Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 141 - 145 of 176

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    One can say that we have very strong evidence that it was
 1submitted, but we do not know for certain that he read it.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you know what else was happening at Hitler's
 3headquarters around that time, what was happening to his
 4war?
 5 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Well, of course, he was worrying about Stalingrad.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     He was worrying about Stalingrad, yes, thank you very
 7much. Moving on to page 12, paragraph 4.2.1, this is the
 8document from the Moscow archives, is it not, instructing
 9the local SS units to assist the local anti-Semites in
10starting their own pogroms and keeping out of it
11themselves?
12 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     To instigate the pogroms without leaving their own
13footprints.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     It is a remarkable document, is it not? Has this just
15recently come into our possession, or has it been around
16for many decades?
17 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     The earliest to which I saw reference was when Helmut
18Krausnik refers to it in his big work on the
19Einsatzgruppen which was published, I believe, in 1979 and
20then it was subject to considerable debate between himself
21and Alfred Streim at the conference in 1982. So it has
22been a document that has been referred to among historians
23for now 20 years.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can you in three lines sketch for the court the nature of
25the debate?
26 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     The nature of the debate was whether there had been an

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 1order to the Einsatzgruppen prior to the invasion of the
 2Soviet Union to kill all Jews, or whether that order came
 3later, and the question was, was gedrangtform or
 4compressed form a quick way of referring to a
 5comprehensive order which was what Helmut Krausnik argued,
 6or do we take the order more literally and, when Heydrich
 7says they will kill all Jews in state and party positions,
 8to see that as a beginning of the campaign to kill Jewish
 9leadership but not yet a comprehensive order to kill all
10Jews, women and children included. That was the nature of
11the debate.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     If you were to give an overview of the killing programme
13during 1941 on the Eastern Front, would be it correct to
14say that initially the victims were Jewish males of an
15able-bodied military age?
16 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     The first victims were Jews that were considered in
17leadership positions, or Jewish males in general.
18Sometimes they would be anyone from 16 and 55, sometimes
19it would be they want the lawyers and the doctors, not the
20doctors, they would usually be spared, bring us the
21leadership of the town. So that it was a selective
22killing and not a total killing, I argued, until August
2341.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     Were there military reasons for carrying out these
25operations or purely ideological at that stage?
26 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     My feeling was that this was more ideological than

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 1military, that these people do not present a military
 2threat to the Germans of any significant kind, and that
 3this was part of Heydrich's preventative war to take away
 4the leadership of the Jewish community, and that this was
 5a police purge, we might say, and not a strictly military
 6operation.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you saying that they presented no threat to the
 8Germans of any military kind?
 9 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No significant threat. I do not think the 50 year old
10Rabbi represents a military threat to the Germans and he
11would be the kind of person.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am older than 50 and I would certainly be capable of
13pointing a gun at someone.
14 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     If you had a gun, and they did not have guns. Capable of
15it, but the fact is that there is very little record that
16Jewish resistance was a cause of the German action, that
17it should be out here very, very early. The orders given
18-- put it this way. The July 2nd document refers to the
19verbal conversation Heydrich had with his Einsatzgruppen
20leaders before the invasion, and then on July 2nd he sends
21in compressed form a summary of that to the higher SS and
22police leaders. So that the orders to kill Jews and state
23and party positions precedes the invasion and is not the
24result of any actions by Jewish communities that could be
25construed as resistance justifying military repression.
26It is a pre-emptive measure decided on prior to invasion.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is it not right to say that the event reports the
 2Erreichnichtsmelderung August 1941 onwards primarily
 3referred to the emergence of partisan activity which is
 4being led or supported by the Jews?
 5 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     There are frequent references to Jews as if Jews and
 6Bolshevic Jews and partisans are the same thing. But, if
 7one goes down a lower level to people who are reporting on
 8partisans for the purpose of what counter measures one may
 9take, what I have seen of these is that it is not until
10the summer of 42, and the reference is Jews are fleeing to
11the forest and joining the partisans because of our ghetto
12liquidation campaign. The Germans are creating a Jewish
13partisan danger because these people are fleeing the death
14that awaits them if they do not.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, I am sorry, I am going to have to
16interrupt you again. I am sorry to do so. We have had
17quite a lot of evidence about a document which I have
18eventually tracked down. There seem to be two versions of
19it, both in German, and I do not know where, if anywhere,
20I find an English version.
21 MR IRVING:     Which document is this, my Lord?
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     This is what he has just been talking about,
23the July 2nd 1941 document.
24 MR RAMPTON:     The key part of the document is on page 11 of
25Professor Browning's report.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I do not think that is really enough. Is

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 1that it as far as a translation goes?
 2 MR RAMPTON:     The key part is in paragraphs 4.16 and 4.17. It is
 3also set out in full in Longerich and Evans.
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     In full in Longerich?
 5 MR RAMPTON:     Longerich 2, page 67.
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     What would help me, rather than just having
 7wodges of German text, is some sort of cross-reference.
 8There really is not time for me to plough my own way
 9through, with my inadequate German, to find the passages
10that matter so, if I could be provided with a
11cross-reference for where I find a translation, I would be
12very grateful.
13 MR RAMPTON:     Yes. With these documents it is fairly
14straightforward because the footnote reference is at the
15bottom right hand corner of the page. These are all
16Browning documents. Therefore, if one uses the footnote
17reference, one can go straight to the relevant passage in
18Browning. It is more difficult with the Evans report but
19this is quite straightforward. If one looks, one sees
20that it is footnote 28 in this particular case, and one
21finds it therefore. That is how I found it in Browning.
22One finds it then on page 11.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Longerich or Browning?
24 MR RAMPTON:     No, Browning, my Lord. Footnote 28 follows this
25sentence, "On a separate line for Jews executed is listed
263,663,211", which is what the document says.

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