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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day017.13


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day017.13
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   Now page 29 please, paragraph 5.1.9, you summarize: "In
        short, surviving documents show that by late October 1941
        the Nazi regime" had done a number things.  But does not
        the previous paragraph, 5.1.8, suggest that it is actual
        individuals who are doing it and that frequently their
        proposals were not being taken up?  What do you mean by
        the "Nazi regime"?  Are you talking about Himmler, from

.          P-112



        Himmler downwards or from Hitler downwards?
   A.   Well, I am talking about a policy that is out there.
        I think Hitler is involved.  I do not have a document to
        prove it, but given how I think the Himmler/Hitler
        relationship worked, and that in every case, numerous
        cases we can find that Himmler did not act without
        Hitler's permission, that I would say -- my conclusion
        circumstantially is that Hitler is part of that, but I
do
        not have the document to collect my 1,000.
   Q.   You say in paragraph 5.1.10:  "These documents suggest
        that a policy of systematic extermination", and so on,
was
        going on, but is suggestion enough really?  You have
        documents from which inferences can be drawn, and yet
here
        we are, 55 years after the war is over, we are still
        looking for documents that only suggest things?
   A.   Well, this is, in terms of dating, suggests that by
late
        October, and that others like Jerloch argue it is not
        until December, some like Dr Longerich will argue that
        this comes even later than that.  The suggestion is
not
        that there was or was not a killing programme.  It is
at
        what date it will take shape.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think that must be right, as a matter
of
        the interpretation of what is in the report.  I think,
        Mr Irving, it is probably a time to -- unless you have
a
        short point you would like to deal with.
   MR IRVING:  No.  It is quite a long point, the next one, it
is

.          P-113



        going to go to page 31, yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, we will do that at 2 o'clock.
                  (Luncheon adjournment)
   (2.00 p.m.)
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, Mr Irving?
   MR IRVING:  Thank you, my Lord. Professor Browning, are you
        still under contract to Yad Vashem?
   A.   I have contracted to write a book for them and that
has
        not been completed.
   Q.   They paid you $35,000?
   A.   No, they have paid me, I believe, 27,000.
   Q.   Are you aware of the fact that Yad Vashem also paid
money
        to the second Defendant in this case?
   A.   I do not know.  No, I am not aware.
   Q.   Yes.  So you do not see any possible conflict of
interest
        in giving expert evidence in this action on behalf of
the
        Second Defendant?
   A.   One, I did not know that and two, I do not see the
        connection if I had none.
   Q.   Have you seen the book published by the Second
Defendant
        "Denying the Holocaust"?
   A.   Yes, I have.
   Q.   Had you not seen that very early on in the book in her
        introduction and on the title pages, she thanks the
Yad
        Vashem/Vidal Sassoon Institute?
   A.   I do not remember reading that.  I may not have read
the

.          P-114



        credits.  One often goes directly to the body.
   Q.   Yes.  Yad Vashem is an institution of the State of
Israel,
        is it not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   So you are, in that respect, a paid agent I suppose of
the
        State of Israel using the word "agent" in its purely
legal
        sense?
   A.   If that was the case, then since I had been at the
        Holocaust Museum, I would also have been an agent of
the
        American Government, and since I have received
        scholarships in Germany, I would be an agent of the
German
        government, so I must be a very duplicitous fellow to
be
        able to follow these regimes.
   Q.   There is lots of money, is there not, in connection
with
        the Holocaust research scholarships?  It has become a
        well-funded kind of enterprise, can I say, Holocaust
        research, history, publishing ----
   A.   All in the past, I wish it had been much better
funded.
        I did not find that I lived particularly well.
   Q.   $35,000 to write a book which you have not delivered
seems
        relatively well remunerated to me?
   A.   They have got the manuscript for the first half and
that
        is where I have been remunerated from.  They have it
as in
        France.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is the book that, I have not quite got
the
        name of it, but this organisation is going to publish

.          P-115



        written by you connected with your evidence?
   A.   No.  I mean I was in the course of researching that
book.
        I am using evidence here, but it is not directly
related
        to this, no.
   MR IRVING:  Will you tell his Lordship what the nature of
the
        book is you are going to write for Yad Vashem which is
the
        Holocaust memorial in Israel, is it not?
   A.   The book is an overview of Nazi/Jewish policy from
1935 to
        1945.  The first half of September 1939 to March 1942
is
        what is now in the hands of both the editorial board
of
        Yad Vashem and the Cambridge University Press, and it
is
        under completion of that manuscript that I was paid
the
        money, according to the contract that we had signed.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  So it covers the same general area as
your
        evidence but is broader?
   A.   Yes.
   MR IRVING:  If you were to write a book for Yad Vashem
which
        suggested that you discovered that Adolf Hitler had
not
        issued the order or that it was just a totally
haphazard
        killing operation that had resulted from the
Holocaust,
        would this book be welcomed by them, do you think?
Would
        that enhance his prospects or diminish them?
   A.   As I have said, a number of historians have already
made
        the argument that Hitler did not give the order, and
        I have been with them at a conference at Yad Vashem.
They
        had been invited to take part in the discussion there.

