Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 126 - 130 of 214

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     You called it a reconstruction?
 2 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     In other words, it is not the original building?
 4 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No. It was a crematorium and then in 43 to 45, I am not
 5an expert on this but I believe it was used for other
 6purposes, and then it was reconstructed back to close to
 7what it had been before. Then I visited in Birkenhau and
 8walked around the grounds, including the four sites of
 9crematoria 2 through 5. One could walk to bunker two, the
10site of bunker one that seems to be totally unknown now.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. Did they make any attempt to tell you at the time
12you visited these two sites that the Auschwitz one site,
13the old camp, that what they were showing you was a
14reconstruction?
15 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I do not know even remember. I went in and I knew what I
16was looking at and I do not even recall how it was signed
17or labelled.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     Were you aware of the fact that you were not being shown
19the real thing?
20 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I was aware that this was a reconstruction, yes.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Did you say you also went to Dachau concentration camp?
22 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I have been to Dachau much earlier. I believe that would
23have been 1972, the fall of 1972.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do they have gas chambers on display at Dachau
25concentration camp?
26 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     There is a gas chambers on display in Dachau concentration

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 1camp.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you wish to express an opinion to the court as to
 3whether that is a genuine gas chamber or not?
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Whether he wishes to, is it going to help me
 5really at all? I know that that there was at one time a
 6belief that there had been gas chambers at Dachau. I know
 7it is now accepted, I think on all sides, that there were
 8never any. Do I any need any more than that?
 9 MR IRVING:     If your Lordship will accept the proposition that
10the Allies and their Allies after World War II are capable
11of erecting fakes for whatever purpose, and that it is not
12perverse of me to have said that and it does not make me
13ipso facto a Holocaust denier, then I will move on to
14another matter on.
15 MR RAMPTON:     If the word "fake" were changed for
16"reconstruction" or "demonstration" or something like
17that there would be common ground. The word "fake" is
18inappropriate for the reconstruction at Auschwitz one.
19 MR IRVING:     I would happily give Mr Rampton a reconstructive
20$50 bill if me gives me ten fives in exchange.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     You can have your wagers outside court. I do
22think we must move on. I do not think Dachau has anything
23to do with this case. I have explained my understanding
24of the position.
25 MR IRVING:     Are you familiar with the fact that at Nuremberg
26the British prosecutors stated that there had been

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 1gassings at Dachau, Buchenwald and at Oranienburg?
 2 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No, I am not familiar with that passage.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     But you have read the Nuremberg war crimes trials records?
 4 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I have read some of them. I have not read the whole 42
 5volumes, no.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you aware of the fact that large numbers of
 7eyewitnesses, and I think this is relevant, my Lord ----
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes.
 9 MR IRVING:     --- testified to the existence of homicidal gas
10chambers at Dachau?
11 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I do not know how many did.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you aware that any did?
13 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     If you want to take that further you would
15have to put chapter and verse.
16 MR IRVING:     My Lord, I cannot put chapter and verse to him at
17this time. If the witness says he is not aware of these
18eyewitnesses' testimonies I cannot take it further, but
19I shall certainly do so again with successor witness. If
20your Lordship agrees that putting it that way is relevant.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No, I think that is a rather different kind
22of question and I think it is legitimate.
23 MR IRVING:     Moving back to the integration of Adolf Eichmann,
24are you aware of the conditions under which he was
25interrogated when he arrived in Israel?
26 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     He was in prison.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     Was he in prison with the light permanently switched on?
 2 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I have read that that was the case. My guess is, and this
 3is purely speculation, the Israelis might have been very
 4worried that he might commit suicide, so they wanted a
 5constant watch on him. They did not want a dead witness
 6on their hands.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     That he was constantly in the company of a guard?
 8 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I presume he was under constant watch.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you suspect that this might have some affect on his
10mental stability if he was deprived of sleep through these
11conditions?
12 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I have no idea how bright the light was. There are such
13things as night lights that would not disturb the sleep at
14all.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you have any reason to believe that he was provided
16with a night light on these occasions?
17 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I have absolutely no idea what the wattage of the light in
18his cell was.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Mr Leon Poliakov who is also an expert on the Holocaust,
20is that name familiar to you?
21 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I am familiar with the name.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is he a trained historian with a university engagement?
23 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I do not know what his academic background is.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     I would now like to revert to the December 1941, the Hans
25Frank diary, the meeting which is familiar to this court
26now held on I think December 13th 1941 -- no, it is

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 1December 16th.
 2 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     The speech is December 16th.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     The speech by Hans Frank is on December 16th?
 4 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am purely concerned with your treatment of this,
 6Professor. You have gone in some detail over the content
 7of that speech, and this is on page 31 of your expert
 8report.
 9 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Paragraph 5.1.13. I will ask that you have in front of
11you ----
12 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I have the English text and the footnote I believe
13contains the original, yes.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can we have footnote 88, the document that corresponds to
15it? I think it would be adequate if I ask the witness
16just to read the three lines in German and translate what
17he has omitted.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes. I personally think it is a good idea to
19actually have the document.
20 MR IRVING:     The whole document.
21 MR RAMPTON:     Pages 68 to 75 of what I now know to be L17.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I missed the page number.
23 MR RAMPTON:     68 it starts.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Thank you very much.
25 MR IRVING:     The passage which you have quoted, Professor, is on
26page 457 of the printed text.

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 4 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I do not remember us discussing that passage. We may have
 5but I just do not remember it right now.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     If your Lordship is interested I could find the actual
 7quotation and read it to you.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Well, do not do it now, but that is quite a
 9revealing exchange.
10 MR IRVING:     Yes.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It seems to me.
12 MR IRVING:     I will do that overnight.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, do.
14 MR IRVING:     We are now at the Wannsee conference. Is there any
15indication at all that Hitler was involved in the Wannsee
16conference or was even apprised of it?
17 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     We have no evidence of him being apprised of it. We do
18know that Heydrich cites him as authority that the Fuhrer
19has now ordered something other than the territorial
20solutions that now will be sent to the East.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you referring to the letters of invitation that
22Heydrich sent out in the middle of November 1941?
23 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No, I believe it is in the opening of Heydrich's remarks
24that he cites that he is acting on the authority of
25Hitler.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     

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