International Campaign for Real History

Reports by expert witnesses have now been exchanged (July 30, 1999) in the Libel Action between DJC Irving v Penguin Books Ltd and Deborah Lipstadt
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Sean Howell informs us on Sunday, August 1, 1999 that Professor Browning was invited away to speak at the time-honoured Cambridge Lecture Series in Massachusetts. . .


"Before leaving the Pacific Lutheran University (at Tacoma, Washington State) Browning delivered one of the lectures from this series as his last special lecture. I was invited to this. The topic of the lecture was Motivation. He attempted to show different aspects using a comparison. However, the comparison was not parallel and therefore his theory is not even near factual especially by means of deduction. There wasn't support for justification of the comparison.

"The first case was a secluded German town. The Jewish community in the non-mainstream German town had a long time casual relationship with the locals. From police reports and Jewish journals it is apparent that they received less harsh treatment than other parts of Germany. This situation was true until the German mandate requiring Jews to don the Star of David [in late 1941].

"Browning's point was that since both parties were neighbours and shared a history the police were less likely to abuse the Jews.

"The second case and other half of the comparison was a town in Poland. Here the police were sent in from a town in Germany. From the initial period, it is fact that the Jews received harsh treatment. A log of a German officer also shows his emerging inhumane treatment toward those in Poland. His language turned from insecurity to that of a confidant sportsman on a hunt. Browning's statistics were inconsistent with his thought.

"He compared the newly transferred German police with the local police used in extermination of people. He thought it would show a difference in restraint between the two. However, the numbers were similar.

"More so, Browning wanted to show that the Jews would seem less human to the foreign (imported) police for the simple reason that they were alien. However, what caught my attention was, yes this was all true, but Browning wasn't being a good historian. Browning was playing with history.

"In no way should he compare these two cases. The chief fault in his logic is that these instances are not parallel. The secluded town observed a period of neighbour-kindness until the Star of David mandate. After the mandate, treatment became increasingly ruthless.

"The mere mentioning of the town in Poland, even as secondary information, would be wrong. The case in Poland didn't even occur until after the Star of David mandate. The key factor in determining the level of severity in treatment in the secluded town occurred in the town in Poland before the period when Browning wrote the stages of harsh treatment.

"I of course pointed this out during the conclusion of the Special Lecture. Browning was flummoxed and became defensive. A former student of Browning's told me this subject was a favourite of Browning's."