International Campaign for Real History

Libel Action between DJC Irving v Penguin Books Ltd and Deborah Lipstadt
Quick navigation

Alphabetical site index (text)link

Index to daily transcripts


Closing Speech by David Irving

  Part II

My writings and reputation as an historian


I have not hesitated to stand in the witness box here, and to answer questions. Mr Rampton rose to the occasion, and he - or indeed I - may yet regret it. Your Lordship will recall that when I brought a somewhat reluctant and even curmudgeonly Professor Donald Cameron Watt, doyen of the diplomatic historians, into the witness stand, he used these words:


"I must say, I hope that I am never subjected to the kind of examination that Mr Irving's books have been suggested to by the Defence witnesses. I have a very strong feeling that there are other senior historical figures, including some to whom I owed a great deal of my own career, whose work would not stand up, or not all of whose work would stand up, to this kind of examination ..."


When I invited him to mention some names, of course he declined. What he was saying was that whatever mistakes, or whatever unconventional interpretations of mine, the Defendants have revealed with their multi-million dollar research, this does not invalidate me as an historian, or my historical methods and conclusions.

Your Lordship will find that Professor Watt continued by suggesting that simply by facing the challenge of the views that I had put forward, "and basing them on historical research, rather than ideological conviction," this had directly resulted in other historians devoting an "enormous burst of research" to the Nazi massacres of the Jews, an area which can in consequence now support journals and conferences. "This, I think, is a direct result of the challenge which Mr Irving's work [posed] and the consistency and the effort which he has put into maintaining it in public."9 In other words, Watt stated that, far from being a "Holocaust denier" my work has directly increased historical research into, and understanding of, the "Holocaust".

Professor Eberhard Jäckel made the same controversial point in his essay in the book published by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, namely that before my book Hitler's War was published in 1977, there had been virtually no meaningful research into the tragedy at all.10 Professor Hans Mommsen, Professor Raul Hilberg, Professor Gordon C Craig - all have more or less supported my claim to be regard as a serious historian. The outcome of my research, my books, and my speaking is therefore that people in general are more, not less, aware of the horrors of the Holocaust, and they are certainly better informed.



One of the most damaging accusations is


that the Plaintiff, driven by his obsession with Hitler, distorts, manipulates, and falsifies history in order to put Hitler in a more favourable light, thereby demonstrating a lack of the detachment, rationality and judgment necessary for an historian.11


I submit that in assessing whether I am an historian who "distorts, manipulates and falsifies," Your Lordship should give most weight to my avowedly historical written works. I suggest my speeches and the very occasional lapses of taste in them (Mr Rampton has identified and mentioned, repeatedly, I think, three) are relevant purely as background material. Of those written historical works, I submit that your Lordship give most weight to my flagship work HITLER'S WAR. I ask that Your Lordship read (again, if Your Lordship has already done so) the Introduction to the 1991 edition: this was published well after the year when the Defendants (wrongly) assert that I "flipped over" to become what they call a Holocaust denier.

I have always differed from colleagues in my profession in insisting on using original documents, including where possible the authors' drafts of books or memoirs rather than the heavily edited West German editions, later rewritings, or posthumous adaptations. I also make use of many more unpublished original documents than my historian colleagues. In the 1960s and 1970s this was more difficult than today.

I differ too from others, in making copies of the original documents which I unearth freely available to others as soon as my own works are complete, and often before (as the panne with Professor Harold Deutsch's book showed).12 As page 14 of Hitler's War shows, I donate these records regularly to publicly accessible archives and I also make them available on microfilm. There are nearly 200 such microfilms, containing nearly half a million pages. I also devote time to corresponding with and assisting other historians and researchers. If, therefore, some of my interpretations are controversial, I also do all that is possible to let other people judge for themselves. This speaks strongly against the accusation that I distort, manipulate and falsify history.


On Hitler and the holocaust I wrote these words - after the time when I had supposedly become a Holocaust denier obsessed with Hitler and with exonerating him:


At page 2: My conclusions . . . startled even me. Hitler was a far less omnipotent Führer than had been believed., his methods and tactics were profoundly opportunistic.


At page 4: . . . the more hermetically Hitler locked himself away behind the barbed wire and mine fields of his remote military headquarters, the more his Germany became a Führer-Staat without a Führer. Domestic policy was controlled by whoever was most powerful in each sector - by Hermann Göring . . . Hans Lammers . . . Martin Bormann . . . Heinrich Himmler. . .


