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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit//transcripts/day017.20


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

   MR IRVING:  It does not, no.  The point which I am finally
        going to develop is that, if an eyewitness like Gerstein
        can be discredited so largely through the good fortune of
        our having access to his French police records and other
        materials, is it not likely that other eyewitnesses will
        turn out also to be made of straw to a greater or lesser
        degree, for one reason or another?

.          P-177

   A.   No, I do not agree.  I think that he is confirmed in his
        essentials, and the question before us here was how did
        the killing at these camps take place?  And he is one of a
        number of witnesses that say they take place in gas
        chambers.  In so far as he can come up with the names of
        the people that were there, the transports from the
        particular region that were arriving at Belzec at that
        time, I think this is very essential for saying this part
        of his testimony is reliable.  I do not consider that
        having been destroyed in any way, and I think there
are a
        large number of other witnesses that are also
believable
        that tell the same story.
   Q.   Just dealing with Gerstein at this moment, I do not
have
        to destroy all the eyewitnesses.  I just want to
tackle
        the principal ones.  If he was who he said he was and
he
        had the task of delivering these fumigation supplies,
the
        Zyklon, to those camps, then he would know the people
who
        were operating whatever they were operating, would
know
        the names.  This does not necessarily presuppose that
all
        the rest of his story is true, or any of the rest of
his
        story is true.
   A.   We know that transports from the Volf went there at
this
        time.  This was the place from where they were coming.
We
        know that Hockenholt was the man who ran the gas
chambers,
        that Oberhauser was Wirt's assistant, that he could
have
        come into this information without having visited
Belzec.

.          P-178



   Q.   How did he know that Hockenholt ran the gas chambers?
Is
        this another eyewitness?
   A.   This is the other eyewitnesses, but people from whom
        Gerstein could never possibly have heard of and known
of
        when he was giving this testimony.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can I ask a question at this stage,
        Mr Irving, really because it might suggest to you that
        there may be one or two questions you would want to
ask as
        a follow up?  It is really this.  Given that there is
a
        live issue about gassing at Auschwitz, does the
evidence
        about what was happening at Belzec, Sobibor and
Treblinka
        have an impact on the issue in relation to Auschwitz?
Do
        you follow my question?
   A.   In the sense that it has the impact that, if the
Operation
        Reinhardt camps are basically killing the bulk of
Polish
        Jewry, then the bit provides the historical context
for
        weighing, is Auschwitz a similar camp for killing Jews
        brought from other parts of Europe?  So they are
        interrelated if, in that sense, the camps are dividing
up
        geographical areas from which they receive people.  We
        know, I do not know if he does concede but it seems to
be,
        that the people sent to these camps died in one way or
        another, and at least the eyewitness testimony tells
us
        how that was done.  That would contribute to the
        credibility of those that say Auschwitz was a similar
camp
        as part of a similar programme.

.          P-179



   MR IRVING:  My Lord, may I remind you, of course, that I do
not
        challenge that there gassings at Auschwitz on some
scale?
        It is the scale that we very much challenge.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think, I do not want to quote him
without
        his permission, as it were, but I imagine, Professor
        Browning, it is implicit in the answer he has just
given,
        would say that you learn something about the scale of
the
        gassing at Auschwitz from what was happening at these
        other death camps.
   MR IRVING:  With respect, my Lord, I think not.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Am I misrepresenting you?
   MR IRVING:  I am just alarmed at the notion of building
such a
        major part of World War II history just on the
testimony
        of half a dozen eye witnesses as far as Auschwitz is
        concerned.
   MR RAMPTON:  I do not know where that comes from.  It is
the
        second time we have had that today.  It is built on a
mass
        of evidence, documentary, archeological, eyewitness,
        goodness knows what, all of which, as Professor van
Pelt
        puts it, converged to the same conclusion.
   MR IRVING:  The transcript will show what position we
reached.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We will obviously have to deal with the
        totality of the evidence, but it had gone through my
mind,
        this thought, and I therefore thought it right to put
it
        to Professor Browning, because it seems to me to be an
        argument for the existence of gassing on a substantial

.          P-180



        scale at Auschwitz.  You have heard the answer that
        Professor Browning has given to me.  It is a matter
for
        you whether you want to pursue it.  I appreciate you
do
        not accept it.
   MR IRVING:  I can only ask the supplementary question,
which is
        does that answer depend entirely on eyewitness
evidence,
        or is there any documentary basis whatsoever for what
you
        have just told his Lordship?
   A.   We have documentary evidence for gassing in Semlin and
        Chelmno and the uses of the gas van.  We have only
        eyewitness testimony for the existence of gas chambers
in
        the three Operation Reinhardt camps.
   Q.   So there is no documentary evidence relating to scale
        then?
   A.   Not to scale, to mode of killing.  What we do have is
        documentary evidence concerning the emptying of Poland
of
        Jews to these three camps, which are teeny little
villages
        which do not accommodate one and a half million
people.
   Q.   We have been through part of that argument sometime
ago
        when I mentioned the English village of Aldershot, to
        which large numbers of English people went during
World
        War II.
   A.   If the population of Aldershot had been a group of
people
        already deprived of their rights and property, if they
had
        been rounded up with all of the brutality that left
bodies
        lying all the way to the train station, and if they
had

