Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day016.13 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. And after the letter at the end of that line is a letter G? . P-91 A. Yes. Q. That indicates the file only has a secret rating? A. It would certainly indicate that this particular number has a secret rating. Q. Just above his signature at the bottom of the document, again ---- A. We have the same file number, yes. Q. We have a similar file number, again with just the letter G. So the whole thing they are talking and writing about is only G Geheim? A. Yes. Q. Would you be adventurous enough to hang a hypothesis on a document like that, or would you want to couch your hypothesis in the most guarded language and say this might quite possibly refer to the killing operations, on the other hand the document contains no specific reference? Would that be the way you would write it as a cautious historian? A. I would say that it has a reference to the work of the Einsatzgruppen, and that we should interpret this as referring to all of the activities of the Einsatzgruppen. Because we have seen the reports, we know that includes killing, but someone looking at this letter from the outside would not know that. Q. Yes. Have you any reason to believe that Hitler was shown photographs of the killing operations? . P-92 A. I do not know. Q. Were there placards connected with the killing operations saying, you are to assemble at such and such a place? A. There were such placards put up, yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can you give me an idea? It is really the scale of the thing. These Einsatzgruppen at this time, because we are talking about August 41, you may not be able to answer this, what proportion of their duties did shooting people occupy? A. As of August 1 they would be just going into the transition of killing adult male Jews of particularly potential leadership classes, towards a policy of systematic extermination. So at this point, if I can use that unfortunate phrase, the body count would still be lower than the documents that come from the fall of 1941. The Jager, report for instance, shows August 15 as the astronomical jump from selected killing to massive killing of women and children. We have another letter from Lithuania, it is not part of this file, that says at August 7th they are shooting all Jews. So this is preceding that point by just a few days. MR JUSTICE GRAY: So, in a way, that is equivocal. It could mean from the date of this letter the information is necessarily going to include details of the numbers shot because the extermination programme is being accelerated? A. That would be an interpretation we placed on it, based on . P-93 our inferences from the point of time, the chronology, a possible interpretation. Q. Yes. The opposite contention would be they have not actually been spending a huge amount of time doing these awful shootings? A. Most of the shootings are reported in the hundreds at this point as opposed to the thousands and hundreds of thousands. Q. So it is equivocal? MR IRVING: Not only that. I think that Professor Browning is right. I believe the first intercepts were mid August onwards, were they not, when they began reporting 30,000 shot? MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is what he said. MR IRVING: I draw Professor Browning's attention once more to the subject line of that document. The document is only concerning provision of visual materials? A. Yes, but the reason for the procurement of visual materials is to supplement the fact that the Fuhrer is receiving regular reports. So we learn from a particular document about the procurement of visual materials, an existing policy of Hitler receiving current reports. Q. Can you -- I am not an expert on the Reichssicherheitshauptamt and I am not sure how much are you, but can you draw any conclusions from the desk number, shall we say, it is (iv), that was the Gestapo? . P-94 A. Yes. Q. Then we have A1. Now, Eichmann was A something was he not? A. It changes over time. At one point I think it is 4B4, that is the most common designation. Q. That is right. Eichmann was 4B4. So what would 4A1 be? Have you any idea? A. My guess is that it is the secretary, the administrative centre. This would be his own personal office. I do not have an office plan. One could find that out with an office plan. Q. A logical question arises from this document. Have you anywhere in any of the archives in which you have worked seen any documents generated by this request, either incoming to Muller from the Eastern Front or going from Berlin to Hitler in consequence of this? A. I have not seen any collections of photos that are marked as in reference to our order of August 1, these should be sent to the Fuhrer. I have not seen such a thing. Q. Are there any collections of documents or placards or things relating to shootings on the Eastern Front that were sent to Hitler? A. I do not ---- Q. Either demonstrably or otherwise in connection with this order? A. I do not know of any evidence of particular photos or . P-95 placards that were sent. Q. How many such reports on the work of the Einsatzgruppen were actually sent to Hitler that we know of? A. We do not know. Q. Have we seen any at all in the archives? A. We have seen various ones that are sent to different places but none of them are marked as a copy that was sent to the Fuhrer's headquarters or whatever, no. Q. Apart from the famous Meldung number 51? A. Yes. Q. Of December 1942? A. Yes. Q. Which we will come to in chronological sequence. My Lord, do you have any further questions on that August 1st document? It is quite important. MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. I think you have dealt with it very thoroughly. A. Can I add something? MR RAMPTON: Yes of course. A. This is an example of a document that was available in the West fairly early. Gerald Fleming quotes it in his book which was published I guess in 1982. It is found in the Zentralstelle. This is when they got there. They sent the copy to the Institute. The copy he cites here is the copy in the Bundeschei. So there are at least three copies of this in Germany. . P-96 MR IRVING: Professor, would you agree that it is difficult to form an opinion just on a loose sheet of paper like this? You want to see the file it is in, is that correct? A. We would always prefer to see the whole file. I do not turn my back on an individual document because it is not everything that I would wish. Q. Would you also agree that, when you see a document like that, you should not jump up and down and say, Eureka, this is the philosopher's stone I have been looking for. A. I would be cautious not to yell Eureka, yes. Q. So historians in this respect are somewhat different from leading counsel, would you suspect? MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, Mr Irving. Next question. MR IRVING: On the question of the body count figures, because of course I am very concerned about the totals that are contained in these documents, is there any paper trail leading to the figures, or are these figures -- which figures are credible because we have seen the supporting paperwork that went into them? A. We have, for instance, the Jager report that goes in a sense from one Einsatzkommando to Stahlecker and then we have Stahlecker's reports, so we do have the building block there. We do not have a lot of what we would call the lower level papers from the Einsatzkommandos. We have some of the documents from the Gendarme Marie, such as the Brestotoft document that we have looked at. . P-97 Q. How confident can we be that every time one of these reports refers to so many thousand Jews being killed they are actually Jews who are being killed? A. We have enough cases in which I think other evidence can corroborate that I am fairly confident. That is not in exact numbers but that there was a policy to carry out large executions, and that these are not numbers that are wildly off, or that they are being faked, in the sense of they are not being real executions being under way. Q. Was there not a tendency among the Nazis just to lump all the people that are killed together as Jews, knowing that this kind of report would be particularly welcomed by the authorities in Berlin? A. The Jager report shows that he was very careful in fact to identify Jewish men, Jewish women and children, and then other categories. A number of the Einsatzgruppen reports at different times, not in the global figures but for, say, summarizing the past two weeks, we will break down, so many saboteurs, so many communist functionaries, so many mentally ill and so many Jews. The tendency seems to be, at least on some occasions, to indicate that they are being fairly careful about separating and keeping track of their victims by category.
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