Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Judgment: Electronic Edition, by Charles Gray

Table of Contents
Evidence of Hitler's know... >>

The scale and systematic nature of the shooting of Jews by the Einsatzgruppen (paragraphs 6.10-59 above)

13.56 I can deal quite briefly with the extensive evidence relied on by the parties in relation to this topic. The reason I can take that course is that Irving, as the case progressed, appeared to accept much of what Longerich and Browning said in their reports and in their oral evidence. In particular Irving agreed that the evidence, principally in the form of reports by the Einsatzgruppen, appears to establish that between 500,000 and 1,500,000 people (including a large proportion of Jews) were shot by those groups and by the auxiliary Wehrmacht units seconded to assist them. My understanding is that the Defendants suggest that the true figure was higher than this. But I do not see that, in the context of this case, any useful purpose would be served by my attempting to assess whether the evidence supports a higher figure.
13.57 Irving further accepted that the evidence indicates that the programme of shooting Jews in the East was systematic, in the sense that it originated in Berlin and was organised and co-ordinated from there. Furthermore Irving conceded that the evidence bears out the contention of the Defendants that Hitler sanctioned the killings. Irving testified that, if he had given audiences the impression by what he said in Australia in 1986 that the killings on the Eastern front had taken place without the knowledge and approval of Hitler and his cronies, he had been wrong to do so. His evidence was that "certainly Hitler sanctioned the killing of the Jews on the Eastern front". The evidence which prompted Irving to make these concessions consisted in the regular reports made by the Einsatzgruppen to Berlin; the preparation by the RHSA in Berlin of Ereignismeldungen (event announcements) and a report numbered 51 dated 29 December 1942 which recorded the "execution" of 363,112 Jews and which (as Irving accepted) was probably shown to Hitler. The Defendants also relied on the so-called Muller order of 1 August 1941 to which I shall have to return later. It appears to me that these concessions by Irving were rightly made. Apart form the existence of the evidence to which I have just referred the vast manpower required to carry out the programme at a critical stage in the war would surely have required the approval of Hitler.
13.58 It inexorably follows that Irving was misrepresenting the historical evidence when he told audiences in Australia, Canada and the US (as he accepted he did) that the shooting of Jews in the East was arbitrary, unauthorised and undertaken by individual groups or commanders.
Evidence of Hitler's know... >>