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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day016.08

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day016.08
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   And you can see the word umsiedlung. My Lord, you will see
        it in line 7 of the first paragraph.  Does your Lordship
        have the document?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am still making my way there.
   MR IRVING:  In 54 (i), document November 8th, 1942.  Actually,
        there is no dispute about this.  The Nazis killed 20,000
        Jews in two days in the middle of October 1942.  We are
        just looking at words.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Where is umsiedlung?
   MR IRVING:  Seven lines down my Lord "Umsiedlung der Juden".
        Then in the following line you have umgesiedelt.  So quite
        clearly it means killing, does it not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   So in this man's mouth at this time, in this document,
        umsiedlung and umgesiedelt means killing?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Now would you look at the last line of that paragraph,
        Professor?  This is the only trap I have got prepared for
        you today.  Would you translate into English the last

.          P-54

        sentence please?
   A.   Let me read the whole first.
   Q.   The sentence beginning with the words "Die helfter...
   A.   Yes.  They are referring to village which had had contact
        with the partisans and they say half the inhabitants were
        shot and the other half umgesiedelt to a neighbouring village.
   Q.   So there you have in the same paragraph two totally
        different meaning of the word umsiedlung?
   A.   And the context making it fairly clear.
   Q.   Otherwise it would have been no use to us, but it is an
        illustration, is it not, of the pitfalls we have and how
        easy it is to adopt what Mr Rampton might call a
        translation of a word, purely because we do not have the
        context, the surrounding country side, to tell us what
        this particular word means?
   A.   There are different meanings to the same word, yes.
   Q.   So, in fact, if somebody accused you of using the word
        wrongly and perversely and doing it deliberately, and you
        did not have the surrounding country side to help you,
        that would be a bit unfair, would it?
   A.   It would depend upon the broader context of the accusation.
   Q.   Would you now please take your expert report?  You say
        your pagination is different from ours?
   A.   I believe they have my court formatted one here as well.

.          P-55

   Q.   Go to page 5.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   First of all, I would ask you to look at your main title,
        The Evidence For the Implementation of the Final Solution.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   What do you understand by the phrase "Final Solution"?
   A.   I understand that is a programme to kill the Jews within
        the Nazi sphere of influence in Europe.
   Q.   Is that not a perverse translation of that phrase
   A.   No.  I think it is a translation that becomes very clear,
        in terms of that stage.  The word Endlosung does appear
        with a less lethal meaning earlier, but I think certainly
        it comes into this meaning and a number of documents have ----
   Q.   A less lethal meaning in earlier documents.  In other
        words, that does not necessarily mean killing?  It can
        also mean other final solutions?
   A.   They speak in different ways of an engilticus losung or a
        total or gazumpt losung.  There is a different series of
        words.  By 42 when you get folders, for instance, it will
        then say this becomes in a sense the accepted word, and
        I think at that time it also becomes the word that applies
        to a particular programme, not a general statement that
        has lots of different meanings.

.          P-56

   Q.   Professor Browning, would you accept that in the archives
        of the German Foreign Office the file title "Endlosung der
        Judenfrage" goes back to 1936, certainly to 1938?
   A.   There are certainly documents that predate, but the file
        that I think is actually called that, I would have check
        and see what the earliest documents on that are. I do not
        recall at the moment.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is true, is it not, that Endlosung is used
        at a time when deportation rather than extermination was policy?
   A.   Yes, at the earlier period there will be a series of
        words.  Sometimes it will be losung, sometimes it will be
        gazumpt losung, and sometimes total losung and sometimes
        endlosung.  When we get to the period of the Wannsee
        conference on, it usually is expressed as Endlosung and
        you do not get nearly the same mix.  That is just my
        impression.  I have not done an actual count of how often
        that occurs, but my impression is that at that point, when
        it is referring to a specific programme, that is the word
        that is used almost consistently.
   MR IRVING:  In other words, you should really have called the
        report, this is no real criticism, not evidence for the
        implementation of the final solution, but evidence for
        implementation of a killing programme, or a systematic
        killing programme?  Final Solution could have meant
        something else?