At page 17: If this biography were simply a history of the rise and fall of Hitler's Reich it would be legitimate to conclude: "Hitler killed the Jews." He after all had created the atmosphere of hatred with his speeches in the 1930s; he and Himmler had created the SS; his speeches, though never explicit, left the clear impression that "liquidate" was what he meant.


At pages 17-18: For a full-length war biography of Hitler, I felt that a more analytical approach to the key questions of initiative, complicity and execution would be necessary. Remarkably, I found that Hitler's own role in the "Final Solution" - whatever that was - had never been examined.


At page 38: Every document actually linking Hitler with the treatment of the Jews invariably takes the form of an embargo.


This is the famous "chain of documents", and notwithstanding everything we have heard in Court I still adhere to this position.


At page 19: It is plausible to impute to him that not uncommon characteristic of heads of state: a conscious desire "not to know". But the proof of this is beyond the powers of a historian.


At page 21: . . .dictatorships are fundamentally weak. . . . I concluded , the burden of guilt for the bloody and mindless massacres of the Jews rests on a large number of Germans (and non-Germans), many of them alive today and not just on one "mad dictator", whose order had to be obeyed without question.


The similarity with the thesis propagated by Dr Daniel Goldhagen in his world-wide best-seller book HITLER'S WILLING EXECUTIONERS will surely strike everybody in this Court. Allow me to rub this point in: What I actually wrote and printed and published in my "flagship study" HITLER'S WAR was that Hitler was clearly responsible for the Holocaust both by being head of state, and by having done so much by his speeches and organisation to start it off.

Where I differed from many historians was in denying that there was any documentary proof of detailed direction and initiation of the mass murders by Hitler. The view was considered to be heretical at the time. But this lack of wartime documentary evidence for Hitler's involvement is now widely accepted. Indeed, on the narrower matter of the lack of wartime documentary evidence on "gas chambers", Your Lordship was already good enough to grant as follows, in an exchange with Professor Evans:


IRVING: If his Lordship is led to believe by a careless statement of the witnesses that there is a vast body of wartime documents, this would be unfair, would it not, because you are not referring to wartime documents? You are referring to post-war documents?

EVANS: I am referring to all kinds of documents.

IRVING: You are not referring to wartime documents?

EVANS: I am referring to documents including wartime documents, the totality of the written evidence for the Holocaust which you deny.

IRVING: Are you saying there is a vast quantity of wartime documents?

EVANS: What I am saying is that there is a vast quantity of documents and material for all aspects of the Holocaust.

MR JUSTICE GRAY: I expect you would accept, Professor Evans, just to move on, the number of overtly incriminating documents, wartime documents, as regards gas chambers is actually pretty few and far between?13


To summarise, in Hitler's War I differed from other historians in suggesting that the actual mass murders were not all or mainly initiated by Hitler. I pointed out that my sources were consistent with another explanation: A conscious desire "not to know" (I referred to a Richard Nixon kind of complex).14

I submit that I have not distorted, manipulated, and falsified. I have put all the cards on the table; I made the documents available to all comers, on microfilm and in the archives, and I and have pointed to various possible interpretations.

I further submit that, while certainly "selling" my view, I have been much less manipulative than those historians, including some whom you have heard in Court, whose argument has in important part been simply this - that I ought not to be heard, because my views are too outlandish or extreme. Disgracefully, these scholars have cheered from the sidelines as I have been outlawed, arrested, harassed, and all but vernichtet as a professional historian; and they have put pressure on British publishers to destroy my works.



To assist Your Lordship in deciding how outlandish and extreme these views of mine are, I allow myself to quote from A J P Taylor's THE WAR LORDS, published by Penguin - the First Defendants in this action - in London in 1978. Of Adolf Hitler . . .


. . . it was at this time that he became really a recluse, settling down in an underground bunker, running the war far from the front. (At pages 55-57)


He was a solitary man, though he sometimes accepted, of course, advice from others, sometimes decisions [my emphasis]. It is, I think, true, for instance, that the terrible massacre of the Jews was inspired more by Himmler than by Hitler, though Hitler took it up. (At pages 68-70)


These quotations are from the foreword of A J P Taylor's own flagship work, THE ORIGINS OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR, published in 1963:


Little can be discovered so long as we go on attributing everything that happened to Hitler. He supplied a powerful dynamic element, but it was fuel to an existing machine. . . He would have counted for nothing without the support and co-operation of the German people. It seems to be believed nowadays that Hitler did everything himself, even driving the trains and filling the gas chambers unaided. This was not so. Hitler was a sounding-board for the German nation. Thousands, many hundred thousand, Germans carried out his evil orders without qualm or question.


