The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day016.10

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day016.10
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   Like Goldhagen, for example?
   A.   I worked there a great deal.  They have a collection which
        is a USSR folder which has lots of materials,
copies from
        Ludwigsberg.  So I have seen some of these
        sitting in Jerusalem, that once they were out, the
        machines worked and copies were now accessible in
a number
        of places.
   Q.   Can I ask you to look on
paragraph 5 or the report
        paragraph 3.2?
   A.   3.2 yes.
   Q.   You say that the Nazis
sought to destroy all the
        documentary evidence and that is why we are so
hard up.
   A.   Yes, I mean, they
certainly -- for instance, we have none
        of the internal papers of Eichmann's bureau.  We
have his
        correspondence in which copies ended up with the
        Office and elsewhere, but he seems to done a very
good in
        destroying virtually all of his papers, as an
                  There are pockets of Himmler documents
that have
        survived, as you and I both know, but certainly
some that
        did not.  And that we have seen orders, for
instance, from
        Heydrich to people that destroyed documents.
   Q.   What disturbs me is your
suggestion in paragraph 3.2, not
        so much a suggestion as a lament, that we have any

.          P-69

        of evidence relating to the shootings, but
        nothing at all relating to gassings?
   A.   The number of written
documents relating to shootings is
        far more extensive than the number of documents
        to gassings in Operation Reinhardt.  I was not
        with gassings elsewhere.
   Q.   You used the useful
concept of it not being symmetrical.
        It is rather lopsided.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Is there any
methodological reason for that in your
   A.   Well, I think if we read
Globocnik's ----
   Q.   I mean, assuming the
gassings took place on this kind of
        scale that is now alleged, is there any reason why
        documents should not be available on the same
   A.   Two reasons, I think.
First is it seems that there were
        much more reporting back to Berlin concerning the
        shootings, that is, we have the structure of these
        reports and then Heydrich formulated them into bi-
        and monthly reports, and circulating them among up
to 100
        people on the Verteile, the distribution sheet.
                  In terms of Operation Reinhardt, we have
        evidence of regular reports back of this nature.
We do
        have Globocnik's letter to Himmler in early 1944:
"I have
        destroyed all the documents except those relating
        finances.  Can we get the audit done so I can

.          P-70

        those too?"
   Q.   Yes, I am familiar with
that document.  Can you suggest
        any logical reason why they would have destroyed
        category of documents but not the others?  After
all, they
        were in the killing business, you tell us, and
Jews are
        the victims, so why should they have been more
        in their destruction of the gassing documents than
        shooting documents?
   A.   I think they probably
produced many fewer documents
        relating to the three camps that were centralised
        Globocnik in Lublin, while the shooting we have in
a sense
        both the reports that go back to Berlin and things
        the Brest-litovsk document, individual police
reports that
        have survived in pockets, but certainly nothing
        comprehensive like the Einsatzgruppen reports.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Professor Browning, I am not
sure you have
        quite answered Mr Irving's question.
   A.   So that more shooting
documents will survive because
        shooting took place in a decentralized way, and so
        will have pockets of documents that survive in
this area
        or that area.  But given that the Operation
        activities were centralized, there would not be
        documents about them at this police station or
that police
        station, some of which would have slipped through
and not
        been destroyed.  So I think you have a much more
        centralised document base which was then

.          P-71

        destroyed and you do not have as many strays that
        to survive by inadvertence.
   MR IRVING:  I am not sure that it is helpful
that you refer to
        Operation Reinhardt, or perhaps you ought to
define what
        you mean by Operation Reinhardt at this stage?
   A.   I would take Globocnik's
own definition which was that it
        was the camps, the deportation from the gettoes to
        camps and the collection and use of the materials
        collected and the use of Jewish labour.  I believe
        those are four functions, if my memory serves me
   Q.   But, of course, there is a
function that you have not
        mentioned, in other words, the killing was not
        as a function of Operation Reinhardt.
   A.   Well, he talks about the
camps, and it is my opinion, as
        you clearly know, that those camps were created to
   Q.   Yes, but these camps were
operating on a loose rain, shall
        we say?  They did not need the paperwork?
   A.   I do not think -- I do not
know but I do not suspect once
        that they were a routine and they were stationery,
        the police that are reporting back, "We are going
        here to here" and have multiple duties of which
        report about.  Here they have one primary
function.  They
        were not moving.  You do not report every day, "We
        still in Sobibor.  We have not moved to somewhere
   Q.   Yes, but you are familiar
with the fact that the