.          P-181



        been sent there and never came back, and if a hundred
        witnesses from Aldershot said they had been gassed, we
        would, I think, say something happened at Aldershot.
   Q.   Absolutely right.  We do not have 100 witnesses in
these
        cases, do we?  We have apparently, in the case of
        Auschwitz, about which Mr Rampton is concerned, tens
of
        thousands of survivors, but only five or six have been
        questioned on this matter so far as we know from these
        proceedings before us.  Anyway, I have no further
        questions.  Thank you very much for coming to England,
        Professor Browning.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Thank you.
                   < Re-examined by Mr Rampton QC.
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, if I ran maybe past quarter past 4
        perhaps I would be forgiven?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I had thought already that, if needs be,
we
        will do that.
   MR RAMPTON:  We would like to get the Professor off the
stand.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think that would suit Mr Irving
actually,
        and then he will have a free run tomorrow, preparing
        Evans.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.  I do not have that many questions,
        Professor, but it may take a bit of time because I
want
        your help with some documents.  Can we start, please,
with
        what I call the Browning document file, which is tab 7
of
        L1?  I would like you to turn to page 19A.  This is a

.          P-182



        document which by now we all probably can recite in
our
        sleep.  There was a lot of cross-examination about it.
It
        is the message from Muller to the Einsatzgruppen of
1st
        August 1941, I hope, is it?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.
   MR RAMPTON:  19A in a circle.  There are about four numbers
on
        the page.  You are looking for a handwritten number in
a
        circle in the bottom right hand corner of the page.
   A.   Yes, 19A I have.
   MR RAMPTON:  First of all, can I ask you whether you know
how
        long this document has been accessible to scholars?
   A.   I think the first reference I saw to it was in Gerald
        Fleming, a book published in 1982.
   Q.   Is that "Hitler und die Entlosung"?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Second question.  I am coming back to the content of
it in
        a moment.  You see it has the security mark Geheim on
it?
   A.   Yes, I see Geheim.
   Q.   I want you just to have a quick look at some of the
other
        documents in this bundle, not for the content but for
        their superscription, if I can call it that.  For the
        moment, I have lost my note.  Can we turn, please, to
page
        38?  You will remember the context of these questions.
It
        was that Mr Irving was suggesting that Geheim was such
a
        low security classification that this document could
not
        have a sinister connotation.

.          P-183



   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Page 38 ought to be what I call the Rademacher report,
        following his visit to Belgrade.  Is it?
   A.   Correct.
   Q.   Can you tell me, just glancing at the first page, you
know
        it backwards, what is the substance of this document,
the
        first page of it?
   A.   He is reporting here on the shooting of the male Jews
in
        Serbia.  He had been sent down there to deal with what
was
        to happen to them and he says there really is not a
        problem concerning the male Jews, they are being shot.
   Q.   They are being shot.  He is an official in the Foreign
        Office?
   A.   He is the so-called Jewish expert in the Foreign
Office.
   Q.   Do you see that has the mere marking Geheim at the top
of
        it?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Thank you.  Then can we go to what I think is 40A?  It
is
        25th October 41.  I am going to ask you to do a bit of
        stationery work, if you do not mind, Professor.  Just
put
        this in the file.  There is one for the witness and
one
        for the judge (Same handed).
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  One for Mr Irving?
   MR RAMPTON:  One for Mr Irving, yes.  This is another of
your
        documents, Professor.  I say "your documents",
documents
        referred to by you.  25th October 1941, from a Dr
Wetzler

.          P-184



        to somebody called Lohse, who is the Reichs Kommissar
for
        the East land.  What is this document about?
   A.   This is the one in which he discusses the possibility
of
        sending someone to Riga to construct gassing
apparatuses.
   Q.   That is in the fourth line on the first page
Vergassungs
        apparate.  Then, if you turn over the page, can you
just
        tell us what the first sentence of the first complete
        paragraph says?
   A.   He says that, given the situation, there are no
objections
        if Jews not capable of work are removed by Brock's
"little
        helper".
   Q.   His Vergassungsapparate?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Notice then please on the first page the appellation,
the
        security?
   A.   The security rank is Geheim.
   Q.   Yes.  Then, finally, three other documents.  Page 91
is a
        document dated 26th March, the year I do not know.
42,
        I guess, is it?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am going to be very pedantic and say
        Wetzler document, 40A, or otherwise we will never find
it.
   MR RAMPTON:  Sorry, my Lord?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  40A for Wetzler.
   MR RAMPTON:  To Lohse?
   A.   This is a carbon, so they would have had on the
original
        stationery the 194 and the blank paper behind just
recalls

.          P-185



        the two they typed in.
   Q.   Have you got page 91?
   A.    I think it is the 26th, 26th March 1942.
   Q.   This is a letter, I think, from somebody called Rauf.
        What is this about?
   A.   Rauf is the head of the sort of, I guess we could call
it
        the administration of material matters of the
        Reichssicherheitshauptamt.  Included in that is the
motor
        pool, and this I would have to read through to see
        exactly.
   Q.   Something about Sonderwagon.
   A.   Yes.  This is about the Sonderwagon that are prepared
by
        them.
   Q.   I see.  It is about the supply of Sonderwagon?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   What are Sonderwagon?
   A.   This is one of terms they used for gas vans.
   Q.   I notice again in a box at the top of the first page
the
        word Geheim only, please.  Then, last but one, page
99A,
        this I hope is a letter or a copy of a letter, I think
it
        is a  Nuremberg document in fact, from Gantzen Muller
to
        Karl Wolff?
   A.   Yes.

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