Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 86 - 90 of 214

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    Would you not agree that the lack of preparedness at the
 1large scale?
 2 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     That has been my argument. We get evidence of
 3preparations at the death camps coming in the fall of 41,
 4which is when I have argued, partly because of that, that
 5one then concludes that they have now reached the point
 6where they want a systematic killing of the Jews of
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. My Lord, I wanted to take this witness briefly on to
 9the table talk document which your Lordship may remember,
10October 25th 1941.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am sure I will when you tell me what it
12is. Is that the Himmler Hitler meeting?
13 MR IRVING:     It is the ugly rumours one, good thing that the
14rumour goes ahead of us.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Let us dig it out.
16 MR IRVING:     I put in my clip, my Lord, of documents I gave to
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     If it is somewhere else perhaps we will go to
19where it is already.
20 MR RAMPTON:     It is in part 1 of Longerich.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I was wondering about the actual document.
22 MR IRVING:     We will find it most neatly on page 25 of the clip
23I gave you, my Lord, in the actual original Martin Bormann
25 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     The problem is that I do not have the document.
26 MR IRVING:     It is the clip that I gave you this morning,

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 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Page 25.
 3 MR RAMPTON:     Page 59 of Longerich 1, paragraph 16.4. It is
 4translated and the relevant part of the German is given at
 5the footnote 149.
 6 MR IRVING:     Professor, do you have the document in front of
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Just pause a moment, Mr Irving.
 9 MR IRVING:     Page 25.
10 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes.
12 MR IRVING:     Professor, in your absence, before you arrived in
13the United Kingdom, I was taking stick for having wrongly
14translated two or three words in the second paragraph of
15that document.
16 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     The translation which I relied upon was the Weidenfeld
18edition of Hitler's table talk.
19 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     I will read out most of the paragraph. They are talking
21about the Jews. They are going to have to disappear from
22Europe. The Weidenfeld translation continues: "That race
23of criminals has on its conscience the 2 million dead of
24the First World War -- this is Adolf Hitler allegedly
25speaking -- and now already hundreds of thousands more.
26Let nobody tell me that all the same we cannot park them

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 1in the marshy parts of Russia. Who is worrying about our
 2troops? It is not a bad idea by the way that public
 3rumour attributes to us a plan to exterminate the Jews."
 4     I will stop there. That is the translation of
 5the phrase "Es ist gut, wenn uns der Schrecken
 7 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     I would ask you how would you translate the phrase, "it is
 9good if wenn uns der Schrecken vorangeht"?
10 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     It is good if the terror precedes us that we are
11exterminating the Jews.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     The terror?
13 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     The Schrecken, the fear of the terror. I certainly would
14not have translated it as "rumours".
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     You would not translate it as "public rumours"? So they
16have it wrong and I was wrong, criminally wrong,
17perversely wrong to have adopted the Weidenfeld----
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is for me, not for the witness.
19 MR IRVING:     Professor, are you familiar with a historian by the
20name of Philip Burrin?
21 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Philip Burrin, yes.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. Is he a notable historian? He is not an extremist
23in some way, is he? Is he a dependable historian? His
24works are published?
25 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     He is an historian of accepted reputation.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you familiar with a book that this historian wrote

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 1called "Hitler and the Jews, the genesis of the
 3 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Please turn to page 17 of your bundle of documents that
 5I gave you and look at page 145? Would you say that in
 6the second half of that paragraph this historian has done
 7his own translation of the original German? Perhaps
 8I ought to draw your attention, first of all, to the end
 9note 47, which you will find on page 18 of my bundle.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     How do you know he did his own translation?
11 MR IRVING:     That is what I am just referring to.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     How does that prove that?.
13 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     He wrote the book in French and someone else translated
14it. Burrin's original book is in French. He is a French
15speaking Swiss historian.
16 MR IRVING:     He has not used the Weidenfeld translation from
17what you can see.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is obvious.
19 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     He has not listed his monologe.
20 MR IRVING:     Is that the title of the German edition of the
21book, Hitler's table talk, Monologe im Fuhrer...
22 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     Yes, but what it looks to me is that his translator got
23lazy and, instead of translating Monologe, in fact grabbed
24the Weidenfeld and borrowed an English translation from an
25earlier edition and goofed it entirely. Burrin has been
26betrayed by his translator. That is how I would look at

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 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Will you take it from me that this Weidenfeld edition, sad
 3to say, only went through one edition and there were no
 4other editions than this? If he had had this edition
 5before him, he would have used use phrase "public
 7 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I am in possession of a paper back that presumably was
 8sold in great quantities that has exactly the Weidenfeld
 9translation, so it is not a scarce book to get.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     They did not change this wording then? They did not use
11the word ominous reputation, which is the wording that has
12been used by Philip Burrin?
13 A. [Professor Christopher Robert Browning]     I am afraid I am not following you right now.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think this is such an open question that it
15is not going to get you anywhere really. There is no
16point in my not saying that. I see the point you are
17driving at but it is too speculative.
18 MR IRVING:     My point, my Lord, is quite clearly that, if this
19historian uses the phrase "ominous reputation", which is
20arguably very close to the translation which is adopted
21both by myself and Weidenfeld translation, then it would
22be perverse to call me perverse for having adopted a
23perverse ----
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No. I think the criticism is more focused
25really, that you saw the German text, saw the word
26"Schrecken", but were nevertheless content to use the

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