still have retained the chance of being able to play thearbiter in world affairs, but I underestimated the power of Jewishdomination over Churchill's England.' (34-9764) In response toIrving's query, Pearson revealed that he had obtained this quotationfrom an article in the Sydney Morning Herald of October 9, 1987 byJohn Foster, a historian at the University of Melbourne.(34-9765)
Said Irving: "He doesn't give the source? I can give you thesource. It's from the so called bunker conversations of Adolf Hitler.I mentioned that because these bunker conversations of Adolf Hitlerconducted in allegedly February 1945 and in April 1945 were, in fact,the product of the brain of a Swiss lawyer - I'm sorry to keep ondragging lawyers into this - but I won't mention his name, quitesimply because he is still a very active Swiss lawyer. He himselfconcocted these documents in the 1950s. They have no historical valuewhatsoever." (34-9765)
So, you deny that that was Hitler's view of Churchill, that he wasa drunkard?, asked Pearson.
"He regarded Churchill and repeatedly described him as a 'drunkenpoltroon'," said Irving. "Roosevelt also described Churchill as 'thatdrunken bum', so Hitler wasn't alone in describing Churchill in thosewords."
Irving agreed with Pearson that Hitler often said that Churchillor Britain were being dominated by the Jews. (34-9766) I suggest,said Pearson, that you have written a biography of Winston Churchillthat Hitler would have written.
"Not from every respect. We find out from the Weizmann papers,although Churchill describes himself as a Zionist admirer, he gavethe Jews a run-around. He didn't concede to all their claims andWeizmann was a very disappointed man at the end of the Second WorldWar." He continued: "I am not surprised that both Hitler and I cameacross the same basic truths. Hitler himself said even a blind henoccasionally picks up a grain of corn." (34-9767)
Pearson produced a review of Hitler's War written by ProfessorWalter Laqueur of the Georgetown University Centre for Strategic andInternational Studies which appeared in the New York Times BookReview on April 3, 1977 and read excerpts to the court:
The reasons for this book's shortcomings lie deep. Mr. Irving mayhave out-grown the eccentric political views of his earlieryears...when he criticised his native country for lining up with theBolsheviks in a fight against the first great unifying force (meaningNazi Germany) Europe had known in 600 years..."Hitler's War"... readslike the plea of an advocate who knows from the very beginning whathe intends to prove and who marshals his evidence to this endrelentlessly and with an enthusiasm worthy of a better cause. Theresult is a book of value to a few dozen military historians capableof separating new facts from old fiction, of differentiating betweenfresh, documentary material and unsupported claims, distortions andsheer fantasies.
Irving pointed out that Laqueur was better-known as the directorof the Wiener Library, which was a wartime and post-war Jewishpropaganda library: "...a very, very good library but I think we haveto know what his colours are..." Irving testified that he had readthe review and commented that Laqueur "will be sorry to hear that mybook is required reading in universities around the world includingWest Point in the United States and the United States MilitaryAcademy at Carlyle." (34-9768)
Pearson next quoted from a 1959 edition of a satirical publicationcalled Carnival Times from Imperial College. Irving, then a studentat the collage and editor of the magazine, had written in aneditorial:
The organs of the National Press owned by Jews are acting in thesame way. The formation of a European Union is interpreted as anattempt at building a group of superior peoples and the Jews havealways viewed with suspicion the emergence of any 'master race'(other than their own, of course)...Why, little Germany by herselfunder the direction of Herr Hitler nearly succeeded in subjugatingthe combined might of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.Perhaps if, at the same time, he was not being attacked by the wholeof the rest of the world, he might have succeeded.4
Irving testified that the publication was "satirical...If I hadknown [you were] going to refer to it I would have broughtit. You would have seen immediately what kind of satirical magazineit was. I don't think you would seriously quote sentences out of itto a learned court of law." (34-9769) He continued: "...the essenceof satire is that in every sentence there is a lot of wicked truthand a lot of blatant, obvious untruth...I have just said to you themagazine was a satirical magazine. The next article after that wascalled 'Christopher Robin and the Facts'. I hope you're not going toread out of that one to us." (34-9770)
I'm going to stay on the one with respect to the European union,said Pearson. He asked Irving to explain the satire.
