Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 131 - 135 of 214

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 1 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     If you remember this is the passage where the translation
 3is: "What is to happen to the Jews? Do you believe that
 4they will be lodged in settlements in the Ostland in
 5Berlin? We were told why all this trouble. We cannot use
 6them in the Ostland or in the Reichskommissarat either,
 7liquidate them yourselves. We must destroy the Jews
 8wherever we encounter them and wherever it is possible in
 9order to preserve the entire structure of the Reich", and
10there you cease to quote. You then paraphrase for two or
11three lines on page 32 of your report?
12 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     Then you continue with the word: "Nonetheless, we will
14take some kind of action". If you will now go to page 458
15of the original text you will see what you have omitted.
16It is seven lines down. Do you agree that you have
17omitted from the front of that quotation beginning with
18the word "nonetheless" ----
19 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I am afraid I have still not located it.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I have the German text. I have not got the
22 MR IRVING:     Line 2 of page 32 is what I am looking at on the
23expert report, my Lord.
24 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I have not found it yet.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     It is line 2 of the expert report on page 32 and it is
26line 7 of the original Hans Frank conference.

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, I have the line 2. It is the line 7.
 2 MR IRVING:     Page 458.
 3 MR RAMPTON:     One should start from the first complete
 5 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Is Judensendt the paragraph you want us to get to?
 6 MR IRVING:     That is correct.
 7 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     OK.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     His Lordship has not found it yet. Footnote 88 and it is
 9page 488 of the printed text.
10 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you translate, please, those first five or six
12lines, the first four lines of that paragraph: "The Jews
13are exceptionally damaging eaters for us", right?
14 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     "In the general government we have got an estimated 2.5
16million, with the Jewish next of kin and all the rest that
17depends on them, now 3.5 million Jews", is that correct?
18 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Correct.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Then a significant sentence follows: "We cannot shoot
20these 3.5 million Jews. We cannot poison them". Then you
21continue with the passage about: "Nonetheless, we will
22take some kind of action"?
23 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     I do not want to get into the content of this particular
25paragraph. I just want to ask for your motivation for
26leaving out that opening sentence, unless his Lordship

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 1feels it is irrelevant?
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I do not feel it is irrelevant at all. No.
 3 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Well, I do not know that it was a specific motivation.
 4I do not see why one concluded or not concluded. What
 5I did is, he rejects certain kinds of or when he says, "We
 6cannot do this or cannot do that", I simply summarized
 7that as ----
 8 MR IRVING:     He effectively says: "We cannot shoot them. We
 9cannot poison them."
10 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is he suggesting we should strangle them?
12 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     What he is suggesting is he does not know how they are
13going to do it.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you not agree that if another historian had omitted
15sentences like that at the beginning of a paragraph,
16without any even any indication of an omission, he would
17be held up to opprobrium and obloquy?
18 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I mean by putting precedents, you know, switching out of
19direct quotes I do not think I indicated that there was
20nothing that I was continuing directly on.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Unless of course the part that was being omitted
22substantially altered the sense of the gist that you were
23trying to convey?
24 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I do not think it substantially alters the gist.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     If the man who is speaking says "We cannot kill them" ----
26 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No, he does not say we cannot kill them. He says, "We

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 1cannot shoot them or we cannot poison them".
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Which is another way of saying, in my submission, that we
 3cannot kill them?
 4 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No, I do not accept that.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Apart from gas what are the alternatives?
 6 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Well, the alternatives are that one can starve them. One
 7can keep them in conditions where they will perish. Of
 8course Frank does not know yet, I think, that in fact they
 9were working on ways to poison them. This would indicate
10Frank has not yet been initiated into the fact that indeed
11they will be poisoning them. What he does say, and what
12I think is important, is the fact that he is told there is
13going to be a big meeting to sort this out, and when they
14go, when Buhle then is sent to the Wannsee conference he
15is going to get some answers to this.
16 MR IRVING:     But did they discuss methods of killing at the
17Wannsee conference?
18 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     According to Eichmann it is not literally in the
19protocol. They use the euphemism we talked about,
20solutional possibilities or possible solutions when
21Eichmann was asked ----
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     Which could mean anything, could it not?
23 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     When Eichmann was asked what did that mean, he said it was
24ways of killing or something to that effect.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     When Eichmann was asked in Israel during these
26interrogations we were talking about a few minutes ago,

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 2 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     And he agreed it could have meant killing?
 4 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes. He did not agree that it could have meant. He said
 5that is what it did mean. When he did not want to agree
 6to such things such as Auschwitz, he denied it vigorously,
 7which would indicate that he could say no when he wanted
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     We are now on to the Wannsee conference which is quite
10useful, Professor.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Before we do can I ask this. Do you read
12Frank at this point in the omitted words, do you read
13Frank as still quoting Hitler's speech?
14 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No. I think at the beginning part of his talk in which he
15says, "We must put an end to the Jews" and he cites the
16Fuhrer and that he goes on, you know, "We must have
17compassion only for the German people", these are citings
18I think in a sense the speech that he got there. Then
19when he gets down to beyond that I believe he is now not
20necessarily paraphrasing what he had heard in Hitler's
21peach on December 12th.
22 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     He does say, "In Berlin we were told why all this
23trouble", and so on?
24 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes. My feeling here is that that is more than a speech,
25that he has had a separate meeting with Hitler and he must
26have at some point had meetings with people who told him

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