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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day017.05

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day017.05
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   Would I be right in suggesting that this order
        effectively created a killing field, and that anybody else
        who fitted the title of Jew who came within that killing
        field was therefore at risk, put it that way?
   A.   This certainly creates an atmosphere in which clearly
        there will be lots of killing and it will not be
        restricted to military combat, that there will be killing
        of those that are seen to be an ideological and racial
        enemy, as well as military.  I think, when we look at, in
        a sense, the kinds of proposals that are brought forward,
        very revealing are not only the Kommissar order and the
        agreement between the military and the Einsatzgruppen, but
        the economic plans that come forward, such as the May 2nd
        meeting of the State secretaries, in which they say, for
        Germany to be blockade proof, we must take lots of
        material out of the Soviet Union, and we must be very
        clear that, when we do this, umpteen million Russians are
        going to starve to death.  So we have an atmosphere of a
        war of destruction in which civilian life is going to be

.          P-37

        totally cheap.
   Q.   He does not say, as a result of our taking economic goods
        out of the country, millions of people, preferably Jews,
        are going to die.  That is just any Russians?
   A.   This is that lots of Russians will die, lots of civilians
        will die.  Then, of course, if we cast that, as an
        historian, to put it into the wider context, you would not
        disagree with that, I think.
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   The wider context basically is where people have been
        shot, Jews have been shot in larger percentages than
        others, where people have starved, the Jews have starved
        first.  So, if you have a programme of shooting and
        starving, one can begin with the fact that there is going
        to be a large loss of Jewish life, that this would be
        clear to anyone in the context of Nazi Germany in the
        spring of 41.  That is not yet.  That is not yet an
        explicit order for the killing of Soviet Jewry.  It is a
        creation of, we might say, a hunting licence.  No one
        get into trouble killing Jews.  One will get credits
        rather than anything against them.
   Q.   I agree entirely, but the focus is at this stage on
        document strictly, shall we say, the upper 10,000?  It
        the Judao-Bolshevik intelligentsia and their
        all the way down to the Kommissars, is that right?
   A.   The focus is selective killing and indiscriminate

.          P-38

   Q.   The emphasis is on this as a measure of war?  This is
        kind of war we are going to be fighting?
   A.   No.  The emphasis is on measure of a war that is
        understood to be both military and ideological and
   Q.   A war to the death, yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Professor Browning, where do you get
        indiscriminate starving from?
   A.   That is a document I believe is not one that I cited.
        is a protocol of a meeting of the State secretaries on
        2nd 1941.  It is a Nuremberg document, in which the
        protocol is that we all agree that, when we take out
        the Soviet Union what is necessary to make Germany
        blockade proof, we must be perfectly clear that this
        mean the mass starvation of umpteen million Russians.
        it is a document that speaks to what was clear to
        everybody involved in the planning process, that this
        of destruction was going to mean a vast loss of life.
        Given what had happened in Poland, I would argue,
        understood that, in a vast loss of life, Jewish life
        even cheaper than other life.  That is what I would
        the beginning of this first phase of the decision
        process.  It sets up a genocidal atmosphere, it does
        yet set up a systematic plan for total liquidation.
   MR IRVING:  Can I leap forward ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, I am going to highlight that.

.          P-39

        I am also going to suggest -- the questions have been
        and furious this morning.  That is not a criticism.
        I suspect you would quite welcome a break and I am
        the transcriber would.  It has been actually quite
        intensive this morning.
   MR IRVING:  Can I have one short question?  On that point
        shall round it off and let us say that this kind
        order, is it not almost identical to the Morgantower
        decision of September 1944, where the Americans said,
        us do this to the Germans, we do not care how many
   A.   I would have to look at that document before I could
        whether it was similar or not.  What we do know of
        is that that document never was implemented.
   Q.   It was signed by both Roosevelt and Churchill, was it
   A.   I would have to see such a document.
   MR IRVING:  Thank you.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think five minutes is enough just to
have a
        breathing space.
                  (Short Adjournment).
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, can we just identify the
        document you refer to?  I am not sure I know where
   MR IRVING:  The Kommissar order is in May 1941, I believe,
        about May 7th or May 5th.  These March 1941 documents,
        I believe I am right in saying, are the kind of

.          P-40

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

.          P-41

        what you have already said in relation to the 3rd
        document.  Is that fair?.
   A.   Yes. What I think they confirm is that Hitler does not
        this, and does not want his generals and others to see
        as a conventional war, but that it has a very strong
        ideological dimension to it, and that the enemy to be
        destroyed is not just the Soviet army and its power to
        resist, but what he considers to be Judao-Bolshevism,
        communism, he uses different phrases.
   MR IRVING:  Would it be right to say that at this time
        had knowledge of the manner in which the Soviet Union
        fought its wars, both its colonial wars as in Spain,
        example, and also in the Finnish winter war of 1939 to
   A.   What picture the German intelligence portrayed of the
        Soviet Union in all of this, is an area that others
        studied, it is not an area that I think I could speak
   Q.   Would he be familiar with the activities of the
        Kommissars within the Red Army hierarchy?
   A.   It is very likely he would have been given even a more
        lurid description than maybe would have been
        accepted but that is just speculation on my part.  As
        I say, I cannot think of any documents at the moment
        I could speak from with authority.
   Q.   The Soviet Commissart system was a political agitator,

