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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day017.11

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
        or had a monopoly.
   Q.   And that this message is referring to dispatch, not
        of Zyklon, but also substances referred to as Tegas,
        Athylo, Trito?
   A.   They are referring to three other products.  Whether
        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
        I do not see anything that says what their purpose is.
   Q.   Yes, and the message also shows that Dr Tesch who is
        something in Riga connected with training?
   A.   Obviously, they did not get the complete message, but
        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
        that people were being trained in the use of
        agents, both lethal and non-lethal?
   A.   Since I do not know what Tegas, Athylo.D and Trito
        I can only say that there are three products in
        to Zyklon being dispatched.
   Q.   Will you accept that Tegas is a substance which is
        parts of ethylene oxide to one part of carbon dioxide?
        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
        to present that to the court or whatever, I cannot
        on that because I simply do not know.
   Q.   And the other items were, in fact, proprietary
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Professor Browning, does this decode tell
        anything about whether it was a lethal or a non-lethal
        of these gases, assuming they were gasses or
   A.   They say nothing to that regard and I do not know of
        lethal gassings in Riga, except for the gas vans which
        gassed with carbon monoxide.
   MR IRVING:  I just need one further piece of evidence.
        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
        trained in the use of fumigation agents or could be
   A.   They were engaged in the training of something.
   Q.   Yes.  I am going to go through the remaining pages of
        report.  We have started at I think round about page
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Before you go further, Mr Irving, shall
        just decide what should be the home for this?  I will

.          P-96

        guided by the Defendants, Mr Rampton.
   MR RAMPTON:  I am so sorry.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do you have any suggestions about where
        clip should go?
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord ----
   MR IRVING:  L, I think.
   MR RAMPTON:  --- what we will do, if your Lordship will
        put it all at the back of L for the moment, we will
        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
        concentric) questioning.  We are now focusing just on
        report.  I think I will be finishing this half way
        the afternoon.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do not hurry at all.  My problem was
        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
   MR IRVING:  And we will do the same with Professor Longrich
        when he comes.  (To the witness):  Paragraph 4.4.1,
        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
        looking at here are two specific matters.  First of
        the scale, and, secondly, the quality of the evidence
        is available to us.  That is what these questions are
        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
        kept well informed."
                  Now, did you have a specific reason for
        including Hitler in that sentence, or what I am asking
        is what is the proof that Hitler had asked to be kept
   A.   The document that we cited of August 1st 1941, I do
        say Hitler asked, I said the document there said
        was to receive, you know, a regular supply of reports,
        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
        major piece of the work of the Einsatzgruppen was the
   Q.   But I do not want to repeat the discussion we had
        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
        policy of handing on these reports and they wanted to
        fatten them.
   Q.   I guess what I am asking really is that the only
        you rely on when you say that both Hitler and Himmler
        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
        that are spread out and copied as many as 100 for
        that are distributed to various Ministries, and the
        Foreign Office report will be seen by 30 or 40 people.
        there does seem to be a great eagerness to get the
        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
        not, of January 1940, the need-to-know order, that
        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
        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
        of who was authorized to receive it.
   Q.   But you say now in paragraph 4.4.2, the next
         "Such a thorough documentation does not exist
        the fate of the Jews from the rest of Europe".  In
        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
        survive here, some there.  We are reliant on less
        documentation, though some pockets of documentation
        are very suggestive and, in addition, postwar
testimony as
        well.  Documentation, for instance, concerning the
        deportation operations is fairly rich in some
   Q.   But you are referring to the railroad information?
   A.   Well, I say "concerning the fate of the Jews from the
        of Europe", we have a mixed bag of documentation,
        than a fairly rich and steady run.  I mean,
        reports, to have a complete series, it is fairly rare
        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
        that there is a broad measure of disagreement on what
        total number involved was, ranging from 25,000 at one
        of the scale (which I think Pierre Vidal Nacette
        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
        they left, and we can add up the trains.  So I did
        I do not think -- it is not my -- I am not aware that
        there is a vast discrepancy of interpretation
        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
        that figure was not in France at that time?
   A.   In mainland France there is roughly about 300,000
   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,
        those figures could not have been included, could
   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
        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
        any historian believes of Jews in France.  Puzzling,
        people have speculated, purely speculated, that this
        include the Jews of French North Africa too.
   Q.   But on December 10th 1942 that can no longer have
   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
        with 300,000 and 40,000 were deported in 1942, you
        be at 260,000.
   Q.   But there were not two or 300,000 Jews in mainland
        on December 10th 1942, were there?
   A.   Oh, there were.  300,000 is the figure that I have
        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

.          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
        You are setting out what you are going to be saying.
        say, the final sentence in that paragraph, you are
        referring to the fact that there are disagreements
        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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