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 do not have the document to collect my œ1,000. Q. You say in paragraph 5.1.10: "These documents suggest that a policy of systematic extermination", and so on, was going on, but is suggestion enough really? You have documents from which inferences can be drawn, and yet here 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 late 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 not that there was or was not a killing programme. It is at what date it will take shape. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think that must be right, as a matter of the interpretation of what is in the report. I think, Mr Irving, it is probably a time to -- unless you have a short point you would like to deal with. MR IRVING: No. It is quite a long point, the next one, it is . 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 has 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 money 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 interest in giving expert evidence in this action on behalf of the 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 Defendant "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 Yad Vashem/Vidal Sassoon Institute? A. I do not remember reading that. I may not have read the . P-114 credits. One often goes directly to the body. Q. Yes. Yad Vashem is an institution of the State of Israel, is it not? A. Yes. Q. So you are, in that respect, a paid agent I suppose of the State of Israel using the word "agent" in its purely legal sense? A. If that was the case, then since I had been at the Holocaust Museum, I would also have been an agent of the American Government, and since I have received scholarships in Germany, I would be an agent of the German government, so I must be a very duplicitous fellow to be able to follow these regimes. Q. There is lots of money, is there not, in connection with 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 funded. I did not find that I lived particularly well. Q. $35,000 to write a book which you have not delivered seems relatively well remunerated to me? A. They have got the manuscript for the first half and that is where I have been remunerated from. They have it as in France. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is the book that, I have not quite got the 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 book. I am using evidence here, but it is not directly related to this, no. MR IRVING: Will you tell his Lordship what the nature of the book is you are going to write for Yad Vashem which is the 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 is what is now in the hands of both the editorial board of Yad Vashem and the Cambridge University Press, and it is under completion of that manuscript that I was paid the money, according to the contract that we had signed. MR JUSTICE GRAY: So it covers the same general area as your evidence but is broader? A. Yes. MR IRVING: If you were to write a book for Yad Vashem which suggested that you discovered that Adolf Hitler had not issued the order or that it was just a totally haphazard killing operation that had resulted from the Holocaust, would this book be welcomed by them, do you think? Would that enhance his prospects or diminish them? A. As I have said, a number of historians have already made the argument that Hitler did not give the order, and I have been with them at a conference at Yad Vashem. They 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 in terms of Hitler not having, as I say, a blueprint from the beginning, and though that is different than many Israeli 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 clearly you do not feel that your evidence, expert evidence in this case, has been in any way tainted by the money you 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 be far more important to me than whatever money may be given, and that certainly would not be a factor in what I was writing. 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 the 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 of . 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 85. Q. You have correctly anticipated my next question, Professor, which is you are familiar with Professor Raul Hilberg? A. Yes. Q. Can you describe Raul Hilberg and his qualifications to the court, please? A. I would say that Raul Hilberg is the major historian who has written the overview of what we call the machinery of 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 in terms of political science he is an historical end of that field which in fact involves people who do many other things that do not have particularly historical dimension. Q. So you do not have to have book learning as an historian 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 Hilberg's is political science. Q. And Winston Churchill is another historian of course and . P-118 he never history, and Edward Gibbon I believe he also never studied history, and we can keep on going through the list, am I right? A. --- and Heroditus, yes. Q. Raul Hilberg is, as you say, one of the world's leading 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 edition of his book? A. In the first book he was mainly laying out what he called bureaucratic structures, but that he did have sentences that talked about two decisions, a two-decision theory, 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 Jews outside Soviet territory. He rephrased that to ---- Q. Hold it for a moment, you have very carefully chosen your 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 order . P-119 implies a more formal, it is a formal transfer from position of authority requesting a certain action be taken 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 conveyed what they were to do. I have said that in the senses at the end of this decision-making process, and I have always said that is an amorphous incremental process. I have argued against what I would call the "big bang" theory, 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 or a Hitler decision or both? A. I cannot remember exactly. I would have to look at the text. Q. What happened between the publication of that edition and the publication of the second edition? What did he do? A. He took out specific references to a Hitler decision or order, I forget how he phrased it, and phrased it more generally. Q. Is it not right that he went the whole way through the book cutting out the word "Hitler order", and the notion 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 called "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 the past. Q. And your recollection of events 15 years ago is not all that good? A. It is not bad, but if you want to tell me which word did I use I would like the like text. If you want the general gist of it I can give it to you. Q. I am suggesting that if your recollection of something you did 15 years ago is not all that hot, then an eyewitness's recollection about something 30 years ago might be equally shaky? A. I can remember writing the article and I can tell you the gist. I cannot tell you if I used a word or a different word. It depends on the magnitude of detail that you are talking about. Q. Just winding up that matter, there is nothing reprehensible whatsoever about Hilberg going all the way 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 thoughts 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 first volume should be revised. Q. Yes.
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