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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
        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,
        going on, but is suggestion enough really?  You have
        documents from which inferences can be drawn, and yet
        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
        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
        that there was or was not a killing programme.  It is
        what date it will take shape.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think that must be right, as a matter
        the interpretation of what is in the report.  I think,
        Mr Irving, it is probably a time to -- unless you have
        short point you would like to deal with.
   MR IRVING:  No.  It is quite a long point, the next one, it

.          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
        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
        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
        in giving expert evidence in this action on behalf of
        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
        "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
        Vashem/Vidal Sassoon Institute?
   A.   I do not remember reading that.  I may not have read

.          P-114

        credits.  One often goes directly to the body.
   Q.   Yes.  Yad Vashem is an institution of the State of
        is it not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   So you are, in that respect, a paid agent I suppose of
        State of Israel using the word "agent" in its purely
   A.   If that was the case, then since I had been at the
        Holocaust Museum, I would also have been an agent of
        American Government, and since I have received
        scholarships in Germany, I would be an agent of the
        government, so I must be a very duplicitous fellow to
        able to follow these regimes.
   Q.   There is lots of money, is there not, in connection
        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
        I did not find that I lived particularly well.
   Q.   $35,000 to write a book which you have not delivered
        relatively well remunerated to me?
   A.   They have got the manuscript for the first half and
        is where I have been remunerated from.  They have it
as in
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is the book that, I have not quite got
        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
        I am using evidence here, but it is not directly
        to this, no.
   MR IRVING:  Will you tell his Lordship what the nature of
        book is you are going to write for Yad Vashem which is
        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
        what is now in the hands of both the editorial board
        Yad Vashem and the Cambridge University Press, and it
        under completion of that manuscript that I was paid
        money, according to the contract that we had signed.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  So it covers the same general area as
        evidence but is broader?
   A.   Yes.
   MR IRVING:  If you were to write a book for Yad Vashem
        suggested that you discovered that Adolf Hitler had
        issued the order or that it was just a totally
        killing operation that had resulted from the
        would this book be welcomed by them, do you think?
        that enhance his prospects or diminish them?
   A.   As I have said, a number of historians have already
        the argument that Hitler did not give the order, and
        I have been with them at a conference at Yad Vashem.
        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
        terms of Hitler not having, as I say, a blueprint from
        beginning, and though that is different than many
        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
        you do not feel that your evidence, expert evidence in
        this case, has been in any way tainted by the money
        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
        far more important to me than whatever money may be
        and that certainly would not be a factor in what I was
   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
        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

.          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
   Q.   You have correctly anticipated my next question,
        Professor, which is you are familiar with Professor
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Can you describe Raul Hilberg and his qualifications
        the court, please?
   A.   I would say that Raul Hilberg is the major historian
        has written the overview of what we call the machinery
        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
        terms of political science he is an historical end of
        field which in fact involves people who do many other
        things that do not have particularly historical
   Q.   So you do not have to have book learning as an
        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
        is political science.
   Q.   And Winston Churchill is another historian of course

.          P-118

        he never history, and Edward Gibbon I believe he also
        never studied history, and we can keep on going
        the list, am I right?
   A.   --- and Heroditus, yes.
   Q.   Raul Hilberg is, as you say, one of the world's
        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
        of his book?
   A.   In the first book he was mainly laying out what he
        bureaucratic structures, but that he did have
        that talked about two decisions, a two-decision
        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
        outside Soviet territory.  He rephrased that to ----
   Q.   Hold it for a moment, you have very carefully chosen
        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

.          P-119

        implies a more formal, it is a formal transfer from
        position of authority requesting a certain action be
        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
        what they were to do.  I have said that in the senses
        the end of this decision-making process, and I have
        said that is an amorphous incremental process.  I have
        argued against what I would call the "big bang"
        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
        a Hitler decision or both?
   A.   I cannot remember exactly.  I would have to look at
   Q.   What happened between the publication of that edition
        the publication of the second edition?  What did he
   A.   He took out specific references to a Hitler decision
        order, I forget how he phrased it, and phrased it more
   Q.   Is it not right that he went the whole way through the
        book cutting out the word "Hitler order", and the
        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
        "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
   Q.   And your recollection of events 15 years ago is not
        that good?
   A.   It is not bad, but if you want to tell me which word
        I use I would like the like text.  If you want the
        gist of it I can give it to you.
   Q.   I am suggesting that if your recollection of something
        did 15 years ago is not all that hot, then an
        recollection about something 30 years ago might be
   A.   I can remember writing the article and I can tell you
        gist.  I cannot tell you if I used a word or a
        word.  It depends on the magnitude of detail that you
        talking about.
   Q.   Just winding up that matter, there is nothing
        reprehensible whatsoever about Hilberg going all the
        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
        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
        volume should be revised.
   Q.   Yes.

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