Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 17: Electronic Edition

Pages 111 - 115 of 214

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    I think it limits it. If my argument has been that after,
 1possibility of a framework for a total solution" is
 2talking about a series of camps, this is a much stronger
 3document than the way I have interpreted it.
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Well, it depends if it is one big camp or a
 5lot of little camps.
 6 MR IRVING:     Except that one big camp might have been Belzec or
 7Sobibor or Treblinka, whereas a lot of little camps could
 8not have been, my Lord. It would have been the "new
 9life", if I can put it like that? It would be the
10gettoes, the alternative solution that was being
11propagated. I fully accept that it was an accidental
12mistranslation on the witness's part. But the other point
13I was going to make is do such accidents happen and are
14they necessarily perverse in translation?
15 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     If they happen, they should at least sort of be 50 per
16cent one way and 50 per cent another, and here the case we
17have found is one, as I say, against interest. If there
18was a consistent pattern where all mistakes tended to
19support the position of the man making the mistakes, one
20could make a case that (indeed, what we have talked about)
21a predisposed mind set was contributing.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     You mean it is like a waiter who always gives the wrong
23change in his own favour?
24 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     5.1.8, please, which is on page 28 -- I am just going to
26refer very briefly to Aberhard Wetzel. We have looked at

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 1this document many times. I am not going to look at it
 2again. What happened to Aberhard Wetzel, do you know?
 3Was he prosecuted or punished in any way?
 4 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I do not know of a Wetzel trial, so I assume he was not,
 5but I do not know that.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     So this is yet another case of a man who, prima facie, on
 7the basis of the documents on which you rely was
 8committing crimes of great enormity or encouraging them or
 9inspiring them, and yet nothing happened to him.
10 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Well, the problem is, of course, that it is a letter in
11which they propose something. It was never done.
12Therefore, the document does not -- the only documentary
13evidence was to a crime that was not committed because, in
14fact, this plan was not carried out and, therefore, they
15had no crime with which to charge Mr Wetzel. Knowledge of
16the killing does not constitute in German law a felony.
17It is contributing to the killing and in this case there
18was no gas van killing in Riga resulting from this action
19by Wetzel, so there was no crime to charge him with.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Now page 29 please, paragraph 5.1.9, you summarize: "In
21short, surviving documents show that by late October 1941
22the Nazi regime" had done a number things. But does not
23the previous paragraph, 5.1.8, suggest that it is actual
24individuals who are doing it and that frequently their
25proposals were not being taken up? What do you mean by
26the "Nazi regime"? Are you talking about Himmler, from

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 1Himmler downwards or from Hitler downwards?
 2 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Well, I am talking about a policy that is out there.
 3I think Hitler is involved. I do not have a document to
 4prove it, but given how I think the Himmler/Hitler
 5relationship worked, and that in every case, numerous
 6cases we can find that Himmler did not act without
 7Hitler's permission, that I would say -- my conclusion
 8circumstantially is that Hitler is part of that, but I do
 9not have the document to collect my £1,000.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     You say in paragraph 5.1.10: "These documents suggest
11that a policy of systematic extermination", and so on, was
12going on, but is suggestion enough really? You have
13documents from which inferences can be drawn, and yet here
14we are, 55 years after the war is over, we are still
15looking for documents that only suggest things?
16 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Well, this is, in terms of dating, suggests that by late
17October, and that others like Jerloch argue it is not
18until December, some like Dr Longerich will argue that
19this comes even later than that. The suggestion is not
20that there was or was not a killing programme. It is at
21what date it will take shape.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think that must be right, as a matter of
23the interpretation of what is in the report. I think,
24Mr Irving, it is probably a time to -- unless you have a
25short point you would like to deal with.
26 MR IRVING:     No. It is quite a long point, the next one, it is

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 1going to go to page 31, yes.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Well, we will do that at 2 o'clock.
 3 (Luncheon adjournment)
 4(2.00 p.m.)
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, Mr Irving?
 6 MR IRVING:     Thank you, my Lord. Professor Browning, are you
 7still under contract to Yad Vashem?
 8 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I have contracted to write a book for them and that has
 9not been completed.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     They paid you $35,000?
11 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No, they have paid me, I believe, 27,000.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you aware of the fact that Yad Vashem also paid money
13to the second Defendant in this case?
14 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I do not know. No, I am not aware.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. So you do not see any possible conflict of interest
16in giving expert evidence in this action on behalf of the
17Second Defendant?
18 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     One, I did not know that and two, I do not see the
19connection if I had none.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you seen the book published by the Second Defendant
21"Denying the Holocaust"?
22 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes, I have.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Had you not seen that very early on in the book in her
24introduction and on the title pages, she thanks the Yad
25Vashem/Vidal Sassoon Institute?
26 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I do not remember reading that. I may not have read the

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 1credits. One often goes directly to the body.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. Yad Vashem is an institution of the State of Israel,
 3is it not?
 4 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     So you are, in that respect, a paid agent I suppose of the
 6State of Israel using the word "agent" in its purely legal
 7sense?
 8 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     If that was the case, then since I had been at the
 9Holocaust Museum, I would also have been an agent of the
10American Government, and since I have received
11scholarships in Germany, I would be an agent of the German
12government, so I must be a very duplicitous fellow to be
13able to follow these regimes.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     There is lots of money, is there not, in connection with
15the Holocaust research scholarships? It has become a
16well-funded kind of enterprise, can I say, Holocaust
17research, history, publishing ----
18 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     All in the past, I wish it had been much better funded.
19I did not find that I lived particularly well.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     $35,000 to write a book which you have not delivered seems
21relatively well remunerated to me?
22 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     They have got the manuscript for the first half and that
23is where I have been remunerated from. They have it as in
24France.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Is the book that, I have not quite got the
26name of it, but this organisation is going to publish

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