Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 41 - 45 of 214

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    The Kommissar order is in May 1941, I believe,
 1level papers, are they not? I do not know exactly what is
 2before the witness. I do not have copies of these
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I only mention it and perhaps we can locate
 5it in due course.
 6 MR IRVING:     The Kommissar order is important because it was
 7dictated by Hitler to General Jodl, I think, so it very
 8clearly represents Hitler's thoughts. That would be
 9useful if I do obtain a copy and bring it into court
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     If we can at some stage, yes.
12 MR IRVING:     May I ask what this particular document was that
13you were quoting from?
14 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     The State secretary's meeting.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     No, the actual one with the references to the
16Judao-Bolshevik intelligentsia?
17 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     This is footnote 137 from page 55 from the opinion by
18Peter Longerich.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     And there are two more documents that Mr Rampton wished
20you to consider, I believe?
21 MR RAMPTON:     Yes. They are just summarized on pages 55 and
2256. There in fact may be four, paragraphs 15.1, 15.2, two
23documents, and 15.3 on page 56, all in March of 1941.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, thank you very much. Professor
25Browning, looking at those further documents, they do not,
26as it were, perhaps add anything, but they maybe confirm

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 1what you have already said in relation to the 3rd March
 2document. Is that fair?.
 3 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes. What I think they confirm is that Hitler does not see
 4this, and does not want his generals and others to see it,
 5as a conventional war, but that it has a very strong
 6ideological dimension to it, and that the enemy to be
 7destroyed is not just the Soviet army and its power to
 8resist, but what he considers to be Judao-Bolshevism,
 9communism, he uses different phrases.
10 MR IRVING:     Would it be right to say that at this time Hitler
11had knowledge of the manner in which the Soviet Union
12fought its wars, both its colonial wars as in Spain, for
13example, and also in the Finnish winter war of 1939 to
15 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     What picture the German intelligence portrayed of the
16Soviet Union in all of this, is an area that others have
17studied, it is not an area that I think I could speak with
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would he be familiar with the activities of the Russian
20Kommissars within the Red Army hierarchy?
21 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     It is very likely he would have been given even a more
22lurid description than maybe would have been historically
23accepted but that is just speculation on my part. As
24I say, I cannot think of any documents at the moment that
25I could speak from with authority.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     The Soviet Commissart system was a political agitator, am

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 1I correct, within each Army unit to make sure that they
 2pointed their guns in the right direction, roughly?
 3 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     It was to establish, in a sense, a dual control of
 4military units, someone who would be there with military
 5expertise and someone with political, what they called
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     Did these Commissarts have an NKBD rank?
 8 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     That I do not know.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can you estimate for the court approximately what
10percentage of these Commissarts were, in fact, Jewish?
11 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I have absolutely no idea.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     No idea. Very well. But if a substantial percentage were
13either Jewish or were perceived by the Nazis to be Jewish,
14would that justify the kind of language that Hitler used
15in these military plannings for the coming Russian
17 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No, I do not see that Jews who were part of the NKBD, in a
18sense, often were totally secular Jews separate from the
19Jewish religious communities in these towns, that they had
20given up, in a sense, their Jewish identity. They were
21often all part of the Jewish communities that were going
22to face the onslaught of the genocide. So if you ask me
23is there a justification, my answer would be absolutely
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you aware that, in fact, the Jewish community formed
26the backbone of the Red Army and of the NKBD?

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 1 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I am certainly not aware of that and I doubt that that is
 2the case.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you aware of the fact that 300 heroes of the Soviet
 4Union of General's rank were Jewish?
 5 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I do not know the number, but I do not know that it is
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     Welt, I am just trying to establish the fact there may
 8have been a military reason for Hitler to have used this
 9kind of language in preparing his Generals for the very
10ugly war that was to come.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     If that were so, I just wonder, Professor
12Browning, whether the word "intelligenzija" would have
13been used? It is an odd word if one is talking in terms
14of talking military combat, is it not? Is that right or
16 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Well, I think for Hitler he equates Bolshevism and the
17Communists with Jews, and in a sense he is talking about
18-- he sometimes used "leadership", sometimes he uses
19"intelligenzija" and in his mind these are intertwined.
20 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     The point I was really putting to you is if one is talking
21about military extermination, if that is a fair way of
22putting it, one would expect to find a reference to not
23"intelligenzija" but "senior military personnel" or
24something of that kind?
25 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes, I mean, and that I think is there as well, but the
26fact that he adds these others would again reinforce the

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 1point I am making that there is a strictly ideological
 2racial dimension as well as a military dimension.
 3 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     More than a struggle of arms?
 4 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
 5 MR IRVING:     Is it not right, however, also to say that in
 6defeating the Soviet Union, he would not only have to
 7defeat the Red Army, he would also have to defeat the
 8Soviet hierarchy, the bureaucracy; he would have to
 9eradicate that as well in order to implement the German
10colonial rule on those regions?
11 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Have to eradicate what?
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     The bureaucracy, the entire Bolshevik hierarchy?
13 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     That certainly was his goal, yes.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     And the Nazis frequently used the phrase "Jewish
15Bolshevik"; it had become a bit of a slogan, had it not?
16 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     It was more than a slogan. It was a reflection of their
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     My Lord, I think we have taken that question as far as we
19can go, unless your Lordship has further questions on
20those particular documents?
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No, not at all.
22 MR RAMPTON:     May I just add this? It may save time later on.
23Your Lordship was asking about the guidelines ----
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes.
25 MR RAMPTON:     --- for Barbarossa, conduct of troops. The date
26is 19th May 1941 and the relevant part is summarized in

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