What I wrote, with less felicity of style than Professor Taylor, was a reasonable interpretation of the information available to me at the time. I might add that my words are often accepted, quoted, and echoed by other historians far more eminent than I (including the government's Official Historians like Professor Sir Frank Hinsley, in his volumes on British Intelligence). Some may regard my interpretations as not the most probable. But they are never perverse. For the Defendants to describe me as one who manipulates, distorts, and falsifies it would be necessary for them to satisfy Your Lordship that I wilfully adopted perverse and ridiculous interpretations. I have not.



The Defendants' historiographical criticisms


I now turn to some of the particular matters which exercised Your Lordship, in the list of points at issue.

I trust that Your Lordship will bear in mind that the task facing a historian of my type - what I refer to as a "shirtsleeve historian", working in the field, from original records - is very different from the task facing the scholar or academic who sits in his book-lined study, plucking handy works of reference, printed in large type, translated into English, provided with easy indices and often with nice illustrations too, off the shelves of a university library within arm's reach.

Your Lordship will recall that while researching the Goebbels Diaries in Moscow for the first week in June 1992 I had to read those wartime Nazi glass microfiches through a magnifier the size of a nailclipper, with a lens smaller than a pea.15 The Court will appreciate that reading even post-war microfilm of often poorly reproduced original documents on a mechanical reader is a tedious, time consuming, and unrewarding business. Notes have to be taken in handwriting, as there are no "pages" to be xeroxed. In the 1960s xerox copies were nothing like as good as they are now, as Your Lordship will have noticed from the blue-bound volumes brought in here from my own document archives. Mistakes undoubtedly occur: the mis-transcription of difficult German words pencilled in Gothic or Sütterlin-style script, a script which most modern German scholars find unreadable anyway; mistakes of copying; mistakes of omission (i.e., a passage is not transcribed because at the time it appears of no moment). These are innocent mistakes, and with a book of the size of HITLER'S WAR, currently running to 393,000 words, they are not surprising.

Your Lordship may recall one exchange I had with Professor Evans:



IRVING: Professor Evans, when your researchers were researching in my files at the Institute of History in Munich, did they come across a thick file there which was about 1,000 pages long, consisting of the original annotated footnotes of HITLER'S WAR which were referenced by number to every single sentence in that book?


Irving: It was not part of the published corpus, it was part of the original manuscript, but it was chopped out because of the length.

EVANS: No, we did not see that.

IRVING: Have you seen isolated pages of that in my Discovery in so far as it related to episodes which were of interest, like the Reichskristallnacht?

EVANS: I do not, to be honest, recall, but that does not mean to say that we have not seen them.

IRVING: You said that my footnotes are opaque because they do not always give the page reference. Do you agree that, on a page which we are going to come across in the course of this morning, of your own expert report, you put a footnote in just saying "See Van Pelt's report", see expert report by Robert van Pelt, and that expert report is about 769 pages long, is it not?16



From this exchange it is plain that I was not just a conjurer producing quotations and documents out of a hat; I made my sources and references available in their totality to historians, even when they were not printed in the book.

The allegation that the mistakes are deliberate - that they are manipulations, or distortions, - is a foul one to make, and easily disposed of by general considerations. If I intended deliberately to mistranscribe a handwritten word or text, I would hardly have furnished copies of the original texts to my critics, or published the text of the handwritten document as a facsimile in the same work (e.g., the famous November 30, 1941 note, which is illustrated as a facsimile in all editions of HITLER'S WAR); or placed the entire collection of such documents without restriction in archives commonly frequented my critics.

And if I intended to mistranslate a document, would I have encouraged the publication of the resulting book, with the correct original quotation, in the German language, where my perversion of the text would easily be discovered? Yet like all my others works, both HITLER and GOEBBELS have appeared in German language editions with a full and correct transcription of the controversial texts. Is this is the action of a deliberate mistranslator?

As for the general allegation that the errors or exaggerations or distortions that were made were "all" of a common alignment, designed to exonerate Adolf Hitler, the test which Your Lordship must apply should surely be this: if the sentence that is complained of be removed from the surrounding paragraph or text (and in each book there are only one or two such sentences of which this wounding claim is made) does this in any way alter the book's general thrust, or the weight of the argument that is made?

