Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 41 - 45 of 176

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you know what his opinion is on whether Adolf Hitler
 2actually issued an order or not?
 3 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I think his feeling is if you are looking for an order in
 4a formal sense, that such a thing probably was not given.
 5If you are looking at it in the way that you described
 6earlier, calling it the Richard Nixon complex, that Hitler
 7made very clear to Himmler and Heydrich what he expected
 8and they understood what was expected of them, that he --
 9I cannot speak for him, but I believe he would not have
10been uncomfortable with that formulation.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     The kind of "don't let me find out what you are up to"?
12 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Well, but also, "this is what I want but don't let me find
13-- don't bother me the with details". He often said to
14several people on record, "Take care of this. In 10 years
15report back that it was done and I will not ask you how it
16was accomplished".
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     In connection with what topics would that kind of decision
18have been made, not in connection with the Holocaust?
19 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I think in terms of the ethnic cleansing from the annexed
20territories from Poland, he used that expression, to the
21Gauleiter along with Warthegau and Schlesier and
22whatever ----
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Gauleiter Dreiser or someone like that?
24 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     He say he did not want to have interim reports, "Just tell
26me when it has been done"?

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 1 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     That he indicated he did not want to be bothered with the
 2details. He wanted it accomplished ----
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Are we still -- I am so sorry -- talking
 4about Raul Hilberg's view or are we sliding into your own
 5view?
 6 MR IRVING:     No. We are now talking about his own expertise.
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It is quite important to know whose opinions
 8I am hearing.
 9 MR IRVING:     I believe this is Professor Browning's opinion. (To
10the witness): Am I right?
11 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Well, we started talking about what Hilberg and
12I explained what I thought he would be comfortable with,
13and then I believe we kind of shifted into how we would
14understand this kind of decision making process would be
15done that was not attributed to Raul Hilberg specifically
16but a general discussion.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     My Lord, it may be helpful ----
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     What I want to have clear is what you have
19just said, which was very clear, if I may say so. Was
20that your view, namely, he effectively made clear what he
21wanted done and then said, "You get on with it and I do
22not want to know the details"? Is that your view?
23 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes. We have documented cases where, in terms of ethnic
24cleansing, he made that statement, and so I would say this
25is a way in which Hitler conveys or makes decisions or
26gives orders that we would not consider a formal order in

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 1the sense of a signed document, and I would say that is my
 2opinion, not attributed to Raul Hilberg.
 3 MR IRVING:     My Lord, I should also have given you a kind of
 4topic paragraph of what I intend doing today.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I have made that clear before; it does help
 6me.
 7 MR IRVING:     Yes. I intend having this general discussion to
 8start with and then we will revert to his report, and I
 9hope that we will cover the first 25 pages of the report
10during the day which is covering very much ground level
11operations of the Einsatzgruppen on the Eastern Front.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes. At the moment it is a sort of bird's
13eye view which is very helpful to start off with.
14 MR IRVING:     Indeed, my Lord. This kind of discussion is
15helpful because I do not know Professor Browning, we have
16never met, and we have never had the pleasure and I am,
17frankly, interested in finding out what he knows.
18 MR RAMPTON:     I have something to say, if I may since, we have
19now been told what the plan is. (A) I am not interested,
20I mean as an advocate appearing for clients, in having
21this court used as what one might call an historical forum
22an I dare say your Lordship is not either unless it goes
23to an issue in the action.
24     I heard with some alarm Mr Irving threatening to
25spend the rest of the day cross-examining about the
26Einsatzgruppen shootings in the East. Your Lordship may

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 1recall that Mr Irving has made a very clear concession
 2that those shootings happened on a massive scale, that
 3they were systematic and that Hitler authorized them. So
 4where ----
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, but, well, I do not know what the
 6questions are going to be yet, but this is your -- I am
 7just going to say something to Mr Rampton -- expert. He
 8is saying what he says. He is making various historical
 9assertions. Obviously, Mr Irving cannot resile from what
10he has already conceded, but he is entitled to go through
11it. I do not know exactly what he is going to ask.
12 MR RAMPTON:     I do not know either. If there is some area of
13Professor Browning's report which Mr Irving disputes which
14is still relevant to the case, then, of course, and it may
15be that there are other areas of the report which he can,
16as it were, try to use to undermine Professor Browning's
17credibility. That I cannot object to either. What he
18cannot do in cross-examination -- I am only putting down a
19marker -- now is to try, as it were, to go back behind the
20concession that he has made.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think it is helpful to be reminded of the
22concession. I do not suppose Mr Irving will
23but I certainly do not see any reason why he should not
24follow the path.
25 MR IRVING:     I do not think that was a helpful interruption at
26all from Mr Rampton. Normally Mr Rampton's interruptions

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 1are welcome and very helpful but, if he had only waited, I
 2have written in large letters here on my notes, "We do not
 3contest the shootings".
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think so far, if I may say so, you have
 5been perfectly consistent in the way you have put your
 6case, but Mr Rampton was putting down what may turn out to
 7be an unnecessary marker.
 8 MR RAMPTON:     It may well do.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Let us press on.
10 MR IRVING:     You were talking about the ethnic cleansing of
11these Polish regions. What would have been meant by that?
12If Hitler had said, carry out the ethnic cleansing but do
13not tell me for the next ten years, just come back in ten
14years to tell me it has been done, would the ethnic
15cleansing have actually involved the mass extermination of
16any category of people?
17 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     That involved the mass expulsion of Jews, gypsies and what
18they said was other undesirable people, in these areas to
19be repopulated with ethnic Germans brought back from the
20regions of Eastern European conceded to Stalin in the non
21aggression pact.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     We have a bit of a problem, do we not, with the fact that
23parts of Eastern Europe had been conceded to Stalin? Do
24we have any clear figures as to how many thousands or
25hundreds of thousands of Jews had been dumped across the
26demarcation line by the Nazis into the Soviet controlled

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