.          P-72

        concentration camp commandants made regular
reports back
        to Berlin?
   A.   But Operation Reinhardt is
not under the concentration
        camp system in Berlin and the economic
        office.  They are under Globocnik and are not part
of that
        chain of command and report.
   Q.   Whom did Globocnik come
   A.   Globocnik technically
comes under Kruger who -- Globocnik
        is the SS and police leader for Lublin.  He is
        Kruger who is the higher SS and police leader for
        general government ----
   Q.   That is Friedrich Wilhelm
   A.   Yes, and higher SS and
police leaders were appointed
        personally by Himmler, sent out as his emissaries.
        this case we know ----
   Q.   In parallel to Hans Frank.
Hans Frank had a lot of
        friction with Kruger?
   A.   No, I mean, Hans Frank is
not within the SS or under
        Himmler.  He is appointed by Hitler as the
        Governor of the General Government.
   Q.   So there are two parallel
systems operating here;  there
        is the SS police system and there is the colonial
        government of Hans Frank?
   A.   There is a civil
administration and an SS police
        structure, yes.
   Q.   What happened after Kruger
was killed in, what, February

.          P-73

        1943 or whenever?
   A.   I did not believe he was
killed.  I thought he was
   Q.   He was replaced?
   A.   I do not recollect his
fate but I certainly ----
   Q.   Who replaced him?
   A.   I would have to look at
that.  I do not know.
   Q.   So this killing system, or
this camp system, in other
        words, came under Globocnik, who came Kruger, who
        under Himmler direct.
   A.   Yes, but we do know that
Globocnik often was in direct
        contact with Himmler and got special tasks from
        So it may well have been that there is only a link
        Globocnik directly to Himmler.  Kruger may know
what is
        going on, but may not be getting -- this is
speculation on
        my part because we do not have any of that kind of
   Q.   Yes.  What was Globocnik's
fate during the war?  Did he
        fall into disfavour?
   A.   He had been, earlier
before the war, the Gauleichter in
        Vienna, I believe, had been caught up in the
        scandal.  He was then used by Himmler in Lublin
until the
        fall of '43.  After this was done, he, like many
of the
        others, were sent to fight partisans in Yugoslavia
and he
        is replaced.
   Q.   Yes.  But was he not
replaced as part of a financial

.          P-74

   A.   No, I do not believe that
we have definitive evidence on
        that at all.
   Q.   To what extent did the
loot play an important part in the
        considerations of the SS, if I can put it like
that, their
        decision to kill thousands, hundreds of thousands,
        Jews, that they were eager to get their hands on
   A.   I do not believe that is a
major factor at all, but it is
        a concern to get the loot as a by-product of the
        you will -- that is, I believe they got to the
        because they had killed the Jews.  They did not
kill the
        Jews in order to get to the loot.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can I go back to a question
asked by
        Mr Irving earlier on and ask it in a slightly
        form?  If Berlin was interested in getting reports
of the
        shootings, the numbers of the various categories
        why (and I think this is really the thrust of his
        question) should they not have been interested in
        statistics in relation to gassing at the various
   A.   I cannot give you an exact
answer to that because it is
        not discussed in the documentation.  Heydrich is
the one
        that gets the reports from the police units.
Himmler is
        the one that is getting reports from Globocnik.
It may
        only be they had different ways of operation.  I
        say exactly an answer to your question because I

.          P-75

        simply have not seen documentation that will
explain it.
   MR IRVING:  Can I just hand you this document,
Professor, and a
        copy for his Lordship as well?  There is no need
to read
        it.  Just look at the general character of it.
Are you
        familiar with these documents in the British
   A.   I have seen copies of some
of them.  I have not actually
        worked in the decrypts in the PRO, no.
   Q.   Have you had any contact
with Professor Richard Brightman?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Or with his English
researcher, a Dr John Fox?
   A.   I have had no recent
contact with John Fox.  The last time
        I saw him was 1992.
   Q.   Are you familiar with the
fact that there are in the
        British archives now many tens of thousands of
        intercepts of German SS and police messages?
   A.   I do not know the number,
but I know there are a large

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