Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 16: Electronic Edition

Pages 101 - 105 of 176

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 1 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes, there was. For instance, in Minsk they murdered a
 2group of Russian Jews in order to make room for creation
 3of a ghetto for German Jews, and the transports of German
 4Jews to Minsk, unlike what happened at Kovno, they were
 5not shot upon arrival.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Does this not seem to indicate that there was no
 7systematic plan to murder all the Jews that they could get
 8their hands on?
 9 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I think what it indicates is that they were not yet ready
10to do that. The references for instance in Himmler's
11letter to Greiser is that we want to send them to Lodsch
12and they will be sent on next spring.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     Pretty haphazard, would you say, this lack of system in
14what they were doing?
15 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I do not think it is haphazard. I think that they were
16engaged in the first stage. Different historians have
17interpreted it differently. My own feeling is that, by
18the fall of 1941, Himmler, Hitler and Heydrich have a
19fairly clear idea of where they are going now, which is to
20kill all Jews, but how that will be done, what exemptions
21will be given to Jews who are still important to the
22economy, in what order will various countries be
23approached, what special care must we deal with German
24Jews because of the possibly domestic repercussions, these
25issues are still not decided. They are decided over a
26period of time.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     You slipped in something under the door there. You said
 2this was Hitler, Himmler and Heydrich. Where does "Hitler
 3and" come from? Is this just your own personal belief?
 4 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Given that they cannot have the Madagascar plan until it
 5goes to there, they cannot march Jews until it goes to
 6Hitler, they cannot deport Jews until it goes to Hitler,
 7they cannot let Jews out of the Netherlands for money
 8until it goes to Hitler. My inference is that this would
 9go to Hitler too. I do not see how ----
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     There is a difference between the geographical solutions
11that Hitler was constantly proposing and what was actually
12happening when the Jews arrived at their terminus, shall
13we say. Would it be fair to say that?
14 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I would say there are two phases. That is, starting in
15the summer of 1941, you have the move in early August to
16killing of all Jews, men, women and children, and that the
17implementation of systematic killing of Jews other than
18that really begins in the spring of 1942 with several
19exceptions. You have the Chelmno gassing beginning in
20December of 41, and you have the shooting of the six
21transports of German Jews five at Kovno and one at Riga.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     On November 30th, 1941?
23 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     The last one is the 30th, the other two are 25th and 29th.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     In Kovno?
25 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     In Kovno.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Since we are with those shootings, on what basis did those

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 1shootings occur? Was that on orders from Berlin, or from
 2Hitler, or was it just random actions by the local
 4 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     This is an area that we have no documents that illuminate
 5it, and so one then looks at the overall. Jager reports
 6it in his Einsatzgruppen report. He clearly thinks
 7that -- my inference from that would be that Jager is
 8reporting something that he thought he was expected to
 9do. We have, as you know, the Himmler intercept of
10December 4th, saying what happens to the Eastern Jews is
11on my guidelines, there are repercussions for Jackeln and
12there are none for under Jager. I would suggest that that
13would indicate that Jager was following orders.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     I will try putting this to you like this, and his Lordship
15may intervene because I do not have the file in front of
16me. My Lord, this is the bundle of intercepts that we
17dealt with about ten days ago, November 30th 1941.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes. That got into E as well.
19 MR IRVING:     Your Lordship has the advantage on me because I do
20not have the bundle with me. I have searched for it and
21I am in chaos.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is really why I have been trying to
23insist all along that we identify where documents are
24going. If anybody on the Defendants side can help,
25I would be grateful. I think it is in E but it may not
26be. 173, J?

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 1 MR IRVING:     We landed on this topic before I intended but,
 2since we are at it, we might as well take it on the fly.
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Take your own course.
 4 MR IRVING:     If I were to show you an intercept of a message
 5from the -- can you find an intercepted message in there
 6from Bremen to Riga?
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can you help me? Did you say J 173?
 8 MR IRVING:     What is called on the top right hand corner?
 9 MS ROGERS:     Tab 3.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Thank you. What are you looking for,
11Mr Irving?
12 MR IRVING:     There is an intercepted message from Bremen to
14 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     This would be November 17th.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     Does this describe a train load of Jews being sent to
17 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     Has that train load apparently been well provisioned with
20 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes. The guidelines for the deportations in the fall,
21which would have been true of all the transports, not just
22the ones to Kovno but to Lodsch and Minsk, where Jews were
23not immediately killed, they were allowed take a fair
24amount with them. In fact, the Jewish councils were
25encouraged to provide them, so that this would not be just
26this train, this would have been standard procedures.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would one be correct in assuming, if one finds one or two
 2messages like that in this kind of random sample that the
 3British code breakers got by their method, so there are
 4probably quite a lot of such messages?
 5 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I do not know about how many messages there were, but we
 6do know that the trains were basically sent out under the
 7same guidelines and the guidelines permitted at that
 8point, unlike in the spring, taking quite a large amount
 9of material with them.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     The Jews provided ----
11 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     This would have been provided by the Jewish councils to
12the deportation train.
13 MR IRVING:     And have you in front of there also a message in
14which there is reference in German to the train being
15provided not only with Verpflegung but also with Gerat.
16It is a similar message on 17th or the 19th or the 24th
17perhaps of November 1941.
18 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I am afraid I do not find the file.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It is page 5.
20 MR IRVING:     Page 5 of that bundle.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am not sure we have the German in the file.
22 MR IRVING:     The German text will be there in facsimile.
23 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     We have a series in English and I am not sure where the
24German is.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Gerat is there. It is really a translation

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