An example of this test is the wrong weight which I gave to the contents of the 1:20 A.M. telegram issued by SS-Gruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich on Kristallnacht. It is a famous telegram, printed in the Nuremberg volumes. Would such an error have been committed wilfully, given the risk that it would inevitably be exposed? Is it not far more likely that in the process of writing and rewriting, and of cutting and condensing, the GOEBBELS manuscript, the author gradually, over the eight years, lost sight of the full content and thrust of the original document? Your Lordship should know that that book went through five successive drafts and retypes over eight years, filling four archive boxes, a total of about eight cubic feet, all of which I disclosed to the Defendants by way of Discovery. St Martin's Press, my U.S. publishers, particularly asked that these early chapters of the book should be trimmed in length.

These general considerations dispose too of the defence arguments on the "Policeman Hoffmann" evidence rendered at the 1924 Hitler Trial. For the limited purposes of writing a biography of Hermann Göring - not of Hitler - I relied on the thousands of typescript microfilmed pages of the transcript of this trial. So far as I know, nobody had ever used them before me. The handy, printed, bound, indexed, cross-referenced edition on which Professor Evans drew had not appeared. It appeared in 1998, eleven years after my GÖRING biography was published by Macmillan Ltd.17 I extracted with difficulty from the microfilmed pages the material I needed relating to Hitler and Göring, and I was not otherwise interested in Hoffmann at all. I do not consider that the printed volume on the trial which is now available shows that I made meaningful errors, and they were certainly not deliberate.



The Kristallnacht of November 1938 is a more difficult episode in every way. As said, I clearly made an error over the content (and reference number) of the 1:20 A.M. telegram. It was an innocent error. It was a glitch of the kind that occurs in the process of redrafting a manuscript several times over the years. The Court must not overlook that by the time the book was completed, in 1994/5, and as described in the Introduction to GOEBBELS. MASTERMIND OF THE THIRD REICH, I had been forcefully severed both from my own collections of documents in German institutions and from the German federal archives in Koblenz. On July 1, 1993, when I attended the latter archives explicitly for the purpose of tidying up loose ends on the GOEBBELS manuscript, I was formally banned from the building for ever on orders of the minister of the interior - one of the gravest blows struck at me by the international endeavour to which I shall later refer.

The allegation of the Defendants is that in order to "exonerate Hitler" I effectively concocted, or invented, a false version of events on Kristallnacht, namely that he intervened between 1 and 2 a.m. to halt the madness. I submit that their refusal to accept this version is ingrained in their own political attitudes. There is evidence both in the archives, in reliable contemporary records like the Ulrich von Hassell, Alfred Rosenberg, and Hellmuth Groscurth diaries, and in the independent testimonies of those participants whom I myself carefully questioned, or whose private papers I obtained - Nicolaus von Below, Julius Schaub, Karl Wolff and others - and which the Court has seen, to justify the version which I rendered. It was therefore not an invented story. It may well be that my critics were unfamiliar with the sources that I used before they made their criticisms. The dishonesty lies not with me, for printing the "inside" story of Hitler's actions that night, as far as we can reconstruct them using these and other sources; but with those scholars who have studiously ignored them, and in particular the Rudolf Hess "stop arson" telegram of 2:56 A.M., issued "on orders from the highest level," which the Defendants' scholars have testified is a reference to Hitler.

Your Lordship may well have marvelled to hear the defendants' witnesses dismiss this message - like the Schlegelberger Document, referred to later - as being of no consequence.

The Kristallnacht diaries of Dr Goebbels, which I obtained in Moscow in 1992, some years after I first drafted the episode, substantially bore out my version of events - namely that he, and not Hitler, was the prime instigator, and that Hitler was largely unaware and displeased by what came about. Your Lordship will recall that Professor Philippe Burrin, a Swiss Holocaust historian for whom all the witnesses expressed respect, comes to the same conclusion independently of me.18 Now, he is manifestly not a "Holocaust denier" either. The Court will also recall that the Witness Evans admitted that, unlike myself, he had not read all through the available Goebbels diaries. He had not had the time, he said; and we must confess a certain sympathy with that position for an academic, time is certainly at a premium. Reading all of the available Goebbels diaries is however necessary, in order to establish and recognise the subterfuges that this Nazi minister used through his career as a diarist, in order to conceal when he was creating what I call alibis for his own wayward and evil behaviour.

