Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 71 - 75 of 214

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    Obviously. Otherwise you would not have used them. But
 1astonishing statements, self-incriminatory statements?
 2The most extraordinary examples are, for example, in the
 3Soviet show trials. It is a psychological problem. I am
 4just trying to assail the credibility of eyewitness
 5evidence basically. That is what I am getting at.
 6 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Certainly in Soviet trials where part of the protocol, in
 7a sense, is to have a signed statement at the end.
 8I would not put great weight on something collected in
 91937 and 38 in which a witness said, "Oh yes, I was part
10of the Trotskyite conspiracy", or whatever.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Or American agent. Do not the same kind of duresses
12prevail when you are in a cell in a bleak prison in
13Nuremberg and the Americans come to you and say, well, we
14can guarantee you will not get the death sentence if you
15sign this affidavit which we have taken from your
16testimony?
17 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I would not accept that Americans came and said, "Sign
18this or we are going to kill you".
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you familiar with the case of Dr Friedrich Gauss, who
20was Ribbentrop's legal adviser?
21 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No, I am not.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you familiar with Dr Robert Kempton, who said, "If you
23do not sign this we are going to turn you over to the
24Russians"?
25 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     No, I am not familiar with that.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Obviously I cannot develop that particular line. If you

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 1are not familiar with that case I cannot develop it. In
 2later trials in Germany we have another problem, do we
 3not, and this is the passage of years? 20 or 30 years
 4pass. You have referenced in your own very interesting
 5expert report a number of German war crimes trials
 6conducted quite properly by the German government in the
 71960s and even in the 1970s?
 8 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     How reliable is that kind of evidence being given by
10Germans who have been taken out of their little bedsits
11somewhere in Ingoldstadt or somewhere and they find
12themselves on trial, they are going to be locked away for
1320 years, and they are being asked to remember something
14that happened 30 years before?
15 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I think that much of it is very reliable. They did not
16have to give testimony. They had counsel, they did not
17have to, under German law, give self-incriminating
18testimony. They could remained silent.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     how many did remain silent?
20 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Virtually none. A few. The document that we see in the
21Chelmno gas vans, the villager who signs that refused to
22talk and nothing happened to him. He is one who did not
23get brought to trial.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     So the man who signed the famous memorandum about the
2597,000 killed, is this the document you are referring to?
26 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     This is the document and this is the case where someone

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 1refusing to talk ----
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Nothing happened to him?
 3 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     They said, we have not enough evidence to contest that he
 4contributed in a causal way to the killing, even if he
 5knew of it, and therefore we have no grounds. In fact,
 6there was a case where the one who did not talk did much
 7better than his colleagues in the motor pool who did talk,
 8incriminated themselves and were tried.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, I do not want to interrupt you
10unduly. I am not finding this terribly helpful because we
11all know that eyewitness evidence has to be looked at very
12carefully. Everyone agrees on that.
13 MR IRVING:     If you think I have laboured the point too strongly
14then I shall not bring it up again.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It is not really that, but illusive
16references which are not really followed up do not help me
17very much, besides which it appears to me we are straying
18perhaps a little bit from what I think is the intended
19structure of your cross-examination, which really goes to
20the case for saying that Hitler knew about the
21extermination. I am not keeping you to any tramlines.
22 MR IRVING:     I was trying to undermine the quality of his
23sources by referring to the fact that a very large number
24of the sources which he refers to in his report in the
25footnotes appear to be ----
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Not in relation to Hitler's knowledge. I do

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 1not think eyewitnesses come into that at all, do they?
 2 MR IRVING:     It is certainly in connection with the numbers and
 3I was just about to get on to the 97,000 figure again,
 4when your Lordship intervened.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes. Develop that, but can you help me by
 6giving me a little bit more information about which figure
 7you are talking about, given by whom, in what context?
 8 MR IRVING:     This is one of two letters. One is the Greiser
 9letter of May 1st 1942, Greiser to Himmler. Are you
10familiar with that document?
11 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
12 MR RAMPTON:     Page 38 of Professor Browning's report, my Lord.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Thank you.
14 MR IRVING:     In that letter Greiser says that we shall have
15within, I believe, two to three months killed 100,000
16effectively. That is what he is saying, is he not?
17 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     Has he already started by then?
19 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes. Chelmno has opened in early December 1941.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Does he actually refer to Chelmno in that document?
21 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     He does not refer to Chelmno in that document.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     We do not know whether he is actually referring to the
23document or actually to Chelmno, and whether even one of
24those 100,000 has died at that time or not.
25 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     He does not say explicitly but Chelmno is the operating
26death camp in the region to which he is referring, the

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 1Warthegau.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     There is a reasonable inference?
 3 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Do not assume too much. You have been, as
 5you say, for 34 years on this topic.
 6 MR IRVING:     Not on the Holocaust.
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I appreciate that, but you know what I mean.
 8I have had rather less long. So can you just help me who
 9Greiser was?
10 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Greiser is the head of----
11 MR IRVING:     The Gauleiter of the Warthegau.
12 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Gauleiter of the Warthegau. Lodz and Chelmno are located
13in the Warthegau.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Thank you.
15 MR IRVING:     The second document is the one -- you must help me
16on this -- with the 97,000 figure in it?
17 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I believe it is June 6th 1942.
18 MR RAMPTON:     June 5th?
19 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     June 5th.
20 MR IRVING:     1942, correct.
21 MR RAMPTON:     Perhaps in this case we should maybe get the
22document.
23 MR IRVING:     I agree. There are two rather odd features about
24the document I want to draw your Lordship's attention to.
25 MR RAMPTON:     It is in the second volume.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I hope it is in J or L.

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