Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day009.12 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. Yes, if they survived the allied war crimes courts and did not end up in Hammelin in prison as a guest of Mr Albert Pierpoint? A. If they survived the allied war crime trials, but ---- . P-102 Q. Do you know how many German war criminals the British hanged in Hammelin? A. No, I do not know. Q. Of the order of 1,000 in the postwar years. A. Thank you for that information. Q. So people who were in middle ranking positions in the German Nazi criminal hierarchy had to be on the look out, is that correct? A. I presume that one had to be careful, yes. Q. And there were various ways of surviving. One was to put on a black eye patch and pretend you were not Heinrich Himmler until you were caught, and another way would be to offer to help the allies, would this be correct? A. I think you are now making a blanket statement and I would not want to endorse it. I think that there are the situation, like any historical situation, has been rapidly changing before and after the defeat of the Germans, that there were various ways people assessed that situation, various ways that people dealt with it, and that, of course, probably since the SS was not very popular after the war and at a certain moment it was declared a criminal organization, that if I had been an SS man, I would have been very careful. I understand most SS men were and tried to pass themselves off as something else, including Heinreich Himmler who pretended to be an ordinary soldier. Q. Would you tell the court what the position of this . P-103 eyewitness Mr Pery Broad -- that is P-E-R-Y Broad -- in the Auschwitz camp was? A. Pery Broad was a kind of an administrative official in the camp Gestapo which is called the political department. Q. So that was, as you correctly say, the Gestapo at Auschwitz camp? A. Yes. Q. So his life prospects were not particularly rosy when the war was over if he fell into Polish hands or into the hands of anybody who knew what he had done, if he fell into the wrong hands? A. He was a low ranking official. I mean, he was something of a junior sergeant, I understand. Q. I think of lower ranking than that. A. Sorry? Q. Probably even lower ranking than that, I believe? A. I do not know exactly the British -- I think he was Rottenfuhrer or something. Q. Rottenfuhrer? A. Rottenfuhrer, yes. Q. As in "rotten" and "Fuhrer"? A. Yes. It is a peculiar, one of these peculiar SS ranks. He was one of the very, very small cogs in the machine. Q. But hews in a position to see everything? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can I put to you what I understand to be the suggestion? If I am wrong in my understanding, Mr Irving . P-104 will tell me so, I am sure. I think what is being suggested is that these camp officials made false submissions about what they had been doing at Auschwitz in order to ingratiate themselves with the British or whoever had captured them. If that is the suggestion, what do you say about it or do you not feel you can comment? A. No, I mean, I think again the situations under which various testimonies were given again are very particular situations. Mr Pery Broad had, I think, very little to fear from anyone since he had been in the political department which was outside Stammlager, it was not inside Stammlager. He had very little direct contact with any prisoners. He was pushing paper in the camp Gestapo. He would not have been a person which would have attracted the attention of any surviving inmates, unlike his boss, Maximillian Bragne(?), who ultimately ended up in court in Cracow and was ultimately hanged. So I think that Mr Broad had very little to fear when he was captured and that for whatever reason he gave his testimony immediately after his capture by the British was -- I mean, I cannot speculate about his reasons. MR IRVING: Was he ever on the British payroll, the British Army payroll? A. I think that he was used -- while he was, after he was captured and he was in British captivity, I would not call it "payroll", but he was, as far as I know, had some kind . P-105 of function in the camp as a translator. Q. Yes, but he was on the British Army payroll? A. But he was an inmate in that establishment. I do not think that one is on the inmate -- as an inmate of a camp on the payroll of the captors. Q. Very well. One more question on this line, Aide Bimko, you have used the eyewitness of a lady called Aide Bimko, B-I-M-K-O? A. Yes. Q. Real name Rosenberg, I believe, is that correct? She gave evidence, she provided eyewitness testimony? A. At the Ludenberg trial. Q. What other eyewitnesses have you relied on, Mr Heinrich Pauber? A. May I ask you, are you talking about my book or are you talking about the expert report? Q. I am sorry. I will assume you used them in both. Do you wish to distinguish between your report and the book? A. I do not think that I used Bimko in the book. I did use Bendel in the book for one particular thing. So, yes, but I have mentioned them in the expert report not, by the way, as a way to ascertain what happened. I think that should be very clear about the use of the eyewitnesses in my report. It is a section, a rather large section, of my report to reconstruct how knowledge became available about Auschwitz after the war. So the question is, when . P-106 did people actually start to testify, at what moment and where were they? Q. And what might they have learned from other witnesses? A. And what kind of cross-referencing would there have been, cross-pollination. Q. What I call cross-pollination, yes. A. Pollination, as you called it yesterday. