Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 31 - 35 of 176

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    The significance of this would be if there are three
 1different spellings, that it was made in honour of any
 2particular individual because one would know how the
 3spelling was. Well, obviously, this was phonetic and they
 4spelled it in any way that it occurred to them, and, of
 5course, in 1942 is the height of the clearing of the
 6gettoes and the killing of the Jews in Poland.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. We were going to come later on to the Aktion or
 8Operation Reinhard. Am I correct in saying that there has
 9been one school of thought, the thought that the Operation
10Reinhardt had been named after the late lamented or
11unlamented chief of the security police, Reinhard
12Heydrich?
13 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     That is one suggestion made because the files on personnel
14in Berlin spell it with just a D which is the way he spelt
15his name, so that was one suggestion that has been made
16which I do not endorse.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     While we are on the matter, because we are going to have a
18joint journey of discovery and exploration over the next
19day or two, I think, have documents come to your attention
20that have the initials AR in them instead of a security
21classification?
22 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I only saw reference to that from the transcript here.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes?
24 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     But I had not noticed that myself.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     It is an interesting discovery, would you agree?
26 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I would like to look at the documents to see how it was

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 1written, but I had not noticed that before.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. You are familiar with the correspondence between
 3Wolff and Gunsen Muller?
 4 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     In July 1942?
 6 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     Where Wolff -- can you remember what Wolff wrote to Gunsen
 8Muller?
 9 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes, he wanted trains and Gunsen Muller replied that, yes,
10he had trains and told him how many would be going each
11day.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     It is correct that Wolff replied that he was glad to hear
13that 5,000 of a chosen race were going to be sent to ----
14 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     That is my memory of the document, yes.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     And is there any significance you would attach to the fact
16that that had the initials AR on it?
17 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     It could indicate that a copy of this was to be filed in
18some file called Aktion Reinhardt.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     So we are constantly discovering new things, is this
20correct?
21 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     So that the last chapter on the Holocaust really still has
23to be written?
24 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     We are still discovering things about the Roman Empire.
25There is no last chapter in history.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     It is quite an adventure, though, is it not, as fresh

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 1archives around the world open up, would you agree?
 2 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you worked in -- I suppose you have worked in the
 4German archives, have you not?
 5 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you worked in the archives in Munich?
 7 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you had the opportunity to work in the Moscow
 9archives yet?
10 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No, I have not.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     What other major holdings are there of records on the
12Holocaust -- for example, in the United States?
13 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     There would be the National Archives collection of
14captured German documents and the microfilms at the United
15States Holocaust Museum from various East European
16archives and the Berlin Document Centre of Microfilms now
17also in the National Archives.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have those microfilms also been placed in the German
19Federal Archives now?
20 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     The German Federal Archives took over the originals of the
21Berlin Document Centre, so I presume they have both the
22microfilm and the originals in their possession.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Shooting off on one brief side excursion, have you found
24German archives sometimes rather secretive about recently
25acquired collections?
26 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     The area where I have had difficulty is getting court

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 1access to see pretrial interrogations because of the
 2increased emphasis on privacy law in Germany. That is,
 3I would say, the greatest difficulty that I have
 4encountered.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am surprised by this. In other words, what you are
 6saying is the pretrial interrogations of suspected war
 7criminals or of witnesses conducted in the 1940s and
 81950s?
 9 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Mostly 1960s and '70s.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have now been closed again, have they?
11 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Not closed, but there simply is more paper work to get
12them. In the 1970s I could ask to see them and I would be
13granted immediate access by the local person. Now it has
14to go to somebody higher up to approve it.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Does it make any difference if they are dead?
16 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No, generally it applies to whether you can see the
17records of this particular case, and they make no
18distinction as to whether people there are living or dead
19because the family members, children, would still be
20living too. I believe that there was concern, or at least
21that is what is cited, the family is still sensitive to
22the issues.
23 MR IRVING:     Would it be right to say that if an historian went
24to Moscow and came back with the Goebbels diaries and gave
25them to German archives, they would then vanish for
26several years?

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 1 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     It is a possibility that they would say, "We need to
 2classify these" and do whatever else and it would
 3temporarily not be available.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you familiar with the Goebbels diaries in any respect?
 5 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Only in the publications of the various -- the Frohich
 6publication from Munich and previous publications. I have
 7not worked in an original Goebbels.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you any sense of how long the period elapses between
 9the arrival of the original diaries in the hands of those,
10shall we say, processors and the publication in generally
11accessible form? Is it a matter of months or weeks or
12years?
13 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I do not know.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Professor Browning, do you have any particular problems as
15a non-Jewish historian writing about the Holocaust?
16 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Could you tell me a little more -- can you give me a
17little more direction as to what you are looking at? In
18terms of do I have a psychological problem or personal
19problem? Have I encountered ----
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Professional problems?
21 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     --- professional problems? Occasionally, one might say
22that it has been -- I can say in one or two cases I think
23it affected the opinions of some people concerning my
24publications.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     I do not want to explore this in any great depth, but
26would I be right in suggesting that the Jewish historians

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