Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 166 - 170 of 176

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    Is this not an extraordinary state of affairs, in your
 2 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     It would not be the first miscarriage of justice in
 3Germany in which people should have been tried and were
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     This is, in my view, or would you agree, a particular
 6egregious example of somebody who should have been hanged
 7relatively early on who somehow escaped the hangman's
 8noose, would you agree?
 9 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I think he certainly should have been brought to trial
10much earlier, and his verdict should have been much more
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     He made a number of witness statements on behalf of the
13Americans and the British and the other Allies after the
14war, did he?
15 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I am not sure on that. I could not answer that.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     Well, you say he testified at Nuremberg?
17 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     He testified at the Karl Wolff trial and also in Bavaria.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     How much credence do you think you could attach to the
19evidence of a witness like that?
20 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     It would depend upon looking at what he was saying and in
21what context and what corroboration. I would not make a
22blanket statement. Here again it would be a case where
23there is a witness and you would want to look very
24carefully at the particular testimony in question, but
25this would be one to be approached with caution. He did
26send apparently his doctored and sanitized diary to the

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 1Bundesarchiv all nicely typed up and all references to
 2things that you have referred to, that he probably has
 3many hundreds of thousands on his conscious nicely
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Does this kind of happen in the archives, that documents
 6turn up in the archives that have been sanitized in some
 8 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     If they are submitted by the private party himself, as in
 9this case, I suppose it is not necessarily uncommon.
10I think there was a feeling that maybe Sper had done the
11same thing.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     I know Sper did the same thing. Would you not agree that
13in a case of a man like Bach-Zelewski who you know and
14I know and the world knew was a mass murderer who had
15somehow managed to survive like Scheherezade by singing or
16by telling tales, that is the kind of evidence that you
17should drive a very wide circle around and not under any
18circumstances use?
19 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I would not say not to use under any circumstances. It
20would depend upon what he was saying and whether it had
21other kinds of corroboration. He might be saying
22something that other witnesses would confirm.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     I mention this just as a particularly gross example,
24because are there any other names that would occur to you
25of witnesses where you think, well, it is funny that he
26got off so lightly? Are there any other names in

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 1connection with the Holocaust where witnesses have
 2been ----
 3 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I think Wolff got off fairly lightly.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Karl Wolff?
 5 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Because he was an accomplice or he was -- what would his
 7particular crime have been, to your knowledge?
 8 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Certainly in facilitating of the procuring of trains for
 9Operation Reinhard, that was one key document.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. He survived, but are you familiar that in the case
11of Karl Wolff -- no, I cannot lead evidence on that
12obviously. What about Wilheim Hoertel, Eichmann's liaison
13in the Balkans, shall we say?
14 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I am not aware that Hoertel was involved in the
15deportation the way Sedonika or someone else. I do not
16know of any situation in which Hoertel knew Eichmann, but
17I do not believe he worked for him or was instrumental in
18the Final Solution.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     I will put to you to two facts in connection with
20Hoertel. Is he one of the sources for our overall figure
21of the total on the Holocaust, the total number of
23 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     He is the person who gave such a figure. I do not think
24that that is why historians come to the numbers that they
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Where did he get his figure from?

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 1 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     He claimed he got it from Eichmann.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     He claimed he got it from Eichmann. Was Hoertel
 3prosecuted at all in any way at the end of the war for his
 4role as a member of the Gestapo?
 5 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I do not know, but I have certainly not come across him as
 6having been involved in the Final Solution. But there are
 7many people ----
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     Did he give evidence in Nuremberg on behalf of the Allies?
 9 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     That again I cannot say.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Will you go to page 16 of your report, please, paragraph
114.2.8? Can we have a look at the source document for that
12one, please?
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Is it page 78?
14 MR IRVING:     I beg your pardon?
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am not sure it is, but it might be.
16 MR IRVING:     Yes. Your Lordship is way ahead of us. Would you
17go to page 2 of that transcript which again is
18unfortunately in German, but I wanted to draw your
19attention to the bottom three lines. Am I right in saying
20it says that two categories of Jews are to be
21distinguished from each other?
22 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes. This is a document I believe that relates to Minsk
23and the other heading a Russian Jewish ghetto and a German
24Jewish ghetto, that they had a very strict separation in
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, and that these Jews, the Nazis had to distinguish

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 1between these two categories of Jews ----
 2 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     In this case ----
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     --- once they began the killings when the ground thawed?
 4 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I am not sure if I understand the question.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Well, the question is that they made once again a
 6distinction between killing Russian Jews and the treatment
 7of German Jews at this Minsk conference?
 8 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     They made a distinction between them, but they are
 9virtually all killed within six months. So it is a
10distinction that delayed the executions not a very great
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     What is the point of the distinction in that
14 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     They are kept in different ghettoes at the moment is one
15thing, and I believe, as you see from document, I think
16they consider the work skills of the German Jews would be
17viewed as higher and therefore would be kept longer. It
18goes on to say that Russian Jews, the following paragraph,
19after separation, it says: "Russian Jews are of a stubborn
20nature and unwilling to work. The German Jews work with
21much more vigour and they believe after victory that they
22will return to the old Reich". This is the result of
23having sent these people with in the fall with all of
24their Gerat, their utensils and suitcases and whatever
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     

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