DURING the Lipstadt Trial in February 2000, Mr Justice Gray invited Mr Irving to put before the Court a document setting out briefly his views on the killing of Jews on the eastern front. He submitted the document below the next day. It was treated dismissively by Mr Justice Gray. [A paper by Spiegel editor Dr Fritzof Meyer has largely confirmed Mr Irving's position as correct: see bottom of page]
[ David Irving's Position on the Liquidation of Jews ]
I am asked by the Court to state my position on Hitler, the Einsatzgruppen, and the killings of Jews behind the eastern front.
Eastern European and Russian Jews
1. Hitler issued orders from March 1941 to his military chiefs which authorised the summary execution of unspecified numbers of captured Jewish/Bolshevik intelligentsia and leaders, including political officers and commissars. These orders were requested by the military for rear-area security (i.e. military reasons).
2. This was one of the "special tasks" assigned to Himmler's responsibility as chief of the SS and police and added to the anti-partisan and Intelligence gathering operations of his SS task forces (Einsatzgruppen). Hitler was probably informed of the "anti-partisan" operations, though not on a regular basis, and there is evidence that no secret was made of the inclusion of large numbers of (non-German) Jews in the resulting body-counts of "partisans".
Western European and German Jews
3. Beginning in the late summer of 1941 train transports of German Jews were deported eastwards to Nazi-occupied Russia and the Baltic states. Jews from other European countries were later also deported. The intention of the police authorities in the Reich who dispatched them was that they were being deported to new existences in the east -- i.e. to anywhere but within the Reich -- and they did not care under what conditions. This transport movement, which continued until 1943, was done on Hitler's authority.
4. In the occupied eastern territories including the Baltic states the German occupation authorities treated the arriving transports of German and West European Jews with a variety of methods which of itself suggests a lack of system and co-ordination. Some were housed in ghettos or concentration camps. Others were murdered immediately on arrival or soon after.
5. We have been shown no clear or unambiguous evidence that Hitler was aware of this latter fate (mass murder). There is however unambiguous evidence (a) that when word of the liquidation of the Berlin Jews at Riga (November 30, 1941) reached the Wolf's Lair, an immediate verbal reprimand was issued to the culprit ; and (b) that an order went through the appropriate channels to Riga that this kind of mass shooting was to stop. The mass murder of German Jews then halted for some months.
Wednesday, February 23, 2000