Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 136 - 140 of 176

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    As I said, it was agreed, the annihilation or
 1extermination of the Jews would take place, they would be
 2annihilated as if they were partisans, as partisans, that
 3will be the conventional way in which they speak about it
 4or the guise under which it will be done.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     But then the correct German would be vie and not als?
 6 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No. If you were going to kill them, the operation, we all
 7use the same operational methods against them, but they
 8did not because they killed women and children, partisans
 9they did not, so it is not we will do it in the same way,
10but we will kill the one as if they were the other, as the
11cover under which to kill the other.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     The point that is being put is that als does
13not mean as if. There is another German expression for
14that. Not just vie, there is another one as well, I
16 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I think vie would be, we will kill them in the same way as
17we kill partisans. It applies to an identical method.
18The als I would interpret as the justification for it or
19the cause for it.
20 MR IRVING:     Perhaps I could put in two different ways? This is
21like when you have a dictionary which gives two or three
22different meanings of the word in different orders of
23likelihood, and the one that I give is the primary
24meaning, but there is a possible secondary meaning which
25is the one you are offering?
26 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I do not know in which order they came in the dictionary

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 1so I cannot say which is first or second.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     I know which order they come in the German language, and
 3this is that als means as direct equivalence, whereas vie
 4means like, which is not direct equivalence.
 5 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I have translated as. We will both agree we are using the
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     You were using the correct translation and I am drawing
 8attention to the significance of that. They are to be
 9liquidated as the partisans that they are, and that is the
11 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     That is adding a whole series of phrases that is the birth
12of your imagination. There is nothing in here.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     The burden of the word as or als, whether we like it or
14not, and if we are going to make this a key document of
15our argument, it is dangerous to try and suggest that,
16well, the secondary meaning is probably the one I am
17looking for because that is the one that fits in with my
19 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I have used the primary word. It is you who are inventing
20a whole series of words that do not exist on the page, and
21that is the sheerest fantasy in which I do not share.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     I do not want to labour the point, but als is definitely
23an equivalence rather than a comparison, is it not?
24 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I have translated it that way, but I did not add a whole
25further series of words which you have chosen to add which
26have no documentary basis.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can we go now to page 11 of your report, which is the same
 2page that this document comes from, and look at paragraph
 4 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Page 11 of your report. Paragraph 4.1.7?
 6 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Correct. I have got it.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     This brings us to the famous Meldung No. 51, the report
 8number 51 by Himmler to Hitler.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can we try to see if we can locate it unless
10you think it is not necessary?
11 MR IRVING:     I do not think it is necessary, my Lord, I am just
12going to deal with the meaning of the word vorgelegt. As
13you correctly point out in this paragraph, this report
14was, as you say, submitted on 31st December 1942, and the
15word submitted in the German document was vorgelegt. Is
16that right?
17 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     That is how I translated it, yes.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     That is correct, and the initial that went with it was
19Hitler's adjutant Pfeifer. Am I correct?
20 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     When it comes to Hitler's Adjutants' initials I would
21defer to your recognition of that. I am not an expert in
22the initials of his Adjutants.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am not sure that Mr Rampton would be happy to have you
24deferring to me in any matter of expertise?
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I would be happier to have the document in
26front of me. Does anybody have any idea where it is?

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 1 MR RAMPTON:     It is here. I am just trying to find it. It is
 2L1, tab 7, page 140. In fact, I would recommend even
 3going back as far as page 138, where we see it in a prior
 4incarnation before it got reformed into the Hitler legible
 5large type on page 140.
 6 MR IRVING:     I am quite happy to do that. This is one of the
 7few examples, is it not, Professor, where we have a bit of
 8a paper trail, do we not?
 9 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
10 MR RAMPTON:     I hope the Professor can find it.
11 MR IRVING:     In the thick bundle. Have you found it?
12 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes I have both.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     Both the preceding document, as Mr Rampton has rightly
14pointed out, containing the same figures, and the large
15large typeface version on page 140. I am just
16referring to this top line where it says Vorgelegt and
17then the date and then the initial PH for Pfeiffer.
18 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am not going to make anything about the initial. If you
20had seen a preceding document, report No. 50, which is not
21in this file, and if it had got the word Vorgelegt on it
22twice, with two successive dates on it, Vorgelegt on 29th
23December and Vorgelegt on 30th December, what would that
24tell you?
25 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     That he had brought it back a second time.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Why had he had to bring it back twice?

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 1 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I have no idea.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     What is the logical reason why he would have had to bring
 3it first one day and then put it on Hitler's breakfast
 4tray again the following day?
 5 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     It could be either that he had not read it or that he
 6wanted to see it again.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     So the fact that word Vorgelegt is on a document does not
 8necessarily mean that it had been read?
 9 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     It does not prove that it had been read, because there is
10no Hitler initial that says "read by", which you sometimes
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you seen any documents anywhere in the archives where
13we can tell that Hitler has read a document? Would it
14have a different notation on it?
15 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I do not know.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you familiar with the notation Fuhrer hauptkentness,
17or something like that? F hauptkentness?
18 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     And there is no such reference on this particular
21 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No. That does not have such a reference.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     would I be, on the balance of probabilities, right in
23saying, although it is likely that the document was
24submitted to Hitler, it is not proven that it was read by
25Hitler, this particular document we are looking at?
26 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     

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