Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 116 - 120 of 214

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    Is the book that, I have not quite got the
 1written by you connected with your evidence?
 2 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No. I mean I was in the course of researching that book.
 3I am using evidence here, but it is not directly related
 4to this, no.
 5 MR IRVING:     Will you tell his Lordship what the nature of the
 6book is you are going to write for Yad Vashem which is the
 7Holocaust memorial in Israel, is it not?
 8 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     The book is an overview of Nazi/Jewish policy from 1935 to
 91945. The first half of September 1939 to March 1942 is
10what is now in the hands of both the editorial board of
11Yad Vashem and the Cambridge University Press, and it is
12under completion of that manuscript that I was paid the
13money, according to the contract that we had signed.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     So it covers the same general area as your
15evidence but is broader?
16 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
17 MR IRVING:     If you were to write a book for Yad Vashem which
18suggested that you discovered that Adolf Hitler had not
19issued the order or that it was just a totally haphazard
20killing operation that had resulted from the Holocaust,
21would this book be welcomed by them, do you think? Would
22that enhance his prospects or diminish them?
23 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     As I have said, a number of historians have already made
24the argument that Hitler did not give the order, and
25I have been with them at a conference at Yad Vashem. They
26had been invited to take part in the discussion there.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     Will it surprise to you hear ----
 2 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I have been on what we would call the functional end in
 3terms of Hitler not having, as I say, a blueprint from the
 4beginning, and though that is different than many Israeli
 5scholars' view, that does not cause them to view me as
 6outside the pale.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 8 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No, I have not had anyone interfere with or attempt to
 9interfere with how I write the book.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     The point I am trying to make is obviously quite clearly
11you do not feel that your evidence, expert evidence in
12this case, has been in any way tainted by the money you
13have received from the State of Israel or Yad Vashem?
14 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No. I have written a book from which obviously my
15scholarly reputation is going to be based, that would be
16far more important to me than whatever money may be given,
17and that certainly would not be a factor in what I was
18writing.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Very well. If an historian writes a book, just a
20hypothetical historian writes a book, and then between
21that publication of that book and the publication of the
22next edition of that book he changes his mind in any
23respect, on whatever basis of evidence, and he makes
24deletions from the text of the original edition of his
25book, is this reprehensible necessarily?
26 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Not necessarily. In my review of the second edition of

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 1Raul Hilberg I noted where he had made changes.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     You are running ahead of my question.
 3 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     That represented his view of the change between 61 and 85.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     You have correctly anticipated my next question,
 5Professor, which is you are familiar with Professor Raul
 6Hilberg?
 7 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can you describe Raul Hilberg and his qualifications to
 9the court, please?
10 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I would say that Raul Hilberg is the major historian who
11has written the overview of what we call the machinery of
12destruction, bureaucratic ----
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     Hold it one moment. You describe him as an historian.
14Did he actually study history at university? Did he get a
15degree in history?
16 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No. He sits in the Political Science Department, but in
17terms of political science he is an historical end of that
18field which in fact involves people who do many other
19things that do not have particularly historical dimension.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     So you do not have to have book learning as an historian
21in university to be regarded as an historian?
22 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Walter Laqueur is an example, is he not?
24 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I do not know what Laqueur's Ph.D., is but Raul Hilberg's
25is political science.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     And Winston Churchill is another historian of course and

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 1he never history, and Edward Gibbon I believe he also
 2never studied history, and we can keep on going through
 3the list, am I right?
 4 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     --- and Heroditus, yes.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Raul Hilberg is, as you say, one of the world's leading
 6Holocaust historians?
 7 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     In my view.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     He wrote a book called ----
 9 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     The Destruction of the European Jews.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     The Destruction of the European Jews. What was his
11position on Hitler's responsibility in the first edition
12of his book?
13 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     In the first book he was mainly laying out what he called
14bureaucratic structures, but that he did have sentences
15that talked about two decisions, a two-decision theory,
16that Hitler made a decision in July of 1941 and then
17Hitler made the decision later, the first for Soviet
18Jewry, the second for the mass murder of the European Jews
19outside Soviet territory. He rephrased that to ----
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Hold it for a moment, you have very carefully chosen your
21word there. You said "decision".
22 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Two decisions I said.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, decisions. Is there a distinction in your mind
24between "orders" and "decisions"?
25 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes, I think so. I usually use the word "decisions".
26I do not usually use the word "order", because an order

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 1implies a more formal, it is a formal transfer from
 2position of authority requesting a certain action be taken
 3in a more specific way. "Decision" I have used, and
 4I would also say I use this in a broad way, a point at
 5which it became crystallized in the mind of Hitler and
 6Himmler and Heydrich, or at least Himmler and Heydrich
 7knew now what Hitler expected of them had been conveyed
 8what they were to do. I have said that in the senses at
 9the end of this decision-making process, and I have always
10said that is an amorphous incremental process. I have
11argued against what I would call the "big bang" theory,
12there is a certain moment in time in which suddenly,
13voila, we will kill all the Jews.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     So did Hilberg in the first edition of his book, The
15Destruction of European Jewry, refer to a Hitler order or
16a Hitler decision or both?
17 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I cannot remember exactly. I would have to look at the
18text.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     What happened between the publication of that edition and
20the publication of the second edition? What did he do?
21 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     He took out specific references to a Hitler decision or
22order, I forget how he phrased it, and phrased it more
23generally.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is it not right that he went the whole way through the
25book cutting out the word "Hitler order", and the notion
26that Hitler had issued and order?

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