Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day017.11 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 MR IRVING: From Bletchley Park. One of this myriad of hundreds of thousands of messages, but it is typical of the kind of information that is there waiting to be fished out of the Public Record Office. Would you agree that this shows a request for information on which Zyklon was dispatched for the use of a man called Dr Tesch? A. Yes. Q. Do you know who Tesch and Stabenow were? A. They are people involved -- no, I do not know for sure. I will not say. I mean, I have heard their names. Q. Is it right to say that they are the firm in Hamburg which had the monopoly of supplies of Zyklon and other fumigation agents east of the River Elb? A. I remember the names in connection with the production of . P-94 Zyklon-B. I could not testify that they were in Hamburg or had a monopoly. Q. And that this message is referring to dispatch, not only of Zyklon, but also substances referred to as Tegas, Athylo, Trito? A. They are referring to three other products. Whether they are gas or not, we do not know. Q. Well, we do. A. I do not know. Q. Would you accept they are other fumigation products? A. I will accept that they are referring to three products. I do not see anything that says what their purpose is. Q. Yes, and the message also shows that Dr Tesch who is doing something in Riga connected with training? A. Obviously, they did not get the complete message, but they do have the word "training" in Riga, at least as part of a garbled part of the intercept. Q. So that the inference to be drawn from that telegram is that people were being trained in the use of fumigation agents, both lethal and non-lethal? A. Since I do not know what Tegas, Athylo.D and Trito are, I can only say that there are three products in addition to Zyklon being dispatched. Q. Will you accept that Tegas is a substance which is nine parts of ethylene oxide to one part of carbon dioxide? It is one of the proprietary fumigation agents that the . P-95 German Army used? A. Well, I have no ground to accept or dispute. If you want to present that to the court or whatever, I cannot comment on that because I simply do not know. Q. And the other items were, in fact, proprietary fumigation agents? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Professor Browning, does this decode tell you anything about whether it was a lethal or a non-lethal use of these gases, assuming they were gasses or fumigation agents? A. They say nothing to that regard and I do not know of any lethal gassings in Riga, except for the gas vans which gassed with carbon monoxide. MR IRVING: I just need one further piece of evidence. Have you read the Tesch trial at all, the trial of Dr Bruno Tesch by the British? A. No. Q. You have not read that? A. No. Q. But the word "training" indicates the people were being trained in the use of fumigation agents or could be both? A. They were engaged in the training of something. Q. Yes. I am going to go through the remaining pages of your report. We have started at I think round about page 24. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Before you go further, Mr Irving, shall we just decide what should be the home for this? I will be . P-96 guided by the Defendants, Mr Rampton. MR RAMPTON: I am so sorry. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do you have any suggestions about where this clip should go? MR RAMPTON: My Lord ---- MR IRVING: L, I think. MR RAMPTON: --- what we will do, if your Lordship will just put it all at the back of L for the moment, we will take out the ones which are chronological. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. Thank you very much. MR IRVING: My Lord, so you have an overview, I have now finished the general part and what may seem to your Lordship rather vague and eccentric (as the opposite of concentric) questioning. We are now focusing just on the report. I think I will be finishing this half way through the afternoon. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do not hurry at all. My problem was simply you were assuming too much knowledge on my part. MR IRVING: I was hoping to hit a few nails in while this witness was here. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of course. You are perfectly entitled to do that. MR IRVING: And we will do the same with Professor Longrich when he comes. (To the witness): Paragraph 4.4.1, which is on page 24 of your report, Professor? A. Yes. . P-97 Q. Once again, simply stated, I do not deny that these shootings occurred and these killings occurred. All I am looking at here are two specific matters. First of all, the scale, and, secondly, the quality of the evidence that is available to us. That is what these questions are all going to. You say: "The commanders in the field were explicitly told to report extensively" -- this is your middle sentence -- "as both Hitler and Himmler were to be kept well informed." Now, did you have a specific reason for including Hitler in that sentence, or what I am asking for is what is the proof that Hitler had asked to be kept well informed? A. The document that we cited of August 1st 1941, I do not say Hitler asked, I said the document there said Hitler was to receive, you know, a regular supply of reports, the current reports. Q. But this paragraph refers only to the systematic mass murder, does it not? It does not refer to the Einsatzgruppen's other operations? A. If you want to know the work of the Einsatzgruppen and one major piece of the work of the Einsatzgruppen was the killings. Q. But I do not want to repeat the discussion we had about that document yesterday, but we concluded that the document was looking for visual materials? . P-98 A. To supplement, it was following on the already existing policy of handing on these reports and they wanted to fatten them. Q. I guess what I am asking really is that the only document you rely on when you say that both Hitler and Himmler were