.          P-57

   A.   I think I define what I mean by it in the report, so
        I would say that it is perfectly fine to use the term that I used.
   Q.   We are not denying the fact that Final Solution does come
        to mean killing, but it did not always mean that, did it?
   A.   It will appear in earlier documents when it does not mean
        killings, yes.
   Q.   You are familiar with the event reports, are you not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   You did not quote in your report the passage on the Jewish
        question from the event report No. 81 dated September 12th
        1941.  I am just going to quote to you three and a half
        lines from it.  It is the operations of Einsatzkommando 6,
        and the quotation is as follows.  It may be familiar to
        you.  "The gratuitous evacuation of hundreds of thousands
        of Jews", what would "evacuation" there be?
   A.   I have not seen the written ----
   Q.   "The gratuitous evacuation of hundreds of thousands of
        Jews may be considered to be an indirect success of the
        work of the security police.  As we hear mostly from the
        other side of the Urals, the Ural mountains, this is a
        considerable contribution to the solution of the Jewish
        question in Europe".  This is September 1941 and in your
        opinion are they are referring there to a geographical
        evacuation, or something more sinister?
   A.   Not seeing the wider context, I think he is probably

.          P-58

        referring to the escape of Jews to the Soviet side, and
        that these were Jews that were no longer within German control.
   Q.   "The gratuitous evacuation of hundreds of thousands of
        Jews may be considered to be an indirect success of the
        work of the security police", in other words they had fled?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  They did not want to get shot?
   A.   They are Jews that do not have to be shot because they
        have left German custody.
   MR IRVING:  So at this time there was no plan to catch all the
        Jews you could and kill them?
   A.   What the reports note as they go further East, there are
        fewer and fewer Jews in the areas the Germans get because
        so many have fled, and this is in a sense of a way of
        saying why his body count has not been maintained, that so
        many of these are have fled beyond the Soviet lines.  We
        can consider this an indirect success.  If the programme
        then was still expulsion, this would not be an indirect
        success, it would be a direct success.  If it is an
        indirect success, that implies that it is something other
        than what the direct process is.
   Q.   You said something rather interesting there, the fact that
        his body count had not been maintained.  What did you
        imply by that?
   A.   Some of the Einsatzgruppen or Einsatzkommandos have a much

.          P-59

        lower count than some of the others?
   Q.   Did this reflect badly on them, do you think?
   A.   In the sense that sometimes the commander says, well, the
        Jews have fled from this area in the sense he is
        explaining up the line why there is a discrepancy, or why
        there is an uneven pattern and some of his officers will
        not be reporting the same numbers as others.  He does not
        go into detail but I would infer from that that he fears
        that they may be viewed as not zealous enough in the sense
        he is covering for them and giving an explanation to
        Berlin as to why some kommandos have much larger numbers
        than others.
   Q.   You appreciate what I am getting at here, do you not?  The
        fact that there may have been a tendency to bloat reports
        or to exaggerate figures, a temptation?
   A.   There certainly is the possibility of that, but at the
        same time of course that means they know that Berlin wants
        big numbers, which would indicate that they perfectly
        realize they are part of that programme, the purpose of
        which is to get big numbers, that they report exact
        numbers when everything we know about how the killings
        were carried out, no one was sitting with a clicker giving
        a precise body count.  So we would not take these as
        precise numbers, but they are ball park numbers.
   Q.   So, when somebody reports from the front to Himmler or to
        Berlin that 360,000 Jews have been killed in a three month

.          P-60

        period -- you are familiar with the report I am referring to?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   And It is a very precise figure, accurate down to the last
        digit, we should not expect that to be genuinely accurate
        down to the last digit?
   A.   No, because it is based on reports like Pressertoft, which
        is a round figure of 20,000.  So that is a false precision
        in the report; that it is a ball park figure of the
        general area, I think is also the case.
   Q.   They are mind boggling figures, are they not?
   A.   Indeed.
   Q.   When you consider -- I do not know what your equivalent
        stadium in North California is, but Wembley Stadium here,
        for example, and you imagine shooting all that number of
        people in that space of two days, it is quite a daunting task.
   A.   It is a very large figure.
   Q.   How large were the units that carried out these shooting
        operations? How big was an Einsatzgruppe?
   A.   Einsatzgruppen total about 3,000.

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