Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 76 - 80 of 176

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    I cannot give you an exact answer to that because it is
 1simply have not seen documentation that will explain it.
 2 MR IRVING:     Can I just hand you this document, Professor, and a
 3copy for his Lordship as well? There is no need to read
 4it. Just look at the general character of it. Are you
 5familiar with these documents in the British archives?
 6 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I have seen copies of some of them. I have not actually
 7worked in the decrypts in the PRO, no.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you had any contact with Professor Richard Brightman?
 9 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Or with his English researcher, a Dr John Fox?
11 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I have had no recent contact with John Fox. The last time
12I saw him was 1992.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you familiar with the fact that there are in the
14British archives now many tens of thousands of these
15intercepts of German SS and police messages?
16 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I do not know the number, but I know there are a large
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. Well, will you accept that that particular page
19comes from a file of over thousand such pages, just one
20file, and I do not know how many reports are on that one
21page, there are about 15 items on that one page, so?
22 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Seven.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would it surprise you to hear that in the British archives
24we have, I suppose, several hundred thousand intercepted
25SS and police messages?
26 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I would not challenge the figure.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you know from the works of Richard Brightman, like this
 2book here, 'Official Secrets', that we, British, and the
 3Americans also through us, were familiar with the killing
 4operations being conducted by the SS on the Eastern Front?
 5 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     We -- as I understand Brightman's book, we were getting
 6the Police battalion reports which were in a lower code
 7between late July and early September or mid September,
 8which Daluege instructed them to send things by courier
 9and not by radio.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     1941 you are talking about?
11 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     1941.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. Is it known to you that the reason why Daluege
13ordered the code change is because Winston Churchill
14actually made a speech in 1941 relying on the intercepts,
15talking for the first time about these appalling
16atrocities being conducted by the SS?
17 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I have no single document that establishes a causal
18connection but there is a chronological meeting --
19chronologically, it is a possible interpretation.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you seen intercepted messages passed, intercepted by
21the British, intercepts by the British of messages passed
22by Himmler to the Einsatzgruppen chiefs, like Jeckeln or
24 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     There is the August 1st telegramme, I think it is -- I do
25not believe it is a radio message -- in which he instructs
26them to kill the men and chase the women into the swamps.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     There is that one, but I am still concentrating on just
 2these British intercepts, these tens of thousands of
 3intercepted Nazi SS and police messages. You suggest this
 4was just at police battalion level?
 5 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     The reports on the killings that I read in Brightman were
 6police battalion reports back to Daleuge. Now, whether
 7these -- and he first saw them in the United States which
 8may have gotten part of, I do not know to what percentage
 9of the British intercepts were available to him in the
10United States and how much he may have included of London
11records, since I just do not know what he has looked.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     But if these tens of thousands of messages contained,
13shall we say, a random selection of intercepts, there was
14no methodological reason why it should only be intercepts
15relating to shootings rather than to anything else, would
16it surprise you to hear that there are only references in
17these tens of thousands of messages to shootings and no
18references whatsoever to gassings?
19 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     It would not surprise me because we have no intercepts
20that I know of between Himmler and Globocnik, that this
21was not the way in which they communicated to the Soviet
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you familiar with the fact that the British official
24historians, Sir Frank Hinsley, summarized these and
25similar messages in the British Official History, this was
26the first clue that we had that these existed?

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 1 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I believe he said he looked at a few of them, that he did
 2not study that issue in detail, but that he did write
 3books that were on the British intelligence and referred
 4to these, yes.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you know that he read the reports, the daily reports,
 6from the Kommandants of the seven principal concentration
 7camps, Auschwitz, Dachau, Buchenwald, and so on, back to
 8Berlin for a number of months over the winter of 1942 to
10 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I did not know that, but again I would say that Operation
11Reinhardt was not part of the concentration camp system
12and would not have been in the same chain of command.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     What archeological investigations have been conducted in
14recent years at any of the camp sites that you are
15alluding to, like Treblinka, Maidonek, Sobibor and Belzec?
16 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     At the moment, I understand that they are doing
17archeological excavations in Belzec, that I do not believe
18at the moment they are doing them in Sobibor or
19Treblinka. They have made memorials there. Chelmo, they
20have created again in the forest where the graves were a
21series of memorials that represent where the trenches
22were. Whether that was based on somebody that knew or
23whether that was just placed there, I just do not know.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     So there has been no systematic effort to try to quantify
25the scale of killing that went on in these camps?
26 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Belzec, I believe it is the first time at which they are

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 1doing, which was the most -- the one that does not have a
 2developed memorial is the one which they are doing at the
 3moment archeological excavation.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Just finally on your paragraph 3.2, you said there that as
 5far as the shootings go, we have a lot of documentary
 6evidence, but for gassings we have to rely on eyewitness
 7and circumstantial evidence.
 8 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     For the three camps of Operation Reinhardt. We do have
 9some documentary evidence concerning Zemblin(?) and the
10gas vans working with the Einsatzgruppen and documents, a
11few documents, relating to Chelmo. The documents relating
12to Operation Reinhardt, I have argued, presents the case
13that lots of people went here and were never seen again,
14but the written documents do not specify why they were
15never seen again. They do not specify a method of
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do the documents specify that they were killed or do we
18have to conclude that?
19 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Well, if 20 miles or 20 kilometres from Treblinka the
20Kommandant complains that the Jews are not buried well
21enough and that they have got a pestilential smell 20
22kilometres away, it would indicate a large number of Jews
23had been killed.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you find that credible, plausible eyewitness evidence,
25that people can smell something 20 kilometres away?
26 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     

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