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What Mr Irving said about the Müller document in his closing statement
March 15, 2002
THE Defendants refer to, and seem to rely quite strongly on, a document allegedly sent by the Gestapo chief Heinrich Müller to the heads of the four taskforces (Einsatzgruppen) on August 1, 1941, about "procurement of visual materials", which were to be submitted to Hitler on the work of the Einsatzgruppen in the east. (Longerich report, para 15.6).
I submit that in the special circumstances of this action the Court should not accept this evidence as admissible.
Admissibility: If I had myself found such a document, I would have wanted to know everything possible about how and why it had surfaced, where it had come from, and the surrounding documents in the same folder which might tell us something about the ambiguous contents.
The Defendants have sought, unsuccessfully in my view, to devalue the Schlegelberger Document on precisely the grounds of a few other documents found in the same folder. The Court therefore ordered the Defendants (a) to produce the original document or a facsimile thereof, and (b) to identify the file in which it had been found.
I requested the Bundesarchiv on February 7 to provide me with a facsimile. They replied that the file with that number was something completely different. On January 28, as is evident from the fax line on top of the version of the document now provided by the Institut für Zeitgeschichte, the institute had already supplied precisely the same typed Abschrift to Dr Longerich. It was forty-two days later provided to me, shortly before close of business before this last weekend, making it impossible for me to follow up. On March 9, the Ludwigsburg office has provided a copy of precisely the same item, microfilmed from a file USSR 401. This does not advance the matter.
If Your Lordship is minded, despite the conduct of the Defendants over this document, to admit the Müller document in evidence, then I submit these comments on its evidential value:
The document may not be genuine (although it does have SS runes in the last line, the Russians captured Nazi typewriters); it is a typescript copy totally bereft of any authenticating stamps or signatures; its source is the Central State Archives of the "October Revolution".
The document merely invites the four taskforce commanders to provide to Berlin, for submission on a current basis to Hitler, "particularly interesting visual material like photos, posters, leaflets and other documents" -- none of which seems to relate to the taskforces' homicidal duties, so much as to their other well known functions as intelligence agencies specifically tasked to raid and secure the headquarters and files of former Soviet party and administrative offices.
It is difficult to image what "photos, posters, leaflets and other documents" would be "procured" that might relate to the Final Solution in the east. I know of no response-documents to this appeal -- neither letters submitting materials to Müller, referring to this message, nor such materials being forwarded by Müller to Hitler "on a current basis" or on any other basis.