I drew attention to this historiographical conundrum several times in the book. I discussed both in my scientific annotated German-language edition of the 1938 diaries, and in my full Goebbels biography, which Your Lordship has read, a characteristic example from this same year, 1938: although the one episode which most deeply unsettled him that year was his affair with the Czech actress Lida Baarova, which drove him to the brink of resignation, divorce, and even suicide, neither her name nor any of those events figures explicitly in the diary or at all, unless the pages are read particularly closely, when certain clues can be seen.

The Goebbels diary is sometimes a deceitful document; it must be recognised as such and treated very gingerly indeed. The fact that it was evidently written up not one, but two and even three days after, during the Kristallnacht episode, calls for additional caution in relying on it for chronology and content.


There is no need to discuss here in detail my various narratives of the Nazis' shooting of Jews in the East. There is little dispute between the parties on what actually happened in my view, and Your Lordship is aware that I have given these atrocities due and proper attention in the various biographies I have written; I would however add the one caveat, that they are not intended to be reference works on the Holocaust, but orthodox biographies.

I believe I was the first historian to discover and make use of the CSDIC reports relating further details of these killings, particularly the Bruns Report, and I made them available to many other historians. (These are the eavesdropping reports on prisoners, using hidden microphones). It took many days to read them; there are thousands of pages in these files. Over the last twenty years I read these horrifying narratives out repeatedly to public audiences, including "right-wing" audiences. This fact alone entitles me to express my contempt at those who would term me a "Holocaust denier."

We have seen the Defendants scrabbling around at the end of the Bruns Report for its third-hand references by the SS murderer and braggart in Riga, Altemeyer. to an "order" he claimed to have received to carry out such mass shootings more circumspectly in future. But we know from the late 1941 police decodes - a much firmer source-document than a snatch of conversation remembered years later, in April 1945 - precisely what orders had gone from Hitler's headquarters, radioed by Himmler himself, to the mass murderer SS Obergruppenführer Friedrich Jeckeln, stating explicitly that these killings exceeded the authority that had been given by himself, Himmler, and by the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA). We know that the killings of all German Jews stopped at once, for many months. When I first translated the word Judentransport (which can mean "transportation of Jews") as "transports of Jews", in the plural, in the 1970s - being unaware of the surrounding context of data which helps narrow the purport down to the one Riga-bound trainload from Berlin - I was thus inadvertently coming closer to the truth, not further from it: because the liquidation of all the trainloads from Germany was halted the next day, December 1, 1941, by the order radioed from Hitler's headquarters (whether initiated by Himmler or Hitler seems hair-splitting in this context).

As I stated under cross-examination, I did not see the Schulz-Dubois document when I wrote my books, and I have not seen it since; having now read what Gerald Fleming tells us about it, I confess that I would be unlikely to attach the same importance as does learned counsel for the Defendants, to what the famously anti-Nazi Abwehr chief Wilhelm Canaris allegedly told Lieutenant Schulz-Dubois of Hitler's reaction. The British decodes of the SS signals, to which I introduced the Court, and the subsequent events (the actual cessation for many months of the liquidation of German Jews) speak louder.



Your Lordship asks for my comment on Hitler's table talk of October 25, 1941. Your Lordship is familiar with the Defendants' argument, and with mine. My extract from this document was based on the original Weidenfeld translation, as is known. In disagreement with the Defendants' experts, I still maintain, and others have followed me in this (notably Professor Philippe Burrin, who translated Schrecken as "the ominous reputation") that the appropriate translation here for the word Schrecken is indeed "rumour" and not "terror", a word which makes for a wooden and uncouth translation anyway.19 A relevant passage from the SS Event Report from activities in the rear of the eastern front, dated September 11, 1941 (provided by the Defendants), shows that this is precisely what was meant: "The rumour that all Jews are being shot by the Germans had a salutary effect." The Jews were now fleeing before the Germans arrived.20 The rumour! To accuse me of wilful mistranslation and distortion, when (a) I used the official Weidenfeld translation, not at that time having received the original German from Switzerland, and (b) the word "rumour" gives the precisely correct nuance that the surrounding history shows the word was meant to have, seems to be an excessively harsh judgement on my expertise.