"Student satire written thirty years ago," said Irving. "If youhave nothing more recent than thirty years ago with which to smearme, I think this in itself is a statement of the case...I think thatwhat I am saying there and what I say now...if we had left the SovietUnion and Germany to fight it out between themselves, if Hitler andStalin had been fighting it out between themselves, to this day itcouldn't have happened to two nicer people...They were bothgangsters." Irving agreed that Hitler and Stalin were on the sameside at the beginning, "[t]hen we put one of the gangsters onour side which is what the satire in my article is about."(34-9773)
Pearson asked Irving to explain what his publication Focal Pointwas about. Irving testified that Focal Point was published around1981 or 1982 and was a publication "produced by a small group aroundme called the Focus, and we were aiming to attract the support ofparticularly university students, people with an intelligentbackground." (34-9773)
Irving agreed that he was a "dissident historian...I don't likethe term revisionist historian as put in the mouths of my enemies.They sullied the word revisionism as if history doesn't need to berevised. History needs to be revised; every historian needs to revisehis own histories from time-to-time." (34-9774)
And in 1980, asked Pearson, when you formed this group called theFocus had you had a change of heart with respect to theHolocaust?
"I think it's difficult to be precise where between 1977, when myHitler book was published, and the present date, the change of heartoccurred. I think it is something like a...[gradual] changeof colour as you realize that the expected overwhelming attack on theHitler book still didn't produce any evidence that there had beenthis Holocaust, this genocide of which you are speaking, that youthen begin to question your own beliefs and say - " (34-9774)
Pearson interjected: Your book didn't deny there was a Holocaust.Irving replied that he accepted that. Why then, asked Pearson, didyou think someone was going to comment on your Hitler book provingthat the Holocaust happened when you admitted and conceded in yourbook that it did happen?
"Because it acted like a spade whacked down in the whole of thehistorical body," replied Irving. "All the historians who had writtenabout the Holocaust before began crawling around unearthing newdocuments, some of them very good historians - Professor GeraldFleming went to work for the first time in the Polish and Russianarchives to start work on the Holocaust and I expected every day thatI was going to be proven wrong. They have brought back very, verygood and useful research but in this particular and important aspect,their research was barren, not only with them failing to prove thatHitler had known about it, but they were failing to prove it,whatever it had been." (34-9775)
Irving agreed that Gerald Fleming's book Hitler and the FinalSolution was directed to one aspect only of the thesis contained inHitler's War, namely, that Hitler didn't know what was going on. Hepointed out, however, that "you can't just carry out research on thatone thesis. Inevitably you bring back barrow loads of documentsrelating to the whole broad area of attack." (34-9775)
Pearson suggested that Irving was bitter about the way thehistorical community reacted to Hitler's War.
"I think humanly disappointed is a better way to describe it,"said Irving. "Because most of the historians...are men of substanceand integrity, and I had hoped and expected that they would havevalued the work that I had done and some of them privately could do,like Raul Hilberg, some of them do it publically and eventually I hadto wait until the great split occurred in the body of historians forwhich I claim the entire credit. It wasn't until my book came outthat they started re examining their own tenets." (34-9776)
Irving agreed with Pearson that he spoke to a convention of theInstitute for Historical Review in the United States in 1983, wherehe gave a speech indicating that he thought that Hitler was probablythe greatest friend the Jews had in the Third Reich. Said Irving:"For the reason that I just specified, that without Hitler's activecampaign on the Jewish front, the state of Israel would probably notnow exist and have attracted its overwhelming worldwide sympathy andI was specific about that in my speech." (34-9776)
Irving could not remember meeting Ernst Zündel at theconvention. He had no precise recollection of when he first metZündel: "I would say that over the last two or three years, whenhe became involved in the current litigation, he approached me as anexpert who had written on this field and asked for assistance."(34-9777)
As a result of Irving's attendance in California, asked Pearson,did Gerald Fleming quote you?
"Yes," said Irving, "he published...an article in the JewishChronicle in London purporting to reproduce what I had said at LosAngeles and I wrote a letter to the Jewish Chronicle in Londoncorrecting on the basis of my memory what I had said in Los Angelesand then Gerald Fleming probably wrote another letter to the JewishChronicle." (34-9778)
Would you agree, asked Pearson, that at the IHR convention in1983, you did not deny the Holocaust happened and it killed millionsof Jews?
