Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day017.20 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 MR IRVING: It does not, no. The point which I am finally going to develop is that, if an eyewitness like Gerstein can be discredited so largely through the good fortune of our having access to his French police records and other materials, is it not likely that other eyewitnesses will turn out also to be made of straw to a greater or lesser degree, for one reason or another? . P-177 A. No, I do not agree. I think that he is confirmed in his essentials, and the question before us here was how did the killing at these camps take place? And he is one of a number of witnesses that say they take place in gas chambers. In so far as he can come up with the names of the people that were there, the transports from the particular region that were arriving at Belzec at that time, I think this is very essential for saying this part of his testimony is reliable. I do not consider that having been destroyed in any way, and I think there are a large number of other witnesses that are also believable that tell the same story. Q. Just dealing with Gerstein at this moment, I do not have to destroy all the eyewitnesses. I just want to tackle the principal ones. If he was who he said he was and he had the task of delivering these fumigation supplies, the Zyklon, to those camps, then he would know the people who were operating whatever they were operating, would know the names. This does not necessarily presuppose that all the rest of his story is true, or any of the rest of his story is true. A. We know that transports from the Volf went there at this time. This was the place from where they were coming. We know that Hockenholt was the man who ran the gas chambers, that Oberhauser was Wirt's assistant, that he could have come into this information without having visited Belzec. . P-178 Q. How did he know that Hockenholt ran the gas chambers? Is this another eyewitness? A. This is the other eyewitnesses, but people from whom Gerstein could never possibly have heard of and known of when he was giving this testimony. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can I ask a question at this stage, Mr Irving, really because it might suggest to you that there may be one or two questions you would want to ask as a follow up? It is really this. Given that there is a live issue about gassing at Auschwitz, does the evidence about what was happening at Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka have an impact on the issue in relation to Auschwitz? Do you follow my question? A. In the sense that it has the impact that, if the Operation Reinhardt camps are basically killing the bulk of Polish Jewry, then the bit provides the historical context for weighing, is Auschwitz a similar camp for killing Jews brought from other parts of Europe? So they are interrelated if, in that sense, the camps are dividing up geographical areas from which they receive people. We know, I do not know if he does concede but it seems to be, that the people sent to these camps died in one way or another, and at least the eyewitness testimony tells us how that was done. That would contribute to the credibility of those that say Auschwitz was a similar camp as part of a similar programme. . P-179 MR IRVING: My Lord, may I remind you, of course, that I do not challenge that there gassings at Auschwitz on some scale? It is the scale that we very much challenge. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think, I do not want to quote him without his permission, as it were, but I imagine, Professor Browning, it is implicit in the answer he has just given, would say that you learn something about the scale of the gassing at Auschwitz from what was happening at these other death camps. MR IRVING: With respect, my Lord, I think not. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Am I misrepresenting you? MR IRVING: I am just alarmed at the notion of building such a major part of World War II history just on the testimony of half a dozen eye witnesses as far as Auschwitz is concerned. MR RAMPTON: I do not know where that comes from. It is the second time we have had that today. It is built on a mass of evidence, documentary, archeological, eyewitness, goodness knows what, all of which, as Professor van Pelt puts it, converged to the same conclusion. MR IRVING: The transcript will show what position we reached. MR JUSTICE GRAY: We will obviously have to deal with the totality of the evidence, but it had gone through my mind, this thought, and I therefore thought it right to put it to Professor Browning, because it seems to me to be an argument for the existence of gassing on a substantial . P-180 scale at Auschwitz. You have heard the answer that Professor Browning has given to me. It is a matter for you whether you want to pursue it. I appreciate you do not accept it. MR IRVING: I can only ask the supplementary question, which is does that answer depend entirely on eyewitness evidence, or is there any documentary basis whatsoever for what you have just told his Lordship? A. We have documentary evidence for gassing in Semlin and Chelmno and the uses of the gas van. We have only eyewitness testimony for the existence of gas chambers in the three Operation Reinhardt camps. Q. So there is no documentary evidence relating to scale then? A. Not to scale, to mode of killing. What we do have is documentary evidence concerning the emptying of Poland of Jews to these three camps, which are teeny little villages which do not accommodate one and a half million people. Q. We have been through part of that argument sometime ago when I mentioned the English village of Aldershot, to which large numbers of English people went during World War II. A. If the population of Aldershot had been a group of people already deprived of their rights and property, if they had been rounded up with all of the brutality that left bodies lying all the way to the train station, and if they had . P-181 been sent there and never came back, and if a hundred witnesses from Aldershot said they had been gassed, we would, I think, say something happened at Aldershot. Q. Absolutely right. We do not have 100 witnesses in these cases, do we? We have apparently, in the case of Auschwitz, about which Mr Rampton is concerned, tens of thousands of survivors, but only five or six have been questioned on this matter so far as we know from these proceedings before us. Anyway, I have no further questions. Thank you very much for coming to England, Professor Browning. