Irving v. Lipstadt
Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 17: Electronic Edition
Pages 31 - 35 of 214
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1 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning] Because I think a large percentage of the people sent
2there would have perished.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] I think that the Jews are a very sturdy people. They have
4shown that by their forthrightness in Palestine, have they
6 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning] I think the conditions under which they arrived there, an
7island which the documents said clearly was to be an SS
8state, would not have been anything remotely similar to
9the conditions of an attempted and organized reception of
10refugees in Palestine after 1945.
11 Q. [Mr Irving] The population of Madagascar at that time was about 1
13 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning] I could not say.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] The population of Madagascar now is over 13 million?
15 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning] I could not say.
16 Q. [Mr Irving] So it could have housed that number of people quite
17easily? It is a country the size of Germany, is that
19 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning] It would depend on the circumstances and indeed bringing
20Jews in, and all of their property taken, and under SS
21custody, I do not think one could say that they would have
22been housed easily. I think it would have been lethal.
23 Q. [Mr Irving] If Hitler's intention was to exterminate all the Jews
24systematically, then why would he have had a pipe dream of
25sending the Jews to a country like Madagascar where they
26would have survived?
1 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning] This is where we get to the interpretational issues of the
2intentionalist and functionalist. I do not believe at
3that point that he intended to destroy the Jews
4systematically. He wanted a problem to disappear.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] When did the intention then develop? This is important
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. Let us get on to that.
8 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning] As I say in my report, my feeling is that there were two
9separate phases of decision making. Both of them stretch
10out over a period of time.
11 MR IRVING: With particular reference to Hitler, please?
12 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning] It is an incremental decision making process. We have in
13the Spring of 1941, in preparation for Barbarossa, a
14number of his statements about what kind of war this is
15going to be, a war of destruction, a killing of what he
16calls Judao- Bolshevik intelligentsia and this kind of
17thing. This results in proposals coming to him, one of
18which is the creation of the Einsatzgruppen in its
19arrangement with the army or logistical support, the
20Commissar order, and that in the opening weeks of the war
21this led to the selective killing of adult male Jews in
22the regions that the Einsatzgruppen enter.
23 Q. [Mr Irving] Can I halt you there for a moment and say, when he talks
24about the Judao-Bolshevik enemy, which half of that
25adjective weighs strongest in his mind, the Bolshevik or
1 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning] I think for him it is a package deal, but in terms of what
2is wrong with Bolshevism is that it is the latest
3manifestation of the Jewish threat, so the Jewish issue is
4the prime one and the Bolshevik is the current
5manifestation of this Jewish threat as he understands it,
6because he has seen previous manifestations are the French
7revolution and the liberals. Christianity is the first
9 Q. [Mr Irving] There have been more recent manifestations, have there
10not, for example in the Spanish Civil War?
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, this is getting a bit discursive.
12Can we just pin it down a little bit?
13 MR IRVING: I am trying to pin it down.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Professor Browning, I know we are
15interrupting an answer and I want you to resume it, but
16can we just anchor it to particular dates? The date that
17is in my mind, and I would be interested to see the
18document if possible, is the 25th May, and I think it was
191940 rather than 41.
20 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning] The May 25th document is the Himmler guidelines for the
21treatment of the peoples of Eastern Europe, in which he
22wants to reauthorize the ethnic cleansing from the western
23territories, which Frank and Goring had managed to whittle
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is that not, in a sense, the start of it all?
26 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning] No, that is still in the ethnic cleansing phase. That is
1the document in which Himmler is still referring to a
2total extermination as unGerman and impossible.
3 MR IRVING: I was going point that out, yes.
4 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning] It is the following year, 1941 in the spring, when Hitler
5begins to talk about this war of destruction in the East,
6the destruction of the Judao-Bolshevik intelligentsia,
7that leads to the selective killing of adult male Jews in
8the opening five or six weeks of Barbarossa.
9 MR IRVING: Can I halt you there and say which documents? Are
10you referring to the Kommissar order then?
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can we look at some of these documents?
12 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning] We are referring to a collection of documents, the
13agreement between the military and the Einsatzgruppen in
14which the Einsatzgruppen will get its instructions from
15the SS but its logistic support from the military.
16 Q. [Mr Irving] Is it not possible to argue that these are purely military
17measures at this time?
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can we look at the document? I really do
19want to look at this document, the Kommissar order.
20 MR RAMPTON: Your Lordship will excuse me for interrupting.
21You will find three relevant documents cited, or rather
22utterances by Hitler in a military or a semi-military
23context on pages 55 and 56 of Dr Longerich's first
24report. They are all three of them in March 1941 before
25Barbarossa starts. Perhaps Professor Browning might be
26given that, so that he can see it.
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think it is quite important because, if
2this is too broad brush, it is perhaps not as helpful as
3it could be.
4 MR IRVING: I agree, my Lord, because I shall want to draw
5attention to the military nature of these orders.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do so please, but let us do it by reference
7to the documents.
8 MR IRVING: They are criminal, there is no question, and they
9are Draconian, but they are military.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I understand that. So 55 and 56 of the first
11part of Longerich, Mr Rampton?
12 MR RAMPTON: Yes, my Lord.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you.
14 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning] Yes. I think, if we look at the very first one, in fact
15he makes clear that his campaign has both a military and
16an ideological side. As he says, the coming campaign is
17more than just a struggle of arms. It will also lead to a
18confrontation of two world views. Then he goes on, it is
19does not suffice to defeat the enemy army, Jewish and
20Bolshevik intelligentsia must be eliminated. So this
21campaign from the very beginning is to be conceived as
22more than a conventional war between armies. It has a
23strong ideological element and that ideological element
24relates to race, and particularly to Jews, and that tenor
25I think is very strong in his spring of 1941
26declarations. As I say, when we then look at what was the
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