"Mr. Pearson, having flown from London to Los Angeles I was eighthours jet lagged. I made the speech to them with my mind in a fog andto try and recall from that fog precisely what I said in the courseof one and a half hours talking - not just about the Jewish tragedyin the Second World War - but the whole field of historical researchI had done including Hungary, German atomic research and therest...", said Irving. He agreed that he wrote a letter in responseto Fleming's article: "He had accused me of having said certainthings at Los Angeles which I believed I hadn't said." (34-9779)
Pearson read from Irving's letter of December 23, 1983:
Dr. Fleming's malicious quotation from the proceedings inCalifornia is taken wildly out of context. I have a full recording ofmy talk which was about the Hungarian uprising of 1956. In thesubsequent discussion about the Holocaust, I made it clear that theNazis undoubtedly did murder many millions of Jews, a view which wasunpopular to that audience, and continued by setting out my wellknown views of this tragedy.5
So in December of 1983, asked Pearson, you made it clear that theNazis undoubtedly did murder many millions of Jews which wasunpopular at the IHR convention?
"I remember the unpopularity," said Irving. "This is quite plain.This is half-way through the period between 1977, when I had the thenview which I then believed, and the present date when I have changedmy mind on whether there was the act of genocide you refer to. But Idon't really want to dabble in statistics, whether I still believe itwas millions killed by the Nazis or hundreds of thousands...You'revery usefully trying to establish exactly when I changed my mindduring the last ten years. And that advances it some way." Irvingcontinued: "I obviously half- changed my mind there because I am nottalking about the Holocaust, I am not talking about genocide, I amnot talking about 6 million or any other precise figure. I am alreadytalking in much vaguer terms there." (34-9780)
Pearson suggested that Irving was very specific when he said thatthe Nazis undoubtedly did murder many millions of Jews.
"I think I would delete the word 'millions.' I'm not in a positionto say it was millions or hundreds of thousands and the more that Isee the lack of evidence now, the more I am inclined to question theword 'millions'." (34-9781)
Pearson asked Irving whether he came to Canada on a speaking tourin 1986. Irving testified that he had; he was promoting a book on theHungarian uprising of 1956. Pearson produced an eight-page brochureand asked if it was a brochure that advertised the speaking tour hewas on. Irving testified that he was familiar with the original ofit, a brochure called Torpedo Running. The sponsorship for thespeaking tour was from an Australian publishing house, Veritas, whichhad various local groups sponsor the tour in different parts of theworld - Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and Britain.Veritas, a publishing house in the Australian outback fifty milesoutside Perth, had published his book Churchill's War. He was notaware of what else they had published other than a book on aboriginalland rights. (34-9781 to 9783)
On his speaking tour in Canada, Irving had been introduced by theAustralian Eric Butler. Ron Gostick of the Canadian League of Rightshad also spoken at the meetings. He was the organizer of the meetingsin Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. (34-9783, 9784)
Irving was introduced to Zündel in Vancouver on the 1986speaking tour; he saw him at the back of the lecture hall on aspeaking tour in 1987 in Toronto but did not speak to him then.(34-9784)
Pearson asked whether another book advertised in the eight-pagebrochure advertised a book called The Zionist Factor: A Study of theJewish Presence in 20th Century History. Irving replied that he hadnever seen this page before: "For my worldwide tour, I produced thisglossy brochure. Had two or three thousand copies printed worldwideand a number of copies were sent to Canada. And I can see from thisthat the Canadian organizer took that brochure and made aminiaturized photocopy of it in eight pages...in fact, I haven't seenthis before except, of course, the pages like this one whichcome...from that brochure. So, some of these pages I am seeing nowfor the first time, including that advertisement for my Hungarianbook and the page that you just wanted to show me." (34-9785)
Pearson returned to Did Six Million Really Die? at page 30:
* Of great concern to Professor Rassinier is the way in which theextermination legend is deliberately exploited for political andfinancial advantage, and in this he finds Israel and the Soviet Unionto be in concert.
Do you agree that the extermination legend is being deliberatelyexploited for political and financial advantage?, asked Pearson.
Said Irving: "I agree with the chief rabbi of Britain, as I saidon the first day...It has become big business. Those are the wordsused by the chief rabbi, and I echo them." Irving agreed with whatHarwood had written in this passage, with the exception that he wouldnot have added the Soviet Union. (34-9802)
Pearson returned to Did Six Million Really Die? and read from page30:
* Who has the right to compound it with vast imaginary slaughter,marking with eternal shame a great European nation, as well aswringing fraudulent monetary compensation from them?
Did Irving agree, asked Pearson, that "fraudulent monetarycompensation" was being wrung from Germany?
"If the compensation had been wrought from West Germany - I takeit that's the nation referred to - on the basis that there was astate massacre of 6 million Jews for whom financial compensation hasto be paid, and we then find out that that statement is a willfulmisrepresentation of the facts, if that is so, then that can only berepresented as fraud." Irving continued: "I'm prepared to accept thatthe Jewish community as a whole believes in the Holocaust. If that isso, then it is not a willful fraud. It would be a - I don't know whatlegal term I would apply to describe it, but it wouldn't be a willfulfraud in the terms of this paragraph." (34- 9803)
Pearson read from the same page of the booklet:
* ...on the one hand Germany pays to Israel sums which arecalculated on six million dead...
