Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 56 - 60 of 214

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 1 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Again it would help me, rather than just
 3having this ----
 4 MR IRVING:     Interesting discussion.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     --- debate between the two of you if ----
 6 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     That would be 15.3, page 56, of Longerich, again where he
 7emphasises the dual nature of the war, the struggle of two
 8world views against one another.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     The Jodl/Hitler meeting, can you pinpoint
10that for me?
11 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     March 3rd.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I mean, in terms of where I find a
14 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     15.1.
15 MR RAMPTON:     Page 55, my Lord.
16 MR IRVING:     Would it be correct to describe these features as
17pep talks by Hitler to his Generals to fire them up for
18the coming campaign?
19 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I would say they are more than pep talks. I would
20say they are a setting of expectations and, as you know, I
21have tried to develop this model of Hitler eliciting,
22setting a level of what he expects and that that brings
23responses and proposals that are brought to him. I think
24this is a very good example of that dialectic.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. But he does not say, "We are going to invade the
26Soviet Union so that we can destroy Jews"?

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 1 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Nothing as crude as that?
 3 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     What he is saying is, "We are confronted by a Judaio
 5Bolshevik enemy, and that we will destroy the Judaio
 6Bolshevik intelligenzija and the leadership class and
 7whatever, and that is what he is effectively in all these
 8documents he is saying, he is just mapping out who the
 9enemy is going to be?
10 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     This is not yet an explicit instruction to systematically
11kill all the Jewish population on Soviet territory.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Even in this important meeting of July 16th 1941, there is
13still no such instruction at any rate recorded in the
14memorandum by Martin Bormann?
15 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes, in this case we have no smoking pistol document -- I
16have declared that often -- that we are working from
17inference, and the inference we draw is very similar to
18what you did about the November 30th meeting. Himmler and
19Hitler meet, Himmler gives an order. As you put it, it
20would be perverse not to assume a connection between them.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Except that we now unfortunately ----
22 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Find out the meeting came after rather than before.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     The meeting came after the telephone call, yes.
24 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     In this case the meeting, I say, comes before. We know
25that Himmler meets with Hitler and then leaves for Lublin
26on 15th, that the others meet with Hitler on 16th, and

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 1what follows thereafter is very quickly that Himmler
 2vastly increases the number of people behind the Front in
 3terms of putting the police battalions under the command
 4of the higher SS and police leaders, of throwing in two of
 5his brigades of his own and authorizing the raising of the
 6auxiliaries and that within a very short period after that
 7we begin to be able to document the systematic killing.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 9 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     And then it is an inference, but I think it is one that
10circumstantial evidence supports, that there is a
11connection in that period of July 16th to ----
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is not the likely inference that Himmler had received from
13Hitler the carte blanche that he had sought and Himmler
14strutted into occupied Russia and told his often teenage
15thugs who were wearing SS uniform, "I have carte blanche.
16Go ahead and deal with these people and pacify the rear
18 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     In fact, that is not what we know of how Himmler does it.
19Himmler says, "This terrible burden has been laid on my
20shoulders by the Fuhrer. This is the hardest thing I have
21ever been given to do." He does not strut; he shares
22crocodile tears ----
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     1944 he says that, does he not?
24 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes, but in '43 too. We are talking about -- what we know
25about Himmler and how he speaks to others about this task,
26he does strut in and say, "Boy, aren't I lucky? I can now

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 1kill them". He comes and says: "The Fuhrer has laid this
 2burden on my shoulders. This is a terrible thing we have
 3to do, but we must fight this battle now so other
 4generations do not".
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     He says this just once, am I right?
 6 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     We have the Posen speech where I think he says it on ----
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     October 1943.
 8 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     --- both occasions. But this is, I think, an accurate
 9reflection of how Himmler speaks to others about this. So
10your portrayal that Himmler is the eager go-getter is not
11supported by how he talks when we can document it to the
12other SS leaders about his role and responsibility.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     The documents are very thin, though, are they not? We do
14not have a whole sheaf of documents to draw these
15inferences from; there are a lot of gaps?
16 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     There are gaps, but this is a very strong document. Here
17he is talking to all of the SS leaders and this is the
18stance that he takes to them.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think, Mr Irving, just so that you know --
20you may know this from the transcript -- draws the
21distinction between after October 1943 and before.
22I think he accepts that Hitler knew and, indeed,
23authorized, I think.
24 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     But this is a different question, my Lord. The question
25here is how did Himmler act towards his SS Generals?
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes. As I understand the way you put it,

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 1what he was saying in October 1943 and later is consistent
 2with the interpretation you put on the slightly thin
 3documentation of 41/42. Is that a fair summary?
 4 MR RAMPTON:     It may be relevant to point out ----
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can I have an answer first? Is that right?
 6 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes, I am saying that in so far as we want to know how
 7Himmler talked to others about this, it was not that
 8"Hitler has given me carte blanche", it is that "Hitler
 9has laid a duty on me, it is a hard duty". It is not one
10that he portrayed himself as eager to do, but one that he
11felt obligated to do. That was an answer to the scenario
12that Mr Irving gave of an eager Himmler running with the
13ball with very little authorization from Hitler.
14 MR IRVING:     Is it not also right to say that on one occasion
15Himmler specifically says to I think Berger, "The Fuhrer
16has ordered these territories to be made free of Jews.
17This serious grave order that Fuhrer has placed on my
18shoulders nobody can take off me"?
19 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     That comes end of July of 1942.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     1942, which is closer to the time we are talking about?
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Is that what you are going raise?
22 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, because the date came out wrong first of all.
23It is 28th July 1942.
24 MR IRVING:     Yes, and that when Himmler is, therefore, talking
25about the order, he is talking about the blanket order to
26get the Jews out of here, and the way that Himmler then

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