Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 96 - 100 of 176

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    I do not know of any evidence of particular photos or
 1placards that were sent.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     How many such reports on the work of the Einsatzgruppen
 3were actually sent to Hitler that we know of?
 4 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     We do not know.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have we seen any at all in the archives?
 6 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     We have seen various ones that are sent to different
 7places but none of them are marked as a copy that was sent
 8to the Fuhrer's headquarters or whatever, no.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Apart from the famous Meldung number 51?
10 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Of December 1942?
12 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     Which we will come to in chronological sequence. My Lord,
14do you have any further questions on that August 1st
15document? It is quite important.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No. I think you have dealt with it very
17thoroughly.
18 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Can I add something?
19 MR RAMPTON:     Yes of course.
20 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     This is an example of a document that was available in the
21West fairly early. Gerald Fleming quotes it in his book
22which was published I guess in 1982. It is found in the
23Zentralstelle. This is when they got there. They sent
24the copy to the Institute. The copy he cites here is the
25copy in the Bundeschei. So there are at least three
26copies of this in Germany.

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 1 MR IRVING:     Professor, would you agree that it is difficult to
 2form an opinion just on a loose sheet of paper like this?
 3You want to see the file it is in, is that correct?
 4 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     We would always prefer to see the whole file. I do not
 5turn my back on an individual document because it is not
 6everything that I would wish.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you also agree that, when you see a document like
 8that, you should not jump up and down and say, Eureka,
 9this is the philosopher's stone I have been looking for.
10 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I would be cautious not to yell Eureka, yes.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     So historians in this respect are somewhat different from
12leading counsel, would you suspect?
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No, Mr Irving. Next question.
14 MR IRVING:     On the question of the body count figures, because
15of course I am very concerned about the totals that are
16contained in these documents, is there any paper trail
17leading to the figures, or are these figures -- which
18figures are credible because we have seen the supporting
19paperwork that went into them?
20 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     We have, for instance, the Jager report that goes in a
21sense from one Einsatzkommando to Stahlecker and then we
22have Stahlecker's reports, so we do have the building
23block there. We do not have a lot of what we would call
24the lower level papers from the Einsatzkommandos. We have
25some of the documents from the Gendarme Marie, such as the
26Brestotoft document that we have looked at.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     How confident can we be that every time one of these
 2reports refers to so many thousand Jews being killed they
 3are actually Jews who are being killed?
 4 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     We have enough cases in which I think other evidence can
 5corroborate that I am fairly confident. That is not in
 6exact numbers but that there was a policy to carry out
 7large executions, and that these are not numbers that are
 8wildly off, or that they are being faked, in the sense of
 9they are not being real executions being under way.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Was there not a tendency among the Nazis just to lump all
11the people that are killed together as Jews, knowing that
12this kind of report would be particularly welcomed by the
13authorities in Berlin?
14 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     The Jager report shows that he was very careful in fact to
15identify Jewish men, Jewish women and children, and then
16other categories. A number of the Einsatzgruppen reports
17at different times, not in the global figures but for,
18say, summarizing the past two weeks, we will break down,
19so many saboteurs, so many communist functionaries, so
20many mentally ill and so many Jews. The tendency seems to
21be, at least on some occasions, to indicate that they are
22being fairly careful about separating and keeping track of
23their victims by category.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am going to put to you a passage from the British
25intelligence summary on these decodes which I have given
26you just a sample page of. These police decodes were

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 1analysed very thoroughly during the war years on a current
 2by skilled British operatives. I will read you five lines
 3from the British intelligence summary dated September 12th
 41941, which is also referenced by Richard Brightman in his
 5book on page 96 and 219. That is the book on official
 6secrets. The wartime British summary says:
 7     "The execution of 'Jews' is so recurrent a
 8feature of these reports, namely the intercepts, that the
 9figures have been omitted from the situation reports and
10brought under one heading 3D. Whether all those executed
11as Jews are indeed such is of course doubtful. The
12figures are no less conclusive as evidence of a policy of
13savage intimidation, if not of ultimate extermination".
14Would you accept that the wartime British operators who
15were reading these reports on a daily basis concluded
16therefore that probably a lot of the people described as
17Jews were not Jews?
18 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     They concluded that. I think they concluded that quite
19erroneously. I think that they had a tendency
20consistently to underestimate the degree to which this was
21a priority of the Nazi regime, and that that is a theme in
22a sense that runs through the whole British response. For
23instance, they have earlier, in terms of Jewish refugees
24fleeing, they say we must help the political refugees but
25the Jews are "mere racial refugees", and therefore the
26implication not in danger. The British had a fairly

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 1consistent record of underestimating the degree of hatred
 2and the degree of priority the Nazis regime had towards
 3the Jews.
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Do you mean deliberately or because they
 5simply did not know what was going on?
 6 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     They simply could not understand that it was a priority
 7for Hitler, but it was so foreign to their own way of
 8thinking that it made no sense. Why would you spend time
 9killing Jewish women and children when you are trying to
10fight a war? It was outside their realm, the way they
11understood the world.
12 MR IRVING:     If we go to page 8 in your paragraph 4.1, we are
13looking at the scale of the killings again, are all the
14Jews who are being killed, shall we say, native Jews, or
15do they include German Jews at this time?
16 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     The cases in which they would include German Jews would be
17Einsatzgruppen 3, reporting the five transports to Kovno
18by November 25. That may not be in there yet because that
19happens on the 25th and 29th. So that one would not
20include it. Einsatzkommando 2, whether that would include
21German Jews, I do not know. The others, there would not
22have been any deportation of German Jews to those areas at
23that point.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     Was there a distinction made at that time in the treatment
25between the German Jews and the non-German Jews? In other
26words, the new arrivals and the locals?

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