Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 91 - 95 of 176

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    Except that even intelligence matters would normally rate
 1a security rating of secret anyway, would they not, like
 2collecting documents and things like that, am I right?
 3 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     If there is a tendency to overclassify, someone could
 4possibly stamp that on even though, as far as I can see,
 5looking at this, there is no reason to classify the
 6document at all.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     In other words, it is a document of janitorial level.
 8 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No. It is a document that does not reveal anything that
 9if it were seen by others would pose any problem.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     The Germans worked like that, did they, or
11the Nazis worked like that? If the ultimate topic was
12going to be secret, they did not introduce the higher
13security classification from day 1? Do you follow the
14question I am putting because I suspect maybe here we
15might operate differently, I do not know.
16 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I simply do not know whether individual documents in the
17same file will ----
18 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     That is my point.
19 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     --- have different, will have varying ones and, of course,
20we do not...
21 MR IRVING:     Professor, can I ask you to look at the letter
22register number or the file number just under the word
23"Eichzigereichts auf Kampt" ----
24 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     And after the letter at the end of that line is a letter
26G?

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 1 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     That indicates the file only has a secret rating?
 3 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     It would certainly indicate that this particular number
 4has a secret rating.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Just above his signature at the bottom of the document,
 6again ----
 7 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     We have the same file number, yes.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     We have a similar file number, again with just the letter
 9G. So the whole thing they are talking and writing about
10is only G Geheim?
11 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you be adventurous enough to hang a hypothesis on a
13document like that, or would you want to couch your
14hypothesis in the most guarded language and say this might
15quite possibly refer to the killing operations, on the
16other hand the document contains no specific reference?
17Would that be the way you would write it as a cautious
18historian?
19 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I would say that it has a reference to the work of the
20Einsatzgruppen, and that we should interpret this as
21referring to all of the activities of the Einsatzgruppen.
22Because we have seen the reports, we know that includes
23killing, but someone looking at this letter from the
24outside would not know that.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. Have you any reason to believe that Hitler was shown
26photographs of the killing operations?

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 1 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I do not know.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Were there placards connected with the killing operations
 3saying, you are to assemble at such and such a place?
 4 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     There were such placards put up, yes.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can you give me an idea? It is really the
 6scale of the thing. These Einsatzgruppen at this time,
 7because we are talking about August 41, you may not be
 8able to answer this, what proportion of their duties did
 9shooting people occupy?
10 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     As of August 1 they would be just going into the
11transition of killing adult male Jews of particularly
12potential leadership classes, towards a policy of
13systematic extermination. So at this point, if I can use
14that unfortunate phrase, the body count would still be
15lower than the documents that come from the fall of 1941.
16The Jager, report for instance, shows August 15 as the
17astronomical jump from selected killing to massive killing
18of women and children. We have another letter from
19Lithuania, it is not part of this file, that says at
20August 7th they are shooting all Jews. So this is
21preceding that point by just a few days.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     So, in a way, that is equivocal. It could
23mean from the date of this letter the information is
24necessarily going to include details of the numbers shot
25because the extermination programme is being accelerated?
26 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     That would be an interpretation we placed on it, based on

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 1our inferences from the point of time, the chronology, a
 2possible interpretation.
 3 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Yes. The opposite contention would be they have not
 4actually been spending a huge amount of time doing these
 5awful shootings?
 6 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Most of the shootings are reported in the hundreds at this
 7point as opposed to the thousands and hundreds of
 8thousands.
 9 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     So it is equivocal?
10 MR IRVING:     Not only that. I think that Professor Browning is
11right. I believe the first intercepts were mid August
12onwards, were they not, when they began reporting 30,000
13shot?
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is what he said.
15 MR IRVING:     I draw Professor Browning's attention once more to
16the subject line of that document. The document is only
17concerning provision of visual materials?
18 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes, but the reason for the procurement of visual
19materials is to supplement the fact that the Fuhrer is
20receiving regular reports. So we learn from a particular
21document about the procurement of visual materials, an
22existing policy of Hitler receiving current reports.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can you -- I am not an expert on the
24Reichssicherheitshauptamt and I am not sure how much are
25you, but can you draw any conclusions from the desk
26number, shall we say, it is (iv), that was the Gestapo?

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 1 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Then we have A1. Now, Eichmann was A something was he
 3not?
 4 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     It changes over time. At one point I think it is 4B4,
 5that is the most common designation.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     That is right. Eichmann was 4B4. So what would 4A1 be?
 7Have you any idea?
 8 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     My guess is that it is the secretary, the administrative
 9centre. This would be his own personal office. I do not
10have an office plan. One could find that out with an
11office plan.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     A logical question arises from this document. Have you
13anywhere in any of the archives in which you have worked
14seen any documents generated by this request, either
15incoming to Muller from the Eastern Front or going from
16Berlin to Hitler in consequence of this?
17 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I have not seen any collections of photos that are marked
18as in reference to our order of August 1, these should be
19sent to the Fuhrer. I have not seen such a thing.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are there any collections of documents or placards or
21things relating to shootings on the Eastern Front that
22were sent to Hitler?
23 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I do not ----
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     Either demonstrably or otherwise in connection with this
25order?
26 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     

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