Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 126 - 130 of 176

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 1 MR RAMPTON:     The German is set out in note 46 at the bottom of
 2the page.
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I have the German all right, yes. You
 4interpret that, Professor, as being a reference to a
 5decision which has been taken and it is a decision
 6systematically to exterminate?
 7 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     The question that Mr Irving had asked was, did I find this
 8a repetition of the frequent references to his prophecy
 9and "Was it the same old gramophone record?" was his
10phrase. I said, no, I did not think so because between a
11previous Goebbels entry describing a Hitler reference to
12the prophecy and this one, I have said there is a change
13of tone and a change of vocabulary. So I disagreed.
14I said this does not, this is not the same kind of
15reference to something in the future. And so I happen to
16think that it is the point at which Hitler makes clear
17that even though the war will now go on longer, that,
18nonetheless, they will proceed with the extermination. Up
19until that point they used two phrases "after the war" and
20"next spring". After Pearl Harbour, one has to clarify
21which of those two it will be and, in my opinion, this is
22the point at which Hitler says it will be next spring even
23though it will no longer be after the war.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Thank you very much.
25 MR IRVING:     Professor, I will now have to bore you by asking
26you to look at the actual German used. Is this German

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 1passage in the subjunctive in German, indicating reported
 2speech or could it be Goebbels himself writing his own
 3words here, so to speak?
 4 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     It is not in subjunctive, but I do not know that that
 5would exclude that he is writing an easier ----
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Let me put it this way around: if in the second line he
 7had written "Er hat den Juden prophezeit" but "er habe den
 8Juden prophezeit", then it would be beyond doubt, would it
 9not, that he was quoting Hitler?
10 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     That would indicate that he was paraphrasing very closely,
11but this would not exclude the possibility, and indeed
12I think that is what it is, is a, you know, writing down
13what Hitler had said.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you familiar with reading the Goebbels diaries in
15English or in German as a source? Not scientifically
16familiar, but have you used them quite a lot.
17 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I have used them, but I have not read through all of
18them. I do not know the entire corpus but I have used
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you agree that it is sometimes difficult to
21distinguish when Goebbels is referring to what somebody
22has told him and when his only little benevolent mind
23takes over?
24 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I do not think I could answer that.
25 MR RAMPTON:     My Lord, may I interrupt? This might be a
26convenient moment. Mr Irving said just now that the

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 1earlier entry of 19th August 1941 is not in the
 2documents. It is twice in the Evans' report. It is at
 3page 410 at paragraph 7.
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     But not in this J1?
 5 MR RAMPTON:     No.
 6 MR IRVING:     I am indebted to you.
 7 MR RAMPTON:     Perhaps I should read it out.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Hang on. If we are going to have to find
 9it ----
10 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, page 410 of Evans, my Lord. The witness's
11memory is, fortunately, very accurate, but it is perhaps
12worth just looking at. This is Evans' translation on 19th
13August 1941: "We speak about the Jewish problem. The
14Fuhrer is convinced that his former prophecy in the
15Reichstag, that, if Jewry succeeded once more in provoking
16a world war, it would end with the annihilation of the
17Jews, is being confirmed. It is being rendered true in
18these weeks and months with a certainty that seems almost
19uncanny. In the East the Jews have to pay the price; in
20Germany they have paid it already in part and in future
21they will have to pay yet more. Their last refuge remains
22North America; and there they will also to pay some time,
23sooner or later".
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes.
25 MR RAMPTON:     I am sorry that Professor Browning has not got
26that in front of him.

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Thank you very much.
 2 MR IRVING:     The passage is, in fact, also in the Goebbels
 3biography. Unless your Lordship feels it necessary,
 4I would prefer not to deal with the Hans Frank meeting at
 5this point.
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Take your own course.
 7 MR IRVING:     Yes. We dealt with it pretty exhaustively I think
 8already in my cross-examination, and I am not sure that
 9unless the witness has specific points he wishes to make
10about it, the Cabinet meeting in Cracau, you will
11remember, on December 16th where Hans Frank referred to,
12"What does Berlin imagine? Do they imagine we are
13housing the Jews in housing estates on the Eastern
15 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I would only add on that, that earlier in the entry before
16he gets to that speech, he refers to his visit with
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
19 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     And whether that refers to the Gauleiter meeting or the
20possibility that he had a separate private talk with
21Hitler, we do not know, but "besuch bei", you know, "von
22Fuhrer" would indicate a strong possibility that he met
23with Hitler privately, as he usually did when he came back
24to Berlin, in which case then he went off and gave this
25speech, it was not just listening to the Gauleiter but
26after a conference, possibly after a conference, with

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 1Hitler as well.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. But, as you are familiar, you say with the Hans
 3Frank diary, both in the printed version and on the
 4microfilm, will you agree that there is no diary entry
 5relating to a separate meeting with Hitler in December
 7 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No. He reports on the 16th that he had a visit with the
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     So his subsequent remarks may or may not have been an
10allusion to what he learned from Hitler's private
11meeting? Is this the point you are trying to make?
12 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I am saying there is the possibility that, in addition to
13witnessing the talk that Goebbels records in his diary,
14that he also had a private meeting with Hitler.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
16 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     But we cannot prove that definitively.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. Will you turn to page 77 of this little bundle,
19 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     This is?
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think we are back on J1.
21 MR IRVING:     Back on J1.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It is another untranslated German document.
23 MR IRVING:     Well, my Lord ----
24 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I have three here. I am not sure which one we are dealing
26 MR IRVING:     

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