Irving testified that he was "not aware of what actuarial basisthe payments are made on. I'm aware only of the original conferencebetween Dr. Adenauer, the German Chancellor, and Dr. Goldmann who wasthe Zionist representative...and Adenauer on his own initiativedecided to pay, I believe, one billion dollars to the state of Israelas a compensation payment." Irving indicated that "not to myknowledge" was the money calculated on 6 million dead. (34-9804)
Pearson read from Did Six Million Really Die?, at page 9:
* Gerstein's fantastic exaggerations have done little butdiscredit the whole notion of mass extermination. Indeed, EvangelicalBishop Wilhelm Dibelius of Berlin denounced his memoranda as"Untrustworthy."
Irving agreed that he was not suggesting that an author could bedishonest with his sources as long as the right conclusion wasreached. Irving also agreed that if it was in fact Gerstein'ssister-in-law that died of euthanasia, this would have "no bearing onhis personal mental instability whatsoever." (34-9806)
Would you agree, asked Pearson, that this would be a dishonesttechnique of the author, to suggest that it was his sister instead ofa sister-in-law?
"It may very well be that the author of this brochure is aware ofa sister in addition to a sister-in-law, but this is a possibilitywhich I can neither confirm nor deny." Irving agreed that it was alsoa possibility that Harwood was being deliberately dishonest.(34-9806)
Pearson read the description of Harwood which appeared at the endof the essay on page 30:
* Richard Harwood is a writer and specialist in political anddiplomatic aspects of the Second World War. At present he is with theUniversity of London.
Do you know of any Richard Harwood at the University of London?,asked Pearson.
"No, sir," said Irving. "and I have to admit that when I read thatdescription, I thought that the words 'At present he is with theUniversity of London' were rather precious and arousing suspicion."Irving agreed that it appeared to be designed to suggest that theauthor was a professor at the University of London or held some kindof post. Irving did not know any Richard Harwood who was a writer andspecialist in political and diplomatic aspects of the Second WorldWar, other than the author of the booklet. He indicated that it wasimportant to some readers to know who was writing something and thatif the author was someone named Richard Verrall and that he was amember of a neo-Nazi group, that would be taken into consideration bythe reader and weighed with other factors in determining the approachtaken by the reader to the booklet. (34-9806 to 9808)
Pearson produced Six Million Did Die and read what HughTrevor-Roper had said about Did Six Million Really Die? at page56:
My judgment of it is that, behind a simulated objectivity ofexpression, it is in fact an irresponsible and tendentiouspublication which avoids material evidence and presents selectedhalf-truths and distortions for the sole purpose of serving antiSemitic propaganda.
Did reading that opinion, asked Pearson, change Irving's ownassessment of Did Six Million Really Die?
"I would say to this that I value Trevor-Roper's judgment, andlike any other historian he is entitled to his own opinion. Itdoesn't change my assessment of this brochure because my assessmentwas, as I stated on Friday - that it serves a useful catalyticpurpose in making people think and rethink and possibly even revisetheir accepted opinions," said Irving. He continued: "It doesn'tchange my opinion because it doesn't surprise me thatthe...establishment historians like Professor Hugh Trevor-Roper, whohold very important semi-political positions in the Englishuniversity structure, find it more congenial to express that view onthis brochure than to express the view which I have expressed, thatit serves a useful catalytic purpose in making people think afresh,and when I say that, I am not saying that I endorse everything thatthe brochure contends, merely that it serves a useful purpose inpromoting and stimulating discussion." (34-9811)
This ended the cross-examination of Irving by Crown AttorneyPearson. Defence attorney Douglas Christie rose to commencere-examination.
In regard to the Posen speech, asked Christie, would you think ituseful as a historian to conduct a voice analysis using scientificmethods of the tape itself to determine if it was actually spoken bythe person who it was purported to be spoken by?
"Given a speech of this importance, of this historicalimportance," said Irving, "I would certainly hope that this kind offorensic test could be made on the speech...On this particularspeech, I'm not aware of any such test having been made, but I'mcertain that similar voice spectrograms had been made on tapes incriminal cases..."