.          P-42

        I correct, within each Army unit to make sure that
        pointed their guns in the right direction, roughly?
   A.   It was to establish, in a sense, a dual control of
        military units, someone who would be there with
        expertise and someone with political, what they called
   Q.   Did these Commissarts have an NKBD rank?
   A.   That I do not know.
   Q.   Can you estimate for the court approximately what
        percentage of these Commissarts were, in fact, Jewish?
   A.   I have absolutely no idea.
   Q.   No idea.  Very well.  But if a substantial percentage
        either Jewish or were perceived by the Nazis to be
        would that justify the kind of language that Hitler
        in these military plannings for the coming Russian
   A.   No, I do not see that Jews who were part of the NKBD,
in a
        sense, often were totally secular Jews separate from
        Jewish religious communities in these towns, that they
        given up, in a sense, their Jewish identity.  They
        often all part of the Jewish communities that were
        to face the onslaught of the genocide.  So if you ask
        is there a justification, my answer would be
   Q.   Are you aware that, in fact, the Jewish community
        the backbone of the Red Army and of the NKBD?

.          P-43

   A.   I am certainly not aware of that and I doubt that that
        the case.
   Q.   Are you aware of the fact that 300 heroes of the
        Union of General's rank were Jewish?
   A.   I do not know the number, but I do not know that it is
   Q.   Welt, I am just trying to establish the fact there may
        have been a military reason for Hitler to have used
        kind of language in preparing his Generals for the
        ugly war that was to come.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  If that were so, I just wonder, Professor
        Browning, whether the word "intelligenzija" would have
        been used?  It is an odd word if one is talking in
        of talking military combat, is it not?  Is that right
   A.   Well, I think for Hitler he equates Bolshevism and the
        Communists with Jews, and in a sense he is talking
         -- he sometimes used "leadership", sometimes he uses
        "intelligenzija" and in his mind these are
   Q.   The point I was really putting to you is if one is
        about military extermination, if that is a fair way of
        putting it, one would expect to find a reference to
        "intelligenzija" but "senior military personnel" or
        something of that kind?
   A.   Yes, I mean, and that I think is there as well, but
        fact that he adds these others would again reinforce

.          P-44

        point I am making that there is a strictly ideological
        racial dimension as well as a military dimension.
   Q.   More than a struggle of arms?
   A.   Yes.
   MR IRVING:  Is it not right, however, also to say that in
        defeating the Soviet Union, he would not only have to
        defeat the Red Army, he would also have to defeat the
        Soviet hierarchy, the bureaucracy; he would have to
        eradicate that as well in order to implement the
        colonial rule on those regions?
   A.   Have to eradicate what?
   Q.   The bureaucracy, the entire Bolshevik hierarchy?
   A.   That certainly was his goal, yes.
   Q.   And the Nazis frequently used the phrase "Jewish
        Bolshevik"; it had become a bit of a slogan, had it
   A.   It was more than a slogan.  It was a reflection of
   Q.   My Lord, I think we have taken that question as far as
        can go, unless your Lordship has further questions on
        those particular documents?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, not at all.
   MR RAMPTON:  May I just add this?  It may save time later
        Your Lordship was asking about the guidelines ----
   MR RAMPTON:  --- for Barbarossa, conduct of troops.  The
        is 19th May 1941 and the relevant part is summarized

.          P-45

        and translated on page 5 of part 2 of Longerich.
   MR IRVING:  Yes.  This is not a Commissart order, but it is
        very much a parallel document.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Right.  That is very helpful.
   MR IRVING:  It effectively says that ordinary court
        will not apply and this kind of thing.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Thank you very much, Mr Rampton.  I was
        aware of that at all.
   MR IRVING (To the witness):  Are you familiar with those
        guidelines of May 19th 1941?  Can you answer questions
        about it, roughly, were they specifically anti-Jewish
   A.   There are, I would say, three key orders, one is the
        Commissart order, one is the order concerning military
        jurisdiction and then there is the troop, guidelines
        the troops, in which "Jews", simply the term "Jews",
        put in the same line with saboteurs, guerrillas, so
        in effect, Jews are created as a class that can be
        on the basis of who they are with other targets who
        defined by what they do.  This, of course, is the
        of a racial genocide.
   Q.   Are you familiar with the origins of these three
        you have mentioned?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think you mention them in your own
        actually, do you not?
   A.   I am not sure if I mention the three documents.

.          P-46

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