Next in line is the Goebbels diary entry for November 22, 1941: This diary entry includes a fair example of how dishonest the reporting by Goebbels was, when it comes to his meetings with Hitler. He records the "exceptional praise" of Hitler for the weekly newsreel produced by his ministry; in fact Hitler was forever criticising this very product of the Goebbels ministry, as the diary of Rosenberg shows. Goebbels then continues, "With regard to the Jewish problem too the Führer agrees completely with my views. He wants an energetic policy against the Jews, but one however that does not cause us needless difficulties." Goebbels' diary entry continues: "The evacuation of the Jews is to be done city by city. So it is still not fixed when Berlin's turn comes; but when it does, the evacuation should be carried out as fast as possible." Hitler then expressed the need for "a somewhat reserved approach" in the question of mixed marriages - the marriages would die out anyway by and by, and they shouldn't go grey worrying about it.21

I have suggested that on the balance of probabilities Hitler was alluding to the public unrest caused by the suicide, a few days earlier, of the popular actor Joachim Gottschalk and his family. Apart from needless becoming endless, an irritating typo which hardly amounts to "manipulation", this passage bears out what I have always said of Hitler: While Goebbels was the eternal agitator, as witness his anti-Semitic leading article in Das Reich on November 16, 1941 Hitler was (even by Goebbels' own account) for a reserved approach toward Jewish problems; and he was doing so, even as the trainloads of Jews were heading eastwards from Bremen and Berlin, for instance, to the conquered Russian territories and the Baltic states. Your Lordship will not need reminding of the curious British decodes, which revealed the provisioning of the deportation trains with tons of food for the journey, stocks of many weeks' food for after they arrived, and even the deportees' "appliances" (Gerät). So evacuation at this time evidently meant just that to very many Reich officials, and no more.

Mr Rampton went to some effort and expense to suggest that I suppressed vital information from the newly discovered Goebbels diary, December 13, 1941: in this day's entry, Goebbels reported on Hitler's rhetoric to the gauleiters on December 12 in Berlin. Anybody who is as familiar as I am with Hitler's speeches, and with Goebbels' diary entries relating to them, will effortlessly recognise this entire passage as being the usual Hitler gramophone record about the famous 1939 "prophecy". It was part of his stock repertoire when speaking to the Party old guard - they had carried him into power and expected to hear from him that he had not abandoned the hallowed Party programme. I can understand the temptation for the younger generation of scholars, unfamiliar with Hitler's rhetoric, to fall greedily upon such freshly discovered morsels as though they were the answer to the great Holocaust mystery: None of the witnesses to whom this item was put by myself, or by counsel for the Defendants, was able to identify any part of this passage which was out of the ordinary for Hitler.

Even if I had read that far on that day's glass plate in the Moscow archives, and even if I had seen those lines of the diary entry, some twenty pages after the page where I in fact stopped reading for that day, - and I must emphasise again that I did not, as it did not come within my remit - I doubt that I would have attached any significance to them, other than adding this entry to the list of occasions on which Hitler harked back, for whatever reason, to his famous "prophecy" of 1939.22

I have read again the printed version of the meeting of the Generalgouvernement authorities Hans Frank on December 16, 1941. It is significant to see the amount of space taken, even in this abridged published version, by the typhus epidemic sweeping through the region, the climax of which was expected to come in April 1942 (pages "68 72"). Frank states that he has begun negotiations with the purpose of deporting the Jews to the east, and he mentions the big Heydrich conference set down for January 1942 on this topic in Berlin (page "73"). On page "74" comes the sentence which pulls out the rug from beneath the Defendants' feet: "For us, the Jews are exceptionally damaging mouths to feed. We've got an estimated 2.5m in the Generalgouvernement, perhaps 3.5m Jews now, what with all their kinfolk and hangers-on. We can't shoot these 3.5m Jews, we can't poison them, but we'll be able to do something with them, which somehow or other will have the result of destroying them, in fact, in conjunction with the grander measures still to be discussed at Reich level." Clearly, only a geographical solution was at that time on the cards, and anticipated at the Berlin (i.e. Wannsee conference).

The December 18, 1941 diary entry by Himmler reads: Judenfrage | als Partisanen auszurotten. Himmler had, as I pointed out to the Court, repeatedly referred in earlier documents to the phrase "Juden als Partisanen". This was nothing new or sensational therefore, and the words he was recording were not necessarily Hitler's but more probably his own stereotype phrase. The correct, pedantic translation, is in any case: "Jewish Problem | to be wiped out as being partisans." Not "like partisans", which would have been "wie Partisanen." There can be no equivocating about this translation of als. Wie is a comparison, als is an equivalent.23