Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 66 - 70 of 176

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    Let me make sure I am understanding where we
 1are going -- killed hundreds of thousands of Jews. It may
 2well be that what you are suggesting at the moment is that
 3those reports were exaggerated. But surely, for the
 4purposes of this case, what really matters is that going
 5back to Berlin were reports giving the numbers that they
 6gave, because at this stage in the case we are really on
 7how high the knowledge went, and was there a systematic
 8programme in place.
 9 MR IRVING:     I am very familiar with what Mr Rampton is trying
10to get out of this case, my Lord.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Do not worry about what he is trying to get
12out of the case. I want to make sure that I know where we
13going with the cross-examination.
14 MR IRVING:     I will put my cards face up on the table then,
15which I was hoping not to have to do as early as this in
16the cross-examination.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     You must in order to answer my question and I
18am sorry to interrupt.
19 MR IRVING:     We are looking at the August 1 1941 document. That
20is at the bottom of this particular alley, the document
21with which your Lordship is familiar.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is rather my point. I am sorry to
23interrupt you. All right, maybe a lot of the Jews were
24fleeing over the Urals and they were being shot by the
26 MR IRVING:     That is not that document. The fleeing Jews and the

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 1question of the killing capacities, the manpower, the
 2personnel, the trucks base and so on, goes purely to the
 3matter that Richard Evans has raised. Your Lordship will
 4be familiar with the fact that Richard Evans has suggested
 5four criteria for what a Holocaust denier is. A Holocaust
 6denier is somebody who says Hitler did not know; a
 7Holocaust denier is somebody who says the figures were
 8less, and that is what this is about, that particular
 9matter. I am entitled to suggest that the figures have
10been exaggerated and now unfortunately the Professor knows
11precisely what I am after.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     All right. If you concede as much as you do
13concede, I wonder whether there is a great deal of scope
14for debate on this particular topic.
15 MR IRVING:     The figures are important, my Lord, I do suggest,
16because there was undoubtedly an appalling massacre on the
17Eastern Front. I do not deny it. No sensible historian
18does deny it, rather. I am not going to be shot down by
19Mr Rampton for suggesting the figures are not as large as
20they have been made out to be and there is room to suggest
21that, whatever one has conceded, I rather dispute the word
22conceded, it is a position I have always adopted, the
23figures are smaller than have been commonly suggested. I
24will not pursue this much further.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No. It is really just to clarify my thinking
26but thank you for that answer. I appreciate that

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 2 MR IRVING:     Interesting though all this is, and nothing would
 3please me more than to have a long conversation with
 4Professor Browning, this is the court's time and I am
 5acutely aware of that.
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is what I am conscious of, too.
 7 MR IRVING:     Where was I?
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am sorry, I interrupted your flow.
 9 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I believe we were talking about documents that an
10historian would have had access to in the 1980s as opposed
11to after 1989.
12 MR IRVING:     Yes. In other words, it should not really be held
13against a historian if he has not gone and worked in Minsk
14and Riga and these other places in your view?
15 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     A number of those key documents in fact were by the 1970s,
16and in the Zentralsteller some copies were in the
17Institute in Munich. They are cited in books and at
18various conferences, and then we find that they were part
19of a larger file. But many of the key documents were
20available before 1989.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     I understood you to say that the German official or
22semi-official historical institutes had privileged
23access to Russian collections which are not immediately
24made available to other historians?
25 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No, not the historical institutes, the German judiciary in
26the process of trying Germans, most of which took place in

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 1the 60s and 70s, did have access, and that they in turn at
 2Ludwigsberg allowed historians to come and see their
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Like Goldhagen, for example?
 5 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I worked there a great deal. They have a collection which
 6is a USSR folder which has lots of materials, copies from
 7Ludwigsberg. So I have seen some of these documents
 8sitting in Jerusalem, that once they were out, the Xerox
 9machines worked and copies were now accessible in a number
10of places.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can I ask you to look on paragraph 5 or the report
12paragraph 3.2?
13 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     3.2 yes.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     You say that the Nazis sought to destroy all the
15documentary evidence and that is why we are so hard up.
16 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes, I mean, they certainly -- for instance, we have none
17of the internal papers of Eichmann's bureau. We have his
18correspondence in which copies ended up with the Foreign
19Office and elsewhere, but he seems to done a very good in
20destroying virtually all of his papers, as an example.
21     There are pockets of Himmler documents that have
22survived, as you and I both know, but certainly some that
23did not. And that we have seen orders, for instance, from
24Heydrich to people that destroyed documents.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     What disturbs me is your suggestion in paragraph 3.2, not
26so much a suggestion as a lament, that we have any amount

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 1of evidence relating to the shootings, but virtually
 2nothing at all relating to gassings?
 3 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     The number of written documents relating to shootings is
 4far more extensive than the number of documents relating
 5to gassings in Operation Reinhardt. I was not dealing
 6with gassings elsewhere.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     You used the useful concept of it not being symmetrical.
 8It is rather lopsided.
 9 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is there any methodological reason for that in your
12 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Well, I think if we read Globocnik's ----
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     I mean, assuming the gassings took place on this kind of
14scale that is now alleged, is there any reason why the
15documents should not be available on the same scale?
16 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Two reasons, I think. First is it seems that there were
17much more reporting back to Berlin concerning the
18shootings, that is, we have the structure of these daily
19reports and then Heydrich formulated them into bi-monthly
20and monthly reports, and circulating them among up to 100
21people on the Verteile, the distribution sheet.
22     In terms of Operation Reinhardt, we have no
23evidence of regular reports back of this nature. We do
24have Globocnik's letter to Himmler in early 1944: "I have
25destroyed all the documents except those relating to
26finances. Can we get the audit done so I can destroy

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