Christie asked whether Irving was specifically investigating thealleged extermination while he was writing Hitler's War. Thisquestion was disallowed by Judge Ron Thomas. (34-9812, 9813)
Christie asked Irving to provide details of his correspondencewith Raul Hilberg. Irving replied: "I wrote a letter to a number ofJewish authorities, authorities on the so-called Holocaust, when Iwas in a stage of some embarrassment with my Hitler biography, nothaving been able to find any evidence linking Hitler with what I atthat time believed to have gone on, and I asked each of these Jewishauthorities, which included the YIVO Institute in New York, theWiener Library in London, and respected Jewish historians like RaulHilberg, if they could provide me with evidence which Iwant[ed] to know about. And Hilberg, in the course of thecorrespondence, which perhaps encompassed two or three letters andreplies, said that he had come to the same conclusion independently,as I had, that quite probably Adolf Hitler himself was not concernedin what had gone on...This correspondence would have been in theearly 1970s, probably about 1970. Of course, I didn't continue to askhim what had gone on because at that time I still believed that therehad been an organized massacre. The realization only dawned on me bitby bit that this was something that had to be tested on every front."(34 9813, 9814)
Since that time, asked Christie, what was the most significantpiece of evidence that had affected your opinion on the matter?
"I think, probably, that document from the files, the GermanMinistry of Justice, in the spring of 1942, showing Adolf Hitler asdemanding that the 'final solution' be postponed until after the waris over," said Irving. "That was the most significant piece ofevidence on the Hitler level, but on the other front, as to whether amass extermination occurred in Auschwitz itself, I must say that themost significant piece of evidence is what I've been shown since Iarrived here in Toronto on Thursday, which is a document which I amnot at liberty to talk about, I think." (34- 9814, 9815) [JudgeRon Thomas excused the jury, then told Christie to explain thepurpose of the re- examination. Christie said: "It is in the courseof the cross examination the Crown has implied that he had no reasonsfor the change of his opinion, and I want to explore the area of whatthe reasons were. I had not yet heard Your Honour to determine thathe could not mention the name of the Leuchter Report. I had heardYour Honour to determine that he cannot introduce it but I'd like himto be able to at least mention it." (34-9816) After sarcasticallybelittling Christie for not knowing the purpose of re-examination,Thomas stated: "I made a ruling that he could mention the fact thathe had seen the report, that he knew that it was done and that it hadnot been done before, but he isn't here in the position to giveevidence on whether this report is valuable in the history ofmankind." (34 9817)]
Upon resumption of the court in the presence of the jury, Christieasked Irving about who penalized the persons who committed atrocitiesat Chelmno. Irving indicated they were penalized by authorities oragencies of the German state. (34 9821)
Christie directed Irving to page 867 of Hitler's War, where itdealt with a note sent by Himmler to Gestapo Chief Müller onNovember 30, 1942 and which said: 'You are to investigate at once inall quarters to find out whether there have been any such abuses asthe - no doubt mendacious - rumors disseminated around the worldclaim. All such abuses are to be reported to me on the SS oath ofhonor.' Irving had written in the book that this letter was the'purest humbug'. Asked Christie, I'm wondering if in light of yourcurrent knowledge you would think it appropriate to reassess some ofthose statements?
Said Irving: "It is a letter from Himmler to the Gestapo ChiefMüller, November 30, 1942, which gives the impression thatHimmler knew nothing about what was going on. He had read pressaccounts in foreign newspapers and I, at that point, at that time,believed that the letter must be, as I say here, purest humbugbecause my belief at that time was that something had been going onof which Himmler must have been aware. In other words, he must havebeen aware that what was alleged in these foreign press accounts wastrue. So his denial was purest humbug. That was based on my belief in1977 when I published the book. I wouldn't have used that phrase withsuch confidence if I was writing it now. I would have toned it downand I would have qualified it by saying if there was atrocities onthe scale now alleged, then for Himmler to have written a letter inthese terms would have been purest humbug. I would have qualified thestatement." (34-9822)
This ended the testimony of David Irving.
1 Martin Broszat. "Hitler and the Genesis of the 'Final Solution':An Assessment of David Irving's Theses." Yad Vashem Studies, 13(1979): 73-125. Also published as "Hitler und die Genesis der'Endlösung.' Aus Anlass der Thesen von David Irving."Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 25 (1977): 739-75.
2 Pages which Pearson read to the court were projected on a screenin the courtroom with the use of an overhead projector.
3 In the original transcript, this word was "gasungskeller." Incorrespondence with the editor, however, Irving stated that he neversaid this word and in fact said "gaskammer".
4 Not compared with original.
5 Not compared with original.