to be kept informed? A. That is the one for Hitler, I am not ---- Q. I am not interested in Himmler. We have accepted that Himmler needed to be kept informed. MR JUSTICE GRAY: So solely based on the 1st August 1941? A. That is the documentary evidence we have, yes. MR IRVING: Thank you. A. In terms of a wider thing, of course, Heydrich then summarized these, and that we have the monthly summaries that are spread out and copied as many as 100 for report, that are distributed to various Ministries, and the Foreign Office report will be seen by 30 or 40 people. So there does seem to be a great eagerness to get the word out. This is not something within the government that these reports are terribly shielded. Q. You are familiar with Hitler's order on secrecy, are you not, of January 1940, the need-to-know order, that Hitler issued the order saying that only those were to be told of secret operations or events ---- A. I have seen reference to it. I do not believe I have read it myself, but I have seen reference to it. . P-99 Q. So that would have tended to keep information compartmentalized, would it not? A. These always listed who was to receive, so there was - - it was not circulated on the street corner. They had a list of who was authorized to receive it. Q. But you say now in paragraph 4.4.2, the next paragraph: "Such a thorough documentation does not exist concerning the fate of the Jews from the rest of Europe". In other words, we are reliant on postwar materials, eyewitness accounts, inferences, are we? A. We are reliant on that systematic documentation in the sense we do not have a complete run of reports like we have of Einsatzgruppen. We have some documents that have survive here, some there. We are reliant on less complete documentation, though some pockets of documentation that are very suggestive and, in addition, postwar testimony as well. Documentation, for instance, concerning the deportation operations is fairly rich in some countries. Q. But you are referring to the railroad information? A. Well, I say "concerning the fate of the Jews from the rest of Europe", we have a mixed bag of documentation, rather than a fairly rich and steady run. I mean, Einsatzgruppen reports, to have a complete series, it is fairly rare for an historian. Q. I appreciate that. A. We do not have that rich ---- . P-100 Q. But if you take one specific matter, for example, the deportation of the Jews from France, is it right to say that there is a broad measure of disagreement on what the total number involved was, ranging from 25,000 at one end of the scale (which I think Pierre Vidal Nacette supports) right up to the high 200,000s? A. Of how many in France or how many deported? Q. How many Jews were deported from France? A. I think most historians accept the figure of around 75,000. I have not been aware of a huge difference because we have references to most of the trains and when they left, and we can add up the trains. So I did not, I do not think -- it is not my -- I am not aware that there is a vast discrepancy of interpretation concerning the number of Jews deported from France. Q. Why would Himmler have discussed with Hitler the deportation of 200,000 or 300,000 Jews from France when that figure was not in France at that time? A. In mainland France there is roughly about 300,000 Jews. Q. Yes. A. The number in North Africa, I have no idea, but it is ---- Q. This is a discussion on 10th December 1942. Do you remember what happened one month before that? A. Well, the Germans were pouring troops into Tunisia. Q. And we had seized control of most of French North West Africa, had we not, so that the Germans could not have . P-101 done anything with the Jews in that part of the world, so those figures could not have been included, could they? A. Not in the 2 or 300,000, but if you are working -- the question is why -- let me back up so we do not get totally lost. There is a figure in the Wannsee conference protocol that has mystified historians because it is listed I think 600,000. It is a number well beyond what any historian believes of Jews in France. Puzzling, some people have speculated, purely speculated, that this may include the Jews of French North Africa too. Q. But on December 10th 1942 that can no longer have pertained? A. No, but we do not get that figure. We get the 2 to 300,000 that is ---- Q. Still wrong? A. No. That is still approximately right. If you started with 300,000 and 40,000 were deported in 1942, you would be at 260,000. Q. But there were not two or 300,000 Jews in mainland France on December 10th 1942, were there? A. Oh, there were. 300,000 is the figure that I have seen for the population in all of France and, of course, Germany occupies the southern part of France and thus would have the Jews of all of France in December 1942. Q. Where have you seen these figures? A. This would come from Michael Merris and Paxton's book on . P-102 the Vichy France and the Jews. Q. Would you turn to page 25 please? I am looking at paragraph 5.1.1 which I suppose is your topic paragraph. You are setting out what you are going to be saying. You say, the final sentence in that paragraph, you are referring to the fact that there are disagreements over historical interpretation? A. Absolutely. Q. They are not at all unusual, you say? A. We have seen several of these, the questions of interpretation from circumstantial evidence about what date decisions were made ---- Q. You do not have to have a Professor's title to be entitled to have a different opinion, do you, or to be Lord somebody or Sir John somebody, do you? You are entitled to have a different opinion? A. There is a range of opinion and one does not have to have a PhD to hold an opinion. Q. Yes. You do not have to be rocket scientist, as they say now. You say: "On the contrary, it is quite a normal occurrence" to have different opinions about how the programme for murder of the Jews came about? A. Yes.
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