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you. < Re-examined by Mr Rampton QC. MR RAMPTON: My Lord, if I ran maybe past quarter past 4 perhaps I would be forgiven? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I had thought already that, if needs be, we will do that. MR RAMPTON: We would like to get the Professor off the stand. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think that would suit Mr Irving actually, and then he will have a free run tomorrow, preparing Evans. MR RAMPTON: Yes. I do not have that many questions, Professor, but it may take a bit of time because I want your help with some documents. Can we start, please, with what I call the Browning document file, which is tab 7 of L1? I would like you to turn to page 19A. This is a . P-182 document which by now we all probably can recite in our sleep. There was a lot of cross-examination about it. It is the message from Muller to the Einsatzgruppen of 1st August 1941, I hope, is it? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. MR RAMPTON: 19A in a circle. There are about four numbers on the page. You are looking for a handwritten number in a circle in the bottom right hand corner of the page. A. Yes, 19A I have. MR RAMPTON: First of all, can I ask you whether you know how long this document has been accessible to scholars? A. I think the first reference I saw to it was in Gerald Fleming, a book published in 1982. Q. Is that "Hitler und die Entlosung"? A. Yes. Q. Second question. I am coming back to the content of it in a moment. You see it has the security mark Geheim on it? A. Yes, I see Geheim. Q. I want you just to have a quick look at some of the other documents in this bundle, not for the content but for their superscription, if I can call it that. For the moment, I have lost my note. Can we turn, please, to page 38? You will remember the context of these questions. It was that Mr Irving was suggesting that Geheim was such a low security classification that this document could not have a sinister connotation. . P-183 A. Yes. Q. Page 38 ought to be what I call the Rademacher report, following his visit to Belgrade. Is it? A. Correct. Q. Can you tell me, just glancing at the first page, you know it backwards, what is the substance of this document, the first page of it? A. He is reporting here on the shooting of the male Jews in Serbia. He had been sent down there to deal with what was to happen to them and he says there really is not a problem concerning the male Jews, they are being shot. Q. They are being shot. He is an official in the Foreign Office? A. He is the so-called Jewish expert in the Foreign Office. Q. Do you see that has the mere marking Geheim at the top of it? A. Yes. Q. Thank you. Then can we go to what I think is 40A? It is 25th October 41. I am going to ask you to do a bit of stationery work, if you do not mind, Professor. Just put this in the file. There is one for the witness and one for the judge (Same handed). MR JUSTICE GRAY: One for Mr Irving? MR RAMPTON: One for Mr Irving, yes. This is another of your documents, Professor. I say "your documents", documents referred to by you. 25th October 1941, from a Dr Wetzler . P-184 to somebody called Lohse, who is the Reichs Kommissar for the East land. What is this document about? A. This is the one in which he discusses the possibility of sending someone to Riga to construct gassing apparatuses. Q. That is in the fourth line on the first page Vergassungs apparate. Then, if you turn over the page, can you just tell us what the first sentence of the first complete paragraph says? A. He says that, given the situation, there are no objections if Jews not capable of work are removed by Brock's "little helper". Q. His Vergassungsapparate? A. Yes. Q. Notice then please on the first page the appellation, the security? A. The security rank is Geheim. Q. Yes. Then, finally, three other documents. Page 91 is a document dated 26th March, the year I do not know. 42, I guess, is it? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am going to be very pedantic and say Wetzler document, 40A, or otherwise we will never find it. MR RAMPTON: Sorry, my Lord? MR JUSTICE GRAY: 40A for Wetzler. MR RAMPTON: To Lohse? A. This is a carbon, so they would have had on the original stationery the 194 and the blank paper behind just recalls . P-185 the two they typed in. Q. Have you got page 91? A. I think it is the 26th, 26th March 1942. Q. This is a letter, I think, from somebody called Rauf. What is this about? A. Rauf is the head of the sort of, I guess we could call it the administration of material matters of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt. Included in that is the motor pool, and this I would have to read through to see exactly. Q. Something about Sonderwagon. A. Yes. This is about the Sonderwagon that are prepared by them. Q. I see. It is about the supply of Sonderwagon? A. Yes. Q. What are Sonderwagon? A. This is one of terms they used for gas vans. Q. I notice again in a box at the top of the first page the word Geheim only, please. Then, last but one, page 99A, this I hope is a letter or a copy of a letter, I think it is a Nuremberg document in fact, from Gantzen Muller to Karl Wolff? A. Yes.
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