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Or "convergence", I think that is the other term. MR IRVING: My Lord, I am steering clear of the word "convergence" because of its legal meaning. I think cross-pollination is nice because it implies that they picked up a tit-bit from a newspaper. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I follow. I think, Mr Irving, you tell me when you have reached a convenient breaking point. MR IRVING: One more question. (To the witness): Are you going to tell us about any more eyewitnesses on whom you rely, because you do say that in certain key points of this issue you are relying more on eyewitnesses than on documents because the documents do not help us. A. I find this very difficult to answer right now because I do not really know where you are going to go and what issues you are going to raise, and when at a certain moment those issues are raised, I will introduce eyewitnesses I see fit. Q. All will become plain to you immediately after lunch, . P-107 Professor. A. Then the trap will be set or it is sprung? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, well, we will look forward to that at 2 o'clock. (Luncheon adjournment) (Professor van Pelt, recalled. Cross-Examined by Mr Irving, continued.) MR IRVING: My Lord, with regard to the remark I made earlier this morning, might I ask or suggest that we might possibly consider ending slightly earlier this afternoon, to give me time to prepare in more detail for tomorrow. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. I think, if you need that, that is a perfectly reasonable request. How much earlier were you wanting? MR IRVING: Half an hour or one hour earlier. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Shall we compromise? Shall we make it half an hour? MR IRVING: Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: So quarter to four. When you reach a convenient moment around quarter to four or a little earlier, we will break off then. MR IRVING: Yes. Professor van Pelt, you are probably the world's leading authority on Auschwitz. There is no need to be humble or modest about this. Is this correct? A. It is difficult to say that. I think that the history of Auschwitz is a very big history, a very complex history. . P-108 There are many parts of the history of Auschwitz about which we know very little, the history of medical services in Auschwitz, the history of children in Auschwitz. There are many historians who have worked on different parts, but I would say that, on the more limited issue of the history of construction in Auschwitz, or the history construction around Auschwitz, because, as you probably realize, the book deals also with what happened outside of the camp in great detail. Q. Yes. A. I would say that probably one of the two people, yes, who was most comfortable with all the material. Q. You are certainly the best that money can buy and, as we shall see from, I think I am confident in saying, the other witnesses who are being called by the Defence, they are of an unusually high calibre, so anything that you do not know about Auschwitz is not worth knowing. Am I correct? A. I do not think that is true. I think that the mass of material which is available in Moscow I have consulted. I have glossed these archives on microfilm, all of them, like the certain moment when I started my work in Auschwitz in 1990, I worked through the whole archive to build an archive there, but I have not studied every issue in detail. Q. But you get a feel for it though, do you not, by looking . P-109 at this? A. I think you get a feel for it, yes. Q. It is possible to scan very large bodies of documents at high speed, at unusually high speed, and still get a feel for what is in them? A. One gets a feel, but there were questions which I did not ask when I went through these archives, both in Auschwitz and in the Moscow archives, historical questions I did not ask, at a time which of course made me pass over certain files which may be now I wish I had looked at in more detail, because of some of the issues you seem to raise or which I expect you to raise. Q. Is it true that most of these Auschwitz files have now been microfilmed and provided to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC? A. The Auschwitz files from Moscow have all been unblocked microfilmed, and the museum is now working on a microfilm collection of the files in Auschwitz itself. Q. So there are probably not many pages of those archives that have not recently been turned by one researcher or another? A. I do not know what other researchers are doing. I have read in some of, I think in material which comes from your web site, I think, Mr Montonia has done a lot of work in Moscow. I think that, a number of people in the Holocaust museum seem to have been intimidated by this book and . P-110 thinks there is no more work to do, but I tell them that there is enough work to do still. Q. It is a very well written book, if I may say so. Certainly for the last eight years they have been researching that because, when I was in the archives working on the Goebbels diary, at the table behind me were two researchers from the Washington museum, working on precisely the Auschwitz archives. They have had eight years working specifically through those archives, turning all the pages, looking for things, so not much would have escaped their attention of any significance. A. I think that of course the question is again, what question are you asking of the material? I mean what are people, when they look at these materials, looking for?
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