.          P-116



   Q.   Will it surprise to you hear ----
   A.   I have been on what we would call the functional end
in
        terms of Hitler not having, as I say, a blueprint from
the
        beginning, and though that is different than many
Israeli
        scholars' view, that does not cause them to view me as
        outside the pale.
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   No, I have not had anyone interfere with or attempt to
        interfere with how I write the book.
   Q.   The point I am trying to make is obviously quite
clearly
        you do not feel that your evidence, expert evidence in
        this case, has been in any way tainted by the money
you
        have received from the State of Israel or Yad Vashem?
   A.   No.  I have written a book from which obviously my
        scholarly reputation is going to be based, that would
be
        far more important to me than whatever money may be
given,
        and that certainly would not be a factor in what I was
        writing.
   Q.   Very well.  If an historian writes a book, just a
        hypothetical historian writes a book, and then between
        that publication of that book and the publication of
the
        next edition of that book he changes his mind in any
        respect, on whatever basis of evidence, and he makes
        deletions from the text of the original edition of his
        book, is this reprehensible necessarily?
   A.   Not necessarily.  In my review of the second edition
of

.          P-117



        Raul Hilberg I noted where he had made changes.
   Q.   You are running ahead of my question.
   A.   That represented his view of the change between 61 and
85.
   Q.   You have correctly anticipated my next question,
        Professor, which is you are familiar with Professor
Raul
        Hilberg?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Can you describe Raul Hilberg and his qualifications
to
        the court, please?
   A.   I would say that Raul Hilberg is the major historian
who
        has written the overview of what we call the machinery
of
        destruction, bureaucratic ----
   Q.   Hold it one moment.  You describe him as an historian.
        Did he actually study history at university?  Did he
get a
        degree in history?
   A.   No.  He sits in the Political Science Department, but
in
        terms of political science he is an historical end of
that
        field which in fact involves people who do many other
        things that do not have particularly historical
dimension.
   Q.   So you do not have to have book learning as an
historian
        in university to be regarded as an historian?
   A.   No.
   Q.   Walter Laqueur is an example, is he not?
   A.   I do not know what Laqueur's Ph.D., is but Raul
Hilberg's
        is political science.
   Q.   And Winston Churchill is another historian of course
and

.          P-118



        he never history, and Edward Gibbon I believe he also
        never studied history, and we can keep on going
through
        the list, am I right?
   A.   --- and Heroditus, yes.
   Q.   Raul Hilberg is, as you say, one of the world's
leading
        Holocaust historians?
   A.   In my view.
   Q.   He wrote a book called ----
   A.   The Destruction of the European Jews.
   Q.   The Destruction of the European Jews.  What was his
        position on Hitler's responsibility in the first
edition
        of his book?
   A.   In the first book he was mainly laying out what he
called
        bureaucratic structures, but that he did have
sentences
        that talked about two decisions, a two-decision
theory,
        that Hitler made a decision in July of 1941 and then
        Hitler made the decision later, the first for Soviet
        Jewry, the second for the mass murder of the European
Jews
        outside Soviet territory.  He rephrased that to ----
   Q.   Hold it for a moment, you have very carefully chosen
your
        word there.  You said "decision".
   A.   Two decisions I said.
   Q.   Yes, decisions.  Is there a distinction in your mind
        between "orders" and "decisions"?
   A.   Yes, I think so.  I usually use the word "decisions".
        I do not usually use the word "order", because an
order

.          P-119



        implies a more formal, it is a formal transfer from
        position of authority requesting a certain action be
taken
        in a more specific way.  "Decision" I have used, and
        I would also say I use this in a broad way, a point at
        which it became crystallized in the mind of Hitler and
        Himmler and Heydrich, or at least Himmler and Heydrich
        knew now what Hitler expected of them had been
conveyed
        what they were to do.  I have said that in the senses
at
        the end of this decision-making process, and I have
always
        said that is an amorphous incremental process.  I have
        argued against what I would call the "big bang"
theory,
        there is a certain moment in time in which suddenly,
        voila, we will kill all the Jews.
   Q.   So did Hilberg in the first edition of his book, The
        Destruction of European Jewry, refer to a Hitler order
or
        a Hitler decision or both?
   A.   I cannot remember exactly.  I would have to look at
the
        text.
   Q.   What happened between the publication of that edition
and
        the publication of the second edition?  What did he
do?
   A.   He took out specific references to a Hitler decision
or
        order, I forget how he phrased it, and phrased it more
        generally.
   Q.   Is it not right that he went the whole way through the
        book cutting out the word "Hitler order", and the
notion
        that Hitler had issued and order?

.          P-120



   A.   In so far as it refers to a specific order, yes.
   Q.   And you actually wrote an article on this subject
called
        "The Revised Hilberg"?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Which is no doubt well in your memory?
   A.   Well, it was written in mid-1980, so it is 15 years in
the
        past.
   Q.   And your recollection of events 15 years ago is not
all
        that good?
   A.   It is not bad, but if you want to tell me which word
did
        I use I would like the like text.  If you want the
general
        gist of it I can give it to you.
   Q.   I am suggesting that if your recollection of something
you
        did 15 years ago is not all that hot, then an
eyewitness's
        recollection about something 30 years ago might be
equally
        shaky?
   A.   I can remember writing the article and I can tell you
the
        gist.  I cannot tell you if I used a word or a
different
        word.  It depends on the magnitude of detail that you
are
        talking about.
   Q.   Just winding up that matter, there is nothing
        reprehensible whatsoever about Hilberg going all the
way
        through his book taking out any reference to a Hitler
        order, which is quite a major element to the book
        obviously, because he had reflected.  On second
thoughts
        he had decided the evidence was not there, is that the

.          P-121



        right way of putting it?
   A.   He had decided that the way he had phrased it in the
first
        volume should be revised.
   Q.   Yes.

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